Yahoo PGA DFS Picks: PGA Championship Cash and GPP Strategy

Yahoo PGA DFS Picks: PGA Championship Cash and GPP Strategy

This article is part of our Yahoo PGA DFS Picks series.

PGA Championship

Rochester, New York
Oak Hills Country Club (East Course) - Par 70 - 7,394 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $15M

The Preview

We've reached the second major on the 2023 calendar, and after lousy weather conditions kept scoring in check at the Masters, Oak Hill Country Club's nearly 7,400-yard par-70 layout figures to present even more demanding challenges, regardless of what mother nature has in store for the Rochester area in its first time hosting the PGA Championship since 2013. The 156-man field is rounded out by 20 PGA Professionals and 16 LIV players, though several notable omissions include Will Zalatoris (back), Daniel Berger (back), Paul Casey (undisclosed) and Tiger Woods (foot), while Jordan Spieth's outlook to complete four rounds remains iffy due to a left wrist injury.

Despite the removal of over 600 trees to create a modernized feel and promote more creativity off the tee since Oak Hill last played host, the fairways are still narrow and surrounded by penal rough. Although bombers are certain to have an advantage, many players, including the less macho Joel Dahmen and J.J. Killeen, have mentioned post-practice round that the rollout in these fairways is much more generous than originally expected, allowing the typically shorter hitters to poke bombs of their own in such firm conditions.

This news might expand the pool of usable players from a DFS perspective, though an emphasis on SG: Off-the-Tee and proximity from 175-plus remains. GIR percentages could fall well below Tour average if the fairways and bentgrass greens stay firm, allowing scramblers to shine from a bogey-avoidance perspective. Chilly temps are expected throughout the first round, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a frost delay Thursday morning.

Recent Champions

2022 - Justin Thomas (Southern Hills Country Club)
2021 - Phil Mickelson (Kiawah Island Golf Resort)
2020 - Collin Morikawa (TPC Harding Park)
2019 - Brooks Koepka (Bethpage Black)
2018 - Brooks Koepka (Bellerive Country Club)
2017 - Justin Thomas (Quail Hollow Club)
2016 - Jimmy Walker (Baltusrol Golf Club)
2015 - Jason Day (Whistling Straits)
2014 - Rory McIlroy (Valhalla Country Club)
2013 - Jason Dufner (Oak Hill Country Club)

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Off-the-Tee
GIR percentage
Bogey avoidance
Proximity: 175-plus yards

Yahoo Value Picks

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Jon Rahm - $49

The best player in the world followed his Masters win with a T15-2 stretch at the RBC Heritage and the Mexico Open to extend his lead atop the FedExCup standings, gaining 8.5 strokes from tee to green in each of these two recent events as well. He's second to none in SG: Approach, overall proximity and Par-3 Efficiency over his last 24 measured rounds, and the flat stick is catching up to the ball striking as he's gained an average of 4.3 strokes putting per tournament across his last five starts. Rahm's putter is currently his greatest advantage over Scottie Scheffler, who's 140th in putting from 0-5 feet and 124th in putting from 5-10 feet over his last 12 rounds.

Xander Schauffele - $44

Schauffele hasn't won since the Genesis Scottish Open last July, but he's knocking on the door after back-to-back top-4s at the RBC Heritage and the Wells Fargo Championship, ultimately securing the No. 1 spot in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last eight rounds, though he also gained another 4.8 strokes on the greens at Quail Hollow. Expanding the sample back to a 24-round overview, Schauffele sits top-25 in both Prox: 175-200 and Prox: 200-plus on the way to a ranking of sixth in SG: Approach. If you're looking for a more contrarian play in this range, I'd expect our competitors to be hesitant with an overpriced Max Homa surrounded by proven elites at $45, but I project him to be the least-rostered of the top-6 on the board by a significant margin and therefore provide leverage in GPPs.

Tony Finau - $42

Plenty of doubters remain when it comes to Finau's actual win equity against a loaded field at a major championship like this, but he just held off the aforementioned Rahm to pick up his sixth career victory at the Mexico Open where he enjoyed the best off-the-tee performance of his season. The putter has been streaky, but we don't mind that when the possibility for spike weeks still exists. Over his last 24 measured rounds, Finau ranks third in overall proximity, third in SG: Approach and eighth in P4: 450-550 Efficiency, so the ball striking upside is obvious.

Glue Guys

Brooks Koepka - $32

Despite an $11 salary increase to $32 since his T2 performance at the Masters Tournament, Yahoo is still offering a massive discount on Koepka compared to the market rate, as he falls right around 20-1 to win outright this week. He's placed top-5 in back-to-back LIV events in Singapore and Tulsa, carding 32 total birdies to just five bogeys or worse across these six rounds, resulting in a 65.83 scoring average. We all know what a healthy Koepka is capable of on a major stage.

Wyndham Clark - $31

Coming off his maiden PGA Tour victory and a cool $3.6M payout at the Wells Fargo Championship, Clark continues to pair stellar iron play with a capable putter, and it doesn't hurt that he's also extremely long off the tee. Over his past 24 rounds, Clark ranks second in bogey avoidance, fifth in SG: Approach and eighth in Par 3 Efficiency. His major-championship history is feeble, albeit not too concerning given he's a completely different player this season, and he's been so solid in designated events. Driving accuracy is probably the only question mark for Clark, but the past few months he's been working on a fairway-finder swing that produces more of a controlled cut, which should set up nicely around Oak Hill when he needs to lay off the gas pedal in favor of precision and a left-to-right flight.

Rickie Fowler - $30

Not only has Fowler gone over seven months without a single missed cut, but he's also gained strokes with his irons in 12 consecutive measured events dating all the way back to the season opener. The consistency was evident throughout his four straight top-15s from THE PLAYERS Championship through the Wells Fargo Championship, ascending to eighth in SG: APP over his past 24 rounds. Additionally, he's been at his best with the flat stick on bentgrass greens, gaining 0.38 strokes per round.

Bargain Bin

Dustin Johnson - $25

Johnson broke par in just one of his four rounds at the Masters in April, but his $25 salary doesn't reflect the fact that he's now coming off a win at LIV Tulsa where he fired a pair of 63s to begin the week, ultimately finishing the invitational with 23 total birdies and an eagle. He belongs in the mid-high $30s, and our fellow gamers will recognize this discrepancy in value as well, so expect DJ to reach chalk territory in many contests.

Gary Woodland - $24

Woodland's putter has been so unbelievably bad, like -- losing a collective 10.9 strokes putting at the Mexico Open and the Wells Fargo Championship bad -- but conversely his ball striking has been incredible, especially for someone priced identically to the Brendon Todds of the world. Woodland is second in both Prox: 175-200 and Prox: 200-plus across his last 24 rounds, and he's fourth in SG: OTT within this frame as well. He lands in the No. 7 spot of my model this week, and I'd expect him to foster quite a bit of attention down in this range.

Taylor Moore - $21

Moore has gained strokes off the tee in nine of his last 10 measured starts, but his short game has impressed as well, given he ranks third in SG: Putting and ninth in scrambling throughout his last 24 rounds. He's made three straight cuts since his win at the Valspar Championship, notably tying for 11th at the RBC Heritage where his putter caught fire. Moore tied for 39th in his major championship debut at the Masters, and he's fifth in putting from inside 10 feet this season.

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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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