EuroLeague Primer: Round 1 - Thursday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 1 - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

PREGAME UPDATES

THE SLATE

Panathinaikos OPAP Athens at AS Monaco

Status Check: None

Best Bets for Success: The first game of the season features the dual returns of Monaco and Mike James to the EuroLeague. Most of the players on the roster for the French team lack EuroLeague experience, but James certainly does not, as he was in his seventh EuroLeague campaign when he parted ways with CSKA last April. James finished second in the league in scoring last season and will likely look to return in style, so don't expect him to be shy in Round 1. While most eyeballs will be on James, don't forget about Rob Gray, who averaged 18.2 ppg in EuroCup play last season. Nemanja Nedovic will be Panathinaikos' top option when he's at full speed, but it's not clear if he's there yet. As such, consider Ioannis Papapetrou the safest option for his team in this matchup.

DFS Darlings: Okaro White has never appeared in a EuroLeague game, but he could make an instant impact for Panathinaikos, as he averaged 19.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in two Greek Super Cup games last weekend. Fellow offseason addition Jehyve Floyd filled a rotation spot in those two contests, and he could be worth a dart throw on DraftKings at just $3,800. Monaco's roster has been almost completely revamped since last season, so there will be a good deal of uncertainty on their side. One option to strongly consider though is veteran Donatas Motiejunas, who dominated in China the last few years.

FC Bayern Munich at Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv

Status Check: Vladimir Lucic (BAY), Othello Hunter (BAY), Corey Walden (BAY), Paul Zipser (BAY), Nihad Djedovic (BAY), Leon Radosevic (BAY), Gavin Schilling (BAY), Ante Zizic (MTA), Mathias Lessort (MTA)

Best Bets for Success: Maccabi has a couple premier players in Scottie Wilbekin and Jalen Reynolds, and they both figure to have some extra motivation in Round 1. Wilbekin really struggled at the end of last season and will likely try to restore his reputation right out of the gate. Reynolds played with Bayern during the previous campaign, and with Zizic sidelined, he should have ample opportunities to produce against his former squad. The German team will be down a number of players, including at least a couple key ones. Excluding anyone on the list above, Nick Weiler-Babb and Deshaun Thomas look to be the top picks for Bayern. Weiler-Babb's well-rounded game helps his cause, and Thomas averaged 13.9 points and 4.4 rebounds during the 2019-20 EuroLeague campaign.

DFS Darlings: With Bayern short-handed, all kinds of opportunities will be open on their squad. Look for veterans Darrun Hilliard and Augustine Rubit to soak up most of them. Hilliard scored 26 points in Bayern's German league opener, making him particularly intriguing on DraftKings at just $5,700. Maccabi has a couple intriguing players on the same website in veteran James Nunnally and Roman Sorkin, who checks in at just $3,400.

CSKA Moscow at AX Armani Exchange Milan

Status Check: Troy Daniels (AXM)

Best Bets for Success: This version of the CSKA squad will look a lot different than the one it tossed out at the end of last season, as all of Alexey Shved, Nikola Milutinov and Marius Grigonis will take the court for the club in Round 1. All three of those players produced regularly last season and figure to continue doing so, but fantasy players should be a bit wary of spending up on the first two – and Will Clyburn – on DraftKings until seeing how things shake out. There's only one ball to go around after all. The Italian team made some big changes as well, but expect the team to continue being led by Shavon Shields, who signed an extension with Milan just before the start of the season.

DFS Darlings: Milan's production was spread out fairly evenly last season, and even with Daniels out it looks like that will remain the case. Nicolo Melli and Devon Hall carry some level of intrigue on DraftKings, though. Melli spent the last couple seasons in the NBA and is not too pricey for a player of his caliber, and Hall is a proven scorer who checks in at just $3,600. Given that CSKA's roster is star-studded and healthy, it's best to look for your value plays elsewhere.

Anadolu Efes Istanbul at Real Madrid

Status Check: Anthony Randolph (RMB), Trey Thompkins (RMB)

Best Bets for Success: The reigning champions kick off their 2021-22 campaign against the team that pushed the to a fifth game in the playoffs a season ago. Once again Efes will be led by their star-studded backcourt of Vasilije Micic and Shane Larkin. Micic won the MVP award last season, but Larkin would have won it had it been given out two seasons ago, and he may have done so last year had he been healthy all season. With Larkin presumably back at full speed, consider both guards on equal footing as the new season gets underway, and give Larkin the edge over on DraftKings, as he checks in $800 cheaper. Edy Tavares remains the main man for Madrid, particularly with a couple of his fellow bigs sidelined to start the season. It remains to be seen if Tavares will score as often as he did last season, but there's no doubt he will be a factor on the glass and on the defensive end. Vincent Poirier seems like a pretty safe option as well, and outside of the Tavares and Milutinov is the best bet for a double-double on the slate.

DFS Darlings: Efes' Filip Petrusev is one of the most-tantalizing targets on the DraftKings slate, as last season's Adriatic League MVP checks in at $3,500 despite averaging 23.5 points and 7.6 rebounds with Mega Belgrade. Thomas Heurtel and Adam Hanga have been a bit hit-or-miss since the Spanish league began, but both have been starting, and the defensive-minded Hanga in particular should see quite a bit of action to counter Efes' backcourt. Neither of them will cost you more than $4,900 on DraftKings.

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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