Yes, I think yonisomanasikara leads to satipatthana. Contemplating the five aggregates in this way is not to be done purely conceptually but rather triggered by seeing/noting one of the five aggregates. So for instance if a person sees form (say a chair) then it is possible to contemplate the nature of form (anicca dukkha anatta). This in turn would lead to nibbida. However as it is happening in the present moment it would generate the roots of mindfulness as well. Satipatthana also leads to the development of nibbida.
32 (2) Dispassion
"Bikkhus, these four establishments of mindfulness, when developed and cultivated, lead to utter revulsion (nibbida), to dispassion (viraga), to cessation (nirodha)
, to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana.
Mahavagga, satipatthana samyutta, SN
However yonisomanasikara may on it's own have the power to do the trick:
"A virtuous monk, Kotthita my friend, should attend in an appropriate way (yonisomanasikara) to the five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. Which five? Form as a clinging-aggregate, feeling... perception... fabrications... consciousness as a clinging-aggregate. A virtuous monk should attend in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution, an emptiness, not-self. For it is possible that a virtuous monk, attending in an appropriate way to these five clinging-aggregates as inconstant... not-self, would realize the fruit of stream-entry."
Silavant sutta SN22_122
Perhaps this happens because as you said, one thing can lead to the next, even without practising higher steps.
It is worthwhile noting in the above sutta that manasikara is clearly 'contemplation' (ie semi-verbal) and not mindfulness, even though it gets translated as 'appropriate attention' which I think is a bit of stretch. I think the Buddha led no stone unturned and used everything which helped to shape the mind to where it needed to go, including verbal thinking/contemplation. Perhaps it is a modern phenomena that we are quitely attached to mindfulness and anything to do with verbal thinking is seen with suspicion.
I think the Buddha would say '....if it leads to reduction of lobha, dosa, moha, use it!'