Yahoo DFS Golf: Farmers Insurance Open Picks and Strategy

Yahoo DFS Golf: Farmers Insurance Open Picks and Strategy

Farmers Insurance Open

La Jolla, California
Torrey Pines (South Course) - Par 72 - 7,765 yards
Torrey Pines (North Course) - Par 72 - 7,258 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $8.7M

The Preview

The birdie-fest haters are licking their chops for what projects to be a difficult setup at Torrey Pines, where the Farmers Insurance Open hosts a full 156-man field that should expect to see nearly four-inch rough, lining narrow fairways into small poa greens on the extremely long South Course. An abnormal amount of rain has arrived in the San Diego area lately, making the task of navigating the South Course even more daunting, so it'll be as important as ever to take advantage of its easier counterpart to the north.

Not only is length off the tee rewarded, but nearly half of the expected approach-shot distribution lies within the 175-225 yard range. Coastal winds should add another element of difficulty during the second round Thursday afternoon, while a rare Wednesday-Saturday tournament schedule helps the PGA Tour avoid competing with the NFL's conference championships, so be sure to get your lineups set on time.

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Recent Champions

2022 - Luke List
2021 - Patrick Reed
2020 - Marc Leishman
2019 - Justin Rose
2018 - Jason Day
2017 - Jon Rahm
2016 - Brandt Snedeker
2015 - Jason Day
2014 - Scott Stallings
2013 - Tiger Woods

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Off-the-Tee
Proximity: 175-225 yards
SG: Putting (poa)

Yahoo Value Picks

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Jon Rahm - $50

The Spaniard heads back to the site that made him a major champion with four wins over his last six worldwide starts, most recently securing back-to-back victories at the Sentry Tournament of Champions and The American Express. He also won at Torrey Pines as a FIO debutant back in 2017, and since then he's posted finishes of T3-T7-2-T5-T29 here. Rahm's outright betting odds have reached a ridiculously short +350 on several books, so his $50 salary in Yahoo DFS lineups is comparatively a much less expensive investment for exposure to the favorite.

Justin Thomas - $48

Surrounded at the top of the board by expected rostership vultures like the aforementioned Rahm, Tony Finau, Will Zalatoris and hometown hero Xander Schauffele, Thomas is going to provide a pivot opportunity up here in GPPs as a lower-owned anchor. He might have the worst Torrey track record of the elite bunch, but Thomas has still placed top-20 in two of three FIO outings, and he tied for 19th at the 2021 U.S. Open. His obvious power off the tee is a huge plus, but Thomas also sits No. 1 in SG: Around-the-Green across his past 36 rounds and he's historically been at his best with the putter on poa surfaces.

Max Homa - $44

The California native and former Golden Bear seems to continuously improve, but even when expanding to a larger sample that covers his last 50 measured rounds, Homa still jumps off the page as a course fit. During this span, he's first in scrambling, fourth in Par-4: 450-500 Efficiency, fifth in SG: Putting, sixth in Proximity: 200-plus and eighth in bogey avoidance among this field. He's won three times on the west coast alone dating back to the 2021 Genesis Invitational, and Homa is coming off a third-place effort at the Sentry Tournament of Champions where he ranked top-3 in Prox: 175-200 and Prox: 200-plus yards.

Glue Guys

Jason Day - $35

Picking up a fifth top-25 in just his seventh start of the 2022-23 season at the AmEx last week, Day's resurgence is happening just in time for a visit to the Farmers where he's a two-time champ. Day is second in both SG: Approach and bogey avoidance over his last 24 rounds, and he just enjoyed his best single-round SG: Putting performance since last May on Sunday at the Pete Dye Stadium Course.

Justin Rose - $34

Another aging veteran who's returning to relevance, Rose has rattled off three straight top-30s since a T9 at the Cadence Bank Houston Open where he gained six strokes with the flat stick. The 42-year-old just fired a seven-under 65 that included five birdies and an eagle to no bogeys in Round 4 at the AmEx, ultimately finishing the event with 27 total par-breakers and 119.3 fantasy points. Rose has been stellar at the Farmers Insurance Open throughout his last five appearances, which include a 2019 win to go along with three other top-10s.

Alex Smalley - $30

Smalley's final round in La Quinta was two shots better than Rose's as the former racked up nine closing birdies on the way to pacing the entire AmEx field in SG: Approach on the Stadium Course. He also ranked T2 in scrambling this past week, and he's top-25 in Prox: 175-200, Prox: 200-plus and bogey avoidance over his last 12 rounds. Additionally, Smalley made the cut and gained over a stroke off the tee in his FIO debut last year, though he really struggled on the South Course's greens.

Bargain Bin

Hayden Buckley - $29

Buckley took the week off after earning runner-up honors at the Sony Open in Hawaii, but he'll head to Torrey Pines third in SG: OTT, 14th in P4: 450-500 Efficiency, 20th in SG: Putting and 26th in Prox: 175-200 over his last 24 rounds. He hasn't lost strokes off the tee in a single measured event since the Valero Texas Open last April, and he's 11th on Tour in total driving this season.

Nick Hardy - $26

Hardy's been stout with his long irons, which has allowed him to rank ninth in P3: 200-225 Efficiency over his last 12 rounds while he's also gained an average of four strokes on his approach shots per tournament through five measured events to begin the 2022-23 campaign. He's missed back-to-back cuts at the Farmers, but he's also been on the positive side of SG: OTT each time on the South Course, so Hardy is a solid candidate for positive regression if these irons continue to work in his favor as well.

Wyndham Clark - $25

Finishing top-10 among the AmEx field in both driving distance and putts per GIR, Clark continues to provide us with evidence that he'll fit the mold for success at Torrey Pines where he's made the cut in three of four FIO outings. Over his last 24 measured rounds, Clark ranks second in driving distance, seventh in bogey avoidance and 14th in SG: OTT, but maybe the most promising development is his appearance in the No. 15 spot of Prox: 200-plus within this recent sample.