#1 in a game clearly suggests the defending is not good enoug von mary123 02.09.2019 10:43

All week long leading to Charlotte, I debated whether Kevin Harvick or Martin Truex Jr. would be the best driver to use as the centerpiece of your lineup.Turns out, neither had tremendous days at Charlotte. A mechanical issue doomed Harvick right off the start, he ended up with -22.5 points. Truex, too, had issues, but recovered for 31 points.A large wreck also doomed the days of several top drivers, so if you struggled at Charlotte, dont be concerned. And stick to the strategy, since this week were right back at another 1.5-mile track in Kansas.One thing you can take away is that it looks like Hendrick Motorsports is back. Jimmie Johnson led 155 laps in the win, snapping a career-long winless streak. Chase Elliott was involved in a wreck, but still had 103 laps led and 70 fastest laps for 41.75 points, good for 10th best in the field. Kasey Kahne also had the fifth-highest score in the field with 53.5 points. Alex Bowman also qualified second, but finished 39th.Thanks to the big wreck in the race, start/finish differential played a big role. Four of the top five, and 11 of the top 16 fantasy scores involved drivers who improved at least 10 spots from their starting position. Likewise, there were seven drivers who dropped more than 20 points from their starting positions.Earlier this year at Kansas, not surprisingly, Truex Jr. showed the most strength. He led 172 laps, registered 85 fastest laps for a field-best 102.5 DraftKings points, despite finishing 14th after starting from the pole. Kevin Harvick was also fast; his 31 fastest laps were the second-best mark in the field.Harvick and Truex Jr. will both be fighting to make the next round of the Chase, NASCARs version of the playoffs. Truex Jr. has a bit of a cushion over the first driver out, so he might be looking for a safe day before we head to Talladega, a crapshoot when it comes to being involved in a big wreck. Harvick, on the other hand, is on the outside looking in, so he might be looking solely to win.Thats just one more thing to keep in mind before Sundays race.Here are my early picks to get you started with your Kansas selections. But make sure to check back after qualifying for my final picks and fades.Im starting my team with:Compared to Johnson, Harvick and Truex Jr., Chase Elliott probably wont put as big of a hit on your budget, but since the Chase started, hes been putting up big numbers on 1.5-mile tracks. Not only did he put up a field-best 70 fastest laps run at Charlotte, but he also led 75 laps with 30 fastest laps in a third-place finish at Chicago.Over the last seven races overall, Elliott has averaged 53.1 points per race, the fourth-highest total. But of the four drivers averaging more than 50 points per race, Elliott is costing an average of $8,657 per race, the only one of the four under $9,300 per race.Keep an eye on these four:Jimmie Johnson: Johnson is one of the three drivers averaging more fantasy points than Elliott, but that win at Charlotte has already moved him on to the Round of 8 in the Chase. That might cause his team to try some new things, but it also might clear them up to race unhindered. Either way, Johnson has shrugged off a humdrum regular season to average 83.2 points per race in the Chase. He averaged 18.5 points per race in the second half of the regular season (13 races).Martin Truex Jr./Kevin Harvick: Im just going to put these drivers together. Chances are, youre not going to be able to afford both, but both have put up awesome numbers on this track type all season. When you look at the season, theyre 1-2 on 1.5-mile track points per race, the only drivers averaging more than 60 points in the first eight such races. But with Hendrick hitting its stride, theyre not quite the dominant two that theyve been all season.Kasey Kahne: Kahne has finished 12th or better in each of the last six races, with five top 10s in that span. In that time, hes been one of the top 12 fantasy plays in each race, topped off with being fifth-best last week at Charlotte. Its realistic to think he can replicate what he did last year at Kansas, when he finished fourth for 62 fantasy points.Austin Dillon: Dillon was wrecked when running up front at Charlotte, but in the previous nine races on 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last season, he finished between fifth and 19th each time, including a sixth-place finish at Kansas earlier this season. In those nine races, he did a nice job of moving through the field, putting up a combined pass differential of plus-23. 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Sale Sharks 34-30 Leicester TigersSale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond: We didnt get a scrum all day so to come out of the game where you dont get a scrum and win, youve got to be delighted. Statistically, weve got the best scrum in the competition over the last two years, weve not lost a ball but we gave five penalties away today.Weve got Kieran Longbottom whos come from Saracens to join us and hes playing against a lad whos making it, but were adjudged to be illegal five or six times. Its unheard of, it was a rookie performance by the kid.He [referee Craig Maxwell-Keys] had a reasonable game apart from certain areas, which were crucial decisions, and thats what we come across regularly.Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill:?There was poor execution, weve got to look after the ball. We coughed up soft tries and were, on a couple of occasions, very easy to score against.Away from home, when youre in control of the game, you need to be better than that and we werent. Its a concern that we keep conceding tries like that and its costing us games.Were working on everything but players make poor decisions and you get caught, and it happened at least twice today. We got caught too easily and are making poor, fundamental errors.Northampton Saints 20-19 Exeter ChiefsNorthampton Saints second-row Courtney Lawes:?Harry [Mallinder] is growing as a player, he is learning from every mistake he makes -- unfortunately when you are young you do make a lot of mistakes. He is growing as a character in the team and he is a brilliant player, he did fantastic today with unbelievable composure to get the win at the death.We were desperate for that win and I think it really showed out there - we came back twice. We really back ourselves, we know we have been playing in patches and if we can string it together for the full 80 minutes there are not many teams who can live with us. We are just looking to stop these lapses of concentration.Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter: We never really grabbed control in that final quarter. There was an opportunity to squeeze the game out, but crucially we needed to hold up a bit better in the lineout, that is where we lost possession and it started to get a little bit messy.We looked a little bit too edgy in that final quarter, we didnt really look like the team going out to win the game and we were on the back foot for too long.There was a pretty clear block that opened up some space in their second try, but that is a bit churlish, we missed a couple tackles and sometimes when you get bumped it is because you are not focused.Bristol Rugby 0-39 SaracensBristol director of rugby Andy Robinson:?I am disappointed in the result. We started a lot better, but again, we havent performed for 80 minutes.One of the things we talked about was to build pressure on the opposition, but we turned over possession in our first two attacks, and we are not going to able to build pressure on the opposition if we do that.We made some courageous tackles and worked very hard, but Saracens kept their accuracy and throughout the game put us under massive pressure.It is something these guys have got to learn. Are we learning fast enough? We will find out next weekend when we play Newcastle.Saracens rugby director Mark McCall: I thought it was a really good professional performance by us. It wasnt perfect, but I thought we dominated the game and dominated field position.We put them under a lot of pressure, and 10-0 didnt feel a satisfactory lead at half-time, but I think all of that hard work paid off in the second-half and we were able to get the bonus point that we wanted.ddddddddddddI was pleased with our energy, and when we had to defend we defended with real intent. The pressure eventually told, and we got what we wanted from the game, which was pleasing.Gloucester Rugby 6-15 Bath RugbyGloucester director of rugby David Humphreys:?There is always pressure here, whether you are winning or losing.It is certainly an unacceptable start to the season, with three losses at home. We know that is not good enough.Weve let ourselves down this season. We have got to be smarter in games, and we have got to find a way to win a game like today.The bottom line is we are making too many simple, unforced errors, and that is not allowing us to generate pressure.For me, its really a case of we knew there would be some ups and downs with changing our playing style, but you have also got to play rugby to win games, and we havent done that this year.Bath Rugby director of rugby Todd Blackadder:?The conditions were heavy, and we knew it was going to be a real arm-wrestle. We absorbed a lot of pressure in the first half, and we knew if we played down in Gloucesters half in the second period we were in with a good shout, and that is probably what happened.We toughed it out, and I am just pleased we are improving every week. We knew we had to keep persevering and keep wearing them down. It took us a long time to get into our game, and it was a bit frustrating when we didnt take our opportunities.I am just proud of the squad. If you are fit at the moment, you are selected and out there and doing a job. We will only get better as time goes on.Wasps 47-18 Harlequins??Wasps director of rugby Dai Young: It was a really good win.We were a little bit sloppy in defence in the first half, we lacked a bit of bite but it was pleasing how we came out in the second half.I thought we were really ruthless today and Im obviously pleased. I thought we were far better (than Harlequins) in every aspect.Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston: We had 70 per cent in their half and 61 per cent possession of the ball, so that tells one part of the story, but on the other side seven tries to two says we didnt take our chances.We werent good enough when they had the ball and made it much too easy for them to score points, so weve got to be honest, look at it and see why those things are happening.Conceding 47 points in a game clearly suggests the defending is not good enough because youre not going to win, are you? Im not being rude, but its not rocket science, and conceding seven tries and 47 points is unacceptable.Newcastle 11-9 WorcesterNewcastle director of rugby Dean Richards:?A bunch of young referees are making decisions which are having a massive effect on the game.They have never been in a scrum in their life and have no idea about whats going on in it and they are looking at the outcome rather the cause.The young referees will learn and Tom Foley has the potential to be a good referee.It was a turgid and horrible game but we had a lot of possession and territory but didnt make it count.Worcester director of rugby Carl Hogg:?The game wasnt a classic or a huge spectacle but its great to get the monkey off our back.It was a huge tick in the box for team spirit and resilience, for Newcastle had most of the possession and territory and weve got a lot of injuries.We didnt play particularly well as our line-out malfunctioned badly, it was very frustrating and something we need to look at. 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