EuroLeague Primer: Round 11 - Thursday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 11 - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

PREGAME UPDATES

THE SLATE

Real Madrid at CSKA Moscow

Key Injuries: Rudy Fernandez (MAD), Janis Strelnieks (CSK)

Best Bets for Success: A new era in Real Madrid basketball begins Thursday, as the team will play its first game without Facundo Campazzo. The star point guard was Madrid's engine, and his departure changes a lot of things for a lot of his teammates. It remains to be seen exactly how it will shake out, but at least for Round 11, Anthony Randolph looks like Madrid's top fantasy option. Randolph has been Madrid's most-consistent scorer of late, and in his fifth year with the team, he will likely be asked to pick up a good deal of slack in Campazzo's absence. Things should be pretty steady for the Russian squad in Round 11, which means Mike James is a good bet to score 20 points and Will Clyburn is a good bet to score at least 10. 

DFS Darlings: After a couple showings that more resemble a player of his caliber, Nikola Milutinov is no longer quite the bargain he was earlier this season. However, he's still cheaper than $8,000 on DraftKings, and he will have a favorable matchup against a Madrid team that has been most vulnerable to opposing centers. His teammate, Darrun Hilliard has been one of the best scorers in the entire league of late, and he checks in at just $6,900 on DraftKings. With Campazzo no longer on the roster, it seems likely Nicolas Laprovittola will take over as Madrid's top point guard. Laprovittola has resided on the fringe of Madrid's rotation for most of the season, but he did have a 19-point, seven-assist showing in Round 3, and he could be worth a gamble on DraftKings at just $4,400 on DraftKings. While Alberto Abalde will not directly fill in for Campazzo, he has proven to be a quality facilitator from the forward position, so he could assume more playmaking duties. Abalde averaged just under 20 points on DraftKings over his last seven games, and he could be even more involved Thursday.

Zenit Saint Petersburg at Zalgiris Kaunas

Key Injuries: Patricio Garino (ZAL), Augustine Rubit (ZAL)

Best Bets for Success: Marius Grigonis has put up double figures in seven straight and is the only Zalgiris player averaging over 10.0 ppg, so it's tough to list any of his teammates here. However, Zenit is limiting opposing guards to the fewest points and assists on a per-game basis, so Grigonis will clearly have his work cut out for him. On the Russian side, Kevin Pangos has not scored in double figures in a while, but he has been piling up assists, and he is one of the top double-double threats on the board.

DFS Darlings: Zenit seems to have settled on its starting lineup, and that's good news for Mateusz Ponitka and Arturas Gudaitis. Both really picked up the pace over the past few Rounds, and they will be plenty appealing on DraftKings, with neither costing even $7,000. Given Zenit's success against opposing backcourt players, it's probably best to avoid Zalgiris guards in Thursday's contests. Should you want to go with a player from the Lithuanian team, Joffrey Lauvergne looks like the top option. Lauvergne is second on his team in both points and rebounds, and he also will cost you less than $7,000.

Anadolu Efes Istanbul at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade

Key Injuries: Vasilije Micic (IST), Tibor Pleiss (IST), Bryant Dunston (IST), Rodrigue Beaubois (IST)

Best Bets for Success: Efes will be down four key players in this one, which will leave the opportunities wide open for Shane Larkin and Krunoslav Simon. Larkin appears to be on the verge of reclaiming best-player-in-the-league status, and Simon has thrived in just about every game the Turkish team has played this season at less full strength. Red Star's Jordan Loyd scored just two points in Monday's make-up game, but chances are he will bounce back in Round 11, as he averaged 29.5 points following his previous two lowest-scoring games of the season. He will be a bit of a wild card for DFS purposes, though, as Efes has struggled to contain opposing guards this season, but was particularly stingy against Alexey Shved and his backcourt-mates last week.

DFS Darlings: Adrien Moerman has started to come on, and with Efes short-handed he should be even more involved in Round 11. He'll get the benefit of facing a Red Star team that is just one of three allowing players at the forward position to score 30 points per game. His teammate, Dogus Balbay, doesn't do anything flashy, but he will likely be needed for 20 minutes, and he did hit 5x value on DraftKings two times over the last three Rounds. With Loyd likely drawing a lot of attention, Red Star's other guards should have some opportunities. Corey Walden is the best of the bunch, having scored in double figures in seven straight before running into Zenit's stiff defense Monday.

Khimki Moscow Region at ALBA Berlin

Key Injuries: Devin Booker (KHI), Stefan Jovic (KHI), Marcus Eriksson (BER)

Best Bets for Success: This game features the two teams giving up the most points in the league and has by far the highest over-under on Thursday's slate, so it should yield plenty of fantasy points. That's good news for Alexey Shved and Luke Sikma, who both pile up statistics left and right for their squads. Sikma has been inconsistent, but he has been better of late, and his well-rounded game is a perfect fit in what is expected to be a high-scoring game. ALBA isn't giving up many points to opposing guards, but they are giving up by far the most assists, which puts Shved in prime position to record his third double-double of the season. 

DFS Darlings: It's tough deciding which Khimki players to target without knowing whether Booker or Jovic will play, but ALBA is allowing by far the most points to opposing frontcourt players, so it's well worth considering more-affordable options like Jonas Jerebko and Janis Timma and also higher-priced ones like Greg Monroe and Jordan Mickey. Eriksson's injury opens up quite a few minutes in ALBA's rotation, and the two most likely candidates to play a bigger role are Maodo Lo and Niels Giffey. Khimki ranks bottom-5 against both guards and forwards, which bodes well for both players, and potentially a couple other ALBA players as well.

TD Systems Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz at Olympiacos Piraeus

Key Injuries: Aaron Harrison (OLY), Livio Jean-Charles (OLY), Sasha Vezenkov (OLY), Octavius Ellis (OLY)

Best Bets for Success: We run into yet another team dealing plenty with uncertainty in Olympiacos, who will head into Thursday's game with just seven established EuroLeague players. It's been tough getting a read on the Greek team, but at least there will only be a few options to choose from in Round 11. The top one at the moment appears to be Shaq McKissic, who scored in double figures in six of the last seven Rounds and is coming off his most productive game of the season. Baskonia's Pierria Henry was on fire until Monday, when he contributed almost nothing in a make-up game with Zenit. It's been mentioned a couple times, but the Russian squad has been tough on guards, so it's fair to give Henry a pass on that one. He will be in position to bounce back Thursday against an Olympiacos defense that is susceptible to being beaten by opposing guards. And his dud helped bring his DraftKings price back below five figures. 

DFS Darlings: While Olympiacos has had trouble with guards, they have had no such issues with opposing frontcourt players. However, they will be particularly thin in the post Thursday, which brings Achille Polonara and Tonye Jekiri into play. Another appealing option on the Spanish squad is Luca Vildoza, who is safely averaging double digits and costs just $7,200 on DraftKings. With Olympiacos so short-handed just about any of their regulars will have a chance to return value Thursday. The most likely to do so appears to be Kostas Papanikolaou, who averaged 24.4 points on DraftKings over the last two Rounds and played 30 minutes in each contest. 

AX Armani Exchange Milan at Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv

Key Injuries: Luigi Datome (MIL), Yovel Zoosman (TEL)

Best Bets for Success: Expect to hear Scottie Wilbekin's name called plenty in this one, as Milan is allowing opposing guards to score the most points on a per-game basis. Wilbekin scored 25 points in Round 10, which is the same number he averaged in two matchups with Milan last season. The Italian team is still in a state of flux, as three key pieces of their squad recently returned to the court. The most likely player to produce for their squad, though, appears to be Zach LeDay, who is least affected by the rotation changes and scored in double figures five times in the last six Rounds.

DFS Darlings: Omri Casspi and Sandy Cohen are not injured, but for various reasons they will not take the court for Maccabi on Thursday. Those absences will provide both Elijah Bryant and Tyler Dorsey opportunities to hit double digits in the points column. Another player likely to hit that plateau is Kevin Punter, who took all of two Rounds to lead Milan in scoring. Dating back to last season, Punter averaged a healthy 15.9 points over his last 14 EuroLeague games. At his current $7,300 price on DraftKings, he's also returning the most value of any player likely to play a significant role in Thursday's set of games.

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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