Yahoo DFS Golf: Fortinet Championship Picks and Strategy

Fortinet Championship

Napa, California
Silverado Resort & Spa (North Course) - Par 72 - 7,123 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $8M

The Preview

Upon the announcement of scheduling changes beyond the upcoming 2022-23 season, the PGA Tour's final traditional fall series commences this week in wine country as Napa Valley's Silverado Resort plays host to the Fortinet Championship for the ninth consecutive year. The 7,123-yard, par-72 layout is shaped by narrow oak-lined fairways, but it doesn't quite compare to a similarly short venue like Harbour Town where players are forced to sacrifice distance for accuracy, oftentimes laying back to the 175-200 yard approach range. Here at Silverado, aggressiveness off the tee is welcomed as the event typically becomes a wedge fest, simply emphasizing angles into tucked pins. Several reachable par-5s help inflate par-breaker opportunities, while slick poa greens serve as the primary defense. The field is relatively weak with the Presidents Cup approaching, but we still get our first look at the Tour's new batch of rookies.

Recent Champions

2021 - Max Homa (Silverado)
2020 - Stewart Cink (Silverado)
2019 - Cameron Champ (Silverado)
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

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Off-the-Tee
Proximity: 75-150 yards
Par-5 scoring
SG: Putting (Poa)

Yahoo Value Picks

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Hideki Matsuyama - $47

Matsuyama returned to Silverado for just the second time since 2015 last year, notching a T6 finish on the North Course where he played the par-5s in 16-under-par. He ranked second to none in proximity from 125-150 yards last season, while also posting an exceptional 23.92 percent birdie or better rate.

Davis Riley - $41

Riley hasn't recorded a top-10 finish since May, but the 25-year-old ranks second in proximity from 75-100 yards over his last 50 measured rounds, and he's finished above field average in driving distance in eight straight starts as he heads into his sophomore campaign on Tour. As a rookie, Riley ranked 16th in birdie average, 19th in Prox: 50-125 yards and 10th in putting average.

Glue Guys

Taylor Pendrith - $37

Coming off a top-10 finish at the BMW Championship, Pendrith hasn't lost strokes off the tee since February's Genesis Invitational. The Canadian has one of the highest ceilings in this week's field, and you can read more about my thoughts on Pendrith's 2022-23 outlook in our Sleepers and Busts article if you haven't checked that out already. The International Team is a massive underdog at next week's Presidents Cup, but Pendrith could give the unit a jolt of confidence if he makes a statement in Napa.

Brendan Steele - $35

With back-to-back wins here at Silverado in 2016 and 2017, the course history crowd will be all over Steele this week, and for good reason. He's a perfect 8-for-8 in cuts made on the North Course, but he's also first in SG: Approach, first in SG: Tee-to-Green and fourth in overall proximity across his last 24 measured rounds. Tracking Steele's putting performance is generally an excruciating experience on a weekly basis, though he's actually gained with the flat stick in five of the aforementioned eight trips to Silverado, so these greens might not put him on full tilt like your local miniature golf course would.

Taylor Montgomery - $32

Montgomery might be the preseason favorite for 2022-23 Rookie of the Year honors, and the 136th-ranked player in the world just ended his Korn Ferry Tour campaign with a remarkable stretch of T2-T3-T4-T9 from the Price Cutter Charity Championship through the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship. This past season on the KFT, Montgomery finished second in the all-around ranking and he paced his peers in birdie average with 4.88 per round. Justin Suh also warrants attention at $33.

Bargain Bin

Wyndham Clark - $23

A power hitter off the tee with a more than capable flat stick, Clark has been steamed as high as +4200 in the outright betting market this week, which doesn't exactly translate to a Yahoo salary this far down in the low-$20s. Clark struggled his last time out with a 64th-place finish at the BMW Championship where he lost 7.4 strokes on the greens, marking the second-worst putting performance of his entire career. We can project quite a bit of positive regression with the putter for someone who ranked 10th on Tour in putting from 4-8 feet last season.

David Lipsky - $23

The California native tied for 22nd in his Fortinet Championship debut here last year, but his wedge play has been especially strong as of late, ranking first in Prox: 75-100 and fourth in Prox: 100-125 over his past 12 measured rounds. He gained no less than 2.2 strokes on his approach shots in three straight starts from the Rocket Mortgage Classic through the FedEx St. Jude Championship to close out his 2021-22 campaign.

Michael Gligic - $20

Given the fact that he posted only one top-10 during the 2021-22 season, Gligic is still pretty unknown amongst the casual lineup creators. However, he placed T40 or better in five consecutive events from the Travelers Championship through the 3M Open this summer, and he ranked 15th on Tour in proximity from 75-100 yards. Gligic has made the cut each of the past three years at Silverado, notably reaching 15-under-par here in 2020 when he racked up 19 birdies and an eagle across 72 holes.