You missed the Australian Open lockout and haven’t got a chance of winning Fantasy Tennis League 2017, right? Wrong!
In fact, players who sign up to fantasytennisleague.com this week are, thanks to a quirk of the tennis calendar, still in a strong position to win the league.
But you’ve got to be clever in the way you craft your team.
Game week two coincides with the Davis Cup and game week three with Fed Cup, meaning that there are no men’s tournaments next week or women’s tournaments the week after.
What’s more, the events that are being played are lower tier WTA Internationals and ATP 250s, and the majority of the players competing in them are not the ‘big’ names that have been so popular in the opening weeks of the competition.
Therein lies the opportunity.
By bypassing the superstars and selecting players like Kuznetsova, Halep, Thiem or Goffin – all of whom play regularly in these lower tier events – you can not only build a strong team, but one that is crafted to pick up valuable points week in and week out.
That will allow you to close the gap on Fantasy teams that are ‘Grand Slam heavy’, and will have no more than two or three players earning points in the weeks to come.
Who should you pick?
You obviously have to craft a team that suits your budget, but here are five players who will be in action in the coming weeks:
Dominic Thiem ($9.55m)
A ‘must’ buy given his ability to play numerous tournaments through the year – and win plenty of them.
Elina Svitolina ($8.53m)
A talented up-and-comer who looks set to go on a win streak in 2017
Ivo Karlovic ($7.5m)
A top seed at lower tier event, Karlovic’s massive serve is a guaranteed point scorer.
Svetlana Kuznetsova ($9.75m)
The Russian ran out of gas at Australian Open, but is in form at the moment and capable of taking out plenty of titles this season.
Grigor Dimitrov ($8.09m)
His ‘remarkable’ run at Australian Open isn’t so remarkable if you follow his form over the last six months. A man whose value – and ranking – is on the rise.