Hello all! This is Javier Gancedo and like every season, I will be telling you all about the EuroLeague - and EuroCup! - Fantasy Challenge this season. We have worked hard for many months to offer a brand-new Fantasy Challenge. Dunkest is our new partner and they have done a great job putting together the new Fantasy Challenge. As you have probably seen, there are some new features which we think it will make the game more interesting, more tactical, and cause all Fantasy Challenge managers to pay more attention to what is going on in the competition.
So, which are the new features? There are more players per team (10) plus a head coach who should make the difference in each round's standings. Your coach can score up to 25 points if his team wins by more than 20 points, but can also have a negative score of -20 if his team loses by more than 20! That 45-point swing will be very important going forward.
The starting five, the sixth man and the coach are credited with 100% of their fantasy points, while players on the bench get 50%. Like in previous seasons, the team captain's score is worth double. Three trades will be allowed between rounds and the coach can be changed without losing any of those three trades. At the end of a game night, you can modify your lineup and name a different captain if your previous choice has not played yet. Or, you can promote a bench player on Friday, before the games, to the starting lineup. That can be done when the first night of games in one round is over, but the second night has not started, so be smart!
There are different lineups to use, which is also an interesting change, choosing how many guards, forwards and centers you want in it - never more than 3 per category. Initially, each Fantasy Challenge team has 100 credits to purchase 10 players by position – four forwards, four guards, and two centers – plus the head coach.
Now that I’ve summed up the most important rules - the rest can be found HERE - let's get into business. I put together a team to start the competition in style. I went for who I think will be the biggest Fantasy Challenge star this season, Mike James of AS Monaco. And since I believe in James so much, I am also buying Zvezdan Mitrovic, his coach. I tried to spend as little money as possible on backup players without losing competitiveness.
And with all that, here is my first lineup of the season. And, by the way, I am keeping the same name, Gancedato.
Mike James, AS Monaco (16.0 credits) - He is a great scorer, playing against a former team, with a lot to prove. I am making him team captain.
Maodo Lo, ALBA Berlin (7.9 credits) - I expect a lot of big things from Lo this season, in which he should be one of the leaders of his hometown club, ALBA. He should step up.
Ioannis Papapetrou, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (11.5 credits) - Papapetrou is an effective scorer, can rebound and played a lot of minutes last season. He's already a EuroLeague star.
Sasha Vezenkov, Olympiacos Piraeus (11.2 credits) - Vezenkov finished the 2020-21 season strong and should build on that momentum now that he has extended his contract through 2024.
Devin Booker, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul (10.7 credits) - He can shoot from the outside, play above the rim and rebound well at both ends. Playing time, however, may be a big issue.
Kyle Kuric, FC Barcelona (7.9 credits) – With Alex Abrines sidelined, Kuric should be Barcelona's main threat from downtown. He is automatic! I am making him my sixth man in Round 1.
Marco Spissu, UNICS Kazan (6.3 credits) - With so many scorers in Kazan, a pass-first playmaker is highly appreciated and that is why I signed Spissu, who should control the team.
Andreas Obst, FC Bayern Munich (7.1 credits) - Pizza jokes aside (ask Bayern fans), Obst is a terrific three-point shooter who should surprise a lot of people, but not me.
Youssoupha Fall, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (8.8 credits) - Fall can post a high PIR in limited playing time. If he stays out of foul trouble, he can dominate.
Yovel Zoosman, ALBA Berlin (7.4 credits) – Zoos will get the playing time he needed to prove to everybody what a great versatile, talented swingman he is. ALBA is a perfect fit for him.
Coach Zvezdan Mitrovic, AS Monaco (4.8 credits) – The cheapest coach in the game and with a good opportunity to win. I don’t see why I shouldn’t pick him in Round 1.
That's all I have for you today. Stay safe. And, if you are going to a EuroLeague game this week, enjoy the show. I’ll see you here next week!