Crows vs Bulldogs
Trying to predict the outcome of a game is one of the first steps you should take when constructing your lineup. For example, if the Crows win, how are they going to do it and who is going to score well (fantasy points wise) if they win. If we extend this example to tonight’s contest, then the obvious game script suggests a sizeable Adelaide victory. The Crows are at the end of luxurious four week home stint at their beloved Adelaide Oval; the Bulldogs are regularly putting out the youngest team in the competition; Adelaide have one of the most dangerous forward lines in the competition and the Bulldogs leak fantasy points to key forwards. So when you piece these facts together, it all points to a comfortable Crows victory.
There are an incredible 5 ruck options on this single game slate. It’s difficult to know what’s going to happen when Luke Beveridge is around but I think it’s relatively safe to assume that Jordan Roughead does the bulk of the ruck work tonight. It was Roughead who rucked the most during the JLT Series and the early season games before getting injured. At $7,950, I think it’s equally safe to assume that Roughead gets pretty close to value. Teammates Jackson Trengove and Tom Boyd should play back and forward respectively and both will give Roughead a rest at some stage.
Sam Jacobs has had a big week with the birth of his daughter and also pulled up sore from last week’s game. Big Sauce’s durability is well known and I don’t think he’ll be badly affected by either of these events. After relying on Tim English for most of the season, it’s perhaps not the best idea to look at historical ruck data for this game. But if you do, you'll see that that the Bulldogs have given up the 4th most amount of points to opposition rucks.
My take: Roughead.
I want Lachlan Murphy in my team, that much I know. But I’m just unsure whether to play him in my back line or forward line. Murphy has been named in the forward pocket where he should play the majority of the game. Murphy is fast and his forward pressure is excellent. Of all the cheaper options available tonight (and there are a lot!), I think Murphy is a great chance to hit value.
Youngster Ed Richards has been taking a fair amount of kick-ins recently. When he does, Richards is one of the many defenders who loves to kick it to himself, providing us with some valuable cheap stats. Not many people will be on Richards tonight, so he could be a good little value point of difference.
David Mackay finds himself on the defensive list this week and with Luke Brown missing, Mackay may benefit from some additional mark-kick stats. You could use the same theory for Jake Kelly.
Finally, with the host of cheaper players on offer, I don’t mind the idea of paying up for Adelaide studs Rory Laird and/or Paul Seedsman.
My takes: Murphy, Mackay (or the studs).
As I said earlier, if you follow the theory that Adelaide's key forwards lead them to victory, then you have some clear choices for you tonight. The Dogs still give up the second most points to key forwards and are particularly poor against quality forwards (Cameron, Darling, Franklin all scored 100s and even McCarthy and Curnow scored 80s). If you look at this list, you’ll notice that these forwards all love to push up the ground. Oh hi Tom Lynch!
You could also put your hard-earned cash on a Josh Jenkins blue-moon game, while apprentice big man Darcy Fogarty should see an increased role in the absence of Mitch McGovern and Tex Walker.
I was on Jordan Gallucci earlier in the year and I feel like his pace will be really important tonight. His inclusion in my lineup will depend on my overall strategy but with Crouch’s absence and Lachie Murphy’s inclusion, I’m hoping that the young speed demon spends more time in the midfield. In fact, I may even throw him in my midfield, to allow me to spend up in other areas.
There is a part of me that feels like the Dogs could pull off a bit of an upset here. If that script comes into being, then they’re going to need a big contribution from their mid-forwards. Blokes like Josh Dunkley will need to have a huge 4 goal, 25 possession game to keep up with the diminished, but still potent Crows forward line. If you have the cash to spend, then Toby McLean is another stud to consider.
My takes: Lynch, Fogarty, Gallucci.
I suspect that there will be two main ways people will attack this slate. The cheaper players on offer do allow you to stack your midfield and even include the most expensive man in AFLDFS at the moment in Jack Macrae. The other option is create a more balanced midfield of $11-12K players. Apart from the players I’ve already mentioned, I don’t love many of the other sub $12K players. Sure, you can play Mitch Wallis or Caleb Daniel and hope for a 10 x value game, but I think it’s better to pay down around the ground and spend a little more for your mids tonight.
Sam Gibson makes his Crows debut tonight and it’s hard to know what to expect. Have the Crows brought him to free-wheel down the wings or is he going to play a run-with role on Macrae? Gibson has had some excellent fantasy outings in the past, so it’s possible that he begins his career at the Crows with a bang.
Second unit midfielders Hugh Greenwood and Cam Ellis-Yolman are always in play when the Crouches are missing. If you’re only rolling with one of these mids, then CEY is the more preferred option. His ceiling is a little more secure and Greenwood’s big scores are often propped up by high tackle counts. Richard Douglas’ ability to hit the scoreboard makes him another attractive mid-priced play tonight.
It’s also worth mentioning that the Crows actually give by the 4th most point away to opposing midfielders. If this sparks your curiosity, then a top-line Dogs midfield stack is easily workable with the value on offer tonight.
My takes: I’ll be using the cash I’ve saved elsewhere to run with some more expensive mids tonight.
Value plays, dual position options and range of top-line mids combine to make this a challenging but ultimately really funny single slate competition. Unlike most single slates, ownership should be really nicely distributed which makes for an intriguing night of fantasy football.