Adelaide Oval, 7.40pm AEST

$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
COMING SOON on Draftkings
WEATHER: 11 degrees and cloudy.
BOOKIES: Port Adelaide $1.79 favourites, 149.5 over/under.


Boak escaped a tag this week, which saw his KPI’s return to normal full-time levels at the expense of Amon’s exorbitant Round 15 inside time, who now sits at a comfortable 50-50 inside/outside split in his midfield role. Boak reported hamstring tightness out of this game, so keep that in mind for Round 17. The only other significant mover was Rozee with a few extra attendances, but the impending return of Butters – who is better suited to an onball role – puts any significant midfield time moving forward in jeopardy. Likewise for Powell-Pepper, who is being given the unenviable job of playing as a forward pocket in the absence of a few first-choice small forwards. Sadly, Farrell joins that group with an ACL out of this game. The key to Port’s structure was how they were going to set up their many wing/flank chess pieces, and we ended up with Mayes (half forward), Houston (wing), Bonner (wing) and Bergman (high half forward) – which might’ve been different if not for Farrell’s injury bringing in the defender in Frederick and requiring a small restructure. 

Gawn continues to trend down as a premium ruck option in all forms of AFL Fantasy and DFS, surrendering the most ruck time to understudy Jackson to date – his CBA presence of 60% and overall ruckshare of 49% were both career-lows in uninjured games. Gawn hasn’t reached 120 in any of his past 5 games, a mark he needs to reach to even begin returning value at his lofty DFS salary. Melbourne mixed up their midfield rotations outside of the ruck too – Viney (-24% CBA share) was downgraded from full-time midfielder to the half forward rotation with Harmes, and that allowed Sparrow (half forward), Jordon (wing overlap), and Pickett (forward pocket) to sneak a few CBA’s. The Demons look to have settled on a backline method, using May as the interceptor and kick-out guy, while Salem is deployed as the main distributor off half-back – both can dominate on any given day with clear and separate roles. Salem, in particular, is on a hot streak of late with scores of 98, 104 and 126 in his last three.


Port: Butters, Clurey IN – Farrell, Bonner OUT
Notable outs: Duursma, Gray, Fantasia, Farrell.

  • Butters for Farrell, high half forward L4L. 21 touches and 2 sausage rolls in the SANFL last week suggests Butters is raring to go, and the fact that he’s already had a soft opening in the Ressies is a big positive if you’re considering him in DFS straight up.
  • Clurey for Bonner, which frees up Bergman/Houston with clear wing roles.
  • Allows Amon to play a hybrid midfield role.
  • Mayes to continue to scrounge stats across half forward.
  • Maybe wind back your regular exposures to Boak slightly following reports of hamstring tightness last week. Does he have his workload managed, either through CBA or TOG, here?

Melbourne: B Brown IN – Sparrow OUT
Notable outs: Nil. 

  • No mystery in these Teamsheets for Melbourne – they’re fully fit and have shown their hand in plenty of the proceeding 15 games.
  • Harmes (guts/flank) and Jordon as a (wing/flank) are still GPP viable but probably sit outside of Cash contention with reduced midfield roles.
  • I’m still very mindful of a Harmes negating role at some point in the future, and Wines is in incredible form at the moment. Worth keeping in mind.
  • Fritsch has shown a much bigger ceiling with 3 talls behind him this year, so crank up his projection with Ben Brown joining the side.
  • Keep an eye on the Gawn/Jackson ruckshare – 50/50 last week was absurd.


Port has conceded the fewest points to KEY DEFs in L5.
Port has conceded the fewest points to GEN DEFs in L5.
Port has conceded the 2nd-fewest points to KEY FWDs this year.
Port has conceded the fewest points to GEN FWDs in L5.
Port has conceded the fewest points to MIDs in L5.
Port has conceded the fewest points to ELITE MIDs in L5.

Melbourne has conceded the 4th-most points to KEY DEFs in L5.
Melbourne has conceded the 3rd-fewest points to KEY FWDs in L5.
Melbourne has conceded the 3rd-fewest points to GEN FWDs in L5.
Melbourne has conceded the fewest points to RUCs in L5.



BEST PICK: Karl Amon – M – $14,280 DS

With Wines priced out of contention for your core, most punters will turn their attention to Boak, even with his hamstring tightness concerns. This is why I love Amon – he garners nowhere the same respect or attention as Boak in DFS, yet has scored almost identically to the grizzly veteran (99 vs 101) over the past 5 weeks. He’ll never cop a tag with stars ahead of him, he has access to both the inside and outside goodness with his hybrid midfield role and he will always be more unique than that numbers suggest because of his low brand-name recognition. 

I’m not saying that he should be your most-owned player on Thursday night, but you should definitely be cranking up your exposures to remain above the field on the best pivot to popular Wines/Boak picks – he’s already scored better than the pair on 4 occasions this season.

BEST VALUE: Miles Bergman – M/D – $8,940 DS 

I’m still a Bergman believer despite the price rise and a Round 16 stumble of 58 AF, at least with a bit of injury luck on our side this time. Bergman has shown an ability to rack up when playing across half-back or a wing and getting involved in the possession maintenance game, notching 7 marks in Round 14 & 15 for scores of 103 and 74. 

Unfortunately, his biggest strength in his versatility is also his biggest fantasy weakness as he’s been twice asked to fill in across half forward recently with Port regular picking defenders as the medical sub, and Miles is always the circuit breaker when a forward gets injured. Last week, Farrell’s early ACL thrust Bergman forward and limited him to just the 2 marks, and even his 103-point total a few weeks ago was capped through Robbie Gray’s untimely injury that forced him into attack after scoring a massive 76 AF playing across half back in the first half alone. 

So, as I said, with a little bit of luck through injury, Bergman could be the man to solve all your salary problems. Fingers crossed!

BEST RUCK: Max Gawn – R – $15,490 DS

I feel like the 50-50 split between himself and Jackson ($9,490) last week was a bit arrogant – especially considering the Demons ended up losing – but I can understand the wisdom in managing Gawn’s body ahead of the 5-day break. But with Melbourne now dropping 2 of their past 3, I think the urgency in smashing Max for 70% ruck time returns. 

Hopefully the field loses a bit of faith in Gawn and pivots to Lycett ($12,590) with his four-straight scores of 80 or more – not realising that opposition ruckmen have never tonned up against the Demons this year, while only 2 from the 15 challengers have topped even a modest 80. 

BEST STAT: Bailey Fritsch – F – $8,830 DS 

The search for value on this slate is desperate and that’s what has drawn me to Fritsch, who I believe has some GPP upside here with Ben Brown joining the fray. Like many permanent forwards, Bailey scales heavily on grabs – his scores with 8+ marks this year reads 90, 87 and 77. As a deep forward against a Aliir Aliir-led Port defense, that’s virtually impossible. 

But the extra tall forward allows Fritsch to push further up the ground, closer to the action and far away from the prowling eyes and mitts of one of the best intercept defenders in the league, and therein lies his chance to rack up a few cheaper +6 combos than he’s been seeing in recent times. 

BEST RETHINK: Ollie Wines – M – $17,030 DS

$17k is a hell of a price to pay for one player, when you have just one option under $7k (Petty, who thoroughly deserves his price-tag). As good as Wines is going, the path to a winning GPP line-up with him in it relies on winning an unlikely series of coin-flips – not only does he Ollie have to hit a score of 140+, but all the salary-saving options you are forced to scrounge together have to fire on the same night.

Add in the mild threat of a Harmes tagging job on the 2nd favourite for the Brownlow, and fading Wines becomes clearly the correct play, at least mathematically, on a tight Thursday night budget.


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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