I’ve barely caught my breath after last week’s AFL marathon round and yet here we are about to enter another weekend of DFS contests! I’m not sure what to expect from tonight’s game. Just when we thought the Bulldogs had rediscovered their bite, they put together two listless performances in a row. The Baby blues haven’t been much better but got closer to West Coast than most people expected last week. This contest is made a little more interesting by some salary increases. Tim English, Jack Macrae, Ed Curnow and Patrick Cripps are all at season-high prices tonight.
Just three rounds ago, you could have played Tim English for $6,800. Consecutive scores of 86,90 and 107 have catapulted English’s salary to $11,950. This is one of the biggest salary increases across the entire site, but one that is warranted. Make no mistake about it, English is now the Bulldog’s number one ruck. Now that the Dogs know that English swims instead of sinks, they’d be silly not to play him as the solo ruck for the rest of the year. What I really like about English from a fantasy perspective is that his scoring is not reliant on hitouts. In fact, English got smashed by Sandilands last week (53 - 13) yet still reached 107 points! The other viable play is Levi Casboult. As I’ll discuss later, the Dogs have leaked points to key forwards, so there’s every chance that Levi has one of his random 80+ games.
Tom Boyd is likely to be a popular play at $8,800. Boyd has enough upside to reach value but, like most Bulldogs, his output is largely dependent on the Beveridge positional lucky dip.
My take: English.
After looking this list up and down, my eyes went straight back to the top. Kade Simpson stands out like a Melbourne supporter at the G in the middle of winter. Last week Simpson earned an incredible 120 points just from marks and kicks. This is truly remarkable and considering he averages 101 against the Bulldogs, I don’t see why he can’t reach a similar figure again tonight.
Picking which sub $10K player reaches value good well be the difference tonight. There are so many players who fill similar roles that it’s difficult to predict which one is the best play. This is part of the reason why I’m tempted to pay up for Simpson or even Suckling. From Carlton, it’s the returning Caleb Marchbank who is probably the safest of these players. His salary is fair and he’s very good chance of returning value. Lachie O’Brien has also looked good and is more of a run and carry type player.
From the Dogs, Zaine Cordy has had a couple of games with fantastic mark count and Jason Johannisen could be unleashed like it was 2016.
My takes: Marchbank, Cordy, Simpson
In an interesting twist, the Bulldogs and Blues have allowed the most and second most points to key forwards this season. The Blues managed to buck this trend last week and only allowed JJK the solitary goal. Matt Taberner was on fire in the first quarter against the Dogs before injury ended his day. The interesting thing here is that neither the Dogs nor the Blues have a truly dominant key forward who threatens to tear the other apart. That said, Charlie Curnow is on the cusp of a breakout year and his future partner in crime, Harry McKay kicked 4 goals in his first game of the season last week.
Hayden Crozier returns to the Bulldogs lineup for the first time since Round 1. Coming in at the bargain prize of $6,400 I expect Crozier to be a popular value play. The ex-Docker averaged 66 last year and is likely to play across the back flank as he did in the JLT (in which he scored 78 and 66).
Zac Fisher has been exciting this year and his pace will come in handy tonight. His price is getting a little high for his upside, but Fisher is still worth considering tonight.
My takes: Crozier, McKay, Curnow.
Matthew Kennedy returns after missing one week through injury. Cripps, Curnow and Kennedy will share the majority of Carlton’s midfield minutes and at $7,800 - I just can’t resist his upside. For $700 less, you could keep chasing that Patty Dow breakout game. Sam Kerridge is another depth midfielder who does have a fantastic ceiling.
I don’t know whether this is the best tactic in DFS, but I’m a loyal person. If I’ve played someone for multiple weeks, I tend to stick by them even if their output has been disappointing. Marcus Bontempelli is the perfect example. In 2017, Bont scored a 100+ every second week. In 2018, he’s played largely as a forward and we’ve subsequently seen his fantasy relevance decline. I’m giving the Bont one more week to repay my faith before I reconsider my loyalty.
From here, I think I’ll be paying up for some studs as I don’t love the idea of paying more than $10K for Mitch Wallis, Lin Jong or Caleb Daniel. All are viable players, but a little too expensive for me.
My takes: Kennedy, Bont and studs.
Both teams will sense a real opportunity for victory here. The Dogs are a much better team at Etihad than away from it and Carlton have shown some real fight recently. I’ve gone for a balance lineup, focusing on players who have serious upside.