Plenty of value around tonight with up to seven personnel changes and even more positional reshuffles for coaches to consider at Spotless as the Thunder host the Scorchers.
Will Uzzie recapture his BBL05 form on the back of his amazing knock at the SCG? Will the arrival of Vince and Khawaja to that Thunder batting line-up free up Watson and Patterson to really go berserk tonight?
Will the visitors be as potent without Tye and co? Will Morton produce a debut to remember on the spin-friendly Spotless deck? Will the Scorchers middle order pull them out of the fire again?
Ripping fantasy contest tonight with clear skies and myriad tactics, options and value runners in play – good luck!
Thunder: Khawaja, Patterson, Watson, Vince, Ferguson, Lenton, Nair, Green, McCleneghan, Sandhu, Ahmed, (Rohrer, Fekete)
Scorchers: Klinger, Bosisto, Cartwright, Turner, Agar, Bancroft, Voges, Morton, Bresnan, Johnson, Paris, (Kelly, David)
Lenton will get the gloves, Vince likely bats #4 first-up with Uzzie opening.
Either Rohrer or Sandhu will be the unlucky one to miss out of this bolstered Thunder team. If they go in batsman-heavy, lock in Watson for 4 overs with the ball which makes him a must-take, but likely Rohrer will be the one to miss which means probably 2-3 overs for Watson. 10-12 overs of spin is the default from the Thunder at Spotless.
Scorchers have even more player movement with Tye and Richardson on national duty; expect Paris and English-import Bresnan to slot straight in and bowl their four overs each. Cartwright is back from Test duties and will get the gloves but I can’t fit him in higher than #6 given the form of the Scorchers middle order last start.
Bosisto will open the batting in Willey’s absence whilst I expect Langer to select young Hayden Morton for his BBL debut – it never hurts to take a second front-line spinner into Spotless and the likes of Cartwright and Voges can cover the kid if he cops it early.
Hilton Cartwright is just $9k on Draftstars. Not bad for a first drop who is very likely to get thrown the ball for at least two overs. A three-game average of 15pts is the reason for the price tag but coaches would do well to look down the sheet at his second-up 82pt effort on Boxing Day. Can repeat here especially if he gets in early before Ahmed starts his spell, and he should enjoy low ownership as well. Hayden Morton on debut at 8k could be well worth a look if named, while Joel Paris is a quality bowler who is big unders at 10k.
Shane Watson and Fawad Ahmed are both locks for me tonight. Ahmed at Spotless is just a rule of BBL whilst Watson could really cash in on this under-strength Scorchers bowling attack if he gets through MJ. Both averaging over 70 and have both raised the fantasy bat twice so far this BBL. Slight worry for Ahmed is the form of the Scorchers middle order and for Watson it is the uncertainty of Vince batting #3 or #4, but despite these queries they both go in for me tonight.
Much love for Callum Fergson but he is not getting the exposure and is likely to get less tonight with Vince batting four. Better value beneath him with much better exposure. Gurinder Sandhu will be dreading tonight (if he even gets picked) against that Scorchers middle order of Cartwright/Turner/Agar who can (and likely will) put him over the fence with alarming frequency. Awkwardly priced given his 60pt 3-game average, he may jag a wicket but I’m avoiding at that price and in these conditions.
Tim Bresnan is not an all-rounder and in a sane world doesn’t even come in ahead of Johnson who at least has a test century to his name (why they name MJ at #11 each game is beyond me). Bresnan does average 20 runs a game though, which is solid, but in this team tonight he will bat too far down to trouble the scorers too much (has been batting #7 in the Bangladesh Premier League). Can be tricky to face and may be used in a Tye-type role towards the end of the innings but the bolstered Thunder batting and Bresnan being named in the AR section work against him here. Huge POD appeal though, as he should be less than 15% owned tonight.
Arjun Nair is another tonight who will be lower owned than usual. Eight wickets in his first 4 games (84pt average) and none in the last two games (14pt average) will have coaches looking strongly to the all-round value of Watson and Agar. Not often a dual-centurion will be POD territory.