Footy is back and week 1 of the JLT Community Series proved to be an exciting and eventful one for AFL fans.
The team at Fantasy Stars has summarized some of the best performances over the weekend, some of the surprises, injuries and players to watch going forward for SuperCoach, Dream Team and Daily Fantasy play.
The scoreboards across the board
Six games were played over the weekend with four of the six decided by less than two goals.
It’s hard to decide the most impressive performance of a preseason round but it was hard to ignore the depth and strength across the board of the Greater Western Sydney Giants.
Sam Day’s Horrific Hip Injury
Despite running away with a comfortable victory over their QLD rival Lions the Gold Coast Suns win was soured by the injury to Sam Day.
A rare dislocated hip injury basically rules him out for 2017 just moments after his season started.
“They’re (doctors) hoping it’s not the season, but the odds are it probably is, so just fingers crossed for him,” Eade said.
“I don’t think anyone else in the history of the game has had what he’s had, a dislocated hip.”
33 quality disposals from Aaron Hall through the midfield was a key positive for the Suns to take from the match.
Magic Moment #1
It’s hard to go past the return of Hawks forward and premiership player Jarryd Roughead.
His return from a serious cancer scare wasn’t a signature performance but it was the hit out he and the Hawks needed.
— AFL (@AFL) February 17, 2017
“This is a small step, Round 1 is obviously the big goal.” Roughead said.
Magic Moment #2
Oliver Florent could be the next Swans draft gem and he started his Sydney career in great style.
Stand-in coach Brett Kirk was full of praise for both Florent and other young Swans player Darcy Cameron.
“They both handled themselves really well,” Kirk said.
“Darcy competes well and Oliver’s got some real speed and run and carry. He’s really composed with the ball in his hand.”
— AFL (@AFL) February 19, 2017
Old dogs teach premiership Dogs new tricks
The old hand of Jordan Lewis and Bernie Vince turned it on as the Melbourne Demons handled last years premiers at Whitten Oval.
However the Bulldogs fans will be happy to see favourite son Robert Murphy return to the side fit and healthy while new recruit Travis Cloke showed signs of his best.
“He definitely hit up well and we found him at different times and he kicked the ball well,” Bulldogs Coach Luke Beveridge said of Cloke.
“He’s trained hard and we’re hoping we find the best qualities in his performances this year and there were some really good signs.”
Huge offseason Demon recruit Jordan Lewis racked up a game-high 28 disposals.
“By his own admission he probably struggled to settle into the game early,” Goodwin said of Lewis.
“But once he did, I thought his direction, particularly down at half-back, was very good.”
— AFL (@AFL) February 18, 2017
Standout player performances
Jordan Lewis 28 disposals in his first game for the Demons.
Zach Tuohy 33 disposals, 25 uncontested at 87% efficiency in his debut for the Cats.
Brownlow medalist Patrick Dangerfield’s effortless 27 touches.
Another Geelong player in Zach Guthrie accumulated 23 touches and a goal on debut for the Cats.
Aaron Hall had 33 touches through the midfield for the Suns.
Orazio Fantasia’s four goals and five tackles was a highlight on Friday night against the Pies.
— AFL (@AFL) February 16, 2017
Stand-in Giants captain Josh Kelly had 28 touches in his sides easy win over the Eagles.
Luke Dalhaus will be a stud this year and his 28 disposal, eight tackle and two goal performance at the weekend was a great start to the season.
26 hit-outs and a goal for big Max Gawn who looks to be one of the league’s premier rucks once again.
Players to watch going forward
Sam Reid from Sydney hadn’t played in almost 18 months but showed glimpses of his best and what made him a crucial part of the 2012 premiership team.
Pearce Hanley had two years to forget in 2015/16 for the Lions but his debut for the Suns was full of merit. At 28 years of age he still has a few years left in his prime and is a player to watch for fantasy play.
Zach Guthrie looks to be right in the mix for playing time in his first season at the Cattery after a ripping debut.
Tyrone Vickery and Jaeger O’Meara are two new Hawks on everyones radar for good reason.
Francis Watson is a rookie listed Eagle who you should keep a close eye on as a bargain fantasy bye.
Notable injury news
Sam Day’s Hip injury was a brutal loss for the suns but he wasn’t the only one to go down over the weekend.
Jordan Roughead (Western Bulldogs) – Knee that was later confirmed as a hamstring
Ben Sinclair (Collingwood) – Hamstring
Will Schofield (West Coast) – Ankle, but looks to be nothing serious