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

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

Safeway Open

Napa, CA
Silverado Resort and Spa North - Par 72 - 7,166 yards
Field - 144 Entrants
Purse - $6.4M

The Preview

If you took a nap during the PGA Tour's offseason, you probably missed it. Just two weeks after the conclusion of the TOUR Championship, the 2018-19 campaign commences at the Safeway Open on the heels of Europe's shellacking of Team USA during the recent Ryder Cup in France. The North course at Napa's Silverado Resort and Spa is set to play host for a fifth consecutive year, but only two of the Official World Golf Ranking's Top 50 will be making the trek to Wine Country. Apart from a lousy field, one of the main storylines this week surrounds Brendan Steele and his quest to join the rare crew of golfers who have won the same event three years in a row. His game has been in shambles of late, however, so the course history non-believers could have a field day if Steele underperforms as the horse for the course. The forecast for Napa includes somewhat chilly mornings with temperatures reaching the high 70s, and winds should remain at a one-club level before gusts pick up Sunday afternoon. Silverado North is considered short for a par-72 layout by Tour standards at 7,166 yards, but tight fairways call for driving accuracy to play a key role in determining this week's champion.

Recent Champions

2017 - Brendan Steele
2016 - Brendan Steele
2015 - Emiliano Grillo
2014 - Sangmoon Bae
2013 - Jimmy Walker
2012 - Jonas Blixt
2011 - Bryce Molder
2010 - Rocco Mediate

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Tee-to-Green
FIR Percentage - Third-hardest course to hit fairways in 2017
GIR Percentage - The more birdie putts, the better
Birdie or Better average - Winning score has been 15-under or better all four years at Silverado

Yahoo Value Picks - based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Ryan Moore - $42

Moore was extremely accurate off the tee this past season, which directly translates to setting up birdie chances at the tight Silverado North. He also ranked 15th in SG: Approach and 12th in SG: Tee-to-Green, but failed to post any top-3 finishes in 22 events due to struggles with the putter. Moore will look to figure out the slick greens at Silverado North as he attempts to notch his third consecutive top-20 at the venue.

Joaquin Niemann - $42

The teenager finished his rookie campaign on the PGA Tour at 12th in SG: Off-the-Tee, fifth in SG: Approach and second in both GIR percentage and birdie average en route to four top-10s in 12 starts. Niemann missed just one cut in his last nine starts, a stretch that included five top-25s.

Emiliano Grillo - $39

Grillo has finished no worse than 38th in driving accuracy each of the past three seasons, but he surged to 12th in SG: Total during his 2017-18 campaign thanks to major improvements with the flat stick. The Argentinian won the Safeway Open in 2015 and remains one of the best all-around players in a weak field.

Glue Guys

Luke List - $36

List's raw power led him to finish second on Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee last season, but he also ranked 12th in SG: Around-the-Green and sixth in SG: Tee-to-Green. He'll be making his third career appearance at Silverado North after finishing T37-T26 the past two years. List should have plenty of birdie opportunities if he dials in with his wedges on a relatively short track.

Martin Laird - $29

Laird has been solid at Silverado North with three top-20s in his last four appearances at the Safeway Open, including top-10s in 2016 and 2014. He ended his 2017-18 campaign with three consecutive made cuts and ranked 32nd in birdie average on Tour this past season.

Denny McCarthy - $29

McCarthy is wildly underpriced here compared to several other DFS sites, so don't be surprised if the ownership is a bit inflated for the recent Web.com Tour Championship winner. His recent form is tough to beat, with no finish worse than a T13 in four consecutive starts, but he's also one of the best putters in the field.

Bargain Bin

Anders Albertson - $24

Albertson has been hot since his win at the Web.com Tour's Lincoln Land Championship in late June, finishing outside of the top 35 just once in his last 10 starts while adding a pair of top-10s during the Web.com Tour Finals. He led the Web.com Tour in both scoring and birdie average during the 2018 season.

Hunter Mahan - $20

Mahan was in danger of losing his PGA Tour card after finishing 159th in the FedExCup standings this past season, but he posted results of T17-T2-T33 throughout the Web.com Tour Finals to retain full status. The 36-year-old was 25th in SG: Off-the-Tee, 32nd in SG: Putting and 44th in GIR percentage during his 2017-18 campaign. He's also posted a pair of top-15s in four trips to Silverado North.

Curtis Luck - $20

Luck finished the 2018 Web.com Tour campaign with top-8 finishes in three of his last five starts, including a T8 at the season finale. Luck was far from spectacular off the tee on the Web.com Tour, but still ranked seventh in birdie average, ninth in par-5 scoring and third in putting.

Strategy Tips on Yahoo this week

Often times we'll see a top-heavy concentration of potential champions with a field this poor, but there isn't an overbearing favorite with names like Patrick Cantlay and Phil Mickelson heading the unimpressive lineup of entrants. This leaves the door open for the Brendan Steeles of the world to come out victorious. Don't be afraid to take a couple risks on Web.com Tour graduates and rookie, as someone like Albertson presents maybe the best value on the board at a deflated price. There are enough options in the longshot range of $20-$24 to pair with several weapons at the top.

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.
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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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