Power vs Bulldogs
Thursday night football returns to the AFL and for the next six weeks, we have games spread over four days instead of three. For the first clash, the Bulldogs travel to Adelaide Oval to take on the Power. Competition for finals spots will be more fierce than ever before and Port will be keen to solidify their place in the eight. Not much as gone right for the Bulldogs this year and, if it hasn’t already, I think the Bulldogs might be switching their focus to 2019. That might be harsh to say only half-way through the year but it’s probably an accurate reflection of where they’re at. There is wet weather forecast tonight and that really annoys me. Before I saw the forecast, the idea of targeting Port big men against the Dogs seemed obvious but now that idea has been dampened.
Not only do we have six rucks available but thanks to dual positions you can actually play five of them in you really want to! Given that rain is forecast for this game, that probably isn’t the best idea. Patty Ryder stands out as the obvious value selection here. Ryder should have about 40-50 hitouts in the wet and through in a heap of tackles and his usual around the ground work, you can see how a big score is on the cards.
Charlie Dixon began well last week but faded as the game went on. The matchup is amazing for Dixon and I don’t mind the idea of a double ruck stack with Dixon in my forward line.
With Jordan Roughead out of the side, Tom Boyd is likely to shoulder much of the Bulldog’s ruck load. Boyd has struggled to find form this year but has still managed a couple of reasonable scores. At $7,950, I think Boyd is a great chance to go 9 - 10 x value.
My takes: Ryder (ruck), Dixon (fwd)
A reduced price helped Jasper Pittard to a value exceeding score but it also led to his price increasing to $8,770 this week. That’s not too steep considering his ceiling but will obviously be a little more challenging for him to reach that ceiling.
Matt Suckling’s injury will place more responsibility of the Bulldogs other running defenders. Bailey Williams should see the most significant usage increase while Ed Richards and the returning Shane Biggs are worth considering as well.
Darcy Byrne-Jones is my other preferred defensive option tonight. DBJ has been in great form over the past month and even the return of old mate Pittard didn’t stop him from pulling in third 100 in four weeks. Unlike some other Port defenders, DBJ doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty and this should be an advantage if the heavens open.
My takes: Pittard, DBJ, Williams.
I used to have a rule in fantasy football - I would never pick players who I hated. Matthew Lloyd, Brent Harvey and Tom Scully are just a few of the players who I have never once played in any form of fantasy competition. However, as I’ve learnt more about DFS, I’ve realised that this kind of emotion can block some good plays. Lindsay Thomas somehow gets another chance tonight and could save you a fair bit of salary at $6,640. That price is around his average over the past few years and perhaps Thomas may even get a little weather bump.
Hadyn Crozier’s salary makes me look twice but his output so far this year has been disappointing for someone who has played 76 games of AFL footy. Despite being available as a forward, Crozier has played most of his footy this year off a back flank. It’s conceivable that he gets a Suckling boost so that makes him a reasonable salary-saving option.
Sam Gray scored a 93 last week but his price is still around the $10K mark. For a player capable of 100+ scores, this represents terrific value. The weather concerns me a little as the wing/link-man role that Gray often plays may not be as important as it usually is. Gray’s ability to boost his output with a few sneaky goals is always attractive.
Next, we have a collection of high ceiling Port mid/fwds who are sure to disappoint me. Chad Wingard, Tom Rockliff and Robbie Gray are all priced within $800 of each other. All three have monster ceilings but all three have produced some absolute dud performances this year. Part of me wants to go 'all in' on this trio and pick them all in my midfield/forward. The other part of me wants to roster none of them!
As mentioned above both Boyd and Dixon are worth a punt as dual position forwards.
My takes: Boyd, Dixon and ‘the volatile three’
Of the non-dual position midfielders, Jared Polec’s price stands out immediately. Polec was unsighted in the first quarter last week but then turned it on in the second quarter. If it was a fast track, a $10K Polec would be a no-brainer. I’m just not 100% he can produce a big score in the wet (yes, he did record 12 tackles against the Roos but that was nearly 4 x his season tackle average).
If it is wet, then you can bet that Sam Powell-Pepper is going to have some fun. The young bull may be given a soft run-with role on Jack Macrae (similar to the way he marked Trent Cotchin last week). It wasn’t a hard enough tag to diminish his own scoring potential but he hardly allowed Cotchin any room at stoppages. Brad Ebert is another player who should enjoy the contest tonight.
Further up the salary list, I like Toby McLean’s floor and ceiling while Ollie Wines will be a popular choice after his amazing performance last week. The most impressive aspect of Wines’ season-high score of 138 was that he achieved the score in only 65% game time!
My takes: McLean and the volatile three!
It was only a few weeks ago that the Dogs played against Adelaide in miserable conditions. It seems like they might have a similar experience tonight. I’ll be paying close attention to the weather tonight but even if it is raining, I might go a little contrarian to avoid all the other entries who play for a high tackle game.