FanDuel PGA: Rocket Mortgage Classic

FanDuel PGA: Rocket Mortgage Classic

This article is part of our FanDuel PGA series.

Rocket Mortgage Classic

Course: Detroit Golf Club (7,370 yards, par 72)
Purse: $7,500,000
Winner: $1,350,000 and 500 FedExCup points

Tournament Preview

This will be the third straight year that the PGA Tour heads to Detroit for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. The first two editions were absolute shootouts that saw winning scores of 25-under and 23-under, respectively. We should expect players to have to go extremely low again this week, as the course should play very wide and soft. The Detroit Golf Club North Course is a Donald Ross design that is the flattest course on the PGA Tour. The front-nine is a little more sheltered by trees, while the back-nine is wide open. Bryson DeChambeau is back in the field in Detroit looking to defend his title from last summer. The SMU product closed with a seven-under 65 that included birdies on the final three holes to best Matthew Wolff by three shots, who is also joining DeChambeau in the field this week. PGA Championship winner Phil Mickelson will make his Rocket Mortgage Classic debut and his first start in Michigan since 2008. Masters Champion Hideki Matsuyama will tee it up again in Detroit after playing the first two editions. Kramer Hickok will also be in the field after he made quite a few fans last week at the Travelers Championship in his epic eight-hole playoff duel with Harris English. Other notables teeing it up at the Rocket Mortgage Classic include Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, Jason Day, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, and Will Zalatoris. Temperatures for all four rounds should be around the mid-70's with the biggest chance of a thunderstorm coming on Thursday. Wind is not expected to be a huge factor either.

Recent Champions

2020 – Bryson DeChambeau (-23)
2019 – Nate Lashley (-25)

Key Stats to Victory

  • SG: Approach
  • SG: Off-the-Tee
  • Birdie average
  • SG: Putting

Champion's Profile

It's no secret that you're going to have to take it really deep to contend this week at Detroit Golf Club. Even just making the cut requires you be on your game, as last year's edition required you to be at least five-under-par for two rounds to make the weekend. The greens on this Donald Ross design are on the smaller side of average, which will mean that approach play should take precedent. With all the rain in the area over the past week or so, however, the greens should stay pretty receptive through the four days of competition. Last year Bryson DeChambeau unsurprisingly led the field in driving distance at nearly 330 yards, but he also paced the field in SG: Putting. The course is a little longer this season and the rough is expected to be let go to at least four inches. That should place added emphasis on SG: Off-the-tee and total driving numbers. The greens, which are a mix of bentgrass and poa annua, will be prepped to run to about 12.5 on the Stimpmeter. The player that gives himself the most quality looks at birdies is likely the one to be going home with the trophy.

FanDuel Value Picks

The Chalk

Bryson DeChambeau ($12,200)

DeChambeau is the clear favorite in Detroit, and a $12,200 price tag shouldn't be anything to concern yourself with. He has shown the ability to absolutely overpower this course and he really sees the lines well on these greens. The 27-year-old leads the PG Tour in SG: Off-the-Tee, ranks fifth in SG: Tee-to-Green, second in SG: Total, and 30th in SG: Putting. DeChambeau will hope to be the first to reach three wins on the season.

Hideki Matsuyama ($11,900)

Matsuyama has taken well to Detroit Golf Club, posting a T13 and a T21 with a scoring average of 68.5. He hasn't missed a cut since the Players Championship back in March. The putter is balky once again this season, but the rest of his game is very balanced. Matsuyama ranks 51st in SG: Off-the-tee, 16th in SG: Approach, 40th in SG: Around-the-Green, and 18th in SG: Tee-to-Green.

Will Zalatoris ($11,400)

This might be as good a week as any for Zalatoris to break through for his first PGA Tour win. The field is not terribly deep and his ball striking should allow him to put up birdies in bunches here. Zalatoris ranks third in SG: Approach, ninth in SG: Tee-to-Green, and 12th in GIR percentage. The Texan has gone 18-for-21 with seven top-10's and 13 top-25's this season with no status.

Jason Kokrak ($11,300)

If DeChambeau has the best blend of power and putting in the field this week, then Kokrak is No. 2 in that department. The 36-year-old in 22nd in SG: Off-the-Tee and second in SG: Putting. Kokrak is also 32nd in GIR percentage and 12th in birdie average. He is coming off his second win of the season at Colonial just two starts ago.

Longer Shots with Value

Emiliano Grillo ($9,900)

Grillo has let me down a couple times recently, but he is still by far the best ball striker in this range. He ranks seventh in SG: Approach, second in GIR percentage, and second in proximity to the hole. Grillo is also 14th in total driving and 27th in birdie average. He has seven total top-25's in 2021.

Chris Kirk ($9,200)

Kirk is a very complete player, which is a large part of the reason why he ranks top-40 in both SG: Total and scoring average. The 36-year-old also is 10th in proximity to the hole, 29th in scrambling, and third in three-putt avoidance. Kirk was among the leaders going into the weekend after rounds of 67-65 in Detroit last season, but fell off the pace in the final two rounds, although still secured a top-25 finish.

Sepp Straka ($8,900)

Though two Rocket Mortgage Classics, not many have been as consistent as Straka. He has gone T11-T8 with a scoring average of 68.13. Straka is coming off a four-under 66 in the final round last week to finish top-10 at the Travelers. The Austrian is top-55 on Tour this season in driving distance, GIR percentage, and birdie average.

Patton Kizzire ($8,800)

Kizzire has struggled in his last couple starts, but it was only a month ago that he notched back-to-back top-three results. His putter has been red hot all season, as he ranks 17th in SG: Putting, fourth in putts per GIR, and 13th in putts per round. Kizzire is also 36th in GIR percentage, 24th in birdie average, and 43rd in scoring average.

Strategy Tips This Week 

Based on a Standard $60K Salary Cap

The last few weeks the middle of the salary board has been pretty deep, but for whatever reason there aren't a whole lot of attractive options in that range this week. Meanwhile at $11,000 and over, there a quite a few really strong options in this field. It should put added emphasis on trying to land at least two top tier players that have strong win equity. Some higher up options I would avoid, however, would be Kevin Kisner ($11,100), Matthew Wolff ($10,900), and Jason Day ($10,800). All of them are coming off strong showings, but have had very little consistencies all season and are hard to trust at their given salaries.  

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Ryan Andrade plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: Ku_Bball_Fan, FanDuel: ku_bball_fan.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan  Andrade
Ryan has covered golf and college basketball for RotoWire since 2016. He has also written articles for ProGolfNow.com.
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