This article is part of our EuroLeague Primer series.
- Real Madrid's Edy Tavares will not play Thursday.
- Maccabi's Ante Zizic and Kameron Taylor will be available for Round 5.
- Yogi Ferrell will make his Panathinaikos debut Thursday.
- Milan's Troy Daniels will see his first action of the season Thursday.
- ASVEL's Victor Wembanyama remains out for another Round.
- Efes' Vasilije Micic, Krunoslav Simon, James Anderson and Dogus Balbay are all out for Round 5. Elijah Bryant is expected to make his team debut.
- Bayern's Vladimir Lucic will make his season debut Thursday.
- UNICS' O.J. Mayo will see his first action with the team Thursday.
- Zalgiris' Emmanuel Mudiay will not play Thursday, but Paulius Jankunas will be available.
STATS AND INFO.
Best Bets for Success: The defending champions have shockingly not won a EuroLeague game this season, but the oddsmakers expect that to change in Round 5, as Efes is a heavy favorite in this one. Part of that is probably due to the issues UNICS has had stopping opposing guards and the fact the Turkish team has two elite ones in Vasilije Micic and Shane Larkin. Both players have approached or topped the 30-point mark on DraftKings several times already, and they could both do so again in Round 5. The only concern is that the game gets out of hand and Efes' regulars get a chance to rest. UNICS has the talent to keep the game close, and they should get a boost in that department Thursday, as Mayo is expected to make his team debut. Unfortunately for fantasy players, that will throw off UNICS' rotation a bit, particularly in the backcourt. With that in mind, and with Efes ranking bottom-5 against opposing forwards in just about every category, we'll go with Mario Hezonja as UNICS' safest option for this Round. Hezonja had a rough go of it in Round 4, but this is the perfect opportunity for him to bounce back, and he did score 14 points against Efes when he faced them a season ago.
DFS Darlings: With a tantalizing matchup on either side – and this game featuring the highest over/under on the board – there will be some options for value plays. It appears unlikely any of the Efes players listed in the 'Check Status' section above will suit up, which should mean plenty of run for Rodrigue Beaubois. Also on the Efes side, Filip Petrusev will be worth considering if he starts, as he's got the talent to return 3x value on DraftKings if he gets the minutes. Given the Turkish team's issues with forwards, John Brown will have a chance to bounce back, and Jarrell Brantley will be intriguing on DraftKings at a mere $5,800. Last but not least, if you're feeling risky you could take a shot on Mayo, who checks in at just $4,700 on the same website.
Best Bets for Success: This game features the other two winless teams in the EuroLeague, and while one of them will pick up its first victory Thursday, the other will be left in dire straits. With both teams struggling, the fantasy options on both teams have been limited. One player who has been coming through regularly, though, is Bayern's Darrun Hilliard. The sharpshooter averaged 19.7 ppg over the last three Rounds, and he could do plenty of scoring again in Round 5 facing a team allowing some of the most points and threes to opposing guards. Emmanuel Mudiay is close to getting back in this spot for Zalgiris, but with him banged up and a couple other key players already ruled out, Josh Nebo hangs onto the top spot for the Lithuanian team. The big man has averaged 13.0 points and 7.0 rebounds since entering the starting lineup last week.
DFS Darlings: Both teams in this matchup have handled frontcourt players pretty well, which limits the options here a bit. Bayern's Corey Walden has scored at least 14 points three times this season, and he provides some of the most value on the DraftKings board at $8,200. Ognjen Jaramaz has been boom-or-bust, but at $4,800 on the same website he is worth a gamble if you need to fill a roster spot. With Strelnieks still out, Arturas Milaknis could be considered for Zalgiris.
Best Bets for Success: Two historic EuroLeague teams will square off in the middle game on Thursday's schedule, and both need a win to maintain pace with the teams currently occupying the top spots in the standings. The top option in this one is Maccabi's Scottie Wilbekin, who is averaging two points more than anyone else in the game. He's a little questionable on DraftKings, though, as he has not matched his Round 1 showing since that night. The Greek team is set to get a big boost, as Ferrell is expected to see his first action with the team Thursday. The addition of Ferrell is sure to alter Panathinaikos' backcourt rotation, so Ioannis Papapetrou will be the team's lone representative here. Papapetrou struggled in Round 4, but as long as his minutes and field-goal attempts bounce back, he should as well.
DFS Darlings: Panathinaikos has several intriguing guards to consider, but with Ferrell joining the ranks none of their roles are certain. As such, really only Ferrell is intriguing on DraftKings, as he runs a meager $6,700. The Greek team has had all kinds of issues with players listed at the center spot, and Maccabi has the personnel to capitalize. However, with Zizic likely making his season debut Thursday, it's not clear how the minutes in the post will be divided. James Nunnally and Keenan Evans will be worth a look, though, with the former looking like one of the best options in the $8,000 range and Evans a good bet to play 20 minutes again with Taylor uncertain at best.
Best Bets for Success: ASVEL's backcourt duo of Elie Okobo and Chris Jones have both shined this season, and they remain easily the top two options on their squad. However, those considering them in Thursday's fantasy contests should be aware that David Lighty and Antoine Diot are back in the ranks and that Milan is not letting opposing guards shoot even 30 percent from the field. Shavon Shields remains the top option for the undefeated Italian team, but he too faces a tough matchup, as ASVEL has been one of the best against opposing forwards. Shields did come through against the French squad last season, averaging 17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds over two matchups.
DFS Darlings: Milan does feature two of the more intriguing options in the $8,000 range on DraftKings, as Malcolm Delaney has put up at least 21.0 points on that website in three straight Rounds and Konstantinos Mitoglou appears to have found his footing. Daniels could make his debut in Round 5, but his presence should not have a major effect on either player. While Milan is doing a good job shutting down opposing guards, they haven't been as stout against frontcourt players. Lighty's return clouds the outlook for all the players listed at the forward spot, but with him getting a game under his belt he could be worth a shot on DraftKings at just $7,000.
Best Bets for Success: Madrid's Edy Tavares is leading the entire slate in fantasy points per game, which naturally makes him one of the top options on the board. However, this is a matchup to be wary of, as Fenerbahce has a number of centers to throw at him and is excelling against opposing centers. Guerschon Yabusele has come close to matching Tavares' production, and with the focus on the big man, he could be the team's top producer in Round 5. It remains tough to peg which Fenerbahce players will be the top picks for their squad, as eight different players have topped the 20-point mark on DraftKings this season. Madrid has had some issues with opposing guards, though, so we'll go with Nando de Colo first. Devin Booker also deserves a mention here, having put up at least 28.8 points on DraftKings three times.
DFS Darlings: With Llull out for this one, Thomas Heurtel looks like an even better option than he's been. Madrid's point guard is leading the league with an average of 5.5 assists per contest, and he could see more than the 21 minutes he is averaging. Nigel Williams-Goss also gets a boost, and he checks in over $1,000 cheaper on DraftKings. Marial Shayok finally came through last week for Fenerbahce, but with his price jumping quite a bit, Marko Guduric – at $7,200 – looks like the better option in this one.