2023 BMW Championship PGA DFS Fades & Pivots: Collin Morikawa Makes Sense as a Leverage Target

The BMW Championship is a 50-man field and includes just a few true stragglers, making it a tough one to gauge from a PGA DFS and betting standpoint. Lucas Glover provided a peek into how momentum can play a role in determining finishing places in the playoffs, as he rode his Wyndham Championship victory into his first-ever playoff victory at the FedEx St. Jude last week. This week’s event does mark a drastic change in venue, with Olympia Fields coming into play for the first time since 2020. Olympia Fields yielded few birdies that year, as the winner can home at just 4 under. With the longer setup, the focus will be more on big hitters and players who drive it extremely well, but also keep in mind that one good week can often lead to more scrutiny now that the playoffs are here.

Below we will go through some of the best under-the-radar pivot plays at various price points for the BMW Championship. We will also look at some names that are perhaps trending too hot in the ownership department and may warrant a fade in larger GPPs. As always, we will use Stokastic’s PGA DFS projections and PGA DFS ownership projections to help make our decisions for the fade/pivot list at the BMW Championship.

PGA DFS Fades & Pivots | BMW Championship

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Olympia Fields Stats and Info

  • Par 70; will play at 7,363 yards with smaller bentgrass/poa greens. Green-in-regulation percentages were 5% to 10% lower than the tour average at both the 2003 U.S. Open and the 2022 BMW Championship.
  • Fairway accuracy was also extremely low at this course in 2020. Strokes gained off the tee were vital for the playoff combatants that week, as Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm both gained over three strokes off the tee.
  • There are at least five par 4’s that will play over 450 yards and a couple of very long par 3’s.
  • Distance played well here in 2020, and players who are long and straight off the tee will have a chance to significantly cut down the distance of this venue by using proper angles off the tee.

2023 BMW Championship PGA DFS Fades and Pivots

High-Range PGA DFS Fade: Viktor Hovland
Projected DFS Golf Ownership at DraftKings: 15.7%

Hovland was by no means a disaster last week, as he grabbed a share of 13th place against a tough field. While some were expecting him to challenge for the win, he could not quite keep the momentum rolling on Sunday after a great weekend. He also played well at Olympia Fields in 2020 but comes into this week pushing 15% ownership or more. It is a pretty big number given all of the talent around him, and perhaps one that is not completely justified either. Hovland actually lost strokes off the tee last week — a part of the game that will be huge given the setup — and any kind of continued struggle with that club could get him in trouble at the long Olympia Fields. He makes for a solid fade whose price justifies being underweight.

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High-Range Pivot: Collin Morikawa
Projected DFS Golf Ownership at DraftKings: 11.1%

Morikawa could not quite get himself directly in front of or directly behind Lucas Glover last week, but the start was still a small success for Morikawa, nonetheless. He gained strokes putting for the fourth time in five starts and continued his dominance off the tee, gaining over 1.9 strokes in the category for the fifth week in a row. He does have some experience playing Olympia Fields, as he finished 20th at this venue in 2020 and also had success on it in college. Coming in with just 11% PGA DFS ownership projections, he’s going to be quite a bit less owned than Viktor Hovland, who lost multiple strokes off the tee in Memphis and could only manage a tie for 13th. Given the bigger ownership gap and the fact Morikawa rates out as the better value play on Stokastic, he is a solid pivot option to build with at the top of the salary structure on DraftKings.

Mid-Range PGA DFS Fade: Brian Harman
Projected DFS Golf Ownership at DraftKings: 19.8%

Harman returned to action last week after winning the Open and promptly put on a mediocre display of golf, grabbing a share of 31st place in Memphis. Concerning was the fact that he lost strokes on approach and around the greens last week, two areas that helped him immensely win the Open in July. Harman’s one bad outing seemingly has not changed the sentiment on him much, as he is still pushing to be near 20% owned, but the fact this is a longer, water-heavy golf course makes this a highly variable spot for Harman. At his current valuation, this looks like a good opportunity to fade the Open winner and look elsewhere.

Mid-Range Pivot: Cameron Young
Projected DFS Golf Ownership at DraftKings: 9.7%

Maybe the hoopla with Young has finally worn off. Normally, if he had been priced in the mid-$8,000 range in an event like this, Young would be pushing 20% owned and one of the chalkiest plays. However, given that he bombed out early of the 3M Open and then only managed a 31st-place finish last week, fewer PGA DFS players will choose him at these levels. He fits the course well from a setup angle, as his prowess off the tee should help him in bunches. Given that both Rahm and Johnson went head-to-head at this venue in 2020, one has to think about the potential upside for Young, who ranks on Stokastic with sub-10% PGA DFS ownership projections. The PGA DFS projections also show Young as one of the better pivot options at these low ownership levels, with one of the best value scores of anyone over $8,400. It is a good time to think about pivoting to Young if in need of a lower-owned upside play in the $9,000 range.

Low-Range PGA DFS Fade: Eric Cole
Projected DFS Golf Ownership at DraftKings: 15.3%

Cole had a decent enough result last week, taking a share of 31st at the more technical TPC Southwind, a course that plays to his strengths given how important scrambling and approaches are there. The tide changes for him, however, on the longer Olympia Fields, where the rough will be thicker and off the tee play becomes more vital. Cole is neither long nor straight with the driver and has lost strokes off the tee in seven of his last eight starts on the PGA. This makes him a liability in many ways, and with PGA DFS ownership projections on him approaching 15% or more, fading him and the potential disaster of him driving poorly again makes sense.

Low-Range Pivot: Harris English
Projected DFS Golf Ownership at DraftKings: 10.0%

English may not have played well to start last week, but he finished nicely, rounding out his tournament with a bogey-free 67. English is still projected to be quite low-owned at around 10% flat but has a much better track record than Cole of playing in tough scoring conditions — which are expected this week. English has finished top 10 at the U.S. Open three times over the last four seasons and has more distance off the tee than Cole as well, who struggles mightily in that area at times. Despite their prices being nearly the same, it looks like Cole is getting a lot more love for some reason. However, it is actually English that makes sense to go back to in PGA DFS, especially as a lower-owned pivot off Cole.

Geoff Ulrich
Author

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