After that great response last week, we had to ask Arkadios again what he thinks about this weeks’ fantasy challenge. Here you go – thanks Arkadios! I have to admit, I expected my first post to do somewhat better. But then seeing everyone complaining about low scores, worst week, bad days I guess that I was being just average. I consider half of my picks good (Washington, Bullock, Siskauskas, Massey, Batiste), 2 mediocre (Kecman, Trias) and 3 busts (Penn, Vassileiades, Andersen). I admit I didn’t see this one (Andersen) coming at all! As predicted the big guys (powers forwards and centers) scored the most ranking points.
Ibrahim Jaaber (Roma): He has made an immediate impact since the day 1 in Roma. He played the most minutes in CSKA-Roma and scored 16 ranking points. He will face Popovic who hasn’t been getting much playing time this season and is the only PG left at healthy in Unicaja and I don’t think he will be a match for Jaaber who left Greek A1 at the top of the scoring category. I expect him to thrive against Unicaja. Another positive fact is that he needs just 7 ranking points to hit a limit up of 6 credits.
Marko Popovic (Zalgiris): This crazy Croat has always impressed me, he was great at Efes and he is even better at Zalgiris, definitely one of the hottest pistols of Euroleague. He scored 12 ranking points in his last Euroleague game vs Real Madrid while he was rested in both of Zalgiris’ weekend games. I honestly believe that both Popovic and Collins are better than Maccabi’s PGs, and Popovic will shoot his way way to Zalgiris’ first win.
Shooting guards/ Small Forwards:
Luis Bullock (Real Madrid): I will stick to Bullock since he has continued his excellent form vs Zalgiris and I expect Olympiakos’ defense to have a lot of holes at the arch. Maybe Bullock will steal some of Winston’s glory (7/8 for 3)? So it is entirely in his hands to take advantage of Olympiakos’ bad momentum.
Vassilis Spanoulis (Panathinaikos): He has been improving all the time since returning to Panathinaikos and Obradovic trusts him a lot letting him handle the ball way more than the other PGs. He has also the ability to draw easy fouls with his rather theatrical reactions. Add to that the facts that he has some of the best penetration skills of Euroleague, leads the assists category in Greek 1 and is decent outside shooter and you got yourself a complete player who is waiting for his chance to explode. And I believe it will happen vs Partizan.
Trajan Langdon (CSKA Moscow): Did you see his winning shot vs Roma? Did you see his entire performance vs Roma? Langdon pulled CSKA out of very difficult situations in the past two months and has been very consistent. He was rested at the weekend and he will show up refreshed and ready for action.
Pete Mickeal (TAU): He has been a very pleasant surprise over the past few games and led TAU to the win vs Rytas in the opening day of Top16. Fenerbahce Ulker is missing Turkcan again, so he will find some more space to score and most importantly to rebound. Plus the +10% bonus is guaranteed as TAU will win the game, one way or another.
Marijonas Petravicius (Rytas): Definitely one of the best rookies of the Euroleague, although he is 28. His great performances have made him a main candidate Lithuania NT front line. Scored 24 ranking points vs TAU while he pulled off 18 easy ranking points in 20 minutes in his weekend game for the BBL. Aris’ front line lacks height and offset and he will look to take advantage of that like he did in the regular season game where he scored 21 ranking points.
Terrence Morris (Maccabi): Maccabi will suffer without Fizer and Vujcic but this guy will try his best to make up for their absence and I’m positive he will not disappoint us. Morris has also been one of Euroleague’s revelations at the age of 28 and he managed to sum up a total of 34 points, 28 points and 46 ranking points in his last two games vs Olympiakos and Hapoel Jerusalem! And frankly, Zalgiris’ front line isn’t that scary… So if Morris doesn’t get loaded with quick fouls he will do just fine and earn us some easy ranking points.
Tiago Splitter (TAU): He was great vs Zalgiris and Girona in his last two games and looks in great shape. I think he will do great against young and inexperienced Fenerbahce Ulker’s front line. If only Spahjia used him for more minutes… a safe bet in my opinion.
Mario Kasun (Barcelona): Kasun is back (we hope for good and wish him all the best) and he showed it in his weekend game vs Valladolid scoring 26 ranking points. CSKA lacks height in the paint and Kasun can grab some easy rebounds and if Lakovic and Sanchez decide to pass him the ball he will not disappoint his new (who?) coach.
Again, as last week, I kept the team value under 550 credits to make it more realistic. Let’s hope there are no last moment injuries and everything works out fine for everyone. Let the comments roll…
Good luck. Arkadios.