NORTH MELBOURNE vs PORT ADELAIDE

Metricon, 7.40pm AEST

MAIN SLATES:
$60,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$5,000 USD on Draftkings ($12 entry, 14 max)
WEATHER: 19 degrees and mostly cloudy, possible showers in the evening.
BOOKIES: Port Adelaide $1.12 favourites, 120.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

The midfield mix remained almost identical to Round 13 for the Roos, with the only notable difference being a few CBA’s donated from Dumont to Higgins off his wing. Goldstein and Daw ran an identical timeshare to their previous couple of games together with an 82/18 split, so reduced ruck-time isn’t solely to blame for a Goldstein recession of late. McDonald’s break-out season continued with a team-high 86 AF in the thrashing from the Suns – if he’s going to have this kind of consistency, you can’t ignore him in DFS on any slate. Murphy (wing), Ahern (wing/HFF), Hall (HFF), Hosie (HFF), J Walker (key defender) and Scott were the less-obvious roles on a very dark day for the Roos.

Not a lot to report CBA-wise from Port, who have been very consistent with their mix in recent weeks. Rozee replaces Butters’ cameos but played predominantly as a forward, while Robbie Gray continues to defy his age with a team-high 98 AF in a 60 MID/40 FWD hybrid role. Lycett assumed a bigger share of the centre bounces this time around but his overall ruck contests hovered around 74% for the second consecutive week without the suspended Ladhams. Dixon continues to take the F50 contests, which allows Lycett to play big minutes if required. Sutcliffe came in and played a nondescript forward role in another irrelevant DFS effort – I thought he might’ve played a defensive role on Lloyd or something useful, but he had 120 AF points, so I guess not. Ebert was running around in his regular HFF role until a head clash ended his day early.

TEAMSHEETS

North Melbourne: Polec, Ziebell, Flynn INAhern, Murphy, Daw OUT

  • Polec replaces Murphy on a wing, L4L.
  • Flynn effectively replaces Daw, with Walker shifting up forward to chop out Goldstein in the ruck – although the big fella is set to run out a full game as the solo ruckman essentially. Perez is a rebounding defender who missed all of 2019 through injury but finally gets his chance. Averaged 65 in the NAB League which isn’t horrible, but he’ll be playing an accountable role in the back pocket this week. Worth a nibble – but only a nibble – at basement price.
  • That leaves Ziebell for Ahern, although he’ll play more in the CBA’s than Ahern’s wing if he gets up the ground from his customary medium forward role (which is no guarantee in his first game back from successive hamstring issues).
  • Leaning more towards Higgins full-time on a wing again, joined by Polec and some Dumont or Hall to round it out. In terms of CBA’s, Anderson and Simpkin should get as many as they can handle, with LDU and Dumont the next rung down in the core.

Notable outs: Ziebell, Cunnington, Xerri, Daw, Brown, Macmillan.

Port Adelaide: Houston, Farrell, Motlop IN Westhoff, Bonner, Ebert OUT

  • Houston replaces Bonner, back flank L4L.
  • Farrell replaces Ebert, half forward L4L.
  • Motlop replaces Westhoff in attack, with Marshall and Dixon deemed to be enough tall timber for Port this week. Marshall will spell Lycett in the ruck, but he’ll be hitting 80%-plus in terms of ruck contests here. Goldstein isn’t a great match-up hitout-wise obviously, but that extra time in the midfield should keep Lycett’s floor healthy.
  • At least there’s a clear role for Sutcliffe now – the 3rd “tall” forward (which he played as a late replacement for Rozee a few weeks ago).

Notable outs: Ladhams, Westhoff, Ebert, Mayes.

TRENDS

North conceded the 2nd-least points to KEY DEF’s this year (-4.7)
North conceded the 3rd-least points to GEN DEF’s over the last 5 rounds (+0.7)

Port Adelaide conceded the 2nd-least points to MID’s over the last 5 rounds (+2.0)
Port Adelaide conceded the most points to RUC’s over the last 2 rounds (solo Lycett)

HISTORY

Goldstein – 127, 96, 95
Higgins 135, DNP, DNP (inside midfield role)
Simpkin – 119
Dumont99 (inside midfield role)
Anderson – INJ, 91
Larkey – 89, 82 (3 goals and 5 goals)

Boak – 104, 127, 94
Houston97, 64, 79 (got the midfield boost)
Rockliff 48, 107 (midfield roles in both)
Gray 63, 58, 101 (forward roles)

PLAYS

BEST PICK: Travis Boak – M – $14,580 DS

The clear Premium option in Port-heavy sides – which most of your line-ups should be, considering where both sides sit in terms of their list focus right now. Boak is averaging 98 over his last 4 but still sits $700 cheaper than Rockliff, yet has an identical ceiling and a better floor than the Fantasy Pig. A no-brainer here in both Cash and GPP line-ups.

BEST VALUE: Robbie Gray – M/F – $10,640 DS 

Gray’s becoming very hard to ignore with his continued midfield time and availability as a FWD on Draftstars. Averaged just 51 AF from his 26% CBA presence in his first 8 games to start the season, but that’s up to 69 AF at 51% CBA presence in the 6 games since. Too cheap for his upside in a GPP here, and I’d be comfortable playing him in Cash games at this point too.

BEST RUCK: Todd Goldstein – R – $14,040 DS 

Lycett has given up scores of 84 (McEvoy) and 81 (Sinclair) since Ladhams fell on his own sword with a covid suspension, and Goldstein is a much better ruckman than that pair. Goldstein will be without all of his main back-ups this year – no Daw, no Xerri, no Campbell, not even Brown – so we can expect a full-blown ruck marathon reminiscent of his early-season ironman efforts. For the record, he averaged 99 over the first 6 games of 2020.

Lycett at $11,960 isn’t out of the frame in GPP’s though, primarily because shedding Westhoff as his back-up means we’re looking at a season-high in ruck contest attendance for him here. Lycett’s averaged 70% of the ruck contests alongside the veteran utility this season, which is capping his upside considering that the Grundys, Gawns and Goldsteins of the competition are all hitting 85% and north.

BEST STAT: Jy Simpkin – M/F – $12,710 DS

Simpkin’s output tightly follows his inside midfield time. He scored 63 and 61 in the past fortnight with CBA presences of 63% and 70% in those games, but over the three games prior he averaged 86 AF from 83% CBA presence. Chalk and cheese.

So the question is, do you think Simpkin is getting heavy inside time here? With wingmen in Ahern and Murphy omitted, that opens the door for Higgins to return to a full-time outside assignment, with Dumont having the potential to slide back into a hybrid role. Both would result in extra CBA’s to go around for Anderson, LDU and, crucially, Simpkin. An excellent GPP play at this price.

BEST RETHINK: Luke McDonald – D – $15,040 DS

He’s been amazing with an even 100-point average over the past 6 games, but I can’t get around McDonald north of $15k here (even with his amazing Ned Kelly impersonation). It’s important to realise that his 3 monster scores of 118, 123 and 121 came against the Crows, Demons and Pies – 3 of the top 4 leakiest sides to medium/small DEF’s over that period. 

Port ranks 2nd-toughest this season. 

It’ll be a stressful fade, but it’s the right call here.

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