I was worried that the defib machine I ordered online would arrive in time for today’s games. With Melbourne’s season potentially on the line today, I don’t think I’ll survive watching the game without the defib charged and ready to go. I don’t know how many teams I’ll enter today but I’ll be sure that there’s a West Coast stack in there so that if my Demons do lose, that at least I’ll win some money from my Eagles players. Today’s first game will be a shocker and I’m predicting a sizable Bulldogs victory. Over in Adelaide, I think that Crows will enjoy ruining North Melbourne’s slim finals dream.
At the bottom end, we get Carlton debutante Tom De Koning. There aren’t enough ‘de somethings’ in the AFL and I’m excited to have another one. De Koning is a young ruck/forward project player and the Blues are doing the right thing by the club and their fans by throwing the kid a late-season tester game. De Koning couldn’t have picked a better club to debut against as we know that the Dogs have struggled against bigs this year.
Sam Weideman is the other cheapie to consider today. With no Cam Pederson or Jesse Hogan, Weideman gets the backup ruck/back up forward role today for the Dees. I was actually impressed by Weideman’s effort in his early games this year but I’m not sure that he can get value today against the Eagles.
Matthew Lobbe takes on the Bulldogs under the roof. The Dogs have been slightly better against rucks recently, but they’re still a great team to target in this position and even at a season-high $12K, Lobbe is a decent play.
There’s also enough value around to squeeze in Max Gawn if you want to.
My takes: De Koning, Lobbe.
There aren’t many bottom priced defenders who I like on this slate. Brodie Smith is still solid value at $8,660. Paul Seedsman returns today and this could impact Smith’s scoring (although Seedsman might just stay on a wing now that Smith is back).
If Melbourne doesn’t lower their eyes going inside 50 today then Jeremy McGovern could easily take 12+ marks. The Dees simply can’t afford to bomb long today as McGovern will just wax and wane across packs all day long.
The returning Michael Hibberd could be a popular play. However, don’t forget that before his injury, Hibberd had been struggling significantly and had only posted two 100+ score this year. He has also been named in the forward pocket which could be absolutely meaningless.
Jason Johannisen seems to have remembered that he’s a Norm Smith Medalist and you ignore a game played in Arctic conditions in Ballarat, he’s averaging 100 over his last 5 games. Carlton don’t have anyone who can run with JJ all day and a big score is there for the taking.
Kade Simpson’s form has dropped off this year and particularly in recent weeks. Such is Simpson’s incredible durability that we just expect him to crank out 100 after 100. Sadly, one of the most bankable fantasy careers looks like it may be drawing to an end. Hopefully, Simpson can finish off the year with a bang at a tick of $13K.
Finally, Tom McDonald terrorised West Coast last year and I’m hoping he can repeat the dose. TMac will lead the Dees forward line in the absence of Jesse Hogan and this could increase his ceiling.
My takes: McGovern, JJ, McDonald
Tory Dickson could be an excellent low percentage play, especially if the Dogs get a hold of Carlton. Dickson is $6,700 and a 5+ mark, 3+ goal game is all he needs to snag value. Aaron vandenBerg has a safe floor at $7,050 and he could also see an increased role as Melbourne shuffle the deck chairs.
Carlton forwards Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay are very much in play. Curnow took 11 marks and kicked 1.4 the last time these teams met while McKay returned a less impressive 5 marks and 1 goal. As we know, the Bulldogs have been poor against key forwards and I’m particularly keen on Curnow in this spot.
It’s one of those gut feel calls but I think Mark LeCras will drive a dagger through my red and blue heart this afternoon. LeCras is exactly the kind of player who tears Melbourne apart and although is form has been inconsistent, I’ve been having nightmares of him kicking 4+ goals all week.
Caleb Daniel has slipped into a half-back/wing role in the last few weeks and his scores have increased dramatically. Daniel has an excellent 4 game average of 93 (which includes the irrelevant Ballarat game). I’m hoping that Daniel slips under the radar today and he also has midfield DPP status.
Jack Darling could easily return to form against Melbourne. My Demons have not been great at containing key forwards and the Eagles would love Darling to hit some form before September. Jamie Cripps is another Eagles forward who could cause trouble today.
Marcus Bontempelli has been a huge presence over the last fortnight and the Blues will struggle to find the right matchup for him today. Whether the guys or up forward, the Bont just continues to find ways to score.
My takes: Dickson, Daniel, Curnow.
Etihad will erupt tonight and spew forth a ton of fantasy points. Some low exposure avenues to these points could come through Lin Jong and Patrick Lipinski. Neither of these blokes have particularly high ceilings but it could easily be one of those days where the Dogs have half their team above 90 points.
Nothing else below $10K really appeals to me at all. Rory Atkins is officially dead to me (which means he’ll score 100). Chris Masten and Dom Tyson will score well if the Perth game moves freely.
There’s a group of players who I really like around $12-$13K. Ed Curnow, Marcus Bontempelli and Rory Sloane are all members of these group. Curnow was bringing in some massive scores earlier in the year but he hasn’t gone seriously large for a while now. I’ve discussed the Bont earlier and Rory Sloane won’t have to worry about a tag with Ben Jacobs continuing to miss with concussion symptoms.
Marc Murphy is finishing the season well and Lachie Hunter is on a huge tear.
My takes: Daniel, Sloane, Bont, Hunter.
The majority of coaches are likely to stack the Etihad clash so you’ll need to be savvy to win today. You don’t have to fade this game entirely, instead just think about some left-of-centre ways to target this fantasy point fest.