Metricon, 6.50pm AEST

$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 150 max)
$6,000 USD on Draftkings ($12 entry, 17 max)
WEATHER: 23 degrees and partly cloudy.
BOOKIES: Richmond $1.28 favourites, 121.5 over/under.


Richmond transitioned to a more traditional solo ruck structure this week as Nankervis played out a huge 91% game-time as Chol was required as a key forward as often possible with Tom Lynch still absent. It’s worth nothing that Brisbane won the hitouts 40-20. Bolton and Prestia both returned and played on the inside as expected, with Dion’s numbers on the skinny side with a season-low 45% CBA presence. The axed Ross ate most the CBA strain, with small reductions across the board as the Tigers had their whole midfield fit for the first time in months – which says a lot about where Edwards (41% presence) and Lambert (0%) sit in the pecking order. There was a sneaky change in the wing rotation though, with Lambert (previously HFF exclusively), Graham and Pickett filling those minutes while McIntosh was bumped to a HFF role. Prestia’s non-inside minutes came in a loose role across half-back (he won 80% of his possessions in the back half) and it’ll be interesting to see whether that continues or if it simply was a method of easing him back into AFL footy. 

As it so often happens with the Saints, one domino falls and Hunter Clark (half back) and Geary (forward tagging job) find themselves with a new role. Zak Jones was that domino, joining the inside midfield unit for all of his 67% TOG which, together with Hannebery’s identical 67%, allowed Sinclair to sneak a few fruitless cameos at the centre bounces. His primary position was on the wing though, soaking up the overlap from Hill and Billings. Ryder was probably BOG but won’t be next week, suffering a late hamstring injury and Marshall will have to step up in his stead. Membrey (89 AF, 2 goals) and Geary (62 AF, 2 goals) upswung against a sorry Bulldogs backline, with Geary’s biggest victory being Caleb Daniel’s move to a wing to free himself from the St Kilda skipper’s grasp. Dougal Howard’s 73 AF was largely inflated by the Bulldogs kicking the 10 behinds that allowed him to reach a career-high 18 kicks as he curiously owned the kick-in duties for the Saints. 


Richmond: Broad, Lynch IN – Aarts, Chol OUT

  • Lynch replaces Chol up forward, which further casts Nankervis as your traditional sole ruckman.
  • Broad (back pocket) replaces Aarts (forward pocket), which requires a structure change. Baker started off his career as a forward and  is probably surplus to needs in defence with Houli and Short back there playing the same role, so that would be the “simple” swap.
  • Don’t rule out Balta sliding over to a pinch-hitting ruck gig though, especially with no clear back-up option. In fact, the only time that Richmond have played this year with Nankervis and no Chol/Soldo was back in Round 4… against the Saints. Riewoldt, Broad and McIntosh took the leftovers that day – which is obviously not ideal – and Balta wasn’t in the side that day.
  • Grimes was tagged by Marsh last time around and that was extremely effective, however Vlastuin looms as the more attractive tag target 6 months later with 2.9 intercept marks per game this year.
  • No change to the midfield group suggests a copy-paste of last week’s rotations. See the CBA’s and Roles section above. Lambert on the wing rather than across a HFF is the big takeaway for me.

Notable outs: Soldo, Chol.

St Kilda: Savage, Battle, Marsh IN – Long, Carlisle, Ryder OUT

  • Savage for Long, back flank L4L.
  • Marsh replaces Ryder in the ruck rotation, but obviously plays more of a pinch-hitting role behind Marshall. Tagged a Richmond defender in his downtime last time around, so wouldn’t be surprised to see that again.
  • Battle for Carlisle, key defender L4L. Or does he? The wildcard here is Geary. If he remains up forward, Battle can go to work as a key defender. However, if he switches back to defence, Battle will happily play up forward and provide more of an offensive target than his skipper.
  • No midfield change means Hunter Clark remains on a HBF.
  • With at least one of Geary and Marsh set for a forward role, I’d be worried if I were a Vlastuin truther.

Notable outs: Ryder, Gresham, Carlisle, Long.


Richmond conceded the least points to KEY DEF’s over L5.
Richmond conceded the 4th-most points to GEN DEF’s over L5.
Richmond conceded the 3rd-least points to KEY FWD’s this year.
Richmond conceded the most points to RUC’s over L5 and this year.

St Kilda conceded the 2nd-most points to KEY DEF’s over L5.
St Kilda conceded the 4th-least points to MID’s over L5.


2018 Round 18

  • Steele tagged Cotchin then moved to Dusty once he got off the leash early.
  • Marshall back-up ruck to Hickey.
  • Battle a key forward.
  • Dusty 30 touches, even after getting the Steele tag in Q2.
  • Nankervis sole ruck.
  • Lambert in the guts.

2019 Round 15

  • Marshall sole ruck, 33 hitouts and 9 marks.
  • Battle a key defender in this one, 11 marks.
  • Hunter Clark in the midfield, a team-high 12 CP’s.
  • Steele tagged Cotchin.
  • Dusty 36 touches, except St Kilda didn’t move the Steele tag to him this time.
  • Bolton in forward pocket.
  • Chol monster score due to upswing with 3 goals and 9 marks. Back-up ruck. 
  • Graham helped by 9 tackles.

2020 Round 4  –  shortened quarters

  • Marshall sole ruck again, up against Nank this time. 25 hitouts and 2 snags.
  • Jack Steele didn’t tag, as has been the norm in 2020. 
  • Butler kicked 3.2 against his former club.
  • Hunter Clark HBF role.
  • Battle up forward.
  • Zak Jones’ score injury-affected, played just 48% TOG.
  • Marsh with a forward-tag job on Grimes, who scored just 10 AF.
  • Nankervis solo ruck and traded blows with Marshall, 26 hitouts and 7 tackles.
  • Edwards with an inside MID role, game-high 14 CP’s.
  • Bolton still in his forward pocket at this point.
  • Dusty season-low 52% CBA’s. Was playing sore, missed the previous week.


BEST PICK: Seb Ross – M – $10,120 DS 

He hasn’t exactly set the world on fire lately (59 and 57 in his last couple), but he’s simply too cheap for someone playing full-time midfield minutes. Ross has logged the most CBA’s for the Saints in each of the past 2 weeks and comes up against a midfield that famously doesn’t care how much you accumulate – a trend he’s definitely capitalised on with scores of 121 and 107 in the past couple of seasons. His floor is excellent, and the 80-point upside is too good to pass up at this price.

BEST VALUE: Josh Battle – F – $9,200 DS 

My gut tells me Battle plays in defence this week – I feel like the Saints would have brought in a tall (like Roberton) instead of Savage if they wanted to swing Geary back as coverage. Plus, the last time Battle covered for Carlisle in defence it was a raging success, with the utility scooping in 9 marks amongst his 91 AF (and I haven’t missed the 11 marks and 106 AF he had against Richmond in a backline role last season, either). 

With Richmond giving up a truckload of points to non-key defenders, this is a great opportunity to connect the FWD Battle with DEF’s like Clark, Coffield and Savage for the ultimate DvP load-up… That’s assuming Battle actually does play in defence, of course.

BEST RUCK: Rowan Marshall – R/F – $14,290 DS 

This one’s pretty straightforward – Ryder out means we get back Marshall: Sole Ruck edition. This shouldn’t need selling, but Marshall was St Kilda’s highest-averaging player last year (98.7 AF) in that role and now comes up against the easiest team to score RUC points against this season. Rowan’s last two games of 121 and 89* (111 corona-corrected) against the Tigers suggests he’s the type of guy to cash in on these trends, so don’t be scared to pay up for the player with the best match-up on this slate.

BEST STAT: Toby Nankervis – R – $10,570 DS 

The Double Ruck strategy is in play! With Marshall listed a DPP, you can take both big men on Friday evening. Not only did they both fire as solo ruckmen the last time they met (Marshall 89* and Nankervis 118* earlier this year), but opposition ruckmen score, on average, an extra 14.4 points against a solo Marshall this season. It’s a primitive calculation, I know, but whack that 14.4 points on Nank’s average and you get 77 – a score you’ll be over the moon with at $10.6k. 

BEST RETHINK: Jack Graham – M – $11,700 DS 

With scores of 82 and 76 leading into this game, Graham’s going to be highly popular at a modest price. However, I think this is one area where you can try and shake the field. My concern is that he’s notched 8 and 9 tackles in those games – a tackling rate that’s simply unsustainable when you’ve averaging 11% CBA presence from a wing role – his tackle numbers leading into Round 18 looked like this: 2, 3, 2 and 3. There are so many under-priced options in that price range (Jones, Billings, Bolton, Cotchin, Hannebery, Lambert, Ross, etc) that I don’t think you need to take the risk of hoping for another big tackling night from an outside player.

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