DraftKings PGA Lineup Advice: BMW Championship
The Bayerische Motoren Werke Championship, as our German readers call it, returns to Conway Farms for the penultimate event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Jason Day won the BMW Championship at 22 under the last time the pros made the trip to Lake Forest, Illinois, and Jim Furyk shot 59 at the venue, so the opportunity to go low is there.
Situated on more than 200 acres outside Chicago, Tom Fazio-designed Conway Farms is a 7,209-yard par-71 track. Rolling farmland mixes with fescue and smaller-than-average greens (5,000 sq. feet, on average).
While generally referred to as a second-shot course, players can still score a massive advantage with length off the tee at Conway Farms. And to complicate things further, two of the three winners at the venue are brilliant putters: Jason Day and Zach Johnson. So it’s best not to weight any one category too heavily in your statistical models.
Remember: All 70 players in the field make the cut, so you’ll need 6/6 through if you’re hoping for any kind of a windfall this week. Whether this pushes you in a more conservative or aggressive direction, you’ll likely want to dial back exposure a bit.
If you want to go chalk…
While he’ll be a popular play, Jon Rahm isn’t worth the price. Fourth in DraftKings salaries this week at $10,500, Rahm should be closer to $10,000. Justin Thomas at $10,300 is assuredly a better bet. Yes, he’s playing well, but given the peaks-and-valleys nature of Rahm’s play this year, he could just as easily finish 30th as win this week. Not a total fade, but acknowledge the speculative play that the Spaniard is.
Jordan Spieth: $11,800
Top-of-the-line, indeed. Jordan Spieth has the highest DraftKings salary this week, and it’s eminently warranted. Spieth finished inside the top 15 at Conway Farms in 2015, so he does respectable work at the venue. Two-consecutive runner-up finishes suggest the Texan is surging. First in strokes gained: approach-the-green. Second in strokes gained: tee-to-green. Third in total strokes gained. First in birdies.
Dustin Johnson: $11,500
Johnson finished seventh at Conway Farms in 2015. A winner in the first playoff event (The Northern Trust), DJ tied for 18th in a ho-hum showing at the Dell Technologies Championship. Still, he leads the tour in total strokes gained, and he’s playing a track where bombing the ball is a substantial asset. No qualms about rostering him this week.
Phil Mickelson: $7,300
With just 70 players in the field, the sleepers aren’t very deep this week! Mickelson is underpriced at $7,300, however. Undisclosed health issues apparently behind him and fully torqued for the Presidents Cup, Lefty is a value. He tied for 32nd at Conway Farms in 2015. It’s hard to believe he won’t improve on that performance. 12th in strokes gained: approach. 18th in total strokes gained.
Keegan Bradley $7,300
Bradley finished 43rd and 35th in the first two playoff events this season. Not great, but he slipped inside the top 30 at Conway Farms in 2015. 35th in strokes gained: tee-to-green, Bradley could be a top-25 finisher this week.
Field leaders in birdie or better percentage (season rank)
1. Jordan Spieth: $11,800
2. Justin Thomas: $10,300
3. Hideki Matsuyama: $9,900
4. Rickie Fowler: $10,700
5. Brooks Koepka: $9,100
Paul Casey: $9,200
Paul Casey is cheap enough that you can still roster a Rickie Fowler ($10,700) or a Justin Thomas ($10,300). Still not getting the salary respect he deserves, Casey is a top-15 finisher in his last six starts. Six rounds in the 60s in his last eight starts. And he tied for 23rd at Conway Farms in 2015. Second in strokes gained: approach. Sixth in strokes gained: total.
Marc Leishman: $7,700
Like Casey, Leishman isn’t getting deserved salary respect. 24th highest-priced golfer? Come on! Leish has gotta be projected as a top-15 finisher in your model. Ninth in total strokes gained. Eighth in scoring average. He finished third at the Dell Technologies Championship two weeks ago and tied for 13th at the PGA Championship, with a missed cut sandwiched in-between.