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Playing the Tips

Expert Picks: U.S. Open

by Josh Culp
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Welcome to Playing the Tips! 

Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our fantasy staffers at Rotoworld.com. 

Here is a quick rundown of what sites and formats we will cover each week: 

Page 1 will feature all of our selections for GolfChannel.com and Yahoo! Fantasy Golf.

Page 2 will go over One-and-Done as well as Daily Fantasy Golf picks. 

Page 3 will take a look at the European Tour, with the Fantasy Race to Dubai.

Editor’s Note: This is the perfect week to try out FanDuel Golf and find out why it makes the majors even more exciting. First Place in FanDuel's $250,000 PGA Golden Eagle contest wins $50,000! Play now for $4.

Before we look ahead, Mo Yoshimoto takes a look at last week's action in his FedEx St. Jude Recap.

  

Now for the picks... 
 

GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
 
Josh Culp

@futureoffantasy
 

Last Week: 313 points

Last Week Rank: 2,486
 

Jordan Spieth ($33,300)
Brooks Koepka ($27,100)
Martin Kaymer ($16,000)
Steve Stricker ($9,500)
Bud Cauley ($8,100)
Gregory Bourdy ($5,100)
 

ANALYSIS:  Grabbed a few top-tier talents with Spieth and Koekpka. Using Bourdy as an under-the-radar pick that could hit all 14 fairways in a round on Erin Hills wide fairways and no one would bat an eye. Cauley is a bit of a wildcard but he scores in bunches when he's on. 
 

Ryan O’Sullivan
@RyanGolfBlogger

 

Last Week: 421 points

Last Week Rank: 39

 

Dustin Johnson ($33,300)
Sergio Garcia ($33,300)
Martin Kaymer ($16,000)
Lucas Glover ($8,100)
Stewart Cink ($5,200)
Stephan Jaeger ($1,500)

ANALYSIS:  Riding the hot hand with Jaeger. Easy to see why with that price tag. He's basically free. Johnson and Garcia form a great duo at the top. Kaymer, Glover, and Cink will be knocking down flagsticks all week long. Ryan is coming off a near hit in this format, finishing top 40! 

 

Mori Yoshimoto
@Bears3423


Last Week: 285.5 points

Last Week Rank: 6,553

 

Dustin Johnson ($33,300)

Louis Oosthuizen ($27,400)

Branden Grace ($24,600)

George Coetzee ($6,700)

Peter Uihlein ($5,500)

Stephan Jaeger ($1,500)

 

ANALYSIS: Much like Ryan, Mo is saving a pretty penny by grabbing Jaeger at the bottom. Even if he bombs, the rest of the lineup could make up the slack. If South Africans have a good week, expect to see Mo near the top (Oosthuizen, Grace, Coetzee).

 
Yahoo! Fantasy Golf

*Make sure you check our Twitter accounts for any updates before the first tee ball flies on Thursday. Change in weather, tee times, etc. can always lead to last-minute changes and we will let you know through our social media channels. 


This week's Strategy: Erin Hills is exposed to the elements but right now the winds looks calm. Keep an eye on the forecasts but at the time of this writing, there is no clear tee-time advantage. 
  

Josh Culp
“Future of Fantasy” 

Last Week Points: 178
Segment Points: 1,515
Segment Rank: 3,322
 
Season Points: 3,117
Season Rank: 8,177

Group A

Dustin Johnson (4): Slowing his pace recently, but even his slow pace is elite. 

Rory McIlroy (8): Starts in the opposite wave as DJ, and there is no concerns with wasting starts since Rory has been sidelined for so long.

=SUPER SUBS =

Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott
 

Group B

Jordan Spieth (3): Has won a U.S. Open already and has some experience at Erin Hills (2011 U.S. Amateur).

Matt Kuchar (4): Mr. Consistent is one of the least likely to find the fescue this week. Doesn't have the elite length but fairways and greens are never a bad thing on a tough track.
 

Paul Casey (4): Finding plenty of form recently, particularly with his irons. Has gained 4 or more strokes approaching-the-green in each of his last three starts.

Justin Rose (5): Been quiet recently but a T12 at the BMW PGA Championship was a nice sign that his game is still there. 
  

=SUPER SUBS=
Steve Stricker, Brandt Snedeker, Francesco Molinari, Webb Simpson

 

Group C
Brooks Koepka (6): Has played a busy schedule since the Masters and for good reason. His game is trending well and he's never backed down from a USGA setup, posting T18 or better in his last three U.S. Open appearances.

Charl Schwartzel (10): Nearly called his shot last week on Twitter. Before the event started he responded to a fan by saying, "if I find form then I'll win." It seems that he's found that form and playing with confidence entering the week.
 

=SUPER SUBS=
Sergio Garcia, Jon Rahm

 
 

Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”

Last Week Points: 164
Segment Points: 1457
Segment Rank: 8356

Overall Points: 3293
Overall Rank: 1226

 

Group A

Dustin Johnson (5) and Jason Day (7)


Group B

Hideki Matsuyama (6), Justin Rose (7), Jordan Spieth (6) and Kevin Chappell (6)

Group C

Jon Rahm (5) and Sergio Garcia (5)

 
 

Mo Yoshimoto
“@BearsGolf3423”

 

Last Week Points: 158

Segment Points: 1,494

Segment Rank: 4,793

Season Points: 3,372

Season Ranking: 312

 

Group A

Louis Oosthuizen (10) and Dustin Johnson (6)


Group B

Justin Thomas (6), Justin Rose (7), Kevin Chappell (6) and Jordan Spieth (4) 

Group C

Thomas Pieters (10) and Sergio Garcia (8)

 

~

Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]

I will be giving out selections for one team each week. 
 

These lineups will be entered into a large-entry Guaranteed Prize Pool. That means we need to take a risk or two, in order to separate ourselves from the field. 

I would also advise you to change a roster spot or two if you are trying to enter this lineup yourself. Duplicate entries are no fun. 

 
FanDuel Picks:
 

FanDuel is back and they have a new format. You no longer have to split your lineup into pre-cut and post-cut sections. A very good change, so let's see what we can put together. 

Thomas Pieters ($7,400): Has the length to handle this course even if they played at the tips. A boom-or-bust pick that I am willing to take a chance on.

Steve Stricker ($7,400): 
Riding the local angle, but more than that he's just steady. It's hard to imagine Stricker posting too many big numbers which are killer in the FanDuel scoring format.

Charl Schwartzel ($6,800): Entering with a lot of confidence (T2 last week). His wrist injury apepars to be behind him and he's peaking just in time for the big one.

Lee Westwood ($6,800): 
He's a podium machine in major championships. Perhaps he'll be inspired by Sergio finally breaking through?

Byeong Hun An ($6,800): Great ball-strikers usually have a higher floor because even the worst putters can't lose as many strokes as poor ball-strikers can lose tee-to-green. An fits the bill as an elite ball-striker.

Billy Horschel ($6,500): 
 Nearly won last week despite a slow start. Horschel likes to ride waves of momentum so I will jump on and enjoy the ride.

With two spots remaining, we have $18,300 left to work with. Golfers that could fill the final two spots: Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Louis Oosthuizen, Brooks Koepka, and Rickie Fowler.

DraftKings Picks:
 

Jordan Spieth ($11,500): Using Spieth as my anchor because I like his ability to prep for a new course. It's no wonder he has a stellar track record in major championships.

Brooks Koepka ($9,000): 
Rounding into form after an early-season slump. Can rack up birdies in bunches and crushes hard courses. 

Matt Kuchar ($7,600): With only top 60 and ties making the cut this week, Kuchar's consistency gets a nice boost. 

Charl Schwartzel ($7,300):
 Arriving fresh of a runner-up finish in Memphis. Love his confidence as he searches for his second career major win. 

Thomas Pieters ($7,700): Experience usually matters at the U.S. Open. It also usually matters in the Masters, and we saw Pieters post a T4 in his Augusta National debut. His length should come in handy this week.

Lee Westwood ($6,800):  Can't argue with his track record in majors. Will fly under the radar this week, since he hasn't thrown himself in true contention for quite a while. For sub-$7K, all we need is a cut made. 

 

 

One-and-Done

Each week I think aloud to provide you with my One-and-Done selection as well as a few alternatives. Fade or Follow? You decide!
 

Last week I tried to get a low-owned Fowler in a weaker field...we all know how that turned out. Time to rebound in a big event this week. 

First, let's have a look at some tournament horses. Golfers that have played well on other USGA setups:

Jason Day (6-for-6 with 5 top 10s)
Dustin Johnson (8-for-9 with three top 5s including WIN)
Brandt Snedeker (7-for-10 with four top 10s)
Sergio Garcia (15-for-17 with five top 10s)
Rory McIlroy (5-for-8 with three top 10s including WIN)
Lee Westwood (14-for-17 with five top 10s)
Jim Furyk (19-for-22 with seven top 10s)
Graeme McDowell (9-for-11 with WIN and RUNNER-UP)
Matt Kuchar (9-for-14 with five top 25s)
Charl Schwartzel (8-for-10 with four top 20s)

From there, let's hit the magnifying glass backwards to look at long-term performance on the PGA TOUR and Euro Tour since 2014

Rory McIlroy
Jason Day
Dustin Johnson
Jordan Spieth
Henrik Stenson
Adam Scott
Sergio Garcia
Justin Rose
Hideki Matsuyama
Jon Rahm

 

A few golfers check the box in both long-term skill AND course history: Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, and Rory McIlroy.

I've already used all four so its time to think outside the box. 

If we open up the criteria to top 20 in both tournament history AND long-term baseline performance we add the following names: Matt Kuchar, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk, and Charl Schwartzel.

I narrowed down to Rose or McIlroy at the Masters and picked wrong there. This week I will decide between Rose and Schwartzel. I think Rose looks like a slightly better play on paper but he hasn't played enough recently for me to trust his game completely. Schwartzel is coming in fresh off a runner-up at the St. Jude Classic and I will try to ride that form. Charl Schwartzel is my pick. Will fading Rose burn me again in a major? 
 

Season Tracking

Wins: 2
Top 10s: 11
Top 25s: 15
Missed Cuts: 6
Total Picks: 30

~
Fantasy Race to Dubai

Dave Tindall is our main man in Europe. In addition to his weekly previews of European Tour events on Mondays, he’ll share his selections and analysis for the Fantasy Race to Dubai at EuropeanTour.com.

 

Format: Pick 6 golfers. Players accumulate points based on Race to Dubai (R2D) points earned. Captain’s points are doubled. Unlimited team changes can be made each week.


Team Tindall (Team name: YESSIR!)

 

Last week: Minor rise last week thanks mainly to David Horsey in Austria. Let's get down to the serious stuff though...

 

Position: 1,908

 

This week:

  

Justin Rose (captain): Masters runner-up got to Erin Hills early - just as he did when winning this event at Merion in 2013. Superb recent record in the majors and worthy of captain status here.


Sergio Garcia: Sergio's first major since getting the monkey off his back. All the stats and common sense suggest he has another big week in an event where he's made his last nine cuts and took T5 last year.


Rory McIlroy: A little wary about getting too enthusiastic about Rory this week due to his lack of competitive action in 2017. Another part of me says this is a US Open course that will play to many of his strengths.


Louis Oosthuizen: Runner-up at Sawgrass and also T2 in the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay. Cool temperament and smooth swinging make him a good fit for this event. 


Jon Rahm: He might have a run of bad holes somewhere and get down on himself but that's about the only negative I can think of. An automatic pick in this format already.


Shane Lowry: Had a four-shot lead after 54 holes at Oakmont last year before taking T2. Has the short-game prowess to shine in big events (see 2015 WGC-Bridgestone win) and in form again.

 
 

Matt Cooper is part of our European team. He contributes to player news, and he’ll share his selections and analysis for the Fantasy Race to Dubai at EuropeanTour.com.

Team Cooper (Team name: NormanStanleyFletcher)

Last week: Missed the boat with Frittelli, but the format of the competition means that a poor week in the little events doesn’t affect too much.

Position: 852nd

Justin Rose (captain): Six times T27 or better, five times missed the cut; it’s a bit boom or bust for Rose in the US Open, but I like him in the majors this year and want him on-side.

Rory McIlroy: It is only madness or utter courage of conviction that can lead anyone to leave him out when he can be picked – and I have no strong belief that he will fail this week so he’s in.

Alex Noren: Improving results in the WGC and Stateside events gives me the confidence to pull the trigger on a guy who is playing superb golf and can now show it to the world.

Sergio Garcia: I would be very surprised if he won, but see no reason why he should not add to his ten top 25 finishes in the tournament.

Jon Rahm: Simply too good to bench when we have the opportunity to play him. Can he win? I’m doubtful given his propensity to get frustrated, but there is wonderful potential there and a good week is a real possibility if maybe not a great one.

Shane Lowry: Allowing myself one leftfield pick and event then it’s not so wild. I like a fellow who has been close, and I also liked the way Lowry performed at Wentworth and Muirfield Village.

Josh Culp

Josh Culp joined NBC Sports Edge in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.