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BMW Championship Preview: The FedEx Rolls On

Greg Vara

Greg Vara

Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the 2013 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. In addition to producing the weekly preview and the bulk of the draft kit content, Vara participates in Yahoo!'s "Experts Picks" where he routinely dominates. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.

Two wins in his last three events, nine top-10s this season and enough clutch putts on Sunday to make Tiger Woods jealous. Is Webb Simpson the next big thing? Short answer - maybe. If there were a checklist for this type of thing, Simpson would have checks next to nearly all the items. He's shown a lot of talent early in his career, he's won multiple times early in his career and he's shown the ability to come up big when the pressure is on. Now, if he can keep this up for, I don't know, another three or four years, then yes, he'll be the next big thing. Here's the problem, though. We've been through this before, remember the U.S. Open? I'm not saying that Rory McIlroy isn't going to be the best player in the world some day, but we are so quick to thrust these young players into a position of greatness that it's nearly impossible for anyone to live up to the hype. One thing that Simpson has going for him, however, is the prolonged success this season. He came on quietly near the end of March and hasn't stopped since. He's one of a handful of players on the PGA TOUR to crack $5 million in single-year earnings. The FedEx Championship is the next goal on his list and after that, well after that we all know what's next - Augusta next spring. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

What the Deutsche Bank Championship means:

Webb Simpson: Although he hasn't won a major, Simpson can stake a claim for player of the year with a win at the TOUR Championship in two weeks. A win in Atlanta would put him over $6 million and thrust him to the next level.

Brandt Snedeker: Snedeker might be hurt more than any other player by the off week. He's always been extremely streaky, and he was definitely on a roll when we last saw him.

Jim Furyk: Is he or is he not going to make a run this year? Every time it looks as though he's about to take the bull by the horns, he fades away. He finished sixth at the Barclays, which is nice, but he had a chance to win at the Deutsche Bank Championship and couldn't that extra gear - the one he had last year at this time.

This week:
BMW Championship

Last Year:
Dustin Johnson shot a final-round 69 on his way to a one-stroke victory over Paul Casey.

Players to Consider:

1. Dustin Johnson

Defending champ and he won just three weeks ago. Johnson is already locked into a top-five spot at the TOUR Championship, so he can't wrap up anything this week, but it sure would be nice to take two of the first three events of the FedEx Cup.

2. Webb Simpson

Course history does not matter with Simpson. He's been the best golfer in the world the last couple months, and there's simply no stopping him right now.

3. Jim Furyk

Furyk doesn't appear to have enough to win on the PGA TOUR, but he's getting close and when you are close, it's only a matter of a shot here or there. If he's to successfully defend his championship from last year, he'll have to win this week.

4. Matt Kuchar

Kuchar failed to back up a strong start to his FedEx Cup run the last time out at the Deutsche Bank, but he's back at a spot where he's more comfortable this week. In his past two trips to Cog Hill, Kuchar has finished T3 and T10.

5. Camilo Villegas

The fact that Villegas is still playing is a somewhat of a miracle in itself. Villegas spent most of the season outside the top-100 on the money list, but a late-season run has him in position to make the TOUR Championship. First things first, though, he needs to perform well this week, which shouldn't be a problem as he's finished in the top-11 the last three times at Cog Hill.

Players to Avoid:

1. Rickie Fowler

Fowler has shown flashes in late summer, but it doesn't look like he's going to break through in the next two weeks. A good start at Deutsche Bank was derailed by a Sunday 77 last time out.

2. Phil Mickelson

Mickelson had a nice run the last time out, but he's still no where near his peak, and I don't see him improving his game the final two weeks of the season.

3. Hunter Mahan

This just isn't Mahan's course. He's finished in the top-40 the last two years, but you have to remember that anything below 35 is in the bottom-half of the field at this event.

4. Sean O'Hair

O'Hair had a nice showing here in 2009 when he finished fourth, but his game has been way off since his win a couple months back and this could be the end of the line for his FedEx hopes.

5. Geoff Ogilvy

It's beginning to look like Ogilvy's fourth-place finish at the RBC Canadian Open in July was truly the aberration we thought it was. Ogilvy doesn't usually play well this time of the year and his play lately is proving that. A top-25 two weeks ago isn't about to change my mind on that.

Yahoo! Fantasy Golf: BMW Championship

This week:
BMW Championship

Group A

1. Dustin Johnson
2. Matt Kuchar

Johnson was an easy choice in Group A this week, but the second player was a bit of a struggle. I initially chose Furyk, but after further consideration I went with Kuchar, who I believe has a better chance of winning this week.

Group B

1. Camilo Villegas
2. Webb Simpson
3. Charl Schwartzel
4. Bubba Watson

Simpson is a no-brainer this week, everyone should have him on their roster. Villegas is another player who should be on most rosters this week as well. The other two spots weren't as easy to fill, however. I chose Watson because of the way he played during the first three rounds at the Deutsche Bank and Schwartzel because, quite frankly, he's a damn solid player. He was T12 at the PGA and T21 last time out. He's quietly setting up a run at the title this season, but he's need a good showing this week.

Group C

1. Brandt Snedeker
2. Adam Scott

Jason Day or Adam Scott? That was the question this week. I am all-in on Snedeker. He's playing his best golf and as long as the week-off doesn't slow him down, he should again be in the mix this week. Now, onto the Day-Scott debate. Although Day has given me no reason to slight him this week, I chose Scott because I think he's ready to take another step forward this week. That and Day's track record at this event is poor.

Starters Round One

1. Dustin Johnson
2. Webb Simpson
3. Camilo Villegas
4. Brandt Snedeker

The starters in Groups A and B were pretty clear this week. Johnson is the top choice in the field this week and even though Kuchar is another top-pick, the decision to start Johnson in round one was pretty easy. Group B was clear as well as there's no stopping Simpson, and Villegas is playing his best golf of the season. Group C was not quite as easy as both Scott and Snedeker have played well the last month or so. I chose Snedeker because he appears to be on a different level.

Round Two and Going Forward:

Although the decision to start Johnson in round one was pretty easy, everything after that will likely be difficult. At least, I am hoping it's difficult. If Kuchar and Johnson play as expected, Group A should be a revolving door. I'll likely get Kuchar in the line-up on Friday so I can free up the weekend. Simpson has a lock on one of the starting spots in Group B this week, and Villegas has a pretty strong hold on the other one. Of course, with Schwartzel and Watson on the bench, that could change in a hurry. I'll likely avoid Watson on Sunday this week in favor of Schwartzel or Villegas. Group C is fairly similar to Group A this week in that the man on the bench, in this case Adam Scott, will likely find his way into the line-up Friday to free up the weekend.