BCL Fantasy tips: Go big on bigs
MIES (Switzerland) - The eighth Basketball Champions League season brought along a new challenge in our official Fantasy game. Every Monday morning we will serve you up with tips on where to aim to reach the highest possible number of points that week.
For possibly the first time in BCL history, it's time to balance your team around the big guys.
Guards are scoring
The Basketball Champions League always had a Guards' League vibe to it, with a number of high profile international guards becoming stars through this competition, namely TJ Shorts II, Kevin Punter or Dee Bost.
If you take a look at the scoring in 2023-24, among the 17 men who scored 20+ points in a BCL game, 11 of them were guards, including the only two guys in 25+ points territory - Caleb Homesley and Sasu Salin.
However, the point of the Fantasy is not to get the best scorer, but rather the most efficient player on the floor.
Big guys are more efficient
Through the first two weeks, the efficiency metric belonged to the power forwards and centers. David McCormack from Darussafaka Lassa played two huge games, getting an average efficiency of 23.5 per game.
Vernon Carey Jr, Johnathan Hamilton, Morris Udeze, Selom Mawugbe, Elijah Childs, Jamuni McNeace, Giorgi Shermadini, David Kravish, Will Thomas - all of them went north of 20 in terms of efficiency, so it's only logical to give you a couple of hints on the big guys who are entering this week on solid weekend performances.
Turkish bigs excelling
Tofas Bursa lost another close overtime game on Saturday, but Luke Maye caught fire. The power forward went 10-of-16 from the field for 32 points, with 8 rebounds, 2 assists and efficiency of 34, keep that in mind if you have him available, instead of focusing on his scoreless outing against Igokea m:tel on opening week.
Pinar Karsiyaka also have a big guy capable of winning you a lot of Fantasy points. Vernon Carey was a huge steal for coach Ufuk Sarica and his front office over the summer, and another double-double (14pts, 10reb) against Darussafaka Lassa on Saturday warms him up for a big game against EWE Baskets Oldenburg on Wednesday.
View this post on Instagram
Echenique v Gorham head to head
Promitheas Patras don't play Jaime Echenique as long as you'd want, but he has been super productive for coach Ilias Papatheodorou this season.
His efficiency average of 21.8 per game sees him as the second best player in the Greek League after four games, and a much more competitive game against Rytas Vilnius should give him more minutes this week, compared to just 8 points and 5 rebounds in 22 minutes against Opava a couple of weeks ago.
View this post on Instagram
The fun part will be his direct matchup with Justin Gorham. The power forward was Rytas' best player by some distance over the weekend, collecting 26 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 34 efficiency in a big road win over Juventus Utena.
Liga Endesa MVP in BCL action this week
So if the frontcourt guys are delivering this season, there is one safe bet if you want gigantic numbers on your Fantasy team. UCAM Murcia's Simon Birgander has blossomed under coach Sito Alonso, and the big Swedish center is currently the most efficient player of the Spanish Liga Endesa.
Another double-double of 14 points and 17 rebounds (!) in a defeat to Basquet Girona increased his lead at the top of the efficiency per game rankings in Spain. Birgander is bringing in 23.3 efficiency points per game in the Spanish League, and through seven games, he's been above 30 in efficiency twice.
If you have him, or have any sort of a chance of getting him, now seems to be the time to go big on UCAM's big.