$60,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 100 max)
COMING SOON on Draftkings
SYDNEY vs FREMANTLE
Metricon, 12.30pm AEST
$10,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 15 max)
WEATHER: 20 degrees and sunny.
BOOKIES: Sydney $1.30 favourites, 159.5 over/under.
CBA’s & ROLES
A bizarre last-minute scratching for a trio of Swans in Mills, Cunningham and O’Riordan thrust the remaining players into overtime hours, with almost all of the midfield playing significantly more minutes. This was due to replacement Swans midfielders in Rowbottom and Stephens having already played a game the day prior, so their TOG was managed with 46% and 66% respectively. Hewett owners would’ve been chuffed with the late change, with the defensive midfielder given more of a license to rack it up offensively – and he did just that with 30 touches and 95 AF in 85% game-time. Cunningham’s late withdrawal anchored Dawson to half-back at times (rather than the wing role he’s been enjoying lately), but he was still able to reach value with 97 AF. Blakey (66 AF) helped him out back there again and looks well suited to the part, displaying observable thirst for the footy with 18 touches despite a late ankle niggle. Lloyd’s resurgence gained momentum with another 96 points with the kick-in crown sitting firmly atop his head. Hickey continued his incredible 11th-year break-out with a 96-point effort of his own, with the vast majority of that logged even before his direct ruck opponent Flynn went down with a shoulder issue. The expected heavy workload also resulted in a bit of a tweak with the Swans’ forward line, with the vulnerable veteran Buddy (4.2 for 79 AF) playing deeper than usual, while Heeney (71 AF) was the lead-up forward outside 50.
Injury is the only thing that can stop the rampaging Sean Darcy bull these days, with the big lump of talent amassing 103 fantasy points in 3 quarters before a knee injury halted his advance. An earlier ankle injury to his deputy in Lobb thrust Fremantle’s ruck stocks into a precarious position, with Pearce (5), Acres (10) and Treacy (9) juggling the ruck contests thereafter. The midfield group weathered their normal fluctuations as they dealt with the situation, with Cerra/Brayshaw playing slightly more wing time to cover Acres when he was required in the ruck, which then allowed Serong to enjoy a small CBA boost that frustratingly didn’t translate to increased fantasy output. He’s hard to rely on even with elevated inside minutes – which is probably fair given it’s just his second season. Fyfe (64 AF) showed signs of discomfort with the shoulder issue and has to be removed from Cash consideration moving forward – he’s capable of injuring it again at any point. The clear roles devolved following the ruck situation but they were as expected prior to the injuries, including Banfield regressing the mean with 21 points as a small forward.
Sydney: Reid, Ronke IN – Stephens, Amartey OUT
Notable outs: Mills, Cunningham.
- Reid for Amartey, key forward/back-up ruck L4L.
- Ronke replaces Stephens, which gives either Gulden or Heeney (or both) a clear run at significant midfield time. I’ve gone with Gulden given the wing position has been vacated, but Rowbottom could easily be switched to the outside to get Heeney into some CBA’s.
- Both Dawson/McInerney will likely be needed in defence. Moving Hayward (or even Bell) to defence could free them up, but we haven’t seen either in the backline so far this year.
- Hewett remains in the guts. Played an offensive midfield role last week and a similar mix leaves the door open again this week – although fellow onballer Rowbottom won’t be coming off a game the previous day this time around. Will be chalk at under $10k.
- Likewise Blakey at $8.5k with the half-back role and the highly-favourable DvP.
Fremantle: Meek, Taberner, Young, Walker IN – Acres, Hughes, Lobb, Switkowski OUT
Notable outs: Lobb, Hamling, Cox, Acres, Hughes.
- Meek for Lobb, key forward/back-up ruck L4L.
- Young for Hughes, backline L4L.
- Taberner for Switkowski in attack, a height upgrade that balances up Fremantle’s forward line. Also gives them some insurance for the very possible scenario where Darcy (MCL) fails to get up in time for the game.
- That leaves Walker (half-back) for Acres (wing), with Aish moving up to fill the void. After 3 straight scores in the 50’s, I can’t see how this move doesn’t increase his fantasy output.
- Some leftover midfield time here, which could go to Walters in the form of CBA’s, or Colyer/Banfield in the form of wing time. Won’t be making any big decisions based on either possibility.
Sydney has conceded the fewest points to KEY DEFs in L5.
Sydney has conceded the fewest points to GEN DEFs in L5.
Sydney has conceded the 4th-fewest points to KEY FWDs in L5.
Sydney has conceded the 3rd-fewest points to GEN FWDs in L5.
Sydney has conceded the 4th-most points to RUCs in L5.
Fremantle has conceded the most points to KEY DEFs in L5.
Fremantle has conceded the most points to GEN DEFs this year.
Fremantle has conceded the 4th-most points to KEY FWDs this year.
Fremantle has conceded the 3rd-most points to GEN FWDs this year.
GEELONG vs RICHMOND
MCG, 3.20pm AEST
$12,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 20 max)
WEATHER: 11 degrees and mostly cloudy.
BOOKIES: Geelong $1.37 favourites, 154.5 over/under.
CBA’s & ROLES
As the tectonic plates of Geelong’s 22 shifted, there were a few surprises. Selwood (81 AF) returning with a full-time inside role was not one of them, nor was sometimes-tagger O’Connor sliding back to defence with Henderson rested. Cam Guthrie attending just 52% of CBA’s (while the forward-capable Danger took 67%) was however, which ranked as a season-low in uninjured games – his score of 118 AF was somewhat surprising without them. Narkle (97 AF) pushing ahead of Parfitt (103 AF) in the CBA’s was at least interesting if not outrightly surprising, and the pair essentially rotated through a forward flank. Low TOG for Geelong’s midfield overall remains an issue, clipping the ceilings of everyone involved. As expected, Blicavs (19%) still covered Stanley (66%) in the ruck from a key defensive post with Ratugolea a full-time key forward. This configuration kept Tuohy in his unique role where he basically gets to do whatever he wants – which this week was 30 touches, a couple of kick-ins and 108 fantasy points. The extra midfielder forced Higgins (86 AF) into pure forward status, although that was far from a death sentence with an uncompetitive Fremantle allowing plenty of opportunities for forwards; Dahlhaus (91 AF) and Close (73 AF) can attest to that with upswings of their own.
It’s hard to top the impact of Dusty’s kidney injury as a leading sentence for this paragraph, and the severity is heightened even more with the Brownlow Medallist playing as a pure midfielder in the lead up to his season-ending injury. Richmond are left with more holes to fill in a season that has made their side look like Swiss cheese at times. Nankervis’ influence cannot be overrated, with the returning ruckman shoring up a big weakness for his club while racking up 102 AF along the way; even Chol (78 AF) looked refreshed with a 50-50 ruck/forward gig in limited minutes. Matthew Parker (68 AF) played as a full-time midfielder and posted 41 AF in the first half in his Richmond debut, but the dream run abruptly came to a halt with a permanent forward role after the main break. Does Dusty’s injury revert that change moving forward? Baker (+29%) took Parker’s place in the second half from a half forward role, so maybe it was more about getting the fiery forward into the game after a quiet start? An early hamstring injury to McIntosh brought in the medical sub Ross, who replaced him in a like-for-like capacity on a wing. Lambert (his classic half forward role), Mansell (back pocket), Rioli (half back), and Stack (half back) were the other roles of note, while Graham was a clear beneficiary of the McIntosh injury with 97 AF on the back of extra midfield time.
Geelong: Rohan, Henderson IN – Narkle, Close OUT
Notable outs: Duncan, Cameron, Narkle.
- Rohan for Close, permanent forward L4L.
- Henderson (defender) for Narkle (midfielder), which swings O’Connor back into the guts as a tagger. Cotchin might have a rough evening ahead.
- Same ruck structure, which means the same combination of Blicavs/Stanley/Ratugolea/Tuohy that I’m tiring of typing out a couple of times a week.
- Midfield squeeze took Parfitt as a victim last week; O’Connor’s CBA time is usually significantly greater than Narkle’s so we might see the squeeze applied to Dangerfield’s midfield time here, too.
- Higgins still a pure forward.
Richmond: Edwards, Ross IN – Martin, McIntosh OUT
Notable outs: Martin, Prestia, Houli, Vlastuin, Balta, Broad, McIntosh, Coleman-Jones.
- Ross for McIntosh, wing L4L. Will be chalk at $5.1k and has justified it countless times before.
- Edwards for Dusty, guts L4L.
- Didn’t love the transition of Parker from midfield to forward last week. Dusty’s injury leaves the door ajar for a like-for-like replacement role in the guts – but Richmond boasts a group of about 9 players here who could run through the guts, so any midfield time is hard to guarantee at the tailend of that batting order.
- Rioli/Stack settled in defence. Haven’t shown a ceiling just yet.
Geelong has conceded the 4th-fewest points to KEY DEFs in L5.
Geelong has conceded the 2nd-fewest points to GEN DEFs in L5.
Geelong has conceded the fewest points to KEY FWDs in L5.
Geelong has conceded the 3rd-fewest points to MIDs in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 3rd-most points to KEY DEFs in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 3rd-most points to KEY FWDs in L5.
Richmond has conceded the 4th-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 (but much improved with Nank last week).
ESSENDON vs GWS
Metricon, 6.10pm AEST
$15,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 25 max)
WEATHER: 14 degrees and clear.
BOOKIES: Essendon $1.62 favourites, 162.5 over/under.
CBA’s & ROLES
Extra midfield time for Devon Smith (29%) was the eventual consequence of the Langford injury from Round 17, so the Bombers will be hoping that Shiel (or anyone) is healthy soon – Smith was painfully out of his depth. Could they put some more trust in Durham as a hybrid midfielder, perhaps? The mid-season recruit was impressive on a wing on debut, looking up to the level with 49 AF and racking up a team-high GPS count. The lack of a tag this week had Parish back into maxed inside minutes, and his scoring reflected the easier run with 34 touches 128 AF. Heppell (88 AF) returned and all the backline value evaporated as we suspected it might; the skipper stepped on Ridley’s (76 AF) toes at the kick-ins as well as Hind’s (79 AF) with the distribution duties across half-back. Most other roles as expected, with Guelfi (wing overlap), Perkins (permanent forward) and late inclusion Ham (forward pocket) the few worth clarifying.
The Giants were riding the wave of youthful exuberance in the ruck with Matt Flynn showing what he could achieve with the keys to the city, but a 3rd-quarter shoulder injury ended his evening early, stranding him on 71 AF. The ruck position suddenly looks very grim for GWS, with Mumford supposed to miss another week while third-stringer Briggs will presumably miss due to Covid protocols. Of course, stand-in skipper Toby Greene missed the game completely with those same last minute quarantine requirements, but luckily a like-for-like in Bruhn was on standby to replace him. Josh Kelly (86 AF) is another key cog under an injury cloud, managing just 56% game-time with a recurrence of his ankle issue. On the flipside, skipper Coniglio (64 AF) got through unscathed as the Giants managed his loads up forward with just 45% of his game-time spent in the midfield – expect that to grow steadily over the next few weeks. Perryman (85 AF) has now risen clearly to the top of the GWS defender rankings with more mediocre scores from previous contenders in Cumming (68 AF) and Haynes (43 AF) – they’ve proven to rely too heavily on kick-outs and intercept marks, respectively. O’Halloran (small forward) and Kennedy (wing) were the other roles of interest, while Finlayson’s inclusion meant that Ward was allowed full respite from the back-up ruck role.
Essendon: Shiel, Zaharakis IN – Waterman, Guelfi OUT
Notable outs: McGrath, Caldwell, Langford.
- Zaharakis for Guelfi, half forward/wing overlap L4L.
- Shiel for Waterman, which puts a small squeeze on the CBA’s. The most likely outcome is a couple less for Stringer and a couple less for Shiel than what he’d have expected pre-injury.
- Either way, Bombers never have to see Devon Smith in the midfield again.
- Durham was solid on a wing and should maintain the role priority over Zaka. Cheap enough to go back to the well on him.
- Heppell remains a fantasy blackhole for those around him. Ridley/Hind are the main victims, while Redman/Cutler sit a few lengths back.
GWS: Ash, Whitfield, Mumford IN – Finlayson, Coniglio, Flynn OUT
Notable outs: Greene, Coniglio, Kelly*, Preuss, Flynn, Briggs.
- Mumford for Flynn, solo ruck L4L. The big boy is sore, so be careful with his exposures.
- GWS like to use Whitfield as a sweeper, so he replaces Conigilio in the midfield, with Ward moving back to the inside.
- Perryman/Ash interchangeable in their wing/half-back positions in the above table.
- GWS could move Reid forward to spread out the load, but have been loathe to make that move with similar opportunities in the past couple of months.
- Ward was due for a rest, but could instead be thrown back into a back-up ruck role over Himmelberg, similar to what the Giants ran with a fortnight ago. Wide range of outcomes here for the veteran.
- Kelly is in doubt with an ankle issue out of last week. Take extreme care given GWS have the final game of the slate, or at least be prepared to Late Swap him down to Whitfield/Hopper if need be.
Essendon has conceded the most points to GEN DEFs in L5.
Essendon has conceded the 4th-most points to KEY FWDs in L5.
Essendon has conceded the 2nd-fewest points to RUCs in L5.
GWS has conceded the 3rd-most points to MIDs in L5.
GWS has conceded the 2nd-most points to ELITE MIDs in L5.
GWS has conceded the 2nd-most points to RUCs in L5.
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.