Fantasy Challenge recommendations: Round 20

Jan 21, 2019 by Javi Gancedo, Print

All of a sudden, we are facing Round 20 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season this week. Round 19 only left us with one road warrior; the other seven games saw teams prevail at home. Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul managed to win on the road, downing Herbalife Gran Canaria 64-82 through a great team effort. Buducnost VOLI Podgorica confirmed its good form as Norris Cole and Goga Bitadze led the Montenegrin powerhouse past reigning EuroLeague champion Real Madrid 73-60. In another high-profile game, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv topped FC Barcelona Lassa 99-83. It led 85-52 after 30 minutes, proving that Maccabi is back, in its best form in the EuroLeague in several seasons and ready to keep making noise. In a thriller, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz defeated AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan 80-75 on Marcelinho Huertas's late heroics. Zalgiris Kaunas downed Panathinaikos OPAP Athens 82-69 and Anadolu Efes Istanbul bested Darussafaka Tekfen Istanbul 82-68. Two very similar scores, two radically different basketball games. Isn't basketball beautiful? Zalgiris trailed at halftime and used an outstanding second half to get the win, while Efes already led by 20 at halftime and only allowed Darussafaka to rally once the outcome was clear. CSKA Moscow and Olympiacos Piraeus also won at home.

As always, there are a lot of good options in the EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge. This time, we will recommend something for everybody - superstars, sleepers, guards, forwards, centers... all kinds of options.

Coty Clarke, Buducnost VOLI Podgorica (1.17 million). Let's start by the always tough small forward position. Clarke has been sensational lately and recorded career highs in rebounds (12) and PIR (25) against Madrid last week. He has been playing better since Coach Repesa arrived at the club and is still affordable for most Fantasy Challenge managers.

Luca Vildoza, KIROLBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz (1.5 million). Jayson Granger will be out for the better part of the season, so if we recommended Marcelinho Huertas last week, we have to do the same with Vildoza, an up-and-coming player who is slowly becoming Baskonia's backcourt reference. He had 12 assists last week and has reached a double-digit PIR in six of his last seven games.

Scottie Wilbekin, Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv (1.23 million). Wilbekin is underpriced right now, especially since he has started to hit shots, one after another. He had 15 points and a PIR of 17 against Barcelona, and a monster game (36 points, 34 PIR) in Israeli League action on Sunday. Wilbekin also scored 24 points against Panathinaikos, Maccabi's next opponent, earlier this season.

Jordan Mickey, Khimki Moscow Region (1.93 million). Anthony Gill is injured again and it doesn't look good. Therefore, Mickey will immediately see an increase in playing time and that only means he will keep doing better and better. Khimki scored 57 points in Piraeus, but Mickey had a PIR of 22. Expect him to lead until Alexey Shved comes back.

Brandon Davies, Zalgiris Kaunas (1.61 million). Remember the game he had against Milan earlier this season? Well, I do. Davies had a PIR of 35. He was unstoppable: 27 points on 11-of-15 two-point shooting, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Davies should have another big game against high-scoring Milan, this time at Mediolanum Forum, in a critical game for both teams.