Saints vs Blues
What’s the best way to enjoy this horrible Friday night fixturing nightmare? Play a DFS contest of course! The criticism of Carlton from the media and the public has been fierce and supporters must be frustrated with their apparent lack of effort displayed at times this year. However, let’s not forget that this time last year, St Kilda were still vying for a finals spot and were widely touted to improve even more in 2018. If not for Carlton’s poor season and for the decline of the Western Bulldogs, I think the Victorian media would be giving St Kilda a tougher time. The Saints are 1-1-5 at Etihad this season so don't be surprised if Carlton can pull off an upset tonight.
An injury to Andrew Phillips will see Matthew Kreuzer ride solo tonight. I’ll always consider a solo Kreuzer as that’s when the Carlton ruck is at his best. The helmeted Kreuzer looked a little tentative around the contest last week so I’m hoping he gets more aggressive tonight. Old mate Tom Hickey comes into the team on the back of some ridiculous VFL numbers. Hickey has had a huge fortnight in the reserves during which is picked up 25+ possessions as a ruckman. However, it’s backup ruck/forward Rowan Marshall who I really like tonight. Marshall has had an injury-interrupted season but has shown some excellent signs both as a relief ruck and a pinch-hitting forward.
My takes: Marshall, Hickey (for old time’s sake).
Caleb Marchbank has been named tonight, although I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s late withdrawal. If he does play then Marchbank is actually quite a good option at $6,710. Daisy Thomas has actually been in good fantasy form with a three-game average of 101 and he’s scored over 80 for 8 out of his last 9 games. I’d actually love to see what Sam Petrevski-Seton could do off a back flank but unfortunately, Brendan Bolton hasn’t varied much from his team structures this year.
Jimmy Webster was hot and cold last week, doing most of his scoring in 5 minutes flashes. Webster gets a strange $2K salary increase this week despite scoring 85 last week and having a three-game average of 63 (injury affected). Almost every St Kilda player is a great spot today but Webster’s $12,630 price tag doesn’t quite sit right with me. Shane Savage could be a nice pivot away from Webster and the New Zealander has been in reasonable recently. Savage has a season average of 82 and has only dropped below 70 points three times this year.
My takes: Marchbank (if in), Thomas, Simpson.
I mentioned Jack Silvagni last week as a left of centre option for saving some cash and I’ll do so again tonight. Silvagni has played a range of positions over his last few games including spending periods across half-back. It’s possible that Bolton continues to find a role for Silvagni in the backline tonight.
Playing key forwards against Carlton worked well for me last week as I took a calculated risk on Eric Hipwood. Tonight it’s Tim Membrey’s chance to cash in on this trend. Membrey has decent scores against teams who struggle against key forwards including scores of 91, 81 and 100 against Melbourne, Gold Coast and Brisbane respectively. Jade Gresham is in career-best form and has been lively around goals.
Jack Billings is finding the football again and a soft matchup could be just what Billings need to complete his return to form.
My takes: Marshall (as discussed), Membrey, Billings
Matt Shaw makes his Carlton debut after moving across from the Suns. A veteran of 100 games, Shaw has never been a huge fantasy scorer. However, over his career, he’s had very few dud games either. $5,000 is a great price for Shaw and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t reach value. My only concern is that he’ll be popular as a safe $5K player on a single game slate.
Regular Value Hunter readers may wonder if I’m related to Matthew Kennedy. If you saw me in the flesh you’d see that I’m clearly not - I just think the kid will become a very good footballer. I’m always going to consider Kennedy when he’s under $9K and I think a breakout 100 is just around the corner.
The combination of a great price and excellent recent form will up David Armitage’s ownership. $11K for a player with a three-game average of 103 proves that point.
Jacks Sinclair, Steele and Stevens are all in the mix. Of these three mid pricers I like the flexibility of Sinclair’s game the most. Named on the wing, Sinclair can run through the midfield and sneak forward for a goal.
Marc Murphy looks a little underdone last week but he’ll be better from the run. Murphy was flying before his injury and he can get back to that form he’s a good play even at $14K.
My takes: Shaw, Kennedy, Sinclair, Murphy.