It’s a depleted Giants outfit that makes the trip down to the Stadium formerly known as Kardinia Park. Facing Geelong without arguably their two most important players in Greene and Cameron makes a tough road trip even tougher. By selecting Carlton and Collingwood discards Dylan Buckley and Lachie Keefe, it appears that the Giants are attempting to replace the parts of a Ferrari with the parts from a 1991 Toyota Seca. All signs point to a handsome Geelong win but as Donald Trump was taught us all, facts rarely matter.
The jungle drums have been beating all week for Zac Smith. Geelong’s makeshift ruck trio of Rhys Stanley, Mark Blicavs and Big Esava hasn’t quite worked out so far. In the seven games which they’ve played so far, Geelong has failed to win the total clearance stats in any game! This is a damning statistic for such a such a star-starred midfield. Smith is rarely my ruckman of choice in DFS but his form at Kardinia Park is excellent and he loves playing against inexperienced/out-of-position ruckmen (hi there Jonno Patton).
With every other ruck options also available another position, I think many coaches will select Smith as their ruck and then consider another option elsewhere on the ground.
My take: Smith.
Groan. I’ve tried building my team a few times and I keep getting stuck with the defenders. It’s not because I think there aren’t any good options but rather because I’m genuinely confused regarding my approach.
If you want to save money for mids for mid/fwds, then you could bank on a 50-60 from bottom priced Aidan Corr or Zach Guthrie. My favourite punt play tonight is Harry Himmelberg. The Giants will need someone to kick goals and Harry could very well be that man. Himmelberg has never had a massive scoring performance but has tipped over 70+ a few times. I could be wrong here, but I think he has some upside tonight.
Dylan Buckley and Lachie Keefe are a mystery for me tonight. Historically, neither has been a high fantasy scorer and their roles remain unclear. In his time at Carlton, Buckley was a half-back/wing dasher. The Giants have tried to turn him into a pressure forward and I’m not sure if that suits his game or fantasy potential. Keefe is a key defender who, considering the Giants ruck deficiencies may provide ruck relief.
In the mid price tier, we have Giants trio Jeremy Finlayson, Adam Tomlinson and Nick Haynes. All three have good chances of reaching their respective value, especially if Tomlinson plays forward.
Finally, Lachie Whitfield finds himself as a defender for the first time this year.
My takes: Flip a coin!
Scott Selwood returns after missing a week, just in time for what could be another Kardinia Park tackle fest. He’s priced well for someone of his tackle-heavy upside and think he’ll be a popular play tonight.
Dylan Shiel has been hovering around the 80-100 mark for most the season without having a huge score. His scores are trending up and his contested ball work will be important tonight. Shiel is another whose price is likely to make him a popular target.
Jordan Cunico has only played three games but he seems to love playing in front of a home crowd. Two scores of 90+ at home this year make the young mid an interesting choice. My only concern here is whether playing Cunico is point chasing. The Cats clearly rate fellow youngster Lachlan Fogarty highly as he’s played every game since debuting in Round 1. Fogarty probably doesn’t have the upside of Cunico but he is a few grand cheaper.
Callan Ward has good form at GMHBA Stadium and Mitch Duncan and Patrick Dangerfield are underpriced tonight.
Finally, Nick Shipley’s debut was inauspicious and this could scare away the crowds.
My takes: Selwood, Shiel, Duncan, Dangerfield
I mentioned chasing points earlier and the same argument could be made for picking Matt De Boer. After hovering around 70-80 all season, De Boer broke through for an excellent score 118 last week. De Boer benefited from Toby Greene’s absence being a largely half-forward/midfield role. $11,800 is a tad expensive for De Boer but he’s decent chance of scoring 80-110.
Timmy Taranto’s price is climbing but apart from one minor blip, Taranto has scored over 90 points in every game this season. With a high tackle count and an increased usage rate (another to benefit from Greene’s continued absence) I think Taranto is worth the extra cash tonight.
Jonathan Patton is an interesting player to consider. I played Patton last week thinking that he’d benefit from being a solo ruck role. This didn’t really play out the way I expected as the Giants appeared to not contest the majority of stoppage. This means that Patton’s fantasy output could completely rely on goal kicking. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially considering that Geelong’s key defender stocks aren’t exactly overflowing at the moment.
My takes: Taranto and De Boer
Apart from Anzac Day, this is one of the most challenging single slates of the year. I think that you need to take at least one cheap punt to build a team that could threaten for cash. Geelong simply don’t lose two games in a row at home, so I’m predicting a big Cats bounce back tonight.