Fantasy Challenge, Round 4: In Khimki we trust

Oct 15, 2020 by Javi Gancedo, Print
Fantasy Challenge, Round 4: In Khimki we trust

It has been an exciting Round 3 in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. Will Clyburn delivered at the end of regulation and in overtime to lead CSKA to a 77-78 triumph with 26 points, one shy of his career high. Anadolu Efes Istanbul grabbed its first victory, FC Barcelona won in Valencia and FC Bayern Munich surprised Maccabi Playtika Tel Aviv. Real Madrid, Zalgiris Kaunas (the only team still undefeated) and Olympiacos Piraeus also won at home. And right away, we have seven more games in Round 4, so trading quickly and efficiently is a must in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge at the halfway point of any double week.

Exceptionally, four trades were allowed in Rounds 3 and 4 because of the games that did not take place. Of course, even when Jonas Jerebko of Khimki Moscow Region played well, he was not my best choice as team captain, and Malcolm Delaney of AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan, though one of my favorite players to watch, was not a good choice in Round 3. Everyone has sub-par days, I guess. With all that, Gancedato scored 139.5 points and ranks 3,192nd overall. We have to make the most out of the four trades available.

So I am trading Delaney because he is losing value; Joffrey Lauvergne of Zalgiris Kaunas, because he plays against Bryant Dunston of Efes, one of the best defenders in EuroLeague history; Alex Abrines of FC Barcelona, because Panathinaikos OPAP Athens is also a strong defensive team; and Ognjen Kuzmic of Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, because his team won't play again this week.

That was easy. Bringing in four new players will be much tougher. Due to Khimki's current circumstances, I am adding Viacheslav Zaytsev, who is playing great and seeing a lot of time on the court. He had 21 points and 9 assists against Real, and should play well against Baskonia. For a similar reason, I am buying Devin Booker of Khimki at center. I am buying Nando De Colo of Fenerbahce, who didn't finish the game against CSKA and will be ready to bounce back at home against Bayern. Not a lot of money left to buy a final player, but Johannes Thiemann of ALBA Berlin is available and a good investment.

Therefore, Gancedato looks like this before Round 4:

Viacheslav Zaytsev, Khimki Moscow Region (PG) – He is making the most out of the extended playing time that he is getting. Zaytsev had 21 points and 9 assists against Real Madrid.

Nando De Colo, Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul (SG) – Some things just don't change. In the last six seasons, De Colo has been in my team more often than he has been out. Team captain!

Vladimir Lucic, FC Bayern Munich (SF) – Lucic is finally living up to his extraordinary potential. Simply put, one of the best small forwards in continental basketball, hands down.

Jonas Jerebko, Khimki Moscow Region (PF) – Jerebko is doing a little bit of everything for Khimki. In tough times for the team, he is showing great strength and resilience.

Devin Booker, Khimki Moscow Region (C) – Three Khimki players, huh? I don't like to have three players from the same team until playoffs, but these are exceptional circumstances.

Wade Baldwin, FC Bayern Munich (G) – Baldwin is one of the most pleasant surprises in the EuroLeague this season, stepping up big. He ranks 11th in PIR average, after all.

Krunoslav Simon, Anadolu Efes Istanbul (F) – Speaking of, Simon is third in that PIR list with an average of 22.0. At age 35, Simon is arguably playing better than ever.

Johannes Thiemann, ALBA Berlin (U) – A cheap, solid choice at center. ALBA plays against CSKA, whose frontcourt is not fully adjusted due to injuries and newcomers. He should play well.

That's all I have. Enjoy the games, Fantasy Challenge managers, and good luck in Round 4.