Tigers vs Swans
While we’ve thankfully said goodBYE to the bye rounds, we still have another few weeks of Thursday night games (which surely has nothing to do with the World Cup!). If it lives up to expectation then tonight’s contest should be one of the games of the season. It’s 1st vs 2nd; the MCG Masters vs the Etihad Experts; the young upstart vs the old firm. The Richmond system has been rolling on in 2018, well at least in Melbourne it has. The Swans have been doing what they’ve been doing since I can remember - cruising through another season, chalked up Ws when they need to. It was only in their first quarter against St Kilda that we’ve really seen what the 2018 Swans are capable of. Fingers crossed that this game doesn’t turn out like the Big Mac I just ate and that expectation does, in fact, meet reality.
I think the Tigers missed a trick during the last few weeks by not resting Toby Nankervis. The Tigers big man has solo rucked the entire season (unless you count chop outs from Shaun Grigg and even Josh Caddy). Nankervis has looked tired during his last few games and I can’t see him keeping up with the more athletic Callum Sinclair. Now you might say, ‘hang on Roody, hasn’t Sinclair been solo rucking all year as well?’. Well yes, you’re right. But the difference is, Sinclair has the tank to enable such a role.
My takes: Sinclair.
Predicting a big Nick Vlastuin score isn’t always easy but the important Tiger defender has improved his floor in 2018. Vlastuin’s flexibility of playing tall and small always appeals to me and as long as he’s priced around $10K, I’m very interested.
I have to admit that I’ve never rated Reece Conca but I’ll also admit that perhaps it’s time I start to reconsider this view. Conca is arguably having a career-best season and his fantasy numbers are starting to speak volumes. Tonight’s salaries are really evenly priced so paying a little extra for defenders like Conca isn’t too difficult.
Jarrad McVeigh hasn’t had a scored below 70 since April and continues to defy his age. With Richmond’s forward pressure, it makes sense to target opposition defenders. This tactic is substantiated by the fact that Richmond gives up the 3rd most fantasy points to opposition small defenders. I actually don’t mind the idea of playing McVeigh together with Jake Lloyd.
My takes: Spending up today - McVeigh, Lloyd.
It seems that every slate recently has been heavily influenced by the presence of underpriced players either returning from injury or playing for the first time this year. Tonight that player is James Rose. Sydney has several NEAFL superstars who sometimes struggle to translate their dominance to the big stage. Rose only played one game last year but gets his chance tonight in Sydney’s biggest game of the year. Longmire must trust the kid to bring him in like this so that says something to me. His NEAFL stats are also impressive but as always, remember that NEAFL stats are some of the most misleading in state league competitions.
Only a few games into his career and it looks like Sydney have found another gem in Tom McCartin is a great size and presents well up the ground - almost in a Tom Lynch (Adel) link role. At a tick under $6K, I think McCartin is a good value play tonight.
Daniel Rioli had an excellent season debut last outing, led by an impressive 8 tackles. However, a significant price rise (he’s now $9,600) makes it a bit more risky to play Rioli again.
It’s often hard to separate Josh Caddy and Kane Lambert. While Caddy’s scoring is often propped up by goals, Lambert has a more significant midfield rotation. Both are decent options today, especially if you’re taking an even approach to your lineup construction.
Dustin Martin is going to have a big game soon. Dusty has now gone 8 games without a fantasy ton - he was only 19 when this last happened (Rounds 14 - 22, 2011) and surely the end of Dusty’s drought is just around the corner. The first problem with playing Dusty tonight is that as long as Dusty is this cheap, he’s going to be very highly owned on single game slates. The second problem is that he’s likely to be tagged by the in-form George Hewett. I’ll kick myself if he scores well but I’m going to fade Martin again tonight.
Jack Graham looks like he’s got his tackling mojo back and has recorded 20 tackles in his last two games. If it’s a contested game tonight - which it could well be - then you can back Jack to crack right in. Only one concern is the return of Dion Prestia who is likely to impact Graham’s midfield rotations. Prestia himself is a reasonable play and hasn’t scored below 70 in the four games he’s played this year.
My man-love for Oli Florent knows no bounds. His last two games have been outstanding and I don’t see him slowing down tonight. His price is getting a little bit too high and that’s the only concern I have with playing him tonight.
Top tier Sydney mids Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker are also priced well tonight.
My takes: Florent, Prestia, Kennedy and Parker.
When I’ve predicted tight contests, they’ve been open affairs; whenever I’ve predicted loose-checking shootouts, they’ve been tight contests. So tonight I’m predicted that what I predict, the opposite will happen! Instead, I’m just going for the players that I like and in general, I’ve avoided Richmond players who are traditionally a lower fantasy scoring team.