There certainly are some uninspiring games on today and while the contests themselves aren’t great, there is a bit of fantasy relevance out there. The Blues host the Dockers at Docklands and would fancy their chances to register their second win of the year. Up in Queensland, we get the matchup that no one really wants to watch as the Suns host the Saints. Both teams are enduring an insipid run of form and it’s difficult to know what to expect from either side. Finally, the beaten up Crows travel for the third time in four weeks, this time to the MCG to take on the Hawks (who are fresh from a bye - look out!).
I hope you don’t think I’m lazy by doing this. I hope you don’t think I’m selling you short. But of all the rucks on offer today, I just can’t overlook the salary anomaly of Billy Longer. The St Kilda ruckman hasn’t played since Round 2 and his first two scores of the year were poor (although he was injured in the second game). Longer rejoins the team at an utterly ridiculous $5,450. Last year, Longer only failed to hit a 10 x value for that price once. True, Longer is not a very good ‘round the ground’ ruckman. But I think he should easily reach value today.
The only reason not to play Longer is ownership. Especially on this smaller Saturday slate, Longer’s ownership will be sky-high.
My takes: Longer.
While we’re still on the theme of underpriced players, Sean Lemmens makes his season debut for the Suns today. Lemmens suffered a hamstring injury during JLT1 but before leaving the ground, he looked great in a small forward role (scored 50 odd from half a game). I don’t mind taking a punt on Lemmens today and I think he could easily return a 50-70 point game.
Jacob Weitering shouldn’t have to do much close marking (as Fremantle’s tall forwards just aren’t that good). Theoretically, this should allow Weitering to control the back half and rack up mark/kick stats. However, be warned - Weitering has a spectacularly low floor and has the ability to single-handedly sink your lineups.
Several media outlets have focused on Lachie Weller and his costly trade to the Gold Coast. Now as much as I like Weller, there is no way on God’s green MCG that he was worth Pick 2. Sometimes this kind of media chatter can have an effect on player performance and with a soft matchup against the Saints, the stage could be set for Weller to go large.
If the Suns are as insipid in their forward half as they were last week, Jake Carlisle could have a huge day down back. Carlisle is prone to the odd 100+ score and the Suns’ forward line shouldn’t present too many problems for Jake. Logan Austin’s recent good form could also relieve Carlisle of some one-on-one responsibility.
After his excellent start to the season, Paul Seedsman’s output has dropped over the last few weeks. You would have assumed that Rory Laird’s absence would lead to increase in output for Seedsman so it’s a little surprising that he’s regressed. Seedsman’s price sub $12K is attractive and the open spaces of the MCG should provide him with the opportunity to score well. That said, I’m a little hesitant in rostering Crows players today considering the team’s form and recent travelling schedule.
James Sicily’s ceiling is always hard to ignore and he usually scores better when the Hawks win. His price is good ($12K) and if the MCG stays dry on Saturday then I think he’s an excellent play.
The top priced defenders on today’s slate are all in good spots. Kade Simpson is relatively cheap (for his standards); Jimmy Webster is thriving as St Kilda’s quarterback; and regular Value Hunter readers will know that I love playing Luke Ryan and Connor Blakely, especially when the matchup is good - and today’s matchup against Carlton doesn’t get much better.
My takes: Lemmens (salary saver), Carlisle, Webster, Ryan.
The Crows have made some changes and rookie Patrick Wilson comes in for his debut. Wilson is a mature-age rookie-listed midfielder/fwd. He’s a solid unit, loves the contest and has a booming right boot. If the Crows throw Wilson straight into the midfield rotation, then I think he’s great chance to hit value on debut.
Jack Silvagni showed something during his midfield stints a few weeks ago and should have a similar role today. Silvagni is still priced well ($7,380) and with all the value around today, he could fly under the radar.
Next we have a pair of key forwards who have both been known to kick bigs of goals. Tex Walker and Tom Lynch are both around $8.5k which is as low as I’ve ever seen either one of them on Draftstars. However, it appears that both players are playing injured so, despite their respective upsides, I’m steering clear.
I really liked Josh Battle’s game last week and if I was a St Kilda supporter, I’d be begging the club to just keep playing the kid. He’s probably just a bit too expensive today but the Suns matchup puts him on my ‘maybe’ list.
Carlton’s continued poor form against key forwards means you could make a case for chasing Brennan Cox’s points. This game could go either way but for Fremantle to kick a winning score, Cox will need to have a big day.
Ben Ainsworth is one of the only good news stories to come out of the Gold Coast this year. The kid is slowly making the transition from a pressure forward to the midfield and I expect that will continue today. He’s got real 100 point upside and I think he’ll go under-owned today. Speaking of under-owned, Charlie Curnow could be an awesome p.o.d today.
News of Jack Billing’s monster VFL spread across the Twittersphere faster than my wife spends my DFS winnings. Expect heavy ownership on Billings as he returns in a primo matchup.
Finally, Jack Martin should enjoy the bruise-free atmosphere at Metricon Stadium and could be a slightly lower owned way to gain exposure to this game.
My takes: Wilson, Ainsworth, Curnow (pod), Billing (chalk).
If you’re still looking for Suns/Saints exposure and don’t have the cash to spend then you could consider Hunter Clark or David Armitage. I’m a big fan of Clark and think he’ll be a permanent fixture in the Saints best 22 for years to come. Clark hasn’t set the world on fire but he’s rarely had a total bomb game either. If Armitage wants to remain a Saint, he’d be well advised to start performing more constantly. A few years ago, Armitage was a pulling in 100s without a care in the world. Injury and poor form has plagued Armitage in recent years and he’s now become a risky fantasy play.
Sam Kerridge is one mid-pricer who I really like today. Kerridge should enjoy himself in this matchup and will rotate through the midfield and along the wing. In the same price range, Jack Newnes is worth a thought especially since he’s moved to a mid/fwd role.
Jarrod Lyons has somehow been stuck in the magoos in a time when the Suns have been desperate for some leadership and competitiveness. Lyons returns today and he’ll be keen to prove a point to the Gold Coast selection panel.
Matt Crouch is too cheap to ignore but his ownership is likely to be quite high at this reduced price. Patty Cripps is worth a thought at $14K and Seb Ross could feast on the feeble Suns' midfield.
My thoughts: Too many to choose from!! With the value on offer today you can almost play any midfielders you want!
It’s another slate where you can get really creative. There’s some good rock bottom plays or you can build a solid mid-priced mayhem outfit.