A few days ago I talked to Arkadios, who also does his own blog and is very well known around the “Euroleague Internet”, what his thoughts are on the Euroleague Fantasy Challenge in the Top16. Her is what Arkadios has to say – make sure you read this – very informative!
If you are reading this article then you are probably familiar with Euroleague Fantasy and there are not many new things I can tell you about it. But let’s do a little review. Euroleague Fantasy is generally a mixed game of scouting, tactics and strategy. If you find the perfect balance between these elements then the chances of you doing well are more than likely.
When I say scouting I mean the players’ performance in their respective domestic leagues during the weekends, some on Friday and some other on Monday nights. Sure, their weekend performance doesn’t guarantee anything and they might have different roles in Euroleague games but surely you can get a very helpful general idea of what you are dealing with.
Tactics is the way you allocate the 500 (or 400 or even 600 or whatever is the amount you got) credits you get to spend on your 10 men squad. Generally speaking the front line players usually score more ranking points so it might be a good idea to spend most of your credits on big men. You should also avoid purchasing players with limited playing time. Another thing you should take into consideration is the player’s next opponent. For example a big and heavy center will do better than average against soft big men who are mainly power forwards.
Strategy is the thin line between ranking and the players’ value. You should try to get the players with the best ranking points average but you should also look to purchase some players who will rapidly increase their value with 1-2 good games and provide you some extra credits to spend and therefore make your life easier.
I am writing this article on a Monday night, therefore I can not be sure about some players’ injuries who might play or not in Euroleague Top16 Week 1, but I can already spot some mistakes on Euroleague Fantasy official site.
Euroleague lists some healthy players as injured such as Will Bynum, Jeremiah Massey, Kostas Vassileiades, Kennedy Winston, Pete Mickeal, Fragiskos Alvertis, Esteban Batista, Michael Batiste, Hanno Mottola, Romain Sato and so on. Some players who are doubtful but are likely to play are Arvydas Macijauskas and Reyshawn Terry.
I will try to suggest a full 10 men squad worth of 550 units as I think that this is about the average amount average Euroleague Fantasy players such as ourselves have available. I will try to make it as diverse as I can, meaning that I will try choose 10 players from as many different teams as I can.
Darius Washington: He might have signed for Aris just a few weeks ago but he is already their starting and indispensable PG. He runs the court well, is a decent shooter and can penetrate rather good. He has already played 1 Euroleague game and scored 14 ranking points. Plus he will hit a limit up of 5 credits even if he scores a lousy -5 ranking points. After all a player who was playing for the NBA champs earlier in the season must be worth something, right?
Scoonie Penn: OK, he and his team might be facing one of the best Euroleague sides, Panathinaikos that is, but Penn has been nothing but gold for Efes since he signed and got in form and he has had his fair share of quite good games vs Panathinaikos when he played for Cibona and (mainly) Olympiakos.
Shooting Guards/ Small Forwards:
Louis Bullock: He has been in a terrific form in the past 2 weeks scoring 19, 23, 19, 21 ranking points in his last 4 games. So, playing a relatively easy home game against Zalgiris I see no reason why he shouldn’t keep up his good form. Do you?
Kostas Vassileiades: He started off slowly in the season. He then accelerated but got injured. But now he is back he is at his best. Especially with Macijauskas out of the rotation due to an injury and with the new coach Yiannakis trusting him and letting him take plenty of shots Vassileiades has been performing at the top level. His last two games averages with Oylmpiakos: 23 minutes, 18 points (3.5 3pointers) and the most important 19 ranking points.
Ramunas Siskauskas: One of the most stable and consistent players in Europe. He might not be at his best lately, but that is one reason more I would pick him. He must resume his high standard games and lead CSKA after their Russian Cup humiliation against local arch-rivals Khimki.
Dusan Kecman: Averaging about 25 minutes and 15 ranking points this solid player should be a safe bet. Partizan’s opponents Siena in the opening game are not in their best shape and Partizan will look to take advantage.
Power Forwards/ Centers:
David Andersen: He has been in excellent form for the past 2 months and so and being the only healthy creative big guy in CSKA he gets a lot of balls and gets to shoot the ball a lot. His good long range shot helps a lot and so does his height to grab rebounds.
Michael Batiste: With Dejan Tomasevic, Kostas Tsartsaris and Nikola Prkacin all sidelined Batiste should and will get more than his usual 22-23 minutes of playing time. He has almost fully recovered from his injury and looks safe and confident to get back in fantasy lineups. Played a great game on Saturday scoring 25 points with flawless statistics. A bargain if you ask me.
Jeremiah Massey: He has been one of the best centers of Euroleague for the past 2 seasons. He is already a target of major European clubs and is getting better and better. He always does his best for the team, especially in Alexandrion. And starting off with Fenerbahce he is set to dominate the paint.
Jordi Trias: With Mario Kasun out of the picture until further notice Trias has stepped in for good. Just lok at his rankign points in his last 3 games: 36, 16, 22 ranking points. Reminds us his value-for-money performance last season.
P.S. If you feel like gambling you could try to sign winter signing such as Viktor Khryapa, Jackson Vroman, Damir Markota and Ibrahim Jaaber. Even Mamadou N’Diaye for that matter.
Good luck. Arkadios.