THE HANGOVER: DRAFTSTARS WEEKLY WRAP
As AFL and NRL fantasy drafts take priority in offices from Darwin to Hobart, Draftstars gears up for its largest year of daily AFL and NRL fantasy in history. The NRL kicks off on Thursday and the AFL follows suit just seven days later, so get ready!
But before we get into that, we look over week six of the AFLW, one that ran alongside International Women’s Day. With only one regular season game to go, the structure of the finals campaign is still clouded. In conference A, Adelaide, North and Freo all won to keep themselves in the conversation. Adelaide have the strongest case, though, with a percentage of 184.3 and Freo and North playing each other in a battle for the other spot.
Conference B is also a three horse race. But with some unfamiliar faces in the mix. Carlton have surprised many over the past two weeks to now sit atop the conference although they face stiff opposition from the Doggies in round seven, and tough competition from Geelong and Brisbane for a spot in the finals.
The JLT series ran in the periphery of the AFLW throughout the week and weekend. Surprisingly tough and skilful battles played out for the most part, though players were prone to the odd muffed kick or dropped mark while they adjust to the rigours of AFL football.
Charlie Ballard has had an impressive #JLTSeries, but this was certainly not his best effort.
Sam Reid couldn't believe his luck. pic.twitter.com/n40ckyqbZQ
— AFL (@AFL) March 10, 2019
St. Kilda, both Adelaide sides and Brisbane emerged from the JLT series as the sides most likely to improve from disappointing seasons last year. They all blooded impressive new recruits and have players returning from injury that should underscore a rise up the ladder. Meanwhile, the Doggies, Essendon, Melbourne and North disappointed many with their pre-season campaigns and will need to work hard to build momentum leading into round one.
The NBA remained entirely unperturbed by the thrill of Australian Rules football in Australia. In fact, Ben Simmons probably doesn’t even care, particularly as a Bombers fan. Anyway, the games still played out, and the Lakers capitulated. Their season can be safely written off with both Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram shut down for the year. And the back-and-forth between them and the Clippers (or is it just Pat Beverley and nobody) has been the most entertaining element of their season.
Patrick Beverley, the heart and soul of the Clippers, had a lot to say in his post-game interview after tonight's victory. pic.twitter.com/dlcuecMW7t
— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) March 5, 2019
Meanwhile, regarding the teams that actually matter, the Celtics are building, the Hardens… erm… Rockets are ready to make some noise, and the Thunder and Warriors are in a rut. Worst (Phoenix) just beat first (Warriors) in the West… But worry not Golden State fans, you’re in good hands.
This is Steph Curry’s crazy shooting from yesterday. He hit 41 in a row and then another 34 pic.twitter.com/krTMU7ZjeJ
— Ashley Nevel (@AshleyNevel) March 10, 2019
And Australia blew up world cricket during the week by beating India in two consecutive ODI’s. Ranked the equal top ODI side in the world, and playing in a home series, the Indians would have been confident of a series victory. But they did not count on 195 runs in two games from Usman Khawaja, and they certainly were not expecting a match winning 84 off 43 from Ashton Turner to flip the series on its head.
With the series now tied at 2-2, the fifth and final match in Delhi will determine the winner. These sides have played two ODI’s in Delhi splitting them 1-1, and the Australian victory was underscored by a man of the match effort from Steve Waugh.
— Brin Duggan (@BrinDuggan) March 11, 2019
JLT SERIES WEEK TWO
The second week of the AFL pre-season competition was similar to the first, if not a little toned back. The last thing anyone wants now is an injury and you could almost sense it from watching any of the matches. Other than the Demons/Lions game that is, those boys went crazy.
Geelong and Essendon kicked off the week on Thursday with the Cats finding some form. Joel Selwood snared 154 DS points in this competition but Dahlhaus was the one who set Cat tongues wagging with 25 disposals, a goal and 110 DS points.
The Giants and Crows played on Friday in Canberra with the Crows coming away with another impressive victory. Again, Stephen Coniglio was impressive for the Giants with 37 disposals and 128 DS points and Matt Crouch proved 2019 will be a repeat of last year with 38 touches and 139 DS points.
Port impressed against the Kangaroos as their young guns Connor Rozee, Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma again showed they can match it at AFL level. But it was a welcome return to fantasy piggery from Tom Rockliff that will have DS users salivating. 41 disposals and two goals meant Rockliff racked up a 2016-like 178 DS points.
Melbourne suffered a number of casualties against the spirited young Lions, including a win. They face serious question marks leading into round one but Angus Brayshaw is not one of them as he eased his way to another monstrous DS score. For the Lions, Jarryd Lyons again proved his worth for 2019 with 113 DS points. Pending price, he is almost a round one lock.
Richmond came from 40-points down against a Hawks side offering no answers to many questions about how they will go about 2019. Trent Cotchin engineered the victory with a gargantuan last quarter taking him to 111 DS points for the game. Though the most interesting point to come from this game surrounded Dustin Martin and whether he will be a fantasy lock in 2019.
The big guns at Sydney made light work of the lightly built Suns on Sunday. And a nine goal second quarter from the Swans showed their precision will be tough to counter with the new decongestion rules. Tom Papley gathered 27 disposals en route to 118 DS points and gave DS users something to think about. While Suns big man Peter Wright also put his name forward as a mid-range ruck option with 114 DS points.
Alarm bells are blaring from the Doggies camp with two losses in the JLT series and an inability to hit the scoreboard. If your name started with J in this contest you were almost guaranteed 100 DS points. Josh Dunkley, Jack Steele, Jack Newnes and Jack Billings all eclipsed the triple digit threshold.
The Eagles do not look likely to suffer from a premiership hangover and they easily accounted for the Dockers in Mandurah. Dom Sheed might be abstaining from anything that may cause him a hangover all together as he racked up another 123 DS points and 40 touches. Willie Rioli impressed too with four majors and 120 DS points.
Grand Final foe Collingwood were shocked into victory by the Blues after falling level late in the last quarter in Morwell. Typically, the Pies were DS scoring beasts with three players scoring over 120. Of those three, Steele Sidebottom and Adam Treloar are expected to notch up scores like that regularly. So, Jack Crisp’s 135 DS points stood out.
AFL WOMENS ROUND SIX
Adelaide posted the highest score of the round for the fourth consecutive week and have overtaken the Kangaroos as the team to beat. Their midfield of Ebony Marinoff, Erin Phillips and Anne Hatchard is the best in the comp and their forward line and defence are the highest rated in the league.
Consequently, whichever contest they are featured in is typically defined by their stars’ performances. This week it was Marinoff and Phillips who scored 100+ and contest winner Saintmarto fit them both in their team.
Crows move into the box-seat for AFLW finals berth, with win over GWS. #AFLWCrowsGiants
— FOX FOOTY (@FOXFOOTY) March 10, 2019
Giants midfielder Ellie Brush was the best value pick in that contest though, she gathered 17 disposals and 70 DS points while costing just $6,650. Selected by nobody, Brush could have been the difference for an entrant willing to take a risk.
There are no more superlatives to describe how impressive Kiara Bowers’ 2019 camapign has been. If not for Erin Phillips, she would just about have two hands on the best and fairest medal (she might even have one hand on it anyway). On Saturday she chalked up another 120 DS points from her 17 disposals and incredible 19 tackles. She may be the only person capable of nullifying the Adelaide midfield.
🚨 Kiara Bowers appreciation tweet 🚨
17 disposals, 12 kicks, 19 tackles. What. A. Gun. #AFLWCatsFreo
— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) March 9, 2019
Perhaps Bowers and Phillips could be the face of the next NAB AFLW marketing campaign?
Collingwood remain without a win in 2019 but it is not through lack of trying. In round six Jaimee Lambert and Brittany Bonnici did their all to snare W number one, to no avail. They combined for 214 DS points and collected 42 disposals between them.
And in one of the most exciting games of the season Melbourne downed the Doggies by one point after a late Tegan Cunningham goal sealed the comeback victory and relegated the Dogs to last place in conference A.
ICE IN HER VEINS!
— AFL Women's (@aflwomens) March 9, 2019
A whopping $27,500+ was on offer over the weekend in the NBA contests which over 1,700 entries were in the running to take home some of the prize money. The top scoring entry over the whole weekend was a very gettable 372.5. And that winner did not even have the top scoring player, Lou Williams. Williams had one of his best games of the year against the Thunder, notching up 40 points, 7 rebounds and five assists to score 63.25 DS points. Priced at a whisker over $12k, Williams was also one of the best value picks in the contest.
Man is smooth.
Lou Williams vs Thunder
📊40 PTS | 7 REB | 5 ASI pic.twitter.com/AXFHM7kSkz
— Charlas de Basket (@charlasdebasket) March 9, 2019
Brandon Knight was THE top value pick, though. Given a lifeline by the Cavs, Knight is a volume scorer who can catch fire on any given day at any given time, in any part of the country. He only scored 30.25 DS points with a box score of 15 points, two rebounds and six assists, but should be monitored going forward. If granted more minutes consistently, he could pop out a huge score.
Now the Lakers have deactivated Ball and Ingram, deep, deep bench guys will start collecting minutes. That was the case on Sunday as Johnathan Williams and Moritz Wagner, your NBA 2K MyPlayer avatars, logged over 60 minutes between them. Watch this space though, they also managed over 34 DS points each. And when Andre Ingram finally returns from baby-sitting his great grand-children, consider him in your sides too.
Lakers, It's time to call up the 🐐 pic.twitter.com/aOxYf3n119
— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 10, 2019
As teams shut it down and players are rested we can expect a number of low-low-low-end options to become viable selections in your team, freeing up cash for big players.
Speaking of big players, Karl-Anthony Towns has been running amok lately, evidenced by his enormous $22.5k salary (even more than James Harden). On Sunday he produced 72 DS points as he once again stacked the box score. His beauty is in his all-round scoring ability, Sunday’s effort saw 40 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, two steals and four treys.
Karl-Anthony Towns' last 5 games:
34 pts 21 rebs 5 asts 2 blks
37 pts 18 rebs 3 asts 2 blks
42 pts 17 rebs 4 asts
28 pts 10 rebs 7 asts
41 pts 14 rebs 1 ast 2 stls
— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) March 6, 2019
ODI SERIES- AUSTRALIA V INDIA
The most successful week in Australian cricket in recent memory came at the expense of one of our oldest foes, India. Most impressively, Australia were facing a drubbing in the series after falling 2-0 down to open the series.
Some tinkering with the side did wonders and, in the third test, Australia notched up a then series best 313-run first innings total. Usman Khawawja and Aaron Finch were the instigators as they found form with an opening partnership of 193. Khawaja went on to make a tonne and chalk up 138 DS points.
Not to be outdone, Virat Kohli turned around in the second innings and went a little silly. Trying to single handedly win the match for his side, Kohli battered the Australian bowling attack for 123 runs off of 95 balls as he scored 218.5 DS points.
Australia post a total of 313/5 in 50 overs.
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 8, 2019
Looking to wrestle back momentum in ODI four, India came out with a bang setting a first innings total of 358. Shikhar Dhawan marked a welcome return to form with 143 off of 115 balls as he teamed up with fellow opener Rohit Sharma to replicate the Australian opening partnership from ODI three.
Dhawan’s monster innings was good for 266.5 DS points. But Pat Cummins proved to be the key in the Indian innings. His series best 5/70 restricted what could have been an unbeatable Indian total and helped himself to 137 DS points.
The Australian innings was one of their most memorable for some time. Khawaja fought his way to another 91 runs but this time it was Peter Handscomb and Ashton Turner who stole the show with the bat. Handscomb recorded his first ODI century, banging 117 from 105 but Turner proved to be the match winner with an unstoppable 84 from 43, including six sixes.
84 off 43 balls
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) March 10, 2019
Written by Brin Duggan Follow @BrinDugganAFL, BBL, Latest, NBA, NRL