Tigers vs Cats
The race to the finals has begun and Round 20 features several critical games for those teams still battling for the last few spots in September. A loss tonight won’t end the Cats’ finals chances, but they do lose and all other results go against them, they’ll be sitting in 9th - a game short of Sydney, Hawthorn and Melbourne. The Tigers get another chance to test their structures against a quality opposition at the ground where they should play all their finals games. This game should be tough and fiercely contested but I think that Richmond’s run and pressure game will be too much for Geelong to handle.
On Wednesday night Channel 7’s Mark Stevens tweeted that Rhys Stanley was in doubt after leaving the track early. This rumour gained a bit of legitimacy when mature-age debutante Ryan Abbott was named on Thursday. 27-year-old Abbott has been on Geelong’s list for two years now and he has spent his VFL games honing his ruck craft. If Stanley is a late out then Abbott is a lock for me. Even if Stanley plays, I might take my chances on Abbott as well.
Toby Nankervis and Rhys Stanley are both similarly priced and it’s tough to split them on season averages. Stanley absolutely smashed Nankervis in Round 13 to begin his excellent run of ruck form. It’s easy to forget that Nankervis’ AFL career is still quite young (54 games) and recently, he has given away some big scores to opposition rucks. That said, his tackling and marking ability does give him a decent ceiling when he’s switched on.
My takes: Stanley/Abbott.
Geelong and Richmond games really do offer up some unappealing defensive options. The 16 defenders available tonight have only scored 15 100s between them this year. None of the most expensive defenders have produced reliable big scores and many of tonight’s cheap defenders have horrible floors. Unfortunately, we must make the best of a bad situation, so let’s get to work.
Lachie Henderson had a handy 11 x value game but his price is still around $6K. Whatever the likely matchup, Henderson is likely to be popular given the lack of reliable bottom priced players. Jed Bews was injured early last week but still managed to play 82 percent of the game, finishing with a diabolical score of 8! While Bews does have a low floor, this score is an anomaly and Bews is a good chance of hitting value at $6K.
Cam Guthrie could spend more time as a true defender in Tom Stewart’s absence. Guthrie has flashed in and out of games this season and has never really got going in a game. A 70-80 score from Guthrie would be an excellent result and with a slight usage bump, he could very well get there.
David Astbury was a late withdrawal in Round 13 and despite ‘Hawkins v Rance’ being a popular media marketing tool, it’s Astbury who’ll be given the job. Astbury isn’t a horrible play, especially if he tries to beat Hawkins by making him more accountable defensively. I also predict low ownership with Astbury.
Brandon Ellis and Nick Vlastuin are reasonably priced if you’re after higher ceilings and Zach Tuohy will be largely responsible for rebounding duties. Jayden Short will be popular, especially as we have some cheaper options to allow more flexibility.
My takes: Henderson, Guthrie, Tuohy.
What makes this slate a challenge is the unreliability of the cheaper options. You can’t really trust any of the cheap forwards tonight to return a value game although the best chances are probably Jason Castagna and Liam Baker.
Dion Prestia is injured again which will open up some midfield minutes for Jack Higgins, Shaun Edwards and Kane Lambert. It will be a small boost, so don’t go dreaming of massive scores for this trio. That said, Lambert has the highest ceiling of this group.
Tom Hawkins is in some kind of form but his price is too high for my liking tonight.
My takes: Castagna, Higgins, Lambert (also mid options).
I’ve got nothing but a hunch to suggest that Lachie Fogarty will have a value game tonight. The young mid has had an underrated year and he could easily have an 8-9 x value game. He’ll definitely be low owned but admittedly, his ceiling isn’t high.
This game seems tailor-made for Scott Selwood. You’d expect at least 10 tackles from Scooter and if he manages that, he should be able to chalk up 15-20 touches well. That would get him pretty close to value on a night when value is exactly what we need.
Just when Shaun Grigg started to hit a bit of fantasy form he’s dropped off again. Grigg will have more of a midfield role tonight with Prestia out, so perhaps that helps him get back to that 90-100 mark. Trent Cotchin has only had 4 100s this year but he’s also worth a look tonight.
I chose the wrong week to go heavy on Tim Kelly with the Cat missing out when just about every other Geelong midfielder feasted last week. Kelly’s clearance work will be important tonight but I’m a little cautious after last week.
I’ve faded Dustin Martin on most of these single game slates and so far, I haven’t regretted it once. I’m a little more hesitant tonight as Dusty does love these big games at the G.
My takes: Lambert, Higgins (also forwards), Grigg, S Selwood.
It’s gut week here at Fantasy Insider and mine tells me that while Richmond will win, Geelong players will have better fantasy performances. There will be some popular cheaper options tonight and picking the right stud will also be critical. Remember - trust your gut and try not to worry about ownership and salary!