Euroleague Fantasy (Week 4)

Euroleague Fantasy (Week 4)
Nov 14, 2006, 07:18 pm
Another week is gone for the Euroleague Fantasy League and the ups and downs keep coming. Players are rising, falling, signing and leaving their teams, as it happens with the greatest of ease in Europe. We are now facing a totally different situation, before even the fourth week of the best club competition in the world, outside the NBA.

Players' Value

As time goes by, we need to explain why the players’ prices start getting much more stable. The cumulative score for players is divided with the number of the games played, and it is unlikely that a player – once considered a “steal” – will keep having great games in a row. Even then, it will be almost impossible to reach the maximum 15% rise in price on a regular basis, so it’s better to go with value ,now that it’s still early.

The Point Guards

Last week, Mire Chatman signed with Lottomatica Roma and he will be playing next week onwards in the Euroleague. We had Nikos Zisis and Davor Kus gaining a third straight max raise and becoming top PGs, competing with Marko Popovic, who didn’t receive max points, but still raise his value once again. Zisis is a player to keep. Kus has been proven gold so far and his team plays with Partizan, whose PG, Vonteego Cummings is unstable, so he’s worth holding onto for the week too. Zoran Planinic is hot in Europe lately, but he is a bit overrated and had an awful game in Spain last weekend. Top PGs Dimitris Diamantidis and Theo Papaloukas fell, but it is now gonna be better to see how can they do in the near future credit-wise. Last year’s stars Scoonie Penn and Willie Solomon finally reached an approachable price. Horace Jenkins was let go by Efes Pilsen, without any replacement so far. Carlos Cabezas, the best fantasy player over the first two weeks is back healthy and gives a lot of value points for minimum price. Ender Arslan’s return can give Olimpija a boost, but the playing time of Teemu Ranikko will see a dip. Bojan Popovic is the weak link on a good Dynamo Moscow team, but a weak Prokom backcourt could give him the chance to explode. On the other hand, Jaka Lakovic is yet to bounce back and only has a good game on occasion month in Spain, so there is no trust there yet. With Jenkins out, Cuneyt Erden could be a good pick at 32, especially after a great weekend game versus Fenerbahce, but not immediately with such a low average so far. Rudy Fernandez’s injury may give some good minutes to youngster Ricky Rubio, who hasn’t played lately in the Euroleague, but was really good in the Spanish league’s game this weekend.

The Wings

Juan Carlos Navarro, the Player of the Week 3, is the best fantasy guy so far and the most expensive one, but how much more can he rise? Kenny Gregory, Marcus Faison and Spencer Nelson seem overrated too at this level. Underrated wings with plenty of playing time include Alex Acker, Cenk Akyol (with no news about a replacement for Antonio Granger) and Marko Milic, all great fantasy picks with max scores in a weekly basis so far and the potential to rise even more. Berni Rodriguez, Dejan Bodiroga and Ricardo Greer remain top players at this level and could be interesting for the rest of the season. Henry Domercant, Simas Jasaitis and Damen Lorbek “killed” a lot of fantasy players, only needing a little for the max and having destructive nights. Injuries of Saso Ozbolt (now informed that he will be out for 6 months) and Rudy Fernandez could be decisive for the week. Jonas Maciulis seems like the next interesting steal around, doing better game after game. Luka Bogdanovic and Milenko Tepic play at home, but nobody knows how they will perform given their young age. Let David Hawkins fall much more, as he is in a terrible form right now and will give you an excellent pick later in the season. Marco Belinelli is not a good fantasy player value-wise, but he is hot since the weekend and Climamio needs its first win, playing against a weak Rhein Energie at home. Marko Mordente, Lubos Barton, Nikos Hatzivretas and Dmitry Domani are good picks, with hopes of a further rise this week. Yotam Halperin and Gianluca Basile have been too low to ignore, but probably won’t provide you with value this week. Don’t worry about selling Mirza Teletovic earlier in the year, with so many great picks in Tau’s lineup. Kostas Vasiliadis didn’t force a max last week and is a risky pick, as is Kirk Penney with Machado back for Zalgiris. Uros Tripkovic is historically one of the worst players in fantasy games. Too bad that Anton Ponkrashov is so cheap, as he plays really well but the 15% minimum raise limits his potential.

Big Men

Last week, we saw Luis Scola returning to his known 20+ performances vs Rhein Energie and reaching an excellent value, after a three-week max fall. Scola’s price may not fall this far again, but Efes Pilsen’s frontcourt can be a tough opponent this Wednesday. Think hard before you purchase him.

David Andersen has started doing well in Russia and it’s not impossible that after a fourth straight falling week, he will bounce back as a top steal and a top player. Brent Wright’s awful 2nd week outcome is history and he is now cheap at 60 and an excellent pick.

Jordi Trias remains the best fantasy player, securing an amazing first round of the regular season and becoming a guaranteed 5-straight max player. A guy to have, both value and credit-wise.

Back to the best so far, it’s Mike Batiste who, after three max gains might see his value falling this week. Marcus Goree has some more value to earn, but the game in Moscow versus CSKA is not the best to bet for him. Eric Campbell will have a tough task versus Olympiakos and some of the users might think that selling him for a week and buying him back next week, at a lower price, is not a bad idea. A healthy Matjaz Smodis, the steady forces of Nikola Vujcic and Sofoklis Schortsanitis and the overachieving Mike Wilkinson and Sandro Nicevic are probably too expensive to consider now. Predrag Drobnjak still has value to earn, but a fourth max will be a toughie.

Lazaros Papadopoulos is still injured and, thus, Antonis Fotsis might further rise with more rebounds and touches. Kerem Gonlum remains a safe pick for a good value. Michael Wright keeps the good games as his norm. Andrija Zizic follows teammate Alex Acker and Jordi Trias as top-candidates for the fourth straight max. Kaspars Kambala has become Fenerbahce’s top inside guy, making Mirsad Turkcan expandable from fantasy teams. Paulius Jankunas started picking it up just in time and he will do better as time goes by. Hanno Mottola, Ryan Stack and Kosta Perovic are considerable options with small money. Lior Eliyahu and Jamie Arnold sharing time for Maccabi make both of them risky picks. Ognjen Askrabic’s excellent last game and Britton Johnsen’s stability give some hopes for potential steals now that they aren’t as expensive. Andrew Betts’ and Robert Archibald’s injury may give Charles Gaines a boost this week, while Mason Rocca of Napoli has started doing better both in Italy and in Euroleague, but both his and Alessandro Cittadini’s game will be limited against Barcelona’s deep frontline.

Youngsters Hasan Rizvic and Saulius Kuzminskas are the best of the rest, but not really considerable, as a potential rise for them means almost nothing value-wise.

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