It's here! The first slam of the year is here and with it comes a MONSTER slate of 64 matches! That is a ton to look at, which is why we have our cheat sheet! Our cheat sheet has all the info you need in one spot. To help you even further, let's take a look at a few top plays to prioritize. Before we dig in, here are a few notes on Tennis DFS.
- Super difficult sport. One of, if not the most high variance sport. So play smart!
- Slate start times are all over the place, including some middle of the night starts. So be mindful of start times and the fact that a late scratch is potential with Tennis.
- Tennis is not like most sports where you have to pay up for the top plays. There are no James Harden's in Tennis where 1 player can score 40 points more than anybody else on the slate. It is rarely going to be worth paying all the way up for a player unless the slate allows it.
- Be careful about players who double fault a lot.
- Players with high upside AND favorites (as long as the price isn't outrageous) are usually top tier plays.
Now that you have a better feel for Tennis DFS, let's dig in.
Tommy Paul- Fanduel pricing is VERY tight this opening day. So tight that we are going to have to take an under dog or two and find some quality value. Tommy Paul is our first quality value piece. He is a -305 favorite at only $18. Paul has struggled in majors in his young career, but he is in great recent form having reached the semis in Adelaide as a qualifier. His opponent, Leonardo Mayer is not in great form having lost not once, but twice at Adelaide (he was a lucky loser). He has also lost 4 straight in the first round now.
Note: As I mentioned with Paul, Fanduel pricing does not allow us to take all favorites. So we have two options. 1. Build around a few "pick em" games where Vegas essentially has the match as a coin flip. 2. Take a cheap under dog that opens up salary. Keep in mind that whatever route you go, you need all of your players to win if you expect to win big. In cash you can typically get away with a loss or 2, but still the goal is all wins.
With the above note in mind, we are going to take a look at a cheaper, slight under dog who is worth considering as well as a punt option worth considering.
Reilly Opelka- Opelka is a pick em play at -105 against Fabio Fognini. This is a really close match that could go either way. As a matter of fact, the 2 faced twice last year on hard court and split. I anticipate a close match with at least 1-2 tie breakers and 4-5 sets. What helps Opelka here is his massive serve. He fires a slate high 1.44 aces per game while Fognini gives up .67 per game. Neither player comes in to this in great recent form with Opelka having lost 2 straight on hard court while Fognini has lost 4 of 5 on hard court. Opelkas massive serve and Fognini's even worse recent form gives Opelka a real shot at the slight upset here.
Sorana Cirstea- If you want to save even more funds, consider Cirstea. Cirsea is a +135 at $13. There is actually a lot to like here abou Cirstea. She is taking on Barbora Strycova who is 5-12 (29%) on hard court main draws over the last 12 months while Cirstea is 6-6 (50%). There is slight concern about an injury that forced Cirstea to withdraw from Hobart, but withdraws are common the week before a slam as players often decide they need the rest.
Corentin Moutet- A popular upset pick, Moutet takes on the struggling Marin Cilic. Cilic comes in to the Australian open loser of 4 of his last 10 matches while Moutet went on a finals run at Doha, winning 6 straight before losing to the red hot Rublev. Cilic does have experience on his side and is an impressive 10-1 in first round Australian Open matches. But Moutet has the skill and confidence to get the win here. Should be a tight match and come down to Cilic's confidence level.
My suggestion is to start with Tommy Paul and one of the upset picks above. or if you feel good about 2 of the 3 winning, then utilize two upset picks. From there, utilize the cheat sheet to fill out the rest of you plays. You can fit all decent favorites utilizing the core plays I suggested (there are a ton of -160 or better favorites in the $16 range).
To help fill out your lineup, grab our amazing cheat sheet below! As I mentioned above, our cheat sheet features all the stats and info you need to build a quality lineup and compete nightly in a difficult sport. Good luck!