Here we go for the first post by the “Boss” of the Euroleague Fantasy Challenge. We are very happy and proud that Javier Gancedo will be sharing his fantasy knowledge with us. Enjoy…
Hello everybody, I guess it is time to introduce myself. For those that don’t know me yet, I am Javier Gancedo, assistant to editorial director Frank Lawlor on Euroleague.net and Eurocupbasketball.com. I have been working for the Euroleague for more than five years and had the pleasure – and responsibility – of coordinating the 50 Years of European Club Basketball project. Among my many duties in the Euroleague is the Fantasy Challenge. Yes, people out there, I am the one who sets player prices every season. So whenever you cannot reach a player value, lose 40 credits in one week or just do not do well in the game, you may feel the need to complain about me. In the end, the truth is that you made the mistake, not me.
I also play the Fantasy Challenge, of course. Some of the teams I have are weird ones, trying to catch any bugs in the system; luckily our programmer Jose Maria Benito, who also does the ACB SuperManager, is quite good at what he does. Some of them, however, are set to compete, even when I cannot win prizes. In fact, I finished first and second in Week 14 two years ago; but of course all I got was the entire Euroleague office making fun at me for not winning the prize. The BallinEurope private league gives me the opportunity to actually win something, but I honestly doubt that the bosses out there in the Euroleague will let me escape with the prize if I win it. Anyway, BallinEurope got in touch with me to write once a week about the game and the team I have in the private league. So far it’s terrible – I’ve scored 87.4 points, ninth best of my 10 teams, including the wacky ones to test the game.
As usual, Week 1 always comes with slight problems in the game, but we survived this time around and everything should roll from now on – except my fantasy team. The priority right away is to get rid of the players that lose money and replace them with moneymakers. Keep in mind that you only have 16 weeks in the Fantasy Challenge this season, so it’s now or never to earn some credits. Of course, I have a reputation – a well-deserved one – for overpricing everybody. I do it to prevent people from having the same team. If so, what would be the fun, anyway? My team in Week 1 looked like this:
Perperoglou, Ozbolt, Salenga, Wright
Teletovic, Reyes, Turkcan, Mensah-Bonsu
So I decided to trade Teletovic, Calloway and Salenga, all dropping stock easily, for Nikos Zisis, Rawle Marshall and Mirza Begic. If you check their stats, it is almost impossible that these three players will drop credits in Week 2. I’m not trying to score 200 points this week, but attempting to be competitive over the long run.
It is quite surprising to see a professional basketball player in the Top 25 of a Fantasy League game, but if someone had to be it, it was pretty clear who would be: Ermal Kuqo. The Albanian center – and a good friend of mine – is 21st in the game right now. The fact that we have a bet going on will explain what it’s about in the near future and kind of made him put out his best effort out there. I’m already trailing by 75 points and need a miracle to beat him – the bet is with a different team than the one I have in the BallinEurope private league. I’ll keep you updated on that, too.
My one and only piece of advice is: WIN CREDITS WHILE YOU CAN! If you manage to save some in the opening four weeks, you may have a team full of Euroleague stars in just one month. If not, well… you will end up with guys that only play 10 minutes a night.
Good luck in Week 2! I just can’t do worse, I think…
written by Javier Gancedo