2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic DFS Preview

Chez Reavie was able to hold off a Sunday charge by Keegan Bradley to secure his first PGA Tour win in 11 years at the Travelers Championship. This week the PGA Tour is in Detroit for the first time this decade for a new event on the schedule this season, The Rocket Mortgage Classic. We will also see Detroit Golf Club as a PGA venue for the first time in the DFS era of golf.

Detroit Golf Club: Par 72, 7,300 yards.

Greens: Poa (will be running around a 12.5 Stimp)

Average Driving Distance: (N/A (New Venue) vs. PGA Tour Avg 283 yards)  

Hitting Fairways: (N/A (New Venue) vs. PGA Tour Avg 61%)  

Hitting Greens: (N/A (New Venue) vs. PGA Tour Avg 66%)   

Detroit Golf Club is a classic style layout designed by the great Donald Ross. They recently added six new tee boxes in preparation for this event that will stretch the course out to around 7,300 yards. A good chunk of that distance will consist of a 630+ yard par five and a 235+ yard par three so the rest of the course will likely play on shorter half of courses on the PGA Tour rotation. The majority of the par fours are shorter and will leave players with a wedge in their hands on approach. The rough was expected to play around 3.5 inches in length and grow from there but there have been reports that it actually lower than that. Another thing to keep in mind is that with this being a first-year event the PGA Tour will likely not want to push limits with setting up the course so I wouldn’t expect it to play too difficult. Lastly, one additional note regarding Donald Ross designs is that we typically see a lot of undulation on and around the greens so it is important that players manage positioning, including keeping the ball underneath the hole, and because of that, even with a scoring fest likely on our hands this week, bogey avoidance will be a stat to consider.

Here are our top stats to consider this week:

  • Strokes Gained Approach
  • Opportunities Gained
  • Birdies or Better Gained
  • Bogey Avoidance

Field Information:

Field Size: 156

Cut Rule: Top 70 and ties (MDF rule is in effect)

Notables in the Field: Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama, Gary Woodland, Bubba Watson

Field strength takes a noticeable hit this week with the new tour event and many players taking a week or two off before heading over to Europe to prepare for the Open Championship. Because of the weak field I don’t think it’s a bad idea to again reduce the amount of bankroll in play. However, there is still a nice edge to be found through research of some lesser known names and the DFS sites have posted some good contests for us this week so so let’s get to the picks. Here are two targets to build around for your DraftKings cash game/single entry GPP lineups. Get our best plays to construct the remainder of your lineup by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

Upper Mid-Range – Hideki Matsuyama – $10,200

I will most likely be starting my main lineup off with Hideki this week as he has continued his strong iron play gaining six shots on approach vs. a very strong field in his last start at the US Open. I continue to feature him in these writeups but it is hard to leave him out as he has gained strokes tee to green in each of his last 17 Shotlink events highlighted by gaining an average of 3.8 strokes on approaches over his last 11 starts shows that his iron play is dialed in. When seeing a new course for the first time I will always lean on approach stats.

Value – Kevin Streelman – $8,600

While not long off the tee, Kevin Streelman is another player who has relied on some good recent ballstriking to post several good finishes over the past couple of months.  He gained strokes on approach in each of his last six starts that have been good for three top ten finishes in that time frame. Streelman has historically been a streaky player so I will take the opportunity to roster him again while he is in good form. 

How we did last week:

Cash/Single Entry Article Plays:

Paul Casey – T5

Emiliano Grillo – T60

Optimal Sports Subscribers Core Plays:

Paul Casey – T5

Emiliano Grillo – T60

Justin Thomas – T36

Kevin Streelman – T15

Peter Malnati – T30

Russell Knox – T21

Last Week’s DraftKings Double Up Contest Result: Win

2018-2019 Season Double Up Record: 21-11

Record in Double Ups Since 1/1/18: 46-21

Brought to you by Optimal Sports DFS

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