We’ve reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open in Flushing,NY and we’ve got four big matches to choose from. When we reach this point in tournaments sometimes we don’t even get slates, but thankfully FanDuel is showing Tennis DFS some love, giving us a three-man “Late Round” contest with a nice $1,000 prize up top. It should make for good entertainment with top players from both men’s and women’s tours on the court.
As mentioned above, we get a completely different format for this Tennis DFS slate on FanDuel, so I’ll break it down quick and get into some game theory and picks by pricing tiers. In this format we get three roster spots: MVP (1.5x), Star (1.25x) and Player (no multiplier) with a total of $7 in salary to spend.
There are generally two trains of thought with this format: 1) Play a chalky line and hope for the best loser so you chop $1,000 a million ways or 2) MME it and cover both sides of the coin and hope for a chop with only a few. I think you know which style you should be doing, but to each their own. I will definitely be going with the latter, so let’s make it interesting and look for an edge.
Tennis DFS Picks: FanDuel, U.S. Open | 9/8
$3-4 Tier | Jennifer Brady ($3) | Opponent: Yulia Putintseva
This tier has some stiff competition with Naomi Osaka and Alexander Zverev in it, but this pick may have more to do with Putintseva than Brady. That probably doesn’t sound like the biggest endorsement, but getting any favorite at low ownership on a four-game slate is worth a lot more than their imaginary FanDuel bucks say.
As for the actual player herself; she comes in rolling with four straight set wins and no score under 159 fantasy points. She took advantage of a hobbled Angelique Kerber, but she also didn’t beat herself with only one double fault and won a robust 59% of second-serve points. Just to exemplify Brady’s dominance thus far, Kerber was the first opponent to win more than three games against Brady.
If you take the odds (better than Alexander Zverev’s) at the same price, along with lesser ownership and more leverage, I don’t see how you lose … unless she does.
$2 Tier | Denis Shapovalov vs. Pablo Carreno Busta
This match has some interesting dynamic simply because of the match Carreno Busta just had with Novak Djokovic. I’m sure all have heard and seen by now, but Carreno Busta had the best view and I think handled the situation very well while Djokovic pleaded his case with officials to continue the match. Not to forget, Carreno Busta was winning that match 6-5 in the first set. All that said, I like Shapovalov in this one.
Shapovalov is coming off a big win against seven seed David Goffin that saw him hit 51 winners and chase the speedy Goffin all over the court. When Shapovalov is on, the 21-year-old looks almost unbeatable, nailing shots with an echoing boom after each one. Along with his current form, the one stat that stood out to me that I don’t often notice was Carreno Busta ‘s struggle with opponents’ service games. He’s allowing 12.68% of serves to score points, which is seventh worst on the entire tour for qualifying players.
There is also a good possibility that the Canadian won’t be as popular as the Spaniard, with a 1-3 career head-to-head record (0-3 on hard court). If that’s the case, Shapovalov may be my favorite play on the slate with a massive upside.
$1 Tier | Borna Coric | Opponent: Alexander Zverev
In most cases I would lean to the WTA for upsets in Tennis DFS because the odds are usually in their favor and probability of a sweep is far greater than that of the ATP. But Coric is on another level compared to his $1 companions and comes in looking great with a big upset win over Stefanos Tsitsipas and a straight-sets win over Aussie Jordan Thompson. Maybe more than any other player, I factored in his head-to-head advantage of 3-1 career against the fiery German Zverev, including a win here in 2017. Zverev is the only player who stops Zverev from winning any match that isn’t against the very best in the world due to his lack of concentration in matches and loss of composure. Coric, on the other hand, is nearly emotionless out there and keeps his mistakes to a minimum (2.72 double faults per match) and will keep balls in play with his defensive style, forcing Zverev to keep steady.
With both looking to be at the top of their games, I’d pick Zverev to win, but because of his volatility and lack of success versus the Croatian, I think Coric can hang tough and provide better leverage than Shelby Rogers or Putintseva.
Fade: Yulia Putintseva ($1)
It’s odd to make a bare min the fade, but I think she’ll carry some large ownership. If you aren’t getting any kind of edge on the field, I don’t see any advantage to rostering her.
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