Swans vs Cats
We’ve got another SCG anomaly tonight with Geelong playing their first game at the venue since 2014. Only 8 Geelong players who took the field last week have played at the SCG before. Read into this little fixturing quirk as you will. I’m simply going to consider each player by merit and see where the breeze takes me. Teams have found it equally difficult to score fantasy points against both the Swans and Cats (both ranked top 5 for least fantasy points conceded), so this could be a low scoring (fantasy wise) affair. The Cats have often looked slow this season and while the Swans aren’t the fastest team going around, they should be fast enough to cause Geelong some problems.
Put simply, Rhys Stanley is in the form of his life. Over the last three games, Stanley has averaged 30 hitouts, 17 disposals, 3 marks and 3 tackles. His price is still very reasonable and the matchup against Sinclair shouldn’t pose too many problems for him. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t consider Callum Sinclair, it’s just that I think Stanley will carry on his good form. In fact, will both rucks flying solo you could make an argument for playing Sinclair as your ruck and Stanley in your forward line.
My takes: Stanley.
I can count on one finger the times I’ve correctly played the right Sydney or Geelong cheap defender this year. As I mentioned a few times this season already, picking a Nick Smith/Dane Rampe/Harry Marsh value game is a challenge. Yet as difficult a task as this is, both Smith/Rampe and even Marsh have more upside than the Geelong defenders available at a similar price. The clear exception, of course, is Harry Taylor. The versatile Cat was back to his swinging best last week. Despite playing most of the game forward, Scott to did swing Taylor back for brief stints in defence. Taylor’s flexibility and price make it an easy choice to return to the well.
Zach Tuohy could fly under the radar on a night when he should have a lot of work to do. Tuohy was only 13% owned last week and I’m expecting even lower ownership tonight.
Jarrad McVeigh’s excellent floor can’t be ignored and Jake Lloyd could go overlooked as people are blinded by Geelong’s midfield stars.
My takes: Taylor, Tuohy, McVeigh.
I feel a bit sorry for Swan Dan Robinson. The bloke dominates each NEAFL game he plays but just can’t seem to make the step up to AFL standard. Even though we know that NEAFL stats can be misleading, you can’t consistently rack up 30+ possessions without being at least a little bit good at football. I’ve taken a couple of chances on a Robinson breakout game this year and I think I’ve got one more in me tonight.
Tom McCartin continues to impress. Again, he hasn’t had any breakout games but his presence across half-forward is taking some of the pressure off of Buddy Franklin. If you’re really keen for that cheap, low-owned p.o.d then McCartin’s your man.
Ben Ronke kicked two goals in a minute and was then pretty quiet for the rest of the night last week. Ronke’s speed presents a challenge for a slow Geelong backline and if Sydney can move the ball quickly, then Ronke will be the major beneficiary.
I know there are two teams to consider but I’ll mention another Swan in Harry Cunningham. The Swans will need someone to fill the Heeney role tonight and I think Cunningham will get the first crack. He’s a decent mark, has great leg speed and seems the most likely to fill that link-forward role.
My takes: Robinson (one last time!), Ronke, Cunningham.
Robbie Fox’s NEAFL numbers aren’t quite in the same category as Dan Robinson but the kid can still find the footy well at reserve level. Playing Fox is the very definition of a punt play but it does allow you to squeeze more midfield studs into your lineup.
Quinton Narkle didn’t disappoint in his debut last week but if ‘Sparkle Narkle’ becomes a thing, I think I might have to give this game away! The Geelong selectors have clearly recognised the need for speed with Narkle, Jones and Parfitt all name in the same side for the first time. Narkle attended an impressive 8 centre bounces last week so it will be interesting to see if he’s given this kind of responsibility again. Narkle’s price tag of $9K might scare some people off playing the second gamer.
Dan Hannebery score 76 last week was incredibly his 2nd best fantasy score of the year. Someone will take Heeney’s midfield rotations and it could be Hannebery. I just don’t trust his scoring potential enough to take that chance.
Last week’s poor outing broke a run of 6 games with over 20 possessions for Oli Florent. Another Heeney replacement candidate, Florent could easily breakthrough for his first career 100. Zak Jones hasn’t been able to improve on his excellent 2017 form. He’s another Swan who could see increased usage tonight and of those I’ve already mentioned, his ownership will probably be the lowest.
Tackling machine Scott Selwood returns for a long injury-enforced layoff. Selwood’s excellent tackling floor puts him into consideration but I’m a little concerned about the role he’s going to play in Geelong’s overflowing midfield.
I also like the scoring potential of Tim Kelly and Luke Parker tonight.
My takes: Florent, Selwood, Jones.
I’m really looking forward to this contest. Geelong hasn’t travelled much this year (2-1 including a Gold Coast whalloping) and has selected one of their youngest teams of the year. Last week’s shock loss to the Bulldogs means the Cats simply can’t afford to drop many more games on the run home.