RICHMOND vs ST KILDA 

MCG, 7.50pm AEST

MAIN SLATES:
$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
COMING SOON on Draftkings 
WEATHER: 11 degrees and light rain.
BOOKIES: Richmond $1.17 favourites, 158.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

Prestia is always the point man in Richmond’s CBA core, so his absence meant there was plenty of midfield goodness to go around. The Tigers opted to share it out by committee, with all of Dusty, Edwards and Cotchin absorbing boosts, while Jack Graham was given his most vigorous midfield run (38% CBA presence) in over a month. Coleman-Jones was purely utilised as a key forward this week, with Chol (93%) and Pickett (7%) covering the CBA’s and the vast majority of the ruck duties; Chol’s score might’ve been much more impressive than the 58 AF if not for the rough Naitanui match-up. It’s safe to say that Nankervis and Lynch returning in the near future presents an interesting riddle for Richmond’s match committee with their talls. While West Coast’s gameplan always lends to opposition defenders and Houli (127 AF) and Short (122 AF) certainly benefited from that, it was encouraging to see Vlastuin approach that pair with 90 AF and the lion’s share of the kick-ins. He even played on from half of them! Baker across half back, McIntosh, Caddy and Pickett covering the wings and Graham rotating through the half forward flank were the only other roles worth clarifying as the Tigers machine hit a small speed bump on their way to another assault on September. 

The Saints are currently in a freefall with their loss to the Crows, and combined with the Bye that often acts like a full reset for clubs, everything from their Round 13 structures are subject to change. St Kilda already prepared themselves for Marshall’s imminent return by squeezing Paul Hunter into Rowan’s usual spot into his usual ruck timeshare with Ryder – unsurprisingly, both returned pedestrian DFS scores. Hunter Clark’s broken face had the potential to warp St Kilda’s midfield rotations given he was playing up the ground once again, but thankfully Bytel was the medical sub and was able to replace him in a like-for-like manner in a half forward/inside MID rotation. Meanwhile, full-time bulls in Steele (133 AF), Dunstan (111 AF) and Crouch (121 AF) rolled on, and they need to be respected in DFS for as long as they’re pumped full of 80% of St Kilda’s CBAs each week. Brad Hill (74 AF) lined up on the wing but drifted back as the extra defender, similar to what GWS do with Whitfield. Byrnes was the part-time wingman behind Billings and Hill, and 54 AF is about right for him when he spends half his time across half forward. Highmore’s game is the most encouraging aspect of St Kilda’s structures moving forward, playing as a genuine intercept defender against the Crows and he walked away with 22 touches, 13 marks and 110 AF as a result. This is the DFS upside we saw in him based on his SANFL output last year, so hopefully this potent role continues for the rookie. Higgins had another big score with 103 AF and 24 touches from his half forward role, but a lot of that can be attributed to Adelaide’s DvP to those types in recent times (ranked 2nd easiest to Gen FWD’s in last 5 rounds). Long (half back), Lonie (forward pocket), Coffield (lockdown small defender) and Battle (3rd tall forward) were the other roles of note in a fickle St Kilda line-up.

TEAMSHEETS

Richmond: Prestia, Ryan IN – Caddy, Rioli OUT
Notable outs: Lynch, Nankervis, Caddy.

  • Prestia comes into the side and always makes his presence felt with a huge chunk of the inside midfield time. He likely displaces Edwards from significant CBA participation, moving the veteran to a wing that Caddy has been axed to vacate.
  • The debutant Samson Ryan comes in for Rioli as a forward, but they’re obviously very different players.
  • Ryan’s inclusion suggests that the experiment with Pickett as a makeshift ruckman hits a brief pause, with the gangly rookie likely to play modest minutes as a key forward/back-up ruckman. As with any $5k rookie on a single game slate, he’s worth a crack, but the AFL is a big step up from the VFL (where he averages 80 in his last two) as any player, but especially as a ruck/forward.
  • Pickett will likely cover the leftover wing time from a half forward flank.
  • Rioli’s omission and Prestia’s inclusion probably means that Graham has to slide back down to a heavily-weighted forward line gig. Scoring has been super inconsistent in that role so far this season.

St Kilda: McKenzie, Marshall, Ross, Membrey IN – H Clark, Lonie, Coffield, P Hunter OUT
Notable outs: Hannebery, Jones, Gresham, H Clark, Geary.

  • McKenzie for Coffield, half back L4L.
  • Marshall for Paul Hunter, secondary ruck/key forward L4L.
  • Membrey for Lonie as a permanent forward.
  • Ross for Hunter Clark, hybrid midfielder L4L.
  • Not a lot to figure out with St Kilda given 4 straight swaps, although Hill and McKenzie are essentially interchangeable in their roles.
  • Crucially, Highmore maintains his intercept marking role – or at least no one has come in to threaten that, and Ratten spoke following the loss to Adelaide that that he was highly impressed with the game and this is the role he envisions for Highmore moving forward.
  • Don’t love Byrnes’ standing as the 7th midfielder playing across half forward – will need a lot of things to go his way to return a decent score.

TRENDS

Richmond has conceded the fewest points to GEN DEF’s in L5.
Richmond has conceded the most points to KEY FWD’s in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 3rd-fewest points to GEN FWD’s in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 3rd-most points to ELITE MID’s in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 5th-most points to MID’s in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 3rd-most points to RUC’s this year.

*** NOTETake care with the Richmond numbers above, a lot were recorded during an injury crisis and two in particular – the GEN DEF and KEY FWD trends – are in direct opposition with their playing style over the past 4 seasons ***

St Kilda has conceded the 3rd-most points to RUC’s this year.

HISTORY

PLAYS

BEST PICK: Dion Prestia – M – $12,090 DS

With scores of 87, 101, 70 and 97 in full games this year, Prestia will very rarely let you down at this price… providing he makes it through the game. His role is absolutely assured, attending at least 60% of CBA’s in each of those full games – so all he has to do is go out and do his thing. 4 Tigers midfielders scored above 95 when they took on the Saints in Round 5 this year – the most they’ve had in a single game this year.

BEST VALUE: Bradley Hill – D – $9,640 DS 

If Richmond has a statistical “weakness”, at least from a fantasy point of view, it’s the numbers they gave up to outside types. Their unique defensive net (which basically bins any semblance of a forward press) allows opponents to swing the ball from side to side before attempting to penetrate Richmond’s reinforced defence, and that usually results in a bunch of extra kick-mark combos to general defenders and wingmen. Brad Hill fits both moulds perfectly. 

Taking out the dirty score from when Bailey Scott tagged Hill a few weeks ago (the Tigers religiously don’t tag) the silky user has scored below 74 just once in his past 6 starts. I’m happy to smash that sub-$10k salary for Hill as a defender, especially when so much of the field will be infatuated with an unknown quantity in Tom Highmore at $8,300 back there.

I mentioned above that Dan McKenzie ($6,890 MID) is essentially interchangeable with Hill, so naturally he’s also worth a long, hard look as a salary saver in the midfield.

BEST RUCK: Mabior Chol – R/F – $9,570 DS

Elevated prices for Ryder and Marshall in a timeshare has me pivoting strongly to what is essentially a solo Chol at a more affordable $9,570. He’s looked really solid as the big banana in the ruck, scoring 97 against the Bombers a fortnight ago, before battling manfully to 58 AF in a tough match-up against NicNat last week. Won’t lose a lot of sleep making this choice. 

BEST STAT: Dustin Martin – M – $13,460 DS 

One famous aspect of Richmond’s dynasty is the utter disdain they have for the Home & Away season, especially the first half of the year. In the past 5 years they’ve often only had solid – if not ordinary – win-loss records heading into the bye, only to come out firing for the second half of the season as the Tiger Train builds up an unstoppable momentum steamrolling into September. And no one at Richmond personifies that deserved arrogance quite like their superstar Dusty Martin

For each of the last 5 seasons, Dusty has taken it easy for the first part of the season before taking it up a couple of notches as the “real” stuff approaches. Check these averages out:

2016 – First half: 97              Second half: 117
2017 – First 8 games: 108   Thereafter: 117
2018 – Pre-bye: 88                Post-bye: 100
2019 – First 7 games: 78      Thereafter: 107
2020 – First 6 games: 82     Thereafter: 100
2021 – First 9 games: 81      Last 3 games: 98

We’re into the home stretch. Dusty’s hibernation is over.

BEST RETHINK: Jack Steele – M – $16,460 DS 

The best max-entry DFS players start to aggressively wind back their exposures to players when their prices start to creep past $16k, but I’d be willing to make an exception with Steele. Not only has he been in red-hot form since the Saints committed to an inside core of himself, Crouch and Dunstan with scores of 118, 137 and 133, but he’s also been the highest St Kilda scorer in all three of their past clashes with the Tigers (128, 115 and 113). 

Given that the Saints lost two of those games, it’s safe to say that Steele is fine to wheel out in almost any game script you might have written up for Friday Night’s clash.

 

Thanks to Morts at DFS Australia for his all awesome tools, plus websites such as FanFooty, DT Talk/The Traders, Footywire, AFL Tables, Draft Central, AFL Ratings, Daily Fantasy Rankings and DT Live for their various stats and references.

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