Manuka Oval, 7.50pm AEST

$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$3,000 USD on Draftkings ($15 entry, 7 max)
WEATHER: 10 degrees and clear.
BOOKIES: Bulldogs $1.35 favourites, 154.5 over/under.


The Giants have finally committed to their inside core, with all of Hopper, Ward, Taranto and Green essentially playing full-time inside midfield roles in Round 5. That left Kelly (0 CBA’s) and Daniels (3 CBA’s) in more pure high half forward roles, with Buckley playing the Whitfield/Perryman defensive wingman role and second-gamer Stone seeing significant wing minutes. Mumford was an absolute menace in the ruck for the second week in a row, but surely has to be paying for it physically after running out 88% game-time against his former club. O’Halloran didn’t have a touch up until half-time, but came home with a wet sail to post a 64-point second half from a half forward flank. Haynes’ scoring is down across the board this year, but could that have something to do with Cumming and Ash having first crack at the kick-ins ahead of the All-Australian? Keeffe (key defender), Finlayson (chop-out ruckman) and Toby Greene (permanent forward) were the other roles of note.

The Bulldogs somewhat tainted their record as the most settled midfield in the competition by resting Stef Martin, with the debutant Sweet taking the bulk of his ruck minutes (with some support from the defender Lewis Young). If nothing else to date has convinced you that English is a key forward now – at least in Bevo’s eyes – then that’s the nail in the “you’re wrong” coffin. Treloar experienced a small dip in the CBA’s that was soaked up by committee, so I’m putting that down to natural fluctuations that might see Bont or Dunkley on the receiving end next week, and so on. Hunter and Bailey Smith switched between half forward and a wing rather than their regular one-or-the-other roles this week, probably designed to get the incoming Lipinski’s foot into the wing rotation. Crozier replaced Daniel nominally in defence, but it was the rapidly improving Bailey Dale that absorbed his designated kicking role, cashing in handsomely with 5 kick-ins and 108 fantasy points. Johannisen started on a wing and ended up in defence once Williams (collarbone) went down, but the confidence player never worked his way into the game. Consistent roles elsewhere. 


GWS: Flynn, Perryman IN – Mumford, Reid OUT
Notable outs: Coniglio, Whitfield, Mumford, Hogan, Preuss, de Boer, Davis.

  • Flynn replaces Mumford as a solo ruckman.
  • Perryman replaces Reid, and either plays as a defender or the defensive wingman, with Buckley taking the other of those roles.
  • Stone and Daniels look like they might sneak into the wing rotation again, especially with Josh Kelly’s wing time involving a lot of half forward forays. Daniels also gets a look in at the CBA’s and should again after being one of GWS’s best last week.
  • Ward and Hopper staring at full-time inside roles again.

Western Bulldogs: Daniel, Martin, Cordy, Vandermeer, Jong IN – Williams, Sweet, Young, McNeil, Lipinski OUT
Notable outs: Williams, Sweet, Lipinski, Gardner.

  • 6 changes… but they’re all upgrades, which is just plain scary.
  • Daniel to return as the designated kicker, with Dale or Crozier to take over Williams’ intercepting duties.
  • Martin to replace Sweet in the ruck, so the status quo returns there.
  • Cordy for Young, key backman L4L.
  • Vandermeer for McNeil, small forward L4L.
  • Jong to replace Lipinski, not because he’s a better player, but because he’s more suited to playing a role in the Bulldogs’ forward line. Eases the strain on the midfield rotation slightly, which is good news for Hunter/B Smith after the copped extra half forward time last week.
  • This structure keeps Johannisen on the defensive wing. There’s a parallel universe where he slides to half back and Dale goes forward, but in this universe, Dale has been too impressive as a defender to move. Surely, Bevo?!


GWS has conceded the 2nd-least points to GEN DEF’s this year.

Bulldogs have conceded the least points to MID’s this year.
Bulldogs have conceded the 4th-most points to RUC’s this year.


Taranto – DNP, 111, 112
Ward – 99, DNP, 85
Haynes – 98, 99
Greene – DNP, 99, 118

Macrae – 131, 107, 109
Bontempelli – 90, 93
Dunkley – 89, 150, 88
Hunter – DNP, 92, 108
Treloar – 74, 111, 104
Daniel – 108
Johannisen – 101, 89


BEST PICK: Adam Treloar – M – $14,340 DS

Stacking the Doggies is never a bad idea in 2021 and Treloar is the cheapest of their elite accumulators on offer this week. He’s back at the top of his game with scores of 106, 127 and 104 in his last three, but more importantly, he was the Bulldog that copped the CBA dip last week. I’m working on a theory that Bevo is taking it in turns giving the guns in his inside core a little rest, so Bont or Dunkley could be the big-name MID spending slightly more time outside of the centre square instead this week. 

BEST VALUE: Callan Ward – M – $11,740 DS 

Ward as a full-time inside midfielder is much better than the version that skulks off half forward or freezes out on a wing. Take the last fortnight for example – he’s averaged 85% CBA presence and 101 AF, compared to just 39% presence and 66 AF in the three rounds prior. Ward will be in the guts on Friday night and, at this price, he should be towards the top of your player pool too.

BEST RUCK: Matt Flynn – R – $11,030 DS

It’s hard to overlook Flynn in Cash, and a thick slice of your GPP entries should feature the only solo ruckman on this slate. He hasn’t set a foot wrong this year with scores of 99, 72 and 78 and is coming in fresh with two weeks out of the big league while Mumford sated his appetite. The Bulldogs have conceded the 4th-most points to RUC’s this year and, adding in the fact that Stef was dropping 20’s and 30’s before his rest, you can feel safe locking in Flynn for almost any game script this Friday night. 

BEST STAT: Bailey Smith – M – $12,740 DS 

This applies to Lachie Hunter ($12,000 M/F) also, because Lipinski’s dumping can only be a good thing for the other fringe midfielders at Footscray. Most punters seem to think that stacking a side like the Bulldogs simply means forcing Macrae, Dunkley, Bontempelli and Treloar into as many teams as possible; but really, it’s all about unlocking the right combination of a side that you know (or think) is going to dominate. 

Given the discrepancies in price and the nature of standard deviation, the best ‘value’ stacking combination contains one (or both) of Smith and Hunter (and you can throw Libba in there too) a ridiculously high amount of that time. Make sure you spend enough time exposing yourself to that best-case scenario.

BEST RETHINK: Lachie Ash – D – $11,610 DS

Ash has been the biggest beneficiary from the injuries to Whitfield and Perryman this year, slowly climbing his way up the distributor hierarchy while they recover. He’s even nestled his way into the kick-ins lately, taking 36% of them since Perryman went down… after failing to register a single one in Rounds 1 and 2 alongside him. Given that Perryman had 9 kick-ins in Round 2, I think it’s safe to say that Ash’s distributing gig is now in danger, or at least diluted moving forward. Ash has averaged 94 over the last three weeks without Perryman, but that was just 66.5 beforehand – let the field overvalue him here and leave him alone. 


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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