RICHMOND vs BRISBANE

MCG, 7.50pm AEST

MAIN SLATES:
$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$1,000 USD on Draftkings ($15 entry, 2 max)
WEATHER: 11 degrees and light rain.
BOOKIES: Brisbane $1.48 favourites, 147.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

Richmond keeps copping injuries, and their KPI’s are simply an evolution as to how they deal with those. Edwards’ dodgy ankle sparked a mini-restructure with Baker heading forward to cover the Lambert role, a void Titch had only just been shifted forward to fill. His CBA’s were covered by committee, with Bolton (+21%), Dow (+19%) and Graham (+15%) given a few extra nibbles on the inside. Curiously, Dusty’s CBA share dropped to a month-low 70% despite the heaping injuries, and I have serious concerns about his midfield splits if the Finals drift further out of likelihood and deeper into fantasy for the Tigers. The backline injury woes were covered by a couple of new faces in Stack (51 AF) and Rioli (49 AF), but they were used as genuine defenders here and all the rebounding goodness was funneled through Short (107 AF) instead – he also took a huge 89% of the kick-ins. An in-game ankle injury for Chol (52 AF) threatened to cast Pickett as the lead ruckman, but thankfully he was propped up by the medical team and was able to play out the game – unfortunately for the Tigers, that gave Brodie Grundy an inch, and he took a mile (139 AF). Mansell (back pocket), Naish (wing) and Dow (half forward/guts) were the other roles of interest as Richmond desperately tries to keep their dynasty alive. 

An early ACL injury to Hipwood destabilised their hard-earned structural equilibrium, with the medical sub and one-dimensional inside bull Mathieson hardly a like-for-like for the key forward. So it was Deven Robertson who drew the short straw with a move up forward while “The Barometer” fought it out at the CBA’s ahead of him, losing all 66% CBA presence and managing just 27 AF in the foreign role. No such issues for Neale in his return from shoulder soreness/calf tightness, hitting a standard 81% CBA presence and scoring freely with 31 touches, 7 marks and 116 AF to alleviate any concerns over his fitness. Robinson (43 AF, wing) struggled once again with Neale back in the fray, although you almost have to remove this from the data set given the extra midfielder in Mathieson effectively added on top of that. The only other structural change was Ah Chee up in a forward pocket with the extra defender (Madden) added, although an injury to Marcus Adams during the week puts his short-term future position back up in the air. 

TEAMSHEETS

Richmond: Lambert, Parker, Nankervis IN – Naish, Collier-Dawkins, Dow OUT
Notable outs: Prestia, Edwards, Houli, Balta, Vlastuin, Broad, Coleman-Jones.

  • Nankervis essentially replaces Naish, coming in as the #1 ruck. Chol becomes the back-up, freeing Pickett from those duties, who heads to a wing to cover Naish.
  • Given it’s Nankervis’ first game back, I expect he and Chol to run a 55/45 swap in the ruck, with both rucks looking at 60%-ish game-time. Richmond have run this structure a heap over the past few seasons – it was actually their preferred Nank/Soldo combo at the height of their power – and having both Riewoldt and Lynch fit up forward almost guarantees reduced TOG for the ruck pair on Friday night.
  • Lambert replaces Dow up forward. There’s potentially some leftover CBA’s for a couple of forwards to take, but given that Lambert has had 1 CBA all season, I expect Baker/Graham to be given the cameos ahead of him.
  • Parker replaces Collier-Dawkins in the inside midfield rotation for his Richmond debut. While we’ve only seen Parker as a small forward at AFL with the Saints, it was his midfield prowess that convinced the Tigers to pick him up in the mid-season draft, and he’s dominated in the VFL since moving over with averages of 20 touches and 9 tackles in his three outings so far. I expect Parker to play at least half a game in the guts here.
  • I’m projecting the Tigers to roll with the same defense as last week for continuity, which means Stack/Rioli remain across half back and Baker remains up forward. I think the Tigers want to settle him into a role, and he looked really dynamic as a forward against the Pies.

Brisbane: Prior, Lester, Fullarton IN – Ah Chee, Hipwood, Adams OUT
Notable outs: Hipwood, Adams, J Berry, Mathieson, Gardiner.

  • Lester for Adams, with Payne/Madden to play taller. Lester looks like being the third offensive option in defence with this mix, and has GPP upside as a result.
  • Fullarton for Hipwood, key forward L4L. Will replace Daniher as the back-up ruckman, attending more ruck contests than Joe in all of his outings from Rounds 1-4.
  • Prior (wing) replaces Ah Chee (forward pocket), which isn’t great news for Deven Robertson truthers. Both he and Bailey likely lose some midfield time to cover the forward rotations here, while Zorko hasn’t exactly been racking the ball up lately (12 touches and 17 touches in last two) and could do with a lighter load up forward, perhaps?

TRENDS

Richmond has conceded the 4th-fewest points to GEN DEFs in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 2nd-most points to KEY FWDs in L5.

Richmond has conceded the most points to MIDs in L5.
Richmond has conceded the most points to ELITE MIDs in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 2nd-most points to RUCs this year.

Brisbane has conceded the 4th-fewest points to KEY DEFs in L5.
Brisbane has conceded the fewest points to GEN DEFs in L5.
Brisbane has conceded the fewest points to ELITE MIDs in L5.

HISTORY

PLAYS

BEST PICK: Lachie Neale – M – $13,860 DS

It’s a bit chalky, but there’s a reason why vanilla is the most popular ice cream on the planet. Neale has been awesome since returning from injury, scoring 111, 106, and 116 post-bye. Shoulder scares, calf concerns and a tight tag hasn’t stopped him in that time, and we’ve seen nothing from the current iteration of Richmond to suggest that they’ll be able to, either. 

In fact, the Tigers have conceded more points to MID’s – and particularly elite midfielders – than any other side over their last 5 games. Neale is way too cheap here at $13.9k, and although he’ll be popular, I’d attempt to be on the right side of history here: above the field.

BEST VALUE: Matthew Parker – M/F – $7,710 DS 

Everything relevant you need to know about the 2021 version of Parker is in the Teamsheets section above, but I do want to point out the tattooed Tiger’s upside – his VFL effort last week was monstrous with 29 touches, 10 tackles and 133 fantasy points. While he’s obviously looking at a big step up in the high-quality midfields of the AFL, this is still smash territory at $7.7k. DPP is a huge bonus.

BEST RUCK: Oscar McInerney – R – $12,300 DS

With Chol and Nankervis set for a ceiling-killing timeshare, McInerney is the obvious choice. But given that the Tigers, and in particular Nankervis-lead ruck divisions, have been spewing points to opposition ruckmen every week for the last half a decade, it’s a bloody good one. 

A ceiling game like the 106 he had against a Mumford/Flynn timeshare in Round 11, or the 115 he pumped out against a Blicavs/Ratugolea combo in Round 15, is absolutely within reach here.  

BEST STAT: Jaxon Prior – M/D – $6,880 DS 

Prior’s last 3 games at AFL level have been severely TOG-affected, with 0% as the medical sub, plus 52% and 51% the weeks prior to that. Reduced output was the inevitable consequence. My mail is that the young Prior was playing sore and needed the freshen up, so while the Brisbane midfield looks pretty packed, there’s still a really strong chance that Prior can return to his regular 70% TOG pre-bye out on a wing. 

At $6.9k, it’ll be hard not to return value if he’s out on the field for that long, and even the 51-point average Prior posted pre-bye would be easily enough to win a slate with. Throw in Richmond’s heavily leaking midfield, and Jaxon could easily upswing out on that wing. Really strong GPP play, especially in builds where you want to hit the high-priced Lions in Zorko, Lyons, McCluggage and Neale.

BEST RETHINK: Mitch Robinson – M – $11,640 DS

The trend is clear – Robinson straight up sucks when Neale plays. I’m talking 39 points worse off – Red Bull Robbo has averaged just 60 AF when the Brownlow Medalist plays alongside him, compared to a massive 99 AF without him (and both of those are backed by a significant data set). 

The Lions have added the extra wingman in Prior this week on top of that trend, so my confidence level in Robbo breaking the mould has never been lower.

 

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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