PPA DC Open – Fantasy Draft Preview

This is about as thin as a non-PPA Frisco Round Up field can get considering how many contracted players the PPA has. Some of the draws in this DC event have quite a few teams but the depth is lacking as almost all of the teams we drafted here are PPA contracted. Most of the best non-PPA players are in Houston this weekend. 

Slim is 6 up on the year. As noted in the APP Houston Fantasy Draft Preview, the numbers in the draft chart above refer to where each player was selected in the draft. Let us know if that’s annoying or confusing, or you really don’t care about our fantasy drafts at all!

(1) Anna Leigh (Slim) 

(2) Ben Johns (Gritty) 

(3) Anna Leigh Waters / Ben Johns (Gritty) 

(4) Anna Leigh Waters / Leigh Waters (Gritty) 

(5) Matt Wright / Riley Newman (Slim) 

Slim – Anna Leigh was an easy pick first overall as she has simply been dominant in singles this year. The Waters are proving themselves to be the top women’s doubles team, and with a few of the other top women playing the APP this weekend, I like them to take another title. Matt Wright and Riley Newman seem to have found a formula against the Johns brothers with their ultra aggressive style and with the weather forecast not looking too warm in DC this weekend, that ball should be flying fast in their favor.

Gritty – It would be shocking if this was not a gold for Ben in singles this weekend as all the best APP singles players are in Houston. Johns won gold over JW Johnson last time out too. Anna Leigh/Ben have lost to Catherine/Riley once this year and that’s why Ben in singles gets the slight nod ahead of them in the draft. 

(6) Ben Johns / Collin Johns (Gritty) 

(7) Tyson McGuffin (Gritty) 

(8) Catherine Parenteau / Riley Newman (Slim) 

(9) Lucy Kovalova / Callie Smith (Slim) 

(10) Catherine Parenteau (Gritty) 

(11) Jessie Irvine / Jay Devilliers (Gritty) 

Slim – Riley and Catherine are easily the second best mixed team in this field, so as long as they are on the other side of the draw, they should make the final against Ben and AL where I think it should be close. Lucy and Callie haven’t won a tournament in a while, but they have shown that they can this year.

Gritty – It will be colder, fall conditions in DC, which does not favor the Johns brothers in their Riley/Matt matchup. They should still be right in the mix for that gold medal. Tyson may not be getting favorable draws these days, but there should not be anyone in this field that can beat him. Catherine gets the nod ahead of Lea Jansen in singles only because Lea’s health issues have kept her out of singles draws recently while also keeping in mind there is no prospect Catherine will have to face her new arch nemesis, Salome Devidze. Jay/Jessie finally had a bad performance in Vegas, but they could see another Championship Sunday if they find themselves on the other half of the Anna Leigh/Ben draw. Jay/Jessie have been uber consistent in 2022. 

(12) Lea Jansen (Slim) 

(13) Jay Devilliers (Slim) 

(14) Jessie Irvine / Irina Tereschenko (Gritty) 

(15) Catherine Parenteau / Lea Jansen (Gritty) 

(16) Tyler Loong / Callan Dawson (Slim) 

(17) Jay Devilliers / Tyson McGuffin (Slim) 

Slim – As long as she is healthy, Lea Jansen is the second best singles player in the women’s draw, so I am very happy to get her here. In this shallow men’s singles draw, I really like getting Jay Devilliers who you can always count on competing hard. With the 16th and 17th picks, I went back to back with mens doubles, in Tyler Loong / Callan Dawson and Jay Devilliers / Tyson McGuffin. I like one of these teams to win bronze but I think both teams lack the upside to finish above bronze.

Gritty – While Lucy/Callie had match points against Anna/Parris to get to Championship Sunday in Vegas, this DC Sunday appearance is fully up for grabs. That’s why I took both Jessie/Irina and Catherine/Lea. Irina, the GOAT of MLP, is getting that post-MLP bump in draft stock while Catherine/Lea have shown they can knock off Lucy/Callie. It also might be sunny in DC this weekend, which could mean some more Karen Waters lobbing into the sun action. In all seriousness, it will be a missed opportunities for teams not to throw some lobs at Leigh early on in matches regardless of whether it is sunny. 

(18) Callie Smith (Gritty) 

(19) Lucy Kovalova / Matt Wright (Gritty) 

(20) Rosie Johanson (Slim) 

(21) Alex Neumann (Slim) 

(22) Frank Anthony Davis (Gritty) 

(23) Meghan Sheehan-Dizon / Allyce Jones (Gritty) 

Slim – Rosie Johanson has shown that she can get results in singles this year. It will be interesting to see how she does if she goes up against some of the PPA stalwarts. Alex Neumann has gotten some quality singles wins this year.

Gritty – In this singles field, Callie could be in line for a medal. Smith has seen a bump in her singles play as of late. Lucy/Matt have not been playing like they are due for a breakthrough weekend, but I’m just hoping their past results could mean they are due for one. Frank Anthony Davis has had some deeper runs in singles in the second half of 2022. Meghan/Allyce are the best of the rest of the women’s teams left.

(24) Callie Smith / AJ Koller (Slim) 

(25) Leigh Waters / Tyson McGuffin (Slim) 

(26) AJ Koller / Chuck Taylor (Gritty) 

(27) Irina Tereschenko (Gritty) 

(28) Kyle Lewis (Slim) 

(29) Regina Franco / Yana Grechkina (Slim) 

(30) Ben Newell / Daniel De La Rosa (Gritty) 

Slim – Callie Smith / AJ Koller have the hands and weapons to beat literally any mixed team, but they have struggled with consistency this year. Tyson McGuffin / Leigh Waters are coming off a strong 4th place finish a couple weeks ago. Kyle Lewis has podiumed on the APP tour this year and will have a chance to add a PPA podium this weekend. I would bet big money that Regina / Yana will be on the opposite side of the draw as the Waters, which is a shame because the entertainment factor of them playing the Waters again, on another sunny fall day, would be off the charts.

Gritty – To be clear, I had AJ Koller/Chuck Taylor as my slight #3 team in men’s doubles. I like the upside that AJ Koller offers even though Taylor probably gives a few too many free points to opponents over the course of a match. Irina Tereschenko is a steal in this final women’s spot as she has played some better singles recently. Finally, I go with Newell/De La Rosa over Steve Deakin/Spencer Smith. Newell/De La Rosa are more of a day spoiler kind of team, but it’s hard for me to see Deakin/Smith making a medal run with where Deakin’s game is at right now coming off that 1-year plus hiatus

Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments below or email us at nmlpickleball@gmail.com. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook too!

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