The US Open continues the 3rd round and 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)
Price Glitch Chalk: Felix Auger-Aliassime ($8,000, $23, -400)
I don’t know if Felix Auger-Aliassime should really be priced as a -400 favorite, but even if sportsbooks are overrating him, he is just too cheap at $8,000 on Draftkings. (Compare to his $23 Fanduel salary, which makes him nearly unplayable.) The range of outcomes here is large enough, especially with Moutet being a capable performer, that he is not quite a lock in GPPs as he is in cash games. Still, he likely deserves to be in a majority of your lineups.
Elise Mertens ($9,900, $24, -500)
Only 18 years old, McNally is a really young up and comer and put up a solid performance last night with a surprise upset over Alexandrova. This is not really the type of matchup I like to exploit, but there is no doubt that McNally has struggled to hold serve as a whole over the past year and that Elise Mertens is an elite player. If McNally has double fault woes and fails to hold serve, this is a potential smash spot. If both players play around their regular level, Mertens should still win in straights and pay off her salary. Mertens should be considered a fine expensive play on Draftkings GPPs, but her prohibitive salary on Fanduel is not worth bothering with.
Madison Keys ($9,600, $21, -340), Serena Williams ($9,400, $19, -280)
Both of these big servers enter the third round in fairly good spots for fantasy. I am a huge fan of WTA players that can serve well, since they are able to capitalize on the higher variance and breakpoint opportunities of WTA matches without the usual caveat of few aces and elevated double fault rates. Thus, Keys and Williams can be considered fine plays even in a vacuum.
Keys is the worst player of the two but may have the softer matchup. Keys’s 9-5 record and 1.11 dominance ratio on hard courts vs. rank 10-100 opponents entering the tournament is well above average, while her opponent, Cornet, is merely competitive with her 4-8 .88 line. If all goes according to plan, Keys can win this match in straight sets by 1-2 breaks each and threaten both the 10+ ace and 0 double fault bonuses. Just bear in mind that this match is indoors, which will probably be to Cornet’s advantage, and that Keys is far from immune to not showing up and getting destroyed by weaker opponents. Even if you play a lot of Keys, you may want to play a little bit of Cornet as a hedge.
Meanwhile, Serena faces off against Sloane Stephens. A couple weeks ago I would have told you she is typically one of the most overpriced players in fantasy, but her recent play has actually been solid enough to have her as a surprisingly short dog against Serena. There is definitely a path to victory for Sloane if she continues to progress and Serena underperforms like in Cincinnati, but Serena is still much more likely than not to win this match and put up a good score in the process. She should be in your GPP mix, especially on Fanduel where her $19 price tag is one of the best values on the slate.
Quick Underdog Picks
Tsvetana Pironkova ($6,200, $13, +170)
Vekic finally had a quality outing in her domination of the average Patricia Tig, but Pironkova continues to defy expectations. There is likely still some value here as a sizeable dog against Vekic who has been more disappointing than not as of late.
Vasek Pospisil ($5,600, $9, +230)
Vasek reminded everyone that he is actually really good during his upset over Raonic last night. His opponent, Agut is a high quality veteran and should be considered reasonably favored over even a charitable evaluation of Pospisil. Still, Pospisil is entering this match with two very high quality victories over Kohlschreiber and Raonic and his 1.17 DR is actually higher than Agut’s 1.12 for the year against rank 10-100 opponents on hard courts. Pospisil is more of a live dog than a mere dart throw. His $9 Fanduel price point is about as good as it gets and might even incentivize paying up for some more expensive plays.
Sorana Cirstea ($5,400, $12, +270)
Cirstea has been surprisingly sharp in the US Open after slumping her way through August. She faces off against Muchova, who is a decisively above average hard-courter (11-6 1.05 DR entering the open), but nothing about her or her recent performances suggest that an upset from a hot Cirstea is off the table or even all that unlikely. She’s not the elite value play that Pospisil is on Fanduel, but she is worthy of consideration on both sites.
Iga Swiatek ($5,200, $9, +400)
Swiatek has the privilege of matching up against Azarenka tomorrow. The winner of WTA Cincinnati and just coming off a decisive win over Sabalenka, Azarenka is playing very well and is well positioned for a deep run in the US Open. Still, Swiatek has shown she can perform at a high level in the WTA and the odds seem really long here considering talent alone. If Azarenka cools off from her recent performances, Swiatek can put up a decent score at a very low salary and ownership%.