The deadline for the Euroleague Fantasy game is approaching. Monday October 20th at 19h30 CET is the time when all the changes will be locked and your teams are set for the first round of competition. So here we go with some tips for your last-minute choices for your team in order to be competitive.
- Check well who is injured or just came back
What is important in this game is to have no injured player in your team. Of course, you can’t avoid players that turn their ankle during the warm-up but at least take a look at our Euroleague Injury list and see who is a long term injury case. The more critical choices are those players that are on day-to-day status. You can go for a gamble and hope that they play but you never know. Players that just came back from an injury are probably not the best choice either as they won’t be in full shape. Because of these issues, I did not select my initial first choice Julius Jenkins (ALBA Berlin – 62 credits) as he has a minor injury since the game against Ludwigsburg during last week. I will however keep an eye on what he did today and then take a decision.
The injury list should in any case be your best friend when it comes to making your teams. It does not only help you to get rid of players that won’t play, but it will also give you advice on who are the players that eventually play more minutes (which means normally also more ranking points). To stay with the case of Julius Jenkins, his eventual injury would give most likely more minutes to Immanuel McElroy (ALBA Berlin – 49 credits) so that he may be a very interesting choice.
- Do not select your favorite players or Rookies
A typical error I made in the beginning and that I am still doing and hardly fighting to avoid it is to select players that you like because they play flashy or do things on the court that you like to see. In order to make a successful team, you have to be very neutral with your feelings and just go for the stat sheet. You can find stats of all the players in the different league websites or on pages like KeyHoops. So don’t do it like Theo Papaloukas on his Fantasy team as he selected himself (of course) or a multitude of former team mates or current Greek National team players. UPDATE: Theo has changed his team in between.
The goal of the game is to score as much Fantasy points as possible and mostly your favorite players don’t do so nor are the Rookies. Brandon Jennings (Roma – 59 credits) may be an extraordinary talent but I doubt that he will contribute a lot, at least not in the beginning of the season. For a similar value, you can find a Euroleague veteran like Carlos Cabezas (Unicaja – 56 credits) who is far less spectacular but I think that he will give you a lot more Fantasy points than the Roma rookie. However, this does not mean that I selected Carlos on my team.
- Select players that win games
It may sound small but the 10% bonus that a player gets on his production when the team wins is very important. As you only select players that score lots of Fantasy points, this bonus can be very big. Juan Carlos Navarro (FC Barcelona – 73 credits) scored big last night against the LA Lakers and the 10% bonus would have been worthier than the production of some rotation player of a losing team.
The way I chose is that I selected my high-value players from the winning teams because the chances to get the bonus on guys that produce a lot of Fantasy points is much higher. On the other hand, the smaller teams have more often players that go for bigger individual performances because their rosters are not as packed as the Panathinaikos or Olympiacos squads. Somebody like Ricardo Greer (SLUC Nancy – 67 credits) may be a very interesting choice as Nancy plays their opener at home against a jet-lagged FC Barcelona. And Ricardo Greer is a former Euroleague top performer with Strasbourg and he just comes from a 22pts (58%), 4rebs, 2asts and 6 provoked fouls effort in the French league.
- Cheap players stay cheap
Another error that you can avoid is to select too many “cheap” players. Players like Zygimantas Janavicius (Zalgiris Kaunas – 16 credits) or Sergio Llull (Real Madrid – 15 credits) may see lots of minutes in the beginning of the season because of the specific situations in their teams. However, this does not mean that they score a lot of Fantasy points first, and secondly, their value won’t move up that much because of the limitations in player price variations. So even if Llull plays well during Raul Lopez’ (Real Madrid – 48 credits) absence, you won’t get an interesting value back at the moment you have to take him out of your team when Lopez comes back.
Still, this does not mean that you can not gamble and take a player like this. If I remember right, there have always been bargains that made extraordinary seasons like Jordi Trias (FC Barcelona – 45 credits) two seasons ago or Nikola Pekovic (Panathinaikos – 94 credits) last year. So the goal is to find the steals of the season 2008-2009. And the best way to find some is to see who are the players that have had a particularly bad season last year because of minor injuries for example and that are now back in full force. Kostas Tsartsaris (Panathinaikos – 27 credits) may be a player to fulfill this role.
- Inside players are money in the bank
One of the main rules you should follow is to put most of your money into big men. With the European way to count assists, your guards won’t get John Stockton figures. However, a rebound is a rebound anywhere in the world. It is a lot easier to grab 4 rebounds in the Euroleague than to dish out 4 assists in an away game in Italy for example. Try to find guards that rebound well and shoot high percentages and put a lot of money into versatile power forwards. Felipe Reyes (Real Madrid – 74 credits) may look very expensive but he is always presents with lots of rebounds and high percentage shots.
- Do not overestimate my advice 😉
Well, you still have to do your own choices. And I am not a reference in Fantasy Basketball as showed my two-thousand-something place last season. Anyhow, I try to give you my personal advices and nobody obliges you to follow them. But at least, if you see my team in the top rankings at the end of the season, you will know how I set it up.
Don’t forget though to join our Private BallinEurope League as you can win 2 entrance tickets for the Euroleague Final 4 in Berlin. The deadline for joining is on Wednesday and check here to see how this exactly works.