$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$1,000 USD on Draftkings ($15 entry, 2 max)



Marvel, 1.45pm AEST

$10,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 15 max)
WEATHER: Under the roof.
BOOKIES: Carlton $1.25 favourites, 167.5 over/under.


It’s amazing what a forward line that includes players over 6 foot tall can do for your inside midfielders! After swapping through full forward last week, bulls in Cripps (+14% share) and Kennedy (+39%) were both back to the top of the CBA tree for the Blues – Kennedy, in particular, enjoyed the role reversion with 109 AF back in the guts. Meanwhile, Paddy Dow (87 AF) posted the 2nd-highest scores of his career with 66% CBA presence, his 5th-straight game over 55%. Ed Curnow (pure wing) and Walsh (tagged, so started wing/forward at times to shake it) freed up the bulk of those inside minutes; enough, in fact, to sneak Zac Fisher (71 AF) back into a 44% midfield role. So while Carlton’s forward-line woes were solved with the returns of McKay (5 goals) and Charlie Curnow (1 goal), they were left to deal with another height-based issue this week – with Casboult still on the sidelines and De Koning sustaining an unknown injury in the first quarter, utility Jack Silvagni was forced to fight out the bulk of Carlton’s ruck contests. While awesome for his own individual fantasy output – SOSOS has averaged 91 AF since being promoted into back-up ruck duties 5 weeks ago and scored 126 AF here – it’s horrendous for Carlton’s midfield supply, losing the hitouts 70-11 against the Saints. Lochie O’Brien (wing), Newnes (half forward, wing overlap), Honey (forward pocket) and Stocker (back pocket) were the other roles of note, with Weitering and Newman sharing distribution rights in defence and both posting scores in the 80’s. 

Gold Coast’s ruck stocks are a constant fascination to me – not that it ever helps me in predicting their splits. Zac Smith and Burgess running a 65-35 split in overall contests was reasonably predictable, but Burgess still lining up as a forward when not rucking – despite King, Corbett and Jeffrey already up there – was not how I envisioned the Suns structuring up. Instead, they chose to redeploy wingman Lukosius (81 AF) to defence, where his reign as the lead distributor (a massive 13 kick-outs) was never questioned. Still, he had to play lockdown at times and his fantasy output takes a hit long-term with this switch off of that juicy Gold Coast wing. Anderson (80 AF), Rowell (70 AF) and Swallow (103 AF) all enjoyed picking up the extra midfield time – even if it was on a wing as opposed to the guts – although Swallow’s role changed at half-time with a tagging assignment on the out-of-control Clayton Oliver. With everyone moving up a note of the midfield totem pole, Flanders (19% CBA share) and MacPherson (27%) were able to sneak some midfield cameos, but it wasn’t enough to change their fantasy fortunes in a smoking from the Dees. Scores of 34 AF for Sharp and just 6 AF for Ben King were further symptoms of that lopsided scoreline. Consistent roles elsewhere.


Carlton: Betts IN – Owies OUT
Notable outs: Pittonet, Casboult, Docherty, Williams, Setterfield. 

  • Glorious consistency! Roles are much easier to predict without a structure change, with the key takeaways being:
  • Plenty of inside time for both Kennedy and Dow. Both are still way too cheap and not to be smashed, especially up against the Suns.
  • De Koning has apparently recovered from his mysterious chest injury and walk into the easiest ruck match-up known to man. $8.8k is salivating, especially given that he averaged 80 AF in his three games prior to last week’s early scratching.
  • Silvagni remains his back-up and will attract suitors at $10.9k given his recent form, and probably deserves another long, hard look here with access to both Gold Coasts’ weak Key FWD and RUC trends in a DvP sense.
  • Fisher copped a few CBA’s last week and has upside if he retains them here – he posted a season-high 71 AF against the Saints.
  • Walsh has attracted a tag in recent times and Swallow is on standby if he gets out of hand early. Clips his ceiling slightly.
  • Pure wing role for O’Brien, which resulted in a solid 77 AF from 21 touches last week. Should be on the fringes of your player pool.

Gold Coast: Ellis, Townsend IN – Bowes, Flanders OUT
Notable outs: Witts, Day, Greenwood, Weller, Flanders, Markov, Bowes. 

  • Townsend for Flanders up forward. Mixed form in the VFL but cheap enough to consider if you think he can snag a couple of majors.
  • That leaves Ellis for Bowes, which gives Gold Coast a big choice to make. While they could simply station Ellis across half-back (as they did earlier in the season), they could also move Swallow to half-back – a role they’ve burdened him with randomly over the past couple of months. It would release the midfield strain, whilst also giving Gold Coast another attacking defender to pair with Lukosius given the absences of Markov/Bowes.
  • The other concern is that the mid-sized Townsend joins an exceptionally tall forward line of King, Corbett, Jeffrey and Burgess. I still think that’s way out of balance, so the Burgess to defence move I panned last week is still in play here.
  • Assuming that either Swallow or Ellis line-up across half-back, this is excellent news for the CBA’s and TOG’s of Rowell/Anderson. Both were already trending up with a boost in some form last week, and this gives them more room to grow. Too cheap to ignore.
  • MacPherson sniffed out a few CBA’s last week and that’s not out of character for him. Rankine and Flanders have been Gold Coast’s CBA cameo guys for most of the season, but neither are playing here – think we see Darcy get some minutes up the ground again this week. Shame his price-tag is so rude.
  • Watch the masses jump off Sharp after a 34-point dud last week. There’s merit in zigging while they zag.


Carlton has conceded the 2nd-fewest points to KEY DEFs in L5.
Carlton has conceded the 5th-most points to GEN FWDs in L5.
Carlton has conceded the 3rd-fewest points to MIDs in L5.

Gold Coast has conceded the 3rd-fewest points to KEY DEFs in L5.
Gold Coast has conceded the 3rd-fewest points to GEN DEFs in L5.
Gold Coast has conceded the 2nd-most points to KEY FWDs in L5.
Gold Coast has conceded the most points to RUCs this year.





MCG, 4.35pm AEST

$12,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 20 max)
WEATHER: 13 degrees and mostly cloudy.
BOOKIES: Richmond $1.46 favourites, 156.5 over/under.


Sunday was a horrible afternoon for young Tiger midfield chalk, with Bolton (49 AF, 13% CBA share) and Parker (63 AF, 0%) both sustaining massive drops in midfield time, while Jack Ross (46 AF) never got going on the wing. It highlights just how guaranteed and crucial Prestia’s inside role is, scoring 109 AF from his 75% CBA share, despite it being his return game from yet another hamstring injury this year – I thought they might have managed him slightly. Still, there was enough midfield time to go around if Richmond wanted to keep backing in their youth; instead, they maxed out the midfield minutes of veterans Cotchin (99 AF, +30% CBA share) and Edwards (+35%) as a hunt for 8th spot intensifies. Baker essentially rotated through a wing with Edwards, which again allowed a backline of Mansell deep and Short/Stack/Rioli across half back to build some more momentum as a defensive unit. We saw this bear fruit with a career-best game from Stack – in both fantasy (99 AF) and influence – with the young Tiger even topping the reigning B&F winner in Short (88 AF) with his 25 touches and 10 marks in defense. All other roles as expected, all the way down to another 65/35 ruck split between Nank and Chol, with the former again on managed minutes at 68% game-time.

The absences of Cunnington and Thomas left a huge dent in North’s preferred midfield mix, so extra minutes were up for grabs for those who were hard done by with the suddenly-bare injury list in Round 19. LDU (+33% CBA share) and Anderson (+41%) were the obvious options given their resumes, but young guns in Phillips (+15%) and Taylor (+22%) also got involved in the giveaways – the imminent return of Tarryn Thomas puts those extra cameos in danger, though. As expected, Simpkin (83%) was allowed to play an offensive midfield role this week and accumulated 106 AF as the big man on campus in the guts. The push for youth also saw Tristan take his biggest share of the ruck Xerri (boom-tish) for the year with 38%; it’s very conceivable that Goldstein will continue to concede contests to the future of North’s ruck over the final few weeks of the season. The ball spent a disproportionate amount of time in Geelong’s forward line so while North’s roles were largely consistent, the heat maps were skewed towards defence – McDonald/Dumont were the primary wingmen who found themselves in defensive 50 a bunch, Polec covered the wing overlap from a forward flank, while Stephenson/Scott were nominal forwards but won most of their touches pushing up to a wing. 


Richmond: Coleman-Jones, Ralphsmith, McIntosh, Rioli Jnr, Vlastuin IN – Ross, Aarts, Castagna, Chol, Garthwaite OUT
Notable outs: Martin, Houli, Balta, Broad, Ross, Chol. 

  • Coleman-Jones for Chol, back-up ruck L4L.
  • McIntosh for Ross, wing L4L.
  • Ralphsmith/Rioli Jnr for Aarts/Castanga, small forward L4L’s. Ralphsmith has played both ends for Richmond, but has settled into a forward gig at VFL level.
  • Vlastuin for Garthwaite, defender L4L.
  • That just leaves the odd roles for the Tigers to sort out. I don’t think moving Bolton to a heavily forward role work at all for Richmond last week so I’d expect him to play at least some more inside minutes, while Edwards/Baker have been thrown into whichever gaps Hardwick leaves in the side.
  • Parker was a pure forward last week and I haven’t seen anything that would suggest a flip back to midfield time, sadly.
  • Cotchin and especially Prestia are too cheap given the full-time inside roles, plus the fact that Richmond are on the brink of finals elimination.
  • Both Stack and Rioli have had big outings in defence over the past fortnight and loom as worthy alternatives to a much pricier Short.

North: Bonar, Zurhaar, Thomas, Campbell IN – Bosenavulagi, Polec, Phillips, Xerri OUT
Notable outs: Cunnington, Corr. 

  • Bonar for Bosenavulagi, small defender L4L. Has an opportunity to play a more attacking role here than normal, and has shown a ceiling with scores of 94, 71 over the course of the year. First game back from injury cools my optimism, though.
  • Campbell for Xerri, back-up ruck L4L.
  • Still think Goldstein continues to trend down.
  • Thomas for Phillips, part-time midfielder L4L – although he’ll get more CBA’s than the rookie he replaces. Might tone down the midfield time for a LDU/Anderson type.
  • That leaves Zurhaar (marking forward) for Polec (half forward/wing overlap), which releases Stephenson back up the ground. This is his best role for weeks, and we all know what his ceiling looks like.


Richmond has conceded the 2nd-most points to MIDs in L5.
Richmond has conceded the most points to ELITE MIDs in L5.
Richmond has conceded the fewest points to RUCs in L3 (since Nank returned)

North has conceded the 3rd-most points to GEN DEFs in L5.
North has conceded the fewest points to MIDs in L5.
North has conceded the 2nd-fewest points to ELITE MIDs in L5.
North has conceded the 4th-most points to RUCs this year.





Adelaide Oval, 7.40pm AEST

$15,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 25 max)
WEATHER: 11 degrees and partly cloudy, showers earlier in the day.
BOOKIES: Port Adelaide $1.13 favourites, 160.5 over/under.


Very little to report back on the Crows this week, whose only change in the midfield was extra rotations for Berry (+33%) at Schoenberg’s (-31%) expense – this was heavily linked to Berry’s redeployment to a tagging role on Libba in the second half. As with the North-Geelong game, the ball was stuck up in the Bulldogs’ forward line for much of the game – so while Brodie Smith was technically a wingman, he was forced back into defensive 50 so often that he might as well have played as a half-back. A 4th-quarter corkie for Chayce Jones made that official, with medical sub Mackay stepping into the wing role for the final term. Incredibly consistent roles elsewhere.

Port took their first steps towards re-integrating their highly-talented forward prodigies back into the midfield rotation after injury-plagued seasons, with Butters (88 AF from +29% CBA share) having his best fantasy game since Round 2 and Rozee (+23%) attending a personal-high in centre bounces since Round 3. Port will want them firing on all cylinders for the finals, so expect the dynamic pair to cement these part-time midfield roles – injuries permitting, both for themselves and fellow Port forwards – over the last few weeks of the home-and-away season. Powell-Pepper’s reduction is the flip-side of that, while Boak/Wines/Drew can all expect to pick up a few extra stints across half forward, as they did here with small CBA drops apiece. Very consistent roles elsewhere for the Power, who have finally settled their outside roles – Burton (108 AF) and Bonner (85 AF) are the primary rebounders from half-back, Bergman (74 AF) plays both lockdown/attacking as needed and Houston (55 AF) is still struggling to have an impact in his wing role. 


Adelaide: Cook, Thilthorpe, Mackay IN – Walker, Berry, Rowe OUT
Notable outs: Brown, Talia, Crouch, Walker, Berry. 

  • Thilthorpe for the very naughty Walker, key forward L4L. Can see either Filthy or Himmelberg taking the back-up ruck duties, but honestly, it doesn’t move the needle significantly either way.
  • Mackay for Berry as a part-time midfielder replacement, but will cover the wing rather than the CBA’s. Schoenberg receives a big boost here, with only the possibility of a Wines tagging assignment curtailing my interest in his services.
  • Cook for Rowe, forward L4L. More x-factor than accumulation, Cook will scale heavily on goals early in his career. Unfortunately, a likely lopsided Showdown isn’t the ideal laboratory conditions for him to gestate a decent fantasy total.
  • With Jones overcoming a corkie, Brodie Smith presumably retains his wing gig.

Port: Gray IN – Marshall OUT
Notable outs: Marshall. 

  • Port were heavy up front, so they return to a more balanced structure with Gray for Marshall.
  • This is just speculation, but the loss of a key forward could result in a more favourable ruck split for Lycett, with Ladhams potentially called on to play more as a marking target.
  • Saw last week that Port made strides in reintroducing Butters/Rozee to the midfield group. I still think they push forward with that plan, and while Gray should play pure forward in his first game back from injury, he enters the same conversation in the future.


Adelaide has conceded the 4th-most points to GEN DEFs in L5.
Adelaide has conceded the most points to GEN FWDs in L5.
Adelaide has conceded the 5th-fewest points to MIDs in L5.
Adelaide has conceded the 5th-fewest points to ELITE MIDs in L5.

Port has conceded the 3rd-fewest points to GEN FWDs in L5.
Port has conceded the 2nd-fewest points to MIDs in L5.





Marvel, 7.40pm AEST

$10,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 15 max)
WEATHER: Under the roof.
BOOKIES: Sydney $1.40 favourites, 166.5 over/under.


St Kilda’s new midfield hierarchy continues to take shape after a violent Round 19 shake-up, with Steele (81% CBA share) the undisputed leader, followed by Jones/Dunstan (63%) on the next tier down and Crouch/Ross (roughly 40%) in hybrid roles to round out the core; Crouch’s non-CBA time was spent across half forward, while Ross’ was spent on the wing chasing Sam Walsh around. It’s hard not to notice how closely the scoring followed the CBA’s for that quintet, so tracking and predicting the inside time will be the key to unlocking St Kilda’s best fantasy value picks moving forward. A late withdrawal from Ryder thrust Rowan Marshall into the #1 ruck role, despite Paul Hunter coming in as the late inclusion and presumably less effective than Marshall as a forward. Instead, they ran a 65/30 split in Rowan’s favour and, as if he didn’t need anything else to go his way – Carlton ruckman De Koning succumbed to injury in the first quarter and Marshall rode the wave of good fortune to a career-high 139 AF. Less fortunate was Hunter Clark who picked up another concussion late, courtesy of his ferocious attack on the footy. Billings (pure wing), Byrnes (wing overlap from a HFF), Hill (half back) and Connolly (back pocket) were the other roles of note, with Howard’s hamstring injury pushing Ross to half-back in the final quarter as the medical sub (and surprise debutant) Sharman plied his trade as a key forward.

Callum Mills wasted no time asserting his dominance fresh out of a stint in quarantine, pumping out a career-high 152 AF in a flawless midfield display. His return came at the expense of Rowbottom in the squad, but given that both James’ TOG and midfield time have been limited lately, Mills predictably had to peck at the CBA’s heaped onto the plates of veterans Parker (-7%) and Kennedy (-20%) over the past fortnight. Meanwhile, another power struggle emerged in the midfield group with McInerney (+57%) and Hewett (-42%) essentially flipping roles at half time – and the role change revealed itself with a mediocre 67 AF from sometimes-tagger Hewett, while McInerney produced just the second fantasy ton of his short career. Dawson picked up right where he left off in a wing role thanks to another quarantine returnee in Cunningham, amassing his 2nd-highest score of the season with 114 AF – his glass ceiling is starting to shatter with a more involved role. Lloyd enjoyed Dawson’s relocation, taking 100% of Sydney’s kick-ins amongst his 97 AF – this matches the 92% & 116 AF he enjoyed the last time Dawson positioned himself further up the ground. Expected roles elsewhere, from Blakey (64 AF) lining up across half back, to Gulden (54 AF) returning to a forward flank, to Sam Reid spending the last couple of minutes of each quarter as the spare man in defence. 


St Kilda: McKenzie, Joyce, Sinclair, Coffield, Sharman IN – Long, Howard, H Clark, Billings, P Hunter OUT
Notable outs: Hannebery, Billings, H Clark, Howard, Ryder, P Hunter. 

  • The Saints have loaded up on defenders here, even with McKenzie filed away on a wing. While moving Hill up to a wing makes the most sense from my own personal OCD perspective, I fear that St Kilda are way too far down the path of his backline distributor role to flip it now.
  • With the same dilemma a fortnight ago, they opted to move Connolly up the ground into odd roles – I’m defaulting to that here.
  • With both Ryder and Paul Hunter out, Marshall plays as a solo ruck for just the second time this year – his first was against Port back in Round 6 where he scored 124 AF. Lock and load.
  • Sharman likely to back him up from his key forward role. Scored freely on “debut” last week after starting as the medical sub, but Sydney is a tough mountain to climb.
  • Ross should fill a role of the wing, with the hierarchy between Dunstan, Jones and Crouch still unclear. The latter has been the bridesmaid the past fortnight, although Jones has more experience on a wing and could play a hybrid role that would include them both (while keeping Byrnes up forward).
  • I love Steele more than some family members, but $18.9k, on a 4-game slate, is testing my affection.

Sydney: Stephens IN – Bell OUT
Notable outs: Rowbottom. 

  • Stephens for Bell, half forward L4L. I have him edging out Gulden for the wing overlap role, but it’s close.
  • All that’s left to determine for the healthy, consistent Swans is the roles of McInerney and Hewett following the half-time flip last week. Either way, Hewett is trending down and McInerney is warming up.
  • Dawson remains on a wing. His famously modest ceiling is showing improvement in this role.
  • Dawson up the ground is excellent news for Lloyd. Kick-ins galore and should feature in your player pool based on that alone.
  • Blakey still at half-back but hasn’t pushed through to show a ceiling with a max of 79 AF in the five weeks in this role.


St Kilda has conceded the 4th-most points to KEY DEFs in L5.

Sydney has conceded the fewest points to KEY DEFs in L5.
Sydney has conceded the 4th-fewest points to GEN DEFs in L5.
Sydney has conceded the 2nd-fewest points to KEY FWDs in L5.
Sydney has conceded the 2nd-fewest points to GEN FWDs in L5.
Sydney has conceded the 3rd-most points to RUCs post-bye.



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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