This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- Jordan Mickey will be available for Virtus Bologna, but Daniel Hackett will not.
- Nate Wolters and Lefteris Bochoridis will suit up Friday for Panathinaikos, but Panagiotis Kalaitzakis will not.
- ALBA's Luke Sikma and Ben Lammers are on the roster for Round 16.
- Barcelona's Sertac Sanli will suit up Friday.
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FC Barcelona at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade
Status Check: Sertac Sanli (BAR), Sergi Martinez (BAR), Facundo Campazzo (CZV), Hassan Martin (CZV), Nikola Ivanovic (CZV)
The Breakdown: The final day of Round 16 play begins in Belgrade with a matchup between two teams that have not been doing much losing of late. Barcelona took the loss its last time out, but they also went 5-2 over the last seven Rounds. Red Star, meanwhile, comes in as winners of seven of their last eight contests. The hosts have lost just twice on their home court all season, but the experts still like the visitors, who have an 8.5-point edge in net rating and are favored by as many as 4.5 points. The spread may be tighter if Campazzo were available, but he has not yet been officially registered for EuroLeague play. These teams both play among the slowest in the league, which explains why the over/under on this game is the lowest of the day.
Best Bets for Success: Few players are as hot as Luca Vildoza, who has put up at least 32.8 DraftKings points in four of his five December appearances. He will remain Red Star's sole facilitator with Campazzo unavailable and should do his fair share of scoring like usual. However, he will have a tough time throwing up a fantasy-friendly line Friday, as Barcelona is ceding the fewest rebounds, assists and threes to opposing guards and is also limiting players at those positions to a lower field goal percentage than any other team. Nikola Mirotic was held in check in his last two appearances, but he did play a season-high 29 minutes his last time out and remains the reigning MVP. Nicolas Laprovittola has been more consistent, putting up at least 21.5 DraftKings points in 10 straight Rounds and a season-best 47.5 points on that website in Round 15, but he will cost you more than Mirotic on DraftKings and will face a defense that ranks top-4 against guards in points, rebounds, assists, FG% and field goal attempts allowed.
Fantasy Factors: While Red Star has put the clamps on opposing backcourts, Tomas Satoransky is affordable enough at $8,700 to garner consideration. Nikola Kalinic will also be in the mix against his former team, and Alex Abrines could be worth a dart throw on DraftKings at a meager $4,700. The Spanish squad has been stout against forwards as well, ranking top-4 against players at those spots in points, rebounds and assists and also limiting them to a lower FG% than anyone else. That doesn't leave much room for value plays, but it's tough to ignore Filip Petrusev, who has capitalized on Martin's absence by averaging 34.3 DraftKings points over his last two appearances. Barcelona's veteran frontcourt could make things tough for Petrusev, but that wasn't an impediment against either Milan or Olympiacos.
Olympiacos Piraeus at Panathinaikos Athens
Status Check: Sasha Vezenkov (OLY), Nate Wolters (PAO), Lefteris Bochoridis (PAO)
The Breakdown: You can toss out just about all the stats and records when it comes to this contest, as these clubs are not only rivals but enemies. Just look at their Greek league matchup earlier this month, which Olympiacos won by only two points on its home court. We'll still give you a few numbers to consider, though. Olympiacos still owns both the best point differential and net rating in the league, but they have dropped two straight and will play Friday's game without Vezenkov -- the best player on their roster and perhaps in the entire league. Panathinaikos enters on a three-game losing streak and trails their counterparts by seven spots in the standings and 16.0 points in net rating, but despite all that they are favored by 1.5 points across the board. With both squads desperate to get back on the winning track, don't be surprised if this one is not decided until the very end.
Best Bets for Success: Vezenkov has occupied space in this section all season, but his absence will naturally prevent him from landing here for Round 16. It will also open up all kinds of opportunities for his teammates. The stats suggest the top producer on the Olympiacos side will be a frontcourt player, but Kostas Sloukas is really the only player we feel comfortable placing here. Panathinaikos is ceding the fewest shots to opposing guards, but Sloukas has hit the 20-point mark on DraftKings in all 15 appearances this season, and he topped the 30-point mark twice in the last six Rounds -- as well as in both EuroLeague games against Panathinaikos last season. On the flip side you will find Dwayne Bacon and Derrick Williams, who with Vezenkov out rank first and seventh, respectively, on the slate in average DraftKings points. Bacon is returning more average value at his price than all but one available player, and he dropped 20 points on Olympiacos a few weeks ago. Williams cannot match either number, but he also will not cost you five figures on DraftKings.
Fantasy Factors: With Vezenkov out and a couple appealing matchups to target, there will be no shortage of value plays on the Olympiacos side. We will start with Alec Peters and Moustapha Fall, as Panathinaikos is ceding the second most points and the most rebounds and FGA to opposing frontcourt players. Peters is averaging 18.5 DraftKings points when playing more than 15 minutes, making 3x value well within reach at $5,500. Fall, meanwhile, nearly dropped a double-double against Panathinaikos earlier this month. Thomas Walkup is returning some of the most value on the board, and this just feels like a spot for Kostas Papanikolaou to deliver. Tarik Black also earns a mention given the matchup and his $4,300 price tag on DraftKings. It's not yet clear how the backcourt will shake out for the home team, but Olympiacos ranks bottom-5 against guards in five of the six counting stats as well as field goal percentage, so chances are someone will come through. Marius Grigonis looks pretty good at $5,900, and if Wolters sits, Paris Lee will be in play. Olympiacos allows the fewest points, rebounds and FGA against opposing centers, so it's probably best to avoid the Panathinaikos big men.
ALBA Berlin at LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne
Status Check: Luke Sikma (BER), Ben Lammers (BER), Marcus Eriksson (BER), Joffrey Lauvergne (ASV)
The Breakdown: Neither of these teams is particularly efficient on the offensive end, but no team plays faster than ALBA and the French club is above average in that department, which explains why more points are expected in this game than any other on Friday's slate. An ASVEL win would leave them no more than two games out of a playoff spot, and an ALBA win would simply allow them to end the year on a high note, as they have dropped a whopping 12 straight games in league play. ASVEL is favored by 4.5 points on its home court, but despite the losing streak ALBA is still 1.4 points better in net rating. While that suggests the German team could keep it closer than expected or even snap the skid, their task will grow tougher if Sikma is unable to go.
Best Bets for Success: Sikma could easily wind up his team's top producer if he plays, but with his status uncertain and ASVEL ceding fewer shots to frontcourt players than any other club, we are going to go with Maodo Lo for a second straight Round. Lo has hit the 20-point mark on DraftKings in consecutive Rounds for the first time all season, and he averaged 28.0 points on that website against the French club during the previous campaign. Nando de Colo has been the only ASVEL player producing consistently of late, and he could pick up more assists Friday than he usually does, as no team is allowing guards to rack up more of those than the German club. Like Lo, de Colo has found success in this matchup, averaging 39.4 DraftKings points over his last two appearances against ALBA.
Fantasy Factors: The visitors are allowing opposing frontcourt players to get up more attempts from the field than all but one club, which could allow Amine Noua -- who averaged 10.6 points and 3.4 rebounds over the last five Rounds -- to return value. That could also allow for a bounceback from Youssoupha Fall, who has had a rough go of it of late but has also seen his DraftKings price plummet $2,500 since the end of November. No one on the ALBA side has played more than 27 minutes in a game this month, which limits the options on their side. However, if both Sikma and Lammers are sidelined, you could take a shot on Johannes Thiemann, and perhaps Tim Schneider or Yanni Wetzell below the $5,000 mark.
Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul at Virtus Segafredo Bologna
Status Check: Nemanja Bjelica (FBB), Tonye Jekiri (FBB), Jordan Mickey (VIR), Semi Ojeleye (VIR), Isaia Cordinier (VIR), Awudu Abass (VIR), Leo Menalo (VIR)
The Breakdown: Fenerbahce began December with a 9-1 record, but they have come back to the pack after dropping four of their last five contests. Virtus has not fared much better of late, but they will be playing in their own gym and won three of their last four games on their home court. The Turkish team is favored by 2.5 points despite hitting the road, but Virtus will have to be at its best to keep it close, as Fenerbahce owns the best defensive rating in the league as well as a 15.2-point edge in net rating.
Best Bets for Success: You could make a case for a number of players on both teams, but we are going to go with two apiece, and they are the starting point guard and center on either side. Johnathan Motley has not appeared in a EuroLeague game in over three weeks, but he scored 23 points over 36 minutes in Monday's domestic game, so expect him to pick up right where he left off. Fenerbahce's backcourt is full again, but we still feel good about Nick Calathes, who put up at least 27.5 DraftKings points three times over the last four Rounds. Mam Jaiteh has gotten going in a big way, averaging 10.4 points and 7.0 rebounds over his last seven appearances, and Fenerbahce ranks bottom-3 against centers in both points and field goal percentage. Milos Teodosic was held in check in Round 15, but Fenerbahce's guards are not as tough on the defensive end, and Teodosic averaged 30.9 DraftKings points over Rounds 13 and 14. Neither Virtus player checks in above $9,100 on the same website.
Fantasy Factors: The Italian team ranks top-5 against guards in points, three-pointers and FGA, so this does not seem like a matchup that favors Scottie Wilbekin. However, he checks in at just $7,800 on DraftKings and is returning more average value than anyone else who will take the court Friday. The matchup does favor both Nigel Hayes-Davis and Dyshawn Pierre -- neither more than $7,400 -- as Virtus is ceding the most points and triples to opposing forwards. The Turkish club fares just about the opposite against players at the forward spot, as they rank top-2 against them in points, rebounds, threes and FG%, but you could consider Jordan Mickey -- whose DraftKings price has dropped all the way down to $7,700 -- and Tornike Shengelia, as despite both being listed as forwards they can also function as centers.