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FanDuel Strategy

DFS FanDuel Fit: 2022 U.S. Open

by Josh Culp
Updated On: June 14, 2022, 5:35 pm ET

The 122nd running of the U.S. Open is set to take center stage at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. 

It's the third major of the 2022 campaign with Scottie Scheffler slipping on the green jacket and Justin Thomas hoisting the Wanamaker. Will the starts continue to shine in the big events? We'll look at recent performance in majors to see who might be the next name to take the big leap and become a major winner. 

The event is played on a rotation of courses but they all share some similarities. Most importantly, the difficult course setup. We will dive into performance on other tough tests and see if we can unravel some DFS value nuggets. 

 

Big-Game Hunters

Performing in majors tends to be contagious. You see the same golfers contending over and over again when it matters. 

It's hard to stay in this "bucket" of golfers for more than five years or so, but we can certainly target these golfers while they are peaking. 

Here are the top performers in adjusted strokes gained per round in majors, over the last two years: 

Will Zalatoris
Scottie Scheffler
Collin Morikawa
Jon Rahm
Louis Oosthuizen
Xander Schauffele
Rory McIlroy
Hideki Matsuyama
Tony Finau
Justin Thomas
Dustin Johnson
Harris English
Bryson DeChambeau
Patrick Reed
Brooks Koepka

Zalatoris, Schauffele, and Finau are three names that keep popping up in these big events but they've yet to finish the job. You have to think one of this trio finally snags one sooner than later. 

Koepka remains on this list despite a sub-par showing in each of the first two majors this season. The health of his knee remains the biggest issue with him. 

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Tricky Test

We just looked at the top performers in majors, but why do they continue to shine? 

A piece of the puzzle is certainly mental or momentum-based. However, it also has to do with course setup in the big events. 

Most weeks out of the year, the TOUR wants to see fireworks and birdies flowing and the courses hosting don't want to ruin their course for the rest of the season by pushing things agronomically. However, these major-championships thrive on difficult setups, challenging the best golfers in the world. The host courses often take pride in providing the toughest test possible. 

Here are the top performers on tough courses (+0.75 RTP or tougher), over the last two years: 

Scottie Scheffler
Jon Rahm
Rory McIlroy
Will Zalatoris
Xander Schauffele
Collin Morikawa
Matt Fitzpatrick
Aaron Wise
Tony Finau
Viktor Hovland
Louis Oosthuizen
Justin Thomas
Hideki Matsuyama
Sam Burns
Bryson DeChambeau

We can also look at a golfer's performance versus their baseline to see who over-performs most. Here is that list: 

Aaron Wise
Scottie Scheffler
Kurt Kitayama
Thorbjorn Olesen
Will Zalatoris
Phil Mickelson
Collin Morikawa
Adam Schenk
Patrick Reed
Rory McIlroy
Luke List
Louis Oosthuizen
Tony Finau
Matt Fitzpatrick
Mito Pereira

Overlap List: the names that appear on both lists are Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Will Zalatoris, Collin Morikawa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Aaron Wise, Tony Finau, and Louis Oosthuizen

Notice the crossover with the big-game hunter lists? Fitzpatrick and Wise are the two that have yet to make a steady splash in the majors but that could be changing over the next few years. 

FanDuel Focus 

Matt Fitzpatrick ($10,400): He's not going to break the bank this week, priced barely above the salary cost allowed per golfer on FanDuel. That will allow you to target the Englishman in balanced builds or star-heavy lineups. He arrives with top 10s in three of his last four starts. There is no doubt he'll be popular but if he performs to his expectations then it will be tough to win without himm. 

Patrick Reed ($9,400): He didn't get the nickname Captain America for nothing. Okay, that was more about his performance in Ryder Cups, but with top 20s in five of his last seven appearances at the U.S. Open, the name certainly serves dual purposes. He got off to a really slow start this year but has flashed some game recently. He was T17 at the midpoint of the PGA Championship and shared the first-round lead at Colonial. A high-risk, high-reward option for gamers to consider. 

Good luck with your lineups this week and check back tomorrow for some more course-fit analysis. 

Josh Culp

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