During the week I had a dream that I won the Draftstars Saturday comp and played Lloyd Meek in the ruck. However, I think this dream was merely sending me a subliminal message about my chances of actually winning - meek. Today’s Saturday comp should be a good one. With a lack of real bargain basement type prices, we’ll be forced to look a bit more carefully for value. Now if only you had someone who devoted their time to just that…..
After being the darling of GPP players for weeks, I think it’s time we farewell Tim English from the value plays category. Not only is English the most expensive he’s ever been ($9,200) but today he faces perhaps his toughest matchup to date - Aaron Sandilands. In what’s likely to be a rain-affected match, English won’t be able to use his run and jump as much as he has in recent weeks. In fact, it’s Sandilands himself who is my favourite ruck play today. Although English doesn’t give up too much height to Sandi (211 vs 205), Sandi weighs in a massive 26 kilos more than English. If does indeed bucket down in Perth as they’re predicting, the man mountain could even break some hitout records.
Dawson Simpson gets another chance to prove himself as a number one ruck. Simpson will take on Tom Hickey in what could be one of the ugliest ruck contests of the year so far!
If you are searching for salary relief, Dougal Howard is worth considering. Port continue to resist playing a recognised ruck and it’s Howard who has seen the majority of ruck minutes recently. As Geelong aren’t exactly strong in the ruck department, I don’t mind this play.
This is your weekly reminder that Nic Naitanui is averaging 81 from only 56 percent game time. Nic Nat also gets a gift this week with Matthew Kreuzer missing through injury.
My takes: Sandilands, Nic Nat, Howard (punt play).
Why do I get the feeling that today’s winner will have a random 80+ score from someone like Aidan Corr? Perhaps it’s because there isn’t a great deal of bankable value below $10K. In the hunt for salary relief, people may take some chances on low cost options like Corr that may just pay dividends. Not me though, I’ve got my eye on some slightly more expensive defenders.
Fremantle have named Taylin Duman to make his debut. Duman looks like an interesting player. He’s a tall defender who can both hold his man and rebound. There isn’t much meat on the kid yet (73kgs according to the club website). But at a rock bottom $5,700 he might get close to 10 x value.
While Jeremy Finlayson’s price puts me off, his excellent kicking average of 15.7 kicks per game draws me in. Finlayson has quickly become one of the Giant’s preferred half-back distributors and as such, I’m comfortable selecting him even at $9,700. A great matchup against the struggling Saints also appeals to me.
Jeremy McGovern could have a field day as he picks off wayward Carlton inside 50s. His captain Shannon Hurn will do the same thing but he’s a slightly riskier play at $13,100.
Nick Haynes’ fantastic score of 122 wasn’t without precedent. Haynes was flying this time last year before a long term injury ended his excellent scoring run. Haynes has the kind of kick/mark stats that often lead to huge fantasy score (18 kicks and 15 marks last week = 99 points).
Of the more expensive defenders, it’s Elliot Yeo I like the most. Yeo is a downhill skier of the highest order and the Eagles get a soft-as-butter matchup against the rebuilding Blues.
My takes: Finlayson, Haynes, McGovern, Yeo.
Willie Rioli might feel some love as people continue to hunt for the elusive bargain plays on this slate. Without fellow youngsters Liam Ryan and Daniel Venables in the side, Rioli had more game time last week. This enabled Rioli to hit 10 x value, a feat that he should be able to match again today against Carlton.
Rhys Stanley is a little expensive at $10,800. But in Ryder’s absence, Port Adelaide have given up the most fantasy points to rucks this year. It’s expensive punt for what you’re buying, but one that could pay off.
While we’re talking about ruck/forwards, the Bulldogs have given up the second most points to key forwards this year. Today the Dogs’ inexperienced backline faces in form Matt Taberner. The weather may not be conducive to big forwards today but if the rain does hold off, I really like Taberner’s chances for tonning up.
Tim Taranto is having an excellent year and is likely to be a very popular play with a price tag that is still below $12K.
Josh Kennedy was fantastic in his return from injury with 5 goals. He’ll be better for the run and comes up against Carlton who have conceded an average of 5 goals a game to key forwards (Reiwoldt 4, Lynch 8, Reid 3, Brown 5).
Finally, Brandon Parfitt could be in for another big week as he’s unleashed on the wings of Adelaide Oval.
My takes: Rioli (punt play), JJK, Taranto.
Marc Murphy will miss a month of footy, opening up some midfield minutes for Carlton’s second tier midfielders. It goes without saying that Cripps and Curnow receive boosts but perhaps it’s time for a Patty Dow breakout game? Sam Kerridge gets a reprieve as the Carlton midfield is tested. Kerridge average 80 from 11 games last year and is capable of some large scores. It’s likely to be an outside kind of game which suits Kerridge just fine.
On the other side of that game, I don’t mind the area of a West Coast midfield stack. The Eagles are notorious for racking up cheap possessions against weaker teams (just look at last week). Dom Sheed stands up for his cheaper price but also consider more for Andrew Gaff (who has an excellent average at the MCG). This game is likely to be such a thrashing that I’d even consider playing Lewis Jetta.
It’s been a while since Dylan Shiel has gone large but a softish matchup against the Saints could be the thing that kick starts his fantasy season. As you know by now, I’m a sucker for a fallen premium and today you can get Shiel for $12,350.
Carlton's massive outs make a playing a West Coast stack very tempting. Traditionally, I haven't been someone who plays stacks often but I think I might just change my strategy today.