$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$4,000 USD on Draftkings ($15 entry, 9 max)
WESTERN BULLDOGS vs GOLD COAST
Marvel, 4.35pm AEST
$10,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 15 max)
WEATHER: Under the roof.
BOOKIES: Bulldogs $1.13 favourites, 170.5 over/under.
CBA’s & ROLES
The only significant midfield change for the Bulldogs wasn’t even with the midfielders at all, but instead Stef Martin wrestling back his CBA’s (+20%) from his key forward understudy English. You don’t fix what ain’t broke so the roles were almost exactly what we expected across the board, outside of a last-minute change that brought in Lewis Young for Lipinski and bumped Johannisen up to a wing. Lachie Hunter (92 AF) is still in a nasty half forward/wing rotation that is clipping both his ceiling and floor. Dale remaining in defence was very interesting, and the role swap is starting to pay off with 85 AF. Caleb Daniel copped some team-wide attention from the Lions and never got going, posting just 20 AF in a night he’d rather forget – he was also suspended for a dangerous tackle.
These are some wild swings from the Suns, who are usually pretty settled in their midfield group. We already knew that Burgess and Graham were going to have to play above their height in covering Witts in the ruck, but massive CBA drops from Anderson (-47%) and Weller (-31%) came out of nowhere following an early injury to the defender Lemmens. The medical sub was the forward in Flanders, so the choice to send Ellis back to defence to cover him set off a few dominoes; Anderson and Weller to the wings as hinted above, plus Darcy McPherson coming out of the half forward woodwork to snatch 10 CBA’s for himself. However, we can expect most of these changes to undo themselves with Gold Coast able to restock the backline shelf. Huge props to Greenwood, who once again dominated without Rowell ahead of him at the coalface – his 10 tackles were courtesy of following Cripps around at stoppages, and I can foresee a scenario where he gives The Bont the same treatment this weekend.
Bulldogs: Sweet, Crozier IN – Martin, Daniel OUT
Notable outs: Daniel, Martin, Gardner.
- Sweet to replace Stef in the ruck. I feel like the soft match up (a ruckless Suns) is a perfect way to debut Sweet as a full-time ruckman, so I expect the Bulldogs to roll with their same ruck program with English playing as a key forward for 80% of the game. To sum things up – Sweet Chalk Day.
- Crozier in for Daniel, L4L. The Bulldogs seems intent on keeping Dale down back, which suggests that Johannisen remains on a wing and Hunter has to fend for himself across half forward.
Gold Coast: Corbett, Farrar IN – Lemmens, Ballard OUT
Notable outs: Rowell, Witts, Day, Z Smith.
- Ballard out and Corbett in gives us some more clarity in the ruck – we should see Graham swing back into defence and Burgess play more as a solo ruck (they split time last week) with Corbett as support. I like Burgess as yet another spend-down ruck choice this week; much more than in the awkward timeshare from Round 4, anyway.
- Farrar is a wingman by trade but should play across half-back, which will allow Gold Coast to regain their equilibrium in the midfield – Ellis can return to his wing and Anderson/Weller can go back to the inside and MacPherson drops back out of the rotation.
Bulldogs have conceded the 3rd-most points to KEY FWD’s this year.
Bulldogs have conceded the least points to MID’s this year.
Gold Coast has conceded the 3rd-most points to KEY DEF’s this year.
Gold Coast has conceded the 3rd-most points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Gold Coast has conceded the 5th-most points to MID’s this year.
Macrae – 128, 132, 151
Bontempelli – 108, 129, DNP
B Smith – 101, 85
Hunter – DNP, 94, 131 (pure wing role)
Dunkley – DNP, 85, 99
Daniel – 95, 96 (not playing but shows trend)
Johannisen – 104, DNP, 83
Williams – 89, DNP, 84
Greenwood – 120
Miller – 118, 84, 105
Bowes – 81, 98
SYDNEY vs GWS
SCG, 4.35pm AEST
$10,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 15 max)
WEATHER: 19 degrees and mostly cloudy, chance of showers.
BOOKIES: Sydney $1.45 favourites, 173.5 over/under.
CBA’s & ROLES
An undefeated Sydney is befitting of the largely colourless table above, so settled are their structures this season. Florent’s transition into a full-time wingman (-30% CBA share) is almost complete, and while some of that was due to Heeney’s broken hand and regular wingmen McInerney/Blakey having to pay their dues up forward, Rowbottom’s return is just around the corner. Warner might be looking over his shoulder for him too – he’s averaged 98 AF from a healthy 16 CBA’s per game over the past fortnight. There’s very little else to report from the settled Swans, with quiet games from Hewett (accountable defender), and the medical sub Bell (half forward) worth clarifying.
Big Sausages Mumford has mummified plenty of opponents in the past, but he’s never taken out a teammate quite like what he’s done to Flynn, who was actually ticking along nicely before being left out to “rest”. What GWS didn’t count on was this resurgence from Mummy, who not only quelled Grundy as planned, but went off-script by getting busy offensively with 78 AF. Brent Daniels was a surprise solution to the lack of de Boer and Coniglio from Round 3, taking 12 CBA’s that Hopper (-25%), Green (+5%) and Taranto (-5%) were probably expecting to receive. On the flip side, Ward made the most of it with a team-high 23 CBA’s, and although Kelly was +23% at the centre bounces, he was still needed on the wings with Perryman/Whitfield on the sidelines and Buckley sliding back to help out as a sweeper in defence. The lack of wingmen was huge for the Giants actually, with Taranto, Hopper and Daniels all paying their dues there on top of Kelly’s brutal split. O’Halloran and Stone were forgetful across half-forward, while GWS got their first look at the Finlayson/Riccardi/Himmelberg forward trident in 2021.
Sydney: Melican, Hayward IN – Rampe, Heeney OUT
Notable outs: Heeney, Rowbottom, Rampe, Naismith.
- Melican for Rampe, key defender L4L.
- Hayward for Heeney, medium marking forward L4L. Hayward played this role in the AAMI and it saves Sydney from having to switch up their winning formula.
- Still no Rowbottom, which allows Warner to have another big slice of the CBA’s.
GWS: Reid IN – Buntine OUT
Notable outs: Whitfield, Coniglio, Flynn, Preuss, Perryman, Davis, de Boer.
- Just the L4L in defence, which suggests we’ll see a similar structure to the one that GWS used to get a much-needed win over the Pies.
- Daniels surprisingly sneaking into the wing/midfield rotation was the most notable structural quirk last week, and probably escapes the attention of most casual DFS players. Could be one to leverage.
- Outside roles for Buckley (defensive wing) and Kelly (attacking wing) seem set to continue, and although Taranto’s CBA’s look skinny, at least he’s rotating through that wing when not on the ball.
- I can’t believe I’m saying this after he retired in 2017, but Mumford is cheap enough to consider as a solo ruck here… Especially as he seems to hold a grudge against his former club with scores of 102 and 113 in his last two against the Swans.
Sydney has conceded the 2nd-least points to KEY DEF’s this year.
Sydney has conceded the least points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Sydney has conceded the 3rd-least points to KEY FWD’s this year.
Sydney has conceded the 2nd-least points to MID’s this year.
Sydney has conceded the 3rd-least points to RUC’s this year.
GWS has conceded the least points to KEY FWD’s this year.
GWS has conceded the most points to GEN FWD’s this year.
Lloyd – 135, 95, 85
Parker – 135, 87, 100
Blakey – 113 (wing role)
Mills – 109
Dawson – 103, 89, 96
JPK – DNP, 84, 107
Kelly – 129, DNP, 113
Taranto – 78, 84, 130
Hopper – 55, 122, 118
Mumford – DNP, 102, 113
Greene – DNP, 146, 103
CARLTON vs PORT ADELAIDE
MCG, 7.25pm AEST
$15,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 25 max)
WEATHER: 14 degrees and partly cloudy.
BOOKIES: Port $1.77 favourites, 169.5 over/under.
CBA’s & ROLES
Ed Curnow (122 AF) proved once again what we already knew – that’s much more effective in fantasy as an inside midfielder than a wingmen or a forward. Setterfield in for the sore Williams was the only other significant change for the inside group, which means that Dow’s (30 AF) still not cutting the mustard with just 4 CBA’s. Cottrell finally hit his upside with 81 AF in a full-time wing role, outscoring both of his fellow astronauts in Newnes and Setterfield. Consistent roles across the board elsewhere, with Parks (back pocket) and Silvagni (third tall forward) both quiet, with the latter replaced by medical sub Kennedy.
Port naming an extra defender was always going to push someone up the ground, and it ended up being Houston with an inside role (110 AF in 54% CBA presence) rather than Burton or Hartlett with a wing gig as mused by Hinkley. Long-term injuries to Duursma (knee) and Butters (ankle) occurred deep into the game so the integrity of the KPI’s have been preserved, and it was interesting to see Rozee removed entirely from the midfield following an early corkie. Drew with a stinker (45 AF) despite healthy CBA time and Gray with a heavy forward role are worth keeping in mind. Amon (88 AF) had just the 1 CBA despite wanting to play a more hybrid role this year, and he can probably kiss that goodbye with Duursma joining Bonner as wingmen in the medical room. Jones was exactly as advertised on debut, scoring 68 AF and strutting around with the confidence and physique of someone a decade his 19 year-old senior. Aliir took over the kick-ins with Houston up the ground, and that instantly improves his floor by 10-20 points.
Carlton: McGovern, Williamson, Williams, Kennedy IN – Setterfield, Dow, Parks, Silvagni OUT
Notable outs: De Koning, Setterfield, Fisher, Martin, Silvagni, Marchbank, C Curnow.
- Williamson for Parks, backline L4L.
- Kennedy for Dow, useless half forward L4L.
- McGovern for Silvagni, 3rd tall up forward L4L.
- Williams for Setterfield in the midfield, but Zac should get more inside time than the man he’s replacing – prepare yourself for Ed Curnow to potentially have to slid over the a hybrid wing/guts role to cover the excess time.
- Cottrell locked for a full-time wing role and very cheap on Draftstars.
Port Adelaide: Marshall, Woodcock, Bergman, Mayes IN – Ladhams, Drew, Duursma, Butters OUT
Notable outs: Butters, Duursma, Bonner, Rockliff, Drew, Ladhams.
- Marshall for Ladhams, key forward and chop out ruck L4L.
- Woodcock for Butters but likely plays more as a genuine small forward, which pushes one (or both) of Gray/Rozee into a few more midfield minutes.
- Mayes for Duursma on a wing. Sam has been very fantasy relevant in the past when he gets the right role, and this certainly counts with Port having no choice but to milk every wing minute from them that they can.
- That leaves Bergman for Drew, which doesn’t feel right structurally. I’ve added Bergman’s name to the wing rotation in the expectation that Houston (hybrid midfielder last week), Rozee and Gray soak up the CBA’s instead, but his exact role is a mystery. Does he play across half forward, where he was drafted, with Port overflowing with defenders? Or does he slot back onto a half-back flank with someone like Burton or Hartlett helping out on those bare wings instead?
- Amon (pure wing), Houston (pure inside midfielder) and Lycett (solo ruck) all look locked based on these Teamsheets.
Carlton has conceded the least points to KEY DEF’s this year.
Carlton has conceded the 4th-least points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Carlton has conceded the 4th-most points to MID’s this year.
Port has conceded the 2nd-least points to KEY FWD’s this year.
Port has conceded the 4th-least points to GEN FWD’s this year.
Walsh – 103, 85
E Curnow – 101, 46, 95 (forward role)
Setterfield – 100
Cripps – 88, 116, 106
Burton – 108, 80
Byrne-Jones – 80, 108
Houston – 105, 75, 93
Boak – 103, 138
Rockliff – DNP, 115, 95
Lycett – DNP, 114, DNP
BRISBANE vs ESSENDON
Gabba, 7.25pm AEST
$15,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 25 max)
WEATHER: 19 degrees and showers, humid.
BOOKIES: Brisbane $1.28 favourites, 172.5 over/under.
CBA’s & ROLES
The Lions were instantly straightened up by the return of McInerney, which allowed Fullarton to return to an insignificant forward role and Brisbane to actually have some access to clearances. Fan favourite Jarrod Berry also returned, and the Lions probably went in a midfielder too heavy with Bailey (-26% CBA share) and Deven Robertson (-23%) both unimpactful in half forward rotations – which makes McCarthy’s +20% at the centre bounces even more puzzling. No other surprises from the Lions, who are just trying to return to the well-fleshed-out structure that advanced them so far in 2019-20 as their season sits in the balance at 1-3.
A lack of options, more than anything, forced Essendon into a very similar structure in Round 4, and it was so close to paying off with a narrow loss to the rampant Swans. Wright continued to duke it out in the ruck, but it was the part-timer in 202cm utility Cox and his 93 AF that really impressed with the extra proximity to the footy. Parish (92 AF) showed once again that he’s an extremely safe DFS option whenever he gets enough CBA nourishment, and Stringer duplicated his 78-point effort with some hollow CBA’s amongst a heavy forward role. Speaking of safety, it’s hard to ignore how important Ridley’s dual roles in terms of interceptor (8 marks) and designated kick-in king (9 self kick-ins) are for ensuring he can rack up fantasy points (110 AF) regardless of the game script. Heppell (86 AF) and Hind (74 AF) continue to feature heavily in Essendon’s ball movement from defence, with Snelling (87 AF) busy in his high half forward role. Hooker (key forward), Devon Smith (guts/half forward), Langford (wing), Ham (wing) and Waterman (mid-sized marking forward) were the other roles of note.
Brisbane: McStay, Prior, Ah Chee IN – Robertson, T Berry, Fullarton OUT
Notable outs: Rayner, Cockatoo, Fullarton.
- McStay for Fullarton as the 3rd tall forward, although the chop-out ruck duties fall to Daniher – something the Lions tried in the pre-season with success. McInerney should also play maximum ruck minutes after being hobbled by that sore ankle over the last few weeks.
- Ah Chee for T Berry, small forward L4L.
- The leaves the wingman Prior for Deven Robertson, which balances up the Lions midfield with all of Zorko, Bailey, J Berry, Robertson and McCarthy in a dirty M/F rotation last week. Expect a few more CBA’s for the Zorko/Bailey/Berry group, with Prior to play modest minutes as a pure wingman and McCarthy to slide back into a permanent small forward gig.
Essendon: Redman, Reid IN – Zerk-Thatcher, Guelfi OUT
Notable outs: Shiel, Caldwell, Draper, Hurley, Stewart.
- Redman for Guelfi, half back L4L.
- Reid for Zerk-Thatcher, key defender L4L. I’m not particularly interested in him in DFS – see what I wrote about him in Essendon’s Studfinder article this pre-season below.
- I was probably a little slow to adjust to Ham’s wing role lately, and his form’s so good that he’s keeping Devon Smith in a half forward rotation.
- Don’t be fooled by Stringer’s CBA numbers – they’re artificially boosted by the “De Goey manoeuvre” and he can be thought of as a typical forward for DFS purposes. Likewise, McGrath’s lower CBA numbers might seem concerning on the surface, but he’s the one playing as a full-time inside midfielder when Stringer shuffles forward following the centre bounce resets.
- Ridley’s kick-in numbers continue to make me very hot under the collar.
Brisbane has conceded the 3rd-most points to KEY DEF’s this year.
Brisbane has conceded the 4th-most points to KEY FWD’s this year.
Brisbane has conceded the 3rd-least points to GEN FWD’s this year.
Brisbane has conceded EASILY the most points to RUC’s this year.
Essendon has conceded the most points to KEY FWD’s this year.
Essendon has conceded the 4th-least points to MID’s this year.
Essendon has conceded the 5th-most points to RUC’s this year.
Neale – 146, 139
Zorko – 110, 92, 100
Lyons – 108
J Berry – 104, 97
Bailey – 103
Ridley – 84 (team-high)
Merrett – 73, 128, 126
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.