The Daily Spin – DraftKings Daily Fantasy Golf Preview – The BMW Championship

Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte September 16, 2015 15:55

Welcome back to fantasy golf this week! I hope that the glow of football did not create too big of a distraction for you coming into this week and the last two weeks of the golf season. With two weeks left to go in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, there is a lot on the line for the 70 golfers remaining. While only small portions of the field have been sliced away after the first two tournaments, after this week, over half of the players left now will be eliminated going into the Tour Championship next week.

Events like this one are always a little bit trickier than the normal sized events. With no cut, and a smaller field, there are not going to be many hidden gems that get passed over and you need to change your focus to choosing guys who can score points without having to worry about losing them after two rounds. Essentially, you can get back to a fantasy football style lineup. This takes away a lot of the advantage that the more seasoned players have over those that just jump in and out of contests throughout the season.

In terms of how to play this week, I would recommend playing a little bit less of your bankroll than normal. There is not going to be a lot of advantage in cash games compared to weeks where there is a cut so I would also recommend shifting your focus towards opening up and playing a few more GPPs than normal for the week. I have a feeling that a lot of daily fantasy enthusiasts have shifted their focus to football. DraftKings, on the other hand, has decided to have some larger than normal contests this week. I think there are going to be some overlays to take advantage of furthering my conclusion that GPPs offer a little extra value this week so watch them closely.

In digging into the stats this week, I found that getting back to the basics looks like the best approach for the tournament. Conway Farms Golf Club is a Par 71 course and measures out at around 7250 yards. Course history is not going to be terribly useful for us this week as the event was held here only one other time back in 2013 when Zach Johnson won the tournament. We want to look for a few key attributes this week. First, we would like to find players that are in reasonably good form. I will say that throwing in a contrarian pick or two onto your rosters is an important part of winning big GPP events, but generally, you want to play four golfers on each roster that are playing well and on an upward trend. Too much diversification in a lineup means that when you do hit that contrarian play on the head, more than likely another speculative play will fall flat and lose the ground you gained in the first place. The stats that stood out this week are: Strokes Gained Tee to Green, Par 4 Scoring, Ball Striking, Par 5 Scoring, Strokes Gained Putting and Total Driving. It is clear to me after watching the playoff over the last couple of weeks that these courses are playing a little tougher than in previous years so there is a much bigger premium on staying out of trouble which leads me towards anchoring my teams around player who can hit fairway, hit greens, and putt reasonably well.

As I write this now there are still a startling amount of open entries into many of the GPPs this week. If you are looking at the contests before tee times tomorrow, be sure to see if there is still some free money out there covering the guarantees and throw in a few extra lineups. Stick to your core players, but stretch a little bit to accommodate a few extra teams. I am not sure how DraftKings will run its events next week with only 30 golfers still in the field so this might be your last chance for a few weeks to play for some bigger prizes until the fall portion of next season kicks off in October. Best of luck to all of you this week and let me know if you are in the running for a big prize this week.

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The pricing this week is as challenging as it has been all season. With a floor of 6600, there is not a lot of relief to be gained at the bottom of the ranks. So while the top players are in about the same range as normal, we do not have the options in the lower pricing tier to allow us to do the same types of stacks that we would normally be able to do. As is the case, I tried to steer away from a couple of players right at the top this week due to the restrictions on salary. It is a bit of a risk because I do think that either Jason Day or Rory McIlroy could win the event, but I think some of those position points could be nullified by the fact that there is no cut this week and also that almost all of the field will claim position points being that there are only 70 players so I would rather focus my efforts towards having six quality players on most of my rosters that will put up some points. I am going to have a few $3 GPP teams with Day, Spieth or Rory, but for the most part, my lineups will be concentrated around players in the $7-10k range. There is a large group of players between 7.4-8k that are easy to build around and have the potential to score well enough so that it does give us some room to stack a couple of players in the 10k range together.

BLUE CHIPS

Henrik Stenson ($11,400) – Two consecutive 2nd place finishes have Stenson right in the hunt for a FedEx Cup Championship. As one of the top ball strikers in the game, Stenson consistently finds himself in a good position off the tee and has plenty of scoring opportunities. Were it not for an errant tee shot on the 16th hole last weekend, he would have won the event. As it is, Stenson enters this week’s event in incredible form and though he place just 33rd here in 2013, I anticipate a strong finish to this season. His price is a bit on the high side, but his recent play gives him a high enough potential ceiling to merit it.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 2nd
Strokes Gained Putting – 21st
Total Driving – 1st
Par 4 Scoring – 6th
Par 5 Scoring – 39th
Ball Striking – 1st

Bubba Watson ($10,200) – His back was a little sore two weeks ago and he withdrew from the pro-am event before the tournament. As we were unusually concerned about injuries, we did not end up using Bubba in our big GPP lineups for the week and it worked out just fine as Bubba finished in 29th and did not really bring full value to his salary. After a couple weeks of rest, I am less worried about his back and I think the field will largely bypass Bubba in favor of other golfers of similar price. He is having a great season and his stats line up well for the course. He is still in range to make a charge at becoming the FedEx Cup champion so at the top tier, Bubba offers us a lot of value for the week. He took 24th here in 2013 and has made big improvements in his game since then.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 1st
Strokes Gained Putting – 50th
Total Driving – 41st
Par 4 Scoring – 15th
Par 5 Scoring – 1st
Ball Striking – 23rd

Jim Furyk ($10,000) – I think Furyk will be one of the highest owned players this week. His history here dictates some respect, but just the fact that he tends to close seasons strong will bring attention to him. At his price range, he is easy to stack with two or three others that have the potential to be in the Top 10 so you do not necessarily have to be worried that it will need to be Furyk scoring points for you on Sunday to win. He took 3rd the last time he played here and has been in the Top 11 in three of his last four events. He’s steady and stays out of trouble so he is one of those players that you can put on your roster an generally not have much to worry about as he is likely to finish somewhere between 3rd and 20th.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 3rd
Strokes Gained Putting – 118th
Total Driving – 68th
Par 4 Scoring – 10th
Par 5 Scoring – 141st
Ball Striking – 35yh

Justin Rose ($9800) – A missed cut last week and struggles in the first round the previous week should have plenty of owners abandoning Justin Rose this week. This gives us a great chance to jump back on. Without the threat of a missed cut, this is a great price for Rose who has the potential to go very low when his putter heats up. Do not let last week’s performance ruin what has otherwise been a fantastic season. Rose makes for a great GPP play this week as owners will be overlooking him in favor of those in his price range who played well last week. He tied for 33rd here two years ago, but will be ready to make a push this week towards accumulating points.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 8th
Strokes Gained Putting – 89th
Total Driving – 4th
Par 4 Scoring – 38th
Par 5 Scoring – 8th
Ball Striking – 4th

VALUE PICKS

Zach Johnson ($9500) – It’s hard to ignore ZJ this week as he won here back in 2013 and is in the midst of a fantastic season. Outside of stumbling at the US Open and PGA Championship, both longer links style courses, Johnson has been on a tear since spring. He posted one mediocre round at The Deutsche Bank Championship, but other than that, his current form is just fine as he also took 4th at The Barclays just a few weeks ago. If he can putt just a little bit better, there is no reason to believe that Johnson will not be right in the mix this weekend.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 14th
Strokes Gained Putting – 109th
Total Driving – 39th
Par 4 Scoring – 12th
Par 5 Scoring – 24th
Ball Striking – 29th

Matt Kuchar ($9200) – Another boring, but steady player who probably will not be winning the event, but will certainly have a good chance to be in the Top 10. His game has steadily improved over the last couple of months and he has cracked the Top 10 in three of his last five events. He finished in 24th place here back in 2013, but I think that is about where his floor is for an event like this. He is another player that you can roster again and again this week and build around with other players to take some risk with.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 19th
Strokes Gained Putting – 45th
Total Driving – 61st
Par 4 Scoring – 10th
Par 5 Scoring – 6th
Ball Striking – 65th

Sergio Garcia ($8600) – He is not injured. At least, that is what all reports are telling us. Hopefully, the time off will have him entering this event feeling well rested and not too rusty. When I last watched him play at The PGA Championship, he was not particularly impressive. He makes the list this week in part because I think owners will skip right past him this week. As there are a limited number of pivot plays out there this week, Garcia could be one of the better ones as his lack of recent play will lower his level of ownership significantly. Also of note, Sergio played well here back in 2013 when he finished in 18th. You will need to find one or two players like this to win those big GPPs this weekend and certainly Sergio has the potential to put up a solid score.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 9th
Strokes Gained Putting – 130th
Total Driving – 29th
Par 4 Scoring – 21st/strong>
Par 5 Scoring – 54th
Ball Striking – 36th

Brooks Koepka ($8200) – As I have documented previously, rostering Brooks Koepka can be a gut wrenching experience. He is young and talented, but also a little immature and volatile. Two weeks of rest is just what he needed to get refocused this week. He is either entering Daniel Berger territory (up until last week), or these past two weeks have been just the natural problem of playing a long and exhausting season week after week. Certainly, the price has finally retreated to a reasonable place and people cannot jump off the bandwagon fast enough. Without the fear of a cut, I feel really good about the potential for Brooks to score early and often in a four round event.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 28th
Strokes Gained Putting – 18th
Total Driving – 45th
Par 4 Scoring – 8th/strong>
Par 5 Scoring – 4th
Ball Striking – 17th

Kevin Kisner ($8100) – The numbers alone are not going to tell the full story of what Kisner has accomplished over the last few months. Coming into the BMW Championship, Kisner has finished in the Top 20 in back to back events and has six Top 10 finishes on the season. He is a very well rounded player and has not displayed many weaknesses in recent tournaments. If you are playing in cash games this week, Kisner makes for a very solid play as his price, combined with his consistency make him valuable.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 43rd
Strokes Gained Putting – 34th
Total Driving – 23rd
Par 4 Scoring – 41st/strong>
Par 5 Scoring – 24th
Ball Striking – 46th

Robert Streb ($8000) – A slow start to the playoffs should thin the herd about in terms of Robert Streb owners. He did not play badly in either event, he just did not do enough to put him near the leaders. His stats point towards a rebound this week and he is another player that needed the rest after playing a brutal schedule for most of the season. He has nine Top 10 finishes on the season and his steady putter and tee to green game should help him to be in the fight to add another Top 10 finish

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 24th
Strokes Gained Putting – 25th
Total Driving – 59th
Par 4 Scoring – 12th/strong>
Par 5 Scoring – 63rd
Ball Striking – 30th

SLEEPERS

Justin Thomas ($7600) – He had a rather nondescript finish in Boston and he has been up and down this year, but he is worth a little extra risk this week in part due to his scoring potential. He fits the course very well statistically and although his putter can drive me crazy, I think he will put up enough points to offset the effects of finishing as low as 40th in the standings this week. He has been in the Top 20 in four of his last six events and is another young player that should be helped by the extra week of rest as this is his 30th event of the season. He is not exactly our normal sleeper material, but in a field this limited and stacked with talent, he fits the bill just fine.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 20th
Strokes Gained Putting – 100th
Total Driving – 52nd
Par 4 Scoring – 57th/strong>
Par 5 Scoring – 2nd
Ball Striking – 38th

Harris English ($7400) – English is usually a great cash game play as his scoring stats for the first two rounds are tremendous. Each time I have him on a GPP team and get to Saturday, I think, maybe this is the week that he….and then he shoots +5 and I remember that he is still Harris English. He looks to be bucking this trend, finally after a 12th place finish in Boston. English is a good putter, but other than that, not a standout in any area. At a course like this, steady play should be just what we need and if you want to stack a couple of high dollar players at the top of your rosters, you are going to need a steady player like English to make sure that the bottom of your lineup does not fall apart and ruin the efforts of the rest of your team.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 70th
Strokes Gained Putting – 14th
Total Driving – 64th
Par 4 Scoring – 37th/strong>
Par 5 Scoring – 24th
Ball Striking – 53rd

Rory Sabbatini ($7300) – Rory Sabbatini is another player to consider this week as I think he will be lightly owned, but should perform well. He finished in 11th place here back in 2013 and is coming off of back to back Top 25 performances coming into the event. Typically, the biggest threat to using Rory in your lineups is that he will miss the cut. Of his 14 made cuts this season, 12 produced Top 25 finishes. If you can get a player who is owned by just a few percent of the field, with the potential of putting up a Top 20 finish and you can get him at a great price, you need to consider making this play….even if it is Rory Sabbatini.

Strokes Gained Tee-To-Green – 31st
Strokes Gained Putting – 110th
Total Driving – 131st
Par 4 Scoring – 9th/strong>
Par 5 Scoring – 39th
Ball Striking – 88th

There are a lot of other players that I could throw into the mix this week like Tony Finau, Danny Lee or Russell Knox. But with a 70 player field, it would just dilute the recommendations a bit. What I will say is that for a field with this much talent, there just is not a huge gap in play once you get past the top players on the board so if you really like a player that I did not mention and your research points to them as a solid play, don’t sweat it and just go with your instincts. I just wanted to try to give you a few ideas to consider this week for strategy and to hopefully get you to look at a few options that you maybe has not thought of yet.

Apologies for the column being a bit delayed today. My wife had a kidney stone yesterday so I spent most of the night at the Emergency Room with her getting things figured out.

Best of luck,

-myzteriouzly

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Zachary Turcotte
By Zachary Turcotte September 16, 2015 15:55

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