It seems like more and more people are playing the bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge game every year, and every year we scrabble around to try and squeeze as much as we can out of the 500 credit limit. As we all know who the top players are, the skill of fantasy is in picking the lesser known players with lower values who will exceed expectations, boosting your credits so you can splurge on the luxury guys later on. It’s a bit like those scumbags who make millions by shorting the Yen, then buy bath taps made out of solid gold. Then again, those people have more money than they know what to do with and work four hours a week. So in that spirit, enjoy George Rowland’s value investment tips and watch the
money credits and kudos from your friends roll in.
Joe Ragland (EA7 Milano) 46.0 credits
Ragland is coming off a great year with Cantu last year, where he put up some gaudy numbers in both Serie A and the Italian league. He’s coming into a Milano team that has Trenton Meachem, Daniel Hackett (when he comes back from suspension) and MarShon Brooks as the main players in the back court, so Ragland can expect to play a significant role as a primary playmaker for Milano.
It was plain to see the impact that both Renfroe and Hammonds had in the game against the San Antonio Spurs, with both scoring 15 points in their upset victory. While a lot of Alba’s play-making will fall on the shoulders of Reggie Redding, both Renfroe and Hammonds will be leaned on to be secondary playmakers and guys who can create their own shot. Hammonds especially will be needed as Alba’s lead defensive guard, where he could be among the league leaders in steals.
Dontaye Draper (Anadolu Efes) 38.0 credits
Draper never lived up to expectation with Real Madrid, and eventually wound up playing third fiddle behind Sergio Rodriguez and Sergio Llull as Real’s defensive specialist. Now he is free again with Efes to be the lead guard of the team, and with the proposed transfer of Thomas Heurtel falling through Draper will have to play a big role in terms of both minutes and playmaking. Expect him to pick up a lot of steals and assists relative to his value.
Nemanja Gordic (Cedevita Zagreb) 37.0 credits
With Igokea last season Nemanja Gordic was reinvigorated after an injury hit period in the seasons before. With his superb numbers buying him a ticket back to Euroleague with Cedevita his role will shrink down, as he plays alongside Roko Ukic. With Gordic and Ukic both being similar players, in that they are solid scorers, erratic playmakers and great defenders they could play well together. At his best Gordic could post similar numbers or perhaps even exceed Ukic, which makes him a bargain at 37.0 credits in comparison to Ukic’s 51.0.
With DeMarcus Nelson missing the start of the season there is a big chunk of minutes that should be absorbed by a combination of Pappas and Slaughter, along with some too for veteran Janis Blums. Pappas played sparingly for PAO last year having moved from Panionios, but will shoulder a lot of scoring for the Greens after a big roster turnaround this summer. Slaughter joins the team after a hugely successful campaign with Elan Chalon in the French League and the Eurocup, he will be relied upon as PAO’s secondary playmaker behind Dimitris Diamantidis, and should see big minutes until Nelson returns.
Davis Bertans (Laboral Kutxa) 44.0 Credits
After sitting out most of last season for Partizan with a torn ACL, Bertans put out a big statement in his first ACB game for Baskonia, scoring 24 points on 13 shots in a loss against Barcelona. While he obviously won’t score like this every week, he is one of the most dangerous shooter in Europe and as such will play a major role for Marco Crespi’s team.
Nemanja Jaramaz (PGE Turow) 35.0 credits
Jaramaz is a player that many have lost track of since his time with Partizan. But having bounced around to Italy and Kazakhstan he landed with PGE Turow last year and by all accounts had a very solid season. With Polish league MVP and Turow’s top scorer JP Prince leaving the team, and Mardy Collins stepping into his shoes, there will likely be more minutes opening up for Jaramaz and a bigger role expected of him, especially after a great pre-season.
Nobel Boungou-Colo (Limoges CSP) 32.0 credits
Nobel Boungou-Colo was a dynamic scorer for Limoges last year, as he averaged a hair below 15 points per game across all domestic competitions in France, along with 5 rebounds. His role will likely shrink slightly as Limoges have upgraded in quality, particularly in the back court, but with such a small squad he will be getting the minutes to put up some good numbers.
Once again a pair of Alba players can be had for fantastic value, while neither will put up superb numbers, they will be reliable players if you have spent big in other positions. Both are great shooters and will be relied upon to space the floor at the forward position for Alba. Expect a bit more rebounding from King who will spend some time at the power forward position.
Miro Bilan (Cedevita Zagreb) 47.0 credits
Bilan seems to be the forgotten man for the Croatian national team, as he was once again one of the last cuts for the World Cup. This was despite being Cedevita’s primary big last year, as he led them to the Adriatic League final. Bilan is an old school centre, a capable back to basket and mid-range scorer, he is also a superb passer, who flirted with a triple double in the Croation domestic league last year. Bilan will get the main chunk of minutes at centre for Cedevita, with Mario Delas and Tomislav Zubcic shifting over from power forward to mop of some of the rest along with youngsters Marko Arapovic and Markus Loncar.
Esteban Batista (Panathinaikos) 45.0 credits
Panathinaikos’ injury woes extend well beyond their back court, with both James Gist and Loukas Mavrokefalidis on the side lines Batista will have a big role to play for PAO in a very tough group. After his career stalled with Efes he had a great season with Karsiyaka last year, and is now reunited with Dusko Ivanovic, who he was with at Baskonia in 2011. With PAO’s injuries he could be looking at around 30 minutes a game until Gist or Mavrokefalidis return and will have to be the greens leading rebounder if they are to be successful during this period.
Pablo Aguilar (Valencia) 41.0 credits
Aguilar was touted as the heir apparent to Jorge Garbojosa in his youth, and while he hasn’t quite reached those levels he should be expected to have a good season now he is fully fit and no longer has to stand in the shadow of Justin Doellman. With Bojan Dubljevic currently struggling with injury Aguilar’s only competition at the 4 is newcomer Luke Harangody, who he should have the inside track on, as he is a far better fit for Velimir Perasovic’s offence.
Will Thomas (Unicaja Malaga) 36.0 credits
Unicaja’s main summer pick up at the power forward position was Caleb Green, but Daniels will likely play a role that will match his fellow countryman. Both are great long range shooters as well as superb athletes and inside scorers and will be counted on to do a big chunk of Unicaja’s scoring now Zoran Dragic is with the Phoenix Suns and Nik Caner-Medley is in Kazakhstan. Green is also pretty cheap at 52.0 credits so you could consider handcuffing the two players together and still have ample resources to spend elsewhere.
Luka Mitrovic (Crvena Zvezda) 32.0 credits
Mitrovic could be the bargain of the fantasy season this year, having been named the Red Star captain for the season he is pencilled in as the starter at power forward. With only youngster Marko Tejic and Small Forward Nikola Kalinic likely to be getting the other minutes at the four Mitrovic should be playing extended minutes, and as such is superb value at only 32.0 credits.