Getting the party started!
Hello everyone, welcome back to the bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge! My name is Javier Gancedo and I will be blogging about it from now until the Playoffs are finally over. Yes, we have decided to extend the game until the end of the Playoffs to add more drama and fun - and weekly prizes! - to our great game, which by the way has been closed for several days to add some improvements and make sure it works perfectly. Remember, the winner will be the Euroleague's special guest at the 2012 Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four and will have the chance to be on court as a new champion is crowned.
There is still a long way to go but it all starts here, in Game 1 of the regular season. As you may remember, I had my worst start ever - with 98% of the teams ahead of me - last season. I have tried to make sure this will not happen again. Why, I hear you ask? Well, I have tried to add players with previous Euroleague experience, who know the competition well and have good reasons to shine in Game 1 - whether playing against old teams, coming back to the competition to showcase their skills or making the most out of a very good pre-season to keep their momentum going.
Of course, since I set the prices for all players and manage the game myself, it is always complicated to put a team together 'against' my own decisions. Yes, I know, some players are expensive sometimes, but most of them are under 50 credits. This system prevents people from playing to gain money - but on the other hand, try to avoid losing it - and truth to the told, the bwin Fantasy Challenge gives more initial credit than similar games. It is a matter of philosophy - the last thing I want is everyone having the same team. I also want player prices to reach their right value as soon as possible. Then, only analysis, stats and your special talent to play bwin Fantasy Challenge will be the keys.
With that in mind, my team, Meet The Boss, is back to do more damage than last season. Again, the idea is to put together a good score and this is why I didn't keep much money in the bank this time. I start by spending 490 credits out of 500 allowed, which is risky with only three trades per week coming up. Last season showed me not to be very ambitious - even if you play well for six years, your seventh season can be just terrible - so I am taking it easy this time. I will play as always, try to have a good start, try to make as much money as I can in the opening four or five weeks and then take it from there.
With no need to explain my trades, as all players are new, here is mt first provisional lineup - I reserve the right, as all fantasy managers, to make changes until October 17.
John Linehan - Steals and assists specialist for an average price. I think he can surprise Bennet Cantu.
Nick Calathes - After his outstanding Final Four, Calathes is ready to become a Euroleague star.
Nicola Batum - I saw enough at EuroBasket. Batum is all class at small forward. Need him in my team.
Pau Ribas - Has been playing really well in pre-season and early in the Spanish League. Seems a safe bet.
Pietro Aradori - Well, he played the whole pre-season with Montepaschi, earned his playing time and is a great scorer.
Tarence Kinsey - Efes plays in Belgrade, but Kinsey has had a good pre-season and is ready for the challenge.
Donatas Motiejunas - Meant to be Prokom's first option on offense around the baskets. Eurocup Rising Star, too.
Vladimir Lucic - Seeing a lot of playing time in the Adriatic League. Extended role in the team this season.
Mike Wilkinson - A solid player for Unics ready to deliver right away. Unics plays at home, too.
Aleks Maric - Back after an injury-troubled season, Maric is ready to show why he was an All-Euroleague center two seasons ago.
That is all from me this week. Scout wisely, check domestic league games to see playing-time distribution, trust your fantasy instinct and have a great start! The bwin Euroleague Fantasy Challenge is back, so let the fun begin!
JAVIER GANCEDO - EUROLEAGUE.NET
Wednesday, October 12, 2011