Welcome to the Fantasy Six Pack, where we highlight six golfers to use in two popular fantasy golf platforms, DraftKings and FanDuel. On each, you must select six golfers for your lineup under a specific salary cap. (DraftKings $50,000, FanDuel $60,000). As a reminder, I’m a golf nut with a 1.3 handicap and a nose for analytics — according to Rotogrinders, I’m one of the top daily fantasy golf players. Just three weeks ago I made over $25,000 profit, and last week I won a contest worth $6,500! So, it’s been a nice summer. Want to check out the tools I used to help me win? Head to tourlevelfantasy.com!
Golf’s third major is here, and for some around the world, it’s the most anticipated event of the year. Yes, the Masters and U.S. Open are both great, but this is where it all started, folks, and Sunday someone on DraftKings will become a millionaire. This will be the 147th playing of the Open, and one of its defining characteristics is the high number of collapses that have occurred coming down the stretch. Josh Sens from Golf.com recaps the biggest blunders here. With that, let’s take a closer look at the field.
The Tournament: The 147th Open Championship
Skills emphasized: To win a major, a pro needs all aspects of their game clicking. Plus, good luck, in the form of a few long putts dropping or catching the best weather. But one thing remains constant: it takes the whole package. That said, we’ll place a greater emphasis on strokes gained tee-to-green and good drive percentage this week.
Top 10 finishers last year:
Rafa Cabrera Bello
Recap of last week’s picks
In a tricky week where many of the big names didn’t make the weekend, we managed to get 6-of-7 players through the cut. Our hot streak continues. And now, on to the Open.
Dustin Johnson (Odds: 10/1, DraftKings $11,300, FanDuel $12,500) Most bookies have the world’s top-ranked golfer at 10/1 or 11/1. Johnson has just one Open top-10 since 2013, but he’s of course reached new heights as the game’s current No. 1. He finished third at the U.S. Open at Shinnecock after leading through 36 holes, so his current form is strong. He leads the Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green, and his worst stat category is 46th in strokes gained around the green. DraftKings and FanDuel have a very similar salary structure this week, which should allow you to stack two or three of the favorites together. If you think DJ can find the 2011 form where he finished in second – and I think he can — he’ll be a great addition to your lineup this week.
Going Streaking: Players entering this week in great form
Justin Rose (Odds: 12/1, DraftKings $10,200, FanDuel $12,200) Oddly enough, Rose has disappointed at recent Opens. His best result in the past five years is a 6th-place finish in 2015, his only top 10 in that stretch. He’s gone 1, 6, 10 in his last three PGA Tour starts, and finished ninth last weekend at the Scottish Open, so his form is there. He doesn’t quite match up to DJ statistically, ranking 11th in tee-to-green, but his worst stat is 28th, in approach shots. But the real key for Rose is his putting, and he’s ranked seventh on Tour this year, picking up just about three strokes on the field per start. Rose is one of the few in the field who played the ’07 Open at Carnoustie, where he finished 12th.
Brooks Koepka (Odds: 25/1, DraftKings $9,200, FanDuel $12,100) Last year Koepka entered the Open fresh off a U.S. Open win and placed 9th. He could do even better this time around. At Shinnecock, his putter was abnormally hot. But even if it cools slightly, his length and precision paired with world-class touch around the greens should make him a serious contender once again this week.
Alex Noren (Odds: 25/1, DraftKings 8,300, FanDuel $9,800) When seeking golfers in top form, we should probably include a guy who won his last start. Noren is more than a one-week wonder, as he’s finished in the top 25 in each of his previous five starts, including a win three weeks ago and a third-place finish eight weeks ago. Statistically speaking, he’s 26th in tee-to-green and ninth in putting. That’s a deadly combo. He’s a great value at these prices.
Bryson DeChambeau (Odds: 40/1, DraftKings $7,600, FanDuel $10,200) He enters the week as one of two notables with questions about health after a WD from the John Deere. (Henrik Stenson also withdrew.) But if Bryson is healthy, he comes at a discount on DraftKings. He’s ranked 16th in tee-to-green and excels at putting inside 10 feet. He also won earlier this summer at the Memorial, so the upside is there. If he’s healthy, DeChambeau is a player to target.
Stewart Cink (Odds: 200/1, DraftKings $6,600, FanDuel $8,000) As the 2009 Open winner, Cink is exempt in this event until age 65. But this year he enters in good form after finishing 23, 2, 4 in his last three starts. Add that to his 6th-place finish at Carnoustie in ’07, and the fact that he’s missed just one Open cut since 2013, and he looks like a nice sleeper pick. Statistically, he’s ranked a solid 39th in tee-to-green. While I don’t think he’ll win another jug on Sunday, any finish inside the top 20 would pay off at this price.
Mulligans: Players who need a reset and expect to play well this week
Jordan Spieth (Odds: 17/1, DraftKings $10,600, FanDuel $11,100) First let’s revisit his last nine holes Friday at the U.S. Open. He made four straight birdies to get inside the cut line, but finished bogey-bogey to stunningly MC. But if he made the cut, he would’ve caught calm weather Saturday morning and would’ve had a chance to make a move similar to Tony Finau and Daniel Berger and rocket into contention. I’m sure those last two holes hung over his head during a 42nd-place finish at Hartford the following week. Fresh off a three-week break to reset mentally and physically, Spieth will look to defend his Open title. He hasn’t had a great summer, but a win this week would change everything.
Lastly a check-in on Tiger
Tiger Woods (Odds: 33/1, DraftKings $9,800, FanDuel $10,900) Looks like that new mallet putter is here to stay … for now. In his last event at the Quicken Loans National, he performed well from 15 feet and longer, but continued to struggle inside 10 feet and ranked dead last inside five feet. He still finished fourth in a rather weak field, but it showed that his game is nearly good enough to win. Does that mean he’s ready to win a major? Probably not quite yet. I could see a top 10 while possibly contending for the title on the weekend. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Woods take a real run at a major title, and I think the world is ready for it.
Where to play this fantasy Golf this week:
1. $20 buy-in contest called “Millionaire Maker,” with a top prize of $1,000,000 and a prize pool of $3,000,000.
2. $55 buy-in contest called the “Signature Hole,” with a top prize of $200,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $800,000.
3. $4 buy-in contest called the “Fore,” with a top prize of $100,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $700,000.
1. $15 buy-in contest called the “Mega Eagle,” with a top prize of $100,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $375,000.
2. $.25 buy-in contest called the “Lob Wedge,” with a top prize of $1,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $12,000.
3. $555 buy-In contest called the “Monster,” with a top prize of $50,000 and a guaranteed prize pool of $150,000.
These are just some of the many contests between the two sites. For a full breakdown of all contests and offerings check out the links in my bio. Good luck this week, and happy early-morning watching!
Jason Rouslin is the founder of tourlevelfantasy.com. He has been playing golf for the last 20 years, betting on golf for the last five and writing about golf for the last two. Connect with him on twitter @dfsgolfer23 or check him out on the @rotogrinders live golf show on Tuesday’s @ 8 PM.