Rocket Mortgage Classic DFS picks and strategy

·5 min read

Rocket Mortgage Classic

Detroit, Michigan
Detroit Golf Club - Par 72 - 7,370 yards
Field - 156 entrants
Purse - $8.4M

The Preview

Just two events remain in the PGA Tour's 2021-22 regular season as a similarly weak field travels from Minneapolis to Motown, where players will continue to battle for a spot among the top 125 in the FedExCup standings ahead of the playoffs. This will be the fourth edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic hosted by Detroit Golf Club, which is known as the flattest course on Tour with minimal elevation change and an average winning score of 22-under since 2019. The stock par-72 layout does reward driving distance as past champions like Bryson DeChambeau have let it fly off the tee, but scoring opportunities are converted on the greens, with SG: Putting having the highest correlation to success here in what usually becomes a flat-stick contest. Half of Detroit Golf Club's 18 holes lend a birdie rate north of 20 percent, while approach shots are most prevalent from the 75-150 yard range on the par-4s. Dry conditions should allow the putting surfaces to speed up a bit, but Thursday afternoon wind gusts might be this venue's only real defense throughout the week.

Recent Champions

2021 - Cam Davis
2020 - Bryson DeChambeau
2019 - Nate Lashley

Key Stats to Victory

SG: Putting
Birdie or Better percentage
SG: Approach
Par-5: 550-600 efficiency

Yahoo Value Picks

Based on $200 salary cap

Cream of the Crop

Patrick Cantlay - $47

The consensus betting favorite prevailed last week as Tony Finau landed atop the podium at TPC Twin Cities, and now Cantlay finds himself in a similar position to make a run against weak competition after stringing together five consecutive top-15s from the Memorial Tournament through the Open Championship. Over his last 12 measured rounds, Cantlay ranks first in P5: 550-600 efficiency, second in Birdie or Better percentage and third in proximity from 75-100 yards, but he's also gained strokes with the putter in all but one event dating back to the turn of the calendar year.

Cameron Young - $41

Young likely wrapped up Rookie of the Year honors with his runner-up effort at St. Andrews where he recorded multiple scores of 65 or better on the way to 25 total birdies and an eagle in his Open Championship debut. The Wake Forest product is second to only Jon Rahm in SG: Off-the-Tee this season, but Young also sits fourth in Birdie or Better conversion rate, fifth in putts per round and ninth in one-putt percentage.

Glue Guys

Cam Davis - $35

I've seen the defending champion reach as high as No. 6 on the salary board of other prominent DFS sites, so it's bizarre to see more than 20 names listed higher than Davis on Yahoo as he figures to receive a healthy amount of rostership at just $35. The Aussie is coming off three straight finishes of T16 or better since the John Deere Classic, and he's top-6 among this field in Opportunities Gained, driving distance and SG: Off-the-Tee over his last 12 rounds.

Kevin Streelman - $31

Second to none in Opportunities Gained over his past 24 measured rounds, Streelman most recently racked up 25 total birdies and two eagles at the Barbasol Championship to provide a remarkable 134.1 fantasy points. He posted the best putting performance of his season in the process, and he's now gained an average of 7.3 strokes from tee to green per event throughout his last three starts.

Scott Stallings - $29

Nobody in Detroit this week has been better than Stallings in SG: Approach over their last 24 measured rounds, guiding him to a ranking of 11th in Opportunities Gained within this sample size. Stallings just notched back-to-back top-10s at the Travelers Championship and the John Deere Classic while gaining a collective 15.6 strokes from tee to green along the way, though he's also gained strokes putting in five of six starts since mid-May. He's a perfect 3-for-3 in cuts made at the Rocket Mortgage Classic as well.

[Play in one of Yahoo's PGA DFS contests]

Bargain Bin

Mark Hubbard - $24

Hubbard's putter caught fire en route to a third-place finish at the Barbasol Championship earlier this month, which preceded another top-5 result the very next week at the Barracuda Championship. He's gained no less than 2.5 strokes with his irons in four consecutive measured starts, and he's No. 1 in three-putt avoidance over his last 24 rounds. During this span, Hubbard ranks second in SG: APP, fourth in Prox: 125-150 and fifth in Opportunities Gained. His brief Rocket Mortgage Classic resume includes a T12 here in 2020.

Taylor Pendrith - $24

Pendrith missed several months due to a fractured rib, but he returned in admirable fashion with a pair of top-15s at both the Barracuda and the Barbasol Championship, where he ranked second among the field in SG: Off-the-Tee. The Canadian is top-15 on Tour in driving distance and GIR percentage, and he's also third in par-5 scoring over his past 12 rounds.

Wyndham Clark - $21

Clark is kind of like the Walmart version of Young in the sense that he's also a bomber with a capable flat stick, but the former finally gained more than a stroke on his approach shots last week in Minnesota for the first time since the Mexico Open. He's now up to fourth in Prox: 100-125 and 12th in Prox: 75-100 yards over his last 12 measured rounds, and Clark posted a top-20 finish here at Detroit Golf Club in 2019 when he picked up 3.2 strokes off the tee and another 4.6 strokes on the greens.