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PGA DFS: Vegas Report - The BMW Championship


Welcome back to the PGA DFS: Vegas Report. What a start to the FedExCup playoffs for Bryson DeChambeau! With the victory at the Dell Technologies Championship, the 24-year-old has captured back-to-back wins during the first two events of the playoffs, and regardless of how he performs this weekend in Pennsylvania, he has solidified the top position for the Tour Championship. DeChambeau's 16-under par at TPC Boston edged second-place finisher Justin Rose by two strokes.

Patrick Cantlay, our pick to win, finished in a share of 24th place, and our top sleeper choices of Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth and Tyrrell Hatton each concluded the tournament in a share of 12th place. Overall, the Dell Technologies Championship was a nice bounce back from the Northern Trust the week prior. All six outright bets made the cut, and five of the six finished in the top-25. On an even brighter note, our head-to-head bet of Jason Kokrak -105 over Charles Howell -115 locked us up a winning week at TPC Boston.

The purpose of the PGA DFS: Vegas Report is to take a look at both outright value bets and head-to-head wagers being offered for the given tournament. Our goal is to not only provide winners but also help to find value from both DFS and betting related standpoints. With our outright wagers, we will try to pinpoint the best positive equity bets of the week, and in the process, we hope this presents attractable DFS plays for you to consider. With our head-to-head bets, we will be looking at the most lopsided line of the week. This should also help to navigate some of the "who should I start?" questions from a DFS mentality. With that in mind, let's take a look at some value plays we will be targeting at the BMW Championship.

For a full review of the DraftKings PGA Slate this weekend, check out Seth Finkelstein's column reviewing picks at every price point.

And for a more in-depth breakdown of the top DraftKings and Fanduel plays, check out Joe Nicely's weekly "Horse For The Course" column that highlights the best fits for the week's course.

Editor's Note: Our friends at Fantasy National have built some incredible DFS Golf lineup tools including a Lineup Optimizer, Stat Engine, Ownership Projections and Course Breakdowns. They are by far the best daily fantasy Golf tools in the industry. Seriously. You can read all about them here and see screenshots. 

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2018 BMW Championship - Aronimink Golf Club - 7,267 Yards - Par 70 - Greens Bentgrass.

Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania will play host to the final FedExCup playoff event before the season finale Tour Championship. The top 69 golfers (Daniel Berger withdrawal) will get their last opportunity to try and crack the top 30 of the yearly FedExCup standings. There are no more cut lines, so barring any more last-minute departures, everyone in the field will get a chance to play all four rounds this weekend.

Aronimink is a Donald Ross design but has been touched up by Gil Hanse over the last decade. The course was last seen in action during the 2010 and 2011 AT&T National. However, since that time, Hanse has restored the Ross design to its original roots. Fairways have been expanded by 20 percent to focus on width and angles, and greens have also been increased back to their original size.

One of the most prominent parts of Hanse's restoration was returning the bunkers to their original form. Ross was a major proponent of having many small sand traps scattered throughout the venue, and Hanse did a fabulous job of not only adding 100 extra bunkers to the facility but managing to keep the dimensions similar to the total width of the course taken up by the sand.

Long irons will be very important this week with four par-fours stretching over 455 yards and three of the par-threes playing over 220 yards. The rest of the holes will most likely generate wedge opportunities, so there is an excellent variety for the players this week. The course is 30 yards longer than it was in 2011 and will provide a lengthy par 70 test.

Pick to Win

Tiger Woods (26/1, DK Price $9,200, FD Price $11,300)

There is a name that I never thought I would see myself picking this season. I do have extreme trepidation of not selecting Jordan Spieth this weekend, but I am going to start my card off with Tiger Woods instead.

Woods has found most of his success this season when a couple of factors have come into play. For starters, limiting potential danger off the tee has been vital. The width of the fairways have been increased by 20 percent since the last time an event was played here, and Woods should find the extra room for error to work ideally for his game. The 42-year-old has also has shown some life with his driver over the previous two tournaments, gaining strokes compared to the field in both of those events.

The more spacious fairways will give the American less concern, but another critical factor for Woods' success will be the fact that he does not have to hit driver on every hole at Aronimink. Some of the long par-fours will demand him to pull the big stick out of the bag, but Woods should be able to use whatever he wants off of most of his tee shots. The course is all about angles and positioning, which should give Tiger a massive advantage over most other competitors.

Woods' iron play has been outstanding throughout his comeback, and he is ranked fourth on tour in strokes gained approach for the season and 12th in his previous 100 rounds compared to the field in proximity from over 200 yards. At this point, all he needs is for his driver and putter to work together during the same week and he could find himself back in the winner's circle. The 79-time PGA Tour winner comes into the week as the 11th most expensive player on DraftKings and eighth highest priced player on FanDuel. Woods is going to be one of the most popular players on DFS sites, but I believe this is his best opportunity he has had all season of capturing his first title since 2013.

Sleepers

Jon Rahm (33/1, DK Price $8,900, FD Price $10,500)

Jon Rahm comes into an event that features only 69 players, and he is priced at 33/1, sign me up for that every single time! The young Spaniard has won five times worldwide in just 60 events, and this number is remarkably inflated based off of his "poor performances" at the Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship.

I put the phrase "poor performances" in quotations because it is a bit of an incredulous statement. Sure, Rahm posted dubious results by missing the cut at the Northern Trust and only provided a share of 43rd place at the Dell Technologies Championship, but the 23-year-old can blame his results on astonishingly poor putting performances. Rahm has been a streaky putter over the duration of his young career, but he hasn't been a poor putter.

The fifth-ranked player in the world has quite often rebounded from poor putting displays and followed it up with one of his better putting weeks of the season. Over the last two week's, Rahm has lost a combined 7.8 strokes on the greens compared to the field and has gained strokes off of the tee in both occurrences. Putting will come and go throughout the season and even throughout tournaments, and I would rather see the players I am targeting striking the ball well and waiting on their short stick to catch up to their games. Rahm is just the 13th most expensive player on DraftKings and a shocking 16th on FanDuel. Despite his cheap price tag across the board, Rahm should come in very lowly owned because of his previous two results. Usually, I wouldn't love recommending Rahm as a cash-game play, but the no-cut feature should make him playable across the board.

Henrik Stenson (55/1, DK Price $7,600, FD Price, $10,300)

Henrik Stenson's health does make him a risky proposition this weekend at Aronimink Golf Club, but his outright number has become so egregiously priced that I am willing to take a shot on him at 55/1. The Swede had to pull out of the opening FedExCup playoff event because of lingering elbow pain, which has been causing him discomfort for over a month. He enters the final tournament before the Tour Championship in 60th position and has one last chance to try and crack the top 30 of the standings if he wants to make it to East Lake again.

Despite concerns of where Stenson's game is currently at, he has been very dependable from a statistical standpoint. The 42-year-old has gained strokes tee to green, off the tee and with his approach shots in his previous nine trackable events compared to the field, and the only real bugaboo holding him back has been his poor putting stroke as of late. Stenson has lost at least four strokes on the greens in his previous four events, which is an inordinate amount of strokes for anyone to give away to the field on a weekly basis, and it seems even more extreme that is coming from an above average putter.

The five-time PGA Tour stroke-play winner has been incredible on tracks designed by Ross or Hanse in his career. Three of his five wins on American soil have come on their courses, and he has posted at least a second place finish in his previous four tournaments on Ross designs. Stenson comes into the BMW Championship as the 30th highest priced player on DraftKings. His injury concerns make him unplayable in cash-games, but his low ownership presents him as an incredibly intriguing GPP option.

Bubba Watson (70/1, DK Price $7,600, FD Price $10,000)

Bubba Watson could be the most forgotten about golfer on the PGA Tour this weekend. No player in 2018 has more wins than he does (three) and yet his counterparts who have won the same amount of titles on the season all come in as top-six favorites on the betting board. Dustin Johnson is the tournament favorite at 8/1, Justin Thomas is tied for the third betting choice at 14/1 and Bryson DeChambeau is the fifth betting option at 16/1.

Watson opened as high as 80/1 at some books, but this number has been quickly dropping. The 39-year-old just posted a share of seventh place at the Dell Technologies Championship and is a player that has faired very well on venues designed by Donald Ross. In Watson's last five appearances on Ross designed courses, he has finished no worse than 14th place and has accumulated three top-fives in the process. Most of these results have come during the season finale Tour Championship, but Watson has been in the thick of things each time he has teed it up.

In theory, the American should find the widened fairways to suit his game, and with the FedExCup title still up for grabs and the Ryder Cup on the horizon, Watson should be motivated for an end of the season surge. The 13th-ranked player in the world is the 30th highest priced option on DraftKings, 22nd on FanDuel and 28th in the betting market. Just like Jon Rahm, the no-cut feature makes the 12-time PGA Tour winner playable across the board, but he is best utilized as a strong GPP contrarian option.

Kevin Na (115/1, DK Price $7,200, FD Price $8,600)

Kevin Na's missed cut at the Dell Technologies Championship will draw a lot of DFS players off of him this weekend, but the 42nd-ranked player in the world should not be overlooked at a venue that will suit his game. Despite the missed cut at TPC Boston, Na is still expected to garner close to 10 percent projected ownership, but that percentage would have been much higher if he wasn't entering the week off of a missed cut.

Na performs best when he can put his drives into the fairway, hit long irons into the hole and hope to get hot with his putter. An excellent corollary course to Aronimink would be Sedgefield Country Club, another Donald Ross designed venue. In the American's previous two appearances at Sedgefield Country Club, he has posted two top-10 finishes, including a share of fourth place last season.

You always have to worry about Na's ability to close out the tournament once we get late into Sunday, but he was able to secure a victory at the Military Tribute at the Greenbrier just six events ago. He enters the week ranked 23rd in the FedExCup race and will need a win here and a little help from the current top five in the standings if he wants to have an opportunity to secure a top five position heading into the Tour Championship and control his destiny at East Lake.

 

Bonus Bomb

Byeong Hun An (140/1, DK Price $7,100, FD Price $8,800)

Byeong Hun An has been fantastic with his iron play over his previous 13 trackable tournaments. The South Korean golfer has gained strokes with his approach shots in 11 of his last 13 events, and it has just been a matter of him inserting some mediocre putting rounds into the fray if he wants to compete.

At 140/1, An's lack of results on the greens can be dismissed. We are primarily looking for a player that is capable of stringing together birdie looks and hope that we see some positive regression with their putting form. It remains likely that the 26-year-old will continue to struggle with his short stick in Pennsylvania, but An's best putting surface has been bentgrass greens. A bonus bomb pick should provide some volatility, and I believe the 46th-ranked player perfectly fits the mold. Aside from being ranked 46th in the world, An also comes into the week ranked 46th in the FedExCup standings and 144 points behind Gary Woodland, who is currently holding the final Tour Championship position. It seems likely that An will need a top-15 finish if he wants to secure a spot at East Lake, but he may end up needing an even better result than that when all is said and done.

Head-to-Head Play of the Week

Our head-to-head play of the week will return in two weeks at the Tour Championship. The no-cut feature of the BMW Championship mixed with some of the uncertainty of Aronimink will have us save our money for another day. Sometimes not betting is the positive equity play, so that is what we will do this week. Good luck to everyone at the BMW Championship and hopefully we can hit another outright winner!

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Premium DFS Golf Tools and Lineup Optimizer

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