EuroLeague Primer: Round 23 - Thursday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 23 - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

PREGAME UPDATES 

THE SLATE

Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul at Khimki Moscow Region

Status Check: Danilo Barthel (ULK), Devin Booker (KHI), Jordan Mickey (KHI), Stefan Jovic (KHI) Sergey Karasev (KHI)

Best Bets for Success: It's not clear who will be available for Khimki and who won't be, but acting head coach Andrey Maltsev said "the same players are in the ranks" when discussing Thursday's game, which seems to indicate they will use the same roster they did Tuesday. Alexey Shved will be Khimki's top option either way, but if all the players listed above remain out, he would have unlimited opportunities to produce. Several Fenerbahce players have found their names in this section in recent Rounds, and all will have inviting matchups Thursday, but Jan Vesely and Nando de Colo have separated themselves from the pack heading into Round 23. Three of Vesely's six most-productive games this season came over the past four Rounds, and de Colo averaged 19.3 ppg over the last four Rounds.

DFS Darlings: Marko Guduric and Lorenzo Brown have fallen off a bit, but that also makes them more affordable Thursday, and they will both face a Khimki team that ranks last in the league when it comes to containing opposing guards. The Russian team has not fared much better with forwards, which brings Dyshawn Pierre into play as well. Pierre has been inconsistent, but he hit the 25-point mark on DraftKings three times over the past seven Rounds. The Turkish team has not fared well against opposing frontcourt players and considering that's where Khimki is the most short-handed, both Janis Timma and Sergei Monia will carry plenty of appeal. Timma was not limited in his return to action Tuesday, and both players played at least 25 minutes and got up at least seven threes. You could also make a case for Evgeny Valiev, who stepped right into a rotation spot in his season debut and costs a meager $4,300 on DraftKings. The over/under on this game is roughly 16 points above the other two on the slate, so don't be afraid to load up on this contest.

FC Barcelona at Olympiacos Piraeus

Status Check: Alex Abrines (BAR), Victor Claver (BAR), Sasha Vezenkov (OLY), Kostas Papanikolaou (OLY)

Best Bets for Success: Nikola Mirotic's upside makes him Barcelona's top option whenever he steps on the court, but it's not a guarantee he will spend enough time on the court to return maximum value. Should you eliminate Mirotic from the equation, Nick Calathes will be the most appealing play for the Spanish squad. Calathes averaged 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 9.8 assists over the last four Rounds, and he had his best game of the season Tuesday despite facing a Zenit team that had shut down opposing guards better than anyone. It's rare for a player who has scored in double figures in 10 straight games to be the third option on his team, but that's where Cory Higgins currently lands. That says more about his teammates of course, and with Higgins likely picking up some of the shots left open by Abrines' absence, it's tough to see him not extending his streak to 11. Calathes isn't the only stat-sheet-stuffing point guard in this game, as Kostas Sloukas is putting up some impressive numbers of his own. Sloukas averaged 18.3 points, 7.0 assists and 3.0 threes per game over his past seven appearances and recorded at least 32.3 points on DraftKings five times over that span.

DFS Darlings: A healthy Vezenkov would have been one of the top value plays on the board, but alas, he is not 100 percent heading into Round 23. Having recorded his first career double-double Tuesday, he is worth considering if he plays, particularly since his injury would drive down his ownership. However, there would be plenty of risk involved in that selection. Should Vezenkov join Papanikolaou on the sidelines, both Georgios Printezis and Livio Jean-Charles would be appealing even in a tough matchup. Printezis has scored in double figures six times in the eight games he has played at least 20 minutes, and Jean-Charles – now just $4,600 on DraftKings – has been productive enough to check in at $8,200 on the same website not even three weeks ago. For Barcelona, Brandon Davies and Kyle Kuric could see some extra scoring opportunities with Abrines out. Davies remains a bit of a bargain on DraftKings, and Kuric is one of the more appealing options in his price range.

Zenit Saint Petersburg at AX Armani Exchange Milan

Status Check: Alex Poythress (DYR), Tarik Black (DYR), Shavon Shields (MIL), Jeff Brooks (MIL)

Best Bets for Success: Kevin Pangos isn't the only Zenit player producing consistently these days, with Arturas Gudaitis averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 rebounds over the last five Rounds. He will be in prime position to pick up his second double-double in three Rounds, as Milan is allowing opposing centers to grab nearly one more rebound per game than any other team. If you needed more reason to consider Gudaitis, he will take on the team he spent the last three seasons with for the first time. Pangos will be a nice option on DraftKings on Thursday, as at his price point he is returning some of the most average value on the board. Zenit's reputation against opposing guards took a hit Tuesday thanks to Calathes and Higgins, and they'll face several more tough customers in the backcourt Thursday. It's rare that we suggest any guards against Zenit, but with Shields potentially returning and shaking up the rotation, no one in Milan's frontcourt players really stands out. We'll at least give ourselves some leeway and go with both Malcolm Delaney and Kevin Punter. The duo is not dissimilar to Barcelona's backcourt, with Delaney contributing regularly in several categories and Punter reaching double figures in all but one of his 16 appearances.

DFS Darlings: As you may have guessed based on the previous section, Milan's value options will be thin, particularly with Zenit faring pretty well on the defensive end against players at all positions. The Russian team has a number of intriguing options, starting with Mateusz Ponitka. He has quietly been pretty consistent, too, averaging 10.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 threes over his last seven appearances. Will Thomas brings some nice upside on DraftKings at just $6,800. Lastly, with Black and Poythress presumably unavailable, Andrey Zubkov's spot in the rotation should be secure, and he's got a shot to return plenty of value on DraftKings at just $5,200.

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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