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Tennis DFS Picks for DraftKings & FanDuel: The Tennis Daily Plug, French Open June 5

Novak Djokovic

NOTE: June 5 is the final Tennis DFS Daily Plug for the 2021 French Open.  The next Plug will be written for the Wimbledon Championships, which starts on Monday, June 28. 

The Tennis Daily Plug, provided during Major tournaments for slates with 16 or more matches, is our write-up that highlights the top Tennis DFS picks & lineup strategies for DraftKings & FanDuel.

The Tennis DFS picks and advice below is provided by Occupy Staff Writer Ross Shinberg (@RossShinberg on Twitter), a multi-time qualifier for DraftKings’ King of the Baseline competition.


Tennis DFS Statistics Glossary:

Win Odds: The moneyline odds, taken from Pinnacle sportsbook, which are converted into percentage form.

Dominance Ratio (DR): The number of return points won divided by service points lost.  A derivative of the “total points won” statistic.  Each player has a DR which, if subtracted from their opponents DR, creates a “difference” typically between -0.30 and + 0.30.  Best used for high-risk player selection.  Generally speaking…

  • Zero = No Difference/Advantage
  • +/- 0.01 to 0.09 = Small Difference
  • +/- 0.10 to 0.19 = Moderate Difference
  • +/- 0.20 to 0.29 = Big Difference
  • +/- 0.30 or more = Match is Very Likely to be Uncompetitive

Ace Rate (AR): The number of total aces divided by service points, times 100. Generally speaking…

  • Less than Five Percent = Virtually No Impact to Fantasy Point Score (a bad thing)
  • Five to Ten Percent = Small Impact
  • Ten to 15 Percent = Medium Impact
  • 15 to 20 Percent = Big Impact
  • 20 Percent or Greater = A Serve Bot.  Must.  Destroy.  Opponent.

Double Fault Rate (DFR): The number of total double faults divided by service points, times 100.  Generally speaking…

  • Less than Two Percent = Virtually No Impact to Fantasy Point Score (a good thing)
  • Two to Five Percent = Small Impact
  • Five to Eight Percent = Medium Impact
  • Eight to Eleven Percent = Big Impact
  • Eleven Percent or Greater = Uncontrollable Bouts of Doubefaultitis.  See a Doctor Immediately.

NOTE:  DR, AR, and DFR statistics were acquired via TennisAbstract.com.  DR is adjusted by time frame and level of competition for each player as necessary.  AR and DFR are derived from each player’s last 20 matches (if applicable) on clay courts.

Tennis DFS Lineup Construction:

We've already written an extensive strategy guide for Tennis DFS on DraftKings and FanDuel. Check it out here if you need a refresher or haven't played much Tennis DFS.

French Open, Day 7 Notes:

Tournament Details

The French Open is a Major tournament and the most significant clay-court tournament on the tennis calendar.  The tournament site is located in Paris, France.  The men play “Best of 5 Sets” matches while the women play “Best of 3 Sets” matches. 

For DFS purposes note that, on FanDuel, their slate includes all matches of the day.  DraftKings has a more condensed slate with fewer matches.  The Plug will note FanDuel specific plays.

Largest Betting Odds Favorites

  • Novak Djokovic: 96% chance to win
  • Rafael Nadal: 94%
  • Matteo Berrettini: 91%
  • Jannik Sinner: 86%
  • Iga Swiatek: 85%

 Largest DR Differences

  • Novak Djokovic: +0.46 (not a typo)
  • Matteo Berrettini: +0.32
  • Iga Swiatek: +0.30
  • Jannik Sinner: +0.29
  • Rafael Nadal: +0.22

Extreme Positive Ace Rates

  • Jan-Lennard Struff: 11%

Extreme Negative Double Fault Rates

  • Cori Gauff: 9.2%

Tennis DFS Short Slate Strategy:

Low-Risk Lineup Strategy:

Even with the reduction in matches, strategy for low-risk remains relatively similar.  Finding the most stark moneyline/salary mispricings is still the most important factor in choosing low-risk players.

The biggest difference comes in the amount of variance there actually is in the DFS game.  The margins are incredibly thin. 1v1’s and 2v2’s are ever more common as ownership condenses on the few top plays.

One strategy that comes into play on short slates is the “low-risk punt.”  In this strategy, the lineup includes one player among the lowest priced (the “punt”), a player in a “coin-flip” matchup (between 40% and 60% win odds), and four expensive players with high win odds.  This strategy is best employed on slates with a large number of big favorites and only a handful of “coin-flip” matchups to pick from. 

High-Risk Lineup Strategy

The strategy for high-risk Tennis DFS slates is very similar to “Showdown” slates for other popular daily fantasy games — “projections” more or less don’t matter and securing a unique lineup is paramount.

Ways To Reduce Lineup Duplication in High-Risk Contests

The quickest and easiest way to reduce lineup duplication, but sometimes the most mentally painful, is leaving salary on the table.  Because of how correlated fantasy salary is to win odds, the field wants to spend as much salary as it can.  It makes sense in terms of securing the most win equity for the lineup itself, but from an ROI perspective, it opens the door to massive duplications and a first-place chop that does not benefit any user playing that lineup.

A second way to reduce lineup duplication is to roster players with low win odds (~25% or worse).  It often feels gross, but on a short slate, crazy things need to happen for a unique lineup to win first place.  Not only will these players be among the lowest owned on the slate, but if they win, they will almost always be the optimal lineup because of how much salary they open up to spend on the other studs.  

Lastly, and just as a general reminder, DO NOT play two players from the same matchup in the same lineup in any high-risk contest. 

Tennis DFS Bankroll Recommendation

Bankroll Allocation: Use 1-2% of your bankroll for this slate. 

Low-Risk Lineup Advice

Low-risk contest selection:

The best possible low-risk contests to play are H2Hs.  Users that have access to the under $5 lobbies should use this to their advantage and avoid going heads-up against the sharper players at higher buy-in levels unless it is necessary.  The next best contests to enter are 50/50’s and double-ups.  Look for contests with inexperienced users and overlay to increase ROI potential.

Low-risk lineup strategy for this slate: 

Consider the strategies listed in the section on low-risk lineup strategy for short slates.  On both FD and DK, the top moneyline/salary values are Sofia Kenin ($7.3k/$16, 54% win odds) and Elise Mertens ($6.5k/$14, 45% win odds).  Because of these values, the “punt” strategy isn’t necessary.  But for those inclined, the two best options on this slate for that strategy are Jennifer Brady ($5.9k/$13, 37% win odds) and Jan-Lennard Struff ($6.2k/$13, 37% win odds, and can challenge for the ace bonus on DK).

High-Risk Lineup Advice

High-risk contest selection:

The most plentiful high-risk contest offerings are the single-entry GPP and three-max GPP with buy-ins available at all bankroll levels.  Other good contests to look for are leagues, smaller GPPs, and triple-ups.  Additionally, look at the satellite lobby and look for overlay to get tickets for future contests.

High-risk lineup strategy for this slate

In small field contests, a six-winner lineup is needed to place highly.  Stick with the more optimal pieces and find one moderate to significant piece of differentiation so that you aren’t playing a low-risk lineup in a high risk contest.   

In large field contests, strong consideration should be given to playing the direct negative correlations against Kenin and Mertens, which would be Jessica Pegula and Maria Sakkari respectively.  There are very few cheap options with chances to win on this slate.  Because of this, leaving salary on the table is the preferred method of lineup differentiation on this slate.  Avoid dumpster diving into the cohort of players with 15% or worse win odds.

Salary usage in high-risk contests

By leaving salary on the table, it reduces the number of duplicate lineups and can create a unique win condition for that lineup.  On FD, this should be $1 or $2 for this slate.  On DK, this should be approximately $600 to $900 for this slate.