Yahoo DFS Golf: The Genesis Invitational

Yahoo DFS Golf: The Genesis Invitational

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Golf series.

The Genesis Invitational

Pacific Palisades, California
Riviera Country Club - Par 71 - 7,322 yards
Field - 120 entrants
Purse - $12M

The Preview

After somehow surviving four consecutive days on the grounds at TPC Scottsdale for the WM Phoenix Open, I made the short walk home Sunday afternoon in time to witness first-time winner Scottie Scheffler secure a playoff victory over Patrick Cantlay as the Super Bowl kicked off. The "Greenest Show on Grass" is always a blast, but this year's field strength and its consequent leaderboard down the stretch made for an all-time spectacle, while the crowds fell in love with budding hero Sahith Theegala even more so than the Xanders and the JTs. We're in for another treat this week as an even stronger contingent closes out the West Coast Swing at Riviera Country Club, where Tiger Woods plays host to The Genesis Invitational. 

These slick poa greens are among the toughest on Tour to hit in regulation, and Riviera's kikuyu rough always wreaks havoc around the putting surfaces as a proper short game becomes necessary quite often. There are six par-4s that measure between 450-500 yards and all three of Riviera's par-5s fall shy of the 600-yard mark, so expect a majority of approach shots to come from the 150-225 range as mid-long iron play is predominant. Despite the toughness of the track, we've seen the winning score reach double-digit red numbers in each of the past six editions, and a promising weather forecast should allow that to happen once again. 

Recent Champions

2021 - Max Homa
2020 - Adam Scott
2019 - J.B. Holmes
2018 - Bubba Watson
2017 - Dustin Johnson
2016 - Bubba Watson
2015 - James Hahn
2014 - Bubba Watson
2013 - John Merrick
2012 - Bill Haas

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Tee-to-Green
Proximity: 150-225 yards
Par-4: 450-500 efficiency
Scrambling

Yahoo Value Picks 

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Jon Rahm - $50

Rahm paced the field in SG: Off-the-Tee and hit 82 percent of the greens in regulation last week at the WM Phoenix Open, but a poor short-game showing limited the former ASU Sun Devil to a quiet backdoor top-10 finish. He lost 2.32 strokes with the flat stick at TPC Scottsdale, marking his worst putting performance since last February's WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession. It's safe to expect some positive regression at Riviera, where he gained a collective 11.1 on the greens in his first two starts at the venue, and he's 12th in SG: Putting on poa over his last 12 rounds. Rahm has placed T5-T17-T9 the past three years at the Genesis.

Justin Thomas - $45

Thomas has missed back-to-back cuts at Riviera while losing 7.8 strokes with the putter throughout his last four rounds here, but he also finished 2-T9 the two years prior when he gained a combined 12 strokes on his approach shots. The MCs due to a couple lousy putting efforts don't concern me, but they could help reduce his rostership among the casual gamers in this range. However, he just ranked second in both SG: Approach and SG: Tee-to-Green on the way to a T8 at the WMPO, and he's third over his last 12 rounds in P4: 450-500 efficiency. As a bonus, he led the tournament in scrambling at TPC Scottsdale, carding only three total bogeys across 72 holes.

Will Zalatoris - $39

Although he's second to none in SG: Approach, SG: Tee-to-Green and proximity from 200-plus yards over his last 12 rounds, Zalatoris provides a bit of salary relief at the top end as he failed to earn a $40 price tag in his return from COVID-19 this week. He picked up a combined 18.1 strokes from tee to green on the field across eight rounds at the Farmers Insurance Open and The American Express, placing 2-T6 prior to the brief quarantine hiatus. Zalatoris tied for 15th at the Genesis Invitational last season, ranking third in par-5 scoring behind champion Max Homa and runner-up Tony Finau.  

Glue Guys

Matt Fitzpatrick - $37

You probably wouldn't expect it against a field that's filled with bombers and elite ball strikers, but Fitzpatrick actually ranks second in par-5 efficiency over his last 12 rounds. He's an underrated option on longer tracks with a solid short game, and he just gained strokes across the board en route to a T10 at the WMPO. Additionally, he posted a top-5 finish last year in his second trip to Riviera CC, ranking T5 in putting average and T11 in FIR percentage.

Thomas Pieters - $34

The Belgian could crack the top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time since 2017 after winning twice on the DP World Tour in his last four starts. In fact, he's finished no worse than T16 in five consecutive showings on the DPWT, which doesn't include a T24 at the Saudi International. Pieters tied for second at the 2017 Genesis Invitational, when he racked up a tournament-best 21 birdies while ranking T2 in GIR percentage. He also fired an eight-under 63 in the fourth round, so he's certainly proven capable of going low here.

Bubba Watson - $33

Watson's three wins and six top-15s at Riviera were already enough to make him a chalky option at just $33 in this spot, but then he went out and led the entire WMPO field in SG: Approach, too. He's second in Prox: 175-200 and 25th in Prox: 150-175 over his last 12 rounds, so it's probably unwise to fade the lefty right now, especially when you compare the deflated salary to his 35/1 outright odds to win.

Bargain Bin

Keegan Bradley - $26

Bradley racked up seven final-round birdies at TPC Scottsdale to record his third score of 68 or better last week, and he tied for 26th despite losing at least 1.4 strokes on the greens for a fourth straight start. Although the putter has been a letdown, Bradley's overall short game might not be a complete minus as he's gained an average of 0.7 strokes around the green per tournament throughout his last 20 measured events. Ball striking is the primary reason we ever target Bradley, given he's sixth in SG: Approach, seventh in SG: T2G, eighth in Opportunities Gained, 14th in SG: Off-the-Tee and 15th in P4: 450-500 efficiency over his last 12 rounds. His Genesis resume includes seven made cuts in 11 appearances with a pair of top-4s in 2012 and 2015.

Sebastian Munoz - $25

Munoz might pop in models after being awesome from tee to green last week in Phoenix, piling up 21 total par-breakers despite losing nearly four strokes with the flat stick. Over his past 12 rounds, he ranks third in Prox: 150-175, sixth in Prox: 200-plus, ninth in SG: T2G, 10th in SG: Around-the-Green and 15th in SG: Approach. He placed top-50 in each of his first two Riviera CC appearances.

Patton Kizzire - $21

Kizzire has been a bit of a wild card with four missed cuts in 10 starts after notching just seven MCs all of last season, but a GPP strategy that deploys some levels of expected volatility can easily be rewarded. This is especially true this week when more than half of the field will make the cut, given the limited 120-entrant invitational setting. Kizzire has placed T10-MC-T22 in his last three starts, most recently gaining 9.3 strokes from tee to green at the WMPO. Across his past 12 rounds, Kizzire is 10th in SG: Approach, 14th in Prox: 150-175 and 20th in Prox: 175-200 yards.

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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