Hello everybody, once again this is Javier Gancedo, as always from Euroleague.net. What a Euroleague week it was, friends! First-time winners Union Olimpija and AJ Milano, the best Real Madrid show of the season, an impossible end to that Partizan-CSKA showdown, TWO overtime thrillers in Zagreb and Le Mans and above all, an instant classic between Tau Ceramica and DKV Joventut: If you have Euroleague TV, check it if you can, if not, well… there are ways and ways to get DVDs all over the continent. The Eurocup has also begun and we’re happy that our new game, the Eurocup FabFive Challenge, has got some positive response from people out there. It’s too early to say but all the favourites – in the Eurocup, that is, not in the game – are already showing their credentials.
To be perfectly honest – and back to the NIKEiD Euroleague Fantasy Challenge; that’s what I’m here for, after all – I think I’m playing beyond expectations, with few mistakes and too much luck. I got almost 160 points this week, climbed to the fifth spot in the BallinEurope private league and suddenly I feel I’m running out of stamina. This week was the hardest one for me to trade in the entire season. My guess is that since this is the first week of the record round of regular-season games, you can always look back and see what happened back then.
In Week 1, Will McDonald of Tau Ceramica was the MVP, but he didn’t have Tiago Splitter in top shape back then. Rawle Marshall of Cibona was second with a 29 index, but his stock had dropped a little, especially since that Adriatic League fight we don’t want to remember. D’or Fischer of Maccabi has a 28 index but he has not been playing that much since that game. Same with Mirza Begic of Union Olimpija and Ersan Ilyasova of Regal FCB, who completed the Top 5 that week.
There isn’t much reference there, is there? That’s why I think it is so tough to trade this week. I’m not alone in this, as BallinEurope editor Christophe (http://bietemp.wpengine.com/fantasy-leagues/euroleague-fantasy-challenge/fantasy-challenge-follow-your-own-tips/) is also going absolutely nuts. From now on, a whole different game begins. It’s not about accumulating money, but analyzing opponents, injuries, considering if your player is going against high-scoring teams … Stuff like that.
So this is what I did, and remember, I could be perfectly wrong. First of all, Emir Preldzic has to go. He was a great buy for a while, but his underachieving performance added to the fact that Pete Mickeal is back and ready to give any defender a LOT of trouble make me consider that Preldzic should be traded – no matter that I think he’s one of the most exciting players to watch in the entire continent. I am also selling Chris Warren, because Avellino plays Olympiacos on the road and that is always tough. Plus Warren is quite expensive and gives me some room to improve my team a bit.
I have decided to keep Begic to cash in the credits, so I am trading Mike Hall. Yes, he is way underrated and yes, he did very well against Panionios On Telecoms last week, but there is the golden rule. Oh, I hear you asking, what is the golden rule? One I follow each and every time:
THE GOLDEN RULE: NEVER USE PLAYERS FACING CSKA MOSCOW THAT WEEK!
So Hall has to go, too. I am buying Juan Carlos Navarro, a good player at just 55 credits, going against SLUC Nancy this week. He may face a hypermotivated Michel Morandais going against him, his former teammate, but I will take the risk. Trying to buy a center that I actually like is virtually impossible. Everyone is going against tough opponents, is very expensive, I don’t like them that week… so I’ll go for the obvious choice: Andre Hutson, Lottomatica Roma, just because he’s underrated and is in great shape. I ain’t going to think too much about the other SG/SF and take the most expensive player available: Rimantas Kaukenas. Montepaschi faces Prokom Trefl Sopot, with no Lithuanians to battle against this time around. Well anyway, I will take the chance.
So my team goes like this:
Aaron Miles – in great shape. Facing Real Madrid without Pepe Sanchez in the house. He should be solid.
Lynn Greer – coming off a great game and Olympiacos faces Avellino. Big lefties showdown against Travis Best!
Jonas Maciulis – The Bull keeps playing solid minutes. A huge game from him is just a question of time.
Juan Carlos Navarro – It is always good to have “La Bomba” in your team. Especially playing at home.
Sani Becirovic – Sometimes I wonder how can I be 621st without Igor Rakocevic. Well, he’s the reason why.
Rimantas Kaukenas – Apparently, it’s a good game for him. And Siena hosts Zalgiris in Week 7, too…
Mirza Begic – One week, no more. I love Begic though, the biggest moneymaker in the game this season.
Andre Hutson – Lottomatica faces Alba Berlin and he should post up solid numbers against Sesay and Nadjfeji.
Mirsad Turkcan – Semih Erden is back, who the hell decided that there are ONLY three trades per week?
Mike Batiste – Again, who is the big brain that limits my team to only three trades each and every week?
…shit, it was me. Oh well, wouldn’t the game be way more boring with unlimited trades, anyway?
Greetings from Nottingham, where I am this weekend: Land of Robin Hood, Nottingham Forest and anything but basketball!