THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
Finals are well and truly in full swing in Australia now. Four sides remain in the hunt for premiership glory in the AFL and the first week of NRL finals was completely unforeseeable.
But, as always, regardless of the outcome, Draftstars has your back. A huge glut of contests was available over the past week, and whether it was the two big codes in Australia or the PGA, NFL, Ashes, MLB or EPL, you were covered. And the cash available was huge.
Game five of the Ashes was a sour point for an Aussie team which had already retained the urn. The Aussies played like they were amid a prolonged hangover, and they may well have been. Each inning produced a different top performer and the match never really seemed to find a groove.
Mitch Marsh returned to the side with 5/46 in England’s first dig, then Joffra Archer resumed his fire from Lord’s with 6/62 when Australia came out to bat. Joe Denly almost notched his first international tonne but fell agonisingly short on 94, then Matt Wade silenced the critics with a fighting 117, his second tonne of the series.
The first week of the NRL finals was amazing. The Storm lost, if you can believe it, to the Raiders. It was the second time this season the Raiders have beaten the Storm at AAMI park. Despite their star centre, Joey Leilua being forced from the field after a firework mishap. Should they be flag favourites now? Or was the Roosters 30-6 thrashing of the Rabbitohs enough to earnt them that title?
What a finish it was to the Storm/Raiders game…
After a major push to make finals, the Broncos and Sharks probably should have just stayed home. At least, the Broncos definitely should have. They were thrashed 58-0 by the Eels in one of the most embarrassing finals performances in memory. The Eels would have gained great confidence from the shellacking, but will it be enough to compete against a Storm side looking for vengeance?
The Eels win was summed up in one moment.
By way of victories to Geelong and GWS, the final four is set. Geelong will take on the Tigers and GWS get a crack at Collingwood. On face value, it seems like we will be treated to a Tigers/Pies grand final. But preliminary finals are the greatest thing the AFL has to offer and likelihoods are never a sure thing.
Geelong overcame the Eagles through sustained hardness but will have to beat the Tigers without Tom Hawkins who gets a week off with suspension. GWS’s vctory was one for the ages. It came down to a last gasp snap from young forward Brent Daniels, who stepped up when it mattered. The Giants will also be without a star; Toby Greene was suspended for making contact to an opponent’s face for a second consecutive week.
AFL FINALS WEEK TWO
Despite his misdemeanour, Tom Hawkins was crucial on Friday night. He and Esava Ratugolea combined for seven goals and took apart a highly credentialed Eagles back six.
Cam Guthrie returned to the Geelong side with aplomb and was their best player. He had 33 touches and accumulated 122 DS points. But Joel Selwood may just have been the match winner. Bloodied and bruised, he willed himself into the game and finished with 26 touches, 116 DS points and a vital captain’s goal.
Looking ahead, who will step up to fill the void of Hawkins? Dangerfield will probably play more time as a forward and has the potential to give Geelong a glimmer of hope against the highly fancied Tigers. Despite his price, think long and hard about having him in your line up.
The game between Brisbane and GWS lived up to its billing. With two of the most exciting sides facing off, anything could have happened in this one. The Lions may have gone out of the finals in straight sets but they can hold their heads high after falling agonisingly short of a prelim.
Toby Greene may be dirty, but he can seriously play football. Another player who will be sorely missed this weekend, Greene had 30 touches, booted two goals and had 111 DS points to be the top scorer of the contest.
He might not have had the dream finals campaign but Charlie Cameron earnt another bunch of fans after his manful semi-final. He was clearly hampered with an elbow injury sustained early in the match but fought on to finish with two goals.
The Giants are going to need someone to bring what Toby Greene does every week, but this GWS side have a look about them. They are a genuine threat to the Pies.
NFL WEEK TWO
A few narratives to come out of week two; the Saints and Steelers are in strife without their longtime star quarterbacks, the Bills are… good?, the Dolphins may end up with the worst season record in history, and their opponents from the weekend may end up with the best one.
Yep, New England are on another level. Can they become the second team ever to finish with a perfect season? Ironically, the Dolphins are the only other club to have achieved that feat.
Speaking of the Patriots, their defence is remarkable. On Monday their D absolutely dominated and reiterated the importance defence will play in Draftstars contests.
What else? Atlanta might be decent this year. Matt Ryan is still good (320 yards, three TDs) and Julio Jones is a bad, bad man. He averaged 21 yards per reception over his 106 yards. He also caught two TD passes, including the game winner. Calvin Ridley joined the show, he went for 105 yards and had his own TD catch.
We cannot forget to mention Lamar Jackson, he is just about an automatic DS selection at this point. While it was not quite the same performance as his week one explosion, 272 yards and two TDs passing and 120 yards rushing was still pretty impressive.
Keep an eye on 49ers rookie receiver, Deebo Samuel. The 49ers receiver corps is not as star studded as some, and Samuel will find more looks as a result. He pulled in five catches for 87 yards and a TD. At a low price, Samuel could reap you the rewards.
It is a similar story for Seahawks rookie receiver, DK Metcalf. His enormous frame made the headlines pre-draft but his skill is doing all the talking now the season has started. He has pulled in 150 yards worth of catches so far this year and had his first NFL TD at the weekend. He and Russell Wilson look to be on the same page and he will be another value selection throughout the season.
Written by Brin DugganAFL, AFLW, BBL, Latest, NBA, NFL, NRL