Although we only have two games to consider today, Draftstars has kindly kept the prize pool at $30K. After a good little run, the Bombers were disappointing against Richmond and now travel to Brisbane to take on the young Lions. The Lions have been good at their home ground with an average losing margin of only 14 points (and an impressive win against Hawthorn). In today’s other game, the injury-ravaged Crows travel to Perth for a crucial game against Fremantle. The Dockers have been excellent at home this year but all of their home wins have come against sides below them on the ladder (Suns, Dogs, Saints and Bombers - equal on points). The Dockers fielded one of their youngest sides in recent memory last week and the depth of the Crows should push them.
There aren’t many viable ruck plays on this small slate so it’s hard to avoid paying up for Stef Martin. In the past, Martin’s scores have been hampered by the presence of another ruckman, but he seems happy with his current job-sharing arrangement and has managed some huge scores even with McInerney in the team.
Sam Jacobs is in a great spot against the inexperienced Jones and Apeness. While both Fremantle rucks tried to throw their bodies around, they were no match for Brodie Grundy. Granted, Jacobs isn’t nearly as mobile as Grundy but he should have a good scoring day.
My take: Jacobs (value), Martin (ceiling)
Essendon key defender Matt Dea is prone to some big scores every now and again and with Brisbane’s lack of quality key forwards, Dea could be able to drift into the hole and rack up some big mark stats.
The new Perth Stadium has been a happy hunting ground for running defenders and there are some value options to consider from this game. Adelaide pair Luke Brown and Jake Kelly could score well, especially if the Crows play a high possession, ‘keepings-off’ style game. The Dockers have given up some decent scores to key defenders, so it could be a good day to target Tom Doedee.
Injury and poor form has seen Michael Hurley’s price drop to $11K. I can’t remember Hurley’s price ever being so low but unfortunately, it’s low for a reason. That said, he’s definitely worth a punt at this price.
Tom Cutler is a little expensive but I just love his ceiling. There more I think about this game, the more I think Brisbane will win and Cutler does play better when these are going well.
Finally, Fremantle mark/kick specialists Luke Ryan and Connor Blakely have to be considered on the basis of their excellent home ground scoring bumps.
My takes: Dea, Cutler, Hurley.
There aren’t many cheap forward options I like at all today (which is a shame because I really want to pay up for my defenders). You could take a punt on Adelaide cheapies Myles Poholke or Darcy Fogarty but their respective ceilings are limited. I was really keen on Lachlan Murphy early in the year and he hasn’t really had much of an opportunity this year.
Cam Rayner hit the ton for the first time this year but his output was severely influenced by several Brisbane midfielders going down with game-ending injuries. Charlie Cameron and Mitch Robinson will both also miss today, so that could open up more opportunity for Rayner. Hugh McCluggage and Jarrod Berry should be considered for the same reason.
We already know that Wayne Milera loves an open game and I expect the Dockers/Crows game to be just that. An even $9K is about right for Milera and he should enjoy the space in Perth.
Fremantle have leaked points to key forwards in recent week and although the Crows’ forwards haven’t exactly been firing, this could be a good spot for them to regain some form. Taylor Walker is only $9K and the human enigma, Josh Jenkins is just slightly more expensive.
Matt Guelfi has had super consistent start to his fantasy career. The mature-age rookie’s first up score of 64 is the lowest he’s scored all year. We still don’t quite know what Guelfi’s ceiling is but with Zaharakis missing, we might see some more midfield time for the kid.
Michael Walters played on one leg for most of last week and still reeled in a great score. He presents a tricky matchup for Adelaide who don’t really have anyone who can run with Walters all day.
My takes: Rayner, Milera, Walters.
Debutant Stefan Giro has a little overawed early but slowly worked into the game. We know the kid can play so hopefully he’s a little more settled today. With their recent form, the matchup against Adelaide isn’t as scary as it once was.
Late inclusion Ben Keays had a reasonable game last week and will be keen to prove his place in the Lions team. The young Lions have several young midfielders to choose from at the moment and another solid game will buy Keays some more opportunity.
Rory Atkins is the cheapest he has been for a while and his high ceiling will make him a popular target. I’m focusing on running players in this contest and Atkins fits that bill perfectly.
For all but one game this year, Connor Blakely has been an absolute beast at home. I don’t see any reason why Blakely won’t have another high scoring game, especially as the ball should spend a fair amount of time in the Fremantle defensive half.
Adelaide and Brisbane give away a stack of points to opposition mids, so with the money I have left, I’m going to be targeting Essendon and Fremantle mids. Zach Merrett will be chalky today but Brendan Goddard could be a good pivot or even Dyson Heppell and Devon Smith (although they are a little more expensive). Lachie Neale will need to do more heavy lifting in Fyfe’s absence and David Mundy could be thrown back into a more traditional midfield role.
My takes: Giro (I need the cash!), Atkins, Blakely, Mundy.
A lack of bankable cheap value makes for a tough little slate here. I’m hoping for some even ownerships as people try to find their own diamonds in the rough.