MCG, 7.50pm AEST

$75,000 AUD on Draftstars ($15 entry, 125 max)
$3,000 USD on Draftkings ($15 entry, 7 max)
WEATHER: 17 degrees and clear.
BOOKIES: Bulldogs $1.53 favourites, 155.5 over/under.


The concussion to Dusty is the biggest news out of Richmond HQ, adding to the midfield pain they were already feeling with Prestia in the rehab group. Perennial fringe MID’s in Graham (+23%) and Ross (24% as medical sub) covered the in-game loss of their superstar, but this historically hasn’t been a good indication of what Richmond roll with the following week. Lambert could’ve been a veteran head to help cover in there, but the high half forward nicked his calf in this game and won’t be available in the short term. Bolton played another full game in the guts and the points flowed once again – that’s scores of 90, 107 and 122 since Prestia went down. Pickett took a few ruck contests, as he did in Round 5, but the pinch-hitting was limited with giants in Gawn and Jackson to contend with – the more human-sized Stef Martin is a vastly different prospect this weekend. Baker (105 AF) was back up on a wing again and scored freely; he was struggling for impact in defense behind Short and Houli since the latter’s return from injury. Pickett and McIntosh joined him in the wing rotation, which again left Graham to scrap for every touch from a forward flank. 

Just as the Bulldogs regained the status quo, a couple of high-impact injuries are set to destabilise their best laid plans. Tim English’s concussion leaves the Doggies short a 70/30 forward/ruck to chop out Stef Martin, with Sweet (73 AF in Round 5) an awkward match with Stef as both are better utilised as primary ruckmen. Josh Dunkley’s shoulder injury is the bigger issue for DFS coaches, with (most of) a full midfield rotation up for grabs moving forward. We know that Bailey Smith has been playing a pure wing role, Hunter has been stranded across half forward and Lipinski can’t get a game recently, so there’s plenty of scope for instant improvement amongst that fringe group – it’s worth mentioning that Bailey Smith had his first CBA’s for the season once Dunkley went down, in a potential sign of things to come. Structurally the unbeaten Bulldogs are pretty set, outside of a weird shift up to a wing for Daniel as he continues to struggle with opposition attention – Johannisen shifted back to accommodate. The kick-ins were shared from that point on, although Bailey Dale continues to hold the edge over a three-week date range.


Richmond: Ross, Collier-Dawkins IN – Martin, Lambert OUT
Notable outs: Martin, Prestia, Lambert, Vlastuin, Soldo.

  • This was hard.
  • Richmond have a lot of fringe midfielders that they don’t like to play in this same side, and it’s hard to know what the hierarchy is between them. Graham, Ross and Collier-Dawkins, in a vacuum, could each play full-time midfield or they could be marooned on a flank as Martyn was a few weeks ago. Stay flexible between that group.
  • Same goes for Bolton. He’s been a full-time midfielder since Prestia went down, but do Richmond need his prowess around goals with Dusty and Lambert out? I’m leaning towards full-time inside because…
  • Liam Baker should switch forward to play that high half forward, Lambert-trademarked role. He’s been bumped out of that backline and was chilling on a wing for the past fortnight, but this role is right in his wheelhouse – and we know how much Hardwick likes to bang on about his “systems-based” club.
  • My best guess with Collier-Dawkins is a low-TOG, high-CBA role given his skillset. An inside bull who can’t really do anything else – think of him as Richmond’s Brayden Sier. Very hard to pass him up at $5k.
  • Pickett should get another run as Richmond’s back-up ruckman in the Shaun Grigg role – the Martin/Schache combo is as vertically-merciful as you could hope for (outside of the Gold Coast).

Western Bulldogs: Schache, Hannan, Lipinski, West IN – English, Vandermeer, Dunkley, Jong OUT
Notable outs: Dunkley, English, Williams. 

  • Schache to replace English, key forward and back-up ruck L4L.
  • Hannan/West for Vandermeer/Jong, small forward L4L.
  • Lipinski for Dunkley, MID/FWD L4L.
  • The midfield splits are where it gets interesting – Lipinski is more of a wingman than Dunkley, so that opens the door for Bailey Smith to slide into CBA’s for his first real crack this year. Assuming that happens, who gets more wing time out of Lipinski (who has been out of the side) or Hunter (who’s been languishing in a forward pocket almost)? Only Bevo knows, but you should remain open to either outcome.
  • Keep an eye on the Daniel/Johannisen wing swap from last week – I assume it goes back to normal but with Daniel in such poor form lately? Who knows.


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

Bulldogs concede the 2nd-most points to KEY DEF’s this year.
Bulldogs concede the 4th-most points to GEN DEF’s this year.
Bulldogs concede the fewest points to MID’s this year.



BEST PICK: Lachie Hunter – F/M – $11,170 DS 

We’ve been patiently waiting for an injury to open up a spot in the Bulldogs midfield for Hunter, and Dunkley’s role has plenty of meat on the bone. While Hunter won’t get into the CBA’s, a reshuffle of Bailey Smith from the wing opens up some valuable rural real estate for Hunter to get comfortable in – as long as Lipinski doesn’t Steven Bradbury his way into those wing minutes, of course.

With an average of just 77 over his last 5 games, it’s easy to forget just how potent Hunter is when he’s roaming the open field – he averaged a massive 119 AF (adjusted) last year, after all. I think he’s paid his dues across half forward this year, playing a role for the team. He deserves to see some significant wing time here, ahead of Lipinski, on a first-in, best-dressed basis, if nothing else. 

Of course, both Patrick Lipinski ($7,910 MID) and Bailey Smith ($12,250 MID) are both similarly underpriced with the Dunkley black hole in the Bulldogs’ midfield, so feel free to load up on that pair too. Value aplenty. 

BEST VALUE: Jack Ross – M – $5,000 DS 

While everyone is fussing over the untried Riley Collier-Dawkins ($5,000 MID), we have a perfectly good (albeit underutilised) Jack Ross licking his lips. He’s been the unused medical sub twice this year, plus being used twice for scores of 26 and 45 – fair to say he’s ready for a full game, and Richmond’s midfield woes suggests he’ll get a fair crack of the whip, too.

Ross averaged an adjusted 72 over his last 3 games in 2020, and his form in the full games the year before was ever richer with totals of 86, 92 and 79 littered amongst his 6 games. He’s simply too cheap to ignore.

BEST RUCK: Toby Nankervis – R – $12,880 DS

It’s pretty clear cut on Friday night – for just $2.5k extra, you take the solo ruckman who has scored 101, 119 and 91 in last three, over the veteran who has averaged just 51 and has already dropped turds of 24 and 30 in this young season. Nank is the easiest choice you’ll make on this slate.

BEST STAT: Shai Bolton – F/M – $13,210 DS 

Shai was struggling to start this year, averaging just 60 AF over the first 3 rounds as he split his time between the midfield and the forward line with just 38% CBA presence. Since Prestia went down though, Bolton has taken a huge leap as a full-time midfielder, scoring 107 and 122 from a 66% CBA share in the last fortnight. Add in the loss of Dustin Martin, and you’d have to assume that Shai will be needed at the coalface more than ever on Friday night.

He’s a bit pricier than you’d like, but the one thing that Shai has is worth paying for in GPP’s – ceiling, and very few of his teammates at Richmond have it. Bolton is the only Tiger to score 107+ twice this year, and was one of only 5 Tigers to notch 4 or more tons in 2020 – and you’ll notice that two of those guys (Dusty, Lambert) aren’t even playing on Friday night. A must-have in Tiger game scripts.

BEST RETHINK: Jack Macrae – M – $17,400 DS

One thing you’d have picked up from looking at the exposures on your typical slate, is that all the max entry DFS guys avoid players priced over $17k like the plague. Mathematically, it’s just so hard for them to reach a score that outweighs the value of other Premium options in the $13k-$16k range. 

This is not a typical slate. 

There is value absolutely everywhere. If you’re not milking cash cows like Collier-Dawkins and Ross, you’re looking at Dunkley replacements in Smith, Hunter and Lipinski, or smashing the value of Richmond’s midfield battlers like Cotchin, Graham, Bolton, Edwards, Pickett and McIntosh at bargain prices. And when the value is so high, these are the slates where you have to try and mash in the highest ceiling players in as much as possible.

With 5 of his 6 scores over 113 this year, plus scores of 190 and 143 in his last 3 against the Tigers, Macrae certainly ticks those boxes. Prioritise him whenever you can.


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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