It’s been a minute for us with a post. After a bit of a hiatus on pro tournaments, as Tyson says “not gonna lie”, we dropped the ball and didn’t look at the schedule closely enough for the APP Tour’s Pacific Northwest Classic already going on this weekend. The women’s pro bracket started on Wednesday and those results are already in. The men play doubles on Thursday. Due to our error, our fantasy draft is abbreviated to only include the men’s brackets. We did not include any women’s singles either as it is only a 4 player draw. Our bad to the women in the field for missing the boat on the schedule. As the kids say, better late than never!
Slim is 1 up on the year and he had the first pick in the draft after Gritty won the coin flip, but ended up choosing to draft 2nd.
1. Jay Devilliers (Slim)
2. Lauren Stratman / Jay Devilliers (Gritty)
3. JW Johnson (Gritty)
4. Steve Deakin / Spencer Smith (Slim)
5. JW Johnson / Jay Devilliers (Slim)
Slim – As Gritty mentioned in the intro, we were not adequately prepared for this draft and it shows, in my picks this week. I am very happy with these first three picks though. I know JW beat Jay in singles the last time they faced off, but I really think that a rested Jay Devilliers is a strong favorite in this singles field. Then with picks 4 and 5, I get what in my mind are solidly the top two men’s doubles teams in Deakin/Smith and Johnson/Devilliers.
Gritty – This draft got a little messed up by both of us but I think Devilliers in singles and Stratman/Devilliers in mixed were the clear top two teams. The only way they are probably getting taken down is through JW Johnson in singles and Jansen/JW in mixed. I liked JW in singles because it’s such a weak field and this is basically a guaranteed silver for JW with an upside for gold. I could have gone with JW or either of the men’s teams that Slim ended up taking here.
6. Dylan Frazier (Gritty)
7. Shelton Jean-Baptiste / Austin Gridley (Gritty)
8. Susannah Barr / Rob Cassidy (Slim)
9. Lee Whitwell / Dylan Frazier (Slim)
10. Dylan Frazier / Matt Chou (Gritty)
11. Wes Gabrielsen / Erik Lange (Gritty)
Slim – This is where things come off the rails for me a bit. I crossed Lea Jansen and JW Johnson off my board thinking that Gritty had taken them, so despite them being available, I end up taking Susannah Barr and Rob Cassidy (who have a history of playing very well together) and Dylan Frazier and Lee Whitwell, my 3 and 4 ranked mixed teams.
Gritty – I’m going with the small sample size on Dylan Frazier’s singles game in this small field. I have him ahead of Shelton/Austin simply because there’s not the competition of the men’s field. It’s a bit dangerous taking Shelton/Austin with the other men’s teams that I ended up getting behind them but I think they are the number 3 team in this field. I’ve sold most of my Wes Gabrielsen stock as he seems to be the same player that used to win national championships, which is a problem with how fast the game is evolving. His results the past couple of tournaments with Erik Lange and Steve Deakin as partners have not been promising. We both screwed up here and didn’t take Jansen/JW simply due to an oversight – I had them in my separate rankings but missed putting them on my big board somehow. They are the clear #2 mixed team even though Barr/Cassidy and Whitwell/Frazier could upset them on the right day.
12. Matt Chou (Slim)
13. Wes Gabrielsen / Michelle Esquivel (Slim)
14. Rob Cassidy (Gritty)
15. Annica Cooper / Scott Golden (Gritty)
16. Brian Ashworth / Lukas Crippen (Slim)
17. Wes Gabrielsen (Slim)
18. Lea Jansen / JW Johnson (Gritty)
Slim – Matt Chou was fourth on my singles board, so I was happy to get him here, as I think he has a chance to podium, especially if Dylan Frazier can’t repeat his Beer City performance, in only his second pro singles tournament. Wes Gabrielsen’s, one of the nicest guys in pickleball, results this year haven’t probably been where you would expect them to be but at this point in the draft, he and Michelle Esiquivel are great value. For my last men’s doubles team, I am taking Brian Ashworth and Lukas Crippen who are both coming off of very impressive performances at the Seattle Metro tournament. Gifting Lea and JW to Gritty hurts, but I guess its a lesson in the need to be organized.
Gritty – I get the benefit of the screw up with Jansen/Johnson as my last choice. As the Freestyle Boys like to say, we need to “be better”. In any event, the field gets thin at this point in the draft. I was a bit surprised to see Slim go with Ashworth/Crippen ahead of Rob Davidson / Nick Williams. Lukas had a very good showing last weekend taking silver just behind Deakin/Spencer Smith, but I would have taken the seasoned vets over them. I guess there could be a world in which Rob Cassidy medaled in singles but Cooper/Golden getting a podium would be nothing short of a miracle.
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