Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all. May your belly and pockets be full, your hangover merciful and your Draftstars lineups fruitful.

The Christmas and New Years period always delivers on the Australian and worldwide sporting stage and this year has and will be no different. Take the Boxing Day test for example… Australia battered the second in the world New Zealand side for the second time in as many weeks. 

James Pattinson returned to the side and trucked his way back onto the grandest  stage, sending a reminder to the rest of the world of his immense talent. Match figures of 6/69 were not enough for man of the match honours but were certainly enough to re-endear him to the Aussie fans.

Talking about endearing themselves to fans, despite the crippling loss, first time international opener Tom Blundell made a fighting second innings tonne which earned him plaudits from friend and foe alike. 

Prior to that, the Christmas Day NBA matchups offered Draftstars competitors a reprieve from family lunch and a steadying eye on Boxing Day. The Clippers and Lakers headlined a day of blockbuster matchups with the Kawhi Leonard (35 points, 12 rebounds) led Clippers pulling away late to claim the W. 

And last but not least, the final week of the NFL regular season went down. No real surprise playoff makers were forthcoming with the most likely 12 teams making the post season. That being said, a shock Patriots loss to the Dolphins saw them lose their first week bye and thrust into a matchup with the hot handed Titans, featuring Derrick Henry, A. J. Brown and Ryan Tannehill. 


The first two tests of this three match series proved this Australian side is one to be reckoned with. After losing Josh Hazlewood early in the first test, James Pattinson was brought into the MCG side and boy did he make an impact. The added fire and spite he brought lifted the atmosphere and inspired Australia to a resounding win. 

Before his heroics, Travis Head helped build a strong first innings total on the back of his classy second test century. 

For the Kiwis, Neil Wagner maintained his form at the G backing up his seven wickets in Perth with another seven in Melbourne. He is the leading wicket taker in the series and has been celebrated for his grit and tenacity.

The Big Bash commenced shortly after the first test and has already provided some breathtaking games and mouth watering performances. This season the leading run maker and wicket taker are donning a yellow cap. 

Incredibly, Melbourne Stars Pakistani import, Haris Rauf was the current holder of the yellow wicket taking cap when he was dropped in place of Dale Steyn. 

The Strikers sit atop the ladder and their position is partly thanks to their strong batting lineup. Their Aussie ODI and T20 keeper, Alex Carey, is the leading run scorer and he is joined by teammates Jono Wells and Jake Weatherald in the top five. 


The Bucks will almost definitely finish the regular season with the most wins and Giannis may well go back-to-back as the MVP. Their side is balanced, deep and they have the best player in the league.

Though, we saw last year that does not count for everything. The Lakers have the second best record in the league and have star power no other side in the competition does but the Clippers or Celtics might be the best side in the league. 

The Heat and Mavericks have impressive early season records due to a fantastic coach for the former and a burgeoning superstar for the latter. 

Australian Jazz star is doing his best to keep the Jazz relevant after two strong seasons. He has put together a strong three game stretch which has seen him average 41.2 DS points, almost 20 points higher than his season average. Cash in while you can. 

Bulls guard, Thomas Satoransky, is another one pushing through his ceiling. His last four games have yielded over 35 DS points. He’s been hot from three and has claimed DS points across the board from points, rebounds and assists. 

Gorgui Deng, Minnesota’s fair to middling centre who has never done anything badly nor amazing has been doing it well for his selectors over the past five games. A minutes boost has seen him average 33 DS points in that time, including a huge score of 48.8 from a 21 point, 15 rebound effort. 


The playoffs are now set, wild card week will see the Bills play the Texans, Seahawks face off against the Eagles, the Saints host the Vikings and, as mentioned above, the Patriots host the Titans.

Of those matchups, the Saints and Vikings looks the most mouth watering as they renew hostilities after a wild NFC championship game in 2018.

With 20 teams now out of the picture, it makes the task of finding a difference maker that tiny bit more difficult. 

Titans RB Derrick Henry, again, looms as an important inclusion. Week 17 saw Henry rush for 211 yard, three scores and 39 DS points. 

Another RB, the Chiefs Damien Williams, could be a lower priced option with boom potential. In the Chiefs matchup against the Chargers Williams rushed for 124 yards and two scores as well as catching four throws for 30 yards. 

A tough choice looms at QB with immense scoring potential across the board. Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins are threatening a throw off and could be the ones to go for. 

Cousins would be the riskier, yet cheaper, option but Drew Brees just about guarantees 30 DS points in the bank.

Written by Brinley Duggan