EuroLeague Primer: Round 1 - Friday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 1 - Friday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

PREGAME UPDATES

THE SLATE

Zenit Saint Petersburg at UNICS Kazan

Status Check: Shabazz Napier (ZEN), Conner Frankamp (ZEN), Dmitry Kulagin (ZEN), O.J. Mayo (UNK)

Best Bets for Success: Zenit went out and added three premier players over the offseason, and although they will be without Napier for a few weeks, they will still be able to lean on Jordan Loyd and Jordan Mickey. Both players put up all kinds of numbers during the previous campaign and figure to continue right on doing so for their new squad. With UNICS rejoining the EuroLeague this season they did some acquiring of their own, and with Mayo unlikely to play Friday, it seems their top option will be Mario Hezonja. "Super Mario" played in only eight EuroLeague games last season, but he stuffed the stat sheet in just about every one.

DFS Darlings: Isaiah Canaan could land in the section above after averaging 14.1 ppg for UNICS last season, but with some uncertainty at the guard spots and him checking in at a meager $6,300 on DraftKings we will slot him in here. Teammate John Brown averaged double figures last season as well, so he also gets a mention here. If Frankamp plays he is worth a look at just $5,700, and if he sits Billy Baron would likely handle a full workload in Round 1.

Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade at Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul

Status Check: Ognjen Dobric (CZV), Dejan Davidovac (CZV), Aaron White (CZV), Branko Lazic (CZV), Maik Zirbes (CZV), Marko Guduric (FBB), Danilo Barthel (FBB)

Best Bets for Success: Perhaps no team added more talent over the offseason than Fenerbahce, who have five players – including three new additions – among the 14 priciest players on the DraftKings slate. In addition to Fenerbahce stalwarts Nando de Colo and Jan Vesely, all of Achille Polonara, Pierria Henry and Devin Booker regularly showed up in this section last season. They all figure to produce regularly, but like CSKA on Thursday, it will be risky to select just one or two of them without knowing how things shake out. It's tough to predict just who will be Red Star's top option on Friday, particularly with them down a number of key players. However, Nikola Kalinic seems to be the safest option.

DFS Darlings: Red Star's Nikola Ivanovic is the cheapest player on the entire DraftKings slate, which is quite a surprise considering he racked up 20 points, six rebounds and six assists in his club's domestic league opener. Fellow guard Nate Wolters checks in at an affordable $7,200, but if you're going with a Red Star guard it will be tough to pass up the min-price player. It will be tough for any Fenerbahce player not listed above to make a fantasy impact, but one who most certainly could is Marial Shayok, who averaged 18.9 ppg last season with Bursaspor. He could be worth a look on DraftKings at just $4,100.

Zalgiris Kaunas at LDLC ASVEL

Status Check: Paulius Jankunas (ZAL), David Lighty (ASV), Elie Okobo (ASV), Raymar Morgan (ASV), Paul Lacombe (ASV)

Best Bets for Success: No one in this game costs more than $8,700 on DraftKings, which causes plenty of uncertainty about the top options for both teams. Emmanuel Mudiay is the biggest name in the game, and although he did not get off to the strongest start in Zalgiris' domestic league, he's going to get the nod here based on the fact he was a productive NBA player at a young age and is still just 25 years old. If you pass on Mudiay, Joffrey Lauvergne would be next in line for the Lithuanian team. Lighty would have been ASVEL's top option, but with him unavailable, it's really a toss-up. A healthy Okobo would have been next in line, but he carries some risk given his lingering ankle issue. As such, we'll go with Chris Jones, who was productive in a part-time for Maccabi a season ago.

DFS Darlings: ASVEL does have a number of intriguing value plays in Kostas Antetokounmpo, Youssoupha Fall and Victor Wembanyama. It's tough to predict the role each will play, but the first's last name carries a lot of weight, the second had plenty of big games for Baskonia last season and the third could be the first pick in the NBA Draft down the road. Each player figures to be motivated to make an instant impact. On the Zalgiris side, take a look at Lukas Lekavicius, who should step into a bigger role this season, and Josh Nebo – just $4,300 on DraftKings – carries plenty of promise.

Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz at Olympiacos Piraeus

Status Check: Wade Baldwin (BKN), Rokas Giedraitis (BKN), Alec Peters (BKN) 

Best Bets for Success: Coming off a breakout season and after signing a contract extension, Olympiacos' Sasha Vezenkov is now the clear top option for his squad. He was one of the best players in the league after last year's February break and there's no reason to think he won't keep on producing. All three of the players listed atop their position on Baskonia's depth chart are out or banged up, which rules them out of contention for Round 1. Jayson Granger gets the nod then, as he was plenty productive a season ago and should be fired up in his first EuroLeague game since returning to his former club.

DFS Darlings: With Baskonia down at least two key players there will be some open opportunities on their squad. Steven Enoch – who put up 23 points in a domestic game a week ago – and Vanja Marinkovic both carry some appeal on DraftKings and neither will run you more than $5,500. No Olympiacos player really stands out as a value play on the same website, but Tyler Dorsey at least deserves consideration at an affordable $7,300.

ALBA Berlin at FC Barcelona

Status Check: Johannes Thiemann (BER), Christ Koumadje (BER), Kresimir Nikic (BER), Alex Abrines (BAR)

Best Bets for Success: Barcelona brought back nearly every key player that came oh-so-close to winning the EuroLeague title a season ago, so expect more of the same for the Spanish squad. Nikola Mirotic is the top option for his team, and he is particularly appealing on DraftKings with a salary of just $9,900. After a poor finish last season Mirotic has looked like his old self in the Spanish league, averaging 18.0 points and 9.0 rebounds through three games. Luke Sikma remains the man for ALBA thanks to his strong all-around game, and he will be on the court a lot Friday with ALBA needing some forwards to cover for its presumed lack of big men.

DFS Darlings: There isn't much available for value on Barcelona's roster, but with Abrines out Kyle Kuric will be the team's primary sharpshooter. The German team has quite a few options to check out on DraftKings below $5,000, with the most interesting being Jaleen Smith. Yovel Zoosman, Tim Schneider and Tamir Blatt also raise an eyebrow.

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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