Olympic Basketball 8/17 (Quarterfinals)

KNOCK-OUT ROUND

We have arrived to the single-elimination Knock-Out Rounds. Draftkings has finally gotten the pricing correct for all of these players so this should be a very interesting slate.

Here are the match-ups for the Quarterfinals:

QUARTERFINALS
Wed 17 Aug – 11:00 am (EST)
Australia (A2)
Lithuania (B3)

Wed 17 Aug – 9:15 pm (EST)
Croatia (B1)
Serbia (A4)

Wed 17 Aug – 1:30 pm (EST)
Spain (B2)
France (A3)

Wed 17 Aug – 5:45 pm (EST)
USA (A1)
Argentina (B4)

With an up-set over Lithuania, Croatia went from being on the bubble to being the top seed out of Group B. Argentina got the worst end of the deal as they fell to the 4th seed in Group B and now have a match-up with Team USA.

Lithuania vs AustraliaAUS (-2.5) o/u 158.5

Now that we are in win or go home, these teams should come out and give everything they’ve got. I don’t expect any players to be rested unless there are blowouts, but with close spreads in 3 out of the 4 games, we hopefully won’t have to worry with that. This 1st game should provide us with some solid fantasy scores. The 2 teams have faced off twice in the Olympics (1996 & 2000), Lithuania won both.

Lithuania

Falling to the #3 seed in Group B may not be all that bad for Lithuania as they are not on USA’s side of the bracket. However, they now have a match-up with Australia, a team that gave USA a run for their money.

TOP PLAYS

Mantas Kalnietis – PG – $8600

Kalnietis played all 40 minutes in Lithuania’s last game and I expect him to do so again in this game. He has been Lithuania’s best player so far in this tournament. If you look at each player’s efficiency rating (found in FIBA’s box scores), you’ll see that he leads that category by a long shot. This rating is something I’ve been using when making my lineups as it tells us how involved and important a player is for his team. I think it will be smart to have at least one point-guard from this game, whether it be Mills, Dellavedova, or Kalnietis. Of the 3 Kalnietis sticks out the most to me because of efficiency rating and the fact that he’ll likely play the whole game.

SECONDARY PLAYS

Mindaugas Kuzminskas – SF – $5000

Other than last time out, Kuzminskas has been consistent. I think his minutes and production really depend on how well Jankunas and Sabonis are playing. He makes for a decent play at a very thin SF position, but $5000 is the most expensive he’s been so far and I’m not sure if he’ll pay off that price tag.

Jonas Valanciunas – C – $6400

I keep waiting for Valanciunas to put up a big game and it just hasn’t happened yet. 33 minutes in Lithuania’s last game is a good sign, but this is a tough match-up with Bogut and Baynes. He’s definitely a good tournament play, but I’m off of Valanciunas here. He hasn’t produced so far so if he does here and that beats me, then so be it.

Paulius Jankunas – PF – $4800

Jankunas has been big for Lithuania in 2 of their games so far. In the other 3, however, he was very disappointing. He is strictly a GPP play for me as you will definitely spend down on some cheap guys in order to fit in some of these higher-priced players. Jankunas will likely start and has 30 dk-point upside. Foul trouble has been a big problem for him so far, so I would tread lightly.

Domantas Sabonis – PF – $4500

Sabonis is a GPP play for the same reasons as Jankunas. He has had some good games but foul trouble is his biggest issue. Pegging which one will have the better game is something I’ll likely stay away from, but these are 2 guys that provide upside at a low price.

Australia

Australia gets a tough match-up with Lithuania in the quarterfinals. They rested some players in their final 2 games of group play, so expect starters to come out and play big minutes here.

TOP PLAYS

Matthew Dellavedova – PG – $8200

I really want to play all of these guys, but pricing makes it almost impossible. Dellavedova’s assist numbers have been through the roof and that makes him a very safe play. He should easily top 30 minutes in this game and could very well get his third double-double of the tournament. If you’re playing multiple lineups, mix and match Delly, Mills, and Kalnietas in a few as think they all could have big games.

Patty Mills – PG – $8500

He’s likely to play the most minutes for Australia and should be their leading scorer in this game. He’s attempted 14.5 shot per game so far, but that is slightly skewed as he only took 4 in the game vs China. The Delly-to-Mills combo should be in full effect this game.

Andrew Bogut – C – *6700

He’s been Australia’s most efficient player and should be in line for bigger minutes this game. Lithuania was destroyed by Pau a couple games back. I know Bogut is no Pau, but guys have put up big numbers all tournament long against Lithuania. Bogut seems to be healthy and Australia will need him in this game.

SECONDARY PLAYS

Aron Baynes – C – $4700

With Lithuania being bad against defense, Baynes deserves a mention here. He’s had a couple of games with dk points in the 20s and he has the potential to do that here in this match-up. However, he’s a GPP play only for me as I like Pau and Bogut much more. But at only $4700, he could provide decent value.

France vs Spain ESP (-5.5) o/u 153.3

Two teams, both with big NBA names, square-up in what should be a very competitive game.

France

France decided to rest Tony Parker in their last game against USA, but that did not slow them down as they played a very competitive game and almost pulled off the upset losing 100-97. This match-up with Spain will be a tough test as Spain has turned it around tremendously since losing their first 2 games of the tournament.

TOP PLAYS

I really wanted to put a couple guys here, but I just don’t think they are on of the Top Plays for this slate.

SECONDARY PLAYS

Nando De Colo – SG – $6800

This guy has been great for France in this tournament. He’s averaged close to 25 dk points per game so far and will be needed in this game. My only concern is his price tag. $6800 is very steep for De Colo. He has shown that he has 30+ dk point upside, but with how I’m constructing my lineups, I likely won’t have him.

Tony Parker – PG – $6700

Parker was rested last time out as he had supposedly injured his toe against Venezuela. Apparently he is fine and is good-to-go, so he should be in line for his most minutes so far. For that reason, I wanted to list him as a Top Play, but I’m somewhat hesitant to play him here. I don’t mind the price-tag at $6700 and he’s been consistent in the games he has played in, but I like the more expensive plays in the game before this as they have more upside. That being said, I do think park is a safe play here.

Boris Diaw – PF – $7000

At $7000, I’m not sure how much upside Diaw can give us. I think there are some other plays that I’d rather spend $7000 on for this slate.

Thomas Huertal – PG – $4400

Huertal saw big minutes with Parker sitting out last game and he capitalized big time, putting up 43.5 dk points. I think he will pick up some extra ownership because of his last performance but I think that will be a mistake. With Parker back and likely to play more minutes, I’m not entirely sure how Huertal will be used. Before last time out, he averaged about 18 minutes in the 4 previous games. He is a very talented player and he has shown he can produce in limited minutes, I’m just not sure if I’ll take a shot on him here.

Spain

After starting 0-2, Spain clawed their way back to a 3-2 record in group play, claiming the #2 seed in Group B. Both teams are confident heading into this game, so this should be fun to watch and we can target some players on both sides.

TOP PLAYS

Pau Gasol – C – $10,200

$10,200… Is he worth it? I honestly think so. He’s one of the only players to average close to 40 dk points per game so far. He truly has 50+ dk point upside in this game. With pricing being so tight, you’ll have to peg exactly which high-priced players to put in your lineup. Trying to make a lineup with too many players above 7.5 k gets very tricky as there aren’t many value plays that I like in the 2-3k range. I think Pau is a good way to start lineups. Right now I’m liking a Pau/Bogut combo for all the safe C points.

SECONDARY PLAYS

Rudy Fernandez – SF – $5600

Fernandez will be a popular play as he has put together 3 solid games in a row. At a very, very thin SF position, I think people will either spend up for Durant or simply play Fernandez. He should see minutes into 30s and has 30+ dk point upside. I didn’t like Fernandez as play that much because of inflated ownership before typing this, but I’m starting to like him a bit more as there really isn’t much at the SF position.

Sergio LLull – PG – $3700

There are very few punt plays on this slate that I like or can trust. Llull is at the top of that short list. He is a starter at only $3700 and has averaged 19 dk points in about 26 minutes per game. He’s played at least 20 minutes in each game and he should do so here once again. He handles the ball when he is on the court so he should pick up a few assists and get a decent amount of shot attempts. For how cheap he is, he doesn’t have to do a whole lot to pay off his salary. I’ll have him in most of my lineups as he really allows me to fit some expensive guys into my lineup. Maybe we’ll luck up and Rubio will get into some early foul trouble which should give LLull a few extra minutes.

Felipe Reyes – PF – $2700

I’m not entirely sure about this play and it could be a total fail, but in order to put up a big score, you have to take some chances. I don’t need a whole lot from him at $2700 as I think scores in tournaments will be much lower in this slate. So here me out, Reyes has averaged about 16 minutes per game. He’s had a couple of games with dk points in the low 20s. That’s what we are hoping for here. In those 2 games he was very close to a double-double in both. Reyes has come out and said that, “The match vs France will be a war.” I’m hoping he comes out ready for battle, hopefully plays a decent number of minutes, and gives us a solid performance at only $2700.

Argentina vs USAUSA (-23.5) o/u 189.5

With the highest total on the board by at least 30 points, this game looks to yield some big fantasy numbers. Teams against USA have been able to keep games very competitive over the last 3 games. Argentina has talented enough players to pull off the upset and players should be in line for big minutes.

Argentina

Argentina attempted to rest some players going into their last game with Spain by starting the game with Campazzo and Nocioni on the bench. Both players entered the game late in the first after Spain jumped out to a big lead. I’m not sure what the coach was thinking here as they now have the worst matchup they could have gotten. But I’m more likely to target players on Argentina’s side of the ball here. USA’s defense has been very suspect over their last 3 games, and Argentina has some very talented players. It is win or go home now, so some of these guys will be playing big minutes.

TOP PLAYS

Manu Ginobili – SG – $7300

This is a gut play for me. This could potentially be Ginobili’s last Olympic Basketball game ever. I just have this feeling that he’s going to come out and give his best as he would love nothing more to knock USA out of the tournament. He has been solid so far averaging about 27 dk points per game. He has already shown that he is capable of playing big minutes as he played 39 in Argentina’s double-overtime game. I really think he plays minutes well into the 30s and I’m hoping he is under owned in tournaments.

SECONDARY PLAYS

Facundo Campazzo – PG – $6900

I like Ginobili more in this game for the reasons I mentioned above along with position scarcity. There are a lot of good PG plays but not too many at SG. For that reason, I likely won’t own Campazzo here. Campazzo does have huge upside, I’m simply going with my gut as I think Ginobili is the guy that shines in this game. As one of the “cheaper” PGs to pay up for, I think Campazzo will have a decent amount of ownership and I’m willing to fade him for that reason. However, this game has a high total, USA’s defense hasn’t been at its best, and Campazzo is a very talented player. He should play big minutes here has huge upside. My gut feeling is the only reason I don’t have him listed as a top play.

Luis Scola – PF – $8000

It’s going to be tough for me to play Scola at that price. Like Ginobili, this also could be Scola’s last Olympic Basketball game ever. He will definitely come out ready to play and could be in line for a big game. I like Saric just a tad bit more for $200 less, but Scola should be under owned in tournaments.

Andres Nocioni – PF – $6700

I think Nocioni will be a popular pick. That huge 56.75 dk point performance is sitting right there in his game logs and I think many people will flock towards that. I personally would rather pay $1100 more for Saric and bet on Nocioni getting into foul trouble as he’s averaged 3.4 per game so far.

USA

USA has struggled on defense over their last 3 games, barely edging out Australia, Serbia, and France. They are still big favorites in this matchup and they will need to fix their defensive woes in order to avoid an upset. Just to add a little drama to the table, USA’s last loss in the Olympics came to none other than Argentina in 2004 and their potential starting lineup for this game includes 4 starters from that game 12 years ago (Ginobili, Scola, Nocioni, and Delfino).

TOP PLAYS

Kevin Durant – SF – $9400

I haven’t been playing Durant all that much throughout this tournament. With these games meaning a lot more for USA, these starters should be seeing more minutes. If this game stays close, Durant will see big minutes and has the chance to be one of the highest scoring players on the slate. Paying up for him really limits playing expensive guys at other position. If he fits in your lineup and you like the way it looks, then he should be fine.

SECONDARY PLAYS

Kyrie Irving – PG – $7500

He’s got upside, I’m just hesitant when attacking these USA guys. I like the PGs in the 1st game the most if I’m paying up, but Irving makes for a nice tournament play.

Klay Thompson – SG – $6200

Has Thompson found his shot? After last game, Thompson should pick up some extra ownership. If he gets hot like last game, he could be in for another 30+ dk point performance. I’ll take my chances of him not reaching 30 and fade him here as I’ve already mentioned the guy I like at SG.

Carmelo Anthony – PF – $8400

Carmelo has been one of USA’s more consistent guys. He’s averaged 28 dk points over his 5 games and has huge upside in this one if it stays close. Exactly what I said with Durant, if he fits in your lineup and you like the way it looks, then he should be fine.

Croatia vs Serbia SRB (-5.5) o/u 156*

The Battle of Eastern Europe. Croatia has found themselves atop of Group B, but it is Serbia, the 4th seed in Group A, that is favored in this game. These two teams match up well, and this should be a competitive game throughout.

Croatia

Facing elimination, Croatia came out strong and defeated Lithuania 90-81. 4 teams finished at 3-2 in Group B, put tie-breakers left Croatia as the #1 seed. Throughout the whole tournament, starters for Croatia have played big minutes and I expect that continue in this game.

TOP PLAYS

Dario Saric – PF – $7800

Possibly my favorite play in this game. He does everything on the court. He’s a threat for a triple-double and should play close to 40 minutes. I’m hoping he’s tough for people to git in because of his price, but he’s someone I will definitely have in my lineups.

Bojan Bogdanovic – SG – $9300

He’s going to score his share of points. He’s averaged right at 25 per game and should play close 40 minutes here. At $9300, I’m not sure how much exposure I will have to him. We’re looking at dk points somewhere in the 40s for that price and he can do that for sure, but I’ve already mentioned who I like at SG. However, this should be a competitive game and Bogdonovic will be a big part of Croatia’s offense.

SECONDARY PLAYS

Krunoslav Simon – SG – $5800

Simon really annoyed me last game. He grabbed 10 rebounds and scored 19 points, all good for 43.5 dk points. I have no idea how he managed to get 10 rebounds. Almost every ball that came off the rim went straight to him and he even took a few right out of Saric’s hand. Of course I’m biased here as I had Saric and no Simon, but I’m almost positive 10 rebounds won’t happen again. Just like some other guys who had a nice game last time out along with a lower price, I think he’ll pick up some extra ownership. He’s shown some upside if you’re interested in him, he’s just not someone that I’m interested in for this slate.

Luka Babic – SF – $3000

Babic has been fairly consistent, averaging 17.5 dk points over his 5 games. He’s averaged about 19 minutes per game and I think he should be in line for something similar to that here. Babic has upside into the 20s and at only $3000 on slate where we really need some value plays, I don’t mind taking a shot on him here.

Serbia

Though they are the #4 seed out of Group A, Serbia enters this game as 5.5 point favorites. This goes to show how tough making it through Group A was. At 2-3, Serbia is the only team under .500 in the quarterfinals. Don’t let that fool you as they had losses by 15 to Australia, 1 to France and, and 3 to USA. They are a team full of very young, talented players and could very easily win this game. This will be a great game to watch and for fantasy purposes.

TOP PLAYS

Miroslav Raduljica – C – $6000

He was a much better play when he was only $3300, but he’s been Serbia’s most efficient player. He’s averaged 25 dk points over his first 5 games and now he gets a nice match-up with Croatia. He is a little short-tempered and can easily get into foul trouble so keep that in mind. One thing I don’t understand about him is his rebounding numbers as he’s averaged only 2.8 per game so far with 4 being the most he’s had in a game. Those are some low totals for a center. One thing he does do well is score and I think he’ll have plenty of opportunities to do that in this game. Hopefully he’ll get more than the 19 he’s averaged so far. Between him and Bogut, I like Bogut a little bit more.

SECONDARY PLAYS

*Nikola Jokic – C – $6400

If you want some big upside, then play Jokic. He likely won’t start but he could play big minutes if Raduljica does get into foul trouble. I won’t be taking a chance on him, but if you like high risk, high reward plays, then Jokic is for you.

Bogdan Bogdanoic – SG – $8100

I don’t know why this guy is still so expensive. He’s averaged 23 dk points over his first 5 games and did not reach into the 30 at all. I’ll continue to stay off of him here.

Milos Teodosic – SG – $6100

Teodosic put together a few solid performances through their first 5 games. He should be good for close to 30 minutes and I’m looking for close to 30 dk points at that price. I don’t mind him here, but I’ve already got my SG locked in.

Thanks for reading guys and Good Luck!

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