DFS Dish: Embrace some variance with lineups for the Rocket Mortgage Classic

The Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club is drawing attention from PGA TOUR players as they strive to secure their spots in the FedExCup Playoffs with only six weeks remaining. While the tournament boasts several big names, DFS players are faced with the challenge of deciphering the rest of the field as the season's end approaches.

Assembling a DFS lineup for this event is no easy task, with five of the world's top 20 players competing. However, weeks like this on DraftKings offer a chance to dive deep into the player pool and embrace variance. Lower-ranked players become less predictable, resulting in less popular choices and an opportunity for differentiation.

Detroit Golf Club has produced a diverse leaderboard over the past four years. While bombers have dominated, shorter players have also made their mark, with many of them consistently appearing in the top 20. The projected low scores in the mid 20s under par indicate a high degree of variance. Surprising winners like Nate Lashley and Cam Davis, who had triple-digit outright prices, have emerged victorious. Notable players like J.J. Spaun, Troy Merritt, and Chris Kirk, despite being shorter off the tee, have also achieved strong performances here.

For the Rocket Mortgage Classic, it is advisable to embrace variance and not shy away from discomfort when constructing DFS lineups. It is common to overweight (at least double the projected ownership) a couple of highly skilled players in the $10K and $9K range. From there, it is wise to diversify the roster with a mix of players from various price ranges while avoiding any heavily favored low-priced options.

Last year's perfect lineup for the Rocket Mortgage Classic included three players from the $6K range and left $700 in salary unused. Thinking outside the box and embracing the variance is key. It is an opportunity to enjoy the puzzle that DFS presents.

Now, let's explore some player picks for the tournament. Starting at the top, Hideki Matsuyama provides a somewhat "safe" option with significant winning potential. While his performance this PGA TOUR season has not been extraordinary, he has made the cut in 17 out of 19 events and achieved eight top-25 finishes. Matsuyama has played at Detroit Golf Club three times, with a withdrawal in 2021 due to illness, a T21, and a T13. His ball striking is consistently strong, and when combined with a hot putter, he often contends for victory.

To add some excitement to the lineup, consider Aaron Rai. Rai has shown good form recently, securing three top-25 finishes in his last three PGA TOUR starts. His strengths align with Matsuyama's, excelling in Scoring, Strokes Gained Approach, and Ball Striking. However, his putting has been inconsistent, but there are positive signs of improvement in his last two starts. Priced at $7,800 on DraftKings, Rai allows ample flexibility to construct a solid lineup.

Another player worth considering is Byeong-Hun An, who offers excellent value in the field. In his recent performances, An has gained strokes in all aspects of his tee-to-green game, showcasing consistent improvement off the tee, on approach shots, and around the greens. Although his putting remains a weakness, he has been trending positively in that area. If he can neutralize his putting struggles, An possesses the potential to contend for victory.

Differentiating lineups from the crowd can be achieved by investing heavily in the $8K range, which is often overlooked due to popular top-tier and low-tier lineup combinations. Ludvig Aberg stands out as a favorite play in this range, having dominated college golf with four wins in his final six