Yahoo DFS Golf: AT&T Byron Nelson

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AT&T Byron Nelson

McKinney, Texas
TPC Craig Ranch - Par 72 - 7,468 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $9.1M

The Preview

To compare apples and oranges, K.H. Lee's 25-under-par performance at last season's AT&T Byron Nelson was a whole 17 shots deeper into the red than Max Homa's win at eight-under this past week at the Wells Fargo Championship, so the PGA Tour is playing quite a reverse card as a gettable TPC Craig Ranch appears immediately next on the schedule. This Dallas-area venue is hosting the AT&T Byron Nelson for a second straight year, while its wide fairways, large greens and scorable par-5s invite a magnitude of par-breaker opportunities. It's viable to just wail on driver throughout the layout as the surrounding bermuda rough is not very penal, but slow bentgrass putting surfaces can still sabotage the field's worst putters. North of 34 percent of approach shots come from 200-plus yards at TPC Craig Ranch, so expect quality long-iron players with a hot flat stick to contend down the stretch. The only real defense is wind, which is an obvious caveat anytime you're in Texas.

Recent Champions 

2021 - K.H. Lee (TPC Craig Ranch)
2020 - None
2019 - Sung Kang (Trinity Forest Golf Club)
2018 - Aaron Wise (Trinity Forest Golf Club)
2017 - Billy Horschel (TPC Four Seasons)
2016 - Sergio Garcia (TPC Four Seasons)
2015 - Steven Bowditch (TPC Four Seasons)
2014 - Brendon Todd (TPC Four Seasons)
2013 - Sangmoon Bae (TPC Four Seasons)
2012 - Jason Dufner (TPC Four Seasons)
2011 - Keegan Bradley (TPC Four Seasons)

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Approach
Driving Distance
Birdie-or-Better Percentage
SG: Putting (bentgrass)

Yahoo Value Picks 

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Justin Thomas - $48

World No. 1 and Dallas native Scottie Scheffler ($46) is technically a better "value" at $2 less than Thomas, but the former has been absent from competition since the life-changing event of adding a green jacket to his closet. I'd rather target him next week at Southern Hills when the difficulty level is higher, and practice a bit of game theory right now given an inflated number of our competitors will understandably go back to the guy who can't stop winning. Reaching for Thomas at the top of the board isn't much of a hindrance with Yahoo's player-friendly pricing, and he lands atop my personal custom model this week, anyways. Over his last 24 measured rounds, Thomas ranks first in Opportunities Gained, second in SG: Approach and fifth in par-5 efficiency.

Hideki Matsuyama - $44

Matsuyama was injured in the weeks leading up to his defense effort at the Masters, but he ranked eighth among the field in SG: Tee-to-Green on the way to a T14 finish at Augusta National. He's now had another month to get back to full strength, and his game should translate extremely well to TPC Craig Ranch if he brings his putter. Matsuyama is second in proximity from over 200 yards over his last 12 rounds, but he's also gained an average of 1.7 strokes putting per event throughout his past five starts. He averaged five birdies per round at the 2021 AT&T Byron Nelson.

Glue Guys

Adam Hadwin - $36

Hadwin "cooled off" with a T26 in his most recent showing at the RBC Heritage after collecting three consecutive top-10s from THE PLAYERS Championship through the Valero Texas Open. The Canadian paces this week's field in SG: Tee-to-Green over his last 12 rounds, and he's also second in Birdie or Better percentage, third in P3: 200-225 efficiency and eighth in par-5 scoring within this sample size. Aaron Wise is another solid option at the identical $36 mark, and the two should carry a similarly healthy rostership percentage, so I probably wouldn't select both too often in the same lineup.

Jhonattan Vegas - $33

It's always a mystery as to how a golfer will fare in their return from something potentially major like arm surgery, but Vegas went out and led the entire field in SG: Approach at the Wells Fargo Championship last week. He's now No. 1 in SG: APP, No. 2 in P4: 450-500 efficiency, third in par-5 scoring and fifth in eagle rate over his past 12 rounds. Additionally, Vegas has gained at least 1.5 strokes with the flat stick in six of his last nine measured events. He tied for ninth here at TPC Craig Ranch last year, pacing his peers in driving distance in the process.

Patton Kizzire - $31

Kizzire posted the lowest final-round score of the tournament with a nine-under 63 at last year's AT&T Byron Nelson, ultimately finishing T3 with 26 total tweeters in 72 holes. Across his past 24 measured rounds, Kizzire ranks fifth in putting from 5-10 feet and 18th in SG: Approach.

Bargain Bin

Matthew NeSmith - $26

NeSmith has placed T31 or better in four of six starts dating back to the Honda Classic, with a T3 mixed in there at the Valspar Championship where he gained 7.9 strokes with his irons and another 3.7 on the greens. He gained a combined 12.7 strokes from tee to green in his two most recent outings at the RBC Heritage and the Wells Fargo Championship as well.

Kurt Kitayama - $25

Kitayama went T2-T15 at Vidanta and TPC Potomac, but his salary remains extremely affordable as it continues to hover in the mid-$20s. He's second to none in proximity from over 200 yards over his past 12 rounds, while he also ranks third in SG: Approach, 10th in Birdie or Better percentage, eighth in driving distance and 11th in P3: 200-225 efficiency during this span.

Austin Smotherman - $20

Smotherman is stuck at the minimum salary despite making five of six cuts from the Puerto Rico Open through the Wells Fargo Championship, where he secured his third top-25 of the 2021-22 campaign. He's gained strokes on his approach shots in seven straight measured tournaments dating back to the Farmers Insurance Open in late January, and he's seventh in Prox: 200-plus over his past 12 rounds.