Top 5 Sleep Picks, DFS Value Plays

Happy specialty week! The US Open is my favorite event of the year and we’ve had another fun this time, heading to The Country Club in Brooklyn, Massachusetts. As we’d expect in a major tournament, players will need to grip the golf ball from the tee and supplement their power on approach with the ability to scramble to get off the tee if they’re planning on hanging out. Below we’ll look at the prospects of opening the US and dig deeper into sleeper choices.

US Open Golf Pick’em! Make your picks in each round and win up to $500 in gift cards. Free admission!

Introduction course

A preview of the cliff notes to The Country Club suggests that this course mimics many of the US Open settings we’ve seen from the USGA over the past decade. However, it relies on the natural, twisted terrain over a long distance to challenge the field.

With small greens, thick rough fairways, and an angle that will immerse players in lying more than 175 yards off the tee, golfers will need their full bag in sync to score well this week. Since distance is not a prerequisite, it opens the door to some shorter, more accurate players on the field than the usual US Open. This week, having good distance, being able to hit fairways, keeping tight greens, and dashing regularly to get bits of thick roughness will be the scenario to win.

For a more in-depth look at the course, read my full preview. Let’s move on to our picks for the US Open – taking a look at the long shots and sleepers for your DFS lineup. Click the odds below to bet now while you select the exclusive signup bonuses for new users.

US Opening Odds: Top 5 Sleep Picks

When it comes to Majors, it’s usually wise to focus exposure to the big names at the top of the board rather than long shot bombs. Specializations are designed to test the player’s overall skills and expose and exaggerate any shortcomings in the player’s games.

This has effectively narrowed the pool of potential winners to a more focused list. Although The Country Club looks like it will offer the same comprehensive test, the shorter scorecard distance of just over 7,200 yards will open up the pool of contenders for players a bit more.

We can’t simply write off players who sacrifice distance on the field, as we usually do at Winged Foot and Torrey Pines. So even though these golfers are long-goal golfers, there are plenty of upsides to supporting a few players other than the outright three-figure odds.

In terms of DFS, there isn’t much value below the $7K mark on the Draft Kings. Hence, it’s shaping up to be a little more balanced to build my lineup this week. Notably, the US Open cut-off rules are only the top 60 players and links, so on a full field of 156 players you’ll get a lot of progress if you can get all six players through the cuts. With plenty of viable options in the $7k range, we must have the flexibility to fit a viable $9k multiplayer into our lineups. Landing on players of the right value will be crucial again.

Here’s a look at our favorite value leverage runs and long shots at US Opening odds for 2022! Stats drawn across the last 36 rounds unless otherwise noted.

Keegan Bradley (7500 USD)

I’m fond of pain, which makes it easier for me to put up with Keegan’s recent struggles to close out the Wells Fargo Championship and the players before that. But the point remains that he has put himself in the competition regularly this season. While I’m delirious enough to get back into racing in pursuit of his second major championship in his native New England, he also makes for a solid DFS and placement play.

Keegan is the perfect ball striker and thrives on courses that reward a combination of driving distance and driving accuracy. He’s shown that consistently over the past three months with four places in the top ten in his last seven starts.

Join Jon Ram, Cameron Young and Max Homa as just four players on the field this week to rank 30th in both driving distance and driving accuracy. It is no coincidence that the group reminded us of the top of the leaderboard at Wells Fargo last month in one of the best courses at TPC Potomac.

Keegan is my favorite for US Open winning odds and will be a staple in my DFS kits – for better or worse.

Russell Henley (7300 USD)

Similar to Bradley, I’m going to plug my nose into Henley despite his recent struggles closing the Sony Open and the Wyndham Championship. I drew the line from outright betting on Henley in this stressful, but elite setting in the areas most critical to a repeat success at The Country Club: the fairways and greens.

Henley ranks fifth in the industry for SG:APP, complemented by the top 25 in driving accuracy. It’s an average tour in terms of driving distance, which won’t kill you at The Country Club. What’s most encouraging about Henley’s outlook on a main court is his improvement in his short playing style.

Ranked #12 in SG:ARG, Henley joins Xander Schauffele as the only two players on the field to have ranked in the Top 25 in Driving Accuracy, SG:APP and SG:ARG.

Given the recent meltdowns we’ve had from Henley at the big moments, we wouldn’t think of him as someone thriving in the spotlight at a major championship. However, he already had a steadily track record in the US Opens, finishing 30th in his most recent appearance.

This was highlighted by T13 at Torrey Pines last year, where true Henley style knocked himself out of the competition on Sunday with a Final Round score of 76. Nevertheless, Henley is a must in the US Open prospects market for the first round leader this week. Especially since the track fits his game perfectly.

Brian Harman ($7000)

I was less emotionally invested in Brian Harman, who has found himself regularly at the top of the leaderboard but didn’t get into the mix on Sunday.

The top 3 courses at The Country Club over the past 3 months are Muirfield Village, TPC Potomac and Innisbrook. Harman was at his best on those three courses this year, finishing in the top 20 in each (including the top 10 at Valspar and Wells Fargo).

Harman’s solid performance isn’t limited to regular TOUR stops either, US Open history as well as anyone in that price range accumulates. He has finished inside the top 40 in each of his last four US Open matches, including T2 at Erin Hills in 2017.

The history of the US Open event is encouraging for Harman, considering it may be a long time before he sees another 7,200-yard venue that equals accuracy over distance – the strength of his game. I’ll be looking his way into the top 20 this week, and I think it’s a long shot in the US Open at his steep outright price.

Kevin Na ($7000)

There’s a lot to like in the low-$7K DraftKings sportsbook this week. Kevin Na has the highest earning percentage of them all with four wins in the last four years.

Now entering the 2022 US Open with a small chip on his shoulder, he will set out to discredit the reputation that LIV is merely the home of players who can no longer compete on the Weekly Tour with the elite PGA TOUR.

Prior to his LIV debut, Na’s form had been blasting from Fairway into the green. He had a 7.8 hits on Approach on his last PGA TOUR in the Charles Schwab Challenge where he finished T7, which was the tenth best approach performance of his entire career. From a short game perspective, Na has always held elite status among his peers, ranking first in SG:ARG over the last 100 rounds.

Na’s lack of distance is the biggest concern when backed in a USGA course setting. However, The Country Club will mitigate this drawback, allowing him to build on his strength in driving precision to position himself to score opportunities. If the weather improves while the scoreboard becomes a boisterous contest, Na has a very clear path to hanging around the top 20 in US Open odds.

Kita Nakajima ($6000)

The world’s number one-ranked amateur left a stinging taste in our mouths at The Masters earlier this year, when he shot 79 on Friday to miss two strokes and cut low honors. But he was in the top 20 after a 72nd draw in the first round of his career, an encouraging sign that the 21-year-old’s game can stack up against the seniors.

Augusta wasn’t the best for Nakajima, sacrificing distance for accuracy with both his driver and iron. In a limited sample size, his bias toward shorter courses was demonstrated by the top 40 spots in the ZOZO Championship and Sony Open. Those were his first two PGA Tour careers.

Since we last saw Nakajima at the Masters, he’s been busy on the Japan Tour – finishing off T7, T32 and T11 on his next starts. Nakajima’s cap may be in the top 30 this week, yet it has gained a lot of pedigree and the ability to pay the minimum price on DraftKings.

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