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The Value Hunter: Round 5 - Easter Sunday Special

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Sunday Special

Welcome to another quaint little two-game Sunday slate. A slate that is small in number by significant in terms of the ramifications of the outcomes. First, the Bulldogs host the Blues at Marvel Stadium. The Dogs have showed signs that they are back on the way up in season 2019. They should easily account for the lowly Blues who will be desperate to put their first win on the board. Then, a confident Gold Coast Suns team makes the journey to Adelaide Oval to take on the Crows. With some of the crazy results we’ve had so far this season, is it possible that the Suns chalk up their first ever win against the Crows today?

Rucks

For the first time in Value Hunter history, you could actually make a case for playing each of the rucks on offer today. From Jarrod Witts and Matthew Kreuzer at the top down to Harry McKay and Peter Wright - each ruck is playable for different reason today.

Matthew Kreuzer gets a dream comeback match-up against the Bulldogs. Play centres against Brooklyn, play rucks against the Dogs. Kreuzer isn’t the most durable of footballers and this may scare some coaches away from playing him today. I’m more than happy to give him a run, especially if his ownership low. His opponent, Tim English, proved that he doesn’t need to get hitouts to score well and I’d rather play English than any of the options below him.

My takes: Kreuzer, English

Defenders

Of all the bottom priced options, Ed Richards is the only players I’m really considering. Richards has had a poor start to the year, no doubt, but he’s now priced almost the same as a debutante. Last year Richards average was around his price today and against the Blues, he should be able to return 10x value. I’m also hoping that Richards gets a boost with Suckling and Duryea missing from today’s team. The only issue with Richards is that when he goes cold, he goes really, really cold. Teammate Lachie Young debuts today. Young is a rookie-listed tall rebounding defender. Against a stronger team, I wouldn’t go anywhere near Young today but Carlton is a dream debut game and rostering young will provide access to the expensive midfield studs we have on offer.

Alex Keith is not someone who’s likely to be on any coaches’ radar today. The tall defender has hit value in his last two games and gets a reasonable match-up. The Suns don’t have an overly tall forward line and they gave up 88 to Weitering last week.

You can throw a blanket over the mid-priced defenders today. Just like the rucks, you can make cases for a heap of these blokes. Kade Simpson is the cheapest he’s ever been on Draftstars (although his season 2019 form has been far from his best). Simpson is splitting half-back points with Nic Newman and Dale Thomas these which hurts the scoring potential of all three players. Hayden Crozier will have more of a role to play in the Dogs backline today and I’m hoping his slightly overpriced salary will scare some people away.  

Jason Johannisen didn’t miss a beat in his return for a long injury lay off. There aren’t too many defenders capable of hitting 100 today, so I don’t mind the idea of spending a little more money for players like JJ. The absence of Suckling and Duryea will also give JJ a boost.

My takes: Richards (salary saver punt), Keith, Simpson, Crozier, JJ.

Forwards

If feeling lucky, you could keep trying to hunt to the Jack Lukosius or Michael Gibbons breakout game. Lukosius has a home crowd narrative and Gibbons, I just feel sorry for. The bloke has been one of the VFL’s premier midfielders for a few years now but Brendan Bolton just refuses to run Gibbons through the guts.

Carlton’s pair Paddy Dow and Charlie Curnow are firmly in play. Dow is playing a number of different roles around the ground which adds to his scoring potential. Curnow proved last week that he doesn’t need to dominant a game to have a good fantasy score. The stat sheet will say that Curnow pulled in 9 marks and had 14 kicks. What the stat sheet won’t say is that Curnow had hardly any influence on the game with those touches. This is a decent match-up for Curnow with the Dogs giving up the fourth most points to key forwards.

There will be some extra midfield minutes available for the Suns today. Unfortunately, with a team filled with midfielders, it’s hard to know exactly who will benefit the most. Ben Ainsworth has some serious talent and as the field goes back to Sexton and McPherson, Ainsworth could be a sneaky little pivot.

Hugh Greenwood comes in for his first game of the season. Greenwood is an excellent form in the SANFL but my concern is that the Crows team is overflowing with midfielders. I’m worried that Greenwood will spend too much time forward to score the 95-110 that we’d want from an $11,300 player. Tom Lynch has been the Crows most consistent forward this year and they’ll need a big day from him if they’re going to win.

My takes: Dow, Curnow, Greenwood.

Midfielders

We have some insane ceiling mids to consider but of course, discussing this blokes isn’t the purpose of these articles. That said, it will be interesting to see if coaches pay down around the ground to jam these players in. One cheapie who could be very popular is midfielder Will Hayes. A forward turned midfielder, Hayes is a VFL best and fairest winning mature-age recruit. Just above the entire Bulldogs team rotates through the midfield, so there’s a chance that Hayes gets his chance again. I wouldn’t expect a 70+ game but a 50-60 would be nice.

Will Brodie comes in for his first game of the season and will be keen to cement a senior spot. I’d expect Brodie to play significant midfield minutes and his $9,500 is just about right for someone of his talent.

Zac Fisher has been solid but not spectacular this season. Fisher’s run will be important today and against the quick ball movement of the Dogs. Hopefully we’ll see a better return from Fisher today.

While everyone is looking for Gold Coast kids to get more run through the middle, David Swallow and Touk Miller might fly under the radar. Miller’s tackle-heavy 149 will grab attention but coaches will be wary that this score might have been an anomaly. In fact, Miller’s inside game will be important today if the Suns want to nullify Adelaide’s talented mids.

$13-14K players Tom LiberatoreMarc MurphyBrayden Fiorini and Rory Sloane are all firmly in play today as well.

Final thoughts…

Yesterday we saw some seriously high debutante ownerships as coaches looked to stack their lineups. Today’s rookies aren’t quite as promising from a fantasy point of view so hopefully we’ll see some more even ownership.