This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
Best Bets for Success: CSKA's roster looks markedly different than it did a week ago at this time, as Mike James has returned to action and both Milutinov and Shengelia have dropped out with injuries. James played just 12 minutes in Monday's domestic league game after returning from his team-imposed suspension, but with CSKA's three best players besides him unavailable Thursday, head coach Dimitrios Itoudis may be forced to use James in his regular role. Valencia has handled opposing guards pretty well, but a motivated James averaged 26.7 points over the three Rounds immediately following his one-game ban in November, and he will likely be looking to do something similar this time around. On the opposite side, Valencia will essentially field the same roster it did last week. That should mean a couple extra minutes and a few extra shots for Klemen Prepelic, and that's enough to make him Valencia's top option Thursday. Prepelic has performed well in this scenario all season, and he averaged 19.0 points while getting up 8.0 shots from the field and 8.5 attempts from the line over the two EuroLeague games Valencia played last week.
DFS Darlings: There will be opportunities aplenty in CSKA's frontcourt Thursday, and the bulk of them figure to be snapped up by Johannes Voigtmann and Joel Bolomboy. Voigtmann has been better of late and put up huge numbers when he took over for an injured Shengelia two seasons ago with Baskonia, so he is the better bet to produce. However, at their meager price points, you could certainly get both of them in the same lineup, particularly with Valencia ranking dead last against players listed at the two forward positions. For that same reason, Nikita Kurbanov will also be in play, and Semen Antonov could be worth a dart throw on DraftKings at just $3,700. For the Spanish squad, Bojan Dubljevic will have plenty appeal on DraftKings, as at a season-low $8,500 on DraftKings he is cheap enough to land in this section. Dubljevic should be ready to handle more minutes after a couple weeks of building up, and with CSKA thin in the frontcourt, they won't have as much size to throw at him as they would have. Martin Hermannsson and Vanja Marinkovic are both pretty appealing too after playing key roles a week ago. Derrick Williams has been a bit banged up, but San Emeterio's absence opens up some minutes, and Williams could be worth a gamble at a season-low $6,400 on DraftKings.
Best Bets for Success: Nikola Mirotic should be back at full speed Thursday, and with both James' and Larkin's roles uncertain, he just might be the safest option on the board. Mirotic put up 18 points and eight rebounds against Efes just last month, and he will be particularly enticing on DraftKings, as he checks in at just $10,800 – $300 cheaper than he has been all season. Nick Calathes and Cory Higgins have both been pretty reliable as well, with Calathes averaging 10.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 8.8 assists and 1.2 steals last month and Higgins ripping off double figures in 11 straight games and averaging 16.0 points over that span. Either Larkin by himself or the combination of Larkin and Vasilije Micic usually lands here for Efes, but it seems unlikely Larkin will be at full speed after injuring his leg just four days before, so Micic is really the only safe option among the two this week. Barcelona has been stingy against opposing guards, but that didn't faze Micic last time he faced them, as he topped the 30-point mark on DraftKings. Larkin did have his best game of the season in the same outing and has been stuffing the stat sheet ever since, so if he does wind up playing, there is at least reason to gamble on him with the likelihood he would be lower-owned than usual.
DFS Darlings: Krunoslav Simon and Rodrigue Beaubois were both steady producers when Larkin was sidelined early in the season, and they will be in position to step up again should Larkin sit. While the matchup won't be the easiest, there are only so many options available Thursday, and remember what Efes' guards did in the last meeting. Dzanan Musa has done enough in Efes' domestic games to make a fantasy impact if given the opportunity, and he will have some wild-card appeal if Larkin sits. Barcelona's top three figure to soak up most of the stats Thursday, but Brandon Davies should also get his fair share of opportunities, and he's returning some of the most value on the slate on DraftKings. Kyle Kuric will also be worth considering with Abrines out again.