MCG, 7.20pm ADST

$100,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 165 max)
$8,000 USD on Draftkings ($15 entry, 18 max)
WEATHER: 18 degrees and partly cloudy, scattered showers earlier in the day.
BOOKIES: Collingwood $1.85 favourites, 163.5 over/under.


The absences of Zac Williams (suspension) and Jack Martin (calf) meant that a few Carlton players saw more inside time than they normally would. Zac Fisher won’t get CBA’s when they return, while Setterfield and Ed Curnow can expect to be pushed out to the wing as their AAMI dress rehearsal suggests. Dow looks like he has a set guts/HFF rotation going on, but the continued low TOG hurts his ceiling. Newnes was busy in a defensive wing role with 10 marks in his 104 AF, while his off-sider in Lochie O’Brien was barely sighted. Murphy cruised a HFF as advertised but struggled to have the same influence as he did in the AAMI, although Fogarty was able to hit the 70-point threshold again with an identical role. Silvagni was impressive as a much-needed tall for the Blues but copped the early injury and was replaced adequately by Oscar McDonald. Carlton doesn’t have a designated kick-in guy at this point, but hopefully the numbers continue to grow for Docherty – he could use the easy points. 

Adams’ return threw a spanner in the CBA works, with De Goey the big loser after a full-time midfield role in the AAMI series. We knew it would drop, but we didn’t think it’d be by that much – he was basically a permanent forward in the second half. Crisp (38% CBA share) …

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Carlton: Z Williams, Martin IN – Silvagni, O’Brien OUT
Notable outs: De Koning, C Curnow, Newman, Marchbank, McGovern, Silvagni.

  • Zac Williams returning parts the seas in the midfield mix. Ed Curnow can now move back to his planned wing with O’Brien omitted, while Dow’s  role security is under threat. Fisher unlikely to feature at the CBA’s.
  • Jack Martin is harder to project. A calf injury is never an easy injury to return from, so I can easily see the Blues managing his km’s covered with a permanent forward role (especially with Silvagni out). In saying that, Carlton were very keen to have him attend CBA’s this year, so maybe they want to see their ideal mix ASAP? Hedge with his exposures, but recognise that it also affects other moving pieces like Setterfield’s CBAs and Dow’s midfield time, too.
  • Murphy and Fogarty didn’t get the “high half forward” boost last week but the Tigers are a unique side defensively. I’m keen for another look and they might be underowned on last week’s modest output.

Collingwood: C Brown, Sidebottom IN – Henry, Ruscoe OUT
Notable outs: Cameron, Mayne.

  • With permanent forwards in Henry/Ruscoe out, the forward line looks even more sparse. Callum looks locked for a small forward role as a result, but who covers the rest of the minutes up front?
  • Hate to say it, but it doesn’t look good for the midfield clocks of De Goey and Elliott, especially with Sidebottom squeezing in ahead of them, too. Collingwood would love to keep them in the guts but they really need humans with 4 limbs and a heartbeat who know how to kick goals playing up forward right now.
  • Speaking of, Sidebottom has already said he expects to play up forward this week, which follows the logic I laid out with calf injuries in the Jack Martin tidbit above. Up in the air whether he rotates through a wing or the guts, though.
  • Sidey’s role strongly influences where Daicos plays. He was invisible last week on a wing so do they revert him back to the inside, where he trained all pre-season? Do they punish him for …

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Collingwood conceded the 3rd-most points to Key DEF’s last year.
Collingwood conceded the most points to Gen DEF’s last year.
Collingwood conceded the 2nd-most points to Elite MID’s last year.
Collingwood conceded the 4th-least points to RUC’s last year.

Carlton conceded the

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E Curnow149, 96 (inside roles)
Setterfield – 114
Walsh – 110, 70
Docherty – 103, DNP, DNP
Cripps – 100, 115, 146

Crisp – 145, 105, 98
Elliott129 (midfield role)
Grundy – 113, 149, 103
Quaynor – 105
Noble – 98
Sidebottom – DNP, 112, 111
De Goey – DNP, 110, 91
Pendlebury – 96, 90, 101


BEST PICK: Zac Williams – D – $12,140 DS

Blood is in the water with Collingwood’s midfield wounded at the hands of the Bulldogs last week, and while Carlton’s onball division doesn’t stack up with the Macrae’s and Bontempelli’s of the fantasy footy world, it does have real class at the top. Sam Walsh ($15,650 MID) and Patrick Cripps ($13,870 MID) will be hard to overlook, but it’s the value of GWS recruit Zac Williams that has me salivating. Z-Will scored a solid 80 AF in modest TOG in the AAMI and will be keen to make up for his delayed start to the season due to an undisciplined bump ruling him out of Round 1. The Bulldogs featured 6 midfielders to top the ton last week and we’re all familiar with Williams’ fantasy ceiling as a midfielder thanks to a few purple patches for the Giants.

BEST STAT: Adam Saad – D – $11,870 DS

Most punters will look at Sam Docherty ($13,810 DEF) to take advantage of Collingwood’s legendary kindness to DEF’s, and rightly so. But don’t forget about Adam Saad, who’s $2k cheaper and actually outscored Docherty 99 to 91 in the opening round in another friendly DEF match-up versus the Tigers. It’s no coincidence that Saad’s 3-highest scoring games last year (125, 98, 93) were his only 3 games with an (unadjusted) 5+ marks, so all it will take is a few of the cheapies that the Pies love to give up and he’s laughing.


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BEST RETHINK: Jamie Elliott – F/M – $11,430 DS

Collingwood are screaming out for players who can navigate the goal sticks and, along with the cheaper De Goey ($10,510 M/F), Elliott is one of the few Pies who can reliably make a scoreboard impact. Billy only managed a 19% CBA share last week so he was probably a fade even before Sidebottom was added to the mix and Collingwood dropped two of their permanent forwards.


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