Marvel, 7.20pm AEST

$60,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 100 max)
$1,000 USD on Draftkings ($15 entry, 2 max)
WEATHER: 12 degrees and clear.
BOOKIES: Richmond $1.14 favourites, 166.5 over/under.


Richmond’s midfield hierarchy sifted out how we expected, with Martin, Cotchin and the incoming Prestia forming the core and Bolton filling a hybrid M/F role to complete the rotation. Edwards (61 AF) was squeezed out to the wing opposite McIntosh (57 AF), so it was interesting to see a pair of half forwards in Pickett (91 AF with wing overflow) and Graham (85 AF with CBA cameos) outscore them. The rucks are where Richmond’s role-based approach broke down with the debutant Ryan (knee) and Chol (finger) picking up injuries over the course of the game, promoting Coleman-Jones into his first AFL game with a significant ruck share, contesting 38% of overall ruck contests. This is turning into a huge area of weakness for the Tigers, so look out for Hardwick to pull some drastic moves in that department this week. Vlastuin was humming along in defence as the deep distributor, but a severe corkie at the beginning of the 4th term stranded him on 77% game-time and 92 AF. Grimes (76 AF) intercept-marked his way to value with a round-high 7, but injuries to the aforementioned Vlastuin on top of Balta/Broad (both syndesmosis) puts that role in doubt moving forward. 

The Suns are falling into that traumatic old pattern – starting a season with promise and youthful exuberance before fading in the second half of the year – so Dew is frantically trying to find the right mix to right the ship. Injuries that ruled out veterans Weller and Swallow didn’t help his cause, of course. But it did allow Rowell (57 AF) to significantly increase his CBA share with a season-high 77% presence (although it hasn’t helped his scoring just yet), and fellow inside bull Hugh Greenwood (93 AF) was given a reprieve with a +29% share following a season-low CBA involvement in Round 14. I predicted that Anderson would receive that boost and he was on track despite the hybrid role, but a wrist injury just after 3Q time kept him to 2 points in the last quarter and limited him to 49 AF from just 59% TOG overall. However, Rankine and Flanders did get the CBA cameos we were expecting, and Flanders (82 AF) in particular rewarded DFS coaches who leaned on him as a salary-saver on a rough slate for FWDs. Jeremy Sharp can also accept a vigorous pat on the back for his 79 AF at basement price, playing a full-time wing role to perfection with 20 touches and 8 marks. Ainsworth (half forward), Corbett (key forward), Day (key forward/back-up ruck), and Holman (pressure forward) were the other roles of note, which meant we had a familiar cock-block situation with Lukosius (56 AF) and Bowes (54 AF) both trying to play the same position across half back. 


Gold Coast: Burgess, Fiorini, Swallow, Collins IN – Z Smith, Anderson, Greenwood, Graham OUT
Notable outs: Witts, Weller, Anderson, Greenwood, Z Smith.

  • Burgess for Zac Smith in the ruck. I’m not sure Day is ready to lead a ruck division with just 2 games under his belt since returning from a long-term knee injury, and I don’t think Burgess is adept enough in the hitouts to play as a full-time ruck. Expecting a dirty timeshare in the 45-55 range, similar to the world-famous Graham/Burgess pairing from earlier this season.
  • Collins in for Graham, key defender L4L.
  • Swallow in for Greenwood, inside midfielder L4L.
  • Fiorini in for Anderson, hybrid midfielder L4L.
  • That leaves everyone else untouched – Lukosius/Bowes continue the cockblocking, Flanders and Rankine should expect to be drip-fed CBA cameos, and Sharp returns as a full-time wingman.

Richmond: Astbury, Ross, Naish, Collier-Dawkins, Lynch IN – Balta, Broad, Prestia, Lambert, Ryan OUT
Notable outs: Nankervis, Prestia, Lambert, Broad, Balta.

  • A lot of changes here, so let’s go with the ones I’m sure on:
  • Chol the main ruckman with Coleman-Jones as his back-up as we get our first look at the Riewoldt/Lynch/CCJ three-pronged attack.
  • Collier-Dawkins for Prestia, inside midfielder L4L.
  • Astbury for Balta, key defender L4L.
  • Ross for Broad, small defender L4L, or close enough. Ross was sent back to the VFL to work on his craft across half-back, and earns his chance following a 29-disposal, 15-mark effort over the weekend.
  • Grimes to play a more accountable role with the loss of talls in Broad/Balta, so might be a little optimistic to expect the intercept marking again this week.
  • Now we start to get speculative…
  • Edwards, Baker and Naish are left with a role in each third of the ground. These guys are highly interchangeable, but I’ve gone with what’s in the table for the following reasons:
  • Baker up forward. Has experience in the unique Lambert role this season (although Edwards has played that role in the past).
  • Naish on the wing. Has been groomed as more of a wingmen than a defender due to overlapping skillsets with Short/Houli. 32 disposals, 8 marks and 2 snags in a wing role in the VFL over the weekend makes that even more likely, in my opinion.
  • Edwards across half-back. Offers something different to that Short/Houli combo, and it’s a role he’s played at time in the past too. His flexibility is huge for Richmond’s role-based gameplan.
  • Other options include McIntosh or Pickett in defense, while Graham always has the potential for a larger midfield role if asked.


Gold Coast has conceded the 4th-most points to KEY DEF’s in L5.
Gold Coast has conceded the 2nd-most points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Gold Coast has conceded the most points to KEY FWD’s in L5.
Gold Coast has conceded the 2nd-most points to GEN FWD’s in L5.
Gold Coast has conceded the most points to MID’s in L5.
Gold Coast has conceded the most points to ELITE MID’s in L5.
Gold Coast has conceded the most points to RUC’s this year.

Richmond has conceded the fewest points to GEN DEF’s in L5.
Richmond has conceded the fewest points to GEN FWD’s in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 4th-most points to ELITE MID’s in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 3rd-most points to RUC’s this year.



BEST PICK: Brayden Fiorini – M – $10,780 DS 

Two games involved as the sub – one was a 70 in just 66% game-time and the other an unused 0 – has dropped Fiorini’s price down to bargain status. Add in the absences of Gold Coast’s midfield mainstays in Weller, Greenwood and Anderson, and the bait is simply too tempting to pass up. Fiorini’s looking at a full-time midfield role with those soldiers missing, and he won’t have a better chance this season to recreate his 123-point VFL average in the seniors. 

Fiorini will be very popular, and for a bloody good reason – the man knows how to sniff out leather. This is the chalk you eat. 

BEST VALUE: Take Your Pick 

With injuries impacting both sides, we have an absolute smorgasbord of penny pinchers available to us, and all in the midfield slot. Known quantities with the inside bull in Riley Collier-Dawkins ($8,360) and outside runner in Jeremy Sharp ($6,630 MID) are your safer picks given their exposed form in these roles and should be included in your core.

Patrick Naish ($5,890 MID) and Jack Ross ($5,170 MID) are more speculative. Naish has produced scores of 39 and 58 in his full games on a wing this year but his role is less clear on Thursday night. A big game in the VFL on the outside helps his chances of translating that role over. 

Same goes for Ross, who starred across half back for the Tigers’ VFL side. He was trained as a defender in 2020 for similar reasons too, so it’s fair to say that the role isn’t completely new to him. I personally think Ross has a bit of a ceiling if he can get involved in the chip-chip stuff, and his 15 marks in the VFL is a good indicator that he can play that mode. 

BEST RUCK: Mabior Chol – R/F – $8,640 DS

The best of a bad bunch, and the most encouraging part is that he gets to play part-timers in Day and Burgess. Opposition ruckmen have scored 19 points more than their average against ruck line-ups containing Burgess this year, so add that to Chol’s modest average of 68, and you’re looking at a very solid score at $8.6k.

BEST STAT: Matt Rowell – M – $10,060 DS 

77%. That’s the percentage of Gold Coast’s centre bounces attended by the future superstar last week, an extremely encouraging number even before Greenwood was ruled out for this weekend. I’ve been patient in recommending Rowell since his return – he always had to build match fitness and confidence before we saw his best again – and I think 3 weeks, at a $10k price-tag, is about the right time to get back on board. 

Thankfully we have so much value on this slate that we don’t need to do anything silly with his exposures – just take a decent chunk to make sure you’re in a position to capitalise on Rowell’s inevitable upswing in the coming weeks.

BEST RETHINK: Touk Miller – M – $17,740 DS

$17,740 is an absurd price to pay for someone that 98% of footy fans wouldn’t recognise in their local Woolworths, but given that we’ve got a plethora of value available to us and no one to spend all that cash on – Touk is the sole player priced over $14.3k on this slate – we get to spend up on a really safe option this Thursday night. Miller has produced just 1 score under 110 from his last 8 games – a pedestrian 98, by his lofty standards – and when you’re doing that, on top of a brisk 127-point average over that span, you’ve probably earned the gaudy price-tag. 

For the same reason, I’ll be looking at including either or both of Short ($14,220) and Houli ($12,790) in defence more than I otherwise would have, and you can look at top-priced combos involving Dusty and Bolton as FWD’s more often than usual, too.


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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