EuroLeague Primer: Round 2 - Friday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 2 - Friday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

PREGAME UPDATES

STATS AND INFO.

THE SLATE

Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv at Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul

Status Check: Darrun Hilliard (MTA), Nemanja Bjelica (FBB), Samet Geyik (FBB), Tarik Biberovic (FBB)

The Breakdown: A five-game Friday gets underway with two contests, and the one that will be played in Turkey features two teams that dramatically reshaped their roster over the offseason. Both squads saw immediate dividends, with each picking up a win in Round 1. The oddsmakers have given the home team the edge, as Fenerbahce is favored by around five points. Both teams will be pretty close to full strength, and the Turkish squad will be an even more formidable foe if Bjelica makes his season debut.

Best Bets for Success: Maccabi's new backcourt showed what they are capable of in Round 1, as Lorenzo Brown recorded a double-double and Wade Baldwin made multiple marks in five categories. Both players figure to be regulars in this section this season, and although Brown may be the steadier option, Baldwin has a bit more room for upside in Round 2, as he fouled out of the season opener after playing only 23 minutes. Scottie Wilbekin was pretty quiet in his first EuroLeague appearance with his new club, but he dealt with an injury in that game, and it's going to take more than one subpar showing to knock him from this spot. Wilbekin did not appear limited by the injury in Monday's domestic game, playing 29 minutes and scoring a team-leading 18 points. He will no doubt have a bit of added motivation facing the team he spent the last four seasons with.

Fantasy Factors: Brown and Baldwin weren't the only new additions who stuffed the stat sheet for Maccabi in Round 1, as Bonzie Colson made a mark on both ends and actually outscored both teammates on DraftKings and in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge. Colson remains relatively affordable on both websites, and he has already shown he can produce with the best of them. Maccabi's starters all spent at least 23 minutes on the court in Round 1, so it's tough to identify much in terms of bargains. However, Hilliard's absence opens up some minutes, and Jarell Martin looks most likely to claim them. He is worth considering on DraftKings at just $6,300. The Turkish team has a lot of players worthy of minutes, and they could add one more to the mix in Bjelica. It's probably best to take a wait-and-see approach in the Fantasy Challenge, but he's going to be tough to avoid on DraftKings if he suits up, as he is listed at a meager $3,600. If Bjelica remains out, Nigel Hayes-Davis will be worth a look on both websites. Johnathan Motley and Carsen Edwards make the list regardless of who plays, and although they are decent options in the Fantasy Challenge -- Motley will be one of the top centers available Friday -- they are particularly appealing on DraftKings, with neither running more than $7,800. 

Zalgiris Kaunas at Olympiacos Piraeus

Status Check: Dovydas Giedraitis (ZAL), Joel Bolomboy (OLY), Kostas Papanikolaou (OLY)

The Breakdown: All but one favorite on the slate is expected to win by at least five points, but no team has a larger edge than Olympiacos, whose expected winning margin exceeds 11 points. Zalgiris does have a couple things working in its favor, as they fell by only one point against Maccabi in Round 1 and will not have to contend with the fervent Olympiacos fans, who will be barred from attending Thursday's game after going a bit above and beyond in last year's Final-Four-clinching victory over Monaco. The hosts will still be an imposing foe, though, after knocking off Barcelona in its opener and winning 15 of the 17 EuroLeague games played on its home court last season.

Best Bets for Success: Sasha Vezenkov will be the priciest player available Friday both on DraftKings and in the Fantasy Challenge, and for good reason, as he picked up right where he left off last season with a 20-point, seven-rebound showing in Round 1. Vezenkov is about as safe as fantasy options come these days, and the only question mark on his profile for Round 2 -- as well as that of his pricier teammates -- is the spread, as minutes could be limited to some degree if Olympiacos runs away on the scoreboard. We took a shot with Ignas Brazdeikis in this section in Round 1, and although he did not deliver, his domestic-league numbers justify that he goes here again. It's worth betting on a bounceback, as Brazdeikis is moderately priced in both contests. The player who did wind up being the top producer on the Zalgiris side -- and by a wide margin -- was Kevarrius Hayes. His price jumped a whopping $1,800 on DraftKings, so he will need another big night to return meaningful value. His odds of doing so will increase if he gets more than the 17 minutes he spent on the court in the opener.  

Fantasy Factors: A few more Olympiacos players at various price points will be worth considering in both contests. We will start with Alec Peters, who is the favorite to join the starting lineup in place of the injured Papanikolaou. He is not particularly cheap on either website, so if you want to avoid costlier options on the Greek team, you could look to Isaiah Canaan and Tarik Black. Canaan could easily hit 3x value on DraftKings at $6,700 and Black -- just $3,800 on DraftKings -- could be worth a gamble with Bolomboy banged up. Keenan Evans has some upside if he contributes outside the scoring column like he usually does, and while he can be considered on both websites, he's a bit more appealing in the Fantasy Challenge. The opposite goes for Rolands Smits, who fell a point and a rebound short of a Round 1 double-double yet remains $5,700 on DraftKings.

Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade at Cazoo Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz

Status Check: Alen Smailagic (PAR), Aleksa Avramovic (PAR), Gregor Glas (PAR), Steven Enoch (BKN)

The Breakdown: There is not much difference among the over/unders in Friday's games, but it is worth noting that this is the only contest with a total above 160. Both teams are set to run out the same group of players that took the court in Round 1, and although the visitors have more notable talent than the home team, Baskonia is the favorite. The spread in this game is the closest on the board, however.

Best Bets for Success: Kevin Punter delivered as expected in Round 1, but he was actually outdone by backcourt mate Dante Exum, so both players will get the nod here for Round 2. They will be in position to produce again, provided the two teams put points on the board as expected and head coach Zeljko Obradovic sticks with a short rotation. Darius Thompson came through in the opener, and he will remain here for another Round. Like Exum, though, Rokas Giedraitis provided a Round 1 reminder that he is worthy of a spot in this section. Giedraitis is really the only established EuroLeague player on Baskonia's roster, so if you're looking for a sure thing on their side, he is tough to look past. 

Fantasy Factors: The only thing preventing Maik Kotsar from landing in the space above is his lack of track record, as he put up more DraftKings points than any player in the league in Round 1 and is returning more value than anyone else on Friday's slate. A drop-off certainly wouldn't be surprising as Kotsar won't come out of nowhere twice, but he could handle a similar workload with Enoch out for a second straight Round. Kotsar isn't too costly on DraftKings despite a big jump to $8,500, and he looks like a quality option in the Fantasy Challenge given the lack of centers available. Markus Howard did not do all that much in Round 1, but he has the skill set to join the party if this becomes a high-scoring contest. With only seven Partizan players really getting involved in Round 1, it's tough to identify a true bargain. However, James Nunnally has a shot to return value at $8,700 on DraftKings and an even 10.0 credits in the Fantasy Challenge.

ALBA Berlin at EA7 Emporio Armani Milan

Status Check: Marcus Eriksson (BER), Ben Lammers (BER), Malte Delow (BER), Yanni Wetzell (BER), Luigi Datome (EA7), Naz Mitrou-Long (EA7), Tommaso Baldasso (EA7)

The Breakdown: This is the second game of the day featuring teams with 1-0 records, but the spread certainly does not reflect that, as the Italian team is favored by just under 10 points. ALBA beat the odds in Round 1, though, hitting 100 points and knocking off Partizan. If the German club can continue to hold its own and again gets up and down the court, don't be surprised if this winds up being the highest-scoring game of the evening.

Best Bets for Success: After sitting out Round 1, Shavon Shields will see his first action of the season Friday. He is Milan's top fantasy option when at full speed, but he may be on a minutes limit following an extended absence, so we are going to hold off on him and go with Nicolo Melli, who scored 16 points in Round 1 and averaged 9.0 points and 8.0 rebounds against ALBA last season. It took no time at all for Luke Sikma to stack up stats, and he's going to be even more of a threat than he was in the past if ALBA keeps pouring in the points. Although Maodo Lo finished fourth on his team in DraftKings points in Round 1, he will remain here for Round 2, as he put up 23.8 points on that website despite shooting 4-of-13 from the field. He is a prime bounceback candidate if he can get a few more shots to fall.

Fantasy Factors: Only one player on the board is returning more average value on DraftKings than Louis Olinde, who picked up his first EuroLeague double-double in Round 1. At just $6,900 on DraftKings and 7.6 credits in the Fantasy Challenge, he looks like one of the better bargains available in Round 2. We have to mention Gabriele Procida, who made quite an impression in his EuroLeague debut. He is worth considering on both websites, but if head coach Israel Gonzalez shortens his rotation after giving all 10 players who took the court in Round 1 at least 12 minutes, Procida might not be afforded the opportunity to make the same impact. Although Kevin Pangos did not do enough last week to maintain a spot in the section above, he certainly lands here, as he checks in at $8,100 on DraftKings and his production only figures to increase moving forward. Billy Baron performed like we thought Pangos might in Round 1, making him a quality mid-tier option on both websites. Although Brandon Davies is not too cheap in the Fantasy Challenge, his domestic-league stats suggest he will get back on track, and he could be a sneaky option on DraftKings at just $7,200.

LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne at Valencia Basket

Status Check: Parker Jackson-Cartwright (ASV), Charles Kahudi (ASV), Martin Hermannsson (VBC), Millan Jimenez (VBC)

The Breakdown: The two teams squaring off in the final game of the day will be looking to avoid joining Bayern and Red Star as the only winless teams after two Rounds. The oddsmakers are expecting Valencia to avoid the bottom of the totem pole, as they are favored by 6.5 points across the board.

Best Bets for Success: Nando de Colo showed last week he still has some gas left in the tank, and he's really the only ASVEL player who garnered consideration here. He could have some extra pep in his step playing in the gym he called home when he broke into the EuroLeague back in 2010, and he should again get as many minutes as he can handle unless Jackson-Cartwright makes an earlier-than-expected return. Chris Jones did not get much going in his first EuroLeague appearance with the Spanish squad, but we will still lean on the numbers he put up last season and the fact he will be facing the team he compiled those for. We will go ahead and include Jasiel Rivero here as well, as he has scored 14 points in Round 1 and bettered that in each of Valencia's first three domestic games.

Fantasy Factors: Things will look a bit different on the ASVEL roster than they did in Round 1, as Joffrey Lauvergne will be available after sitting out the opener. All three of ASVEL's big men -- Lauvergne, Youssoupha Fall and Amine Noua -- are intriguing on DraftKings at $7,400 and below, and Fall looks like the best option in the Fantasy Challenge given his center designation. It's unlikely all three players will return value, but chances are at least one will. Jonah Mathews is quite a bit pricier on DraftKings than he was last week, but he will still return 3x value if he can just repeat his Round 1 results. Klemen Prepelic and Jared Harper aren't particularly appealing in the Fantasy Challenge, but Prepelic is worth considering on DraftKings at $8,000, and Harper earns a mention at $6,900. He's a bit of a wild card, but we can't forget about the 24 points he scored in his domestic debut.

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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