This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.
Rocket Mortgage Classic
Detroit Golf Club
The PGA Tour heads to the Motor City this week, and after proclaiming that all was well last week in this space, I must admit, the Tour is a little bruised after a handful of positive COVID-19 tests. Just how bad 5-10 positives tests are in this climate, well that's up to the individual, but nonetheless, the PGA Tour is moving forward whether you like it or not. As one who plays all forms of fantasy golf and gets to write on the subject, I'm definitely in favor of the Tour staying course...unless this gets out of hand. The question is, when are things considered "out of hand?" Commissioner Jay Monahan hasn't set a specific number, but something tells me that if public sentiment sways in favor of shutting it down, it'll be time to take another break. The answer to when they shut down then, is when the public starts to believe it's ridiculous to keep playing. We aren't there yet, but things change quickly in this new world and we should be grateful for any events we get.
Looking at this week's tournament, we have just one year of course history and there are many new players in the field this week, which means it's not going to be easy to spot the winner beforehand. In other words, it might be a good week to look past the chalk.
Bryson DeChambeau (7-1)
This is quite the shift in the odds, as with not a lot of firepower in the field, the odds-makers decided to go with a heavy (not literally, of course) favorite. DeChambeau has been extremely steady since play resumed and there's no reason to think he'll fall flat anytime soon. At this price, though, there's just not enough value. He'll be in the mix again this week, but at 7-1, it's best to look elsewhere for real value.
Webb Simpson (10-1)
There's not a ton of value here either, but considering Simpson won in his most recent start and there's not a lot of high-end competition to worry about, this is where you can start to think about making a play. This is Simpson's first time playing this event, but that's the case for half the field, and even the guys who played here last year can't claim a ton of course knowledge after just four rounds.
Patrick Reed (14-1)
There's a clear delineation between the top two and the rest this week, although the odds don't do it justice. Simpson and DeChambeau have played at a very high level in recent weeks, and while Reed has played well, he hasn't quite made his mark yet. That could change this week with his form almost where it needs to be, but his odds aren't providing enough value for a play here. Working in Reed's favor this week is the T5 he posted last year in this event.
THE NEXT TIER
Tyrrell Hatton (15-1)
Just outside of the trio of favorites sits Hatton, who picked up his first PGA Tour win no so long ago and seems to be in top form entering this week. Hatton did not play here last year, but if recent results mean anything, he should be in the mix after finishing T3 in the RBC Heritage.
Viktor Hovland (18-1)
Hovland is DeChambeau-lite right now. Just like DeChambeau, he's always in the mix, but not quite at the level of DeChambeau. Hovland has been like this since day one, though, playing at a high level since joining the Tour last year. In his three starts since the break, Hovland has finished T23, T21 and T11.
Kevin Na (33-1)
There are a few of options in this range – Rickie Fowler and Tony Finau – that garner interest, but neither of those guys are in good form right now. Na is coming off of a T5 this past week at the Travelers Championship. This is Na's first try at this event, but again, half the field is in the same boat.
Doc Redman (50-1)
I mentioned early the lack of value at the top of the list this week. Well, that's not the case here as Redman is oozing with value at 50-1. Redman has played well out of the break and is coming off a stellar final round at the Travelers Championship. Oh, and he was runner-up here last year. It's rare that a guy has this much going for him and he's sitting at 50-1.
Brendon Todd (66-1)
Todd stumbled to the finish at the Travelers Championship this past week, but that doesn't erase the fact he was in the lead after 54 holes. Todd caught fire earlier this season and he's proven that he can play well for prolonged stretches. If he can erase his most recent round from his memory, he could find a groove again this week.
Highly-owned Pick: Bryson DeChambeau - Anyone who has held off using DeChambeau over the past few weeks is likely to use him in this spot, and he's not likely to be this heavy of a favorite again this year. Heck, he may never see odds like this again in his career. Everything is lined up for a win this week, but this is golf, and nothing comes easy.
Moderately-owned Pick: Tyrrell Hatton - Hatton drew a lot of attention a couple weeks ago at the RBC Heritage, and considering he has the fourth-lowest odds this week, there's little chance that he'll sneak through as a sleeper pick this week, but that doesn't mean he's a poor choice. You may have a lot of company if you select Hatton this week, but if he continues to play well, who cares?
Lightly-owned Pick: Doc Redman - After his blistering final round at the Travelers Championship, I thought any hopes of keeping Redman under the radar this week we're gone. But when I saw him listed at 50-1, I started to rethink that position. With the number of events on the schedule reduced, many OAD players won't be willing to take many chances. That means Redman will provide a huge opportunity to gain ground on your competition this week.
Buyer Beware: Hideki Matsuyama - Matsuyama is fairly high on the odds chart this week, but he's coming off a poor effort in his most recent start. Matsuyama posted rounds of 70 and 74 at the RBC Heritage on his way to a missed cut. That was Matsuyama's only start since the reset, so we have no way of knowing if it was a blip or if he's struggling with his game right now.
Last Week: Justin Rose (MC) $0 Season - $2,885,496
This Week: Tyrrell Hatton - I had this down to Hatton and Redman and I just couldn't pull the trigger on Redman. Hatton is starting to become a fairly reliable player and if his form is anywhere near where it was two weeks ago, he's going to make some noise this week. I've managed to keep my OAD consistent across all the pools I'm in this year, but I might split the picks this week given how good I feel about Redman.
Last Week: Keegan Bradley (MC) - Streak - 0
This Week: Patrick Reed - Reed is one of a few golfers this week with solid recent form and a history at this event. I considered DeChambeau as well here, but he might be more valuable down the road, perhaps at a major. Simpson is also in play this week, but I used him already.