Bye, bye, bye, bye. We finally get the end of the bye rounds today and it’s not a moment too soon. We’ve got a couple of stackable games with each of the favourite capable of a blow out today. The Suns travel (yes, again!) this time to Hobart to take on the Hawks. Percentage will be crucial in a few months time and the Hawks will be looking to give theirs a boost today. The Giants are also in the finals peloton and can’t afford to drop a ‘should win’ game against the Lions at the Gabba. Finally, the Kangaroos will be hoping to solidify their place in the eight with a win against the injury-ravaged Bulldogs.
Peter Wright makes his season debut and is available as a ruck/fwd. Wright will be rusty and he has had some shockers in the past but on a day when there aren't many great ruck options, I suspect that plenty of coaches will take a punt on Wright.
Todd Goldstein is in a great spot against the Dogs if you want to spend a little more on your ruck. As we know by now, the Dogs aren’t great against rucks (especially the good ones). Jarrod Witts’ height will prove an issue for Ben McEvoy (who’s actually in doubt with his wife due to give birth any moment).
Jarrod Roughead is a great chance to have a day out today against a pretty poor Suns defence without Rory Thompson. Roughy might be asked to give McEvoy a bit of a break in the ruck as well.
Finally, Stef Martin should be too mobile for Dawson Simpson.
My takes: Wright, Goldstein, Roughead.
Last week’s value darlings, Hayden Crozier and Ed Richards should be considered again. The Dogs injury woes are well documented and both of these players thrived with greater responsibility last week. With Shane Biggs dropped on the back of his absolute shocker of a game, Crozier and Richards will feature prominently again. Teammate Marcus Adams makes his season debut at $5K. In his 21 AFL games, Adams has only failed to score above 50 once.
On the flip side of that matchup, Robbie Tarrant and Scott Thompson could easily dominate an inexperienced Bulldogs forward line. It was way back in April that North’s defensive pillars dined out on the Hawks and we could very well see them have similar stats lines tonight.
Bailey Williams’ price of $11K keeps him on my shortlist and while James Sicily is a little more expensive, he’s in an absolute smash spot against the Suns in Hobart. Sicily has lost his forward status this week so if you want him, you’ll have to play him down back.
Finally, if you’re saving cash in other areas, a pairing of Lachie Whitfield and Heath Shaw can return handsome rewards.
Jed Anderson returns from injury today and should enjoy himself against a weakened Bulldogs midfield. Mason Wood is another Kangaroo to consider and he’ll benefit from increases usage in Jarrad Waite’s absence.
Jack Martin and Ben Ainsworth are two slightly contrarian ways to get exposure to the Hawks/Suns game. Martin has only had one 100+ score this year but I’m a sucker for this kid and his pure footy and fantasy potential.
Josh Dunkley is another player who I love to roster. Like other Bulldogs I’ve mentioned today, Dunkley will have an increased role today. Dunkley should have an increased midfield role and this should help him work towards a value score. The same could also be said for Luke Dahlhaus.
Finally, targeting Hawthorn forwards is safe bet today. Jack Gunston has been named on the wing but will roam wherever he wants to! Luke Breust’s price has dropped back down to where it should be (around $10K) and he’s another Hawk who should enjoy himself today.
Tim Taranto has been a crowd favourite in 2018. His steady price, 100+ ceiling and Toby Greene’s continued absence have combined to make him a popular target whenever he plays. The Giants should win big today and Taranto does have a habit of featuring prominently in Giant wins.
Mitch Wallis will need to do a lot of heavy lifting today. Wallis hasn’t raised the bat yet this year but he also hasn’t had an absolute dud game either. The safety of playing Wallis together with his increased role makes him an attractive mid-priced option.
Jack Ziebell could be a good low ownership option. Ziebell's size and flexibility could present problems for the Dogs today, especially if he continues to have stints in the forward line. Ben Cunnington will be unleashed today and we all know what he’s capable of when he’s given a bit of freedom. Oh, and then there’s the red-hot Shaun Higgins.
Jaeger O’Meara looked fresh after some time off and as I’ve mentioned earlier, the Hawks are in a great spot today.
Lachie Hunter will have to change his game today and won’t be able to skulk around the packs getting cheap handball receives and 15-metre kicks. This will either cause Hunter’s output to implode or explode. Good luck getting on the right side of that decision!
Playing Marcus Adams provides a nice bit of flexibility and you can easily build some nice Tom Mitchell teams. With a nice spread of players to target, this should be a great slate.