NFL is back! Fantasy Football is back! Awards are back!

Sundays for the next five months are going to be the highlight of the week with Redzone. I’m not a Steelers or Bengals fan and I honestly didn’t care who won but it was some of the best TV I’ve seen all year and it is going to be like this every week!! We’ve got London games to look forward to (I’m going to the Jags/Bronco game and the Saints/Vikings game), we’ve got games on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day and we will have the Britannia Bowl on New Year’s Eve and Day!

In our league, things look like they have settled into the pattern expected for the whole year too. Everyone in the North won, everyone in the Midlands lost and the South is a mixed bag. The North scored 476 points, the South 431 and the Midlands 352. That is around a 30 point per team difference between the North and the Midlands. Mike, Jase, Shep… we need to up our game!

I’ll be doing the awards again if that is okay with everyone (Ed: I think that’s okay with everyone). Work was a bit intense last year, but it’s a little calmer now, plus I need something to enjoy in this league as I feel my team is slipping closer and closer to irrelevance. I’ve usually sold my 1st round pick by now so this shows my lack of confidence but as always, this is the first league I check on a Monday morning and it always will be!

The Buzzsaw

Ominous for the rest of the league when the reigning champ wins the week with the highest total in the league! Mahomes, Hunt, Patterson, Adams and Kelce all score over 20 points which is a fantastic baseline and some questions going into the season have been answered. Was last season an outlier for Patterson, or is this real? Will Adams still be the man without Rodgers? Will the Chiefs offense struggle without Hill and lead to move coverage for Kelce? All of these were positive outcomes for the Bandits but here are a couple more that maybe didn’t go the right way?

Is Godwin healthy? Can Lamb be the number 1 guy (without Dak now)? Any surprise gems on the pretty shallow bench?

156.8 points in week one is 17 points higher than the second place Seahawks and is 91 points more than last place Cobras. (Ed: That 91 point margin would have been enough on its own to beat 5 teams this week.)

Nottingham Bandits 🏆

Highest Point Scorer

Justin Jefferson knew he had to raise his game this week (and this season!) with the Vikings bringing in fellow first round receiver Jalen Raegor who is bound to push him for the number one spot on the team and with the Packers deciding not to start the season in week one for the second year in a row, JJ racked up 184 yards and 2 TDs with some of those catches not even having a Packers player in shot!! Those 34.9 points were a little over 27% of Olly’s total score for the week but not having another player in the top 20 meant that those points counted for nothing (apart from this award, so maybe something!)

Mahomes and Allen were second and third respectively and a return to form for Saquon rounds off the over 30pt club and they all helped their teams to wins. Wasn’t there something about a curse with this award???

Oxford Pythons 🏆

Unluckiest Loser

As stated above, the HPS award is something of a curse as the points push you up the overall score standing but without others to support, it’s all in vein.

Lamar had a decent game but it was disappointing returns from Ekeler and Harris that kept the Pythons from keeping it close with the Bandits, but the Bandits being the Buzzsaw winner meant that the third highest score of week wasn’t enough. It would have been enough to beat everyone in the Midlands though! The Spartans won with score of just 82.7, good enough for 9th overall but their opponent, the Fireflies had the 11th highest (or should it be second lowest?) with 76.2.

Oxford Pythons 🏆

Worst Decision

This is my favourite award as I get to do a deeper dive into all the rosters. Seeing the different approaches to dynasty from star line ups with little to no depth to teams with lots of boom or busts. Some having excess QBs, others TEs…

It’s also the hardest one, especially in week 1. I might have said the Cobras starting Jamal Anew over Parris Campbell or the Seahawks going Mooney over MVS or Davis, but these are not obvious errors and are the kind of plays different players make. Dameon Pierce was the darling of the offseason and Edwards-Helaire has had a relatively disappointing start to his career so starting Pierce was a high risk, high reward play.

The only one I think I would have done differently was Kadarius Toney for the Sandslashers. Give me Joe Burrow’s number three receiver in Tyler Boyd or the higher ceiling of rookie Chris Olave over a receiver for the Giants who was on the injury report throughout the whole preseason and did very little last season., I admit that my Eagles bias might be overstating this, but I wouldn’t trust anyone on the Giants apart from Saquon.

Andover Sandslashers 🏆

Closest Matchup

I wouldn’t say any of the games were a proper blow-outs but most were pretty comfortable wins. Leopards vs Sandslashers had the biggest margin of 31.6 points and the rest were by 30.9, 29.0, 22.5 and 17.9 points until the closest matchup between the Spartans and the Fireflies.

The Fireflies lost by just 6.6 points and I’d say it was down to falling for the rookie hype of Dameon Pierce and not listening to the rumours of the Chiefs using the running backs more. Pierce rushed for just 33 yards even though the Texans were winning whilst CEH finally looked like the player he was drafted to be. The Spartans even started the walking corpse of AJ Green and the mystery that is David Njoku, but Michael Thomas looks like his old self and Michael Carter hasn’t lost the starting job for the Jets yet. Every win is so important in the North that I don’t think Chris cares how this one came about!

Gateshead Spartans 🏆

Most Impactful Injury

I follow the Eagles SB Nation blogs and podcasts and because of that I follow a Cowboys blogger called RJ Ochoa, who has been pointing out since the end of last season how ignorant the Cowboys management is and how they don’t even see the issues with the team. It has been glorious to see all those problems appear before or during week 1 and Dak being out for 6-8 weeks is their biggest problem.

I don’t think it will be a problem for Tom, though. The Beavers have 3 starters to choose from and if you had said that out of Dak, Brady, Stafford and Mariota that Mariota would score the highest, I would have called you high!

Elijah Mitchell is set to miss multiple weeks and that is a blow to the Cobras as they only have Toby Jones, Isaiah Spiller and Isiah Pacheco on the bench, but Pacheco did get 12.2 points this week.

The Leopards look set to lose Keenan Allen for a while and it also looks like slim pickings there as well, with Josh Palmer being the highest scoring back up for them this week with just 2.4 points.

Najee Harris picked up a knock and reports vary on whether he will miss time or not, but I think the Pythons could cope for a while without him (they lost with him anyway!).

If I was being harsh (and I’m very, very sorry for saying this Jason) but I don’t think that the Cobras missing a player will have as big an impact on the league as the Leopards losing one. But it’s week 1 and no one in the Midlands won, so the Cobras have as much chance as anyone else to make the playoffs, so I go with them.

Cymru Cobras 🏆

Roll of Honour

Oxford Pythons 🏆🏆
Andover Sandslashers 🏆
Cymru Cobras 🏆
Gateshead Spartans 🏆
Nottingham Bandits 🏆