SATURDAY SLATE

MAIN CONTESTS:
$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$4,000 USD on on Draftkings ($15 entry, 9 max)

 

GEELONG vs WEST COAST

GMHBA, 1.45pm AEST

SINGLE SLATES:
$10,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 15 max)
WEATHER: 17 degrees and cloudy, chance of showers.
BOOKIES: Geelong $1.58 favourites, 159.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

A couple of straight swaps in the midfield saw Dangerfield taking his spot back from placeholder O’Connor and Parfitt jumping in for his late-minute replacement in Narkle. Danger’s in-game ankle issue curtailed his CBA’s, and Parfitt probably saw a bigger share of those than the Cats intended as a result. Selwood copped a frustrating tag from Kayne Turner and took him forward to try and shake it, which dropped his CBA presence by 43% and allowed Duncan (+23%) to supplement his bountiful wing time with some unexpected inside minutes. Tuohy played up the ground this week, as he did during 2020 when he was somewhat out of favour, patrolling a forward flank as the last domino to fall with Jack Henry moving back to defence following the return of Rohan. Atkins remaining in defence is significant for his role and scoring security. De Koning had a quiet debut scoring-wise despite being in the thick of things early, but you’d think his days are numbered with big-money recruit Jeremy Cameron on the comeback trail. Rhys Stanley was absolutely thumped in the ruck (8 hitouts to North’s 45), so don’t be surprised to see Geelong try something different there this weekend. 

The spiciest structure surprise that West Coast throws out these days is a cooling job for Nelson, and coach Adam Simpson did just that with stints on both Pendlebury and Sidebottom throughout the match. Duggan slid back as a result and got involved in the exorbitant chip-chip that the Eagles love to do and the Pies love to concede, so he hit season-highs in fantasy scoring (148 AF), kicks (29) and marks (13).  Kelly copped a Greenwood tag but would be happy with his output (84 AF) while the rest of the West Coast midfield ran rings around their opponents. The defenders went nuts with how they shared the footy back there, with Witherden (9 marks and 9 kick-outs), Rotham (15), McGovern (9), Sheppard (8) and Barrass (11) all getting heavily involved in the cheap pill. Unsurprisingly, they connected well with wingmen in Gaff (131 AF from 10 marks) and Redden (142 AF from 10 marks) in a complete domination of possession against a winged Magpies outfit. Vardy’s inclusion once again allowed Oscar Allen to play the 80/20 key forward and chop-out defender role that he looks so dangerous in this year, and he might’ve even wrangled the 3 Brownlow votes with his 91 AF. O’Neill was unimpactful in his limited-TOG and limited-CBA midfield role, but Brander (80 AF) is starting to have a real impact as a wingman and Waterman (8 marks) is sneakily improving along with his match fitness in a high half forward role.

TEAMSHEETS

Geelong: Cameron, O’Connor IN – De Koning, Dangerfield OUT
Notable outs: Higgins, Dangerfield. 

  • Cameron replaces De Koning as a key forward, L4L.
  • O’Connor replaces Dangerfield in the midfield as he did during Danger’s last stint on the sidelines, with a tagging role on former Cat Tim Kelly looking extremely likely.
  • I’ve gone really safe with Geelong’s roles as like-for-likes in the table above, but be aware that Chris Scott has a few options with Tuohy playing forward and O’Connor as a tagger. I thought that Stanley was really poor like week, so swinging Tuohy/O’Connor back and throwing Blicavs into a part-time ruck role (especially to combat Naitanui) is a genuine possibility after Geelong set that structural precedent last year.

West Coast: Jones IN – Kennedy OUT
Notable outs: Shuey, Yeo, Hurn, Ryan, Kennedy. 

  • Nothing crazy with the Eagles, as per usual.
  • Jones replaces Kennedy in the forward line group, which obviously has other implications being a small for a tall. Oscar Allen will need to play as the second banana so the Eagles might not have the flexibility to throw him down back late in quarters for spurts anymore, plus Vardy gets a promotion from a Bench/Ruck role to a Forward/Ruck gig.
  • The roles of Nelson and Duggan are interchangeable depending on the opposition’s midfield stars and Simpson’s mood. He might be tempted to leave Nelson in a tagging/cooling capacity this week, especially with Duggan having a career night in defence against the Pies. Selwood has been the tag target so far for sides this year but Guthrie/Duncan can rack it up rapidly too – it might be a case of Nelson simply heading to whoever starts faster.
  • Witherden locked in for another tasty kick-in role.

TRENDS

Geelong has conceded the least points to KEY DEF’s this year.
Geelong has conceded the 4th-least points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Geelong has conceded the 3rd-least points to MID’s this year.

West Coast has conceded the 4th-most points to GEN DEF’s this year.
West Coast has conceded the 5th-least points to RUC’s this year.

HISTORY

Duncan – 134, 130
Stewart – 124, 124
C Guthrie – 111, 90
Tuohy – 104, 75, 88
Menegola – 101, 78, 120
Dangerfield – 98, 138, 102

Sheed – 101, 60, 119
Kelly98 (tagged by Constable)
Gaff – 64, 91, 120
Duggan – 93

 

GOLD COAST vs SYDNEY

Metricon Stadium, 1.45pm AEST

SINGLE SLATES:
$10,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 15 max)
WEATHER: 22 degrees and sunny.
BOOKIES: Sydney $1.62 favourites, 171.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

Gold Coast’s ruck situation is an absolute nightmare, with Greenwood having to contest 32% of their total ruck contests alongside Graham (47%) and Burgess (21%). Ellis again played in defence while Graham pretended to be a ruckman, winning 93% of his touches in the back half and is quietly getting the job done with scores of 122, 110, 112 and 120 in the past month of action. The Suns had a similar midfield mix to last week, except the incoming Holman replaced MacPherson in the CBA’s and Anderson was able to slide back into more of an inside role at the expense of Rankine’s cameos. The ball was down in Gold Coast’s backline for the entire match which helped second-gamer Farrar (86 AF) get involved amongst elevated scores from all the Suns defenders – Bowes (82) was slightly down by his standards, but Powell (85), Markov (100), and Harbrow (88) saw a lot of extra leather. Lukosius played a different role in every quarter basically, thrown all over the ground – one to track after holding a pure wing role over the first month of the season. Corbett straightened the Suns up massively in attack, but didn’t have a lot of support or supply. 

Hickey’s injury is the main concern for Sydney after they enjoyed another week of settled roles and the colourless graph above that comes with it. Buddy is also out for a month following a 5-goal haul, but his absence has always been handled straight-forwardly by the Swans with McLean covering him so far in 2021. Rowbottom’s impending return could also put a squeeze on the midfield status quo, with Florent likely to slide over to an even heavier outside split and Warner (58 AF) could be ready for a game or two with a bit less on his plate after a down week. As expected, Will Hayward covered for Heeney in the mid-sized marking forward role after the Swans set that precedent in the AAMI. Consistent roles elsewhere, although McInerney (pure wing) might have jumped Blakey (wing/forward) in the outside rotation. 

TEAMSHEETS

Gold Coast: Ballard, Lemmens, Flanders IN – Harbrow, Sexton, MacPherson OUT
Notable outs: Rowell, Witts, Day, Z Smith. 

  • Two defenders for one suggests that Gold Coast has committed to Graham as their ruckman this week, so expect Burgess to scale as a key forward and Ellis to slide back into a pure wing role in Round 6.
  • Farrar holds his spot in defence and showed that he had a fantasy game last week. Still very pickable at $6,840.
  • Gold Coast look to be a forward short, so expect Holman to be more of a forward this week, while Swallow/Weller will probably have to pick up a lot of half forward flank orbits. Lukosius up forward is another option after spending stints down there against the Doggies.

Sydney: Sinclair, McLean, Heeney, Rowbottom, Brand IN – Hickey, Franklin, McDonald, Campbell, McCartin OUT
Notable outs: Franklin, Heeney, Hickey, Naismith, Rampe. 

  • A lot of changes for the Swans and most of them obvious L4L’s.
  • Key takeaway is that the Swans have lost a defender (Campbell) and gained a midfielder (Rowbottom), which means that McInerney is likely to slide back into the half-back role that he’s cut his teeth in at Sydney over his short career.
  • I have Rowbottom for a wing role but he usually supplements that with a few CBA’s, which could affect Warner’s generous inside role. It also bumps Blakey down to a clear half forward/wing role.
  • The other backline option is Hayward, who played down back last year and was in to replace Heeney in that mid-sized marking forward void initially. I leaned away from it because the Swans lost two key forwards and a ruck since last week, but just be aware that it’s a possibility.

TRENDS

Gold Coast has conceded the 3rd-most points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Gold Coast has conceded the 3rd-least points to KEY FWD’s this year.
Gold Coast has conceded the 3rd-most points to MID’s this year.
Gold Coast has conceded the 4th-most points to RUC’s in L3.

Sydney has conceded the 3rd-least points to KEY DEF’s this year.
Sydney has conceded the least points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Sydney has conceded the least points to KEY FWD’s this year.
Sydney has conceded the least points to MID’s this year.
Sydney has conceded the least points to RUC’s this year. 

HISTORY

Greenwood – 136
Swallow – 123, 93
Ellis – 96
Anderson – 95
Weller – 93, 78, 109

Parker – 138, 105, 119
Kennedy – DNP, 112, 134
Lloyd – 96, 48, 73 (tagged by Scheer)
Dawson – 84, 96

 

CARLTON vs BRISBANE

Marvel, 4.35pm AEST

SINGLE SLATES:
$15,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 25 max)
WEATHER: Under the roof.
BOOKIES: Brisbane $1.73 favourites, 175.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

Ed Curnow was given the job of following around Boak (82 AF) all night and maintained his CBA presence that way, soaking up the attendances of the dropped duo in Setterfield and Dow. Kennedy worked his way into a few cameos but did nothing with them as per usual, which is frustrating given that Williams is only hitting 32% presence and offers a whole lot more (in both real life and fantasy). Interestingly though, Kennedy rotated through the wings rather than forward, which is worth tracking. McGovern returned from injury as the third tall forward and had an influence, but the same can’t be said for Murphy (63 AF) as the veteran continues to struggle in his new half forward gig. Cottrell was quieter on his wing this week, save for an epic goal from the boundary line. Consistent roles elsewhere… which is something of a worry given that Carlton are consistently getting rolled by teams who aren’t even trying. 

An early injury to Jarrod Berry stopped us from seeing Brisbane’s ideal midfield structure, but the broad strokes are what we expected – Neale/Lyons full-time, Zorko/Bailey rotating through the forward line and cameos from McCluggage. The Lions are obviously much better with McInerney in the ruck, but they’re even better again when Daniher is the chop-out ruckman – having McStay back in the team allows them to do that, and I’m convinced the excursions up the ground helped Daniher score big (115 AF) despite the horrendous conditions for marking forwards. I wouldn’t get too carried away with McCarthy’s 107 AF – he dropped back to the single CBA this week and was boosted by a massive 11 tackles in the sloppy conditions. Prior (wing) and Ah Chee (forward pocket) were the other roles of note.

TEAMSHEETS

Carlton: Stocker, Cuningham IN – Williamson, Kennedy OUT
Notable outs: De Koning, Martin, Fisher, Marchbank, Newman, C Curnow. 

  • Stocker to replace Williamson in defence. Had 38 touches and 110 AF in the VFL last week, so certainly an option at $6,070.
  • Cuningham to replace Kennedy in that wing/half forward role, and is much better suited to life on the outside.
  • No structure change leaves Ed Curnow in an inside role and he’s very likely to get the job of tagging Neale.

Brisbane: Robertson IN – J Berry OUT
Notable outs: J Berry, Rayner. 

  • Deven Robertson for Berry in that packed half forward rotation, and sits behind both Zorko and Bailey in the line for midfield time.

TRENDS

Carlton has conceded the 2nd-most points to MID’s this year.
Carlton has conceded the 3rd-least points to RUC’s this year.

Brisbane has conceded the 4th-most points to KEY FWD’s this year.
Brisbane has conceded the most points to RUC’s this year.

HISTORY

Cripps – INJ, 151, 96 (tagged by Berry)
Walsh – 96, 137
Ed Curnow 100, 121 (tagged Neale in both)
Petrevski-Seton – 96, 97

Neale 113, 104 (tagged by Curnow in both)
Zorko – 91, 80, 114
McCluggage – 96, 99, 91
Rich – 105, 83, 109

 

MELBOURNE vs RICHMOND

MCG, 7.25pm AEST

SINGLE SLATES:
$25,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 40 max)
WEATHER: 14 degrees and mostly cloudy, chance of showers.
BOOKIES: Richmond $1.73 favourites, 156.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

Melbourne have found a groove in the ruck, with Max Gawn pumping out three 130+ scores on the trot despite giving up 35% of the ruck pie to understudy Luke Jackson over that stretch. Oliver, Viney and Petracca are always going to get their inside minutes, so it was reassuring to see Jordon (41% CBA presence) regain his TOG and CBA’s with the Demons not having an in-game injury (which brought in an extra midfielder last week) to dilute his numbers. McDonald was close to BOG with 2 snags and 115 AF as a key forward this week, but might need to play further up the ground with Brown and Weideman pushing for selection after coming back through the VFL following pre-season injuries. Petracca was tagged by Worpel in this one, so it was super encouraging to see him bulldoze through it with a 102 AF – and it might prevent opposition sides from bothering in the future. Salem (112 AF) has taken up kick-in duties over the last fortnight with May injured, so be wary of a drop-off once the intercept marker returns. Melksham (forward pocket), Neal-Bullen (half forward), Petty (key defender), Mitch Brown (key forward) and Brayshaw (still pure wing) were the other roles of note.

I’m not sure how much we can take out of Richmond’s structures in this one given that they just sat at the top of a steep St Kilda-paved hill and took the hand-brake off, but might as well while I’m here. Veterans Edwards and Cotchin put their cues in the rack with a few extra minutes on the pine, and their midfield time was covered by the youthful Bolton in a full-time inside role. Pickett notched his 7 CBA’s as a makeshift ruckman sliding in from a wing to cover Nankervis’ spells, rather than the Tigers disturbing their structures by rotating key defenders in Balta/Astbury through there. I think it’s here to stay. Baker (81 AF) joined Pickett and McIntosh up on a wing this week with Mansell holding his spot behind him in defence. Graham scored 106 AF, but most of that was won in a half forward role (including 3 goals) that might not be so fruitful in games where Richmond don’t cream their opponents by 86 points.

TEAMSHEETS

Melbourne: Fritsch, May IN – M Brown, Petty OUT
Notable outs: Harmes, B Brown, Weideman.  

  • The Demons are rolling and have no reason to change their winning formula. May takes back his intercepting and kick-in roles, with Lever (key defender) and Salem (half back) on the losing end of those transactions.
  • Pickett keeps getting CBA’s, but more importantly, he keeps blitzing his value point in DFS. A bubble is being formed.

Richmond: Unchanged.
Notable outs: Prestia, Vlastuin, Soldo. 

  • I’ve gone with last week’s structure in the Table above given that Richmond went in unchanged, but can Pickett really being expected to pinch-hit against Gawn? The Tigers either use him solely against Jackson in his 35% ruck time, or they revert to Balta/Astbury pinch-hitting and Baker returning to a back flank.
  • Full-time midfield role for Bolton last week and the points flowed. Worth a look.

TRENDS

Melbourne has conceded the least points to GEN FWD’s this year.
Melbourne has conceded the 2nd-least points to RUC’s this year.

Richmond has conceded the 2nd-most points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Richmond has conceded the 2nd-least points to KEY FWD’s this year.
Richmond has conceded the 4th-most points to MID’s this year.
Richmond has conceded the 5th-most points to RUC’s this year.

HISTORY

Gawn – 164, 104, 112
Oliver – 95, 103, 106
May – 106
Hibberd – 108, 89
Fritsch – 105, 100

Martin – 84, 111, 68 (tagged by Hibberd)
Lambert – 131, 77, 101
Houli – 74, 122, 125
Short – 84, 93

 

FREMANTLE vs NORTH MELBOURNE

Optus Stadium, 8.15pm AEST

SINGLE SLATES:
$10,000 on Draftstars ($15 entry, 15 max)
WEATHER: 21 degrees and clear.
BOOKIES: Fremantle $1.08 favourites, 162.5 over/under.

CBA’s & ROLES

Adam Cerra’s early ankle injury cranked up the midfield splits for the Dockers, who usually roll an extra midfielder deep anyway. So while the CBA’s increased for Mundy and Brayshaw, the modest game-time clocks of the Dockers midfield as a whole didn’t see a similar respite with Longmuir transferring any pain to a wing – where Crowden helped out full-time wingmen in Aish and Acres. Ryan enjoyed having 3 tall defenders behind him, going to work with 10 marks (including a round-high 6 of them intercepts) and half the kick-in duties for his 113 AF. Darcy went through his scripted weekly injury scare, but backed-up Round 4’s strong effort in a timeshare to pump out 101 AF as the solo ruck. Walters is still playing purely forward, but at least has some tall support – even if Lobb (53 AF) and Treacy (21 AF) didn’t exactly set the world on fire. Consistent roles elsewhere, although it’s worth mentioning that Brayshaw (111 AF) enjoyed not being tagged after copping shadows in Rounds 3 and 4. 

Kayne Turner’s tagging job on Selwood was the main structural change for North, who honestly don’t have a lot of options in the midfield with their swollen injury list. He replaced the injured LDU, which essentially means that Noble still doesn’t think that Powell and Phillips (5 CBA’s apiece) can handle more midfield responsibility just yet. Hall was playing across half-back again prior to being concussed, which is yet another threat to Ziebell’s defensive distribution role out of the picture with McDonald already on the sidelines. 13 self kick-ins amongst 38 touches and 140 fantasy points is just excessive at this point. Cunnington ran through some reps of the De Goey program, attending a fat share of CBA’s but pushing forward once it cleared, especially later on in the game. Stephenson is back up to a wing again with North’s midfield injury list building, and 91 AF was his reward – Young (89 AF) also enjoyed plenty of stints up the ground and is worth tracking. Bonar (half back), Bosenvulagi (half back), Campbell (chop out ruckman), Josh Walker (key defender), Hayden (small defender once Hall went down) and Scott (quiet game on a wing) were the other roles of note. 

TEAMSHEETS

Fremantle: Crowden IN – Cerra OUT
Notable outs: Hamling, Pearce, Young, Cerra, Meek. 

  • Fremantle are a systems-based team and as a result they rarely surprise us, outside of funky midfield splits. With Cerra injured, they don’t have that flexibility anymore and Serong, Fyfe, Mundy and Brayshaw are all locked for heavy inside roles after the Dockers showed their hands last week.
  • Crowden to again rotate between half forward and a wing, covering the spells of Aish/Acres.
  • Ryan set for another week with 3 key defender behind him, which usually means intercept marks and free kick-in points.

North: Zurhaar, Menadue, Davies-Uniacke, Taylor IN – Hall, Scott, Lazzaro, Hayden OUT
Notable outs: Anderson, Dumont*, Hall, Polec, McDonald, Tarrant, Corr. 

  • Young played up on a wing last week, and with Scott dropped, gets that gig again. Stephenson has already been confirmed by Noble for a wing role, so pick him with confidence here.
  • Menadue to replace Hall in the backline, and I suspect he has more of a fantasy game than fellow backman Bosenvulagi.
  • Davies-Uniacke returns to the midfield group, which puts the role of Turner up for debate. He was used as a tagger (Selwood) with great effect last week, and was a half forward in the month before that. Gut says that the Roos are a bit light on for forwards so he flicks back, but just be wary of the history there.

TRENDS

Fremantle has conceded the most points to KEY DEF’s this year.

North has conceded the 2nd-most points to GEN FWD’s this year.
North has conceded the 3rd-most points to MID’s this year.
North has conceded the 2nd-most points to RUC’s this year.

HISTORY

Darcy – 94
Fyfe – 110, 103, 128
Walters – 106, 82, 125
Mundy – 94, 66, 97
Acres121 (wing role)
Aish 108 (wing role)

Nil for North.

 

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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