When I first looked at DraftKings salaries for this week's BMW Championship, I was pretty shocked to see the movement at the top. This entire year, Jordan Spieth has been essentially matchup proof. Not that his results have warranted a move from the top spot, but ultimately it is a testament to how well his game travels.
I'll say it before and I'll say it again, putting trumps all. It is with this in mind, that Jason Day's reign at the top will NOT be "Short Like Leprechaun". He checks in this week with the top salary of $12,600, followed by Rory McIlroy at $12,100, Jordan Speith at $11,600 and Henrick Stenson at $11,400.
There is then a $700 jump down to Ricky Fowler at $10,700, followed by Dustin Johnson at $10,400, Bubba Watson at $10,200 and Jim Fuyrk at $10,000.
That $700 jump represents the biggest salary gap throughout the entire player pool. Salary gaps indicate one of two things. Either a significant difference in average points or average percentage owned.
Ricky Fowler has averaged 71.5 points per tournament, while Henrick Stenson has averaged 85.8 points per tournament.
From strictly an average PP$ perspective, Stenson is the superior play(7.50 PP$) over Fowler (6.67 PP$) if we believe both will produce their average result this week. There is also an average percentage owned factor to consider, although at their current pricing I don't think it favors one player over the next. This is a raw score, but it is also enhanced by the fact that Fowler missed 4 of 19 cuts, while Stenson did not miss any. This would be something to consider in any regular PGA event, but with no cut this week, it shouldn't factor in your decision making. If we remove the four missed cuts from Fowler's average, we then return an average of (82.5).
The revised PP$ scores would be Stenson (7.50 PP$) and Fowler (7.71 PP$), thus favoring Fowler within the context of the BMW championship.
Fowler has three wins on the year, all in high profile events with some really strong fields. Stenson has three runner up finishes, including the first two Fed Ex Cup events. In two of those three runner ups, Stenson was in the driver seat on the back nine on Sunday and let the tournament slip through his fingers. He's been very good at closing out tournaments throughout his career, but I'd be lying if I said his shaky rounds on Sunday didn't concern me.
The last thing I question before putting a player into my lineup is "what are the chances he wins this week, and is he capable of winning?
Fowler and Stenson are both "capable" of winning, however I would give Fowler the advantage at this point based on the way he is attacking the course on Sundays. He wasn't handed his wins, he had to come back on Sunday and on two of the occasions, birdie the 18th to win. There is certainly something to be said for Stenson's play this this year, despite the fact that he is lacking a win. He's made the cut in all the tournaments he's played as well as top 10's in half of those events. He's finished runner up in 20% of his tournaments and has the third highest average points (85.8) behind only Jason Day (93.0) and Jordan Speith (87.4) who both have four wins apiece.
It is a tough decision because both are returning great value for owners, but when push comes to shove, Fowler is the better option for based on his value, his chances to win and the salary relief that can be spent on upgrading another area of my lineup. As you progress further down the player list, that $700 becomes more and more valuable.
What do you think? Who are you putting in your lineup this week, Stenson or Fowler?