If last Saturday was renamed Rookieday, then today should be renamed Stackerday. Much has been made of the evenness of season 2018 but there is one particular matchup that looms as the exception that proves the rule. In a cruel twist of scheduling fate, the winless Blues embark on one of football’s toughest road-trips - Adelaide in Adelaide. The Crows are in week two of luxurious four game stretch of games at Adelaide Oval. If their performance against Gold Coast last week is any indication, this could be one of the thrashings of the season. Speaking of the Suns, they’re finally nearly the end of their brutal start to the season. But they’ll need to account for the Dogs at Etihad before they can return home. If the Dogs can bring their pressure and running game, this too is a game that threatens to be a blow out. Finally, the Swans will again be without Buddy and Hannebery, so North Melbourne will never get a better chance to prove themselves.
Picking a Josh Jenkins monster game is harder than picking your [insert your favourite ‘harder to pick'] pun here. If I was a Crows supporter, Jenkins would frustrate me to no end. I’m 5’8” on a good day and to see someone as physically imposing Jenkins repeatedly fail to physically impose himself on a game makes me wonder if there is any justice in the world. That said, the stage is perfectly set for Jenkins as the Blues leaked goals to key forwards. This doesn’t bode well for Carlton considering Jenkins has averaged 110 in his last three games against them.
Tom Boyd returns from the wilderness looking exactly like he had returned from the wilderness. Playing largely out of the square, Boyd also provided ruck support to young Tim English (who’ll definitely need the support coming up against Witts).
Speaking of Jarrod Witts, the Suns big man has failed to live up to the standard he set in round one (played in monsoonal conditions in Cairns). Witts should smash English and Boyd in hitouts but he’ll need to get more active around the ground if he’s going to return value.
Ben Brown is available a ruck/forward again today. Brown takes on the Swans who, surprisingly, have leaked points to key forwards (Hawkins 101, Walker 104, Cameron 78, Darling 81, even Todd Marshall kicked 3 goals against the Swans).
Gold Coast have sprung a few selection surprises tonight and one of them is young ruck Brayden Crossley. With Steven May and Tom Lynch missing, I expect that Crossley will play out of the goal square. He’s a solid unit, standing 199cm and tipping the scales at 102kg. There is always significant risk playing rookie big men in your DFS lineup but this risk is somewhat mitigated by the Bulldogs youthful backline.
My takes: Jenkins (punt play), Boyd (value play).
Nailing your Gold Coast cheapies will take you a long way to glory today. The Suns are a high scoring fantasy side but are fielding a team that is a long way from its best 22. There will no doubt be some Suns player who score usually high today. Michael Rischitelli, Jesse Joyce and Jack Bowes are just three such examples.
Lewis Young burst onto the scene late last year and after his first two games the kid was averaging 9.5 marks and 18.5 disposals. Young’s scoring then dipped resulting in him coming back to the big leagues at $6,550. You can make a fair case for playing Young today when you factor in the Bulldogs' defensive problems and Gold Coast's lack of key defenders.
Cam O’Shea threatened to have a decent value game last week but faded out of the contest. He returns to Adelaide today and with the ball likely to be permanently in the Adelaide forward half, it’s conceivable that O’Shea and his defensive teammates see A LOT of the ball.
Ryan Burton had a better game last week and is still good value if you’re looking at his 2017 output. Hawthorn should have their way with Essendon who play their third game in just eleven days!
Tom Cole has had a solid, albeit belated, start to the season. Cole has struggled to find his place in the Eagles’ back six but he has looked far more settled this year than he has in the few times we’ve seen him before at AFL level.
From here, there’s a slew of $11K - $12K players who could have high scoring days. Adelaide defender Tom Doedee and Luke Brown could easily junk it up against Carlton. Harry Morrison has impressed over the past few weeks and he could run rings around a tired and out-of-form Essendon outfit. Next in line are Bulldogs half-backs Jason Johannisen, Bailey Williams and also the more expensive Matt Suckling. The Suns will be absolutely spent and I’m tipping a big Bulldogs win today.
With Lance Franklin still missing with injury, the Swans are severely lacking in the key forward department. This could open the door for the in-form Kangaroos pair of Scott Thompson and Robbie Tarrant to have solid scoring days. Catching a Thompson/Tarrant day is tricky but the absence of Buddy could make it easier.
Just when the end of their couch-surfing start to the season is in sight, the Suns lose two of the most important players to their structure in Tom Lynch and Steven May. You’re right - neither of these two have been in amazing form but structurally, they’re so important to the Suns. The optimistic Suns supporter will say that missing key positions players against the Bulldogs doesn’t really matter and this may be correct. However, the Suns will need to target someone inside forward 50 and this could be Sam Day. Priced at $7,900 and with his ruck support role, Day could easily reach and hopefully exceed value.
As expected, Will Hayward was one of the main beneficiaries of Buddy Franklin’s absence. Hayward will find the going a little tougher today but should be heavily targeted by the Swans.
One of my favourite punt play on this slate is Steven Motlop. At his best, Motlop has the kind of ceiling which can lead you to glory. At his worst, Motlop has the kind of floor that will ruin your day. But at $8,850, Motlop’s price is low enough that even if he tanks, you could still salvage something for the rest of your team. Yes, Motlop faces West Coast in Perth today but the Eagles aren’t exactly a team which plays a close checking game.
Jayden Laverde’s return to the seniors was one of the only positive which Essendon was able to take away from last week’s game. Laverde is someone who has threatened to be a decent fantasy prospect over past seasons but has always been curtailed by injury. He stands at 190cm, marks the ball cleanly and has the ability to play a variety of roles. While his teammate will be knackered, Laverde should be full of beans and ready to hit value again.
Josh J Kennedy price makes me spend a little more time considering him than I probably should. Kennedy is an even $10K and clearly has the ability to smash through his value. But he faces an underrated Port Adelaide defence who are yet to give away a fantasy 100 to a key forward this year.
Last week I suggested that Wayne Milera might do well in a soft encounter against Gold Coast. This week he gets an even softer matchup against Carlton. Milera loves these outside games and should score well again tonight. Teammate Tom Lynch is also high on my hit list.
My takes: Motlop (punt play), Milera, Lynch.
10 minutes into the first quarter of last week’s Essendon v Melbourne game Charlie Spargo and Kobe Mutch were basically the best players on the ground. Mutch really impressed me with his ability to be in the right place at the right time. Essendon have found two great kids this year with Mutch and Guelfi and while the Dons are struggling, I think they both should get plenty of game time.
Jordan Galluci also impressed last week with 17 kicks and 2 goals. If Carlton are brave, they’ll try to beat Adelaide with speed. Galluci could provide the perfect foil to this plan and score handsomely himself at the same time.
Keeping the ‘slate-breaking’ theme going, former fantasy-pig Jack Redden had a terrific score of 124 last week. If you’re new to the world of fantasy football, you’d have no recollection of Redden being one of the hottest prospects in the fantasy world. It was the Redden of old who appeared last week and at $11,850, I think he’s worth another shot today.
If you’re following the ‘Crows are gonna smash’ narrative then all mid-priced Adelaide midfielders are worth considering. If these, I like the outside run of Rory Atkins and the goal-kicking upside of Richard Douglas the most.
Finally, I think Marcus Bontempelli is still underpriced.
My takes: Milera, Atkins, Mutch, Galluci.
There are plenty of options on this slate. Some cheap Suns defenders really open things up if you want to target the more expensive midfield options (especially those in the West Coast/Port Adelaide game). As I mentioned earlier, I think it will be an absolute massacre in Adelaide, so I'll be targeting that game heavily.