Yahoo DFS Golf: ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP Picks and Strategy

Yahoo DFS Golf: ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP Picks and Strategy

This article is part of our Yahoo PGA DFS Picks series.


Chiba, Japan
Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club - Par 70 - 7,079 yards
Field - 78 entrants
Purse - $11M

The Preview

The PGA Tour makes the overseas trek from Las Vegas to Japan this week as Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club plays host to the ZOZO Championship for the third time since the event's inception in 2019. The par-70 layout measures less than 7,100 yards, but tree-lined fairways and a handful of doglegs make the course play a bit longer than it looks on paper, especially when you factor in the heavy rain that's slated to arrive throughout Round 1 on Thursday. Scoring can be significantly more difficult here than we're accustomed to throughout the early stages of the season, but with 72 guaranteed holes, birdie and eagle chances are going to be especially important from a DFS perspective. Iron play is typically the name of the game at Narashino as the limited 78-man field makes an effort to select the best angles into relatively small bentgrass greens, in addition to the five par-3s that lurk on the scorecard.

Recent Champions

2021 - Hideki Matsuyama (Narashino CC)
2020 - Patrick Cantlay (Sherwood CC)
2019 - Tiger Woods (Narashino CC)

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Tee-to-Green
GIR percentage
Par-3 efficiency
Birdie or Better percentage

Yahoo Value Picks 

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Sungjae Im - $39

Im's discounted $39 salary would be even more glaring if Yahoo's pricing wasn't so soft at the top of the board this week, as only three players earned $40-plus tags. The Korean is coming off a seventh-place finish at the Shriners Children's Open where he racked up 21 total birdies and an eagle while gaining at least 1.4 strokes in each SG subcategory. He's No. 1 among this week's field in both SG: Tee-to-Green and SG: Off-the-Tee over his last 24 measured rounds, and he tied for third here at Narashino C.C. in 2019.  

Hideki Matsuyama - $38

He lost to Tiger Woods by three shots in this event's inauguration three years ago, but Matsuyama didn't let anyone beat him on his home turf last year when he paced the ZOZO field in GIR percentage en route to a dominant five-stroke victory. Matsuyama's long-iron prowess makes him so valuable at Narashino, but he's also gained strokes with the flat stick in three consecutive starts dating back to the BMW Championship. Over his last 24 rounds, Matsuyama ranks fourth in par-3 scoring and eighth in SG: Approach.

Glue Guys

Keegan Bradley - $33

Bradley owns one of the better track records in Chiba with finishes of T7-T13 in two visits, notably firing a final-round 65 here last year when he ranked T9 in putting average for the tournament. He also had a spike week with the flat stick in his most recent outing at the Sanderson Farms Championship, gaining 6.1 strokes on the greens at the Country Club of Jackson. Bradley is fifth in proximity from 150-175 yards and seventh in SG: OTT over his past 12 rounds.

Cam Davis - $32

The recent Presidents Cup debutant gained a ton of steam with five consecutive top-20s from the John Deere Classic through the FedEx St. Jude Championship, but he placed just T37-MC-T35 over his last three starts. These mediocre finishes are by no means concerning, and they'll hopefully help keep his rostership in check as he tees it up in Japan for the first time. Over his last 24 rounds, he's still first in Opportunities Gained, sixth in SG: T2G, sixth in Prox: 200-plus and eighth in par-3 efficiency. 

Bargain Bin

Emiliano Grillo - $27

Grillo appears to have finally found his way on the greens, gaining strokes with the putter in seven straight measured starts dating back to his runner-up effort at the John Deere Classic. This is a promising development for someone who ranked 13th on Tour in GIR percentage but just 78th in par-4 birdie or better percentage last season. Grillo most recently gained a collective 6.7 strokes with his irons across eight rounds at the Sanderson Farms Championship and the Shriners Children's Open.

Mark Hubbard - $22

Hubbard opened his 2022-23 campaign with three consecutive top-30 performances from the Fortinet Championship through the Shriners Children's Open, where he racked up 20 total par-breakers while gaining at least five strokes from tee to green for the second straight week. Expanding the sample size to his last 24 rounds, Hubbard ranks second in Prox: 150-175 yards and fifth in SG: Approach.

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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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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