GOLD COAST vs ESSENDON 

Metricon, 7.10pm AEST

MAIN SLATES:
$60,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$6,000 USD on Draftkings ($12 entry, 17 max)
WEATHER: 18 degrees and clear.
BOOKIES: Gold Coast $1.71 favourites, 123.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

It was the same mix for Gold Coast’s midfield again, but with one interesting trend – Noah Anderson is sneaking into the CBA’s over the last 2 weeks with 18% and 30% presence. Miller was the one who made way for him in Round 9, while Weller was clipped in Round 10. It hasn’t resulted in DFS value yet, but one to track. Witts was still in the trenches plenty but his ceiling has really suffered since rolling his ankle a couple of weeks ago. Lemmens was up forward for his first game since Round 2, while Sharp was used on the wings but struggled to make a fantasy dent at basement price with just 60% TOG. Powell had a really strong game as a small defender. Lukosius has some serious fantasy nous about his game, always finding a way to score – whether it’s taking kick-outs or getting involved in switching chains. Greenwood returned to some semblance of normality with 5 tackles in his 71 AF. 

The Draper takeover hit a few speed bumps in the first half (9 points), but really revved into gear from then on with 22 points in the 3rd quarter and 21 in the last. The midfield mix was largely the same outside of the ruck pivot, except for one key change – McDonald-Tipungwuti and Parish swapped roles for a day. You simply can’t touch Parish unless there are injuries ahead of him at this point – if anyone in history has ever required midfield time to score, it’s Darcy. Ridley was dominant in his intercepting role but suffered a shoulder injury late in the game. Zerk-Thatcher’s 72 AF was largely built on the easy switches that GWS allowed to the Bombers (same goes for Hurley’s 79 and Redman’s 63). McKenna played a forward role this week and looked very comfortable playing more of an impact role, but it’s not a fantasy-friendly swap for him. Guelfi settled into the backline to facilitate the switch. Cutler has been invisible on a wing since his return from injury. Zaharakis continues to return value in his high HF role with 64 AF in a tough match-up, while Langford was limited as a permanent forward.

TEAMSHEETS

Gold Coast: Fiorini, Corbett, Flanders INSexton, Sharp, Holman OUT

  • Corbett replaces Sexton, L4L.
  • Fiorini replaces Sharp on a wing, L4L.
  • That leaves debutant Flanders replacing Holman, who was playing across half forward with cameos up the ground. With the Gold Coast midfield super consistent since Rowell went down, Flanders will have to kick off his AFL career with a HFF role. Any wing time would come at the expenses of Fiorini and/or Anderson

Notable outs: Rowell. 

Essendon: Clark, Gleeson, Bellchambers INTownsend, Hurley, Draper OUT

  • Bellchambers reclaims his ruck role from Draper.
  • Gleeson replaces Hurley in defence. 
  • That leaves Clarke to replace Townsend, which suggests a restructure. McDonald-Tipungwuti as a permanent forward would make sense after a CBA outburst last week, while Clarke has an opportunity for midfield time here. He was used to tag a lot last year, but Gold Coast was one of the only teams he didn’t have a dedicated job against. He’ll probably play a similar role to Hibberd when he was in the team – mostly across half forward with whatever midfield time he can scrounge together. Clarke’s range of outcomes are wide, so be careful with exposures. 
  • Ridley has been named but comes in under an injury cloud with that shoulder injury – beware. 
  • Langford can’t buy a midfield minute, while things aren’t looking great for Parish with the inclusion of Clarke, either. 

Notable outs: Heppell, Hooker, Daniher, Fantasia, Draper, Hurley.

TRENDS

Gold Coast has conceded the 3rd-most 80’s at 4.0 per game over the last 5 rounds.
Gold Coast has conceded the 2nd-most points to DEF’s over the last 5 rounds.
Gold Coast has conceded the 2nd-most points to MID’s over the last 5 rounds.
Gold Coast has conceded the least points to FWD’s over the last 5 rounds.

Essendon has conceded the most 80’s at 5.2 per game this year.
Essendon has conceded the 2nd-most points to MID’s over the last 5 rounds.
Essendon has conceded the most points to RUC’s this year.

HISTORY

Merrett – 98, 138, 91 (tagged by Miller)
Shiel – 113, 118, 93
Smith – DNP, 122, 98
Parish 81, 84, 76 (half forward roles)

Witts126, 79 (60 hitouts vs Zac Clarke)
Miller – 119, 78

PLAYS

BEST PICK: Zach Merrett – M – $14,980 DS 

There’s a severe lack of ceiling on this slate and one of the few places you’ll find it is in Merrett. He’s the perfect GPP play, with 3 scores under 60 to match his 3 scores over 100 this year. Gold Coast are starting to leak points to MID’s lately, and Essendon’s sluttiest midfielder is easily Zach.

On the subject of ceiling, Shiel, Miller and Greenwood are players you should target if you’re pivoting around Merrett.

BEST VALUE: Sam Flanders – M – $5,000 DS 

Not a heap of convincing cheap players on this slate, so I’m happy to have a nibble or two at Gold Coast’s lesser-known draftee from last year. Flanders averaged 23 touches and 6 tackles at the Under/18 Champs – slightly inflated numbers as most of that was as a midfielder, but it highlights his ability to find the footy. Hope for an upswing off a HFF at base price here. 

Guelfi, Lemmens and Powell are other options if you’re not convinced, but loom as more attractive GPP picks than your safer Cash-type contests. 

BEST RUCK: Tom Bellchambers – R – $9,440 DS

I would normally back in Witts ($13,400) against whatever mutant Essendon produced as a ruckman, but he just hasn’t looked the same since rolling his ankle a couple of weeks ago – he’s scored 55 and 49 since. 

So it’s back to the very frustrating Bellchambers well at an admittedly reasonable $9.4k price-tag. He should be fresh after his week off and has a great record against the Suns, producing scores of 95, 85, 116 and 93 against them over his entire career. I’m not greedy though – I’ll take a 60 and thank your mother for the chickens every day of the week from Bellcho here. 

BEST STAT: Brayden Fiorini – M – $12,000 DS 

He’s fresh, he knows how to find the footy and he’s coming up against a leaky Essendon – Fiorini has to be in your player pool this week. He scored 80 and 75 earlier this year before his most recent 38, which was the result of being more on a HFF than a wing. 

With no Hanley and no Sharp, I’m tipping Fiorini to join Ellis and Anderson in a wing rotation this week. Essendon concedes the 4th-most uncontested possessions of any side this year, which only adds to the upside for the fringe Sun.

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