The 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic welcomes Webb Simpson, Bryson DeChambeau, Tyrrell Hatton, Patrick Reed, and the rest of the field to Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan for the fourth event since the PGA Tour resumed the 2019-20 season. Simpson is looking to follow up his RBC Heritage victory after withdrawing from last week’s Travelers Championship amid COVID-19 concerns. DeChambeau seeks a seventh consecutive top-10 finish as a resounding betting favorite and the top-priced golfer at DraftKings this week after rising to No. 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Below, we’ll look at the best DFS picks for the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic.
DraftKings is once again featuring a PGA Tour $2.5 Millionaire contest. The best lineup of 148,529 entries will win the $1 million first-place prize and a ticket to Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida. Before getting into our DFS picks for the week, we’ll first preview Detroit Golf Club, look at the key stats for your Rocket Mortgage Classic picks, and detail some lineup building strategies to know.
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The course: Detroit Golf Club
At 7,334 yards in length and playing to a par of 72, Detroit Golf Club is the longest of the four courses since the return of golf. The Donald Ross-designed course didn’t host a PGA Tour event until the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic in 2019.
The course features 87 bunkers but just one water hazard. The rough has been grown out this year to combat last year’s low scores. Nate Lashley grabbed his first PGA Tour win at 25-under par while beating Doc Redman by six strokes.
Eleven holes played below par last year. Two of the four par 5s saw at least 12 eagles carded over the tournament. The easiest was the 577-yard 17th which played to an average of 4.509 strokes with 14 eagles and 212 birdies against just 18 bogeys. The most difficult hole on the course in 2019 was the 233-yard, par-3 11th at an average of 3.157 strokes. It saw 98 bogeys and five scores of double or worse against 38 birdies.
Key stats to consider for your Rocket Mortgage Classic
Course history isn’t much of a factor for Detroit Golf Club with just one year of tournament data. Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and Strokes Gained: Approach were common strengths of last year’s top finishers, according to Data Golf. Bogeys Avoided is a more important stat than Opportunities Gained with scoring chances so widely available last year. Sand Saves Gained should also be considered.
This year’s tournament will see a significantly stronger field than 2019. Last year’s event had a Strength of Field rating of just 276 to rank 32nd among all PGA Tour events in 2019, right between the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (276) and the 18-man Hero World Challenge (261). The weaker field allowed Lashley and Redman to finish atop the leaderboard with world rankings of 346th and 711th, respectively.
Rocket Mortgage Classic lineup building strategies
With a weaker field in attendance this week in Detroit more lineup managers will be drawn to the names at the top with fewer high-priced options. Managers should be looking to focus on one or two of the top names and spread out their picks among the mid-tier and value options.
With another scoring fest in store this week, the leaderboard should be crowded once again. Target those with the potential for a top-5 or top-10 finish, and who can get the scoring bonuses for all four rounds under 70 and bogey free rounds. Five of the golfers in last week’s six-man winning lineup got at least one of those bonuses and four of the six finished in the top 10 with none worse than T-11.
Rocket Mortgage Classic DFS Picks: Ownership
Last week’s winning millionaire entry was one of just 0.5 percent of lineups to include T-3 finisher Will Gordon. Brendan Steele, who finished T-6 and shot under 70 in all four rounds, was another key at just 1.5 percent and a salary of $6,600. It also included winner Dustin Johnson at 17.4 percent ownership and sixth-place finisher DeChambeau at 22.1 percent ownership. Patrick Cantlay, who finished T-11 with an A4U70 bonus, was also rostered at 13.7 percent ownership.
Expect higher ownership for those from last year’s leaderboard with just one year of results at Detroit Golf Club. Focus instead on top names from around the world playing here for the first time.
2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic DFS picks
Top Tier: $11.7K – $8K
Webb Simpson $11,000
I think it will be essential this week to build around either Simpson or DeChambeau ($11,700) this week and find other ways to differentiate your lineup with the other five roster spots, and Simpson is my choice.
A two-time winner in 2020, he’s $700 cheaper than DeChambeau, who is red-hot but hasn’t hit the winner’s circle since the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour. Simpson ranks first in my stat model at Fantasy National, ranking third in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach and fifth in Bogey Avoidance. Other lineup managers may be hesitant to roster him following last week’s withdrawal.
Tyrrell Hatton $10,700
Hatton’s the third most expensive option this week following a week off. He tied for third at the RBC Heritage in his first event since his first PGA Tour win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational before the season was suspended. He leads this field in Bogey Avoidance, ranks sixth in SG: Tee-to-Green, and 10th in SG: Approach. He’s first in the field in average DraftKings points at 85.00 over his last five events, according to FanShare Sports.
Hideki Matsuyama $10,200
Matsuyama leads the field with an average of 78.00 DraftKings points over his last five events on par-72 courses. He also excels in strong fields with two of his five career victories coming in WGC events. He ranks sixth in the stat model and third in SG: Tee-to-Green. He’s ninth in both SG: Approach and Bogey Avoidance. He tied for 13th last year as one of the top names in the field and averaged 1.58 strokes gained per round from tee-to-green.
Adam Hadwin $8,200
Hadwin came out of the midseason suspension with a T-43 at the Charles Schwab Challenge. He was T-41 at the RBC Heritage before taking last week off. The Canadian is fifth in this field in Sand Saves Gained, and he’s one of the top putters on Tour on any surface. He has slipped to 60th in the OWGR but is 22nd in this field. DraftKings has him listed as the 20th most expensive golfer in DFS, but he’s tied for 15th by the betting odds to win the tournament.
Mid Tier: $7.9K – $7K
Branden Grace $7,700
Grace missed the cut last week on the cutline at minus-3. His salary has risen from $7,200 last week but it’s still lower than his $7,800 for the RBC Heritage in a weaker field. He’s a solid but unspectacular 26th by the stat model with a top rank of 26th in SG: Tee-to-Green. He’s a good ownership pivot off of Brendon Todd and Kevin Kisner in this tier.
Maverick McNealy $7,600
McNealy ranks second in this field in Sand Saves Gained and sixth in Bogey Avoidance. He took last week off and didn’t play this event in 2019, allowing him to fly under the radar. He has just one missed cut in his last 14 events, and he hasn’t posted fewer than 68.5 fantasy points in his last 10 events.
Sebastian Munoz $7,100
The winner of September’s Sanderson Farms Championship, Munoz popped up again after opening the RBC Heritage with a 65. He went on to finish 28th at minus-13. He followed it up with a missed cut at even par last week. His victory came at the 7,460-yard, par-72 Country Club of Jackson, as he performs better at longer courses. His salary has increased for the second straight week, but he has been under three percent owned in all three events since play resumed.
Value Tier: $6.9K and Lower
Matthew Wolff $6,800
Wolff (pictured) missed the cut each of the last two weeks but still managed to record at least 68.5 fantasy points. He missed last week’s cut on the cutline at 3-under par. A PGA Tour winner in 2019, he was still just 2.38 percent owned last week. He’s a great value in a weaker field.
Cameron Tringale $6,600
Tringale is my favorite longshot bet of the week at DraftKings at +5000 for a top-5 finish. He tied for fifth at this event in 2019 while leading the field with 2.02 SG: Tee-to-Green per round. It was his only top-10 finish on the PGA Tour in 2019. He’s fourth by the stat model and 10th in the field in Bogey Avoidance.
Sahith Theegala $6,400
Theegala was in just 1.02 percent of lineups last week in his PGA Tour debut as a professional. The reigning Ben Hogan and Haskins Award winner as the top collegiate player in 2020 still has great potential and will be even lower owned in a weaker field.