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The Value Hunter: Round 15 - Bulldogs vs Cats

Posted {{post.formattedDate}} by Roody

Bulldogs vs Cats

When I looked at this contest earlier in the week I thought this would be a really tight, fun DFS contest. We now have two $5,000 debutantes named in Quinton Narkle and Brad Lynch. Unfortunately this completely changes the nature of the slate and it’s quite easy to roster multiple high-ceiling studs. Boooo.

Rucks

As strange as it may seem Geelong’s much-discussed, much-nicknamed midfield has struggled to win clearances this season. While this is partly due to their stars taking longer than expected to gel but it’s also due to their poor ruck stocks. Last outing, however, Geelong dominated clearances for the first time. Last outing, however, Rhys Stanley, had a career-best performance. Coincidence? I think not. Stanley was sensational against Richmond and he should easily account of Tom Boyd and Co. You could take Boyd or Trengove but I think there are better options to save money elsewhere.

Defenders

There’s our regular assortment of cheap, low ceiling defenders tonight. Roarke Smith had a nice value exceeding season debut a few weeks ago but despite the Bulldogs job vacancies in defence, Smith hasn’t been able to reach value since. Jed Bews has had a solid couple of weeks (pre-bye) and should get close to a 8 - 10 x value score. While he won’t get anywhere near 80-100, Bews is a reasonably cheap option a night when you need to save money if you’re targeting Geelong’s midfield studs.

Harry Taylor returns at a ridiculous $6,500. It’s difficult to fade Taylor at this price as he clearly has the ability to exceed value. Ownership will be high but Taylor is a much better scoring proposition than our next cheapie.

Rookie Brad Lynch makes his debut tonight. A rangey half-back flanker, Lynch hasn’t exactly been bashing the door down with his VFL form. However, he has been an emergency for the last few weeks so clearly the Dogs coaching staff see something in him. I’m not convinced he can get value tonight and I’m steering clear. If you’re desperate to stack your midfield and forward line with studs then I guess you could make a case for playing him.

Matt Suckling’s return completely changes my approach of targeting Bulldogs defenders (which has worked well since Suckling injury).  Suckling is clearly the Dogs preferred defensive outlet and his return will take points away from Crozier, Richards and Williams. These players now become much riskier plays as they won’t have the same usage they’ve enjoyed in the last few games.

My takes: Taylor, Bews, Suckling.

Forwards

I had to double check I was reading the right tab when I started looking at forwards tonight. GAJ, Dangerfield, Menegola, McLean and Bontempelli are all available as forward/midfielders tonight. This is a little distracting as clearly, these are all players capable of big 100+ scores.

I took a chance on Cory Gregson last outing and that, um, well, err… the less said about that decision, the better. In all seriousness, taking cheap players is a common DFS practice but one that needs to be carefully considered. Only play the cheapies if (A) you think they are genuinely capable of reaching and/or exceeding their value (B) your team is significantly better with the stud player which your cheapie allows your to pick. So yes, there will be a lot of coaches we will take a chance on Narkle and or even Narkle + Lynch or Narkle + Lynch + Taylor. But unless you nail every other selection, you could find yourself a long way off cash.

I don’t believe that Brandan Parfitt’s 138 was a once off. That said, I haven’t seen the effort from Parfitt that I’d expect in an AFL player. He’s got talent to burn and I’d love to see him light up the dome tonight in what should be a fast-paced game.

Mitch Wallis continues to do what Mitch Wallis does - chip in with handy 70 - 90 scores. Although Wallis hasn’t scored 100+ since 2016, he’s established a solid floor this year with a lowest score of 70. Oh, and his 2018 average at Etihad is 96.

Bulldogs + opposition key forwards = goals. If you don’t know this formula by now then I’m not sure what more I can do. Brown, Hogan, Dixon and Westhoff are just some of the big forwards to have kicked multiple goals against the Dogs. For this reason, I just have to play Tom Hawkins tonight.

I expected Toby McLean’s numbers to increase in Jack Macrae’s absence, but unfortunately, that hasn’t eventuated. Perhaps it’s Macrae or maybe it’s McLean own injury that has limited his output over the past few weeks - don’t forget that McLean was absolutely crunched in a Robbie Gray tackle a few weeks ago, injuring his shoulder. McLean’s price has dropped accordingly and if he can return to form, he’s an attractive play.

My takes: Wallis, Hawkins

Midfielders

Nooooo…… Just when I thought this was going to be a fun, tight slate Geelong has to ruin it by naming Quinton Narkle to debut. Playing as a half-forward/midfielder, Narkle has been impressive in the VFL this year. As a bottom priced player, you’d hope that Narkle can get you a solid 50. However, just remember that he’s unlikely to spend any time in the midfield and he’ll rely on crumbing goals for the majority of his points. Expect sky-high ownership as the kid has had his face plastered all over Twitter and other media. A Narkle fade would be a great GPP play.

Cam Guthrie comes back in for his first game since April. Guthrie should play a half-back role and he’s a fair chance to reach value at $7,610.

If here, it’s a matter of which of the top tier mids you trust to bring home the biggest scores. As usual, that’s often the hardest thing about AFL DFS.

My takes; Narkle, Guthrie, studs.

Final thoughts…

Lipinski, Richards, Lynch, Roarke Smith. That’s the Bulldog’s bench tonight. While they do look stronger in defence on paper, I think they’re really going to struggle tonight. The funny thing from a DFS perspective however, is that even when the Dogs struggle, they can still produce strong fantasy scores.