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The Value Hunter: Round 4 - Saturday Special

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Saturday Special

Another Saturday, another slate filled with possibilities. There are few games which could really go either way so today’s contest is sure to be an interesting one. GWS, sorry GIANTS take on Fremantle at the UNSW Oval (formerly known as Manuka). The GIANTS will be keen to bounce back after losing to Sydney but faces an improved Dockers team. Brisbane travel for the second time in two weeks, this time to the MCG to face the reigning premiers. The Tigers play the MCG like no other team in the competition at the moment and should be tough to beat. After watching the Bulldogs beat Essendon last week I now believe in time-travel. The Dogs played with an intent and level of ferocity that we haven’t seen since 2016. Buddy and his mates should be too strong for them but the Dogs could surprise. In a scheduling nightmare for Tasmanian footy, North Melbourne play the Blues (both literally and metaphorically) at Blundstone arena. This is real toss a coin stuff here. Finally, the Eagles host the Suns who are on the second leg of their 10 day Perth sojourn.


In his draft year, Tim English was compared to legendary West Coast ruckman (and AFL fantasy god) Dean Cox. Like Cox, English is an elite runner and has a habit of finding a decent amount of the ball himself. The price tag of $7,250 and his status as the Dog’s sole ruckman combine to make English an attractive prospect today. If there are other ruckmen you like more the English, then considering using English as a cheap forward option.

Dawson Simpson makes his 2018 debut just in time to take on Aaron Sandilands. This is a tough assignment for Simpson but the safety of being the Giant’s solo ruck boosts his scoring potential.

Ben Brown is in solid form and comes up against a backline who allowed Tom Lynch to kick 8 goals. Brown is the focal point of North’s attack and as such, he has a real 6+ goal potential tonight.

Callum Sinclair has monstered inexperienced opponents in the last two games (a Ryderless Port for 93 and an out of form Lobb for 123). Sinclair’s hat-trick ball will be faced by Tim English. As much as I like English as a play in his own right, Sinclair should carry on with his excellent form.

Oh and what of Nic Nat you ask? Well he’s still hovering around 50 percent TOG mark for an average of 81. I’m sorry but that’s just amazing.

My takes: English, Brown, Sinclair.

(Team selection update: English will again handle the sole ruck responsibilities. This will give both him and Sinclair a boost)


With an excellent score of 85 last week, Ed Richards is sure to be a popular play. Like many of his teammates, Richards had an outstanding fantasy day. It’s worth noting that the Bulldog’s combined fantasy score against Essendon was their highest in two years of football.

Carlton have named running machine Lochie O’Brien to make his debut tonight. O’Brien has an exceptional tank and an excellent left foot. The Blues have run a number of players through half-back this year and O’Brien should be given a decent run in this soft matchup.

Jayden Short’s last two weeks has been solid and he appears to have settled into life as a member of Richmond’s back six. A soft matchup against Brisbane won’t hurt his scoring potential either.

Bailey Williams had a career best outing against Essendon. Whether it was mopping out across half-back or surging forward, Williams was everywhere. The matchup against Sydney has me worried (as it does for plenty of other Bulldogs I’m considering) but William’s 20 marks and 35 kicks in two games might just win me over.

Tom Cutler is another player around the $10K mark who I really like today. Last year, Cutler essentially scored well in every game he played in which he wasn’t injured. With Richmond’s relentless forward press back in action (see heatmap below), Cutler and his fellow defenders are sure to see plenty of action.

My takes: O’Brien, Richards, Short, Cutler.

The Richmond forward press in action against Hawthorn.Forwards

Jarrod Garlett cracks a mention for the third week in a row. His price is great, the matchup is great and his hair is well, not so great. I think he has clear 10 - 12 x value potential against North.

The attention might have been stolen by Liam Ryan (and then Ryan’s unfortunate ankle injury) but the game of Jake Waterman needs to be acknowledged. Playing as a third tall, Waterman reeled in a team high (and equal game high) 9 marks. Despite staying in Perth for 10 days, the Sun’s brutal travel schedule may allow this game to open up. If so, an Eagles stack may pay dividends.

Daniel Lloyd could be one to fly under the ownership radar. One of a seemingly endless supply of GWS forward/midfielders, Lloyd has recorded some solid scores, largely on the back on strong contested ball work.

It’s been a case of value or busts for Jason Castagna so far this year. A soft matchup and MCG boost lead me to think it’s going to be another 10+ x value game from George today.

Mitch Wallis’ dual forward/mid status puts him on my short list. A tough contested game against the Swans could also boost his scoring potential.

Charlie Curnow’s price is getting a little high but he could have a very productive day. Curnow loves to chase the ball down the wing and I can’t see who North Melbourne send to him who can run with him all day.

Finally at $16,050 there is no way I can call Buddy Franklin a value play. However, with the Bulldogs defensive stocks at an all-time low, Buddy could cause irreparable damage to a very raw Bulldogs backline.

My takes: English (DPP), Waterman, Wallis, Dan Lloyd.


Paddy Dow has been good in patches but hasn’t put together a full game yet. With Ben Jacobs likely to follow Murphy or Cripps around, Carlton’s second tier mids could find themselves in a good spot. My expectations aren’t high but Dow could easily bring in 10 x value. Matt Kennedy is also on my shortlist for the same reason.

By night I’m the Value Hunter but by day, I’m a mild-mannered teacher. As a teacher, I try to avoid using the word potential as I hate the word and everything it represents. Yet when I think of Lachie Weller, that’s the word that springs to mind. Weller has now played 50 games and has only 3 fantasy 100s to his name. I don’t quite understand why I’m drawn to playing him but at $8,750, his name stands out to me again.

As a career tagger, Ben Jacobs has never been a high scoring player. Yet Jacobs has returned well from a long term injury and seems to be enjoying the responsibility of being a senior member of the Kangaroos midfield. Jacobs has recorded is averaging 9 tackles a game and faces another tough tagging assignment this week in Patty Cripps. Not the worst play for $8,800.

Kane Lambert hasn’t had the best start to the 2018 season. His fantasy output is way down on his 2017 average and it appears that he is job-sharing with a host of other Tigers half-forwards.

Dom Sheed’s late flurry saved my Sunday lineup and he seemed to rediscover his running ability. You could be accused of point chasing here though and it’s worth noting that last week’s 119 was double his average from the previous two rounds.

Toby McLean has been one of this year’s big improvers. He’s been busiest in the midfield and across half-forward but has also recorded plenty of touches around the ground. Although his price is getting a little high, his ceiling is also increasing by the week.

From here on in there’s a bevy of players around the $13.5K - $14.5K mark. There are too many players to mention but when you roster these kind of guys, you really need them to hit at least 110 - 120+ for the spend to be with it.

My takes: Willis (if you didn’t play him forward), Kennedy, Sheed.

Final thoughts…

There’s a bit of value around today which should result in some excellent Saturday Slate ownership percentages. Plenty of teams have success last week with Bulldog stacks and I’m interested to see how many coaches back them in again against Sydney.