ST KILDA vs RICHMOND

Marvel, 7.20pm AEST

MAIN SLATES:
$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$3,000 USD on Draftkings ($15 entry, 7 max)
WEATHER: Under the roof.
BOOKIES: Richmond $1.45 favourites, 177.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

A concerning two-game slide sent the Saints back to the drawing board with their midfield rotations, and a come-from-behind win against the Eagles suggests they’ve unearthed a useful combination. Crouch (+37%), Jones (+25%) and the incoming Bytel (59%) were the big winners, replacing the attendances of the injured Gresham and Ross (-63%), who was moved onto a wing. We also had a significant change in the ruck department, with Marshall returning and actually scoring at a decent clip until he re-injured his foot, which limited him to 72 AF from 61% TOG. Carlisle was his deputy, rotating through the forward line with Battle swapping back into defence. Clark and Sinclair are settling into pure half-back roles, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing with the way footy is being played this season. Ross sliding over to a wing to join Hill (105 AF) and McKenzie (93 AF) bumped Billings (99 AF) into a pure half-forward role, which paid off this week but might be a concern against the more dour Richmond defence. Webster (half back), Howard (kick-in duties) and Higgins (permanent forward) were the other roles of note.

Injuries to Prestia and McIntosh and the omission of Caddy limited Harwick’s coaching flexibility, going back to the well on veterans in Edwards (95% inside), Cotchin (97% inside) and Dusty (80% inside) at the centre bounces. I thought that Graham, Ross or Martyn could have been in line for significant inside time, and the might have been if they were ever in control of the game, but Port didn’t allow that to happen. Instead, they were instead thrown into watered-down wing roles alongside Pickett, who was promoted from a new half back role. Richmond once again went with an 8-man defence with their chop-out ruckmen (Astbury/Balta) coming from that group, which affected the game-time of debutant Mansell (69%) and the returning Houli (79%). Encouragingly, Short (113 AF) was still able to score with Bachar in the side, and hopefully they can form a potent partnership moving forward (rather than getting into each other’s way like in previous seasons). Lambert (high half forward), Bolton (guts/half forward rotation) and Aarts (forward pocket) were the other roles of note. 

TEAMSHEETS

St Kilda: Unchanged
Notable outs: Ryder, Hannebery, Gresham, Frawley, Geary.

  • Unchanged and a rousing win last week means we’ll likely see the same structure from the Saints. Some key points:
  • Battle playing in defence so Carlisle can chop-out from a more traditional key forward rotation. Marshall should also take a larger slice of the ruck pie this week, with an in-game injuries hurting his numbers last round.
  • McKenzie wing (good) and Ross wing (bad). Saints seem to be coming around to giving a Bytel a crack on the inside after continuously putting his name forward over the last 12 months.
  • Billings in a half forward role. He’s been playing out of his skin but touches across half forward are much harder to find than touches on the wing, especially against a Richmond side that builds their defensive zone from the bottom up.

Richmond: McIntosh, D Rioli IN – Ross, Martyn OUT
Notable outs: Prestia, Vlastuin, Caddy, Soldo.

  • McIntosh replaces the combined wing time of Ross/Martyn.
  • Rioli sliding in up forward allows Dusty and Shai Bolton to play further up the ground.
  • Edwards has been Hardwick’s wildcard this season so you can never be sure where he’ll ply his trade – but team balance looks so much better with him in the inside rotation with Prestia out, flanked by McIntosh/Pickett in pure wing roles and Graham playing both modes.

TRENDS

St Kilda has conceded the 4th-most points to KEY DEF’s this year.
St Kilda has conceded the 3rd-most points to GEN FWD’s this year.
St Kilda has conceded the 3rd-most points to RUC’s this year.

Richmond has conceded the 4th-most points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Richmond has conceded the 4th-most points to RUC’s this year.

HISTORY

Steele – 118, 128
Marshall – 104, 111, 121
Billings – 90, 109, 91
Butler – 89, 100

Houli – 128, 106
Nankervis – 84, 148
Edwards – 99, 110
Martin – 99, 68, 128

PLAYS

BEST PICK: Dustin Martin – M/F – $13,710 DS

Now this is a much more appetising slate for Dusty after he priced himself out of calculations with a $15,800 tag against Port last round. Richmond are on a two-game slide, Martin is reportedly in the best physical condition of his life and Richmond has added another forward to the mix in Rioli – all signs point to another Dusty masterclass in the midfield. 

BEST VALUE: Daniel McKenzie – D – $6,380 DS 

I could easily talk about Jack Bytel ($7,370 MID) here, but everyone will be across that one, so let’s chat about McKenzie instead. He played purely on a wing last week and his 96-point gem out of nowhere reflected that. The way Richmond’s defensive net functions allows wingmen to link up with the distributing defenders easily, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him nudge last week’s 21 touches or 7 marks as that outlet option. McKenzie is simply way too cheap based on this wing role, thanks to medical sub involvement poisoning his pricing formula.

BEST RUCK: Toby Nankervis – R – $11,450 DS

I can see easily either of Nank or Marshall (14,070 R/F) topping the fantasy scoring for the rucks, which is usually a good sign that you should have a fairly big crack at the guy almost $3k cheaper. These two competitors have exchanged blows over their recent meetings (84-104 and 148-111 last year) and both sides have given up a fair few points to ruckmen this year, so even the infamous Double Ruck set-up is almost in play. I like Toby after he started to warm up last week with 101 AF, hitting multiple categories in typical fashion with 22 touches, 6 marks and 3 tackles before we even started to look at hitouts – and the fact that he doesn’t have to share ruck time (like Marshall does) is great for his floor.

BEST STAT: Dougal Howard – D – $9,240 DS 

Don’t be surprised to see Dougal in the winning line-up this week. He’s been taking the vast majority of St Kilda’s kick-ins this year and playing on at an 80% rate, so all it takes is for Richmond to have a wayward night in front of the sticks and Howard is flush with free fantasy points. Add in Richmond’s famous leakiness to opposition defenders, and we could see something like the 111 AF score that Dougal posted in Round 2 against the Demons, where he had 8 marks and 23 kicks. 

BEST RETHINK: Jack Billings – M – $13,180 DS

I’ve mentioned it a couple of times in the body of the article above, but I find it really hard to find a way to convince myself that a switch to a half forward role could be a good thing for Billings’ scoring long-term. I wouldn’t touch him in cash games with the damage that a lack of midfield time does to anyone’s floor, and I have serious concerns over his ceiling against an elite Richmond defensive unit. Save him for the St Kilda game scripts.

 

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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