EuroLeague Primer: Round 20 - Tuesday

EuroLeague Primer: Round 20 - Tuesday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

PREGAME UPDATES

STATS AND INFO.

THE SLATE

LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne at Zenit Saint Petersburg

Per an official announcement from the EuroLeague, "The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 20 game Zenit St Petersburg vs. LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday, January 11, has been suspended. Zenit requested the suspension after several team members tested positive for COVID-19, which leaves the team without the minimum eight players on the Authorization List fit to play."

Olympiacos Piraeus at Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul

Status Check: Quincy Acy (OLY), Jan Vesely (FBB), Nando de Colo (FBB), Devin Booker (FBB), Danilo Barthel (FBB), Marial Shayok (FBB)

Best Bets for Success: It has been nearly three weeks since either of these clubs played a EuroLeague contest, but they will both be among the six squads set to compete on the first day of the first double-game week in 2022. The Turkish team has put its COVID-19 outbreak behind them, but they will still be down a number of players – including their top two producers – due to injuries. Fenerbahce will need a couple players to step up, and the two most likely to do so are Achille Polonara and Pierria Henry. Both players have taken on complementary roles in their first campaign with Fenerbahce, but just a season ago they finished first and second, respectively, in average index rating for Baskonia. Neither has a particularly enticing matchup, but with a full complement of minutes and opportunities, 3x value should be well within reach for both Polonara and Henry. Olympiacos has also outlasted a COVID-19 outbreak of its own, and they are in much better shape roster-wise, which is why they are favored despite a 3-5 road record in EuroLeague play. The Greek club was getting steady production from Sasha Vezenkov and Tyler Dorsey when its pause began, and while both are capable of a big night, the former seems a bit safer in Round 20. Vezenkov was limited to seven points and five rebounds when these teams met in Round 7, but he averaged 16.0 ppg against Fenerbahce last season and takes on a team that ranks bottom-3 against forwards in five of the six counting stats, including points, rebounds and three-pointers.

DFS Darlings: With the visiting team at full strength, there won't be much room for value plays, as the rest of the roster outside the two players above and Kostas Sloukas – who will be playing in his former home arena – topped the 20-point on DraftKings a combined four times over Olympiacos' last four EuroLeague games. Sloukas is returning some of the most average value among the players near the top of the board, and Kostas Papanikolaou deserves consideration due to the matchup. The glut of absences on the Fenerbahce side gives both Booker and Dyshawn Pierre – both $8,400 on DraftKings – a boost, but Booker's status is uncertain and Pierre is at his highest price point of the season, so both carry a bit of risk. If Booker winds up missing another Round, you could go with either Ahmet Duverioglu or Jehyve Floyd, though it's a coin flip who will get more minutes. There is at least one potential bargain on the Turkish team who seems pretty safe, and that's Marko Guduric at $7,500. Guduric is averaging 11.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.1 threes this season when playing at least 20 minutes.

Real Madrid at Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade

Per an official announcement from the EuroLeague, "The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 20 game Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade vs. Real Madrid, originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday, January 11, has been suspended. Zvezda requested the suspension after several team members tested positive for COVID-19, which leaves the team without the minimum eight players on the Authorization List fit to play."

UNICS Kazan at AS Monaco

Per an official announcement from the EuroLeague, "The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 20 game AS Monaco vs. UNICS Kazan, originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday, January 11, has been suspended. UNICS requested the suspension after several team members tested positive for COVID-19, which leaves the team without the minimum eight players on the Authorization List fit to play."

Zalgiris Kaunas at FC Bayern Munich

Status Check: Joffrey Lauvergne (ZAL), Arturas Milaknis (ZAL), Regimantas Miniotas (ZAL), Darrun Hilliard (BAY), Paul Zipser (BAY)

Best Bets for Success: Neither of these teams has played a EuroLeague game in ages, with Bayern last taking the court in Round 17 and Zalgiris' last appearance coming the Round before that. Not much has changed for either squad personnel-wise, and that makes Vladimir Lucic – provided his absence in Sunday's domestic game was only precautionary – one of the most-appealing options on the board. Lucic is leading the league in minutes per contest, averaged 15.4 points and 8.2 rebounds over his last five EuroLeague games and put up 28.5 DraftKings points against Zalgiris in his season debut. Josh Nebo also shined in that same matchup, posting one of the two double-doubles he has recorded in his first EuroLeague go-around. With Lauvergne still out, Nebo remains the top option for the Lithuanian club, particularly with him averaging 24.8 DraftKings points over his last three EuroLeague contests.

DFS Darlings: While Zalgiris sits seven spots behind Bayern in the standings, this game is still expected to be relatively close, with the home team favored to win by no more than 8.0 points on most major websites. That's good news for Bayern's top guards, as the visitors rank bottom-5 against backcourt players in all of the points, assists, steals, and field goal percentage categories. With Hilliard still out, Nick Weiler-Babb looks like the best pick among that bunch, having averaged 28.3 DraftKings points over his last two EuroLeague games. You could also look at Corey Walden, who has been quiet but is returning some of the most average value on the board at $7,200. Bayern ranks top-4 against forwards in four of the six counting-stat categories, but you can still consider Tyler Cavanaugh and Edgaras Ulanovas, as both have been rolling in the domestic games Zalgiris has played since its last EuroLeague contest. Ulanovas is a bit more appealing, checking in $1,100 cheaper than his fellow forward. Lukas Lekavicius has been a bit of an enigma, but he also brings a lot of upside to the table, having topped the 25-point mark on DraftKings five times over his last 12 EuroLeague appearances.

Anadolu Efes Istanbul at Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz

Per an official announcement from the EuroLeague, "The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 20 game Bitci Baskonia Vitoria - Gasteiz vs. Anadolu Efes Istanbul, originally scheduled to be played on Tuesday, January 11, has been suspended. Baskonia requested the suspension due to local legislation imposing quarantine measures on the team after several team members tested positive for COVID-19, which leaves the team without the minimum eight players on the Authorization List fit to play."

AX Armani Exchange Milan at FC Barcelona

Status Check: Shavon Shields (AXM), Malcolm Delaney (AXM), Konstantinos Mitoglou (AXM), Luigi Datome (AXM), Troy Daniels (AXM), Riccardo Moraschini (AXM), Nick Calathes (BAR), Brandon Davies (BAR), Dante Exum (BAR), Alex Abrines (BAR), Pierre Oriola (BAR), Sergi Martinez (BAR), Michael Caicedo (BAR), Gael Bonilla (BAR)

Best Bets for Success: No team has gone longer without a EuroLeague game than Milan, as 25 days will have passed between their last EuroLeague contest and Tuesday's matchup. They will be tested in their first game back, as even though Barcelona will be down some key players they are favored by a handful of points and remain atop the standings at 15-3. The Spanish squad has been led to the top by none other than Nikola Mirotic, who is easily leading the league in scoring and average index rating. Milan contained Mirotic last time these teams met and he is quite a bit pricier on DraftKings than anyone else, but he is also returning more average value than anyone available and figures to be ready to carry his club like he usually does. It's no easy task identifying Milan's top option, as they will be down their top producer in Shields and have gotten pretty steady production up-and-down the roster all season. Sergio Rodriguez looks like the safest play, though, provided Delaney sits. Rodriguez averaged 24.8 DraftKings points over his last six EuroLeague games, and the veteran is clearly no stranger to situations like this one.

DFS Darlings: While Milan may lack a sure thing in the section above, they have quite a few options to consider here. Only Mirotic and Vezenkov are returning more average value at their price points than Nicolo Melli, and Kyle Hines is not far behind. A little lower down the board are Ben Bentil and Devon Hall, who both got the job done in the Italian team's last two domestic contests. Last, but not least, we come to Jerian Grant, who could be worth a gamble if Delaney is out. It may seem odd to list a player who has totaled just 48.7 DraftKings points all season, but the former NBA player broke out over the last week of domestic play and checks in at a meager $4,200 on Tuesday's slate. No team has been tougher on opposing guards than Milan, so it will not be smooth sailing for Barcelona's backcourt. However, Cory Higgins will be in play at just $6,900. At the forward spots, Kyle Kuric is worth a look at $7,700, and Nigel Hayes-Davis also is at $6,500.

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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