EuroLeague Primer: Round 18 - Thursday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 18 - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

PREGMAE UPDATES

THE SLATE

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade

Key Injuries: Jordan Loyd (RED), Langston Hall (RED), Marko Jagodic-Kuridza (RED), Marko Simonovic (RED)

Best Bets for Success: Nando de Colo has been steady yet unspectacular since missing a month with a thigh injury, but his playing time picked up the last couple Rounds, and this seems like a good spot for him to produce at his pre-injury levels. Red Star ranks among the worst in all of points, assists and three-pointers allowed to opposing guards. Jan Vesely has played well of late and is a tempting option on DraftKings at just $9,000, but fantasy players should be aware Red Star has shut down opposing big men players as well as anyone. With Loyd still sidelined for Red Star, we'll stick with Johnny O'Bryant as the team's best option in Thursday's contests. O'Bryant scored in double figures in five straight games prior to Round 17, and he will take on a Fenerbahce team that ranks last in the league when it comes to containing opposing frontcourt players.

DFS Darlings: Fenerbahce's Marko Guduric will cost just $6,500 on DraftKings and is one of two players returning the most average value on Thursday's slate. Guduric has stepped right into a starting spot for Fenerbahce, and he gets the same matchup advantage as de Colo. These two teams are allowing the most three-pointers in the league, so Jarell Eddie for the Turkish team and Quino Colom and Ognjen Dobric for the Serbian squad are at least worth considering. Red Star could have another appealing option or two in the frontcourt, but that will depend on who suits up and who doesn't.

Zenit Saint Petersburg at Panathinaikos OPAP Athens

Key Injuries: Alex Poythress (DYR), Shelvin Mack (PAN), Zach Auguste (PAN)

Best Bets for Success: The other player returning the most average value on Thursday's slate is Zenit's Kevin Pangos, who is down to just $8,200 on DraftKings. He will take on a Panathinaikos team that, despite giving up few assists to opposing guards, is at or near the bottom in points and three-pointers allowed to players at those positions. The Greek team has all of a top-tier guard, forward and center, and Zenit has been pretty tough on players at each position. They have been stingiest on guards, so we'll go with Ioannis Papapetrou as the best option of the bunch on DraftKings for the simple fact he costs the least.

DFS Darlings: Given the matchups, it might be best to avoid any Panathinaikos players in Thursday's contests. There will be some opportunities open in Zenit's frontcourt with Poythress sidelined, and both Will Thomas and Mateusz Ponitka are good bets to play 30 minutes. They provide plenty of value in the middle tier.

Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv at ALBA Berlin

Key Injuries: Othello Hunter (TEL), Luke Sikma (BER), Peyton Siva (BER), Marcus Eriksson (BER), Niels Giffey (BER)

Best Bets for Success: It's easy to identify Scottie Wilbekin as Maccabi's top option, as he sits top-5 in the league in three categories at the halfway point of the season. It's not so simple a decision for the German team, as they will almost surely be without all four players listed above. A healthy Ben Lammers would be ALBA's top option, but with him not yet 100 percent, we'll go with Jayson Granger. The veteran guard was ALBA's top performer the last two times it took the court and will be its primary playmaker Thursday. 

DFS Darlings: With ALBA extremely short-handed, they will have a number of appealing options in Thursday's contests. Simone Fontecchio and Maodo Lo have proven upside, and neither will cost you more than $7,200 on DraftKings. Jonas Mattisseck started the last two games, and he will be particularly appealing at a mere $3,900. ALBA has had little success slowing opposing centers, which is good news for Ante Zizic. With Hunter sidelined, Zizic is a good bet to reach double figures in back-to-back games for the first time in two months. Yovel Zoosman at least deserves a mention as well, as he reclaimed a starting spot last week and seems to be back at full speed.

Valencia Basket at FC Barcelona

Key Injuries: Bojan Dubljevic (PAM), Vanja Marinkovic (PAM), Nikola Mirotic (BAR), Brandon Davies (BAR), Victor Claver (BAR)

Best Bets for Success: All signs point to both teams being without their best player in this one, as Mirotic has been ruled out and Dubljevic presumably will be as well. Barcelona figures to lean on their backcourt of Nick Calathes and Cory Higgins, who have both produced regularly of late. Higgins has scored in double figures in five straight games, and Calathes averaged 8.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 8.8 assists over the same span. Assuming Dubljevic is out, his replacement – Mike Tobey – actually looks like Valencia's top fantasy option in this one. Valencia's backcourt is pretty crowded, and Tobey was doing just fine with Dubljevic, averaging 10.2 points over the last 10 Rounds. Barcelona has been pretty tough on centers, but at just $6,600 on DraftKings, Tobey's potential value is hard to ignore.

DFS Darlings: Without one of its top scoring threats, Valencia could turn to Klemen Prepelic and Derrick Williams more often. It won't be hard for either to return 3x value on DraftKings. Everything is set up for Rolands Smits to have another nice day, as Barcelona will be short-handed in the frontcourt and Valencia has had real trouble containing opposing forwards. Given the matchup, Alex Abrines will have plenty appeal as well. Neither player will run you more than $6,700 on DraftKings.

CSKA Moscow at TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz

Key Injuries: Will Clyburn (CSK), Daniel Hackett (CSK)

Best Bets for Success: The last game on the list features a lot of star power and a lot of production, as eight of the top 21 players averaging the most fantasy points on Thursday's slate are on these two teams. The player averaging by far the most points is CSKA's Mike James, the frontrunner for MVP halfway through the campaign. James' price on DraftKings remains sky high, but he did average a whopping 46.3 points on that website over his last six games. Not far behind James, at least of late, is Nikola Milutinov, who has ripped off five straight double-doubles. Baskonia has had two players racking up plenty of stats, too, with both Pierria Henry and Achille Polonara averaging 30 DraftKings points over their past eight appearances. 

DFS Darlings: Although two players have dominated the stats for CSKA of late, there's still some room for value with two key rotation pieces out of action. Tornike Shengelia had one of his best games of the seasons last time he faced his former squad, and he's in position to produce again Thursday. Baskonia's production has been pretty spread out after its top two players, but Alec Peters has been scoring pretty regularly and is returning some of the most average value on the slate.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Kevin O'Brien plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: kevob100, DraftKings: kevob100.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin O'Brien
Kevin mans the Packers and Brewers beats and moonlights as RotoWire's Director of Operations.
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