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DFS Dish: Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside the Box for Your BMW Championship Lineup

As the PGA TOUR heads to the North Course at Olympia Fields Country Club for the BMW Championship, the biggest question is how many strokes Lucas Glover will win by in the season’s second playoff event. Okay…not really, but what Glover is doing is special.

The last time we saw Olympia Fields host a PGA TOUR event was in 2020 for the 70-man Playoffs event where Jon Rahm defeated Dustin Johnson in a sudden death playoff after both of them finished at 4 under. The course played quite difficult with only five players finishing under par for the week. Looking back at interview transcripts from that event, many players referenced the course’s major championship record and attributes. It was tough to hit fairways and tougher to hit greens in regulation.

The BMW Championship’s identity in recent years has been built on a more difficult brand of golf, rewarding elite ball-striking and short game. We’re likely to see more of the same with this renewal. With a greater degree of difficulty, we tend to see more variance on the leaderboard, but the cream tends to come to the top.

As with any week in DFS, we need to be aware of ownership projections. Finding high-upside, low-owned pivots will be essential in propelling your lineup to the top of a contest on DraftKings. Jordan Spieth was a perfect example of this idea last week on his way to a T6 finish at sub 10% ownership across most DraftKings contests.

Outside of ownership leverage, skillset stacking in DFS is worth consideration when we come to a course we don’t see all the time or have a lot of data on. The golf course played quite firm and fast in 2020. Olympia Fields has seen some rain recently, and there’s more projected for Monday and Tuesday. The small sample size and weather forecast could lead to Olympia Fields playing in favor of one type of player over another. Building DFS lineups centered around a “particular set of skills” (shout out “Taken”) is another way to differentiate in larger contests. For example, in 2020 the players were talking about how important it was to hit fairways at Olympia Fields in their pre-tournament press conferences. Well, the top five finishers that week averaged 46% of fairways hit. The field average was 58%. Had you stacked bombers with no regard to fairways, you may have landed on a winning combo of Rahm, DJ, Finau, and others that finished near the top of the leaderboard.

Moral of the story – don’t be afraid to pivot. Don’t be afraid to zig when everyone else says zag. Let’s get to a few plays to consider in your DraftKings DFS lineups.

Picks (Pat & Ben)

So you thought it was tough last week to differentiate your lineup? Now try it with 20 fewer players in the field! It will be no easy task to create a unique and winning DFS lineup for the PGA TOUR’s penultimate event. However, don’t overthink things. With so few players, the definition of “chalk” changes a little, and playing “chalky” guys becomes unavoidable to some extent.

Rory McIlroy is the most expensive player in this field for obvious reasons. When setting lineups, it often feels like playing the priciest player is a zero-sum game. That theory changes a little in fields where we know the ownership will be tighter with fewer players to contend against. McIlroy is knocking on the door to win almost every single week and has shown no signs of slowing down. You won’t get any leverage rostering Mcllroy, but with his high percentage implied odds to win, it’s even scarier to fully fade him. We can find ownership leverage further down the DFS pricing.

A fan favorite for his unique course temperament, Tyrrell Hatton could be squeezed out in terms of “popular plays” in the low $9K range on DraftKings this week. With Lucas Glover (and possibly Sungjae Im) enticing plenty of love around him, could Hatton see even lower ownership than his 14% average ownership last week on the way to a T43 finish? Hatton sits 26th in the FedEx Cup standings. He’s likely to play the TOUR Championship in Atlanta next week. However, it’s not entirely impossible that he drops out of the top 30. The motivation is there as he’d love to improve his position drastically heading into the finals.

Hatton is longer than many realize off the tee, and his iron play has been the best of his career this season. He struggled on those grainy Bermuda greens last week, but likely welcomes the pure Bentgrass surfaces of Olympia Fields. He finished 16th out of 70 in 2020. As good as he’s been all season, it’s likely he was just knocking the rust off in Memphis. Hatton offers winning upside at just $9K and likely sub-15% ownership in a field of 50.

Byeong Hun An continues to have a very sneaky comeback year. Similar to Lucas Glover, An was always known as a flusher with a perpetually cold putter. Don’t look now, but he’s gained strokes putting in five straight events. He’s also fourth on TOUR this year in SG: Around-the-Green, which will be critical on a tough golf course this week. He’s also gained strokes off the tee in 14 straight events.

While An was on the Korn Ferry Tour, he added some nice distance gains. His approach play has been somewhat boom or bust this season, but in his last six events he’s gained strokes on Approach twice, finishing in the top 3 both times. A poor Sunday round was the only thing that held him back from sneaking up and stealing Lucas Glover’s thunder at the Wyndham Championship. We absolutely love him this week at $7500 on DraftKings. Byeong Hun An just seems to be coming to a boil. He’s 38th in the FedEx Cup standings and needs a strong finish to continue his comeback season at East Lake.

Source : PGA Tour