Fantasy Golf Tournament Preview- BMW Championship

Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff September 13, 2015 23:30


It was Sunday morning at TPC Boston and Team FGI was following Rory McIlroy hole to hole, rooting against him as several of the other teams in the Fantasy Golf World Championship on Drafkings owned him and we did not. We were feeling really good about our chances as we were firmly in the top 10 and one of only seven teams to get five guys through the cut (nobody had six through). Our roster consisted of Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Danny Lee, Justin Thomas, Paul Casey, and Brooks Koepka. Rory had just missed another very makeable putt on the sixth hole, we were feeling great, and checked shottracker on my phone to see how Paul Casey’s tee shot was because I was going to head over to hole #1 and start following him. Wait a minute, why hasn’t Paul Casey teed off yet? His tee time was five minutes ago. Oh no, Why is Casey no longer on the leaderboard? At that moment my heart sunk knowing there was just one explanation. I begrudgingly scrolled to the bottom of the leaderboard and finding what I had dreaded next to his name – WD. My words to Zach, “we are dead”. After I told him the news we both pulled up a seat on a boulder off the 7th hole and sat lifeless just thinking about how the $200,000 first prize and title of champion had just been ripped away from us. To be honest I do not even remember walking back to the Draftkings chalet after that, I was just so broken and disoriented. Losing because your team stunk is one thing, but when a guy makes the cut and is playing well and then withdraws makes it hard to take. Despite that fact, we had to carry on without Casey and the points he would have accumulated with two more days of play, we were still able to nab 6th place with our four golfers and the $20,000 that went along with it. Overall the event and the hospitality that Draftkings provided was absolutely first class the entire trip. We would encourage you to try and qualify next year for the live event, because it is truly a remarkable experience. It was a blast hanging out with two FGI premium members, Brad (absolutebronx) and Cory (Packfan990) who also qualified for the contest. Both were great guys and we hope to hang with them again soon. In addition, we were able to meet countless other members of FGI on the course, which was really great and one of the highlights of the trip. Thanks to all of you who came by and met us!


Overall the tournament itself was one of the most unexplainable tournaments I can remember with guys like Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau, and Russell Henley all missing the cut. Mind you it was only a 99 person field. Actually watching in person Brooks Koepka melt down on his back nine, Henley double bogey the 18th hole to miss the cut, and Justin Rose miss a four foot putt to miss the cut, all absolutely blew my mind. With all of the crazy happenings, our picks ended up being way below the success we have had for the entire season. The highlights of our picks included Matt Kuchar finishing T9, Kevin Kisner T12, John Senden T33, Danny Lee T33, and Robert Streb T39. We will get back to our winning ways this week, but it reminds us how several times each year we have events and player performances like last week that are completely unexplainable, which is why we need to exercise strict bankroll management.


We are super excited for football season. Not because we care about fantasy football, but because most other people do. For this reason, neither industry people nor DFS players spend nearly the requisite amount of time that we do on DFS golf. Especially with the new 2015-2016 season and all the new players joining the tour. This gives us a tremendous edge and is the reason we tell people that it is the most profitable time to play DFS golf. So stick with it throughout the fall and continue to build your bankroll. The masses will be back following it in a few short months after football ends. As we have mentioned in emails, we will be offering our current members the ability to keep their current monthly rate as long as they do not cancel their membership. In January we will be raising the premium membership cost, but we want to reward your loyalty.


This week the third leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs heads to Lake Forest, Illinois and Conway Farms Golf Club for the BMW Championship. A few key items to note this week include:


• The Top 70 players in the FedEx Cup Standings will be competing.
• There is no cut this week, so all players will play four rounds (barring a wd)
• The Top 30 players after this event will advance to the Tour Championship next week.
• The only other time the BMW Championship has been played at this course was 2013.


Conway Farms Golf Club is a Par 71, measures 7,251 yards long, and was designed by Tom Fazio. It is very similar to last week’s course, TPC Boston in regards to its overall length and the length and layout of many of the individual holes. For that reason we will use last week’s results as a significant variable for our selections this week. Tournament history will also be used, but make sure to place more importance on 2013 since it was the only year that it was actually played at Conway Farms Golf Course. Click on this link to go to our tournament history page.


The key statistics that need to be analyzed this week include Par 4 and 5 scoring, Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green, Strokes Gained Putting, Proximity to the hole, greens in regulation and birdie or better %. one interesting thing is that in 2013 when the BMW was at Conway Farms, thirteen of the top fourteen place finishers ranked amongst the top 16 best putters in the field. Thus we will emphasis good putters this week. Also interesting to note is that seventeen of the eighteen best players in greens in regulation finished in the Top 25, thus we need to analyze those players who excel in hitting greens in regulation. As we mentioned earlier, there is not a cut this week so everybody will be playing four rounds. For DFS purposes on Draftkings and FantasyAces, we will place an emphasis on birdie makers. Volatility from a player and the chance they miss a cut is not a concern.


Be sure to check out the sportsbook odds vs. daily pricing tool, which reveals some significant differences this week on various sites and presents us value.


For access to our Top picks, value picks, sleepers, and more, become a premium member.


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Compared to the previous several weeks the pricing on Draftkings is much tighter. It is impossible to roster two top studs together as it has been very easy to do recently. For that reason, we need to look at more players in the middle pricing tier and look for more value plays this week as opposed to a studs and scrubs roster composition.

Top Stud Picks:

 

Jason Day- Wow did Jason Day disappoint big-time last week. Wait a minute, have our expectations from this guy become so high that a T12 we are massively disappointed? Surely he did not pay off his price in DFS, but a T12 certainly did not destroy any of your rosters in itself. When you break down his tournament farther you will see that it was only the third round that was poor when he shot a 73. The other three rounds he shot a 68 (1st and 2nd rounds) and 69 (4th round). He ended up with 78.5 points on Draftkings which is respectable. This week he remains the top priced player in DFS, but we still think he is the best bet amongst the top priced players. We all know he won three out of the past four events he has played. (The Barclays, PGA Championship, and RBC Canadian). He missed the cut last year in this event, but when it was played at Conway Farms in 2013, Day took 4th. He has a tremendous chance to win the FedEx Cup and the $10 million, so we know he is incredibly motivated. Expect a Top 5 from Day with a legit chance at a win. (Mostly GPP because of price)
Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 7th
Strokes Gained Putting-7th
Total Driving- 61st
Par 4 Scoring- 1st
Par 5 Scoring- 10th
Greens in Regulation- 8th
Proximity to the hole- 145th
Birdie or Better %- 1st

 

Rory McIlroy- As he plays more events, the rust will continue to come off after his ankle injury. We saw that at the PGA Championship as he put up opening two round 71s, but responded with a 68 and 69 over the weekend. This past week at Deutsche Bank Rory closed his tournament with a 66 on Monday. In a no-cut event, McIlroy will outscore most everybody in DFS points with his ability to accumulate birdies. The major problem with his game last week was putting, and improvement in that area will come the more he plays after an extended time off. He ended up 17th at The PGA Championship and T29 at Deutsche Bank. He did not play well in 2013 when The BMW was played here finishing 59th, but he normally does play well in this event as he took 8th last year and won it in 2012. He has the ability to win any event that he enters and we think he could do some major damage. (GPP only)

Stats do not qualify on PGA Tour.

 

Jim Furyk- Talk about absolutely owning an event, how is this- 4th last year, 3rd in 2013 (Conway Farms), 9th in 2012, 22nd in 2011, 15th in 2010, 2nd in 2009, and 3rd in 2008. Only one of these was on this course, but there is something to be said about the amazing success in the BMW. Furyk played exceptionally well last week at The Deutsche Bank finishing T4 following a T11 at Barclays, T30 at PGA Championship, T3 WGC Bridgestone, and 4th at RBC Canadian. His game fits this course very well as it did last week at TPC Boston. Here are the downsides that concern us about Furyk this week: 1. His ownership is going to be extremely high in DFS. A combination of his tournament history along with his finish last week, people are going to be all over him. 2. His price in DFS. $10,000 on Draftkings is not very appealing for him. He does not score as much as guys similar in price. We will not have much exposure to Furyk in DFS this week for those two reasons, but we would not be shocked if he pulls out a Top 15 finish. (GPP and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 3rd
Strokes Gained Putting-118th
Total Driving- 68th
Par 4 Scoring- 9th
Par 5 Scoring- 141st
Greens in Regulation- 16th
Proximity to the hole- 2nd
Birdie or Better %- 80th

 

Justin Rose- We like Rose more than Furyk this week and his price is actually less in DFS. His ownership is always low, but this week will be even lower with his missed cut last week. He actually missed a four foot putt to miss the cut at Deutsche Bank and as we saw at The Barclays, he can light it up after struggling for a round, which is huge in a no-cut event. Outside of last week’s missed cut, Rose had A T16 at The Barclays, and then four consecutive Top 6s. He took 35th last year in this event and 33rd at Conway Farms in 2013, and did win it in 2011. He is going to be overlooked this week and that is a bad mistake, because he is just as capable of a Top 5 as anybody. The combination of low ownership, discount on price makes, and no chance to miss a cut because of a blow-up round makes us like Rose this week. (Mostly GPPs)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 8th
Strokes Gained Putting- 89th
Total Driving- 4th
Par 4 Scoring- 26th
Par 5 Scoring- 8th
Greens in Regulation- 9th
Proximity to the hole- 20th
Birdie or Better %- 5th

 

Can Jordan Spieth bounce back after two straight missed cuts and deliver a Top 5 or even win the BMW Championship? No question. But as we have talked about numerous times before, we are not big on uncertainty. Spieth has not just had a bad round causing him to miss a cut, he has been down-right bad in his last two events and watching him closely in person last week, he did not look like the same guy who has dominated all season. His tee-to-green game has been off as well as the part of his game that has shined all year, short game and putting. We are going to see how Spieth plays this week before we feel comfortable recommending him. Especially since we are not getting a very big discount this week ($11,600 on Draftkings).

 

Top Value Picks:

 

Brooks Koepka- Feel free to skip right over this recommendation if it makes you sick to your stomach, because frankly after watching him play last week in person it pains me to do it. I do have to tell you a funny tidbit about last week at the Deutsche Bank as we followed Koepka quite a bit. It was Saturday and we needed Koepka to play well as we had him on one of our FGWC rosters. He was playing fine and was +2 after his first nine holes on Saturday (cut day), which was under the cutline at the time. The four of us with FGI were following his group and obviously had a lot at stake. On the par 5 second hole of the back nine Brooks was far to aggressive on his approach shot (2nd shot), landed the ball past the pin, but had so much spin on it that it rolled back into a marsh area. Rather than taking a drop, he tried to hit out of it, which was very unsuccessful. He then proceeded to hit it past the pin on his putt, not once but twice. When that happened our own Roger Casey dropped the bag that he was holding, I ripped off my hat, and Zach slumped. People definitely noticed our disgust. So he double bogeys a par five that was a birdie hole. He then proceeds to bogey the next hole by missing a five foot putt, shank his drive into the tree outline on the fifth hole, then the back-breaker 6th hole. He drove it into the sand trap, then came up just short of the green on his approach shot. On a very easy straight chip shot, he managed to hit it well past the hole, leaving him a lengthy, downhill putt for par. He proceeded to miss the par putt, which essentially crushed us and we all groaned. Then he missed his bogey putt and at the same moment, Zach, Daniel, and Roger threw up their arms, turned and staggered away from the scene as I fell to the ground in amazement and dismay. I did catch a glimpse of everybody on the green looking at us as we made a scene. Funny thing, Koepka’s family was standing right next to us.  So why, in the hell am I recommending this guy, especially since he missed the cut in The Barclays preceeding this debacle? The answer- I don’t know. Look, I will not be playing him in any cash games this week, but I am still going to mix him into GPPs. His ability to score is so great, that I am willing to take a chance on him in a no-cut event to see if he can bounce back. If he continues this poor play, I promise I will not recommend him for a while, but I am going to take a shot at him and his $8,200 price on Draftkings. Keep in mind, his ownership will be far below what it has been for the better part of the summer in GPPs so that is another argument to use him in a couple GPP lineups. (GPPs and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 28th
Strokes Gained Putting-18th
Total Driving- 45th
Par 4 Scoring- 7th
Par 5 Scoring- 4th
Greens in Regulation- 11th
Proximity to the hole- 68th
Birdie or Better %- 8th

 

Russell Knox- In a cut event, Knox makes us a bit more nervous, but in a no-cut event, his scoring over four rounds is going to pay dividends. At the Deutsche Bank he recorded 18 birdies (amongst the leaders in that category) and finished T12.  He also finished T20 at The Barclays the week before. He has the ability to be dynamic as he has 11 Top 25s this year in 27 events played. As I mentioned, he is more than capable of missing a cut (8 misses this year), but we don’t have to worry about that. He did not play at Conway Farms in 2013, but took 23rd last year at The BMW. We all know his putting is atrocious and we actually took shots to him in our webcast if you caught that, but the greens are like last week at TPC Boston and not overly difficult. (Mostly GPP, due to a bit of inconsistency, but is not a terrible cash game play)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 23rd
Strokes Gained Putting-115th
Total Driving- 54th
Par 4 Scoring- 7th
Par 5 Scoring- 131st
Greens in Regulation- 6th
Proximity to the hole- 4th
Birdie or Better %- 81st

 

Justin Thomas- A bit disappointing last week, we look for Thomas to bounce back with a strong performance. He played really good at The Barclays shooting five under par and solid last week with only his final round really playing poorly. I followed Thomas for 12 holes on Monday, and he had several shots that should not have ended up how they did. A few bad bounces and poor lies resulted in a 74. I know, that happens to everybody, but he could have easily shot a 71 and finished Top 35 and it would have looked a lot better than a T56. Thomas has the ability to be explosive and deliver a big-time finish as he has many times this season (14 Top 25s and 7 Top 10s). Thomas is an elite ball striker and can accumulate points over four rounds in DFS (7th BOB and 2nd in Par 5 scoring). (GPPs and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 20th
Strokes Gained Putting-100th
Total Driving- 52nd
Par 4 Scoring- 47th
Par 5 Scoring- 2nd
Greens in Regulation- 36th
Proximity to the hole- 68th
Birdie or Better %- 7th

 

Matt Jones- Very solid play as of late for Jones starting at the PGA Championship, where he was in contention to win until his final round 75 on Sunday to drop him to T21. He also made the cut and finished T53 at The Barclays, and a T4 last week at The Deutsche Bank. Definite momentum for Jones coming into The BMW. That combined with an 8th place finish in this event at Conway Farms in 2013, make us like Jones quite a bit this week. Even with these credentials, Jones is not in the top 20 priced guys on Draftkings this week ($7,900). Jones does also have 7 Top 25s this week and four Top 10s, so he is no stranger to the leaderboard. (Mostly GPP)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 71st
Strokes Gained Putting-24th
Total Driving- 57th
Par 4 Scoring- 71st
Par 5 Scoring- 19th
Greens in Regulation- 154th
Proximity to the hole- 189th
Birdie or Better %- 18th

 

Kevin Kisner- One of the problems with some models available throughout the industry right now is they do not take into account certain factors that frankly make them erroneous. I personally looked at a few models last week that had Kisner ranked outside the Top 50. That was lunacy, as we thought he was good for a Top 20 finish and thus recommended him highly. So what was the problem with the models? Well they look at tournament history of which in Kisner’s case could not be any more meaningless. He is one of those guys that is a completely different player this year than he ever has been in the past. In addition they take into account current form, but do not factor in important factors. In Kisner’s case he had missed two cuts in his last four events played, but they were both on links style courses (St Andrews and Whistling Straits) of which Kisner simply does not play well on. FYI, we are working on a model that hopefully we can perfect and roll out next year that would factor in such essential details as that. So keep that in mind when looking at models that the ones available now can be helpful, but they certainly do not tell the entire story. Kisner ended up T12 at Deutsche Bank and continued his outstanding season, which includes ten Top 25s and six Top 10s. One look at his stat below show how rock solid Kisner is in most every category. He isn’t incredibly cheap this week on Draftkings, but he could still easily out-produce his price. (GPP and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 43rd
Strokes Gained Putting- 34th
Total Driving- 23rd
Par 4 Scoring- 26th
Par 5 Scoring- 24th
Greens in Regulation- 82nd
Proximity to the hole- 57th
Birdie or Better %- 112th

 

Daniel Summerhays- He has quietly been playing really well over the past two months. In his last six events played Summerhays has made an unbelievable four Top 10s. What is great about this week’s no-cut event is that Summerhays has missed eight cuts this year, but also has eight Top 25s. So he is a bit of a risk to miss the cut, but when he does play the entire tournament he takes a Top 25 almost 30% of the time. That would be a very solid finish considering his price on DFS sites this week. ($7,400,36th highest priced player). Summerhays has two appearances in The BMW Championship taking 29th last year and 28th in 2013 at Conway Farms. We like that he can score and has been doing that a lot lately. His putting has been rock solid all season. We like him to outproduce his price and provide us a lot of value (GPPs and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 118th
Strokes Gained Putting-6th
Total Driving- 156th
Par 4 Scoring- 22nd
Par 5 Scoring- 99th
Greens in Regulation- 113th
Proximity to the hole- 108th
Birdie or Better %- 63rd

 

Danny Lee- He has far too much upside to ignore and if he can eliminate his mental mistakes he will get back into the Top 10. Coming into the final round last week at the Deutsche Bank, Lee was tied for 8th, but with a final round meltdown and a 77 it dropped him back to a T33. I will tell you one thing, if I were Danny Lee’s caddy, I would have persuaded him to not make such ill-advised shots and he would have finished at least three strokes better at the Deutsche Bank. There is not denying this kids talent and his outstanding approach game. If he can drop any putts, he is a real threat. Lee has twelve Top 25s this year and seven Top 10s. He has a really reasonable price in DFS this week, for the amount of upside that he maintains. (GPP and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 69th
Strokes Gained Putting-23rd
Total Driving- 127th
Par 4 Scoring- 47th
Par 5 Scoring- 99th
Greens in Regulation- 113th
Proximity to the hole- 33rd
Birdie or Better %- 22nd

 

Top Sleeper Picks:

 

Kevin Chappell- At $7,500 on Drafttkings, Chappell looks like a really nice deal this week. In his last four tournaments he has a T12 at Deutsche Bank, T24 at The Barclays, T43 at the PGA Championship, and T18 at Quicken Loans. He has two appearances at The BMW placing 16th last year and 62nd when it was held at Conway Farms in 2013. Chappell has cracked the Top 25 40% of the time this season with ten. That is extremely valuable in this no-cut event. If you pair a couple of semi-studs like Watson and Rose on Draftkings, you have $7,500 per player left under the cap, there you go the perfect fit, Kevin Chappell.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 89th
Strokes Gained Putting-69th
Total Driving- 30th
Par 4 Scoring- 71st
Par 5 Scoring- 54th
Greens in Regulation- 107th
Proximity to the hole- 40th
Birdie or Better %- 51st

 

Harris English- Typically English is not considered a sleeper, but being well entrenched in the bottom half of DFS pricing this week, earns him that honor. Trending in the right directions, English has gone from T48 at the PGA Championship to T31 at Wyndham to T30 at Barclays to T12 at Deutsche Bank last week. What was even more encouraging is that he did not completely melt down either of the final days of the Deutsche Bank, something he has struggled with most of the season. English took 31st in this tournament last year and 50th when it was held here in 2013. His $7,400 price on Draftkings is reeking of value. (GPPs and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 70th
Strokes Gained Putting-14th
Total Driving- 64th
Par 4 Scoring- 26th
Par 5 Scoring- 24th
Greens in Regulation- 60th
Proximity to the hole- 103rd
Birdie or Better %- 54th

 

Shawn Stefani- We often talk about the importance of point scoring/accumulation on DFS sites that reward points for birdies and eagles vs. strictly looking at the where a player finished. Below are a few players and their finishing positon and also Draftkings points scored for Deutsche Bank Championship to show you why you need to look closer at points scored and not just place finished:
Ryan Palmer, T65, 51.5 points
Webb Simpson, T44, 52 points
Rory McIlroy, T29, 64.5 points
Shawn Stefani, T65, 64.5 points
Most people will look strictly at Stefani’s finishing position at Deutsche Bank and assume he did not perform well, but we are smarter than that. He had 16 birdies in the tournament which was more than Patrick Reed or Jim Furyk who finished T4. In an event where four rounds are guaranteed, Stefani makes for a terrific play, especially since he is so cheap in DFS.($6,900 Draftkings). He does not have any appearances in this tournament and has not played at Conway Farms. We really like Stefani as a cheap dollar option and who gives a damn if he finishes T69 this week if he racks up a ton of birdies and ranks in the top 30 in points scored on Draftkings. (GPP and Cash Games)

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green- 44th
Strokes Gained Putting-87th
Total Driving- 27th
Par 4 Scoring- 26th
Par 5 Scoring- 19th
Greens in Regulation- 33rd
Proximity to the hole- 82nd
Birdie or Better %- 19th

 

Best of luck to all of you this week and be sure to let us know how you do!

-Fantasy Golf Insider

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Fantasy Golf Insider Staff
By Fantasy Golf Insider Staff September 13, 2015 23:30

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