THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
What a week. Australian sport is great. We all enjoy it. But the pantomime of sports in the US just adds another layer to everything.
Take the situation with former Steeler/former Raider/current Patriot receiver, Antonio Brown. Months after signing a three year, $50-million-dollar contract, AB threatened the teams GM and pushed the Raiders to the point of throwing away his contract. Then, a day later, he signs for the reigning champion, the Patriots. And the Patriots basically have the Super Bowl in the bag.
You could not make that stuff up. It would be like Dustin Martin walking up to Tigers CEO, Brandon Gale, and saying, “I’ll stab you with chopsticks.”
But anyway, that is what we love about US sports. That and the $40k worth of contest Draftstars put on over the first two days of the season.
Add that to the enthusiasm of the AFL finals, which Draftstars threw $250k at, and you have yourself a weekend. And that is not to even mention the jubilation that came with the Ashes victory early on Monday morning, or the excitement of the final round of the NRL deciding eight spot with a Cronulla thrashing of the Tigers.
The first week of the AFL Finals was somewhat anticlimactic. Despite the Cats v Pies game, they were all blowouts. But all the victors were as impressive as the losers were disappointing. The Tigers are rightfully outright flag favourites but you cannot write off any of the others. And the Giants best football is very, very good.
The second round of finals look like they will be unpredictable and full of jaw-dropping football. Can you pick a winner?
What about the Ashes though? It is coming home. After more dominant performances from Steve Smith and Pat Cummins, Australia will lift the urn, retaining the Ashes on English soil for the first time since 2001.
Smith scored 293 runs in the match, almost 200 more than the next top run scorer, Marnus Labuschagne. His incredible performance earnt him an astronomical 363 DS points and his inclusion was imperative to winning the contest.
The next top scorer was Pat Cummins with 158 DS points. He took seven wickets and broke the back of the Poms on numerous occasions. His performance was fantastic, but it was not Steve Smith.
AFL FINALS WEEK ONE
Thursday night set the tone for the weekend as West Coast demoralised the Dons. Realistically, this result was extremely predictable after Essendon limped into the finals and West Coast could have easily been in the top four.
The Bombers just had no answer for the highly potent Eagles forward line as Jamie Cripps, Josh Kennedy, Jack Darling, Jake Waterman and Liam Ryan combined for 15 of the 17 Eagle goals. Jamie Cripps was the pick of the goal kickers with four majors going with 22 touches to take him to 114 DS points. He was also the best value pick for the contest.
Collingwood burst out of the blocks on fire and consigned Geelong to another early finals deficit. And that was where the game was won as the Cats never got back on top despite the best efforts of the irrepressible Patrick Dangerfield.
The victory came on the back of the Pies guns. Steele Sidebottom was everywhere as he collected 33 touches, kicked a goal and chalked up 161 DS points. Scott Pendlebury played the consummate captains game in his 300th match. He finished with 24 touches, a goal, nine tackles and 128 DS points.
The Doggies hate being favourites, and that proved to be their final stumbling block in 2019. After being one of the most in form sides after the bye, the Dogs were outclassed by GWS on Saturday afternoon.
The Giants welcomed back some of their stars and were unfairly classed outsiders in this one. And there were none classier than Lachie Whitfield. He was the top scorer in this contest by way of 30 touches, six tackles and a goal not many could kick which led him to 131 DS points. This man is a real match winner and will need to be at his best for the Giants to beat the Lions.
Saturday night was ominous for everyone. The Lions gave a slight whimper but then Richmond condemned them to the kennel and ran riot for the rest of the game.
Luke Hodge was a warrior, despite his sides thrashing, and showed exactly why he is a champion of the game. He did his best to curtail Dustin Martin and put his body on the line throughout, finishing with 105 DS points.
But the pick of the night was Shane Edwards. In typical fashion he rose to the occasion and just looked to have time on his side whenever he got the ball. He was the best value selection with 118 DS points at a price of just over $10k.
Oh, and Dusty kicked six goals too. The man is unstoppable.
NFL OPENING WEEK
The opening game of the 2019/20 NFL season showed what is going to separate the men from the boys. And that is defence. Despite the new DS format allowing six flex selections, a strong defence could win you a contest, as the Bears/Packers contest showed.
Abieg23 and jaydielev drew at the top and took home over $850 a pop. They both had the top four scoring selections in the contest, starting with Bears receiver Allen Robinson II. He topped the score sheet with 17.20 DS points despite not scoring, he did go for 107 yards though.
The early Monday contest was underscored by some enormous individual efforts as Sammy Watkins and Christian McCaffrey both scored 40+.
McCaffrey was selected by 31 per cent of entries and he will remain that way for the season. He is looking like an MVP candidate and his team will lean on him. Over 200 all-purpose yards and two rushing touchdowns earnt him 42.9 DS points.
He is a beast and he is not playing this year.
Sammy Watkins, on the other hand, was selected by four per cent of users. And those users would have some mouths from smiling so hard after learning of his 46.80 DS point, 198 receiving yard, three TD game. Keep an eye on Watkins. Despite this explosion, the Chiefs have a number of offensive weapons. But while Tyreek Hill is injury, keep him at the top of your list.
Before we move on, the Ravens pummelled the Dolphins into submission and their season is done already. Lamar Jackson was absurd as he totalled five TD passes and 33.56 DS points and Marquise Hollywood Brown was his receiver of choice. Brown caught four throws and ran in two TDs. They won’t have it so easy all year but keep an eye on this duo.
All that being said, the reality is we all get to watch 18 weeks of regular season NFL to see who will get the chance to lose to the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The Pats were absurd in the dismantling of Pittsburgh on Monday afternoon. The individual scores did not top 40 but the affluence of the Patriots offensive, combined with their watertight defence has the league on notice.
Tom Brady was expectedly prolific with 25.64 DS points. His receiver of choice was Phillip Dorsett who caught four throws, two of which resulted in TDs, and registered 25.5 DS points at a price of just $7,780.
Written by Brin DugganAFL, AFLW, BBL, Latest, NFL, NRL