Gabba, 7.10pm AEST

$60,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$6,000 USD on Draftkings ($12 entry, 17 max)
WEATHER: 13 degrees and clear.
BOOKIES: Collingwood $1.37 favourites, 118.5 over/under.


Injury resulted in a changing of the guard in Collingwood’s midfield. Sier was the fallen soldier, while Sidebottom slid back over to a wing to allow the incoming Pendlebury and Elliott to resume their inside roles. Wills was back to his normal “reduced TOG, full-time MID” blueprint with Collingwood boasting a healthier midfield unit. Standard roles elsewhere – Daicos and Phillips rounded out the wing rotation, Hoskin-Elliott and Thomas were permanent forwards and the Back 7 was exactly who’d you expect. 

Daw was out this week which meant Goldstein was back to regular broadcasting, despite a late change bringing in back-up ruckman Xerri. Simpkin, Dumont and Anderson are clearly North’s inside core moving forward, with Higgins again stepping aside and sliding over to a wing role to help develop the next crop of Shinboners. LDU was on the next rung down – 44% was a slight reduction on Round 11’s CBA numbers but it’s enough for him to return value if he plays well; it’s the limited TOG that’s his biggest barrier now. McDonald is playing deep in defence but it seems to be working with the way North moves the ball around their backline before springing their counter-attack – he’s averaging a whopping 98 over the last month. Josh Walker was back in defence this week, while his namesake Will Walker won a lot of his ball in the back-half but was technically playing a high half-forward role before a hamstring injury ended his day prematurely. Murphy lined up on a wing but was capped by a nasty 57% clock. 


Collingwood: Mayne, Appleby, Roughead, Greenwood, Cox IN Reid, Mihocek, Brown, Dunn, Wills OUT

  • Roughead replaces Dunn, key defender L4L.
  • Cox replaces Reid, key forward L4L.
  • Greenwood replaces Wills, inside MID L4L. He’s been a defender for Collingwood in recent seasons, but had been training as a defensive midfielder this year and Wills’ omission supports that. Expect Greenwood to run a similar program to the man he’s replacing – low TOG and mostly in the guts in his return from injury. I considered a possible tagging job here, but who would he even go to with North going young in the CBA’s?
  • Appleby replaces Brown, who’ll play as a small forward despite most of his games for Collingwood  to date coming off half back. 
  • That leaves Mayne replacing Mihocek and, as always, he’ll be Buckley’s wildcard. I don’t see room for him in defence, and Phillips/Daicos/Sidebottom have the wings on lockdown. So Mayne probably just plays Mihocek’s unique role – a leading forward who provides options and contests between the arcs. Not a great DFS assignment, sadly, because we all know about his lofty ceiling on his day. 

Notable outs: De Goey, Howe, Sier, Wills, Treloar, Mihocek.

North Melbourne: Tarrant, Ahern INDurdin, W Walker OUT

  • Tarrant replaces Durdin, key defender L4L.
  • Ahern replaces Will Walker, with his position more up in the air. Ahern has played every role under the sun for the Roos in the past two seasons so I don’t have a great read on him – but the youth policy is in effect, which means he’s a decent chance for midfield time here. The back 7 looks set for Roos, so it’s somewhere in the forward two-thirds of the ground. 
  • Xerri remains in the team, which is always a worry for Goldstein’s minutes as his ceiling mostly comes from playing 90%-plus game-time while his fellow ruck brethren rests. Grundy as his direct opponent negates that, too. 

Notable outs: Cunnington, Ziebell, Macmillan.


Collingwood has conceded the 4th-most points to KEY DEF’s this year (+6.3)
Collingwood has conceded the most points to GEN DEF’s over the last 5 rounds (+17.0)
Collingwood has conceded the 4th-most points to MID’s over the last 5 rounds (+10.0)

North has conceded the least points to KEY DEF’s over the last 5 rounds (-8.4)
North has conceded the 3rd-most points to MID’s over the last 5 rounds (+10.8)


Adams – DNP, 135, 124
Grundy – 112, 104, 103
Crisp – 108, 44, 106 (down game, no role change)
Pendlebury – 95, 112, DNP
Sidebottom – 91, 94, 92
Daicos – 83, 104

Anderson – 104, 82
Goldstein – 64, 80, 71


BEST PICK: Tom Phillips – M/F – $11,800 DS 

With so many viable MID’s on this slate –  North’s youth policy makes all of Simpkin, Dumont and Anderson attractive options, while Collingwood’s stars in Adams, Sidebottom and Pendlebury will always be DFS targets – I’m going to focus on someone you can build around in the forward line. Phillips was playing a nasty forward role to start the year, averaging just 58 over the first 9 rounds (and 53 in the 7 goalless games). 

But that’s changed recently, with Flip back up to a wing and his scoring has followed suit, with 70, 83 and 78 in the past few games. A big factor has been Mayne’s demotion in the wing rotation (DNP, 3rd wingman with Sidey in the guts, DNP), which means that this bump is role-based and not simply variance. He’s too cheap here on recent form, and I expect that to continue. 

BEST VALUE: Jamie Elliott – M/F – $9,600 DS 

A 4-figure salary is simply too cheap for someone posting 71% CBA presence over his last 5 games, even if Elliott doesn’t have the ceiling on his fellow midfielders. 4 of those games resulted in scores of 57 or better, and the other (41 AF) was in an absolute smacking from West Coast on their home deck. 

North have been leaking to inside MID’s lately as they go with spring chickens in the guts, with Neale (104), Petracca (109), Oliver (106), Brayshaw (103) and Curnow (104) the players passing the ton against North in their last 5 games. Obviously, Elliott isn’t in the same league as these players, but it highlights the capacity for inside types to thrive against the Joeys. 

BEST RUCK: Brodie Grundy – R – $16,910 DS 

This is a purely mathematical proposition. Grundy at $16.9k out-values Goldstein at $15.8k in 99% of universes. History certainly seems to support this notion – Grundy’s 106-point average in his last 3 vs North absolutely dwarfs Goldstein’s 75-point average in the same games. Head-to-head, and certainly in Cash line-ups, Grundy is the only realistic option.

The GPP equation is far less simple, with all of Xerri ($5k), Cox ($6.2k) and Cameron ($8.7k) a couple of goals and a simple upswing away from blowing both of the big dogs out of the water from a value standpoint. I think you need to have exposures to those cheaper guys (in the ruck ONLY though) in the likely event that one of them randomly pops up with a strong performance – when this happens, sometimes you simply can’t win a slate without them. 

Of course, in the world of Coronoball, Grundy having an in-game rest with both Cox and Cameron playing is a very live possibility – and that scenario is disastrous for his buyers in DFS; because not only does he hit his floor, but his direct competition in either Cox or Cameron thrives. Take serious care with your exposures here tonight. 

BEST STAT: Luke McDonald – D – $13,250 DS 

McDonald is in some serious form at the moment, averaging 98 over his previous 4 games. Two of those scores were 118 against the Crows and 123 against Melbourne – teams that rank 2nd and 4th in points conceded to general DEF’s over the past 5 rounds. 

Collingwood ranks 1st. 

BEST RETHINK: Levi Greenwood – D – $8,300 DS 

With the below quotes from Collingwood’s own website, I’m pretty confident that Greenwood plays in the midfield tonight – which makes him a serious option as a DEF in Draftstars:

For some reason, I don’t think many people are across this so could be a good spot to differentiate from the field. Greenwood played 1 game as a midfielder for Collingwood in 2019 and scored 87 points (Round 2), then went back to defence and averaged 62 for the remainder of the season. Much of his previous midfield work for the Pies has been as a tagger – but unless Collingwood deems Simpkin, Anderson or Dumont taggable (I don’t – and Higgins will play on a wing) then I think he’ll play the Sier/Wills role this week. Low risk, high reward as a DEF in my eyes.

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