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PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Rocket Mortgage Classic (2023)

PGA DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer: Rocket Mortgage Classic (2023)

The next stop on the 2023 PGA Tour circuit brings us to the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, Michigan. We’ve had several elevated events and majors occur recently, but while RMC is not a designated event, the field is still loaded with talent. Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler, and Collin Morikawa all lead the outright betting odds at 14/1, while Hideki Matsuyama (16/1) and Max Homa (18/1) round out the top-five in oddsmakers eyes. Nate Lashley won this inaugural event at -25-under-par in 2019, followed by Cam Davis at -18-under-par in 2021 and Finau’s course record of -26-under-par set in 2022.

The Donald Ross designed Detroit Golf Club is among the flattest courses on the PGA Tour schedule. The minimal elevation change is nice, but players still have to navigate narrow fairways, with four inch bluegrass rough punishing errant tee shots and approach shots. Poa Annua bentgrass green mixture will run just over 12 feet via the Stimpmeter, however, the greens are barely over 5,000 square feet on average, creating a premium on iron accuracy and driver accuracy. Of course, players who are quality putters will always be an asset when it comes to constructing DFS lineups.

Expect a lot of red scorecards throughout the four rounds at the 2023 RMC, which creates a ton of value in the lower salary brackets on DraftKings and FanDuel. Let’s recap the previous winners, followed by some relevant betting stats, with an in-depth course overview before revealing the top six golfers you should prioritize in DFS lineups ahead of Thursday’s opening round from Detroit Golf Club. As always, good luck! Let’s cash a few contests to gain momentum heading into July.

2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic DraftKings and FanDuel DFS Primer

Previous Winners

  • 2022 – Tony Finau (-26)
  • 2021 – Cam Davis (-18)
  • 2020 – Bryson DeChambeau (-23)
  • 2019 – Nate Lashley (-25)

Relevant Betting Stats

  • Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee
  • Driving Accuracy percentage
  • Strokes Gained Tee-to-Green
  • Greens in Regulation percentage
  • Strokes Gained Approaching the Green
  • Birdie Average

Course Overview

Detroit Golf Club was designed by Donald Ross over 100 years ago, but just began to host the Rocket Mortgage Classic four years ago, making this week the fifth edition of this event. Detroit GC is a stock par 72 that runs over 7,300 yards, containing four par 3s and four par 5s, which we haven’t seen due to recent par 70 courses that players have been competing on. Yes, there will be opportunities for birdies and eagles, but the narrow fairways that dogleg, combined with four inch bluegrass rough and plenty of strategic bunkers, will make errant lies to be a real problem.

The small average surface area of the bentgrass and Poa Annua greens, measuring just over 5,100 square feet on average, means players will need to be precise tee-to-green and approaching the green to give themselves the best chance to convert par breakers. Greens in regulation will be key, which is how Finau cruised to his five-stroke win here last year. Strong, accurate driving will be another integral statistic to point us toward the players we want in our DFS lineups this week, avoiding the tall rough flanking the narrow fairways.

Recommended Plays: DraftKings

DraftKings maximum salary is set at $50,000

Collin Morikawa: $10,600
I haven’t been recommending Collin Morikawa much this PGA Tour season, but the Californian is among the best iron players on this slate. Morikawa is making his debut at Detroit GC, but I still love his outlook on this course, where greens in regulation and other strokes gained metrics play a huge factor determining who will succeed. Morikawa is ranked eighth for greens in regulation at 69.6 percent, sixth in driving accuracy percentage, fifth tee-to-green, and second approaching the green. His putter has betrayed him numerous times this season, which is why he has two missed cuts in his last three events played. Morikawa is undoubtedly a risky blue-chip prospect, but we need to take a calculated risk here to strengthen the core of our lineups. Pay up to roster Morikawa on DraftKings this week.

Stephan Jaeger: $8,900
34-year-old German golfer Stephan Jaeger only has one T25 finish in his last four events played, but he returns to a course that he dominated in 2022, going -20-under-par by staying at -4-under-par or lower in all four rounds at Detroit GC. Jaeger sunk 26 birdies at the AT&T Byron Nelson, which was a birdie fest, similar to what we might see at Detroit GC this week. Jaeger has not missed the cut since the RBC Heritage in mid-April, and just delivered 17 birdies at Travelers last weekend. Jaeger ranks 11th in strokes gained around the green, 31st tee-to-green, and 15th finding greens in regulation. Jaeger is under $9,000 on DraftKings, which feels like decent value, but it’s really how consistent he plays, combined with how he performed at this course a year ago, that makes me confident recommending the German in our DraftKings lineups this week.

Aaron Rai: $7,800
Here, we’re getting the best value on the DraftKings slate with Aaron Rai. The 28-year-old Englishman is a good ball striker, ranked 27th in strokes gained tee-to-green, 35th total driving, and sixth in driving accuracy percentage. This is massive, especially since Rai ranks 12th in distance from edge of fairway, avoiding those punishing lies in the tall rough or behind trees. He’s among the best at finding greens in regulation, ranking 12th at 68.6 percent, while ranking inside the top 50 for scoring in the first and third rounds. Yes, Rai’s putter is his weakness, but Detroit GC is tailor-made for his skillset. Let’s invest in Rai’s cheap salary, as his strengths match the course nicely ahead of his debut at the fifth edition of the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

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Recommended Plays: FanDuel

FanDuel maximum salary is set at $60,000

Tom Kim: $10,900
Tom Kim went -9-under-par in the final round last year during his incredible arrival as a 20-year-old phenom on the PGA Tour. Kim has found his rhythm lately, draining 41 birdies across his past two events, which came at a major and a designated event. Kim is a wizard with his iron play, ranking 18th tee-to-green, eighth approaching the green, while also ranking 15th in total driving. Kim hits greens in regulation at nearly a 70 percent conversion rate, ranked eighth on the PGA Tour, while also ranking 51st in putting average and 39th in birdie or better conversion percentage. Averaging 4.08 birdies per round is the cherry on top when it comes to rostering Kim in FanDuel lineups this week. Insert Kim with confidence, as he could make a push to secure his second win of the season.

Austin Eckroat: $9,700
Austin Eckroat’s lone appearance at the 2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic resulted in him missing the cut, however, I like his current form entering Thursday’s opening round. The 24-year-old Oklahoma native has 26, 15, and 19 birdies recorded in three of his past five events. Plus, Eckroat is 23rd in strokes gained off-the-tee, 38th tee-to-green, and 16th in total driving. While finding greens in regulation is not a massive asset, Eckroat ranks 31st in scrambling, plus top-50 in bogey avoidance. It’s a bit steep at $9,700 on FanDuel, but Eckroat is another player set to make his Detroit GC debut, where I think he can notch his fourth T25 finish in his last five events played.

Carson Young: $8,000
Carson Young is a massive value on the FanDuel DFS slate this week, located all the way down at the end of the $8,000 salary bracket. The 28-year-old South Carolina native has recorded 20-plus birdies in two of his last three events, although he did miss the cut during the U.S. Open. Young is fresh off of producing 112 fantasy points for fantasy managers on FanDuel during the Travelers Championship last weekend, plus, he’s top 40 for greens in regulation. Young is ranked 31st in par 4 birdie leaders, 20th in final round performance, first in consecutive fairways hit. It may not seem like much, but Young could prove to be the difference in cashing contests and getting a healthy return on investment in FanDuel lineups this weekend. Fire him up during his debut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Try Daily Fantasy Golf at FanDuel now

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Whether you’re new to daily fantasy golf or a seasoned professional, be sure to check out our Daily Fantasy Golf Glossary. You can get started with The Stats That Matter Most or head to a more advanced strategy – like How To Use Vegas Odds To Generate Your Lineup  – to learn more.

Matthew MacKay is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Matthew, check out his archive and follow him @Matt_MacKay_.

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