Gabba, 7.40pm AEDT

$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 150 max)
COMING SOON on Draftkings
WEATHER: 21 degrees and clear.
BOOKIES: Brisbane $1.75 favourites, 120.5 over/under.


Not a lot to report from a midfield perspective here, outside of the obvious Berry for Ellis-Yolmen swap – the HFF is much better suited to the crafty Berry and he once again showed he can score in that role with 76 AF. Neale’s skinny 64 AF is easily explained by a completely invisible first quarter where he scored 0 AF points as he failed to touch the ball even once – his KPI’s were all at normal levels and he wasn’t tagged, so we can just put that down to an unlucky 16 minutes of footy. Brisbane ran an almost-identical ruck rotation to Round 18 with a 53/45 ruck split for Big O/Martin, which meant another ruck/bench rotation essentially for the veteran Stef. Rich cashed in on the DEF’s vs Tigers trend, clunking 9 marks on his way to 103 AF – he’s been monstrous over the last month. Lester (back pocket), Ah Chee (back pocket), Starcevich (HBF), Robinson (defensive wing) and Bailey (HFF) were the other roles of note. 

It was an absolute demolition job from the Cats last week, so take these KPI’s with a grain of salt – the game was over by quarter time and Geelong sat in second gear on the way home. Would Dangerfield (25% presence) have settled for a mostly-forward role if the whips were cracking in the 4th quarter? Would Selwood, even with his bung finger, have been comfortable with just 71% in a tighter cutthroat final? I’m not so sure. Regardless, between Dangerfield’s forward role and Atkins’ axing there were a few extra CBA’s available, and those were shared amongst the younger crew in Guthrie, Duncan and Parfitt. Usually a wingman, Duncan’s game, in particular, was extremely interesting – he attended a season-high 71% of CBA’s and collected a season-high 123 AF as a result. Stanley/Blicavs/Hawkins ran a 62/26/12 ruck rotation, which was a sizable reduction for Blicavs – but it makes perfect sense as he was covering Duncan’s regular wing time in a rotation with Menegola and Simpson. All other roles as expected.


Brisbane: Ellis-Yolmen IN, Coleman OUT

  • Adding another midfielder (rather than a forward) is an interesting move, especially with the inside clocks of Berry and McCluggage limited already. Ellis-Yolmen has been forced to play more across half-forward for the Lions this year, but he and Berry have been used interchangeably in that role as of late… Based on the last time the Lions ran with this mix, you can expect a CBA share of 30-40% for CEY, McCluggage with a 20-25% role and Berry the likely loser in the 10-30% range.
  • Expect another copy-paste of the 55/45 ruck split for McInerney and Martin, with limited TOG for the veteran as he rotates through the bench (Big O still spends his down-time up forward).

Notable outs: Witherden. 

Geelong: Unchanged.

  • Do the Cats dare change last week’s winning formula? The key structurally will be Dangerfield M/F split, which in turns affects whether Duncan plays mostly on the inside or the outside – that then affects whether Simpson plays on a wing (good) or a HFF (bad). Unfortunately, Chris Scott is the only one with that answer and we won’t find out until the game unfolds, so make sure you’re exposed to either scenario.
  • In general, I expect the Cats to structure up similarly to last week, with the ruck splits the only minor concern with Stanley’s knee niggle – and I wouldn’t rule out a classic Geelong late withdrawal, either.

Notable outs: Steven, Atkins.


Brisbane conceded the 3rd-least points to KEY DEF’s this year.
Brisbane conceded the 3rd-least points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Brisbane conceded the 3rd-least points to KEY FWD’s over L5.
Brisbane conceded the 5th-most points to GEN FWD’s over L5.
Brisbane conceded the 4th-least points to RUC’s this year.

Geelong conceded the 3rd-least points to KEY DEF’s over L5.
Geelong conceded the 2nd-least points to GEN DEF’s over L5.
Geelong conceded the least points to KEY FWD’s over L5.
Geelong conceded the 2nd-least points to GEN FWD’s over L5.
Geelong conceded the 2nd-least points to MID’s over L5.
Geelong conceded the 3rd-least points to RUC’s over L5.


2018 Round 19

  • Stef Martin the main ruckman with Big O supporting.
  • Hawkins dominant with 7 snags (this was when Brisbane’s backline was diabolical).
  • Ablett midfield role.
  • Stanley solo ruck.
  • Dangerfield midfield role. 26 touches but hardly anything else.
  • Blicavs key defender.
  • Parfitt HFF role.
  • Stewart ankle injury early doors. Bews also picked up an early knock but played on. 

2019 Round 22

  • McCluggage and Robinson dominating from the wings.
  • Neale headclash in first quarter, did well to get to 101. 
  • Stef Martin still the main ruckman with Big O supporting.
  • Cameron put Brisbane on his back, kicking 5.2.
  • Dangerfield almost did likewise for Geelong. 36 touches as a full-time MID. 
  • Ablett MID/FWD hybrid role.
  • Atkins upswing with 11 tackles in a pressure forward role.
  • Blicavs main ruck, supported by Ratugolea.
  • Guthrie full-time midfield role (he just wasn’t elite in 2019).
  • Parfitt HFF role.

2020 Round 6 – Shortened Quarters

  • Berry an inside MID role.
  • McCluggage hampered by a shoulder issue early, low TOG.
  • Martin/McInerney with a 52/48 ruck split.
  • Bailey wing role.
  • Robinson copped a thigh injury, 53% TOG.
  • Duncan and Narkle both did hammies in the opening minutes, 6% TOG each. Game-time up for all Geelong players across the board as a result.
  • Simpson a big beneficiary, 102 AF after being moved up from HFF to a wing.
  • Ablett permanent forward.
  • Fort solo ruck, Blicavs a key defender.
  • Parfitt MID/FWD role.


BEST PICK: Joel Selwood – M – $11,610 DS 

Value is incredibly hard to come by at this time of the year, but it feels even more so on this slate, and an easy way to relieve that salary cap pressure is by going back to an ol’ faithful. Selwood’s 2020 in many ways has been about building up to the Finals series, playing a career-low 72% TOG over the season purely in preparation for a Premiership assault. Now, that didn’t go perfectly according to plan with the Geelong skipper injuring his finger in week 1 after being on track to nudge 80% game-time, but you would have noticed a definite bump in his scoring lately regardless.

I bring up TOG because Selwood is as predictable as it comes as long as he gets two things – clock and inside midfield time. You just wind him up and off he goes, crashing packs and stacking stats – especially in finals. His CBA Rates of 1.06 and 1.12 this past fortnight absolutely confirms the inside time and, if he can hit even a modest 75%, he’ll go close to the best value midfielder on this slate. 

BEST VALUE: Brandon Starcevich – D – $7,130 DS 

In a similar way to how Ryan Burton was discounted for Friday night’s game, Starcevich finds himself at least $1000 underpriced thanks to a big old duck egg (concussion) in Round 16. Take out that disaster and he boasts a lowest score of 41 in his past 5 matches – an excellent building block when you’re the 3rd-cheapest player available on the slate. Check out the recent history of guys around him in price like Taylor, McStay, Coleman and Gardiner and you’ll see why I’m high on the dour defender on a purely value basis.

BEST RUCK: Rhys Stanley – R – $11,870 DS

The differing ruck situations at either club – genuine solo ruck vs a genuine timeshare – is certainly a factor here. But Stanley has been DFS gold lately either way with scores of 77, 70, 68 and 81 leading into this game. The knee niggle he suffered late last weekend is a concern, but I’ll back him in if the Geelong coaching staff do – they won’t risk a cutthroat final on their long-time whipping boy unless he’s ready to go. 

Either way, it’s no more concerning than McInerney’s up-and-down scoring, or Martin’s limited TOG and bench rotation. Stanley looms as a lock for cash games, although Big O’s hefty ceiling (scores of 92 and 83 in past 3) can’t be ignored in GPP’s.  

BEST STAT: Mitch Duncan – M – $16,510 DS

As I mentioned earlier in the article, Duncan punching out a season-high 71%CBA presence was monstrous for his output and you have to speculate that Simpson’s (wing) inclusion for Atkins (guts) last week was at least partly to allow Duncan to slice his way through packs rather than languishing on wings. With Geelong coming in unchanged, Dangerfield’s FWD/MID split remains the only obstacle for Duncan to pick up where he left off last week, which was a season-high 123 AF.

Especially look to include him in Geelong stacks – Duncan averages a massive 97 points when the Cats win by at least 4 goals this year.

BEST RETHINK: Sam Simpson – M/F – $10,170 DS

Every man and his dog is going to be seeking Simpson’s services as a cheap MID/FWD on a slate that lacks safe value options… but should you be one of them? 

You can make the argument that, outside of last week’s 66-point score (in a 68-point win where 9 Cats scored north of 80 AF) and his 102-point monster to start the season (coincidentally last time against the Lions when Narkle and Duncan were both injured in the opening 10 minutes), Simpson has been consistently disappointing in DFS. Before the Collingwood game, his last 4 scores looked like 34, 49, 49 and 48 – are you really happy to pay a 5-figure salary for a player who struggles to hit 50 without a hill to ski down?

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top