This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- Real Madrid's Edy Tavares tested positive for COVID-19 and will not play Friday, but teammates Trey Thompkins and Carlos Alocen will be back in uniform.
- Baskonia's Alec Peters and Arturs Kurucs are on the roster for Round 21.
- CSKA's Will Clyburn and Semen Antonov will not play in Round 21.
- ASVEL's Charles Kahudi will be available for Friday's contest.
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Best Bets for Success: The first double-game week of the year concludes with another short slate, as just two of the four scheduled games will go on as planned. The visitors have not played a EuroLeague game in over three weeks, but they were able to sneak in a domestic game Sunday, so they won't come in completely cold. ASVEL was carried by its guards in that contest, and they likely will be again Friday, as they will be down all of their top forwards. Among the dynamic duo of Elie Okobo and Chris Jones, the latter was a bit more productive in December. However, there's a lot to like about both players Friday. Okobo is averaging the second most points among players taking the court Friday with Jones right behind him, and due to price drops Okobo is returning the most average value on the board and Jones the third most. Both players will have the matchup firmly in their favor, as CSKA ranks bottom-4 against opposing guards in all of the points, three-pointers, field goal percentage and field goals allowed categories. CSKA, meanwhile, comes in hot, having blown out Panathinaikos on Wednesday even with Clyburn sidelined. The team's top producer could be back for Round 21, but with his status uncertain, there are likely safer options available on the Russian squad. It remains tricky to identify exactly who will wind up with the most fantasy points on a given night, but the matchups say CSKA's top producer Friday will be a forward, as ASVEL has been pretty stout against guards and centers but ranks bottom-4 against players at the forward spots in four of the six counting stats plus FG% and FGA. With that in mind, Tornike Shengelia looks like the best bet to deliver Friday. Thanks to the matchup you could certainly gamble on Clyburn if he plays, but it's tough to go wrong with Shengelia, who put up at least 25.5 points on DraftKings in three of his last four EuroLeague games.
DFS Darlings: The over/under on this game is pretty high and the home team is favored by double digits, so you could find a lot to like in this section. Clyburn's status will dictate who else to go after on the CSKA side, but even if he does play, Johannes Voigtmann and Joel Bolomboy will be in play, as they are listed at the forward position. If Clyburn remains out, you can also consider forward Nikita Kurbanov, and guards Marius Grigonis and Daniel Hackett, who picked up the slack in the scoring column Wednesday and remain no more than $7,100 a piece. As for ASVEL's value plays, we will start with Marcos Knight, who came on in late December and played 31 minutes in Sunday's domestic contest. You can also consider Youssoupha Fall, as CSKA ranks bottom-3 against centers in all of the points, rebounds and blocks categories. Last but certainly not least, Kostas Antetokounmpo will be in play, as even though CSKA has fared well against forwards, his $5,800 price tag and the absences at his position open the door for him to return 3x value.
Per an official announcement from the EuroLeague, "The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 21 game Zalgiris Kaunas vs. Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, originally scheduled to be played on Thursday, January 13, 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."
Per an official announcement from the EuroLeague, "The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 21 game Olympiacos Piraeus vs. Zenit St Petersburg, originally scheduled to be played on Thursday, January 13, 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."
Best Bets for Success: The final game of the week pits two Spanish squads against each other, and this contest could be lopsided too, as Real Madrid won by 28 points when these teams met in Round 12 and Baskonia has not yet taken the court in 2022. Baskonia will no doubt be looking for a more respectable result, and there's at least a chance they keep game close, as for the first time in a long time they will have their top three players available at each of the guard, forward and center spots. When we last saw Baskonia they were mopping the floor with first-place Barcelona, and nearly all of their top players got the job done that night. They have a number of players who qualify here, but with Real Madrid shutting down forwards as well as anyone, we will avoid players at that position. Steven Enoch was his team's steadiest producer in recent months, but he will have an imposing matchup in the post and could cede some minutes to Peters, so Wade Baldwin looks like Baskonia's safest option Friday. Baldwin piled up 81.5 DraftKings points over his last two EuroLeague appearances, and even at a season-high $9,700 he is returning quite a bit of average value. The top pick for the home team remains Edy Tavares, who is leading all players on the slate in DraftKings points and also ranks second in average value returned. Baskonia is allowing opposing centers to do quite a bit of scoring, and Tavares has put up at least 30.0 DraftKings points in all six games this season in which he has recorded a 15 or better in the points column.
DFS Darlings: With all of Baskonia's top players available, there won't be many bargains available on their side, but despite the tough matchup you can consider Rokas Giedraitis, who checks in at an affordable $8,300. On the Real Madrid sign, Vincent Poirier will carry some appeal, as he will be taking on his former team and will split the minutes at center spot with Tavares as one of only two centers available in Round 21. Thomas Heurtel is a good target at $8,000, having nearly recorded a double-double last time these teams met. Alberto Abalde is also worth a look, as he too stuffed the stat sheet in Round 12, should pick up some minutes with Fernandez out and checks in at just $6,500.