1. Jordan Spieth, United States -- Even though he had his chances to win the first two playoff events before finishing second to Dustin Johnson in The Northern Trust and to Justin Thomas in the Dell Technologies Championship, Spieth leads the FedExCup standings heading to the third playoff event. He is guaranteed to be in the top five next week at the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta, where anyone in that number who wins the tournament would take home the Cup. Spieth, ranked No. 2 in the world behind Johnson, has finished first or second in four of his last six tournaments, including victories in the Travelers Championship and the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. He is playing in the BMW Championship for the fifth time and has finished no worse than a tie for 16th. His best result was a tie for eighth in 2014 at Cherry Hills and he also was ninth last year at Crooked Stick. Spieth tied for 13th in 2015 and tied for 16th in 2013, both at Conway Farms, this year's venue.
2. Dustin Johnson, United States -- Johnson has claimed two of his four career playoff victories in the BMW Championship, including last year. He won by three strokes over Paul Casey of England at Crooked Stick, where he took charge with a 63 in the second round. Johnson also beat Casey by one stroke in 2010 at Cog Hill. He is playing in the third playoff event for the eighth consecutive year and has two other finishes in the top 10, including a tie for seventh two years ago at Conway Farms. The top-ranked Johnson struggled for much of this season after sustaining a back injury on the eve of the Masters after winning three straight events, but he is back in form with top-20 results in his last five starts, including a victory in The Northern Trust to open the playoffs. He is third in the FedExCup standings behind Spieth and Justin Thomas, and can salvage his season by winning the Tour Championship and collecting both trophies next week at East Lake in Atlanta.
3. Justin Thomas, United States -- Despite claiming his fifth victory of a breakthrough season two weeks ago in the Dell Technologies Championship over his pal Spieth, the fourth-ranked Thomas still finds himself second behind Spieth in the FedExCup points standings heading to the third playoff event. However, that will be good enough to put him in the top five next week in the Tour Championship at East Lake, where a victory would give him victory in the season-long chase. Thomas started the season quickly with three early victories, and after a bit of a lull, has won two of his last three outings including his first major title in the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. He also tied for sixth in The Northern Trust to start the playoffs. Thomas is making his third start in the BMW Championship, having tied for 13th two years ago at Conway Farms, this week's venue, after opening with a 65. He also tied for 32nd last year at Crooked Stick, where he saved his best for a last-round 68.
4. Jon Rahm, Spain -- Although he is not eligible for the PGA Tour's Rookie of the Year Award because he played seven events late last year after graduating from Arizona State, Rahm is unquestionably the best on the circuit among those playing a full schedule for the first time. He claimed his first victory in the Farmers Insurance Open and has eight other results in the top 10 while rising to No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Rahm has continued his stellar play in his first foray into the playoffs, tying for third in The Northern Trust and tying for fourth in the Dell Technologies Championship, and enters the third event of the postseason at fifth in the point standings, which keeps him in the running for the FedExCup. He is playing another new course this week, Conway Farms, but has figured things out pretty quickly on almost on every venue this season. Rahm simply goes out and plays golf the way he knows, which is good enough.
5. Jason Day, Australia -- Trying to salvage what has been a disappointing season, Day has played some of his best golf lately and this week comes to a course where he has played some of his best golf in the playoffs. Day collected his second of three victories in the postseason two years ago in the BMW Championship at Conway Farms by starting 61-63, which lifted him to No. 1 in the world. He also tied for fourth on the same course in 2013 by closing with a 66. In 2015, Day won the Barclays to open the playoffs and held the FedExCup points lead heading to the finale at East Lake in Atlanta, but Spieth stole the Cup and the No. 1 ranking from him by winning the Tour Championship. The Aussie, battling injuries and family issues this season, has put himself on the edge of playoff contention at 28th in the point standings by finishing in the top 25 in each of his last four starts, including a tie for ninth in the PGA Championship and a tie for sixth in The Northern Trust.
6. Rickie Fowler, United States -- Even though he hasn't won since the Honda Classic in February, the 10th-ranked Fowler is on quite a run, with seven consecutive finishes in the top 25. Included in that stretch are ties for fifth in the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, plus a tie for 20th in The Northern Trust and a tie for 13th in the Dell Technologies Championship to open the FedEx Cup playoffs. Fowler has recorded nine results in the top 10 this season, including four in the top three, and has been remarkably consistent with 15 finished in the top 25 in 19 events. He is sixth in the point standings and needs another high finish this week in the BMW Championship to climb into the coveted top five heading into the Tour Championship. This is his eighth start in the third playoff event, with his best results ties for fourth in 2014 at Cherry Hills and in 2015 at Conway Farms, this week's menu.
7. Hideki Matsuyama, Japan -- Third-ranked Matsuyama should have benefited from the one-week break in the playoffs because he seemed to be running out of gas after winning seven times around the world in the last year, including three victories on the PGA Tour. He missed the cut in The Northern Trust to open the playoffs and was nowhere close to the leaders after three rounds of the Dell Technologies Championship two weeks before closing with a 66 that lifted him to a tie for 23rd and might give him momentum this week. Matsuyama, still a solid fourth in the FedExCup point standings, is making his fourth start in the BMW Championship and has finished in the top 25 in the previous three. Not only that, his best result was a tie for seventh two years ago at Conway Farms, this week's venue, where he shot 63 in the second round and 66 in the last. In addition to his three victories on the circuit this season, he has three runner-up finishes and seven in the top 10, and can win the FedExCup if he regains that form.
8. Paul Casey, England -- His only victory on the PGA Tour came in the 2009 Shell Houston Open, but Casey has overcome injuries that threatened to short-circuit his career and has put together a season that includes eight finishes in the top 10 to reach eighth in the FedExCup point standings. He has finished outside the top 25 only once in his last 12 tournaments on the PGA Tour, when he was 26th in the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. Among those strong finishes were solo fifth in The Northern Trust and a tie for fourth in the Dell Technologies Championship to open the playoffs. Casey, who has climbed to 14th in the world rankings, has recorded five straight top-10 finishes during the playoffs, including solo second behind Johnson in the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick last year. He also finished second behind Johnson in the 2010 BMW at Cog Hill and tied for 23rd in the third event of the playoffs two years ago at Conway Farms.
9. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland -- The defending FedExCup champion is on the verge of being eliminated from the playoffs after being slowed by injuries this season. The sixth-ranked McIlroy hasn't won since the Tour Championship to claim the Cup at the end of last season, and the best he has done in the 2016-17 PGA Tour season is tie for fourth three times, in the WGC-HSBC Champions, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. That leaves him lagging at 51st in the point standings and in need of a high finish this week in the BMW Championship to climb into the top 30 and qualify to defend his title next week at East Lake in Atlanta. McIlroy certainly is capable, having won the BMW in 2012 by two strokes over Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood of England, one of his three top-10 finishes in the tournament. He also tied for eighth in 2014 at Cherry Hills and tied for fourth two years ago at Conway Farms.
10. Justin Rose, England -- Having climbed into the playoff picture at 17th in the FedExCup point standings by recording ties for 10th in The Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship, Rose figures to be a factor this week in the BMW Championship. That's because he claimed his only playoff victory by two strokes over John Senden of Australia in the 2011 BMW at Cog Hill. He has seven top-25 finishes in the third event of the playoffs, including a tie for fifth in 2007 at Cog Hill, and a tie for 13th two years ago at Conway Farms, where the tournament is being played this week. Rose, ranked 15th in the world, probably needs a victory this week to climb into the magic top five heading to the Tour Championship, and he is a real threat in the finale at East Lake. Rose has finished in the top six each of the last four years in the finale, including solo second in 2012 and a tie for second last year. And he's due to win, with the last of his 18 pro victories coming in the 2016 Olympic Games.