US Open Tennis Quick Picks – September 4th

The US Open now enters the 3rd round and thus the late phase of fantasy tennis. These round-of-32 matches the next couple days will likely be the last time we have enough players for a proper GPP player pool, so take advantage while you can! The players these rounds are better overall and betting prices seem to be getting tighter as player stats and form become more plentiful. However, I still have a few picks here for you just in case you think there is no value to be had on this slate. Be sure to leave a comment or join up with DFS Analytics’s premium chat if you have any questions or thoughts, and good luck in tomorrow’s contest!

Format: (Draftkings Salary, Fanduel Salary, American Betting Odds as of publication)

Stefanos Tsitsipas ($10,300, $24, -700)

All I can say is: wow. To get a player as good as Tsitsipas and these short odds is just a gift. There is just no comparison between these two players. Tsitsipas is one of the best players in the world right now when we discount Djokovic, and he has performed to expectations so far: beating both of his opponents in straights rather easily. (Props to Cressy for his awesome service match keeping it respectable, but he was not close to winning even if he covered the spread.) 

Coric is not close to Tsitsipas’s level right now. Just look at the hard court stats the past year: a 4-9 record and .88 record versus rank 10-100 opponents. Even giving Coric the benefit of the doubt of exiting a slump, Tsitsipas has been way better: a 22-6 record and elite 1.35 DR. Coric needed 5 sets to beat very average Londero yesterday, and unless he steps up his game several notches, Tsitsipas will dominate Coric at a surprisingly low price.

On Fanduel, Tsitsipas comes at a price of $24. As usual for players at that price point, he comes with an asterix on that site. The upside is there, but the amount of dogs you will need to make him work makes him a fringe pick at best. 

Jennifer Brady ($9,300, $21, -270)

Brady was on the verge of a breakthrough already in the spring. She might have finally made it, as she’s gone 7-1 with a ridiculous 1.42 DR since her return. Brady is a dangerous player that is on her game, and we are not playing that much of a premium for her monstrous form: her 14-7 record and 1.05 DR on hard courts for the year still greatly outclasses Garcia’s 5-9 .92.

We have to give Garcia some credit. Since the break, she dispatched questionable opponents in Paolini and Stephens and even pulled an upset on an out of form Pliskova. Her only loss came in the hands of Azarenka, who ended up winning the Cincinnati title. I think she has turned around her game a bit and seems to be at least average, but Brady has been on fire and I will side with her even at a moderately high price.

Filip Krajinovic ($8,400, $17, -170)

I do not see a ton of value at this price point. Lots of matches look like they could be a real grind or just unpredictable in general. This match is not necessarily an exception, but I cannot help but feel this is a good spot for Krajinovic even if we are not getting an obvious discount.

Before the tournament, Krajinovic had a 16-8 record and very solid 1.09 DR against rank 10-100 opponents on the hard courts, which compares favorably in multiple ways to Goffin’s 12-10 1.05. By those numbers alone, I would think this match was priced quite fairly, but it would be unfair to not give Krajinovic a bump for his excellent performances in Cincinnati and the US Open so far. He has not dropped a single set outside of a close 2-1 loss to Raonic. (Admittedly, part of this run was due to good fortune in saving/holding breaks, but he has been good nonetheless.) 

Goffin has the talent to beat Kraj, but he seems like the more exploitable player here. He is coming off a 3-1 win over Lloyd Harris, who is fine in his own right, but Goffin allowed 15 breakpoint opportunities, dropped a set, and needed a tiebreak to come up with the W in what could have been a rather routine matchup. (Honestly, we could probably say the same about his win over Opelka, who was almost certainly not 100% after a withdrawal in Cincinnati.) 

Overall, this is a fairly priced match on paper with some decent upside for Krajinovic if Goffin continues to surrender opportunities. He comes at an attractive price point on both sites and might be popular, but he is a solid play nonetheless, especially in cash contests.

Quick Dog Picks

Taylor Fritz ($6,900, $15, +140)

Fritz is not my favorite underdog play, but I gotta do my due diligence here. Fritz is a great server, he can win this match, and he comes at a great price. I expect he will be the most popular underdog by a wide margin. I think he is more of a cash play than a GPP building block, since I think having to play on the indoor courts is going to partly neuter his dangerous service game. Still, he is very capable of putting up a great score if Shapovalov does not play his best, and I suggest at least having some exposure to Fritz for that reason.

Madison Brengle ($6,300, $13, +170)

Shelby Rogers has had more impressive upsets lately, but her stats for the year (1-4, .88 DR against rank 10-100 opponents on hard) are quite comparable to Rogers’s 3-7 .88. Obviously, both players are overperforming their form for the year and are tough to get a read on, but I think that is just more reason to side with Brengle at a huge discount compared to Rogers. 

Ann Li ($6,000, $12, +200)

I do not know how Riske lost so badly to Li and am not sure how much credit Li deserves for such an underperformance. Still, Li is only 20 and seems to be quietly propping herself up as a respectable tour level competitor. 

Kerber’s wins over Tomljanovic and Friedsam were not surprising but also not especially dominant; she faced more breakpoints than she forced in both matches and was mostly better at capitalizing on them than seriously outplaying either underdog. With yearly numbers that remain merely average, I will happily run out another underdog against Kerber and hope for better breakpoint luck.

Dart Throws

Jennifer Pegula ($5,800, $11, +250)

Pegula is a strong enough competitor that she can usually be counted on as a live dog. Kvitova has been very good so far and I am not sure there is actually any value in the odds here, but I would rather side with Pegula than picking blindly for sure.

Magda Linette ($4,900, $10, +340)

Kontaveit has been playing quite well as of late (9-2 1.18 DR in August), while Linette has merely been okay with her 3-2 record. Still, the overall gap in talent is not ridiculous (1.12 vs 1.03 DR in Kontaveit’s favor) and Linette is probably the cheapest player that has a path to victory that does not involve abnormal underperformance or injury.

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