The bye rounds can cause havoc for season-long fantasy competitions, but for us DFSers it’s just another day in paradise. Phil Collins references aside, the other impacts the bye rounds have on DFS is that the Saturday slate has only three games to choose from.
First, we have another gripping instalment of the Battle of the Scott brothers with the Kangaroos traveling down the highway to play Geelong. The brothers Scott have coached against each other 10 times with honours shared at 5 wins a piece including last year’s epic one point win to Geelong. With the teams only separated by percentage on the ladder, this could be one of best Scott brother games yet.
Meanwhile, the Giants will be full of confidence after their impressive win against the Crows. This week, they get a soft matchup with the Suns making yet another road trip to Spotless Stadium. To close the slate, Buddy takes on the Saints, I mean Sydney takes on the Saints. Surprisingly, the thrashing we all anticipated didn’t eventuate last week with the Eagles fading late. The Swans are hardly flying at the moment so this could actually be a good game.
After a breakout 2017, Jarrod Witts has struggled for consistency this year. However, when he’s gone large this year, he’s gone seriously large and managed to convert his three 100s into big scores. The Giant’s haven’t been too good against opposition rucks and although Rory Lobb has the height to contend with Witts, he’s nowhere near as good a ruckman.
Talking about giving up points to rucks, St Kilda and Geelong are the two best teams to target. This means that both Todd Goldstein and Callum Sinclair are in play. Goldstein has been solid this year but his form hasn’t translated into two many big scores (only 2 x 100s). Sinclair is my favourite top end ruck to target today. As he proved against Hawthorn, his goal kicking ability gives him an edge over other rucks on today’s slate, especially against a weakened St Kilda backline.
My take: Sinclair, Goldstein
I’ve been burnt by rookie/cheap defenders recently, so I’m a little cautious when it comes to the sub $8K price bracket. Jed Bews averages 44 at home this year (51 if you take out his shocker against Carlton). You’d think that at $5,710 Bews gets pretty close to a value score. But that’s only if you’re really desperate for a cheap play.
Nick Coffield makes a welcome return (especially for those of us who have him on the bench of our SuperCoach teams!). Coffield began his season well but his fantasy output dropped in the few games before he was eventually omitted. He’ll have some added responsibility tonight so he’s worth a thought at a tick below $9K.
St Kilda pair Jimmy Webster and Shane Savage are in play, especially with the news that their captain and backline buddy, Jarryn Geary will miss a few weeks with injury.
Heath Shaw is defying his aging body and is actually having a really strong year. Shaw is a former defensive fantasy stud and is averaging just a tick under 100 at home this year. It’s a soft matchup for the Giants and Shaw could well go seriously large today. If you’re a fan of correlation, pair Shaw with Nick Haynes or Lachie Whitfield (if you can afford it - averaging 101 at home).
Heath Grundy was on track for an excellent score last week but faded out of the game in the second half. The St Kilda forward line shouldn’t trouble the Swans too much so a Grundy stat-filling game could be on the cards.
My takes: Coffield, Haynes, Webster.
There aren’t many reliable salary savers on today’s slate. You could take a punt on Josh Battle but don’t expect too much from the kid. Key forwards take a while to come on and Battle is still pretty raw. I’d rather play Tom McCartin if I needed a cheap forward or even Jamaine Jones.
Ben Ainsworth has been given a bigger midfield role in recent weeks and his scores have increased accordingly. He’s a little too expensive for his output at $10K but he’s definitely a mid-price to consider.
Zac Langdon had the best game of his young career against the Crows and has been impressive in a pressure forward role. I’m not expecting a great deal from the Suns, so although you’ll be point chasing by playing Langdon, he should have a lot of scoring opportunities.
I just can’t see Tom Lynch getting a lot of scoring opportunities against the Giants today but his price of $8,860 is very tempting for a player of his potential. The Giants haven’t been great against key forwards recently (even Josh Jenkins had 4 scoring shots), so Lynch isn’t a terrible option at all.
The Saints play a fairly open game at the moment and have given up some decent scores in recent weeks. Now Sydney haven’t exactly been a higher scoring team this year with only 3/11 scores being above 100 points (and in one of those games, Buddy kicked 8). However, under the roof at Etihad, I expect the shackles could well be released. If that’s the case, then Ben Ronke could score well. Ronke’s price is still inflated from his MCG heroics and I’d love him more if he was cheaper.
Jeremy Cameron was an important part of the Giants’ win last week and he’s in a good spot this week against the Suns. While the Suns have some decent defenders, they still give away the 6th most points to key forwards.
Tim Taranto’s output has been a little inconsistent since his sensational run between April - May. Taranto’s ownership has been dropping each week and I’m hoping to see a bounce back game soon. I think his matchup today increases the chances of that happening.
Buddy Franklin has a great recent history against St Kilda and that was when they actually had key defenders! I can’t see who the Saints will send to Buddy and he could have an absolute day out under the roof.
Finally, Gary Ablett has three 100s from his last four games and is still under $15K. Playing GAJ isn’t entirely without risks these days but I think he’ll thrive in this tense matchup today.
My takes: Lynch, Taranto, Franklin.
I just placed an outrageously ridiculous multi which included Oli Florent winning the Rising Star award. So for every week remaining this season, I’ll be cheering the young Swan on! Florent has been playing a number of roles this year and I always prefer players with that positional flexibility.
Will Brodie had a solid 11 x value first outing this year. His price has risen accordingly but I still like him as a cheaper option today.
While we don’t have many bankable sub-$10K options, there some viable $10-13K plays. GWS team sheets don’t mean much these days but these days but with Ryan Griffen named in the midfield, perhaps he’ll get a boost from the absence of Coniglio. Jacob Hopper is the other play here if you’re following this theory.
Luke Dunstan has a solid season average of 90 (would be even higher if not for his injury affected last score of 39). I always like Dunstan better when David Armitage isn’t in the side and he should get a decent midfield rotation today. I also like Jack Sinclair whose form has been one of the only positives for St Kilda this year.
Considering what Geelong’s midfield did to Gold Coast last week, you could easily make a case for playing a GWS mid stack. Mid-pricers Callan Ward and Dylan Shiel should also be considered. Josh Kelly probably isn’t 100% fit but his price tag of $14,220 is tempting.
My takes: Brodie, GWS stack!
I’m going heavy on GWS today. The Suns were absolutely woeful against Geelong and the Giants will be keen to build on last week’s win in Adelaide. Nearly every Geelong midfield had above 20 touches and a goal last week so I’m planning a Giants midfield stack accompanied by some value around the ground.