An interesting little slate today in which I expect most people will target the bruise-free game in Perth. A Collingwood win will see them equal on points with Richmond and a Collingwood thrashing could see them go top! West Coast struggled at the G last outing and with a host of big-name inclusions, this game could really be anything. Finally, Etihad Stadium has seen some big fantasy scores in recent weeks and this could be a sneaky way to approach today.
Sean Darcy battled hard against Max Gawn last week and squeaked his way past value. Unlike most of $5K players recently, Darcy’s price hasn’t increased much at all this week and he’s still an excellent value play. Scott Jones has also been named and unfortunately, he’ll probably job share the ruck duties with Darcy. This diminishes Darcy’s appeal slightly.
Paddy Ryder failed to cash in against St Kilda last week and because of this, he gets the Port ruck at a discounted price of $10,780. I love Ryder at this price and he should also be too mobile for Sean Darcy.
My takes: Darcy, Ryder.
There aren’t enough AFL players named Colin and today this illustrious name makes its way back into our fine game. Swans’ Irish import Colin O’Riordan makes his debut today after some impressive form in the NEAFL. As always, we need to temper our expectations when looking at this competition which regularly produces remarkably high disposal counts.
Tommy Sheridan has performed well in the absence of Connor Blakely. Spending most of his time on a wing, Sheridan has also pushed back to half-back and even crept forward to jag a few goals. Ethan Hughes isn’t about to get you a 100 but at $5,300, he could very well get a 10 x value score to allow you to spend up somewhere else.
It will be interesting to see how Nathan Buckley uses the returning Darcy Moore. I wouldn’t consider Moore if he was any more expensive than he is but at $5,700 he’s an intriguing value option.
Targeting defenders against Fremantle has been a good strategy this season. The Dockers give away the 4th most points to opposition defenders. This brings Port runners Darcy Byrne-Jones and Riley Bonner into the equation.
My takes: Honestly, there aren’t many I want to play at all!
Jack Watts responded well after being dropped and fell just short of a 100. Watts a decent play today and his price of $9,330 is fair for both his form but also his potential.
Steven Motlop excels in outside games and the Port/Fremantle game should be about as bruise-free as they come. An excellent score of 112 has bumped Motlop’s price up a little higher than I’d like it to be but games like this are his bread and butter.
Harry Cunningham had a great first half last week and even had me dreaming of a podium finish! Despite his second-half fade out, I’m willing to give Cunningham another run. There will be extra midfield minutes on offer for the Swans today and hopefully, Cunningham will spend more time in the guts. It could also finally be time for Longmire to unleash Dan Robinson into the midfield.
Jamie Cripps is an excellent form with a three-game average just short of 100 and with sets of 2 goals in each of his last three games.
Port’s Volatile Three (Wingard, Rockliff and Gray) are always in play when there’s a predicted thrashing on its way. Play one or play them all depending on your strategy but it’s Wingard new midfield role and Robbie Gray’s scoring ability that I like the most. Having said that, now watch Rockliff be the highest scorer from that group today!
Oh and there’s some guy named Lance Franklin who’s only $12,300 and scored 118 in his last game at Etihad.
With Sydney losing some midfield depth, there will be some rotations up for grabs today. Parker, Kennedy and Heeney will all play exclusively in the middle but they’ll need some help. As mentioned, Cunningham and Robinson could feature in this role but so to could Robbie Fox who was the best out of these three last week. Zak Jones is yet another candidate for this role.
From an outside observer, Nic Newman’s fall from grace has been odd. Last year Newman played 20 games, largely providing drive off a half-back flank. He averaged 86 in his debut season and most of us just assumed he’d be a staple feature the Swan’s backline for the next few years. But Newman has played only one senior game since April, despite some consistent good form (and huge scores) in the NEAFL. The Swans will need his drive today and his price of $6,810 is hard to resist despite his strange 2018 season.
Brayden Sier’s price is attractive today, especially if you’re playing an expensive ruck and need to find value across the ground. After an excellent debut, Sier struggled to have the same impact last week. $7,500 is a fair price and a value score remains a strong possibility.
Brad Hill was rusty in his return from injury last week and looked a little off the pace. Hill averaged 91 last year and in outside game against Port Adelaide at home, I like his chances of a decent score.
Looking up the salary list, Luke Parker and Josh Kennedy will have to shoulder heavy midfield responsibilities; Oli Wines could go under-owned after a lean fortnight; Ed Langdon loves playing at home; Tom Phillips does as well; and Lachie Neale will feature prominently in a Fyfe-less midfield against a team that doesn’t run a hard tag (though SPP will stick with him at stoppages).
My takes: Newman, Fox, Hill.