We’ve got a tiny little 2 game Sunday slate this week because of the Anzac Eve/Day games. After being gifted a soft start to the year, the rebuilding Kangaroos face a rebuilt Hawthorn at the MCG. Admittedly, there’s been more to like about North that I had predicted preseason but today should be an easy win for the Hawks.
I’m not sure which AFL-created derby nickname I hate more - The Battle of the Bridge or The Q-Clash. I think the latter might just win out. It’s not a home game for the Suns, but at least they’re in Queensland again. Brisbane are coming off an absolute drubbing at the G and the Suns will be drained after a failed Western Australia experiment. Anything could happen here.
I don’t have much confidence in the ruck choices today. When this happens, I’m often tempted to pick primarily based on price. This tactic would lead me to Sam Day who could be a sneaky value play against a small Lions defense. Day is not a high scorer but has been known to have random anomaly days.
A safer value ruck play is Ben McEvoy. Big Boy’s price tag took a small hit after he was smashed by Max Gawn last week. I think the game has begun to pass Todd Goldstein by and McEvoy should be able to beat the ageing Kangaroo ruck around the ground.
My task: Day (punt value play), McEvoy. To be honest, I wish I didn’t have to play any rucks today!
Despite receiving a ridiculous $1,650 price rise, David Mirra is a great option today in a soft matchup against North Melbourne. Mirra played a better game than his stats suggest and effectively shut a rampant Jesse Hogan down last week.
Jack Bowes is a player I’ve mentioned a few times this year. I particularly like him this week as he should have more of a role to play across half-back with KK being dropped. If predicting the Q-Clash will be game played largely on the outside, so I like players like Bowes in this game. It’s going to be the kind of game that also suits Tom Cutler and Alex Witherden.
My takes: Bowes, Culter, Witherden.
Cam Rayner is starting to look more comfortable at AFL level and this could be the week that he proves his number one selection. He’s yet another player who could benefit from a soft matchup. On the opposite side of this game, Aaron Young could have a good night if he jags a few goals.
If you’re an NBA fan then you might be interested in a Jed Anderson revenge game narrative. Anderson has actually started the year reasonably well and he’ll definitely be fired up playing against his old club.
Jarmen Impey’s season is gathering pace and he’s still reasonably priced for someone averaging a tick under 80. With Puopolo and Cyril out, I like Impey in this spot, and his slightly more expensive teammate, Luke Bruest.
Finally, Tom Lynch could do horrible, horrible things to Brisbane’s young defenders.
My takes: Rayner, Impey, Bruest, Lynch.
If you selected value plays so far, you should plenty of cash remaining for midfielders. And that’s a good thing today as there aren’t many cheaper plays I like. James Cousins has had some good VFL form this year and if you haven’t saved cash in other positions, he’s worth a punt here.
Matt Rosa is someone I keep coming back too. Having missed the Sun’s ill-fated school camp to Perth, Rosa will have fresh legs and should get between 80 - 100.
I mentioned revenge games earlier and I’ll do it again as we discuss Billy Hartung. Discarded by the Hawks last year, Hartung has regularly been one of the Roos' best players this season. He’s averaging 89 and it will be interesting to see how he fares against his old side.
We haven’t seen Brayden Fiorini active beast-mode for a while and today could just be the day against Brisbane.
Finally, Ricky Henderson has been a model of consistency and Dayne Zorko is underpriced in this matchup.
My takes: Cousins, Fiorini, Zorko, Henderson