How can I explain it?
Awards you and I created,
I’m glad that you all made it!
Here at The Draft Society we have decided to emulate the great Michael Scott by creating The Drafties – a monthly awards article to honor (and shame!) the fantasy players who have been carrying our teams to glory (or dragging them down into the abyss). We have seven awards and at the end of each month we will convene at TDS HQ and argue over who deserves the credit/discredit of receiving each.
So without further ado, here are the winners of the inaugural edition of the 2022/2023 Season: the August 2022 Drafties…
The Drafties will be coming at you each and every month! Comment below with your predictions for next month!
The “Steady Eddie” Award
The Steady Eddie award goes to the player who has been a model of consistency throughout the month.
Winner: Joe Willock (MID; Newcastle United)
Our very first Steady Eddie is, oddly enough, someone who is historically a wildcard. He could get you 18 or 0. During his infamous hot streak at the end of the penultimate campaign, he usually got you double digits. But for much of last season, he was very much hit or miss. However, Willock has been quite consistent thus far this season. In his 5 starts in August, his returns have been the following: 6, 8, 7, 10, & 8.5 - not exactly lighting it up but Steady Eddies don't need to. If Willock can add the goals back into his game, he can build on this floor he has built for himself in the early days of this campaign.
Honorable Mention: Alex Iwobi (MID; Everton)
Willock's long lost former Gunner compatriot also staked his claim to the Steady Eddie, with scores of 7, 7, 10, 5, & 12. But he just fell short by a few votes. Steady on.
The “Andrey Arshavin” Award
The Andrey Arshavin award goes to the best individual gameweek performance of the month (in honour of when Arshavin scored 4 goals against Liverpool back in 2009).
Winner: Roberto Firmino (FWD; Liverpool)
Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and again. And so it was for one Roberto Firmino on a crisp August day versus lowly Bournemouth. He posted an insane 53 points, largely off the back of 2 goals & 3 assists in a 9 nil dismantling of the Cherries in what ended up being Scott Parker's final game as manager. With 9 goals to go around, nearly everyone other than Salah pretty much feasted (e.g., TAA delivered 38 points). While some may think he's rolling back the years based off of this monster performance, it's instructive to note that he did something similar last season, dropping 47 on Watford before largely reverting to the mean. And with both Nunez & Jota returning, his days in the starting XI are likely numbered. Those who streamed him and won their GW due to this explosion won't care, but act accordingly or it's your funeral.
Honorable Mention: Gabriel Jesus v Leicester
The Arsenal striker also had a ridiculous day in August, dunking on poor Leicester in GW2 with a 45 point performance from 2 goals and 2 assists. And he was unlucky to not get his hat trick.
The “Fall from Grace” Award
The Fall from Grace award goes to the player who has seen their fantasy value drop the most during the month.
Winner: Son Heung-Min (FWD; Tottenham Hotspur)
I take no pleasure from this other than the obvious pleasure I take from it. None other than Mr. Nice Guy, the co-Golden Boot Winner from last season, Sonny Jim, takes the Fall from Grace Award. And what a precipitous decline it has been thus far. Finishing #1 in scoring last season had many managers taking him in the top 3 of the draft. Those folks have been rightly disappointed with the early returns - 0 goals & just 1 assist has the Korean languishing at just over 8 points per start. And he now has more competition (even in set pieces with Perisic taking a few) and thus more opportunities for early subs and/or rest, as well as an actual European campaign (and World Cup) to endure this season. Having said all that, he is too good to not ultimately come good. But how long can you wait for it to happen? He could be a buy low, depending on what you could get him for, or a trade out on a high (once he finally hits the back of the net).
Honorable Mention: Jarrod Bowen (MID; West Ham United)
Barely missing out on this far from prestigious award is Bowen. Many, including this author, predicted his demise this season. However, with a good schedule and a bit of form/luck, he could turn out to be a buy low candidate.
The “Most Frustrating” Award
The Most Frustrating award goes to the player who has been most frustrating from a fantasy perspective. This may be due to a number of reasons including underwhelming performances, regularly being rested/dropped, coming close to hauling but not quite doing so, etc.
Winner: Matt Doherty (DEF; Tottenham Hotspur)
Ah, frustrating players. So many to choose from here, where to begin? This one had the most widely-dispersed voting, with no less than 5 different players receiving the thumbs down from the boys, including famous backpacker J-Lingz, as well as Nunez & Havertz, among others. But Matt Doherty takes home the Draftie, and it's easy to see why. The Irish wingback has long been fantasy royalty from his incredible performances in Wolverhampton. And he showed glimpses of that form near the end of last season, which led many to lick their chops at the prospect of snagging him in Rounds 6 or 7 of the draft in the hope that he would crack on. But he has yet to even start a game, planted firmly on the bench behind Emerson Royal of all people. It's only a matter of time before he gets roundly dropped to the waiver wire in your league.
Honorable Mention: Lingard, Nunez, Havertz, Damsgaard, McGinn
Pick your poison - none of these guys have repaid even close to draft day value. But they all have it in their locker, except maybe Kai, to turn it around.
The “Super Streamer” Award
The Super Streamer award goes to the best performing player of the month who was/is often streamable (i.e., is rostered in less than 50% of leagues).
Winners: Pascal Struijk (DEF; Leeds) & Moises Caicedo (MID; Brighton)
This one was split down the middle, with both of these chaps on the receiving end of the most votes, and deservedly so. Both have had their days but seemingly came out of nowhere to become consistent scorers. Struijk & Caicedo are averaging 9.5 & 8.6 points per game, respectively. This is excellent value for two undrafted players. There are some headwinds, though, as Struijk's Leeds can't keep clean sheets and have a tougher upcoming schedule, while Caicedo is subject to rotation and now has to adjust to a new manager (assuming Potter goes to Chelsea, as expected). It's still too early to know if this is sustainable but given that you likely got them both on a free, you can ride them until the wheels fall off.
Honorable Mention: Iwobi, March, Andersen
All of these guys can make a credible argument for Super Streamer and, frankly, I'd rather have any of them over the two winners.
The “Top Shot-Stopper” Award
The Top Shot-Stopper award goes to the best performing goalkeeper of the month (about time they get some recognition!)
Winner: Dean Henderson (GK; Nottingham Forest)
No surprise here. The Forest Goalkeeper has had an August to remember. Over the first 4 games, he averaged an eyewatering 17 points per game, the 26.5 v West Ham in GW2 being the pick of the litter. These are KDB numbers, ladies and gentlemen. It's all the more staggering given that he was only able to bag just one clean sheet during this stretch. Which means that it's all saves and vibes pretty much. But it's not all puppy dogs and ice cream, as Hendo is coming off back to back performances in the red (-4.5 & -5.75). The Forest defense should continue to leak goals but also allow shots that the big man can save. This dip in form could allow you to get him on a low if you believe he can get back a little bit of that August magic.
Honorable Mention: Pickford & Pope
Both have also put in some excellent performances and know how to ghost (each averages over 10 ghosts per start). So expect to see one of them snag next month's award.
The “Simply Elite” Award
The Simply Elite award is, as the name implies, simple: it goes to the best player in our amazing draft fantasy game for that month. The guy who produced at a first round, first pick level.
Winner: Erling Haaland (FWD; Manchester City)
The only one to get a clean sweep, voted unanimously by all TDS analysts, is the beefy Norwegian who is currently banging in goals for fun. The numbers are staggering: top fantasy scorer with over 137 points (including one game in September), a pps of 23, two hat tricks, and at least 1 attacking return in every game. Even the most bullish of Haalanders would even admit that they didn't think he'd be this good this early. Don't want to rain on the parade but some of the dangers analysts cited in the pre-season still remain. He remains very much goal dependent (70% GACS) and susceptible to injury (given his history). To be fair, though, he isn't going to the World Cup and can rest while many of the other top assets put their bodies on the line for a month in the desert. This could be a case of trade really really high or just hope and expect this absurd production to continue. Either way, it's a good problem to have.
Honorable Mention: N/A
TDS Crew’s September Predictions
Before we leave you, we thought it might be a bit of fun to make some predictions for next month. Here you go!
Do you agree with our selections? How many from your fantasy teams have been honored/dishonored? And what are your own predictions for next month? Let us know by commenting below or getting in touch on Twitter!
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