Yahoo DFS Golf: Phoenix Open
Yahoo DFS Golf: Phoenix Open

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

Phoenix Open

Scottsdale, Arizona
TPC Scottsdale (Stadium Course) - Par 71 - 7,261 yards
Field - 132 Entrants
Purse - $7.1M

The Preview

The PGA Tour travels from the ocean to the desert as TPC Scottsdale plays host to the Waste Management Phoenix Open following World No. 1 Justin Rose's win at San Diego's Torrey Pines along the Pacific Coast. The WMPO has become known for its electric atmosphere and stadium setting at the par-3 16th, where upwards of 20,000 tipsy patrons pack the grandstands. TPC Scottsdale is no walk in the park, but last year's champ Gary Woodland managed to rack up a whopping 27 par-breakers. This year's field is highlighted by five of the Official World Golf Ranking's top 15, though a handful of the game's top talent has been paid appearance fees to show up at the controversial Saudi International hosted by the European Tour. Scoring conditions should be excellent for the first two days of the tournament in Scottsdale, but a chance of precipitation and cooler temperatures could be in store for the weekend.

Recent Champions

2018 - Gary Woodland
2017 - Hideki Matsuyama
2016 - Hideki Matsuyama
2015 - Brooks Koepka
2014 - Kevin Stadler
2013 - Phil Mickelson
2012 - Kyle Stanley
2011 - Mark Wilson
2010 - Hunter Mahan

Key Stats to Victory

GIR percentage/SG: T2G - Matsuyama led the field in SG: Tee-to-Green during each of his wins in Scottsdale

Par-5 scoring - Woodland set the pace as he played the par-5s in 10-under en route to his victory last year

Proximity/SG: Approach - 10 entrants were able to reach 20 or more par-breakers here in 2018, a collection of which were set up by dialed-in irons and full wedges

SG: Off-the-Tee - Driving accuracy becomes more difficult with dry fairways on a desert layout, but the potential for rain throughout the weekend could result in soft conditions and lend an advantage to the field's bombers as well

Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Jon Rahm - $47

The Sun Devil standout will have the not-so-sober ASU crowd behind him this week, as if Rahm needed any more mojo at an event he's gone T11-T16-T5 in three career appearances. The Spaniard will be the betting favorite for a third consecutive week after finishing T5-6 at the Farmers Insurance Open and Desert Classic, respectively. He was fifth among the field in SG: Off-the-Tee at Torrey Pines and racked up 18 par breakers, including a pair of eagles.

Justin Thomas - $45

Thomas has been hit-or-miss at TPC Scottsdale with a pair of T17s to accompany two missed cuts, but there's been nobody better in terms of SG: Approach. He's second on Tour in par-5 scoring, proximity and SG: Tee-to-Green. Thomas has finished top-25 in 10 of his last 11 starts dating back to a win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Xander Schauffele - $43

The seventh-ranked player in the world and leader in FedExCup points has won twice in his last five starts, finishing no worse than a T25 during this stretch. Schauffele's all-around game has been second to none this season, as he leads the Tour in SG: Total while residing top-35 in each sub-category. Additionally, he notched a top-20 performance during his maiden WMPO appearance in 2018.

Glue Guys

Matt Kuchar - $37

There's quite a collection of valuable options in this price range with the likes of Gary Woodland ($40), Bubba Watson ($38), Webb Simpson ($38) and Phil Mickelson ($37) all expected to draw respectable ownership. This allows for an intriguing pivot to Kuchar, who's coming off a four-stroke win at the Sony Open that has landed him at No. 2 in the FedExCup standings. The 40-year-old ranks top-10 in both GIR percentage and birdie average, and he also went T5-T9 in his last two trips to TPC Scottsdale.

Hideki Matsuyama - $36

Snagging Matsuyama at just $36 feels like blatant burglary given he owns the third-best betting odds at 12/1 (, not to mention the fact he went back-to-back here in 2016 and 2017. He's not only one of the best iron players on Tour, but also ranks 17th in driving distance and 13th in scrambling. Matsuyama figures to be heavily owned at this price, but he's likely worth the chalky selection.

Byeong Hun An - $34

An hasn't appeared in the United States since the FedExCup Playoffs, but he's racked up a quartet of top-15s since then and is coming off a T12 at the Euro Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The Korean has impressed at TPC Scottsdale with results of T23-6 in two career Phoenix Open showings, and he ranked top-25 in SG: OTT and SG: T2G each of the past two seasons.

Bargain Bin

Martin Laird - $20

Laird has carded an overall score of 12-under or better in three of his last four visits to Scottsdale, finishing top-10 in each of these circumstances. He bounced back from a pair of missed cuts by placing T43 at the Farmers event last week, where he tied for second in the field in GIR percentage.

Talor Gooch - $20

Gooch will no longer fly under the radar at the minimum price thanks to his second straight top-4 finish, which bumped him all the way up to 27th in the FedExCup standings. He led the field in putts per GIR and ranked third in SG: Total at Torrey Pines, averaging just one bogey per round en route to four consistent strolls of 69 or better. Gooch currently leads the entire PGA Tour in SG: T2G and is second only to Thomas in SG: Approach.

Trey Mullinax - $20

Mullinax heads to the Phoenix Open for his TPC Scottsdale debut after picking up his first top-25 of the season at Torrey Pines. He was on his game last week, ranking T4 in GIR percentage, second in driving distance, fifth in SG: T2G and second in SG: Approach. He has made four consecutive cuts since the RSM Classic; and although he possesses a questionable short game, his skill set fits the mold this week.

Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week

The combination of a smaller 132-entrant field and an abnormally significant collection of value either near or at the minimum price permits a great deal of attraction for the studs-and-duds approach. Taking risks at the bottom of the board due to a smaller percentage of the field missing the cut will allow for several highly-priced weapons to fit into lineups, as a Rahm-Thomas stack, for example, becomes extremely possible. To reiterate our aforementioned key statistics, focus on tee-to-green prowess with putting taking a back seat this week.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Bryce Danielson plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: brycedanielson99, FanDuel: brycedanielson99, Yahoo: RotoBOOM.
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Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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