Let’s dive right into it!
4 games in today’s Euroleague Fantasy Tournament slate and they offer plenty of opportunities .
Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz vs CSKA Moscow (-8) 157.5
After a tough two-point loss to ASVEL last week, Baskonia is looking to get back on track this round.
They might not find much luck against CSKA, who is just flat out a better team.
However, BKN has been one of my favorite teams to target the last few rounds and it won’t change today.
Pierria Henry has received at least 32 minutes in all but one of their five matchups. Excluding a bad Round 4 against Khimki, Henry is averaging 14/4/7/3.
His price has climbed but it doesn’t take me off Henry if he’s going to average mid-30s in fantasy pts every game.
Achille Polonara is one of the safest plays in the EL from a minutes standpoint. Like Henry, his price is at a season-high, but it won’t take me completely off him.
He’s locked in for 30+ minutes and at 11.8 that’s still a little too cheap for a high-floor player who has shown a ceiling of 40+ fantasy pts.
We can also look to Rokas Giedratis, he’s coming off two straight down games and has a 35-40 pt ceiling.
BKN shuffled their PG rotation in their last domestic game, with Zoran Dragic starting and Luca Vildoza moving to a bench role.
I think both are in play and I would prefer the one who gets the start. I’m finally off the Alec Peters train, his early-season minutes and production have proven to be just an illusion… because of this, I’m sure he’ll break the slate today.
Mike James finally got back in the starting lineup last round and promptly recorded his lowest minutes total of the year. I’m not so worried about that today.
Firstly, Janis Strelnieks is out against and that should solidify James’ minutes.
Additionally, CSKA played Khimki in their last domestic league game (VTB League in Russia) and James’ saw 31 min and put up 20/7/4/1 with Strelnieks playing 20 min off the bench (although Darrun Hilliard sat).
We will play Mike James with confidence today.
The tougher part of this depth chart to decipher is the frontcourt. Ever since Nikola Milutinov returned from injury it’s been a mess to project.
Will Clyburn has been coming off the bench, but he’s still getting 30+ mins. I will have shares of Clyburn, likely as the last man in pivot off lineups that end with Lo Brown or the aforementioned Henry.
Milutinov himself is in play again for me because he is cheap but don’t sleep on spending up a little bit more for Torinike Shengelia, who is facing his former team for the first time
Plays: Henry, James, Polonara
Secondary Plays: Milutinov, Giedratis, Dragic, Vildoza, Shengelia, Clyburn
Alba Berlin vs Olympiacos (-9.5) 160.5
It’s not a hot take to call Berlin the worst team in the league. Thus far this season has pretty much translated to DFS as well. Finding good plays on BER has been tough, to put it mildly. But that could change today if Peyton Siva remains out after a positive COVID test.
A Siva absence would put Jayson Granger, Marcus Eriksson, and possibly even Maodo Lo into play.
Assuming Granger would draw the start for Siva I would greatly prefer him of the three.
Eriksson is extremely scoring dependent and my least favorite of the three.
After a dismal statistical start, Luke Sikma has been putting up stat lines we were more accustomed to in the past. At 10.5m I have an interest in Sikma who can fill up the box score, over his last three EL outings he has 28 points, 21 rebounds, 14 assists, and 2 blocks.
Olympiacos will be without Aaron Harrison who is sidelined 3-4 weeks with an ankle injury. The immediate benefactor was Kostas Papanikolaou, who played 31 minutes up from his previous season-high of 21. He has a low price tag and he’s my favorite play for OLY.
However, if Livio Jean-Charles gets the start again, he will be equally as exciting for just 6.8m. He was injured early on in the season and should see high teens to low 20s in minutes and is probably our best value. We can look to Kostas Sloukas also, but like the rest of the roster that hasn’t been mentioned, the minutes leave a lot to be desired. Hassan Martin is also an excellent play if he fits your build.
Priority Plays: Papanikolaou, Jean-Charles, Granger
Secondary Plays: Sikma, Sloukas, Eriksson, Martin, Spanoulis, Lo
Zalgiris Kaunas vs Maccabi Tel Aviv (-4.5) 157.5
Few pieces of news for ZAL ahead of Round 8.
First, Patricio Garino is now expected to be out until January at the earliest after initially, reports thought he’d be back by now.
Next, Rokas Jokubaitis is recovered from COVID, but won’t be cleared to play until Round 9 next week (when we have a double round week!).
His absence will continue to open up usage for Thomas Walkup. After recording 10 rebounds and 19 assists through the first five rounds, Walkup has posted 14 rebounds and 16 assists in the last two EL games without Jokubaitis.
We can look to Marius Grigonis as a same-team pivot to Walkup. He should be the lower owned of the two and has a similar winning upside if he gets hot.
You can take a shot on Nigel Hayes or Jeoffrey Lauvergne if either fits your build.
Reports are that Othello Hunter hasn’t been able to practice this week leading up to Round 8 after he left Round 7 with a head injury. If he doesn’t go, we can play Dragan Bender for some scoring reliant value, or spend up for Ante Zizic and his mid to high 20s minutes and fantasy production.
I don’t hate having some Angelo Caloiaro shares in my lineups, he should play low 30s minutes and we’ll take that.
Scottie Wilbekin is highly-priced, and we just haven’t seen the ceiling since Round 3 to justify being too heavy on him. I won’t scoff at seeing him in lineups, but I’d rather spend up for Mirotic or to James today in that price range.
Both Tyler Dorsey and Elijah Bryant are in plays as low-owned high upside plays in tourneys.
Priority Plays: Walkup, Wilbekin, Zizic
Secondary Plays: Bender, Hayes, Caloairo, Lauvergne, Dorsey, Bryant
Fenerbahce Istanbul vs FC Barcelona (-8.5) 157.5
The best game on the slate from a real basketball standpoint.
Unfortunately for Fenerbahce (and our Round 7 lineups last week), Nando DeColo is out for a month with a calf injury.
The backcourt keys will be turned over to Lorenzo Brown, who is a fantastic play. I’m not super worried about the tough matchup, as the minutes and usage should be there for Brown to have a great chance at turning in a winning performance today. He’s not a must-play by any means, as there are some other very solid plays from FBD, but I will likely be over the field on Lo Brown.
We can play Ali Muhammed for some value, his minutes should be high teens – low 20s, and with the added usage I’m not opposed to playing him in non-Brown lineups.
Jan Vesely is also in line for a big game with DeColo out, and I will have lots of Vesely. If Ahmet Duverioglu starts again I will have shares but I could see him struggling against Barca.
Dyshawn Pierre and Jarrell Eddie both got hot in Round 7 and shot it above average. They’re both secondary plays in the truest sense of the phrase. Pierre started their last domestic game, and I would elevate him to a priority play if he starts today.
Barca destroyed Alba Berlin in the last round.
In their 103-67 thrashing, we saw Nick Calathes get back in the starting lineup and dish out 12 assists in just 18 minutes of work.
If he starts again he’s one of my favorite plays, along with Nikola Mirotic.
He is the most expensive play of the slate again, and once more I will stress that he is absolutely worth the price today with plenty of ways to fit solid value around him.
We still haven’t seen him explode yet, and a 40-50 point fantasy game is in his arsenal.
Other plays for Barca that I will likely have shares of are Alex Abrines and Cory Higgins. It would be irresponsible of me to not say that Brandon Davies is also in play, although I will likely not have any at that price in my lineups.
Priority Plays: Mirotic, Brown, Vesely, Calathes
Secondary Plays: Abrines, Muhammed, Duverioglu, Higgins, Pierre, Eddie, Davies
That’s all for today.
Good luck and have a great Fantasy Day.