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PGA DFS: BMW Championship

Fantasy Golf Expert Chris Garosi helps you construct a money-making lineup for the BMW Championship. It's time to increase that bankroll on DraftKings!

From German banks to German cars, the FedEx Cup playoffs march onward to the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club just outside Carmel, Indiana. We are down to the final 69 (nice!) golfers on the way to crown a champion.

Daily and weekly fantasy sports have become all the rage. Battling it out over an entire season is fun, but sites like DraftKings offer a quicker payoff and big payouts for winners! Not only do they offer daily action in the four major professional sports (MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL) as well as college basketball and football but also the PGA Tour.

Your DraftKings lineup is made up of six golfers you select from within the $50,000 salary cap.

Each week DraftKings offers a wide selection of games to enter at a variety of price points. You can even get a feel for the game in a freeroll contest. Before you put your cash on the line, I'll offer my Top Values and Steals in this space every week, specifically geared to help build a winning DraftKings squad. I'll also give you my Overpriced golfers to avoid and a couple of “Vegas Says…” tips to help you find those players for GPPs.

The key to cashing in Daily Fantasy Golf is getting golfers who make the cut.

You can cash if you get at least four golfers who make the cut though it can be tough with just four. With five (or if you are lucky six) you are nearly assured of cashing. So, you'll see some focus on making cuts while trying to balance upside for those top 10 finishes everyone is chasing.

Tournament Stop

It’s the third week of the playoffs, and we are all out of cuts. All 70 golfers will get to play four rounds this week so you can take a few more risks than normal with your lineup and be wary of players who are candidates for withdrawal (either with injuries or those safely into the Tour Championship field).

The BMW Championship likes to course hop from year to year staying in Illinois and Indian. The BWM returns to the 2012 location Crooked Stick Golf Club just outside Carmel, IN where Rory McIlroy won by two strokes over Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood.

The course plays as a par 72 at 7,516 yards up from 7,497 yards in 2012. The biggest changes are to the par 4 10th which increases 60 yards from 397 to 457 yards and the par 5 11th shrinking 39 yards from 595 to 556 yards.  We have bentgrass on the greens yet again this week.

Crooked Stick was built by Pete and Alice Dye in 1964. Dye has some courses on regular rotation on Tour. Here is a list of some the Dye courses which have been used on Tour and some recent events held there

Crooked Stick Golf Club –BMW Championship (2012 and 2016) - Par 72, 7,516 yards
Harbour Town Golf Links – RBC Heritage (1969 to present) - Par 71, 7,101 yards
Kiawah Island Ocean Course – PGA Championship (2012) – Par 72, 7,873 yards
TPC of Louisiana - Zurich Classic of New Orleans (2005, 2007 to present) –  Par 72, 7,399 yards
TPC River Highlands – Travelers Championship (1984 to present)  - Par 70, 6,841 yards
TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course - THE PLAYERS Championship (1982 to present) – Par 72, 7,215 yards
PGA West - CareerBuilder Challenge (2016)  – Par 72, 7,300 yards
Whistling Straits - Straits Course – PGA Championship (2010 and 2015) – Par 72, 7,790 yards

As you can see, this week’s venue is on the longer side of Dye courses so we’ll focus a bit more on those who succeed on the longer layouts. That said, Dye uses the same type of visual chicanery on all of his courses, so the ability to play a Dye course is valuable this week no matter the length.

Recent Tournament History

Crooked Stick last hosted the BMW Championship in 2012 so we’ll certainly look at those results. We’ll also take a look at those golfers who have succeeded at other Dye courses on Tour. But, we don’t have a lot of course history to lean on this week.

Current Form Review

Each week, we’ll take look backwards at the last three tournaments on the PGA and European Tours.

Statistical Report

Where should we focus our statistical microscope this week?  

Par 5 Scoring Average (P5SA): With four par 5s, scoring will come from here as well. Three of the four are between 523 and 556 yards so we could focus on the range between 500 and 550 if we wanted to as well.

Par 4 Efficiency 450-500 yards (P4E450-500) – Seven of the ten par 4s are now between 454 and 497 yards with an eighth at 442 yards. We’ll need golfers who can score on these holes as well as stay out of trouble.

Strokes Gained Approach-the-Green (SG: APP) – This will be a second shot course again this week so we’ll go with SG: APP again. Recall that SG: APP is a part of SG: T2G so there is a bit of double counting going on here. For more on how SG: APP, check out this primer on all the Strokes Gained stats.

Finally, we’ll take a look at some other second shot stats as we focus on Efficiency from the Fairway > 200 yards (Eff>200: Fairway) and Efficiency from the Fairway between 175 and 200 yards (Eff175-200: Fairway). Thanks to one of our Twitter friends we see the importance those efficiency scores from 2012.

Our tiebreaker for the week is Performance on Pete Dye courses as provided by our friend Josh Culp. Not all Pete Dye courses are created equally, but there is something to be said for success on a Dye track.

I’m focused on 2016 stats of course, but will certainly refer to 2015 if needed.

And of course, we examine Strokes Gained: Putting (SG:P) and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green (SG:T2G) with more weight on SG:T2G again this week.

Weather Report

As always, check back on the weather Wednesday to see the final forecast. This week it looks like the weather will play a factor as thunderstorms are expected Friday throughout the day with the greatest chance in the morning. The wind will be up a little bit this week, but should still be manageable with the winds hovering between 10 to 15 mph each day except Sunday when conditions look calm. It’s a small field so the tourney could play around with tee times to avoid any weather issues.


Dustin Johnson $11,300

DJ finished T8 last week at the DBC, and that was even with firing a Saturday 75 sandwiched around a Friday and Sunday 66s. He finished T6 here in 2012 and is eighth in my statistical profile for the week (3rd in SG:T2G, 43rd in SG:P, 10th in P5SA, 2nd in P4E:400-450, 9th in P5E:500-550, 27th in SG:APP, 77th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 161st in Eff>200:Fairway). He needs to be considered as one of the favorites this week.

Adam Scott $10,200

The Aussie finished T6 at Crooked Stick in 2012 and looked primed for another top 10 run this week.  He's been putting on a clinic from tee to green the last few weeks including back to back fourth place finishes. He is second in my stats model this week (1st in SG:T2G, 124th in SG:P, 10th in P5SA, 16th in P4E:400-450, 13th in P5E:500-550, 1st in SG:APP, 2nd in Eff>200:Fairway and, 8th in Eff>200:Fairway). The putter is a concern, but he was 24th in the field last week in SG:P and that will get it done for Scott with his excellent tee to green game.

Louis Oosthuizen $9,300

Oosty finished T16 at the 2012 BMW Championship and comes in playing well with four straight top 25 finishes on Tour and a T8 last week. He's 19th in the model, but I'm going to have him higher on my list (20th in SG:T2G, 122nd in SG:P, 92nd in P5SA, 38th in P4E:400-450, 57th in P5E:500-550, 45th in SG:APP, 8th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 18th in Eff>200:Fairway).

Let’s take a look at the rest of the over $9,000 $8,000 crew – it's a bonus this week all for the same low price!  

Overweight – I like the golfer more than his price indicates I should, and I'll have him in a higher percentage of lineups than usual. The guys in the Studs section above are my core players in the upper salary range, but the overweight players here can also be used in that same way.

Neutral – The price is right. It’s the Goldilocks tier – not too high; not too low. The player looks to be priced reasonably given the risk, course history, current form, etc. I will have him in a representative number of lineups, but I won’t go heavy on any of them. Remember – this isn’t a fade. It means the price is fair, and he should be rostered this week.

Underweight – It’s not a complete fade, but I will have him in fewer lineups than one would expect. I rarely completely exclude a premium player, but if I play 20 lineups, I might have an underweight player in only one lineup some weeks. I certainly exclude some of the higher priced golfers some weeks, and I'll tell you when I will not use a golfer at all.

Rory McIlroy ($11,900) – Neutral (but be worried about ownership) - Well, that will do nicely. Rory looked like the Rory of the past last week as he had his struggles, but ultimately overcame them, the course and the field to win. His putter looked to be back in order, and if that's the case, he's going to be dangerous again this week where he is the "defending" champ from 2012. He's 9th in my model this week, but it hardly matters if he continues his hot putting again this week (2nd in SG:T2G, 93rd in SG:P, 1st in P5SA, 6th in P4E:400-450, 3rd in P5E:500-550, 48th in SG:APP, 10th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 184th in Eff>200:Fairway).

Jason Day ($11,600) – Underweight - Day is first in my model this week (16th in SG:T2G, 1st in SG:P, 3rd in P5SA, 16th in P4E:400-450, 6th in P5E:500-550, 30th in SG:APP, 1st in Eff>200:Fairway and, 4th in Eff>200:Fairway). However, he's struggled off the tee over the last couple of weeks which led to his T15 last week and kept him from winning The Barclays where he still finished T4.  He missed the 2012 edition of the BMW Championship.

Jordan Spieth ($10,500) – Slightly overweight (based on ownership projections) - Spieth didn't play here in 2012, but his game looks like it might finally be coming together. He's finished T13, T10, and T21 in his last three events and was one bad round away from a top five week. It's not clear if it will all come together this week, but it is close.  Speith is fourth in my model for the week (18th in SG:T2G, 3rd in SG:P, 10th in P5SA, 20th in P4E:400-450, 14th in P5E:500-550, 73rd in SG:APP, 15th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 59th in Eff>200:Fairway).

Justin Rose ($10,000) – Underweight - Rose won the BMW in 2011 and then backed that up with a T16 at Crooked Stick in 2012.  He's 18th in model (9th in SG:T2G, 113th in SG:P, 20th in P5SA, 110th in P4E:400-450, 123rd in P5E:500-550, 46th in SG:APP, 13th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 1st in Eff>200:Fairway) and it looks like he may be fully healthy. I do have some concern over his scoring numbers on the key par 4 distance this week.  He has not shown up well in the playoffs as he's finished T31 and T57 in the two events after winning gold in Rio.

Patrick Reed ($9,700) – Overweight (based on current form) - Is Reed the hottest player on Tour? Sure seems that way as he's been in the top 25 in his last eight worldwide events with seven top 15s including a win and T5 in his last two. He did not play Crooked Stick in 2012, but he's 13th in my model for the week (22nd in SG:T2G, 47th in SG:P, 10th in P5SA, 83rd in P4E:400-450, 2nd in P5E:500-550, 68th in SG:APP, 21st in Eff>200:Fairway and, 65th in Eff>200:Fairway).

Sergio Garcia ($9,500) – Underweight - Sergio finished T36 at the DBC last week in his first start since the Olympics. The event started off well for him with back to back 68s then he faltered to a 72-70 on the weekend. He's never seemed to take the FedEx Cup playoffs terribly seriously as he usually skips at least one event. He finished T24 at Crooked Stick in 2012 and is 11th in the field in terms of stats (10th in SG:T2G, 131st in SG:P, 36th in P5SA, 3rd in P4E:400-450, 76th in P5E:500-550, 32nd in SG:APP, 56th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 43rd in Eff>200:Fairway).

Hideki Matsuyama ($9,100) – Neutral (which is like overweight for me on Hideki) - So, what to do with Hideki. On the one hand, he has three top 15s in his last four events. On the other hand, he's missed four of his last eight cuts overall. He didn't tee it up here in 2012, but is 15th in the model (5th in SG:T2G, 128th in SG:P, 20th in P5SA, 96th in P4E:400-450, 68th in P5E:500-550, 3rd in SG:APP, 48th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 26th in Eff>200:Fairway). He's going to win a GPP for someone this week or torpedo a roster that could have been a contender.

Rickie Fowler ($8,900) - Fowler is third in terms of statistics this week, but does it matter? He's (7th in SG:T2G, 52nd in SG:P, 16th in P5SA, 10th in P4E:400-450, 29th in P5E:500-550, 41st in SG:APP, 19th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 38th in Eff>200:Fairway). However, he had just one top 20 in his last six events (T7 at The Barclays) and limped to a T46 last week. He also finished T41 here in 2012. Do you want to risk it on Fowler? The upside continues to be there, but the game isn't.

Phil Mickelson ($8,800) - Mickelson finished T2 at Crooked Stick in 2012, so he's going to be a popular choice again this week. His profile says he should succeed as well as he's fifth in the field (25th in SG:T2G, 2nd in SG:P, 16th in P5SA, 55th in P4E:400-450, 72nd in P5E:500-550, 12th in SG:APP, 5th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 16th in Eff>200:Fairway). The veteran comes off a missed cut at the DBC last week, and he wasn't close firing 75-72 to go home early.  Perhaps the time off will refresh him for the stretch run.

Ryan Moore ($8,700) - Moore has back to back top 10s to start the playoffs and has three top 10s in his last four events.  He also finished T10 at Crooked Stick in 2012 and has had other success at prior BMW venues.  He's not a great statistical fit, but his form's hard to pass up this week (40th in SG:T2G, 32nd in SG:P, 130th in P5SA, 46th in P4E:400-450, 161st in P5E:500-550, 35th in SG:APP, 146th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 12th in Eff>200:Fairway).

Bubba Watson ($8,600) - Watson may be popular this week based on his T12 showing here back in 2012. His profile is also solid outside of his putting (6th in SG:T2G, 163rd in SG:P, 5th in P5SA, 39th in P4E:400-450, 14th in P5E:500-550, 26th in SG:APP, 89th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 60th in Eff>200:Fairway). It's enough to put him 14th in the field this week when looking only at stats. The American bomber missed the cut last week after a string of three straight top 25s.

Emiliano Grillo ($8,500) – The Argentine makes his BMW debut this week in excellent form. He hasn’t missed a cut since THE PLAYERS (a Dye course) – a run of nine events in a row. He doesn’t fit the course statistically (53rd in SG:T2G, 107th in SG:P, 59th in P5SA, 91st in P4E:400-450, 37th in P5E:500-550, 62nd in SG:APP, 65th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 94th in Eff>200:Fairway). If you roster Grillo, it’s about current form, but there are certainly some red flags this week.

Gary Woodland ($8,400) - Woodland followed the DJ path last week as he shot 69-66-74-67 and if wasn't for that Saturday round he'd have been in contention to win as well. The American missed the event here in 2012 but has turned his game up in the playoffs with a T15 last week and T4 at The Barclays. Woodland is 12th in my model for the week (13th in SG:T2G, 105th in SG:P, 7th in P5SA, 29th in P4E:400-450, 52nd in P5E:500-550, 22nd in SG:APP, 18th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 139th in Eff>200:Fairway). If you want a cheaper DJ this week, then Woodland is your guy.

Paul Casey ($8,300) – Casey looked well on his way to a win last week and faltered on Sunday to finish second to Rory. He’s now made four cuts in a row with three top 20s in that run.  He’s 26th in the model this week, but his form means he’s certainly an option in both cash and GPPs (14th in SG:T2G, 79th in SG:P, 102nd in P5SA, 31st in P4E:400-450, 129th in P5E:500-550, 23rd in SG:APP, 92nd in Eff>200:Fairway and, 45th in Eff>200:Fairway).

Matt Kuchar ($8,200) - If it's a Pete Dye course, then Kuchar is on the radar. He finished T54 here in 2012, but his record on other Dye courses is impeccable. The Georgia Tech product is also seventh in my model for the week (19th in SG:T2G, 24th in SG:P, 42nd in P5SA, 27th in P4E:400-450, 49th in P5E:500-550, 52nd in SG:APP, 37th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 22nd in Eff>200:Fairway). However, since returning from the Olympics, he's finished T64 and T46 in the first two events of the playoffs and hasn't looked good.

Jimmy Walker ($8,100) - So, where did that come from last week? In his last six stroke play events, Walker has finished MC, MC, T14, WIN, MC, MC, third.  The Texan finished 64th here in 2012 and sits seventh in my stats model for the week (35th in SG:T2G, 35th in SG:P, 16th in P5SA, 19th in P4E:400-450, 5th in P5E:500-550, 9th in SG:APP, 14th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 105th in Eff>200:Fairway). The volatility in his results recently means he's an option for me in larger pools only.

Brooks Koepka ($8,000) – Koepka’s a bomber with some skills – kind of a Bubba Watson-lite. He’s 17th in my model (36th in SG:T2G, 21st in SG:P, 36th in P5SA, 87th in P4E:400-450, 69th in P5E:500-550, 84th in SG:APP, 43rd in Eff>200:Fairway and, 14th in Eff>200:Fairway). He’s made four cuts in a row, though his last two (T57 and T70) are nothing to get excited about.


It’s a bit different this week with a short field of 69 golfers and no cut so the steals section will be more a list than anything else.

Jhonattan Vegas $7,500

Scrolling through the top 10 in my stats model gives us names like Day, Spieth, McIlroy and….Vegas. Yes, Vegas. Vegas is 10th in the model this week (52nd in SG:T2G, 62nd in SG:P, 24th in P5SA, 11th in P4E:400-450, 34th in P5E:500-550, 100th in SG:APP, 11th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 18th in Eff>200:Fairway). He didn't play Crooked Stick in 2012, but has had success on Dye courses over his career and should be in all of your lineups this week. He's made seven straight cuts on Tour coming in with a win at the RBC Canadian Open.

Pivot plays: Tony Finau ($7,600) and bentgrass are like two peas in a pod. He always has to be considered when bentgrass is in play. He finished T10 at the 2015 PGA Championship though he missed the cut at the CareerBuilder this year. He's not a Dye-specialist and isn't a statistical fit (71st in SG:T2G, 108th in SG:P, 24th in P5SA, 70th in P4E:400-450, 46th in P5E:500-550, 127th in SG:APP, 32nd in Eff>200:Fairway and, 170th in Eff>200:Fairway). However, he's worth the risk in a no-cut event as his scoring stats are excellent.

If you have a couple hundred bucks more, you can go with either Daniel Berger ($7,800) or Russell Knox ($7,800) each for a different reason. Berger is an excellent statistical fit and Knox is in excellent form.

Zach Johnson ($7,300) is one of the short hitters who have had success here in the past as he finished T12 in 2012. Don't look past all of the short knockers especially one who loves bentgrass greens. His profile for this week ranks him 16th (85th in SG:T2G, 22nd in SG:P, 52nd in P5SA, 26th in P4E:400-450, 47th in P5E:500-550, 71st in SG:APP, 60th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 22nd in Eff>200:Fairway). The problem with Johnson is his current is far from elite as he hasn't finished inside the top 30 in his last five events though he has seen the weekend in all five. He had the same issues as Dustin Johnson, and Gary Woodland had as he bombed to a 77 on Saturday but otherwise was solid with rounds of 68, 70 and 68.

Justin Thomas ($7,300) – Thomas is a bit of a Dye-specialist even if his profile isn’t the best (51st in SG:T2G, 153rd in SG:P, 24th in P5SA, 142nd in P4E:400-450, 18th in P5E:500-550, 18th in SG:APP, 30th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 127th in Eff>200:Fairway). His last four events have resulted in T3, MC, T10, MC. That looks like a GPP option for me.

Below $7,000 is full of a lot of….blah. I imagine that the ownership levels will be pretty low here. However, here are a couple of options if you want to dip down here.

Jason Dufner ($6,900) – Dufner has had some success at Pete Dye courses especially at the Zurich Classic where he has two top-five finishes including a win in 2012.  Duf has made 11 cuts in a row and has finished in the top 25 in three of his last five starts. However, he’s one of the worst statistical fits for the course (17th in SG:T2G, 171st in SG:P, 52nd in P5SA, 86th in P4E:400-450, 64th in P5E:500-550, 17th in SG:APP, 156th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 159th in Eff>200:Fairway).

Chris Kirk ($6,600) – Kirk is just below Tony Finau in the stats this week which (50th in SG:T2G, 95th in SG:P, 117th in P5SA, 61st in P4E:400-450, 105th in P5E:500-550, 47th in SG:APP, 81st in Eff>200:Fairway and, 55th in Eff>200:Fairway). He’s alternated made and missed cuts over his last six events, but digging the depths here Kirk is an intriguing option as he was T5 at the Zurich this year and has an excellent record at THE PLAYERS.

William McGirt ($6,500) – I think I’m contractually obligated to mention McGirt each week. He's 24th in the model this week and it's again bolstered by his par 4 work (43rd in SG:T2G, 27th in SG:P, 92nd in P5SA, 37th in P4E:400-450, 102nd in P5E:500-550, 72nd in SG:APP, 64th in Eff>200:Fairway and, 42nd in Eff>200:Fairway).

Vegas Says…

This section focuses on “odds” players – those players whose odds vary the greatest on their DraftKings salaries. It's a quick way to find value. I use an aggregate of odds from various oddsmakers to come up with my valuation.

In the chart below, the average odds column shows my aggregated odds (rounded to the next whole number) to win the tournament. The value column shows the number of spots lower in salary than their odds to win imply. The full list is below, but I only care about those golfers priced at $7,000 or higher.


Feel free to take a gander at those folks that Vegas believes are overpriced based on their odds to win. In the chart below, the average odds column shows my aggregated odds (rounded to the next whole number) to win the tournament.

The value column shows the number of spots higher in salary than their odds to win imply. You shouldn’t always avoid players on this list, but it’s another data point to add to our analysis.

I don't worry too much about overpriced players below $7,000. The odds to win get tough to trust at that level and when you are spending that little on a player, a few spots in odds to win doesn't make a big difference.  I'll provide the full list but focus on those golfers priced at $7,000 or higher.

My Lineups for the BMW Championship

Studs and Scrubs              

Jason Dufner $6,900

Tony Finau $7,500

Dustin Johnson $11,300

William McGirt $6,500

Adam Scott $10,200

Jhonattan Vegas $7,500


Daniel Berger $7,800

Brooks Koepka $8,000

Louis Oosthuizen $9,300

Jhonattan Vegas $7,500

Bubba Watson $8,600

Gary Woodland $8,400

Stud Picks                         

Brooks Koepka $8,000

Adam Scott $10,200

Justin Thomas $7,300

Jhonattan Vegas $7,500

Bubba Watson $8,600

Gary Woodland $8,400

Rory McIlroy Picks            

Tony Finau $7,600

Brooks Koepka $8,000

William McGirt $6,500

Rory McIlroy $11,900

Jhonattan Vegas $7,500

Gary Woodland $8,400

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