Fantasy Pickleball – Minto US Open Edition

We started doing some fantasy pickleball just between the two of us this year for a small sum of cash so we figured why not make it into a blog post? We take the five main brackets and we pick three teams each in a snake draft. The winner of the week is whoever has the most combined points from their team – 3 points for a gold, 2 points for a silver and 1 point for a bronze. In this version, Slim had the first pick. The chart above represents our respective teams. Each post we will show the order in which we picked teams and give some of our thought process behind the picks. Slim had first pick.

Gritty – There’s a bit of a theme here, which Ben or Simone variation do you want. Ben/Simone in mixed is the no doubt #1 pick but the next 4 are up in the air. I went with Ben in singles and men’s because he doesn’t get beat when he is focused. The no back draw format of the US Open means we get a focused Ben.

Slim – I think you have to go Ben/Simone #1, as there is probably a little injury insurance there, that isn’t there with them, in the singles (i.e. I think if one of them rolls an ankle they can still win mixed, not so sure in singles). With Ben going off the board with picks #2 and 3, I was pretty happy to have Simone at #4 and 5. Nobody finds the top of the podium more consistently then Simone, and that includes Ben Johns, so I’ll gladly take her in all 3 of her events.

Gritty – Parenteau was the obvious next choice. She has solidified herself at #2 in singles and I think she is essentially guaranteed to get at least silver with upside of a bronze. I went with Lucy/Matt because I think they area likely silver and close to a lock for bronze. I have faith in Jay Devilliers’ singles game.

Slim – The Catherine pick was an obvious choice by Gritty, but if I was him I would have kept rolling with Catherine in women’s doubles as well, so I was very happy when he went with Matt and Lucy. I think Catherine and Callie have firmly established themselves as the second best team in women’s doubles so I was ecstatic to pick them up. Next I had to follow my big board and pick Zane Navratil in singles, who I think clearly has established himself as the number two singles player this year, but I am a little concerned about this pick as I do wonder if his serve, which is a big part of his game, will be as lively with the soft Franklin ball. I also think Gritty reached picking Jay where he did.

Gritty – I debated taking the Waters or the Newmans ahead of Jay in singles, and I wish I had taken them. I think they both have enough upside for at least a silver and one of them will be on the podium. I snapped up all the singles players other than Navratil as I still believe Tyson can turn it around. Slim’s women’s doubles teams were filled up and that allows me to wait until the end to pick who I want.

Slim – I was excited to have both the Newmans and Waters available at this point, as I had both teams firmly as the third best teams in their brackets and both have great upside to do even better. Irina was an easy pick for me here as I had firmly third in women’s singles. (I think Gritty messed up our drat order here and I actually took Dekel/Adam, here but I am actually very high on Colin’s singles game despite his having not played in a while).

Gritty – The Michelle Esquivel singles pick is likely a mistake. I went with Pat/Jay over Adam/Dekel as well as DJ/Callan but any of those three teams could be the #3 seed. I let Slim make the mixed doubles pick because I couldn’t choose between Callie/Adam or Tyson/Leigh. I end up later with Tyson/Leigh, which I am fine with.

Slim – I had Dekel/Adam as my third seed, so I was pretty happy to get them at this point, and I think that Callie and Adam are two beasts and competitors, so I was pretty happy to get them at this point.

Gritty – Slim had his pick of men’s doubles left and I had my pick of women’s doubles waiting to go. I like one of Irina/Jessie and Lindsey/Vivienne to find a podium, but they are the #4 and #5 seed in my women’s rankings. I ended up with my top #3 seeds in men’s and Slim surprised me by his Deakin/Weinbach pick. I don’t trust Weinbach at his age but that Franklin ball in the Florida heat could help.

Slim – I am very happy to get Dekel here as I actually think he could on the right day finish as high as silver in this field. I think that Gritty miscalculated stacking up on Men’s singles picks and feel that my three picks will get me silver and bronze picks. Also, getting Callan and DJ, a team with a number of podiums at major events over the last year, seems like free money. And getting the guy they call “Podium Deakin” with the second to last pick with the 29th pick, seems pretty good to me. If Steve could get a bronze at the last US Open with Bubba Zbinden, why can’t he do it why the Badger?

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