Fantasy Challenge: Looking for new bench players

Jan 13, 2022 by Print
Fantasy Challenge: Looking for new bench players

It's a double-week round in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and Round 21 – with five games scheduled and four postponed – is upon us. We said it before – and hope not to see it very often in the future – but players from those postponed games remain eligible in Fantasy Challenge for this round – including those who are injured – and will receive their average score of the season so far. Therefore, strategy for managing your teams is different, as keeping some players whose scores you already know is not necessarily a bad thing.

In fact, I played it really safe in Round 20, using three of those players in my team, Gancedato: Chris Jones and Elie Okobo of LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, and Jordan Loyd of Zenit St Petersburg. None of my other players had a great game. I had Sasha Vezenkov of Olympiacos Piraeus as team captain on Tuesday, but switched to Georgios Papagiannis of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens before the games on Wednesday, getting a few extra points. In the end, I ended up getting 118.75 points in Round 20 and my team ranks 369th overall.

This time, I am using more players who should be on the floor in Round 21. I don't think it is a good idea to use a head coach that will not play. I had Andrea Trinchieri of FC Bayern Munich, and those 10 points I got are better than the average score of 15 of the 18 coaches in the competition. Ideally, you want an inexpensive coach who will win by a lot of points, but this is the EuroLeague, where stuff like this doesn't happen very often. I am getting a coach whose team has been on fire lately: Dimitris Itoudis of CSKA Moscow. CSKA has been unstoppable in 2022 and should keep its momentum going against ASVEL.

Three trades are allowed before each round until the end of the regular season. I have two players - Loyd and Vezenkov - that will not play as scheduled in Round 21. I have decided to keep both because their average scores are good: Vezenkov 17.48, Loyd 15.27. I have more urgent matters to fix, my bench players in particular. The players I have are barely scoring and I trust my starters in Round 21. I am selling Rolands Smits of FC Barcelona because Nigel Hayes-Davis and Sergi Martinez are back, and that means he should not play extended minutes anymore. I am also selling Leonidas Kaselakis of Panathinaikos for a similar reason. And I am also letting Nemanja Nedovic go because he did not play very well in Round 20, taking 2 shots in 14 minutes. I am sure Nedovic should have big games in the near future, but I need answers right now.

So I need a couple of guards and a forward to fill the bench. I am bringing back Ognjen Jaramaz of Bayern, who has been playing really well lately. He led his team with 16 points and a PIR of 20 against Zalgiris, starting and playing almost 25 minutes. I expect him to keep going as Bayern takes on high-scoring AS Monaco at home. I am also buying Andrey Zubkov of Zenit. He is not playing this week, but I am counting on him for the long run. My final addition is James Gist of ASVEL. Without Victor Wembanyama, Gist should see extended playing time and keep playing well.

So this is how my team Gancedato looks before Round 21:

Chris Jones, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (10.8 credits) – ASVEL is back in action and so is Jones, who is having a fantastic season. He should bring his A-game to this showdown against mighty CSKA.

Ognjen Jaramaz, FC Bayern Munich (5.1 credits) – Jaramaz comes off a really good game and his team plays at home again. Starting him because Bayern plays on Thursday, one day before Okobo's ASVEL.

Sasha Vezenkov, Olympiacos Piraeus (12.9 credits) – Vezenkov will not play this game – Olympiacos vs. Zenit was postponed – but I can live with his 17.48 fantasy points. It is a good score.

Nikola Mirotic, FC Barcelona (17.7 credits) – Mirotic fouled out against Anadolu Efes Istanbul earlier this season, and I am sure he keeps that in mind. I expect him to do great. Team captain.

Georgios Papagiannis, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (12.4 credits) – The game between Panathinaikos and Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv got cancelled, too, but I am keeping Papagiannis and his 16.24 guaranteed fantasy points.

Jordan Loyd, Zenit St Petersburg (11.7 credits) – He is not playing in Round 21 but is getting 15.27 fantasy points. I had more urgent matters to pay attention too, so I am keeping Loyd until next week.

Andrey Zubkov, Zenit St Petersburg (5.4 credits) – Not a lot of good options for 5.5 credits or less, so I am adding him and will be happy to get his 5.4 Fantasy points in Round 21.

Marek Blazevic, Zalgiris Kaunas (4.5 credits) – He is one of the most popular players in the game, featuring on 20.6% of all Fantasy teams. Only Mirotic (31.5%) is on more teams than Blazevic.

James Gist, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (6.3 credits) – ASVEL is without Victor Wembanyama, so that means Gist will see more playing time. He had 10 points in ASVEL's last EuroLeague game, too.

Elie Okobo, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (11.0 credits) – Putting him on the bench in case Jaramaz has a monster performance. If he doesn't, Okobo will replace Jaramaz in my starting lineup.

That's all I have for you today. Stay safe and enjoy Round 21 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season. Good luck, EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge managers!