Olympic Basketball Preview
Olympic basketball is here. The United States should easily cruise to another gold medal, but what about everyone else? We will delve into everyone else’s chances of competing in the Olympics, and most importantly; identifying the guys we should target in DFS. I will also provide a link to a spreadsheet for each team, so you can evaluate the box scores yourself. Before we get into the preview there are a few rule differences we should make note of:
- 1. The duration of a game will be 40-minutes, with 4 10-minute quarters.
- 2. Three-point line is 22’1.75” from the basket (NBA is 23’9”).
- 3. Foul out on 5 fouls (personal and technical combined).
- 4. No restrictions on zone defense.
To view all of the rule differences, you can check out the link below:
Argentina has one of the most recognizable teams in the Olympics led by team captain Luis Scola and future Hall of Famer Manu Ginobili along with former NBA players Carlos Delfino and Andres Nocioni. This will likely be the final Olympics for all four of them. The future of Argentina will consist of a core of Facundo Campazzo, Nicolas Laprovittola, Patricio Garino, and all three of them will play a significant role in the Olympics this year as well.
Argentina was involved in many competitive games during the exhibition season against quality competition including close wins over Lithuania, France, and Serbia, and two close losses against Nigeria and Australia. Argentina also had blowout wins over Nigeria and Croatia, and an expected blowout loss against the United States. Argentina could very well win the B Block, but I have them going 3-2 with losses against Spain and Lithuania. Lithuania has dominated the exhibition season, and went to the finals in EuroBasket 2015 against Spain, and while Argentina did beat them once before fairly recently, it was a one point win in OT, and I think it would be extremely difficult to do it again. Spain is the deepest team, and they also have the most talent at the top of the roster in the B Block, so I think it would be even more difficult to beat Spain. Argentina will be playing either Serbia or France in the first knockout stage, and either one of those matchups are tossup games. If they were to advance in that matchup, Argentina would likely face Spain again, and I would expect that to be a loss, which would put Argentina in the Bronze medal game, which would be another tossup matchup.
Ginobili ($7,400) had his minutes managed during the exhibition season, so he should be well rested and ready to go as the lead option for Argentina in the tournament. During the exhibition season, Ginobili shot 53% from the field, and when we combine those kind of numbers with the rest he received; we can expect him to be one of the elite players in the Olympics. My only concern with Ginobili would be his minutes. We do not know for sure if Argentina will continue to limit his minutes (did not play more than 22 minutes in any game during the exhibition season). I would not be concerned with his minutes against Spain and Lithuania, but Argentina is expected to win big against Nigeria and Croatia, so I have some concern his minutes could be limited in those games. In competitive games; I would expect Ginobili to play 28-32 mins in group play, and I would expect it to be 32+ in knockout round games.
The second and third options on Argentina are Luis Scola ($7,300) and Andres Nocioni ($6,800). In 7/8 exhibition games Nocioni averaged 10.86 FGA and 6 REB; while Scola averaged 11.29 FGA and 6 REB. Their minutes are nearly the same, and what is even more surprising is that their 3PA are nearly the same as well. We do not think of Scola as a 3PT shooter, but with the 3PT line being closer he is willing to take that shot more often. These players are nearly identical statistically; yet Nocioni will probably be priced lower than Scola throughout the Olympics. I would expect both Scola and Nocioni to see 30-34 minutes a game in competitive games, which should make both of them great options in DFS.
Facundo Campazzo ($5,000) and Nicolas Laprovittola ($4,300) are the most intriguing options for Argentina. During exhibitions, they played similar minutes and put up similar P/A numbers, and those numbers were very good. If there are any differences statistically between the two, it appears that Campazzo is slightly more of a passer and Laprovittola is slightly more of a scorer. Campazzo is expected to be the starter, so that may give him a slight minutes boost, but I would expect both of them to play 24-28 minutes a game. Both of them are great GPP options against Nigeria, and I would expect their prices to rise soon, so you should take advantage of the price while you can.
Carlos Delfino ($5,900) and Patricio Garino ($3,300) will likely split minutes equally between the two. Delfino has shown an ability to score during the exhibition season, but it has been inconsistent, and even more concerning is that he does not do much else. Delfino is strictly a GPP play in the Olympics. Garino does not fill up the stat sheet much, but we can rely on him to play 20 minutes a night, and there is at least some steal upside with him. I would not usually consider playing someone like Garino, but SF is extremely thin in the Olympics from a DFS perspective, and Garino will be a cheap option throughout the Olympics.
Marcus Della ($2,500) and Roberto Acuna ($3,200) are the Centers for Argentina. They will both receive around 15-20 minutes a game. Neither one of these guys are realistic options as they are not involved much, but if you have to play someone I would go with Della. Della is the expected starter, and he is currently 2.5K, so you would only play him for salary relief. Gabriel Deck ($2,700), Leonardo Mainoldi ($2,600), and Nicolas Brussino ($2,500) are not options unless someone gets injured.
Australia will field an entire starting lineup of NBA players, so that is a positive. However, those players are Andrew Bogut, Aron Baynes, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova, and Patty Mills. Not exactly a championship caliber team. Sticking with the positive though, Australia did beat Argentina 84-83 and had a blowout win over China. Now back to the negative; Australia got beat by 29 to Brazil and by 13 to Lithuania. This is not a team that we can expect much out of from a win/loss perspective in the Olympics. They will get blown out by the US, but there is a possibility that they can be competitive with France and Serbia, and possibly even pull off the upset. Venezuela and China are terrible, so those should be easy wins, which would be enough to advance to the knockout stage. At that point they would likely face the winner of the B Block, and that will be the end of Australia in the Olympics. There is not much of a chance Australia will do much in real life, but there is plenty they can do for us in DFS.
Joe Ingles ($7,000) is the most versatile player for Australia. He has the capability to score, rebound, and get assists. He is very capable of averaging 15-5-5 throughout the Olympics. If Australia has any chance of competing during the Olympics; all of their top guys will need to play 30+ mins throughout the tournament, and Ingles is at the top of that list. If you are looking to pay up at SF, Joe Ingles is the guy you want.
The former Saint Mary’s backcourt is also the backcourt for Australia. Unlike Ingles, Patty Mills ($8,000) and Matthew Dellavedova ($5,900) will do the same thing they do in the NBA, but with a few more minutes this time. For Mills that is good news as he is the primary scoring option on the team, and I would expect him to average around 20-5 throughout the Olympics. Delly getting more minutes is not going to do much for us though. He will at best be the number four scoring option on the court, and it is not like he has much scoring potential to begin with. Until his price comes down Delly is not in consideration.
The frontcourt for Australia is difficult to figure out. Andrew Bogut ($4,400) is the face of the team, but he only played in one exhibition game due to his knee injury, and his minutes are expected to be limited throughout the Olympics. Until we see Bogut able to play quality minutes he is not a guy we can trust.* David Anderson ($6,600)* is the captain of the team and will likely be playing in his final Olympics. I would expect Anderson to play 20-25 minutes per game, but his price is absurdly high. Even if his price comes down I would not expect him to do much from a DFS perspective. There is a reason why he only lasted a couple seasons in the NBA. Aron Baynes ($4,900) will be an excellent option if he gets the minutes, and that is a big if. I currently expect him to get 22-26 minutes per game, which disappointing, because he provides tremendous potential. Anderson is going to get his minutes, and Australia would like to play Bogut at least 20 minutes a night. I would expect Brock Motum and Cameron Bairstow to even get a little bit of run. When Baynes is on the court he will be a top three scoring option and will be able to bring down rebounds.
The rest of the guys on Australia are extremely GPP plays, but I would be hesitant to play either of them. In exhibition games the bench guys got good run, but I would expect those minutes to shrink immensely.
Many people expect the Olympics to be an absolute disaster from a health and economic standpoint. It will also be a disaster for the Brazilian basketball team. Brazil has five NBA players on the roster, but most of them are fringe NBA players. Nene and Barbosa were at one time both high quality NBA players, but Nene has struggled the last couple of seasons in large part due to injuries and Barbosa has gotten old. The other NBA players are Raul Neto, Marcelo Huertas, and Cristiano Felicio. You may remember Felicio as the guy who would get minutes over Bobby Portis.
Brazil is a tough team to get a read on. They played in six exhibition games, but four of them were against Romania and China, so there I am not sure we can take much from those games. They did beat Lithuania and Australia though, so maybe they will not be as bad as I expect them to be. Spain, Lithuania, and Argentina are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively in the FIBA rankings. Brazil is 9th and Croatia is not far behind at 12th. Brazil is at best the fourth best team in the B Block, and it is very possible Croatia could be better as well. I think Brazil will squeak in as the 4th seed in the B Block, and then they will proceed to get demolished by the United States.
I am having a difficult time getting a read on what the rotation will be for Brazil. In exhibition games everybody played around 20 minutes per game. I think it is safe to assume that Barbosa ($6,600) will play 30+ minutes a game, and he is the top scoring option on the team, so he should be a good play every night. Nene ($6,400) will probably get around 30 minutes a game, and if he getting those kind of minutes he is in play for a double-double every night.
We saw last season with the Lakers that if Huertas ($4,500) gets run he is capable of racking up assists, but I have my concerns he is going to get those minutes. Neto ($5,500) will be getting some run at PG, and he has surprisingly showed an ability to score (Did not know he was capable of scoring more than 6 a game based on last season with Utah. There is no way I can justify paying that price for Neto considering his ability and his minutes. Overall, this is a situation I would want to avoid until we get some clarity in the rotation.
Marcus Vleira ($3,700) is for some reason listed at PG even though he is a SF. If he was listed at SF he would be one of the top options at the position considering how weak it is. I think Vleira could get about 28 minutes per game, and at that price he is a nice GPP play. Alex Garcia ($3,400) is listed at SF, but he is only 6’4”, but there is so little depth for Brazil at SF that they need him to play it. Garcia has shown an ability in exhibition games that he could score in double digits and grab a few rebounds as well. If you are looking to punt SF, he might be the guy,
Rafael Hettsheimeir ($3,900) is the secondary big option on the team, and he is the best PF listed under 4k. Vitor Benite ($5,000) has some scoring potential, but I doubt he would get the minutes to meet that potential, and that price is too high. One of either Cristiano Felicio ($3,600) or Augusto Lima ($2,800) will emerge as the third big, but I am not sure which one it would be, so I would avoid both of them. Guiherme Giovannoni ($3,600) and Rafa Luz ($2,000) are not options.
China is terrible, so bad they will only get one section in this preview. They have one quality player on the team in former NBA player Yi Jianlian ($6,600). China will get blown out in every game except for maybe the Venezuela game. The United States will double their score. China was somewhat competitive in a 14 point loss to Brazil during exhibitions, but they were decimated in every other game against Olympic competition. Yi will be a solid play during the Olympics, but not against the Unites States. Outside of Yi, everyone else on China is just a punt play. They will all be extremely low owned, but you would likely be better off punting with another team.
Croatia had a highly disappointing EuroBasket 2015. They barely beat poor competition and they had losses against Czech Republic and Georgia. The team parted ways with their coach after the tournament. Luckily for Croatia, they had another opportunity to qualify for the Olympics, and it did not start off well with a loss against Italy. Fortunately for Croatia, they bounced back and got revenge against Italy in the finals of the qualifying tournament. Croatia has a lot of exciting young players in Bojan Bogdanovic, Dario Saric, and Mario Hezonja. This team is likely another Olympics away from doing some real damage, but they might pull off some upsets and get into the knockout stage.
In the qualifying tournament in Italy, Dario Saric ($6,300) and Bojan Bogdanovic ($7,700) averaged over 35 MPG. That is exactly what we are looking for in the Olympics. Not only are they getting minutes; they produced with them as Bojan led the tourney in scoring and Saric led the tourney in rebounding. Saric is way underpriced at his current price, and it will rise quickly. I fully expect Saric to average 15-10-2 with 2 steals. Saric is my top PF option regardless of price. Bojan is expensive, but he is also going to take 18 shots per game, and I expect him to lead the group stage in scoring. He has the highest scoring floor in the Olympics, and he is well worth the price.
Hezonja ($5,700) will likely be a popular option at SF considering his name recognition and how weak SF is. Hezonja played minutes in the mid-20’s, so he will not have the opportunity that Saric and Bojan have. Even when Hezonja is on the court he is the third or fourth option on offense. We think of Hezonja as a guy who jacks up shots, but that was not the case in the qualifying tournament, so his scoring upside is more limited. The talent is still their though, so he could always burst out, but that would leave him as only a GPP play.
One of the reasons why Hezonja is not as good of a play is due to Krunoslav Simon ($4,300). Simon had an increased role as the qualifying tournament progressed, and he capitalized on it. Against Greece he played 34 minutes, and in the finals against Italy he scored 21 points. Simon also offers more rebounding upside. Simon is the best SG under 5k, and I would expect him to be above 5k fairly soon.
Roko Ukic ($3,700) is the captain of the team, and while he does not have much upside, we do not need it at that price. He will get 26+ minutes a game and he has the ability to produce a 10-3 line. Miro Bilan ($3,100) and Darko Planinic ($3,000) will likely split minutes at C. Neither one of them are focal points of the team, but they have both shown double-digit scoring upside, so they are GPP options if you want to go that route. No one else on the team is an option.
France is one of the few teams in the Olympics that has top level NBA talent, and they could give the United States led by Future Hall of Famer Tony Parker and team captain Boris Diaw. The narrative angle is here, as this will be the last Olympics for Parker and Diaw. The other big time players in the France starting lineup feature Rudy Gobert, Nicolas Batum, and Euroleague MVP Nando de Colo. France just missed out on making the EuroBasket 2015 final; losing to Spain in OT in the Semis, so they had to win a qualifying tournament to get here.
While the talent is here; the momentum is not. France did win all of their qualifying tournament games, but they were all against poor competition and only one of the wins was by more than 10. They have also lost three consecutive exhibition games to Argentina, Serbia, and Croatia. The good news for France though is that they are in the A Block, and there should be three easy wins against Australia, Venezuela, and China. Serbia is a tossup game, and while the United States game should be a loss; they do have the talent to pull off the upset. I believe that France will get the 2 seed in the A block, which would set them up with likely Argentina or Lithuania. If they get past that round, they would go on to a rematch with Spain, and that game could go either way.
There are a lot of big names on this team, but none of them are the focal point. The focal point of the team is Nando de Colo ($5,300). He played in the NBA for a few seasons, and it did not quite work out. He returned to Europe, and this past season he won the Euroleague Championship and MVP. I do not think France is going to limit minutes for anybody and I would expect de Colo to play 30+ minutes a night. I expect de Colo to average 17-5-3. From an overall perspective; he is not the top play for France as he does not offer the peripherals like Batum, but when price is factored in de Colo becomes the top play for France in GPPs.
While I believe de Colo is the focal point of the team, it is not by much. It is more of a 1a, 1b, and 1c situation. This is going to be the last Olympics for Tony Parker ($6,500), and he was rested during the exhibition season, so he is going to go all out. We all know what Tony Parker can do, and unlike with the Spurs, he will be getting the minutes here. Parker makes for a great play in all formats in competitive games. Against Venezuela and China there should not be much trouble for France in those games, so I could see him minutes limited in those games to keep him fresher for the knockout stage.
Batum ($7,700) is one of the top two options at SF during the Olympics. He is a triple-double threat every night. His minutes have been limited during exhibitions and during the qualifying tournament. I do not expect that to be the case anymore, and he should see 30+ minutes in competitive games. Center is deep, so I think some people will forget about Gobert ($6,700), and that is a mistake. His role will be similar to what it is with the Jazz, and while the offensive production may not be there; we all know the upside he possesses when it comes to rebounding d shot blocking.
Boris Diaw ($4,600) is at the end of the line, but unlike Nene with Brazil; France does not need Diaw to be a major part of the team. Diaw played big minutes in the qualifying tournament, but Gobert did not participate in that tournament. I would expect Diaw to play around 26-28 minutes a game. The usage is not there to justify Diaw in cash games, but he has the upside to fill up the stat sheet, which makes him a GPP play. Joffrey Lauvergne ($6,200) is the third big for France. When he got minutes with Denver last year he performed well, but I do not see him getting the minutes, and that price is ridiculous.
In competitive games I would not target the rest of the France players, but Venezuela and China are expected to be blowouts, and some of these guys could become interesting. Thomas Heurtle ($3,600) and Mickael Gelabale ($4,100) will be in the rotation regardless. Huertle is the guy with the most upside in a blowout scenario, and if you want to go with an extreme punt Andrew Diot ($2,000) would be the guy. Kim Tillie ($2,800), Florent Pietrus ($2,000), and Charles Kahudi ($2,000) are not options.
Spain is the favorite to come out of the B Block, but Lithuania is not far behind. Spain and Lithuania faced each other during the EuroBasket 2015 final, and Lithuania lost by 17. Lithuania did get a little bit of revenge as they beat Spain in two close exhibition games, and overall Lithuania has been very impressive in exhibitions with multiple blowouts. Against fellow Olympic competition, Lithuania came away with two losses to Argentina and Brazil by a combined 3 points as well.
Winning the B Block will be critical; as a matchup with Australia is much more appealing than a game with France or Serbia. I think Lithuania will come up just short of that though, and they will be playing one of them as a 2 seed. Both of those games would be tossups, and outside of a potential United States game, every game in the knockout stage for Lithuania could go either way. If they are unable to secure the 1 seed; they would be better off tanking to get the 3 seed, as they would avoid a matchup with the US in the semis. Lithuania has a very good shot to make it into the Finals of the tournament, but I ultimately believe they will wind up with the Bronze medal.
Jonas Valanciunas ($8,400) is the best player on the team. It was frustrating from a DFS perspective to not see him get 30+ minutes with the Raptors, but there is a good chance we could see him get those kind of minutes in the Olympics. Jonas has 20+-10+ upside every night and a high floor. He is expensive, but he is worth it.
Mantas Kalneitis ($5,200) is the player I have the most interest in on Lithuania. Kalneitis saw major minutes during EuroBasket, so I think it would be safe to project him for 32+ minutes a night. He is also the secondary scoring option, and he has the ability to fill up the peripherals as well. He is a great option in any format. I do not expect this price to last long, so get him cheap while you can.
Renaldas Seibutis ($4,300) has some scoring upside and the ability to get a few assists and rebound. He will play in the mid-20’s, so he could be worth a GPP flier.
Mindaugas Kuzminskas ($4,700) will be playing for the Knicks this upcoming season. He has rebounding and scoring potential, but I have more interest in the other SF for Lithuania. Jonas Maciulis ($3,000) does not have the same upside as Kuzminskas, but he is a quality player nonetheless. There minutes will both be in the low-to-mid-20’s, and I would prefer to take the price savings with Maciulis.
Damontas Sabonis ($4,600) barely played for Lithuania during EuroBasket, but he played quality minutes during exhibitions. This could be a case of them giving the young guy some run or it could be a sign of things to come. During exhibitions, Sabonis played very well and showed double-double upside. I think the minutes will be split between Sabonis and Paulius Jankunas ($4,500) with the slight edge to Jankunas, but I do not think that will last long. Sabonis is the better player, and Lithuania is going to need him on the court. Jankunas has some upside as well, but he was very inconsistent during exhibitions. I would only consider both of these guys in GPPs with much more interest in Sabonis. I would not have interest in anyone else on Lithuania.
Nigeria is expected to finish last in the B Block, and there is a possibility they do not win any games. This would have been an interesting squad if Portland teammates Festus Ezeli and Al-Farouq Aminu were here, but unfortunately they are not. There is limited data on Nigeria as they did not play much in the exhibition season, but we have to go with what we got. They did beat Argentina and China in exhibitions, but they also got blown out by Argentina and the United States. Nigeria might be able to pull off an upset, but I do not see much hope for Argentina to advance to the knockout stage.
Ike Diogu ($8,000) has an absurdly high price, but there is some upside there. He is a top-2 scoring option for Nigeria and the top rebounder for Nigeria. He possesses 20-10 upside, and he will come at a low ownership.
The player I have the most interest in on Nigeria is Champ Oguchi ($6,100). Oguchi is the other primary scoring option for Nigeria. He was the MVP of AfroBasket 2015. He does not offer any upside outside of scoring, so I would only have exposure to him in GPPs. He will also come at a low ownership.
Ben Uzoh ($5,200) has the ability to fill up the stat sheet, but I feel the price is a bit high. Michael Gibinje ($3,500) is another cheap SF we are looking at, and with the absence of Aminu he is expected to be the starter. He should see a good amount of minutes, and could emerge as the third scoring option. Michael Umeh ($2,400) received solid run during exhibitions, and is a possibility to see 15-20 minutes. He is only a longshot GPP play. Josh Akognon ($2,000) has upside, but I do not expect him to see the minutes to capitalize on it. No one else is in play for Nigeria.
Edit: After doing some more research, Shane Lawai ($2,500) is an option for Nigeria at Center. The FIBA stats site has him listed as Olaseni Lawai, so I completely overlooked him. He averaged 9.3 PPG, 9 RPG, and 3 APG during AfroBasket 2015. At $2,500 he makes for a nice GPP play.
Serbia is one of the top 3 teams in the A Block, and they could give the United States some problems. Serbia lost to France by 81-68 in the third place game in EuroBasket 2015, but they have gotten some revenge since then; as they have beat France three times in exhibition games. They will be looking to get true revenge in the Olympics. Serbia dominated the qualifying tournament with 3 wins over 20+ points, and they played well in exhibitions. The only loss was to Argentina 79-75.
This team is led by the other Bogdanovic, Bogdan Bogdanovic along with Nikola Jokic and Milos Teodosic. This is one of the better big 3 units in the Olympics, and that should lead Serbia to having a nice tournament. I have Serbia projected to be the three seed in the A block, but they could very likely be the 2 seed as the France game is a tossup. Getting that 2 seed is critical, as they would avoid the United States in the semis. Serbia is a contender to make it all the way to the finals, but I think they fall in the opening round of the knockout stage.
Bogdan Bogdanovic ($7,000) will be competing with the other Bogdanovic for the scoring title in the Olympics. He had his minutes limited in exhibitions and qualifying, but it should be safe to assume he will be playing 30+ a night in competitive games. He also offers some upside in assists and rebounds. He is one of the top plays during the Olympics.
Nikola Jokic ($7,200) also had his minutes limited, but those restrictions will likely be lifted as well. Jokic was one of the best DFS options on a per minute basis with Denver last season. It is safe to project Jokic for 30 minutes a game, and with those kind of minutes he may very well be the best play in the Olympics.
The other big time player for Serbia is team captain Milos Teodosic ($4,800). He is a guy who has the potential for a 15-7 line any game, but I would be hesitant to play him right now. He suffered a finger injury during exhibitions, so there is a possibility he will have his minutes limited or possibly not even play. If he sits out I would expect Stefan Markovic ($2,500) to take the minutes. He played major minutes during EuroBasket, and will have a reserve role on the team regardless. I do not think there is much upside with Markovic, and you would only play him for salary relief.
The other three guys to consider would be Milan Macvan ($3,600), Nikola Kalinic ($3,300), and Miroslav Raduljica ($3,300). If we know Raduljica is going to receive around 20 minutes per game he is an excellent play as he has shown 18-6 upside with the possibility of more. Jokic is expected to receive more minutes though, and that would cut into his time. He might be worth a GPP flier even if he has limited minutes. Kalinic and Macvan have also shown rebounding upside; we just do not know when it is going to happen. Both should play in the mid-20’s and have some GPP appeal. Stefan Jovic ($2,200) could come into play if Teodosic misses time. No one else is under consideration for Serbia.
Spain is the deepest team after the United States with six seven current NBA players, three former NBA players, and another player who was drafted, but has not come over yet. Some of those players are Pau Gasol, Ricky Rubio, and Nikola Mirotic. Spain is the presumptive favorite to come out of the B Block, and to eventually face the United States in the finals. That is a presumption I would agree with. Spain could certainly be beaten by someone else in the knockout round, but I will not be the person to pick against them. I believe that Spain will lose to the United States, and will go home with a silver medal.
Pau Gasol ($9,000) will be playing in his final Olympics as the focal point for Spain. The price for Pau is well justified as he is the most skillful big in the Olympics. Minutes have been an issue for Pau with Chicago, but that will not be the case here. Pau will be playing 30+ minutes a night in competitive game. Pau is certainly a great play, but I feel that there are better and cheaper options available at Center.
The backcourt situation for Spain is tough to figure out. There are so many talented guys that could get minutes, but I am not sure who. Ricky Rubio ($7,100), Jose Calderon ($4,200), and Juan Carlos Navarro ($5,000) did not play in the EuroBasket 2015 tournament. Sergio Rodriguez ($3,000) played nearly 25 MPG and Sergio Llull ($3,600) played nearly 29 MPG. I think the top 3 G’s for Spain will be Rubio, Llull, and Navarro, but I am not certain about that. This is a situation I want to avoid until we see some clarity.
Rudy Fernandez ($5,800) is locked into SF. His direct backups are Victor Claver ($2,000) and Alex Abrines ($2,900). Neither one of them will play significant minutes, so Fernandez should play around 28-32 MPG with Nikola Mirotic ($7,500) possibly stealing some minutes from him. Fernandez does not have the upside though, and his price is way too high. I think he will likely be the fourth option on offense behind Gasol, Mirotic, and whoever is at SG. The talent is there, but not the opportunity, so I would avoid him. Mirotic offers tremendous scoring upside and he should have a great Olympics.
The other two guys to consider playing are the backup big guys, Felipe Reyes ($2,600) and Willy Hernangomez ($3,400). Both of them offer scoring and rebound potential, but with Mirotic and Gasol expected to receive big minutes; the opportunity will be limited for them. I think Reyes will receive slightly more minutes as he is the veteran. If Reyes gets minutes he might be worth playing in a GPP due to his price. I would prefer Raduljica over Hernangomez if you are going to punt Center.
This is not going to be an in-depth preview. The United States will dominate this tournament and win the Gold medal. From a DFS perspective; I am not sure what to expect. The minutes will be all over the place, and I am not going to try to predict that. There are many quality options in the Olympics who are assured to play quality minutes. I would much rather play those guys than having to pay up for US players. Unless the prices are massively adjusted, I will be avoiding US players.
Venezuela is in the same situation as China where there is no conceivable way this team will be able to compete. There are no NBA players on this team. They were dominated by quality competition during exhibitions. There only hope of winning would be against China.
Nestor Colmenares ($4,100) is probably the top play for Venezuela. He was the leading rebounder and second best scorer for Venezuela in the Americas tournament. John Cox ($4,700) was the leading scorer. Gregory Vargas ($5,100) led the team in assists, and was fourth in scoring. The other three guys to consider would be Jose Vargas ($4,900), Windi Graterol ($2,600), and Heissler Guillent ($3,100). None of these three guys are quality plays (you could make a case for Jose Vargas), so you would only play they for ownership reasons. Everyone one Venezuela will be low owned, so they are in play for GPPs, but do not play any of these guys in cash.