You may have played fantasy football before, but Paddy Power Fantasy is different because if your team is crap you’re not stuck with them for the season – it’s only for a week!
And you can also play daily fantasy across a load of other sports – including everyone’s favourite good-walk-spoiler, golf
This week, Paddy’s drafted in a fantasy golf big-hitter, Brandon Gdula from numberFire.com, to brief you on who should have you flying high at Winged Foot..
- US Open Tips: A 70/1 Play for the First-Round Leader
- Get the Trading View on the US Open at Winged Foot
- Check Out This Awesome Foursome at the US Open
And, even better just for this week, Paddy will give you money back as cash on fantasy losers if Dustin Johnson makes the cut – which he should do, right?
Whether you’re brand new to fantasy golf, or daily fantasy sports in general, we have you covered. Just pick six players under the salary cap, sit back and enjoy a (hopefully profitable) weekend. Full details of points scoring are over on Paddy Power Fantasy.
But who should you have on your team for the US Open?
It’s over to Brandon to find out who’ll (fingers-crossed) be hitting fairways and sinking putts this week…
This is going to be a super tough test. Winged Foot hosted the 2006 U.S. Open, and Geoff Ogilvy won despite being over par by five strokes. We shouldn’t be surprised if that happens again in 2020 with how it’s set up.
The rough is going to trend toward five inches, and the greens are registering as a 13 on the Stimpmeter. That’s fast. And the greens? They’re huge and undulating. Poor putters could be completely lost. Birdies will be few and far between.
It’s a 7,477-yard par 70, so distance is certainly welcomed, but being errant isn’t going to work. Accuracy off the tee will matter to avoid the lengthy rough.
Dustin Johnson – I can’t really get away from Johnson at his salary ($12,100), which isn’t really prohibitive relative to other options. He does everything I’m looking for this week: he’s long (9th in distance), the irons are there (27th in approach), and the putting on poa grass greens is pristine (8th in poa putting over the past 100 rounds).
He’s a prior U.S. Open winner, and with his current form, it’s just really easy to get on board with Johnson compared to everyone else with a salary close to his.
Jon Rahm – Rahm has done enough to stand out from everyone other than Johnson. Rahm has two recent wins at tough courses, Memorial (Muirfield Village) and BMW (Olympia Fields), and that’s what we’re going to get this week.
In fact, via FantasyNational, Rahm has gained more strokes at courses that play difficult relative to par than all but six other golfers in the field over the past 50 such rounds. Separating him from Justin Thomas, Rahm ranks 12th in poa putting, whereas Thomas is 50th.
Daniel Berger – Berger’s pretty much on fire of late without enough fanfare, and he fits Winged Foot well. What he lacks in distance (78th), he makes up for in accuracy (16th). Berger also rates out 10th in approach over the past 50 rounds and 21st in poa putting over the past 100 rounds. He’s a viable second-salaried golfer in a more balanced lineup build.
Others to Consider:
Xander Schauffele – Three top-6 finishes at U.S. Opens in three tries. Elite all-around player who excels at tough courses. Finishing bonuses will go a long way this week.
Patrick Cantlay – Field leader in strokes gained average at difficult courses over the past 50 rounds; an all-around game that can keep him in the mix.
Patrick Reed – A grinder who is top-30 in three of four strokes gained stats (88th in approach) and 17th in poa putting.
Bubba Watson – Watson has one positive putting surface: poa. Now, he’s 48th in the field in poa putting over the past 100 rounds, so he’s not elite by any means. That said, he does some of the other things we’re looking for, primarily hitting it long (11th). Watson is 82nd when hitting fairways under average and difficult conditions when the rough is penal — and 81st overall over the past 50 rounds.
Will Zalatoris – Zalatoris has been tearing up the Korn Ferry Tour, and he does it with ball-striking. Zalatoris ranks 32nd on the Korn Ferry Tour in driving distance average (316.8 yards) and leads in ball-striking (which combines, basically, distance, accuracy, and greens in regulation ranks). It’s not perfect, but that’s a good profile. He should fly under the radar but isn’t a safe pick. That said, nobody is safe down here.
Sebastian Munoz – I don’t think you have to get down this far or especially into the $7,000 range often, but Munoz ranks 79th off the tee, 43rd in approach, and 54th around the green. The putting isn’t great at 122nd, but he’s a neutral poa putter. We can chase a lot of unknown European picks, but Munoz rated out about as well as Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose in 2020.
Others to Consider:
Erik Van Rooyen – EVR can’t putt but has been Tony Finau-esque off the tee in 2020 with the irons of Adam Scott based on the data.
Brian Harman – Field leader in strokes gained: around the green, 48th in fairways gained, and 11th in poa putting.
*This is an edited version of Brandon Gdula’s original piece which was first published on numberFire.com