APP Tour Chicago Open – Fantasy Draft Preview

This was a different type of tough for our fantasy draft preview as there are so many good teams. Again, not top heavy the same way as a PPA but the number of teams that could legitimately podium is high. The weakest draw in terms of depth actually appears to be the men’s doubles bracket, where there looks to be a fairly big drop-off after the top 3 teams. That doesn’t mean those other teams can’t find their way onto a podium but you have two high end teams in JW/Dekel and Frazier/Daescu then round out that top 3 with Thomas Wilson/DJ Young. So in the weakest draw from a depth standpoint, you still have a very top heavy draw that would stack up to most any partnership. The Atlanta tournament next weekend is going head-to-head with the big PPA Cincinnati event so this is the APP to watch if that’s what floats your boat. Keep in mind that Parris Todd has withdrawn from the field altogether now. She must not be fully healthy.

Slim is now only 2 up on Gritty going into the weekend. Can Slim finally stop the train that is Gritty’s fantasy stock? Slim is due for a win and sources say that he spent more time on the big board for Chicago as a result of feeling the heat. That report has been denied by Slim. Gritty won the toss and elected to pick first.

(1) JW Johnson / Dekel Bar (Gritty) 

(2) JW Johnson (Slim) 

(3) Jorja Johnson / JW Johnson (Slim) 

(4) Salome Devidze (Gritty) 

(5) Andrea Koop / Lauren Stratman (Gritty) 

Gritty – Andrei/Dylan should be a formidable opponent, but I expect JW/Dekel to have too much talent despite the flaws of their partnership. We’ll have to see if Salome continues her ways with disgusting line calls but, line calls aside, she has shown to be the best singles player in this field. The horrendous line calls are simply a bonus from a fantasy perspective. The Kawamoto’s are legit but I like the power that comes from this Koop/Stratman partnership when all is said and done.

Slim – Always bet on JW Johnson, is my motto, so I take him here in singles and mixed. I know JW and Jorja lost the last time they played together in Los Angeles, to Dylan and Anna, but that was at the peak of their crazy tournament streak, so I think they still have to be favorites.

(6) Jackie Kawamoto / Jade Kawamoto (Slim) 

(7) Dylan Frazier / Andrei Daescu (Slim) 

(8) Andrea Koop / Zane Navratil (Gritty) 

(9) Jorja Johnson (Gritty) 

(10) Anna Bright / Dylan Frazier (Slim) 

(11) Anna Bright / Jorja Johnson (Slim) 

Gritty – Andrea/Zane have proven to be one of the best mixed teams out there at these APP events. Anna/Dylan have won together but Andrea/Zane have the consistency that I really like to see. Jorja Johnson looks refreshed in singles and back to more of that form we saw earlier in the year so I have her as the number 2 female singles player.

Slim – The Kawamoto sisters have proven they can play with the best on the APP tour and I think they have a good chance to win it all this weekend. Dylan/Andrei are an extremely talented and intriguing partnership, the only question is whether they gel in time this weekend. I am also not sure that I love l what might be the most comfortable fit for the partnership, which is having Dylan take a little less court playing on the right side. Getting Dylan/Anna as a team that I could easily see winning gold in mixed with the 10 pick is good value. The Anna/Jorja team also has the potential to win the women’s doubles, it’s just a question of whether their power can overcome maybe not being quite as consistent as the teams above them.

(12) Zane Navratil (Gritty) 

(13) Thomas Wilson / DJ Young (Gritty) 

(14) Anna Bright (Slim) 

(15) Federico Staksrud (Slim) 

(16) James Ignatowich (Gritty) 

(17) Jade Kawamoto / Dekel Bar (Gritty) 

Gritty – Zane Navratil was so close to losing early to Dylan Frazier at his last tournament but we didn’t realize at that point where Frazier’s singles game was heading. Zane and his spin serve are still the #2 seed until further notice. Thomas/DJ are the clear cut #3 team and it would be a disappointment if they didn’t find a podium. James Ignatowich seems as likely as anyone outside of JW and Zane to get onto the podium. Finally, the mixed demon, Dekel Bar gets a very interesting partnership with Jade Kawamoto and are great value at this spot in the draft. Dekel was going for at least a slow jog on his Instagram story the other day so that counts as grinding to me!

Slim – I can’t quit Anna Bright in singles. Without Parris playing this weekend, I think she has the talent to win gold, but she has been struggling to put together full days in singles. As we’ve said before on the blog, Federico has quickly become one of the more consistent performers in men’s singles.

(18) Megan Fudge (Slim) 

(19) Dylan Frazier (Slim) 

(20) Mary Brascia (Gritty) 

(21) Simone Jardim / Lina Padegimaite (Gritty) 

(22) Susannah Barr / Mary Brascia (Slim) 

(23) Gabriel Tardio / Rob Cassidy (Slim) 

Gritty – Happy for Slim to take Bright and Fudge ahead of Mary Brascia. Brascia hasn’t been as good since her big singles breakthrough earlier in the summer but to get her as the 5th female in this draft is a steal to me. Simone/Lina have experience with each other through MLP so it will be fascinating to see how they do in a pretty deep women’s field.

Slim – Megan Fudge is a consistent performer in singles who always competes hard, so with the 20th pick she seems like great value. Dylan Frazier’s singles game is on the rise but this deep singles field will test him this week. Susannah/Mary is an intriguing partnership and they are my pick to be the team to make the podium, if one the top three women’s doubles teams falters. Gabe Tardio and Rob Cassidy may not be as consistent as some teams, but if they are both on they will be scary.

(24) Simone Jardim / Federico Staksrud (Gritty) 

(25) Pablo Tellez / Federico Staksrud (Gritty) 

(26) Corrine Carr / DJ Young (Slim) 

(27) Rafa Hewett / Kyle Yates (Slim) 

(28) Hunter Johnson (Gritty) 

(29) Megan Fudge / Bobbi Oshiro (Gritty) 

(30) Rosie Johanson (Slim) 

Gritty – Simone bringing the heat with some new partnerships. The bet on Staksrud in mixed feels pretty good to get this late in the draft when Simone is arguably the best mixed female in this field. Pablo Tellez is coming off a 3-medal weekend in Philadelphia and gets paired up with another rising singles stud in Fed. For my last pick, I’m putting my money where my mouth is with all our Bobbi Oshiro hype. Megan Fudge is a strong partner but it’s unclear whether they have enough juice together as a pairing. The other options for women out there were Whitwell/Etta Wright and Alix Truong/Vivienne David. We had a lot of teams go undrafted that very easily could have been drafted in this field.

Slim – DJ/Corrine have shown they can make podiums playing together this year. I decided to take a flyer on Kyle Yates and Rafa Hewett. I like the idea of Kyle being a consistent player on the left, while the lefty Rafa will provide power and shot making. Rosie Johanson continues to be a player to watch despite her 15-0 loss to Truong last week.

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4 thoughts on “APP Tour Chicago Open – Fantasy Draft Preview

  • September 1, 2022 at 1:22 am

    Good possibility of a triple crown for JW. Jorja could be a contender too. Looks like Staksrud has the best partners yet for his doubles game.

  • September 1, 2022 at 1:42 am

    Jorja and Salome could meet up early in the bracket. I wonder if Jorja or anyone else will ask for line judges when playing against Salome.


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