The Daily Tennis Trio – For February 18th – Rio/Delray/Marseille

Welcome to The Daily Tennis Trio. The goal of this article is to provide you with building blocks for roster construction on DraftKings and FanDuel. I will attempt to highlight the players in this article at a high, middle, and value tier. Note at the time of typing this FanDuel does not have a Tennis slate up and I will only be focusing on Draftkings.

Top Tier – Nick Kyrgios (DK: $9,200)

There are several guys priced above this pick that I easily could have put here and called it a day, those include Thiem, Raonic against a lucky loser, Stebe against a lucky loser, but instead, we can take Kyrgios at a pretty large discount over the other options, including a $2,100 discount over the top one in Thiem. As I always say, if your salary lets you roster the top two options I do truly believe that Thiem and Raonic are the best two plays on the slate, but they eat up a considerable amount of salary. Kyrgios, on the other hand, has an interesting matchup with one of his best tour friends in Tommy Paul. These two have never met before and it will be interesting to see how the friends play as competitors. This has me thinking a few things. Thing one is we may not see Kyrgios at his most “fired up” or “immature” moments. But that also leads me to wonder if Kyrgios takes the foot off of the gas at all against a friend, especially considering Acapulco is the next tournament on the schedule. Kyrgios is the better player in this matchup by far and is one of the favorites to win this tournament. As long as Kyrgios serve is on we will establish a nice ace floor as he is firing them at a 19% rate so far in 2020. Tommy Paul has an okay serve, but nothing too overpowering that should provide Kyrgios with issues. With bragging rights with a close friend on the line and Vegas well backing him, Kyrgios should have no issues in this one as he is one of the best hard court players on the tour.

Mid Tier – Reilly Opelka (DK: $8,300)

I write this acknowledging that this play likely ends up becoming chalk but the upside we get out of Opelka is hard to ignore as a favorite and someone priced in the middle tier at just $8,300. Opelka is firing aces at a 26.5% rate so far this season, which to note why this is important is Opelka is just 1-3 on the year, yet is averaging 54 fantasy points per contest. The lowest Opelka has scored is 42.85 in a loss last Friday against Jung. Opelka’s opponent today is Ernests Gulbis, a former top 20 player who has been wildly inconsistent since last year, including going just 6-17 in main draws. Opelka also carries a 100+ point ELO advantage over Gulbis here which just adds more in his favor. These two have met twice before, but both matches coming on clay courts, in which Opelka has won both. I think Opelka ends up being highly owned with his high floor, but unless Gulbis taps into his former self I don’t see Opelka being upset on home soil again. In the outcome of Opelka getting upset, as long as he remains near his ace rate, the loss won’t absolutely bury your team.

Potential Upset Tier – Jack SockĀ (DK: $6,700)

I will start by saying this is more a play against Sock’s opponent than it is advocating a Jack Sock play. Sock will face Radu Albot in the round of 32 at Delray and Albot also happens to be the defending champion in this tournament. So why in the world would we play Sock over the defending champion? Well, that would be because Radu Albot has yet to play a match in 2020 and has missed the first three tournaments on the season with a shoulder injury. The last we saw Albot was the ATP Cup where he was crushed in three matches all in straight sets. It is no surprise that Albot wants to try and play in this tournament, but whether or not he is actually healthy enough to compete in this tournament remains to be seen. These two met at Delray in 2017 with Sock winning in straight sets. There is a considerable risk here as Albot is the better overall player, but there is a strong chance Sock gets a less than 100% version or a lucky loser in the end which gives us some decent value here.

About James Smizek

James is a Daily Fantasy Sports Veteran dating all the way back to his days of writing content on for contest tickets. James specializes in College Football - qualifying for the CFB World Championship in 2018, though you can find his content for NFL, NBA, MLB, and NASCAR on FantasyCruncher. James also picked up some new tricks during the Covid/sports shutdown, carving out a niche in League of Legends, Rocket League, and Call of Duty eSports. A winner of multiple large field GPP's, James hopes his knowledge can help you take down the next one. James currently resides in Wisconsin and is a huge Wisconsin sports fan. If you have any questions you can reach out to him @iKezims on Twitter.

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