Credit: AFP, Imago Images - Scanpix, D.Repečka | BasketNews iliustracija/A.Zaikauskas
Credit AFP, Imago Images - Scanpix, D.Repečka | BasketNews iliustracija/A.Zaikauskas

Last week's Turkish Airlines EuroLeague tip-off also marked the start of BasketNews Fantasy. After Round 1, participants of the Classic mode can make up to three roster moves.

Mario Hezonja

Mario  Hezonja
Team: UNIKS Kazan
Position: SF
Age: 26
Height: 202 cm
Weight: 91 kg
Birth place: Dubrovnik, Croatia

BasketNews writer Jonas Leksas will make his recommendations regarding players that are worth looking into. The list of players is compiled according to their price and potential return, shape at this point of the season, and the upcoming EuroLeague matchups.

Detailed rules of BasketNews Fantasy Classic mode can be found here.

Under 600€ thousand

Alpha Diallo

Credit USA Today Sports – Scanpix

Price: 284,8€ thousand

The American forward was on my list of recommendations for Round 1, and even though his stats didn't impress, Diallo's price only dropped by 15.2€ thousand.

Despite ending the game against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens with just 2 PIR, AS Monaco's first game showed that coach Zvezdan Mitrovic trusts in this forward - the only player to spend more time on the floor was Mike James (23 min).

Monaco will travel to Kazan for their second contest, facing a team that isn't known for discipline on defense - UNICS. Diallo is set to play significant minutes in this game as well, and if he manages to get more than 3 PIR, his price will go up. There's a huge doubt that you could acquire a better player price-wise at this point of the season.

Under 1€ million

Ellie Okobo

Credit AFP - Scanpix

Price: 605€ thousand

Another player on last week's recommended list, Okobo, was impressive against Zalgiris Kaunas, ending with 24 PIR and all nine made field goals.

Before his EuroLeague debut, there were doubts about Okobo's health - the guard was nursing ankle pains.

However, his stellar performance in Round 1 left all the doubts behind and showed what can be expected from the Frenchman this season - the price of just over 600€ thousand doesn't reflect the potential return.

Mike James

Mike  James
Mike  James
MIN: 29.98
PTS: 11 (35.29%)
REB: 6
As: 4
ST: 2
BL: 0
TO: 0
GM: 1

In Round 2, Okobo and LDLC Asvel Villeurbanne will travel to Berlin to take on ALBA, which is not known for its defense.

The guard has a chance to prove that his successful debut wasn't a coincidence. If Okobo reaches at least 7 PIR, his price will rise, which would be considered a success in the Fantasy game.

Vincent Poirier

Credit Zuma Press - Scanpix

Price: 900€ thousand

The first game against Anadolu Efes Istanbul did not pan out for the French big man (0 PIR). However, that doesn't reflect Poirier's importance on the Real Madrid team. With 19.3 PIR, the center is the most efficient Real player in the Spanish Liga ACB.

Coach Pablo Laso tries to distribute playing time between Poirier and Walter Tavares equally. With Poirier on the floor, Real try to utilize his skills on the low post, where the 27-year old is the most dangerous.

The Royal Club will challenge Olympiacos Piraeus in their next game, where Poirier will go at Moustapha Fall and Hassan Martin. The 2.13 big man will be able to attack Fall facing the basket, while Martin will be his target in the paint.

Under 1.5€ million

Jordan Mickey

Credit Basketnews/D.Repečka

Price: 1.26€ million

After transferring from one Russian team to another, Mickey is getting used to playing at the power forward spot, which leads to inconsistent play.

The American big man went from reaching 34 PIR in the VTB United League to -2 PIR in the EuroLeague.

However, Xavi Pascual is one of the best EuroLeague coaches to exploit his opponent's weaknesses. Zenit St. Petersburg will take on Zalgiris that doesn't seem to have anybody who can stop Mickey at the four, whether it's Tyler Cavanaugh or Niels Giffey.

The 27-year-old missed Monday's VTB game due to the limit of foreign players, but he will be ready to redeem himself on Thursday after a slow EuroLeague start.

While Mickey has not fully adapted to his new role, there are risks involved. Still, the big man has some extremely evident advantages against the upcoming opponents, making the 1.26€ million risk worthwhile.

Mario Hezonja

Credit Yegor Aleyev

Price: 1.323€ million

Super Mario introduced himself to Kazan fans by scoring the first 10 points for his team. However, his production in the game against Zenit was limited by early fouls.

UNICS coach Velimir Perasovic lit the green light for his fellow countryman on offense. Their upcoming opponents, Monaco, are a serious threat but not as disciplined as Zenit. Moreover, Monaco allowed 108 points in their last French LNB Pro A game.

The 26-year-old Hezonja has already proven that he can dominate. If fouls are not an issue against Monaco, Hezonja's investment could pay off big time.

Over 1.5€ million

Mike James

Credit BasketNews iliustracija/E.Alšauskas

Price: 1.852€ million

The most expensive player on this list and one of the priciest athletes in the entire Fantasy game, James needs no introduction and is just getting started in Monaco.

Even though he played only 29 minutes last week, there was no need for the guard to go all out as his team took care of Panathinaikos handily.

It will be a whole new story this week when Monaco will have some serious work to do against UNICS. For them to return home with a victory, James will have to be great.

In order for this expensive investment to pay off, James will need to gather at least 19 PIR. It's often difficult to get inside James' mind, but his offensive talents are apparent, and at least at the start of the season, the guard looks motivated on his new team.

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