The PGA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each week’s slate, using the Fantasy Labs Tools and other industry metrics to highlight notable golfers.
The first round of the FedEx Cup Playoffs has come to an end, and now we have a no-cut event up next. With no cut involved, that can lead to more flexibility in roster construction without the fear of losing golfers after Friday.
Let’s get right into it.
I did a full breakdown of the course. Check it out.
Key metrics: Par-5 scoring, proximity from 175+ yards, birdie or better scoring, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.
And as usual, I like Long-Term (LT) and Recent Adjusted Round Score (Adj Rd Score) as catch-all metrics.
DFS Breakdown for 2019 BMW Championship
Justin Thomas ($10,000 DraftKings; $11,500 FanDuel) is the first guy that will be on my roster. His approach game has been on fire, gaining at least 4.5 strokes on approach in each of his last four tournaments and ranking fourth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over his last 24 rounds.
The length of Medinah Country Club shouldn’t be an issue for Thomas, and he should be able to capitalize on the par 5s since he leads the field with -6.0 adjusted strokes on them over the past 75 weeks.
Joaquin Niemann ($7,300 DraftKings; $8,700 FanDuel) is relatively long off the tee with his 305.4-yard Long-Term Driving Distance (LT DD), and even though his -3.7 adjusted strokes on par 5s doesn’t jump off the page, Niemann has been solid all-around.
Over his last 24 rounds, Niemann ranks 10th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. Additionally, the long approach shots should set up well for him since he ranks 11th in proximity from 200-plus yards over his last 50 rounds.
Collin Morikawa ($7,900 DraftKings; $9,500 FanDuel) gave us a scare last week with his slow start but still made the cut. While he finished in 52nd, I’m still going to plug him this week since his price decreased $600 on DraftKings.
He’s in excellent form with his field-best 67.8 recent Adj Rd Score, and over his last 24 rounds, he ranks fourth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking.
Starting your rosters with Thomas, Niemann, Morikawa, leaves you with $8,267 per player to fill out your roster, which allows for a good amount of flexibility.
Bryson DeChambeau ($8,300 DraftKings; $10,000 FanDuel) is reasonably cheap on DraftKings, priced as the No. 18 golfer but has the 13th-best LT Adj Rd Score. His 0.5 eagles and 15.9 birdies per tournament over the last 75 weeks are also top-eight marks in the field.
For a short hitter, Chez Reavie ($7,000 DraftKings; $8,100 FanDuel) still has some appeal. He ranks eighth in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over his last 24 founds, and surprisingly, he ranks 11th and second in proximity from 175-200 and 200-plus yards over the same time frame.
Jim Furyk ($6,700 DraftKings; $7,900 FanDuel) won’t jump off the page with his scoring metrics, but he’s good with his long irons, ranking 17th in proximity from 200-plus yards.
Rostering Furyk and Reavie together could be an excellent way to start a stars-and-scrubs approach to roster builds for tournaments. With no cut this week, all three of these guys are cash-game viable as well.
- Rory McIlroy ($11,500 DraftKings; $12,100 FanDuel) is probably the best play on the board. He’s dominated par 4s and par 5s, averaging -1.2 and -5.7 adjusted strokes on them over the past 75 weeks. He also does well on long approach shots given he ranks eighth and 20th in proximity from 175-200 and 200-plus yards out over his last 50 rounds.
- Patrick Cantlay ($9,800 DraftKings; $11,200 FanDuel) led the field in birdies last week, and he ranks first in proximity from 175-200 yards over his previous 50 rounds.
- Adam Scott ($9,200 DraftKings; $10,900 FanDuel) is coming off a fifth-place finish last week, and he’s an excellent fit for this course, averaging -4.8 adjusted strokes on par 5s and ranking third in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking over his last 24 rounds.
- Xander Schauffele ($8,600 DraftKings; $10,500) burned people last week, but without a cut this week and a $300 drop in price, he’s worth a look with his strong off-the-tee game. He lost 2.5 strokes putting at the Northern Trust, so if he can turn that around, he could bounce back.
- Paul Casey ($8,400 DraftKings; $10,100 FanDuel) has averaged -5.2 adjusted strokes on par 5s over the past 75 weeks, and over his last 24 rounds, he leads the field in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking. I’ve already placed an outright on Casey to win this tournament, which you can see in the Action App.
- Hideki Matsuyama ($8,200 DraftKings; $9,900 FanDuel) is too cheap at this price. He’s one of eight golfers in this field who’ve gained strokes on par 3s, 4s and 5s over the last 75 weeks. Additionally, he ranks sixth in proximity from 200-plus yards out.
- Jason Kokrak’s ($7,800 DraftKings; $9,100 FanDuel) 0.5 eagles and 14.1 birdies per tournament is among the highest marks in this price range. It also doesn’t hurt that he ranks fifth in proximity from 175-200 yards over his last 50 rounds.
- Byeong-Hun An ($7,400 DraftKings; $8,300 FanDuel) has a solid 68.1 recent Adj Rd Score and has averaged -5.0 adjusted strokes on par 5s over the last six weeks. We also have the benefit of not having to worry about him missing the cut due to his atrocious putting.
I guess I’ll have to single out Phil Mickelson ($6,500 DraftKings; $7,800 FanDuel) for the second week in a row since his -2.9 adjusted strokes on par 5s is the worst mark in the field, and he ranks 69th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 64th in proximity from 175-200 yards.
Brandt Snedeker ($8,100 DraftKings; $9,200 FanDuel) isn’t known for his ball-striking, he’s more of a short-game specialist with an excellent putter. I’d be cautious of targeting him on a course that’s over 7,600 yards in length.
Over his last 50 rounds on courses that are over 7,400 yards, he ranks just 65th in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 66th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.
The long approach shots could give Sneds some trouble considering he ranks 42nd in proximity from 175-200 yards and 68th from 200-plus yards out. With less than 70 players in this field, most of those metrics rank almost last.
Note: Strokes Gained and efficiency data via Fantasy National.
Photo credit: Joaquin Niemann
Pictured: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports