Hello everyone, this is Javier Gancedo, as always from Euroleague Basketball. Well, well, well … the regular season has reached its halfway mark and there are only a few underpriced players in the SportingBet Fantasy Challenge. In other words, the real competition starts now. People won’t play to accumulate credits, but will have to analyze games, opponents, previous matchups … It’s a brand new game already, and this is where I hope to keep improving.
My team (one of the 10 I manage … yes, I have to make sure nobody can have 11), Meet the Boss, scored 134.3 points and made it to the Top 10 at the BallinEurope Invitational Challenge. I am 60 points away from the top spot and competition is quite good so far. pavleiz leads the standings and his team has more points that any of my 10, so I am aware he’s difficult to beat.
Anyway, like I said, there are a few underpriced players left – Matt Walsh is one of them, but I promise not to use him this time after what happened last week – and I am going for them. I have a lot of credits, as many as 686.5, but I hope to hit 700 before I start thinking on changing my overall strategy. Still, there are some bargains impossible to overlook. So let’s start looking at my team, which looks pretty weird due to having so many moneymakers.
Damn, I don’t know where to start. Let’s face it: I don’t like my team this week. I would get rid of six guys if I could. First of all, I am trading Milos Teodosic because Theo Papaloukas is back, so Teodosic will see less playing time. Fernando San Emeterio is gone, even when I know I may regret it because Brad Oleson and Walter Herrmann are sidelined, so he will play a lot. Still, I expect a good game from Taquan Dean, so San Emeterio goes. Since Nikola Vujcic is not physically 100%, I decided to keep Ioannis Bourousis. Then I am trading Ali Traore because he had its worst game against Zalgiris. I know, Curtis Borchardt was around and so on; still, I want to keep Darjus Lavrinovic because everyone is selling him and I think he will do well against Khimki. Hell, he had a 49 index against them in Russia.
Let’s see what the hell do I do now…? It’s not that tough, actually. I am picking up Mike Batiste, hands down. AJ Milano is without Marius Petravicius and Batiste has that rare ability of getting a big index in little playing time. I am picking up Andrew Wisniewski, too. Wis has played more than 30 minutes in every game but one. Plus, simply put, Vlado Ilievski is not the best defensive player in the world: He has his own skills and strong points as a player, but defense is not one of them. Jaka Klobucar is tough and I am sure he will see minutes against Wisniewski. Anyway, at 39 credits, Wisniewski is a bargain. (Even Jiri Zidek was able to see it, so it’s pretty obvious * SMILE *.)
This leaves me with 72 credits for my final trade. I am tempted to have Ramunas Siskauskas or Trajan Langdon, but Kostas Kaimakoglou and Michalis Pelekanos are tough defenders. I have the feeling that Asseco Prokom will have a good game against EWE Baskets, plus Rickey Paulding is not 100% fit due to an ankle injury. I have money for David Logan and Qyntel Woods. Last time I had Woods, it was a total disaster.
And this is why I am taking him again.
So my team looks like this in Week 6:
Bo McCalebb. Facing a tough road game against Unicaja. He is not underpriced anymore, but people, I only had three trades!
Andrew Wisniewski, who plays a lot and is on his way up: a rarity in Week 6.
Taquan Dean usually plays better on the road – and is playing at home. Dean is a super-scorer, able to have a 30 index in a good day.
Pete Mickeal, MVP of the month! And facing Emir Preldzic and Gordan Giricek this week, at home? Pete stays.
Qyntel Woods. A risk, I know; I chose Woods over Juan Carlos Navarro and Siskauskas, beyond any logic. Still, I think he will do well.
Chuck Eidson. A personal favourite. I’ll give him one more week to see if he takes off.
Ioannis Bourousis. Vujcic is not perfectly fit. Still, I expect a better game from Sofoklis Schortsianitis.
Big Mike Batiste is back, and he is underpriced. Time to get some extra credits down the stretch.
Darjus Lavrinovic. Anything close to the 49 index he had in Game 1 will be … quite appreciated.
Aleks Maric, the only player that has stuck around since Game 1. Maric is my team captain!
Hope you enjoy a big Euroleague week with very good games. Let me add that, if you live in Spain, please *don’t miss* the special documentary after the Madrid – Khimki game tonight. Fernando Martin passed away exactly 20 years ago this Thursday and he is still remembered. Emotional, outstanding, impressing… Like I said, don’t miss it. Martin is a key figure to understanding what basketball has become in this country.