Well, it has been a rough week for the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge, and it is only fair to mention it for starters. There was a technical issue related to player price changes after Round 1 and the impact it had in the overall standing. This also impacted the display of player scores in the game. You may have noticed it undertook some maintenance of the game on Monday to rectify these issues. The good news is that these issues have now been fully fixed, and all scores for Round 1 and player price changes are now correct in the game.
Very important: in order to ensure that all team changes for Round 2 are using the correct prices, all teams were rolled back to their Round 1 line-ups. If you made any changes to your team between the start of Round 1 games and Monday, when the issue was fixed, please log in now as you will need to make these changes again before Round 2 starts on Thursday.
As for my team, Gancedato, it did not perform very well and I had the slowest start in many years. My team only collected 104.2 points and ranks 25,296th overall, partly because I didn't apply the trades I made and told you about, like putting Facu Campazzo in my team. Instead, I went with my original lineup, including Alexey Shved of Khimki Moscow Region and Nikola Mirotic of FC Barcelona, who did well. But both combine for 41% of my budget. It is all about minimizing damages now, really. I have to keep the players who did well and trade those who are quickly losing value. It is as simple as that, and this works for every fantasy game in the world: get rid of those who don't play well and buy new players who will do better.
I have a lot of trust in Adreian Payne of LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne but he is sick and apparently will not play, so that makes me sell him right away. I could say the same about Youssoupha Fall of KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz: he had 5 blocks in his team's win in Kaunas, but foul trouble and missed free throws limited him to a PIR of 3. Kyle Kuric of FC Barcelona, who is playing terrific in the Spanish League, had a PIR of 0, so he must go, too. I expect better things from my other players, but let's be honest, I would trade at least two more of them. However, the rule is three trades, no more!
Time to let you know who I am bringing in. First, I am buying the biggest bargain in the game now, none other than Landry Nnoko of ALBA Berlin. I am sure most of you bought him, too. With Johannes Thiemann sidelined, Nnoko is seeing more playing time and making the most out of it. Due to my lack of money, and the fact that he will have a strong start to the season, I am buying Dogus Balbay of Anadolu Efes Istanbul, too. Shane Larkin remains questionable, and if he doesn't play, Balbay will be on the court for an interesting period of time. He played really well in Round 1, too, just as my star signing this week: DeShaun Thomas of Panathinaikos OPAP Athens. It is the first time that Thomas stays with the same EuroLeague team for a second consecutive season and he's proving that Panathinaikos is right. He has a bigger role now and had a big double-double against a very tough team, Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, in Round 1.
So, Gancedato looks like this before Round 2.
Alexey Shved, Khimki Moscow Region (PG) – The man with a plan! Baskonia is without Jayson Granger, its best perimeter defender, and Khimki relies on Shved to make the difference with a monster performance. We will see!
Martin Hermannsson, ALBA Berlin (SG) – Again, with Siva and Peno sidelined, Hermannsson will see extended playing time at both guards spot. More playing time doesn't necessarily mean more PIR... but it generally does.
Jonas Jerebko, Khimki Moscow Region (SF) – A do-it-all forward, able to score in many ways, power the boards and keep everybody happy with his high level of energy of productivity? Sounds like the perfect Fantasy player!
Nikola Mirotic, FC Barcelona (PF) – Mirotic delivered in Round 1 with a PIR of 22. I expect him to do even better against Zenit St Petersburg, so I am making him team captain. And the best is yet to come.
Zach LeDay, Zalgiris Kaunas (C) – Payne's injury keeps him in my lineup. That, and the great pre-season he had. He had a PIR of 3 against Baskonia but I am sure LeDay will improve his number when Zalgiris faces Milan on the road.
Dogus Balbay, Anadolu Efes Istanbul (H) – He comes off a very good game in Round 1 and is heavily undervalued right now. It is a bit of a gamble - if Larkin returns, Balbay will not play a lot. Let's see!
DeShaun Thomas, Panathinaikos OPAP Athens (F) – Had a fantastic opener against Zvezda, getting one of the highest PIRs in Round 1. Fully adjusted to the team and its environment, Thomas is going to surprise a lot of people with his overall effectiveness.
Landry Nnoko, ALBA Berlin (U) – In order to be successful in the EuroLeague, you have to make the most out of the opportunities you have, and Nnoko seems to be such an opportunity. A very cheap option at center, too.
That's all I have this week. We truly appreciate the understanding and patience of the loyal EuroLeague Fantasy fanbase through the technical problems that the game underwent early this week. It is time to resume the action, put the best team together, and try to challenge for the big prize: a VIP trip to the 2020 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Final Four in Cologne, Germany! Good luck, Fantasy Challenge managers!