EuroLeague: Round 1 Primer - Thursday

EuroLeague: Round 1 Primer - Thursday

This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.

The 2020-21 season begins this week, with Round 1 games being played Thursday and Friday. 

We'll break down each game to give fantasy players a leg up on the competition.

For up-to-the-minute updates, follow us on Twitter: @RotoWireEuro.


Zenit Saint Petersburg at Anadolu Efes Istanbul

Key Injuries: Shane Larkin (IST)

Best Bets for Success: Larkin usually piles up the fantasy points for Efes, but his absence will open up some opportunities for his teammates, most notably Vasilije Micic, who puts up big numbers even when Larkin plays. On the Russian side, both Will Thomas and Austin Hollins started frequently and averaged double figures last season in their first go-around with Zenit. 

DFS Darlings: Injuries limited Bryant Dunston to just nine EuroLeague games last season, but he put up big numbers when on the court and looks like a bargain on DraftKings. With Larkin sidelined, Krunoslav Simon should have added value as well. Zenit's Billy Baron won't cost much on DraftKings, either, and although he has never appeared in a EuroLeague game for his new club, he averaged 12.3 field-goal attempts and 18.3 points in the three domestic-league games he appeared in this month.

Zalgiris Kaunas at Olympiacos Piraeus

Key Injuries: Patricio Garino (ZAL)

Best Bets for Success: While Kostas Sloukas did not play for Olympiacos last season, he did average double figures for the third year in a row and finished fourth in the league in assists per game. He figures to be one of the top offensive threats for his new club. Thomas Walkup really came into his own in his second year with Zalgiris and contributed across the board.

DFS Darlings: Marius Grigonis' season was cut short by injury, but he reached double figures in eight of the 10 games he appeared in, and he could be counted on for more scoring with last year's leading scorer, Zach LeDay, no longer around. Joffrey Lauvergne could not find his footing last season with Fenerbahce, but he appears primed to play a key role for his new club and will be a major bargain on DraftKings if that's the case. Neither Shaq McKissic nor Octavius Ellis got to play in many games for Olympiacos last season due to the early finish, but both produced in their limited opportunities and also check in under $8,000 on DraftKings.

ALBA Berlin at Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv

Key Injuries: Omri Casspi (TEL), Yovel Zoosman (TEL), John DiBartolomeo (TEL)

Best Bets for Success: Both Maccabi's Scottie Wilbekin and ALBA's Luke Sikma regularly stuffed the stat sheet last year, with the former finishing fifth in the league in scoring and the latter tallying five double-doubles and regularly contributing in just about every category.

DFS Darlings: Peyton Siva had trouble staying healthy last season, but he was effective when on the court, and should pick up more playmaking duties with Martin Hermansson no longer on the roster. It's not clear how much Ante Zizic will play for Maccabi, but he had some moments in the NBA over the last couple years, and if he starts or even plays 20 minutes, he could be a steal at DraftKings at $4,300.

CSKA Moscow at FC Barcelona

Key Injuries: Nikola Milutinov (CSK)

Best Bets for Success: This game is loaded with big-time fantasy-point producers. Mike James poured in the points for CSKA last season and also finished among the league leaders in assists. Nikola Mirotic finished fourth in the league in both scoring and rebounding in his first season with Barcelona. Nick Calathes and Tornike Shengelia are stepping into new situations, but both were the best players on their previous teams and should have little trouble remaining productive.

DFS Darlings: Milutinov will be one of CSKA's best players when he is ready to play, but without him available for Round 1, Johannes Voigtmann should play a bigger role than expected in Round 1. Will Clyburn is not particularly cheap on DraftKings, but he is one of the best players in the league and will not take up as much salary-cap space as several other top players.

LDLC ASVEL at Valencia Basket

Key Injuries: Vanja Marinkovic (PAM)

Best Bets for Success: Valencia's Bojan Dubljevic finished top-10 in both scoring and rebounding last season, and he remains the anchor for the re-worked Spanish squad. There are a lot of new faces on the ASVEL team as well, but David Lighty – who averaged 11.3 points over his last six appearances last season – seems like the safest option on the squad.

DFS Darlings: Norris Cole did not play in the EuroLeague last season, but he averaged 16.6 ppg the year before. At $6,600 on DraftKings he will be a steal if he scores like that with ASVEL. Derrick Williams is a new addition this season for Valencia, and he is a proven scorer in the EuroLeague, averaging 12.4 points over 57 career games.

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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Kevin O'Brien
Kevin mans the Packers and Brewers beats and moonlights as RotoWire's Director of Operations.
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