Tennis DFS Plays for French Open: Target the Volatility of Clara Tauson & Leylah Annie Fernandez (May 28)

The French Open is here and DraftKings has increased the Tennis DFS prize pools to celebrate the next major. Sunday’s main GPP is up from the typical $5k to first that we’ve been getting this season. The “main event” will be on Tuesday with $30,000 up top. Leading up to Roland Garros has been a tough go in DFS as we’ve been hit with a number of withdraws and walkovers. That will change now that the major is here, but we’ll still have to wade through huge player pools– thirty matches on Sunday– to find the best plays. Stokastic’s Tennis DFS projections have been updated, making it easy to find the best plays by projection and ownership.

Stay tuned throughout the tournament for other news and projection updates. DraftKings hasn’t upped the prize pools to past levels, but they are committing time to new formats, including an exciting 3-player “short slate” format for Tennis DFS. The new tournament format will surely bring new strategies, and ownership and game theory considerations to the table. But first, let’s dive in to some value spots for the Sunday’s main slate.

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Tennis DFS French Open: Top Values and Ceiling Plays

Sorting the projections by points-per-dollar value is a great way to find the best bang for your buck on this Tennis DFS slate. We will have to be mindful of ownership and other fishy circumstances when we do so. The top value on Sunday’s slate is Stefanos Tsitsipas, but unfortunately that is a function of his exorbitant odds to win the match, and not upside. Tsitsipas’ $11.000 price tag means he needs to deliver a crushing victory to pay off his salary. He can do it, and you can lock in a win with his 96% implied probability. However, your chances of getting a 75-85 plus fantasy point performance are probably not good enough to warrant eating his 27% projected ownership.

It’s best to look for lower priced value plays with a better chance of paying off. Luckily some names come to mind…

John Isner $6,100, Thanasi Kokkinakis $6,900

John Isner and Thanasi Kokkinakis are the next highest points per dollar plays behind Stefanos Tsitsipas. But unlike Tsitsipas, Isner and Kokkinakis aren’t on the list for their win equity. The high floor, high ceiling for them comes from serve upside. When Isner win, it’s because his serve game is on point and he’s racking up aces. Kokkinakis isn’t quite the serve specialist as Isner, but he does come with an average ace projection of 10.58, which is the second highest on the slate.

Rostering Isner or Kokkinakis offers will leave plenty of salary to avoid ownership elsewhere. Just beware of steam. Isner and Kokkinakis are projected for 10.88% and 14.19% ownership, respectively. Don’t be shocked if those numbers are higher when the cards are flipped over on Sunday morning.

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Magda Linette $7,400

There’s more variance in women’s matches than men’s, and that could be the case in this Magda Linette vs. Leylah Annie Fernandez match. Fernandez has all the potential in the world, but at just 20-years old she brings plenty of volatility to the table, which is exactly what we want for DFS. Both sides of this match are intriguing, but Linette is the better price adjusted play. Linette’s average projection is 45.56 fantasy points, putt her in the top-15 points per dollar plays on the slate. Her price is commensurate with her odds of winning in straight sets, but doesn’t reflect the upside that this matchup brings. Likewise, her 12% projected ownership is low enough to separate your lineups from the field if she hits a big score.

Don’t sleep on Fernandez either, despite the lack of average projection relative to her price. The same case for targeting opponents of these types of players in DFS can be made for rostering them. And while that strategy is hardly a secret, and in some respect captured by the “straight set” and “games won/lost” metrics, we can expect an abundance of casual players in GPPs to miss these during the start of majors.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich $6,800, Clara Tauson $8,200

The Clara Tauson vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich matchup can be targeted for similar reasons to Linette. Not only has Tauson shown a propensity to blow up, or implode in the past, but she is coming off a stretch of matches since February that have not been nearly the same WTA level of play that she will encounter at the French Open. Give Tauson credit for getting this far, but she is still coming off a stretch of ITF appearances and the Billy Jean King Cup. Her last serious WTA was a straight-set loss to Petra Martic on February 10th.

It’s a bit unclear what we’ll see out of Tauson this week, bringing more volatility into these lines. Tauson’s ceiling floor, and that of her opponent’s Aliaksandra Sasnovich are worth considering on Sunday’s Tennis DFS slate. Tauson is currently pulling around 13% ownership in Stokastic’s projections, but Sasnovich is coming in at just 9.05%. For Sasnovich’s ceiling, that could be a steal.




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