Hello again and welcome back! This is Javier Gancedo of Euroleague.net ready to discuss week four of the Top 16 in the SportingBet Euroleague Fantasy Challenge. The game is coming to an end: Just three weeks remain to find out who will be our special guest at the 2010 Final Four in Paris. There is quite a race atop the overall standings, with no fewer than 10 teams with good chances to win it all. As for the BallinEurope Invitational Challenge, it has been a pivotal week because our previous leader eurofootball left his team open and did not get any points in Top 16 Week 3. If you don’t win the private league, Rafi, you will be the winner in my eyes at least. That left me second in the private league standings against all odds. Anything can happen from now on.
Unless something really strange happens, this week will be the last one in which all 16 teams still have a chance to make it to the next round. From now on, different rotations may take place and little-used players could step on court. Not this week, however, so let’s see how my team looks…
It’s been two weeks and my memory is weak with so much work in the Euroleague office. My team, Meet The Boss, had 185.1 points in the last round − pretty decent − and ranks 345th overall. At 228th, it’s even a bit higher on the Top 16 board. First and foremost, Tiago Splitter is out this week, so despite scoring zero last week, I am keeping Mirza Teletovic. Good fantasy players always follow their instinct more than anything else. I am not good anymore − this is my worst fantasy season by far − but I think Teletovic will do well against BC Khimki.
So, let’s go! I’m trading Chuck Eidson because I want Alan Anderson in my team. It’s a sin not to have Anderson in this year’s Fantasy Challenge, and even when I did well without him, I think I will do even better now. I am also trading Robertas Javtokas because I’m not sure that Khimki will beat Caja Laboral, after all; that’s one of the reasons why I’m keeping Teletovic, too. Thanking him for his good game and for not making me look like an idiot (He had 23.1 points … huh?), I am trading Robert Archibald and wishing him good luck in Kaunas this week. We even joked a bit about it in Facebook last week. Archibald is a good man.
Time for me to pick up three players and you know Anderson is one of them. That leaves me with almost 145 credits for two big men. I expect Panathinaikos to put a good fight against Regal FC Barcelona this week; it’s that or the Greens are mathematically eliminated from advancement. The question is whether I should have Mike Batiste or Nikola Pekovic. There is only one way to know, which is checking what happened last week. Batiste had 21 index last week and Pekovic was limited to 12. Hmm … all right, Batiste is the chosen one. That leaves me with 67 credits for my final player, but I have a problem: I have no idea on which player I should choose. The obvious choice is either Pekovic or Sasha Kaun. Since I have never been obvious in my entire life, I will pick Georgios Printezis.
After all these messy decisions, Meet the Boss looks like this in Top 16 Week 4:
Terrell McIntyre earned weekly MVP honors against Madrid and faces the Whites again this week.
Milos Teodosic is coming off a terrific game in the Greek Cup final, so there’s no reason to trade him.
Viktor Khryapa. The ultimate fantasy player due to his rebounds and assists. A must.
Linas Kleiza. Kleiza had a so-so game against Cibona in Week 3, so he should be ready to bounce back.
Alan Anderson. The most unstoppable player in the league right now. Charles Smith must do his best to slow him.
Ramunas Siskauskas. Always in shape at the right time, Siskauskas will do well in a pivotal game like this.
Mike Batiste. Panathinaikos is in a do-or-die situation. Batiste thrives in games like this.
Georgios Printezis. I’m taking a bit of a risk here, though Printezis should use his quickness against Travis Watson.
Darjus Lavrinovic will not have it that easy this time: His twin brother Ksistof is back in action.
Mirza Teletovic is not playing well lately, but I still trust him in a make-or-break game for Baskonia.
That’s all from me today! Choose wisely, enjoy a great Euroleague week and good luck in the Fantasy Challenge!