This is an important week in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season, the second such two-round week until now. There are only two remaining undefeated teams, AX Armani Exchange Milan and FC Barcelona, and one squad looking for its first victory, Zalgiris Kaunas. Six teams – Olympiacos Piraeus, Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv, UNICS Kazan, Zenit St Petersburg, AS Monaco and Panathinaikos OPAP Athens – will play back-to-back home games in this round and six others – Barcelona, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, Real Madrid, Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, Zalgiris Kaunas, and CSKA Moscow – are set to play both games on the road. Every game matters and every detail is important when it comes to getting a good score in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge.
This week, we have put together a selection of players who we expect to do well in Rounds 6 and 7. From players in good shape to others who can take advantage of extended playing time, to others who have established their spot in their team’s rotation, here is something for everyone even though, as always, we are restricting our tips to just five suggestions.
1. Simone Fontecchio, Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (11.5 credits) – Fontecchio comes off a great game against AS Monaco in which he had 20 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and missed just one shot for a PIR of 30. Despite getting 5 points and a PIR of 0 in Round 1, Fontecchio is averaging 14.8 points and a PIR of 16.4. Rokas Giedraitis left Baskonia’s Spanish League game with an ankle injury so Fontecchio may see even more responsibilities now.
2. Marek Blazevic, Zalgiris Kaunas (4.2 credits) – He is one of the cheapest players in the Fantasy Challenge and is seeing significant playing time now. Joffrey Lauvergne is set to be sidelined for quite some time, which means Josh Nebo and Blazevic should split minutes at the center position. In Round 5, Blazevic came off the bench and definitely delivered: 8 points and 8 rebounds in less than 12 minutes.
3. Carlos Alocen, Real Madrid (5.6 credits) – Sergio Llull is out with a shoulder injury and Nigel Williams-Goss is also sidelined. That gives Carlos Alocen and Thomas Heurtel the chance to run Real Madrid from now on. Alocen is a very physical point guard who usually makes the most out of his playing time. He had a PIR of 9 in Round 5 and this should be the start of a good run for him.
4. Sasha Vezenkov, Olympiacos Piraeus (11.5 credits) – Olympiacos Piraeus plays its next three games at home against high-scoring teams ALBA Berlin, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul and AS Monaco. It is the type of environment in which Vezenkov is at his best. Too skilled for most power forwards, too big for most small forwards, Vezenkov knows where to find advantages and his coach, Georgios Bartzokas, helps him find them, too.
5. Luke Sikma, ALBA Berlin (13.5 credits) – We recommend a superstar every week and at this point, we cannot overlook Sikma’s importance for ALBA Berlin. Sikma leads the EuroLeague in rebounds (8.4 rpg.) and ranks fourth in PIR average (20.2), excelling also in assists (3.8 apg.) and steals (1.4 spg.). With so many ways to contribute, it is rare to see Sikma have a low PIR in any game. In fact, he’s had a PIR of 13 or higher in each game until now.
Seen at: Euroleague.net