WEST COAST vs COLLINGWOOD

Optus Stadium, 4.10pm AEST

MAIN SLATES:
$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$3,000 USD on Draftkings ($15 entry, 7 max)
WEATHER: 23 degrees and cloudy, no chain of rain.
BOOKIES: West Coast $1.33 favourites, 162.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

It was a game of two halves for the Eagles last week, with nothing changing structurally between the ying and yang of their loss to the Saints. Shuey’s absence was covered by committee, with Brander stepping into a midfield role consisting mainly of the wing minutes vacated by Kelly/Redden/Sheed sliding across, but he also snuck in 7 CBA’s along the way. His star is rising fast, both on field and as a fantasy option. Hurn’s early calf ping strained West Coast’s defensive rotations, which caused Duggan to play stints across half-back on top of an unexpected role change for Waterman – he was flicked down back with medical sub Winder sitting up forward on debut. Naitanui played a few extra minutes with the lack of structural flexibility, which gave Oscar Allen some respite through only having to take 26% of the ruck contests this week – the Eagles will be very mindful of limiting that long-term. Petruccelle (79 AF) was West Coast’s best performer, jagging 4 hard-earned goals in a brief glimpse of his 2019 form. McGovern assumed the kick-in reins and scored a season-high 91 – he’s a sneaky one to watch out for while Hurn recovers. 

The Pies don’t have a comprehensive injury list by any means, but the few they have – Elliott and now Adams (knee) and Sier (gastro) – are structure breaking. Crisp has been a midfielder for a few weeks now, and that’s set to continue with a vengeance after he had to thrash it out for 98% game-time last week. Old man Sidebottom has graduated back into midfield duty with 15 CBA’s after being eased in through the forward line over the last few weeks. The big question surrounds De Goey and his role moving forward now that Adams is cooked – which hole do the Pies prioritise covering? Their shaky midfield, or, like last week with De Goey taking just 2 CBA’s, their bare-bones forward line? Daicos (forward pocket) and Greenwood (medical sub) helping out in the midfield was last week’s in-game solution, but it’ll be interesting to see what they decide to do with a full week’s preparation. McCreery (60 AF) was impressive on debut even if he didn’t get a lot of the ball – the Pies will be stoked if he averages a goal and 8 tackles. Mayne was the full-time wingman for the Pies, with Sidebottom, Daicos and Crisp combining forces to cover the remaining minutes. Callum Brown (permanent forward), Hoskin-Elliott (lead-up forward) and Noble (half-back) were the other roles of note.

TEAMSHEETS

West Coast: Witherden, Vardy, O’Neill, Langdon IN – Hurn, Petruccelle, Jones, Ryan OUT
Notable outs: Shuey, Yeo, Hurn, Ryan, Williams.

  • Witherden in for Hurn, L4L. Coach Adam Simpson has already confirmed he’ll take a few kick-ins, so feel free to prioritise him in your West Coast defender stacks and correlations.
  • Langdon for Petruccelle, forward pocket L4L.
  • That’s where the like-for-likes end. Vardy comes in to support Naitanui, which allows Allen to return to his regular programming – key forward and covering the rotations of McGovern/Barrass late in quarters.
  • O’Neill joins the midfield group, and I suspect one of he and Brander (who was super impressive last week) will need to play some time across half forward for team balance.
  • Whenever Greenwood is in the side, you need to be worried about a tag. He followed Kelly around last year in the Grand Final, spent time on Yeo/Shuey in 2018 and even tagged Gaff around in 2017. Probably best to split your exposures between Kelly and Gaff here.

Collingwood: Cameron, Macrae, Keane, Greenwood IN – Cox, Adams, Sier, Hoskin-Elliott OUT
Notable outs: Adams, Elliott, Sier, Cox.

  • Cameron replaces Cox, key forward with ruck support L4L. Or is it? See the Best Ruck section below for more info.
  • Greenwood replaces Sier in the guts, as he did in-game last week. Likely to be given a tagging job, similar to what Geelong did with O’Connor when some of their better midfielders were out injured or suspended.
  • Macrae replaces Adams in the midfield rotation. See the Best Value section below for more info.
  • That leaves the defender Keane in for the forward Hoskin-Elliott, which demands a restructure. Unfortunately, that means that De Goey and Daicos will probably have to spend most of their time up forward to open up the midfield minutes required for Noble to sneak up onto a wing (where he played good footy during the AAMI and earlier in the season). As for the Irishman Keane’s scoring, I wouldn’t be expecting much on a normal night, except West Coast have been very friendly to opposition DEF’s this year. Worth a nibble.
  • I’ve put Sidebottom on the wing and Macrae as an inside midfielder in the graphics above, but those could easily be flipped.

TRENDS

West Coast has conceded the 2nd-most points to GEN DEF’s this year.
West Coast has conceded the least points to RUC’s this year.

Collingwood has conceded the most points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Collingwood has conceded the most points to MID’s this year.

HISTORY

Naitanui – 114, 69, 82
Gaff – 106, 158, 104
Kennedy – 95, 114
Kelly – 86, 129

Crisp – 96, 95, 110
Grundy83, 78, 129 (Darcy Cameron in for these games)
Sidebottom – DNP, DNP, 124

PLAYS

BEST PICK: Dom Sheed – M – $12,430 DS

Count Sheed is a really solid pick for both cash and GPP’s on Friday night. Back at home, no chance of a Greenwood tag behind Kelly/Gaff, a very modest price-tag and coming up against a weakened Collingwood onball division that has conceded the most points to MID’s this year? That has bully mode written all over it. Let the casuals stress about last week’s 58-point score in a bizarre fade-out from the Eagles (where Sheed managed just 16 AF in the second half), and remember that Dom averaged 110 AF over the three rounds prior to that. 

BEST VALUE: Finlay Macrae – F/M – $6,000 DS 

While we don’t have any solid numbers on Finlay – he never played a top-aged draft year due to COVID-19, and the VFL only starts officially this week – we can back in the industry experts when they say that this kid has all the same attributes as his half-brother and Bulldog fantasy stud Jack Macrae. Collingwood suddenly have a gaping midfield hole with Treloar, Phillips, Adams, Sier and De Goey (forward) missing since just 6 months ago, so expect Finlay to get a huge injection of midfield minutes on debut.

Out of interest, this is what I wrote about Macrae in Collingwood’s Studfinder article this pre-season:

BEST RUCK: Darcy Cameron – R/F – $7,790 DS

Cameron was used more as a centre bounce ruckman than purely a back-up against West Coast in the final series last year, to the point where Grundy posted season-lows in TOG with 62% and CBA’s with 52% (and his next lowest was 74% against the Eagles in Round 8). Critics seem to agree that Collingwood nullifying West Coast’s create strength in the centre clearances was a big factor in their surprise Elimination victory at Optus Stadium last year, so why wouldn’t they go for a winning formula again? 

I wouldn’t be touching Grundy ($14,840 RUC) in your cash line-ups, and while Naitanui ($12,930 RUC) is probably still in play against a two-pronged ruck structure after he scored 114 against them in that famous Final last year, why not take all risk out of it with a punt on Cameron himself? Darcy had 63 and 54 in those games last year, and I’ll take that for half the price of Grundy, who I’m not sure can score double the points.

BEST STAT: Jack Crisp – D/M – $15,270 DS 

Crisp averaged just a 4% CBA share for the Pies last year, but that’s up to a massive 46% this year – which is now second for Collingwood midfielders (named for this game) behind Pendlebury’s 60%. Both will be relied up heavily this week and should form the core of any Collingwood-friendly game scripts you have in place. 

BEST RETHINK: Tim Kelly – M – $13,660 DS

Kelly is your classic impact over accumulation guy at the best of times – he’s averaged just 97 AF this year despite some seriously hot form, for instance – and then you add in the potential for a Greenwood tag and the price-tag starts to outweigh any upside. Kelly scored just 84 AF in that final last year, and that’s not enough to win a GPP when his teammates (Gaff, Sheed, Redden) can all go 110+ around him.

 

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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