This is quickly becoming one of the most unpredictable seasons in recent memory. Unfortunately for my beloved Demons, I just can’t see us arresting the troubling trends which we’ve seen so far this season. Namely - our atrocious defensive structures (or lack thereof). Barring a Simon Goodwin masterstroke, I’m predicting Richmond will win easily tonight, the Stats Insider models agree.
Gawn. Move along.
In all of the single game contests this year, this is probably the worst collection of defenders I’ve seen, from a DFS perspective, that is. In the sub $10K range, we have a bunch of players with limited ceilings. In the plus $10K range, we have a bunch of players who are desperately out of scoring form. Out of all the defenders on offer, we’ve only seen 2 scores above 100 this season (Bachar Houli - the Hawthorn masterclass, and Reece Conca - the Brisbane thrashing). For this reason, I don’t think I can bring myself to waste money on defenders.
Congratulations to Dylan Grimes who makes his value hunter debut. There is no way that Grimes will get anywhere near a score of 70+. But there is every chance that he eeks out a score of 50-60. With a price tag of $6,500, I’ll take that to the bank. Kamdyn McIntosh’s price has fallen enough for me to consider rostering him. McIntosh is a versatile player which always appeals to me in DFS contests.
Jayden Short has been humming along nicely at around 8 - 9 x value. His solid form has seen his price increase a little but considering the lack of defensive options, I think Short will be popular again too.
Back in 2002, I was working at a conference centre and met this super hot girl. I gave her my number and waiting patiently. I’m not sure what’s going to happen first, Michael Hibberd roaring back to fantasy life or that girl calling me.
My take: Grimes, Short.
If you assume that Melbourne will get exposed at the back again, then you have to stack Richmond forwards and mid-forwards. Jason Castagna loves getting out the back as much as any player in the league, so expect him to have decent nights. If you’re an historical-form type of player, then you have to consider Jack Riewoldt. Melbourne’s struggles against key forwards were well documented last year and Riewoldt averages 92 in his last three games against the Demons. The last Tiger I think in this spot in Kane Lambert. He’s found a lot more of the ball in recent weeks and I haven’t given up on him just yet. Lambert also gets a bump with Josh Caddy missing.
Tom Bugg has been dropped and so scoring opportunities will open up for Melbourne’s other half-forwards. Dean Kent has been in terrific form and if Melbourne wins, they’ll have to get another 3 + goals from him. People may not be willing to pay $12,650 for Alex Neal-Bullen, meaning his ownership could be on the low side. ANB’s forward link work will be an important part of the Melbourne’s game plan to unpick the Tiger’s zone.
My takes: Castagna, Kent, Lambert (DPP mid)
Despite Lambert being available as a forward, I’ve snuck him into my midfield today. The main reason for using this tactic is that I don’t love opposite ends of the midfield scale. The ceilings of players like Jack Graham, Shane Edwards and other cheaper options are just too small for me to consider. Even though I think Dustin Martin is going to have an absolute blinder, he’ll have to score 125+ to be worth his $15.5K price tag. So my midfield strategy today is a more even approach, starting with Lambert.
Melbourne has sorely missed Dom Tyson’s contested work. Tyson also has an outside game that could prove useful if this game does open up. Nathan Jones should be released from tagging duties and will relish the opportunity to lead his team from the front on the big stage.
Finally, I don’t mind Dion Prestia’s price tag of $12,800 for someone of his ceiling. Prestia gets a bump from Jack Graham's suspension.
My takes: Lambert, Tyson, Jones, Prestia.
My heart hopes this will game will be close but head tells me it won't be. Even though I think Richmond will win, history has proven that Melbourne is the higher scoring fantasy team. Consider this fact when constructing your lineups.