Bombers vs Swans
As I’ll discuss later, this is a surprisingly difficult game to predict. Since 2010, the Bombers and Swans have met 11 times with the Swans winning 10 games (and the one they lost was only by one point). Logic then suggests that the Swans should have a comfortable victory tonight. Yet if the 2018 season has taught us anything it’s that logic doesn’t exist anymore in this world. Just last week the Suns recorded the biggest upset in recent memory by beating the Swans at the SCG. While Essendon accounted for the Dockers at home, their form has been far from consistent.
Only two choices tonight so we don’t have much to analyse. With a greater ability to pick up stats other just hitouts, Callum Sinclair has the higher ceiling than Tom Bellchambers. Sinclair is averaging more in just about every stat apart from hitouts and has 7 100s to Bellchambers’ two. The only thing that might sway me towards Bellchambers is that with McKernan out, Bellcho will ruck just about the entire night. That said, the Darcy Cameron experiment lasted just one week and Sinclair won’t get much of a break either.
I will say this - I don’t trust either ruckman to score 100+ tonight. In situations like this, I’m tempting to just pick the cheaper option so that I don’t waste money. Sinclair is $1,300 more expensive than Bellchambers which is not an insignificant amount on a single slate.
My takes: Sinclair (higher ceiling), Bellchambers (trust issues!).
Here’s a nice little statistical quirk for you. Jake Lloyd has scored 8 100s this season - the same number of 100s as every other defender on offer tonight put together! So in terms of defenders with ceilings, there really is only one choice. The fact that Essendon gives away the most points to small/medium defenders could make Lloyd one of the most popular plays tonight.
I keep clicking on Matty Dea’s name for some reason. Dea may not be a fashionable player in real life and especially in DFS but he’s recorded three scores over 70 in his last four games. With Hooker likely to get first crack at Buddy, Dea could have a decent night mopping up intercept marks (Francis could do the same thing but we’ll get to him later). I don’t think Dea will reach the 81 he needs for 10 x value, but he could get close.
Speaking of intercept marks, Irish sensation Colin O’Riordan has had an excellent start to his AFL and fantasy career. Averaging a healthy 78 playing as a third tall defender, O’Riordan has taken 7 marks in each of his two games so far. Similar to Dea, I’m not sure O’Riordan will reach 10 x value but he could still be a good way to save some cash. Heath Grundy is another candidate for the Sydney defensive sweeper role.
Brendan Goddard is cheap if you consider his historical form but overpriced when considering that he’s only scored one 100 in his last 10 games.
And that brings us to Aaron Francis. It wasn’t that long ago that former top 10 draft pick Francis looked like he’d never play again. Battling mental health issues, Francis spent time away from the club, only to return a few months later with a renewed passion for the game. After hitting some consistent form in the VFL, Francis finally gets another chance to play senior footy. In terms of his scoring potential, Francis is an extremely flexible player and I suspect he’ll play a number of different roles tonight.
My takes: Francis (could be chalky), Dea, O’Riordan.
Orazio Fantasia has had a big fortnight with 9 goals and scores of 103 and 116. The Dons will go small in their forward line tonight and Fantasia could be in for another big performance. The Swans have been ok against small-medium forwards recently but did give up some big scores in the position earlier in the year.
Buddy Franklin’s price is under $12K again (just) and he’s sure to be a popular selection tonight.
Like so many of his teammates last week, Isaac Heeney went missing. I like Heeney’s price tonight although it has been more than a month since his excellent mid-season run of scores.
I also like the idea of playing Devon Smith in the forward line today to allow access to some midfield value.
My takes: Fantasia, Francis (available as def/fwd), Buddy.
Jordan Dawson had a ridiculous game in the NEAFL last week. The 190cm midfielder collected 29 touches, took 7 marks, kicked 3 goals and laid an absolutely incredible 23 tackles! Add it all up and you get a mammoth 219 points (Just for shits and giggles, that’s a 32 x value game). Now there is zero chance that this happens tonight but a nice value game would be fine with me.
Nic Newman fell just short of a 100 last week and he’s averaging 18 touches, 5 marks and 4 tackles since his return to the team. Newman’s price is right on the cusp of what I’m comfortable paying and I think I’ll give him another run tonight.
Luke Parker is still unpriced for his ceiling and Dyson Heppell could fly under the selection radar.
My takes: Dawson, Newman.
Logic suggests that tonight’s game shouldn’t be that hard to predict. Yet I’m sitting here running through scenarios in which both teams can win. It all depends on which versions of the two teams decided to turn up. If the Swans put up another disinterested and sloppy performance like last week, Essendon could be in for a big win. But if it’s Essendon that does a Jekyll and Hyde trick then Buddy and co will feast.