Power vs Bombers
The first game of the final round of 2018 will be fascinating from a footy and DFS perspective. Technically, Port can still make finals if they win tonight and the Suns cause the upset of the century and beat Geelong at Kardinia Park (highly unlikely). However, Port have been in horrible form and have struggled to kick big scores. The Bombers have very little to play for and will actually cost themselves a place in the draft order if they win. So what happens then? Does Port come out firing, legitimately believing that they can actually make the finals? Does Essendon put the cue in the rack and start trying to forget the season that could have been? These questions have serious implications on fantasy output.
Forgotten Bombers ruck Matthew Leuenberger comes in for just his second game of the year at a very tempting $6,600. The Burger’s season has been limited by injury (a common theme over his career) and the excellent form of Bellchambers. The Burger has never been a consistently high fantasy scorer but he has been known to hit 100+ in the past (2 100s from 7 games last year). I’m expecting a score more around 65-75 than a big hundred, but I think he’s much better value than the player I’ll mention next.
I’m surprised that it’s taken so long but Billy Frampton will finally debut for Port Adelaide. The Power could have (and should have) rested Ryder during the year and let Frampton cut his teeth earlier. Instead, they’ll bring him in for a largely meaningless game. Frampton is only $5K but he’ll be time sharing with Ryder and even Westhoff. You all know I love saving cash but I’m unsure about this one.
Justin Westhoff is a viable option both in the ruck or in your midfield. Westhoff’s flexibility always grabs my attention and his floor has been excellent in 2018. I expect the lowest owned ruck to be Paddy Ryder. With some job sharing on the cards tonight, Ryder’s floor comes down a bit but he looked dangerous up forward last week and remember that Port really need to kick a winning score.
My takes: Leuenberger.
I’ll be honest, the defensive options for tonight aren’t pretty. Not only do we have a lack of high ceiling options, but both the Power and Bombers have been miserly against defenders this year. Considering these two points, I think many coaches will choose to save some money in their backlines tonight.
Aaron Francis’ last month (or is that first month) of football has been outstanding and the Bombers should be commended for the way in which they have supported the young defender through difficult times. Francis is now $8K but against a weak forward line, Francis should have the freedom to play his preferred third-man/intercept role. Francis’ cheap price and dual position status will make him a popular play.
Jasper Pittard and Darcy Bryne-Jones just seem to hurt each other’s scoring potential too much for my liking. Of the 10 games they’ve played together, there has been an average difference of 26 points between their scores.
Jarrod Lienert salary is almost up to $11K and when you look at that fact in isolation, you’d think that there is no way that you can play him. However, his scores have been ultra-consistent and in 5 games he has failed to score below 70. Essendon’s forward line will be small again tonight so I really like Lienert chances of another 80+ score.
My takes: Lienert, Francis.
They don’t happen often these days but I think tonight is a Steven Motlop night. Motlop does his best work with the pressure off and if Essendon lay down like I think they well, then Motlop should be able to do whatever he pleases. There will also be a slight restructure with Tom Rockliff missing. Although Rockliff has been far from impressive this year, he is part of Port’s midfield rotations. You can also expect slight bumps for Chad Wingard, Travis Boak and Robbie Gray (who torched the Dons earlier this year with a 117).
There aren’t any Essendon forwards that jump out at me at all. Darcy Parish has had a consistent little spell since returning from injury and he isn’t the worst play at $10K. Jayden Laverde has been reasonable but not spectacular in the reserves and his selection tonight reeks of ‘can the kid play AFL’ to me.
Sam Gray would be disappointed with his season and could fly under the radar due to his lack of significant scores this year. Just last year I would have been locking Gray in at $9K at home every day of the week. Perhaps he finishes the year by reminding us what he’s capable of.
My takes: Motlop, Gray (x2), Boak
We may be saying goodbye to one of the most durable and flexible footballers of recent years in Brendon Goddard tonight. Goddard has been given his marching orders by the Dons yet apparently feels like he still has petrol in the tank. His recent form (real life and fantasy) suggests otherwise. Goddard has looked slow and perhaps the most telling statistic is that in his last 5 games, Goddard has laid only one tackle! Does he have one last 100 in him? I’m not so sure.
David Myers and Kyle Langford hurt me last week but reasonable for their potential output. Myers’ scores have yo-yo’ed but the past 10 weeks. During that time he scores well every second week and last week he had a dud. Now this pattern is almost certainly a coincidence but you could also see it as an indication that he’s about to have another big night.
If you’re a believer in narrative then you might argue that Jared Polec will be keen to add a few extra $$$ onto his contract offer from North Melbourne with a big performance. Polec’s recent form has been solid but he hasn’t gone anywhere near his massive 156 back in round 6.
David Zaharakis is still great value just under $14K but be aware that he has been playing more of a half-back role in recent weeks.
My takes: It’s a mid-priced midfield for me tonight.
I haven’t been this confused regarding the outcome of a game for a long time. I reckon arguments for both teams winning and both teams losing. I don’t see many massive fantasy scores on the horizon so I’m heading into this game with an even spread of salaries.