Now that the bye rounds are over, we’re back to a four game Saturday slate. Each of the four games have the potential to see some high fantasy scores too. The Eagles flew to the MCG to take on the Hawks. The Eagles play the MCG about as well as any team in the competition at the moment and I think this game could blowout early. The Swans get their turn for the dream midfield matchup of the Gold Coast Suns. The Swans are quietly building after a poor start to the year and should make short work of the struggling Suns. The Magpies have a rare home game at Marvel against the Roos and to finish things off, Port Adelaide host the Dogs at Adelaide Oval.
Peter Ladhams comes back into the Port Adelaide side at the rock bottom price of $5,000. Ladhams hit value (just) in his debut and he’s in an excellent spot tonight. From here, I’m going straight to my preferred plays of Scott Lycett and Brodie Grundy. Let me quickly explain why I just skipped about 10 ruckmen. Apart from Sam Reid (who could go off against the Suns with no Buddy), I just don’t see any of these guys having value days, let alone scoring 100s. Tom Hickey is now unplayable with Nic Nat back (who is himself unplayable in his first match back from an ACL). Tim English looks like he’s getting tired and the matchup is horrible for him too. Callum Sinclair isn’t an entirely horrible selection but his matchup isn’t great against Jarrod Witts and Ben McEvoy is just too expensive.
That leaves us with Lycett who is fresh from a huge 130 and Grundy who has scored over 140 four times in his last six games (including one game against Max ‘Ruck Kryptonite’ Gawn). Lycett should ruck most of the game as Ladhams isn’t quite AFL ready for that role. Lycett’s matchup is amazing against the Dogs and he could legitimately push value again. It’s going to be really sad watching Todd Goldstein trying to keep up with Grundy today and I think another huge score is there for the taking.
Cory Ellis is the first of the cheap defensive options that I’m considering today. Ellis was solid in his Suns debut and at $6,650, he’s one of the safest pay down options on this slate. Taylor Duryea should probably be a little more expensive than he is on the basis of his three game average of 75. I’m not expecting a huge score from Duryea, but he’s on my short list. I played Chris Masten last week hoping that he’d junk up in an Essendon massacre. That big win didn’t eventuate and sadly, neither did Masten’s junky 100. I mentioned earlier that I love the Eagles today and even though there are a lot of better plays than Masten, I just know that he’s gonna score well (especially if I don’t play him).
Speaking of junk, there are plenty of players who will get a lot of uncontested ball today. Aliir Aliir won’t be on many radars but he could easily have 10+ marks just in intercepts. His teammate Callum Mills has finally learned how to score fantasy 100s and is a great spot as well. Ryan Burton returned to a more traditional half-back role last week but still managed to raise the bat.
Jack Crisp’s price continues to do strange things - going up when it should go down and going down when it should go up. Last week, Crisp’s price went up despite some poor form and this week it went down even though Crisp scored 122 against the Dogs. Crisp has one of the best defensive ceilings on offer today, so he’s definitely worth consideration.
It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen a Shannon Hurn monster score, but he’s in a terrific spot today. First, I think the Eagles will win easily - which automatically means junk time bonuses for Hurn. Second, the Hawks give up a stack of points to defenders. I’m hoping people are scared away by Hurn’s near $14K price tag, which is admittedly, quite large.
James Rowbottom has been killing the NEAFL to the point that he’s leading the NEAFL MVP voting at the half-way point of the year. On multiple occasions, Rowbottom has failed to translate his NEAFL prowess into the AFL. Well James, you won’t get many better opportunities than this. If you’re playing Grundy and multiple studs, then Rowbottom is a consideration. Our other dirt cheap rookie is Oli Hanrahan. Hawks supporters have been calling out for Hanrahan’s debut for a while now and they finally get their wish. Hanrahan will play a half-forward role and as I don’t think the ball will be down there that often, I’m not really considering the young Hawk.
The next cheapie that I like is Sam Day. Maybe I’m just point chasing but I was interested to see Day’s heatmap which showed that he found his possessions all around the ground (and particularly on the wing). Day also played a significant ruck role, picking up 19 hitouts.
West Coast’s forwards, both big and small, should enjoy themselves today. It will be interesting to see how a forward line of Rioli, Ryan and Cameron works. I’m guessing that Rioli or Ryan will push a little further up the ground, leaving Cameron to crumb off JJK and Darling. Jamie Cripps had his best game for the season and he should enjoy the space of the G today.
Will Hoskin-Elliott is in great form and his price is still very responsible. I was worried that Robbie Gray was going to get pushed out of the midfield last week and while he did spend a little more time forward, he attended CBAs as well. This game could be a fantasy fest and I definitely want some Robbie Gray exposure today.
Scott Lycett is still available as forward and Josh Dunkley is still playable even at $15K.
I pride myself on my knowledge of AFL lists, but I’ll admit that I had to Google Kyron Hayden. And that’s a good thing because it means that most other people would have done this as well. There’s plenty of value to target today, so you probably don’t need to consider Hayden (9 game VFL average of 13d, 2m and 6t). He also has two first names, so that immediately bumps him down a fair bit.
Everyone’s favourite value play at the moment is Patrick Lipinski but obviously, Draftstars does not agree. Lipinski’s price is still $10K, despite a three game average of 103 and a season average of 97. His partner in value, Brayden Sier had a poor game last week but there’s no reason why he can’t bounce back today. In fact, if you played Sier last week, there is no real reason to not go back to the well. In fact, there’s probably more reason to play him now as his ownership will experience recency bias.
Regular readers will know I’m a huge fan of Jordan Dawson and the breakout Swan is in a great spot today against the Suns. In the same game, David Swallow and Anthony Miles are playable if you think the game will stay congested.
In the next group of players we have Tom Phillips at $13,140 and Lachie Hunter at $13,230. It’s been a while since we’ve seen an absolute ceiling game from Phillips but, like many Collingwood players, he’s always a chance to go 120+. Lachie Hunter missed out on the absolute fantasy fest that was last Sunday’s game but did spend a lot more time playing as a pure mid. Jack Redden has three 100s in his last four games and is a great junktime candidate if my predictions for that game eventuate. You can also use that same theory to play any (or all) of the Eagles mids all the way up to Andrew Gaff. Out of all these guys, Redden, Yeo and Gaff are my favourite plays.
As I’ve mentioned before, the Swans mids are in a smash spot, it’s just a matter of picking the right players. It’s crazy to consider that Luke Parker is the most expensive midfield on this slate. I know he’s in great form but if you consider the absolute ceiling of players priced around him, Parker’s scoring potential just doesn’t stack up to the likes of Andrew Gaff and Jack Macrae (who has scored 320 fps in two weeks).