The second round of the French Open continues at Roland Garros on Thursday, and the big names like Novak Djokovic ($11,200) and Stefanos Tsitsipas ($10,000) are back on the red clay in France. The matchups should be getting a little tighter now, which gives us the opportunity to take some intriguing value options to go along with the high-priced chalk. We take a look at options to consider for your fantasy tennis rosters on DraftKings.
Novak Djokovic ($11,200)
I’m not going to be fading Djokovic as long as we keep posting contests at DraftKings, so you’ll continue to see him here whenever he’s playing. There’s simply no reason not to pay up for someone who will consistently post around 80 DKFP, with near-guaranteed straight-set victories in this half of the draw. Ricardas Berankis ($4,000) pushed Djokovic to a first-set tiebreak in New York, but don’t be scared by that. First off, that was Berankis’ preferred surface. Secondly, Djokovic appeared to be a little off that week, and possibly under the weather. His form is strong as ever, and on these never-before-seen clay court conditions in France, Djokovic is always going to be the safest bet.
Roberto Bautista Agut ($10,800)
Yes, yes, big limb I went out on here with the second most expensive player on the slate, but I really don’t love paying up for anyone else above $9,000. Simply put, Bautista is a master of the clay, with his precise groundstrokes and excellent feel translating very well at Roland Garros. Attila Balazs ($4,100) is a weird opponent to get a read on, but his overall body of work over the past year is very unspectacular. He had a red-hot run through the Challengers last summer on the clay which culminated in a trip to the final in Umag, but since then he’s really cooled off. He has skill, but not nearly enough to steal a set off one of the world’s best groundstrokers. If you want a contrarian option up here to pivot off Djokovic, this works.
Also Consider: Matteo Berrettini ($10,600)
Value FLEX Options
Dusan Lajovic ($8,500)
Lajovic’s opponent, Kevin Anderson ($6,500), isn’t built for clay. His reliance on his serve and lack of great movement at his age makes him a tough guy to trust against a skilled clay rallier. Lajovic struggled at the very beginning of the restart, falling first in a pair of matches on the hardcourts in New York and one on clay in Kitzhubel before absolutely turning it on in Rome, beating a pair of quality opponents in Alex Davidovich-Fokina and Milos Raonic. From there, he pushed Rafael Nadal about as hard as someone just outside the top 20 can and he continued his success in Hamburg. Lajovic is in form, and when he is, he is one of the top clay payers in the world. His one-handed backhand will be fun to watch in this one, and Anderson should watch many winners of said backhand pass him all day.
Pablo Cuevas ($4,700)
In order to make some of the top guys fit, you’re going to have to look into the bargain bin a bit. Out of all the guys down here, I like Cuevas a lot. Why? Well, I see him in a similar spot to Tommy Paul on Thursday, who managed a solid 44 points despite losing in five sets at a similar salary. Cuevas just gave Tsitsipas ($10,000) a good fight in Hamburg last week, and I believe his prowess and years of experience on this surface could give him the tools to push Tsitsipas to five sets. Helping matters is that Tsitsipas was so sweaty by the end of his marathon victory over Jaume Munar that he looked like he’d just jumped in a pool. After making a run to the Finals in Hamburg and playing a lot of points on Monday, Tsitsipas should start to feel the fatigue. Cuevas might not win, but he should give you some points at this price point.
Others to consider: Patricia Maria Tig ($8,400)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.