Coming off a week hiatus, the PGA Tour returns for the third leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs – the BMW Championship at Conway Farms. At this point in the playoffs, enough players have been eliminated that the field is nice and tight, with nothing but the best on hand. Here are some names you can consider from every price range as you begin looking at your roster construction options for the weekend.
Jordan Spieth ($11,800) – He came into the playoffs third in points, and has moved into the #1 slot without a win, which has never happened before. He’s done it with back-to-back second place finishes, but he’ll be looking to improve on that in Illinois this weekend. He has finished inside the top-20 here in both of his other two visits, and is really just going to be looking for more of the same, and who can blame him, considering he is third in Birdie-or-Better % while playing his typically conservative and error-free brand of golf.
Jon Rahm ($10,500) – Rahm went through some up and down periods this season, but he has shown in his season-and-a-half on Tour that he has the ability to score with the very best shotmakers in the game. That ability has come through in a big way down the stretch, with a T3 and a T4 in the first two legs of the playoffs. He has had seven rounds in the sixties, and at TPC Boston he led the field in Strokes Gained (SG): Tee-to-Green and SG: Putting. If he can keep up both of those stats again this weekend, he will be primed for a breakthrough win.
Justin Thomas ($10,300) – Thomas secured his fifth win of the season, and his second in three weeks when he took down the title at the Dell Technologies Championship two weeks ago. That win was on the heels of a win at the PGA Championship and a T6 at The Northern Trust wedged in between. He won in Boston by three strokes, jumping on the field with his Sunday round of 63 and closing strong with a 66 on Monday. Obviously, if he maintains form, you aren’t going to be disappointed that you have him on your roster in any format. He played this course once before, back in 2015, and finished T13, so the course should not be presenting any particular problem for him to overcome.
Paul Casey ($9,200) – With top-15 showings now in six straight, and top-fives in five straight FedEx Cup Playoff events, he has shown that he has his game in good shape right now and that his game is good enough to compete with anyone in the world. At enough of a discount from the most expensive options to make building the rest of your roster seem easy, he’s a solid building block choice in any format contest.
Patrick Cantlay ($8,600) – For a first trip to the playoffs, a T10 and a T13 in the first two events can only be described as a smashing success, but Cantlay doesn’t want to be done now after building himself a nice spot at #41 in the FedEx Cup rankings despite playing in only 11 tournaments this season. He has come back from his extended absence now with four straight made cuts and having saved his two best performances for last (at least so far). With 25 birdies against just twelve bogeys, Cantlay is playing almost mistake-free golf right now, as evidenced by his Greens in Regulation Percentage (GIR ) from TPC Boston, which led the field at over 87.
Justin Rose ($8,500) – After finishing T10 in each of the first two events of the playoffs, Rose has moved up to 17th in the official FedEx Cup standings, putting himself in a position to move on to East Lake with even just a reasonable showing this weekend. And he wants to go to East Lake, where he has had plenty of success in the past, so look for him to build on the momentum he’s built over the last few weeks and make a run at the top of the leaderboard. With the shape his game is in, it’s certainly possible, as he is currently inside the top-25 in both GIR % and Putts per GIR – always a nice combination.
Matt Kuchar ($8,200) – Quite possibly the steadiest fantasy option of the summer, he might not have as much upside as every other player on tour, he has had to “settle” for seven top-10s on the year after his T10 at The Northern Trust. He has eight top-20 showings in his last nine tournaments, giving you the consistency of a strict cash game option with real upside. I would want him in my lineup even for a good bit more money than this price tag, which for me is a great litmus test to help identify value.
Kevin Na ($7,900) – Always a streaky player, he can actually record a win over the stiffest of competition after coming from out of nowhere. And he is coming out of nowhere right now, with a T4 at the Wyndham Championship and a T6 at the Dell Technologies Championship, with a T29 at The Northern Trust sandwiched between.
Marc Leishman ($7,700) – He’s third in GIR % over the first two rounds of the playoffs, which translated into a solo third place finish at the Dell Technologies Championship, after just missing the cut at The Northern Trust. He actually shared the lead with Thomas after 54 holes and fell apart on the back nine on Sunday. After three rounds in the sixties, he was probably disappointed with the way it ended, but his fantasy owners were not after watching him lead the field with 23 birdies on the weekend.
Pat Perez ($7,600) – Coming off a T6 in Boston, he now has five straight made cuts, and has found himself sitting 10th in total FedEx Cup points, very likely meaning we will see him both this weekend and next, at East Lake. He shot 72-67-67-67 to earn that T6 two weeks ago, shooting over par on just four holes all weekend long. If he can keep up that kind of performance again this weekend, he could extend his run of success straight through to the end of the season.
Rafael Cabrera-Bello ($7,100) – He closed out the Dell Technologies Championship with a final round of 65, bringing his final standing up to T18. With 17 birdies, though, he was about as useful a fantasy option as you’re going to find that deep on the leaderboard, finishing the weekend with 80.0 fantasy points. He had a nice stretch in the middle of this summer that culminated with a T4 at The Open Championship, and as one of the best putters on tour when he gets hot (seventh in SG: Putting), he has a chance to outperform his price on any given weekend.
Xander Schauffele ($6,900) – In your bigger tournament lineups, sometimes you just need to dig a bit, and Schauffele is one of the only players at this price point who can boast that he made the cut in each of the first two legs of the playoffs. After finishing inside the top-20 (T17) at The Northern Trust, he ended up T53 at Boston. But even in Boston, his 11 birdies and eagle made him a useful enough fantasy option. If he could have avoided a few big holes during his round of 74 on Friday he would have had a chance at a much higher finish. He has been right around the top-30 in scoring on tour all summer long, and while he likely won’t do enough to make it to East Lake, he could do enough to help out your fantasy squad.
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