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DFS Picks for the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic

DFS Picks for the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic

When filling out a DraftKings lineup (use promo code SGP), picking among the favorites is a fairly safe proposition. It’s when you have to choose between a pool of golfers down the line is where you make or break your chance to win big.

Here’s the critical decisions you’ll face as you fill out your lineup for the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic (values courtesy of DraftKings).

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Golfers Valued $8,000-$8,900

  • Joaquin Niemann – $8,900
  • Sungjae Im – $8,800
  • Bubba Watson – $8,700
  • Kevin Streelman – $8,600
  • Rory Sabbatini – $8,500
  • Viktor Hovland – $8,400
  • Jason Kokrak – $8,300
  • Aaron Wise – $8,200
  • Kevin Tway – $8,100
  • Jason Dufner – $8,000
  • Brian Harman – $8,000

This is a big price increase for Joaquin Niemann, a guy who I liked a lot last week at $7,400 and delivered a solid T5 finish at the Travelers. But with such a weak field and his form the way it is, I say continue to ride him while he’s hot even if he’s $1,500 more expensive on DraftKings this week. Last week he gained 1.62 strokes per round on the field tee-to-green, 0.46 strokes per round per round with his approach shots and almost a full shot on the field per round on the greens. All these are a continuation of the overall upward trend in his form. Almost all the attributes to success that were important to pick contenders at TPC River Highlands apply at Detroit Golf Club, so roll out Niemann into lineups once again.

Rory Sabbatini is red hot with his ball-striking. In seven of his last eight ShotLink measured tournaments he’s gained over a stroke per round tee-to-green and parlayed that into six Top 30 finishes in that stretch. While on the year he only ranks 109th in Strokes Gained – Approach, over his last six tournaments he’s gained almost 0.7 strokes per round on the field in that metric. That suggests his poor ranking is being anchored by a few poor performances at the beginning of the year. His popularity is rising in DFS, however with such a poor field this week chances are you can easily differentiate your lineup enough in a GPP to get away with it.

Jason Dufner has been a little bit of a mixed bag of late. Over his last five tournaments he’s gained over 1.2 strokes per round on the field tee-to-green, but he’s been very up and down in doing so. He had monster ball striking performances at Quail Hollow, Muirfield Village and Pebble Beach and very pedestrian figures at the Bethpage Black and Colonial. Dufner’s most notable win on his resume came at the 2013 PGA Championship, which was played at Oak Hill. That golf course bears a lot of resemblance to Detroit Golf Club, and given Dufner is regarded as one of the straighter hitters on tour he should feel right at home this week.

Golfers Valued $7,500-$7,900

  • Kyoung-Hoon Lee – $7,900
  • Byeong Hun An – $7,900
  • Keith Mitchell – $7,800
  • Charles Howell III – $7,800
  • Charley Hoffman – $7,800
  • Luke List – $7,700
  • Jimmy Walker – $7,700
  • Kyle Stanley – $7,700
  • Sung Kang – $7,600
  • Vaughn Taylor – $7,600
  • Mackenzie Hughes – $7,600
  • Nick Watney – $7,600
  • Bud Cauley – $7,500
  • Matthew Wolff – $7,500
  • Martin Laird – $7,500
  • Peter Malnati – $7,500

Puke. That sums up the list of players in this tier. Unfortunately it’s probably unavoidable not to take anyone from this group without really scraping from the bottom of the barrel this week, so you might have to close your eyes and pick a few for your DFS lineup this week.

Two guys I’m looking at for a little bit of redemption is Charley Hoffman and Byeong Hun An. Both were guys I liked at TPC River Highlands, and both flopped spectacularly. Both had high ownerships last week and that might be enough to sour many DFS contestants who were burned, but I’m willing to go to the well again with them. Though they both missed the cut, their ball striking stats weren’t too bad – it was their putting that was horrible. Hoffman and An lost 2.22 and 2.69 strokes to the field, respectively, per round on the greens during their short stay at the Travelers last week. I expect a little bit of a bounce back in that department to pair with what has been solid ball striking over the last few months from both players.

Vaughn Taylor has been flying under the radar for the last few tournaments, and his strengths in his game should be a good match for the Detroit Golf Club. Taylor is an accurate hitter off the tee, shows good command on his approach shots between 125 and 175 yards (common approach yard distances this week) and is a good scrambler out of the rough and the sand. He’s not the flashiest name this week, but he should be in line for another good finish to add to a stretch where he’s finished inside the Top 20 in three of his last five tournaments.

READ ALSO
2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview and Betting Strategies
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Bottom of the Barrel (Golfers <$7,500)

Russell Henley – $7,400: It’s been a season from hell for Russell Henley, who’s missed the cut in four of his last five starts and seven of 14 overall starts in 2019. Where he’s been strong at throughout 2019, however, might be a good fit for Detroit Golf Club to at least get him to the weekend. Henley is an accurate hitter who’s shown good command on his irons from within 175 yards this year and is a good scrambler, ranking 27th in that category overall in 2019. Henley is currently 166th in FedEx Cup points standings and sure could use a good finish to try and get within the Top 125 cut off. He should be motivated this week at a golf course that suits his strengths.

Troy Merritt – $7,000: Merritt will likely be a popular cheap option in DraftKings this week, but he checks a lot of boxes of a golfer who should play well at Detroit Golf Club. He’s an accurate hitter off the tee, shows good command of his mid irons and is a good scrambler. Last week’s MDF was a big disappointment given how well he started at the Travelers, but against a much weaker field I expect him to be around for all four rounds this week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Ryan Armour – $6,900: Like Merritt, Armour got off to a great start at the Travelers last week, shooting an opening round 64 before fading on the weekend. He’s another guy who fits the mold of a player who should enjoy the tight confines of Detroit Golf Club, and he’s a very underrated ball-striker with his mid-irons. Armour has the tools necessary for a good showing.

Others To Consider: Corey Conners ($7,300), Dylan Frittelli ($7,100), Roberto Castro ($6,700), Cameron Davis ($6,500), Josh Teater ($6,400), Alex Cejka ($6,100)

Golf analyst for SportsGamblingPodcast.com, providing insight on news and betting tips for the PGA Tour, as well as commentary and banter on the World of Sports. Follow him on Twitter @SteveSchirmer

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