Before giving any tips about players to choose this week, let’s remember that head coaches are scoring points, too, in the new EuroLeague Fantasy Challenge. And considering how much they can swing a result with tactics, substitutions or play-calling, it’s about time, right?
In any case, the bigger his team’s victory, the more your coach will score, up to 25 points for a real-life win of 20 points or higher by his team. You have to be careful, though, because the coach who loses that same game will bring a deduction of 20 points to your team, which is a lot more than players can ever lose you in any single round. That’s why choosing your head coach wisely each week can make or break you.
How to choose? You might want to lean toward coaches of home teams, considering that they have won 46 of 63 games so far this season, or 73.0%. In five of the seven rounds so far, road teams won between 0 and 2 games. Or you might take caution and look at last year’s numbers – 56.8% wins for home teams and 43.2% for away teams – and assume that this year’s numbers will soon even out. Remember, though, that last season was played largely without sixth men in the stands. It may be that the return of the fans is making things tougher on road teams, but we’ll see soon enough if the trend continues.
Wins also matter when choosing players, of course, as they get a 10% bonus on their individual points if their teams prevail. Now, let’s look at players from different credit levels who might help you out in Round 8, whether they play home or away.
1. Louis Olinde, ALBA (6.6 credits) – Unless you already are stocked with several solid ALBA performers, you should consider Olinde as the best bargain around right now. A 14.0 PIR over the last three games and better than 10.0 for the season might signal that now is the moment for this up-and-coming 23-year-old forward. Yes, he plays on the road, but against struggling Zalgiris Kaunas, which will have trouble matching his athleticism.
2. Brock Motum, AS Monaco (7.9 credits) – After barely playing in the season opener and sitting out three of the next five games, Motum flew under the radar but returned last week with a 12 PIR. Throw out his first game, and he’s averaging an 11.3 PIR over the next three while making 10 of his 15 shots from the field. Listed as a center, he could be a good investment for low credits now.
3. Kostas Antetokounmpo, LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne (8.7 credits) – Consistency is a hard find even among seasoned veterans, but Antetokounmpo has posted nothing but positive PIRs all season, with an average of 12.6 over the last five games, even in limited minutes. He went home to Athens and had his best EuroLeague game yet last week to help ASVEL stop Panathinaikos. You can practically see his confidence climbing like he does to detonate dunks.
4. Darrun Hilliard, FC Bayern Munich (10.7 credits) – Since the season’s second game, Bayern’s small forward spot has belonged to Hilliard to the tune of almost 30 minutes a night. He has responded with 18.8 points on solid shooting and a 16.3 average PIR over the last six games. As a big part of Bayern’s three-game winning streak, Hilliard will keep getting the minutes and the looks.
5. Vasilije Micic, Anadolu Efes Istanbul (15.9 credits) – He may be costly, but it’s only a matter of time before last season’s MVP explodes. After missing two games, Micic was back with a modest but telling 14 PIR in under 20 minutes as Efes won at home in Round 7. He has scored 32 and 24 points earlier this season but never had a PIR that high due to lots of turnovers. On his return, Micic was more efficient and a perfect 2-for-2 from downtown. Expect him to be ready to do more at home against Zenit St Petersburg this week.