This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- Bayern's Vladimir Lucic remains sidelined Friday.
- It was reported that Red Star's Quino Colom would make his team debut Friday, but it turns out he will not be available. Teammates Langston Hall, Emanuel Terry and Ognjen Dobric will not play Friday either.
- Daniel Hackett and Joel Bolomboy remain sidelined for CSKA.
- Olympiacos' Kostas Papanikolaou will be available for Round 15.
Best Bets for Success: There are a couple fun matchups to note in this all-Russia battle. On a macro level, the league's highest-scoring team, CSKA, squares off against a Zenit squad that is allowing the second-fewest points on a per-game basis. On a more individual basis, the league's leading scorer in Mike James takes on a Zenit squad that is shutting down opposing guards better than anyone else. James has led his team in fantasy points in six straight games, but given the matchup and his hefty price tag on DraftKings, teammate Nikola Milutinov looks like CSKA's top option on that website. Milutinov has been overshadowed by James, but he quietly averaged a double-double over the last five Rounds. Zenit's Kevin Pangos is coming off one of his quietest games of the season, but he did top the 20-park on DraftKings in his previous seven games and probably will not have to face Hackett, CSKA's top defender.
DFS Darlings: It seems likely CSKA will be rolling with the same lineup it used Tuesday, so Johannes Voigtmann should see extra minutes again. Voigtmann has a history of stepping up when given extra opportunities, having down so frequently the last two seasons. Zenit will likely need Arturas Gudaitis to play 20 minutes to combat CSKA's talented frontcourt, and he could provide some nice return on what would be just a $7,100 investment on DraftKings.
Best Bets for Success: Jordan Loyd seems to have gotten back on track for Red Star, and although Valencia is not giving up many points to guards they are giving up their fair share of threes and assists. Johnny O'Bryant looks like just as good an option, and we nearly gave him top billing in this one. O'Bryant averaged 13.7 points and 7.0 rebounds over his last three games, and he will face a Valencia team allowing by far the biggest numbers in those two categories to players at the forward positions. We also wanted to make Klemen Prepelic Valencia's top option against a Red Star team giving up plenty of points to guards. However, with Prepelic not guaranteed to start we will go with a reenergized Bojan Dubljevic. Red Star has been pretty stout against opposing centers, but given the way Dubljevic is shooting the ball, he should have a nice day if he gets to 20 minutes and 10 attempts from the field. Dubljevic is averaging 14.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.3 threes in games in which both occur.
DFS Darlings: Red Star is allowing the fewest points to opposing frontcourt players, which is enough to scare us away from any other Valencia players besides Derrick Williams, who is clearly more talented than his $7,100 price tag suggests. Given the friendly forward matchup, Dejan Davidovac and Marko Jagodic-Kuridza can help fill out a lineup if needed.
Key Injuries: Vladimir Lucic (MUN)
Best Bets for Success: Achille Polonara has been just about as productive as Pierria Henry of late, but we'll stick with Henry for another Round, as Bayern has been the best against opposing centers in everything but the points department. Henry doesn't need to score much to have a nice day, and when he does he usually has a huge day, as he averaged 35.8 fantasy points in the seven games in which he hits double figures. The top option among the German team's "Big 3" in this one will be Wade Baldwin, as Baskonia has been equally tough on big men and Lucic will presumably be limited at best. Henry, the league leader in steals, won't make life easy on Baldwin, but it doesn't need to be pretty for Baldwin – shooting just 43 percent on the year – to have a nice fantasy day.
DFS Darlings: Luca Vildoza is returning quite a bit more value than anyone on the slate, and after making it through his last couple appearances he could be worth gambling on. D.J. Seeley stepped right into a starting spot and 20-minute role for Bayern, and he should hold onto that if Lucic remains sidelined. At just $4,700 on DraftKings, he doesn't have to do much to return 4x value.
Best Bets for Success: You could make a case for Walter Tavares being the best player in the league since Facundo Campazzo left town, as since that occurred Tavares has averaged 14.5 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 3.0 blocks per game. Olympiacos does not have the matchups in their favor nor much size to contend with Tavares, so he will be in position to continue ruling the roost down low. It's been a while since we listed Kostas Sloukas in this spot, but he earned his way back here by averaging 26.9 DraftKings points and 30 minutes per game over the last five Rounds. Real Madrid isn't allowing guards to rack up many assists, but they've also been far less imposing against players at those positions in Campazzo's absence.
DFS Darlings: Both Livio Jean-Charles and Sasha Vezenkov shined in Round 14 with Papanikolaou and Printezis combining for just two minutes, and although the matchup won't be as appealing as it was last time around, both should again play 20 minutes if their fellow forwards remain sidelined. Shaq McKissic won't come as cheap as those two, but he's also one of the better values on the board, having averaged 21.2 points on DraftKings over his last eight games. Alberto Abalde is hardly the bargain he was before, but he has major upside if he gets to fill the playmaker role like he did in the last two Rounds.
Best Bets for Success: Alexey Shved is up to a whopping $13,900 on DraftKings, but believe it or not he is still providing some of the most value on the board with his average of 40+ fantasy points per game. ASVEL has not been giving up many assists or threes to opposing guards, but they are allowing some of the most points to players at that position, so it's not a negative matchup for Shved. ASVEL typically struggles to score the ball, but just about all their rotation players will get a boost Thursday, as they take on a Khimki team averaging the most possessions per game and giving up by far the most points in the league. David Lighty and Norris Cole are both tantalizing options with Khimki having serious trouble stopping guards and forwards. Lighty averaged a shade under 24 points on DraftKings over his six games and Cole's recent slump makes him an affordable $8,500 in Friday's contests.
DFS Darlings: Khimki has a lot of centers to throw at Moustapha Fall, so you may want to avoid him even though he's leading ASVEL in fantasy points. Allerik Freeman makes a nice low-cost option DraftKings, and Guerschon Yabusele will provide some nice upside if Kahudi remains out. ASVEL is giving up the fewest threes per game, which isn't good news for a number of Khimki players. Devin Booker is at a cheap enough price to consider, and it's encouraging that he played 23 minutes his last time out. It's been a quiet couple months for Booker, but he did average 19.0 points and 9.0 rebounds in October.
Key Injuries: Victor Claver (BAR)
Best Bets for Success: Nikola Mirotic showed some serious signs of life in his last two games, recording a double-double in Round 13 before scoring a season-high 24 points his last time out. He will have a shot at another double-double Friday, considering he posted one in each of his matchups with Maccabi last season. Scottie Wilbekin is averaging nine more fantasy points than anyone else on his team, and he topped the 20-point mark three times in his last five Rounds. He will be challenged to do the same Friday, as only Zenit is allowing more points to opposing guards.
DFS Darlings: Maccabi ranks bottom-3 against opposing centers in just about every category, which sets up Brandon Davies for another nice day. If you want to attack the matchup but spend far less, Pierre Oriola is also worth considering at just $4,900.