Yahoo DFS Golf: Safeway Open
Yahoo DFS Golf: Safeway Open

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

Safeway Open

Napa, California
Silverado Resort and Spa (North Course) - Par 72 - 7,166 yards
Field - 144 entrants
Purse - $6.6M

The Preview

Formerly positioned as the season opener on the PGA Tour in recent years, the Safeway Open's transition to later in September appears to be a huge benefit for the event. The 2019 edition features five players from the top 15 in the Official World Golf Ranking, boosting the prestige of the tournament while the Race to Dubai on the European Tour heats up overseas. Silverado's beautiful resort and spa setup in California's wine country doesn't hurt either, and the North Course isn't necessarily a complete pushover – no champion at the venue has reached anything lower than 18-under-par, which differs from other stops during the fall series. It's been a toasty start to the week in the Napa Valley so the layout should play dry and fast, though cooler temps are expected throughout the tournament, and wind remains a factor as well.

Recent Champions

2018 - Kevin Tway (Silverado)
2017 - Brendan Steele (Silverado)
2016 - Brendan Steele (Silverado)
2015 - Emiliano Grillo (Silverado)
2014 - Sangmoon Bae (Silverado)
2013 - Jimmy Walker
2012 - Jonas Blixt
2011 - Bryce Molder
2010 - Rocco Mediate

Key Stats to Victory

Driving accuracy - Silverado has given up a skimpy FIR percentage of just 53.5, which is 7.5 percent lower than the TOUR average. Brendan Steele ranked top-5 in driving accuracy during each of his victories here in 2016 and 2017.

GIR percentage - Although the fairways are clearly tough to hit, 14 competitors managed to hit at least 75 percent of the greens in regulation at Silverado last year as quality approach shots are paramount.

P4: 400-450 and P5: 550-600 efficiency - Half of the North course's 18 holes fall within one of these two ranges, but it should also be noted that eagles are uncommon on the lengthier par-5s.

Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Hideki Matsuyama - $47

Matsuyama has a good chance to see the lowest ownership out of the three options priced higher than $45, as Justin Thomas – along with Phil Mickelson – headlines the field in name recognition and Patrick Cantlay hails from California and became a popular play throughout the summer following his breakout at the Masters. Matsuyama might have the worst betting odds to win among the trio, but he's top-4 in both birdie average and GIR percentage over his last 24 rounds. He also tied for third here in 2014 before notching another top-20 result the following year, so he's a collective 22-under in just eight rounds played at the venue.

Adam Scott - $42

Ending his 2018-19 PGA Tour campaign with three straight top-10s throughout the FedEx Cup Playoffs, Scott will look to pick up right where he left off after averaging just shy of five strokes gained from tee to green per event from the Northern Trust to the TOUR Championship. The Aussie hasn't lost strokes on approach shots since the PGA Championship in mid-May, and he finished fourth in SG: Approach and third in SG: Total last season. He's second in birdie average over his last 24 rounds and 11th in SG: Putting over his last 36 rounds on poa annua surfaces.

Sungjae Im - $39

Im is comically due for a win. Finishing no worse than 13th in any Strokes Gained subcategory en route to a playoff loss at the Sanderson Farms Championship last week, Im looks to continue riding a hot putter during what has been an impressive quest for a maiden victory. The 21-year-old Korean has gained an average of 6.23 strokes with the flat stick per event over his last three starts, though he also picked up 8.8 strokes from tee to green at Jackson CC. Im scrambled at an elite rate of 85.71 percent in Mississippi and he finished T4 here during his first appearance with rookie status on the PGA Tour in 2018.

Glue Guys

Ryan Moore - $36

Moore gained strokes on approach in 13 of his last 15 starts to close out the 2018-19 campaign, and he might be due for some positive regression on the greens after losing an average of 1.1 strokes putting throughout his last 10 tournaments. Moore's course history alone will make him a popular value selection at this relatively affordable price – he has gone T2-T17-T10 in three trips to Silverado. 

Collin Morikawa - $36

The Class of '19 University of Cal product cooled off a bit after a brilliant mid-summer stretch that included three consecutive top-4 finishes and culminated with a win at the Barracuda Championship, but he's still fifth in birdie average over his last 24 rounds. Morikawa has gained an average of 5.7 strokes from tee to green over his last five starts, but the 22-year-old's short game is understandably not quite as polished. 

Robby Shelton - $32

Shelton began his 2019-20 campaign with a top-10 at the Greenbrier and followed it up with a T28 at the Sanderson Farms Championship, gaining a majority of his strokes both off the tee and with the putter through the first two weeks of the season. The Crimson Tide standout led the field in birdies at the Old White TPC a couple weeks ago, allowing him to rise to a career best 130th in the OWGR. Shelton also won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019.

Bargain Bin

Bronson Burgoon - $23

Burgoon's quality play throughout a brief two-event stint at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals has continued at the next level, with him placing T19-T6 at The Greenbrier and Sanderson Farms Championship. He's fifth in SG: Approach over his last 12 rounds and averaged six birdies per round last week at the Country Club of Jackson. Burgoon tied for 17th at the Safeway Open in 2017.

Harris English - $22

Top-6 in SG: Off-the-Tee and SG: Tee-to-Green over his past 12 rounds, English has strolled to back-to-back top-6 finishes to begin the 2019-20 season. He averaged just over five par-breakers per round in Mississippi last week, but even more impressively led the field in driving accuracy while also ranking second in GIR percentage.

Adam Long - $21

Long carded at least two bogeys in each of his four rounds at the Sanderson Farms Championship, but still managed to add his second straight top-25 thanks to 21 total par-breakers and a T5 ranking in putts per GIR. He ranks sixth in SG: Approach throughout his last 12 rounds and 16th in driving accuracy over his last 24.

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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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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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