Gabba, 7.10pm AEST

$50,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 100 max)
$6,000 USD on Draftkings ($12 entry, 17 max)
WEATHER: 17 degrees and showers.
BOOKIES: West Coast $1.77 favourites, 112.5 over/under.


Max King was a late withdrawal for the Saints and they pulled a somewhat surprising move by bringing in ruckman Ryan Abbott as cover. This move further promoted Ryder as the solo ruckman (26 hitouts, 68% ruck contests) and cast both Marshall (15%) and Abbott (17%) as forward/pinch hitters – the problem in Abbott’s case was that he spent half the game on the bench while Marshall showed off his forward nous. The midfield mix was almost identical with the smalls, with a more hybrid role for Sinclair (0.46 CBA Rate) that allowed him to play more TOG the only significant difference. Hill is starting to regain some consistency on a wing, scoring 85 and 79 in his last couple. Ross didn’t bother tagging a Hawk this week and produced his highest score (73 AF) in 8 weeks as a result. Geary (back pocket), Lonie (forward pocket), Marsh (third tall forward), Battle (HFF) and Phillips (HFF) were the other roles of note.

Shuey and Naitanui missing from the midfield left gaping holes to fill, with Hickey covering the ruck and Sheed/Redden combining forces to cover the inside midfield minutes. Unfortunately, the 2nd-tier midfielders injured themselves for their efforts and the Eagles will be forced to dip into their 3rd-tier stocks. Interestingly, O’Neill wasn’t able to leverage significant CBA presence with the first wave of midfield injuries (Shuey/Yeo), but maybe he’s next man up against the Saints? The Eagles downsized with defenders last week which brought Cole and Nelson back into line with full-time defensive roles, but also left Jetta (calf) on a HFF before succumbing to injury. Waterman played the classic Tom Lynch “high HF role” and it paid off early with 2 first quarter goals. Gaff struggled mightily (44 AF) with a McLean shadow and might have to expect more tagging pressure in the future now that they’ve seen he can bleed. Ainsworth started on a wing but played defensive side, with every single one of his possessions won in the back half. Hutchings was on a HFF and looked to be tracking Johannisen before straining his hammy early doors. 


St Kilda: King, Hind, Membrey IN – Phillips, Marsh, Abbott OUT

  • King replaces Abbott as a key forward, which allows Ryder and Marshall to return to their preferred 60/40 ruck split. 
  • Membrey replaces Marsh, third tall forward L4L.
  • Hind replaces Phillips, forward flank L4L.
  • No structural change here means a few key things remain the same. Geary in defence and Battle as a HFF should continue, while Sinclair should play at least half the game as an inside midfielder again. 
  • Phillips’ axing only increases confidence in a full-time wing role for Hill (only mentioning this because he played some HFF roles mid-season).

Notable outs: Gresham, Hannebery, Dunstan.

West Coast: Brayshaw, Petruccelle, Brander, Naitanui, Hurn, Schofield IN – Redden, Ah Chee, Sheed, Hickey, Jetta, Hutchings OUT

  • Petruccelle replaces Ah Chee, forward pocket L4L.
  • Naitanui replaces Hickey, solo ruck L4L.
  • Brayshaw replaces Redden as an inside midfielder and he’ll definitely get CBA’s here, it’s just a matter of how many (as he might have to rotate through a forward flank with O’Neill). If I had to put numbers to it, I’d say 50% CBA presence is his floor here, given the players in the side around him.
  • Brander replaces Sheed on the outside, although this transaction leaves a big chunk of CBA’s left over. The Eagles would obviously love to use Gaff solely on a wing but they don’t have a choice here – he’ll be up around 70% – 80% CBA presence as he was in Round 6 earlier this year when Shuey was out the first time around. Ainsworth will soak up all of his vacant wing time and might even sneak a CBA or 2.
  • That leaves defenders Hurn and Schofield to replace forwards in Jetta and Hutchings, so a structure change is looming. Liam Duggan has already been confirmed for a midfield role in his 100th game, and the last spot is flexible. It’ll probably be a similar tactic to Round 14 against the Bombers where they ran an 8-man rotation, with Cole and Nelson spending bursts up forward.

Notable outs: Shuey, Yeo, Redden, Sheed, Jetta.


St Kilda conceded 3rd-most points to KEY DEF’s over the last 5 rounds.
St Kilda conceded to 3rd-least points to MID’s over the last 5 rounds.
St Kilda conceded to 3rd-least points to RUC’s over the last 5 rounds.

West Coast concedes to 5th-most points to MID’s over the last 5 rounds.
West Coast concedes to 4th-least points to RUC’s this year.


Steele 90, 74, 124 (no tags)
Ross – 94, 95, 92
Sinclair78, 121, 75 (all forward roles)
Billings – 92, 54, 119
Savage – 96, 98, 112 (not playing obviously but HBF’s vs West Coast?)

Gaff – 108, 102, 92
Hurn – 102, 108, 100
Kennedy – 55, 111, 88
Naitanui – DNP, 95, DNP


BEST PICK: Jack Steele – M – $16,540 DS

With the Eagles missing so many of their Best 22 midfielders, value players are in an abundance on this slate so salary isn’t really a problem. That’ll allow you to grab as much Steele as you like which, at $16,540, is rarely a luxury that we’re afforded. Going over the field on Steele pushes your salary to the point where you can start to unlock unique ‘Stars and Scrubs’ structured line-ups, while the masses stay safe with their comfort picks in the mid-range. 

Steele has been as consistent as they come with 6 scores of 90+ in his last 7 outings, and comes up against a decimated West Coast midfield on a short break in Queensland.

BEST VALUE: Hamish Brayshaw – M – $5,000 DS 

The middle Brayshaw brother averaged 95 AF in the WAFL last year and suddenly has a giant hole in the midfield ahead of him now, so you basically won’t ever get a better $5,000 prospect on debut in DFS. 

He’s likely to be the most-owned player on this slate, and the only reason I say “likely” is because he’s at an unusually saturated price point with Ainsworth ($6,750), O’Neill ($7,500) and Brander ($8,270) all cheap and destined for varying degrees of midfield time this week. Unlocking the right configurations of these cheaper guys will pay off handsomely, so make sure you’re covering all combinations.

BEST RUCK: Nic Naitanui – R – $11,690 DS 

The upside with Naitanui is that he’s coming off a rest and should be able to return to his normal ruck duties. He scored just 45 and 57 in the two games prior to his management, but those were in limited game-time and less ruck time (63% of contests). On the flip side, NicNat scored 70+ for 4 straight weeks prior to that, where he enjoyed his best TOG figures for 5 years, and that allowed him to duke it out for 74% of ruck contests. I’m shooting for his 70-80 point upside with this pick. 

With salary less of a concern on this slate than usual, Marshall at $14,340 also goes from being playable to desirable, even without solo ruck time – he hasn’t been getting it lately and he’s still produced a lowest score of 75 in his last 8 outings. I wasn’t sold at first but he’s just a really, really good footballer and can still impact a game as a forward. I’m keen to explore him in that FWD slot in combination with Ryder or Naitanui in the search for less saturated line-ups.

BEST STAT: Liam Duggan – D – $12,860 DS 

The mulleted man has already been confirmed to move into the midfield this week which will have everyone in DFS and fantasy salivating, but how much does it even boost his appeal? He’ll just go from getting easy mark-kick combos in West Coast’s defensive scheme (he averages 6.3 marks per game, ranked 10th in the league) to having to make up those points with extra touches and tackles as a midfielder. All things considered, those things probably just balance out for Duggan

You just know that the field will go hard on him – there’s nothing that gets a punter more firm than the words “more midfield time” – so you’ll have to make a decision here. Match the field and hope he’s got the talent to mix it with the big boys in the guts? Or fade and hope for a downswing that knocks out the majority of the field’s line-ups while keeping yours alive?

BEST RETHINK: Bradley Hill – M – $9,810 DS

Like Duggan above, you’ll need to make a call on Hill after scoring 85 and 79 in the past two weeks. You can be sure that the field has noticed, and $9,810 is way too cheap for a man with his talent in GPP’s. 

But you also know that he hasn’t had a role change lately – he’s had his opportunities as a pure wingman at many different stages this season and has failed to fire, so this falls into the “good form” category. With scores of 21, 27 and 31 this year, Hill is prone to a shocker every now and then, so going under the field is very much in play here.

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