Today’s slate is a little overshadowed by the Live Final happening this afternoon but it’s still a fun little three-game contest. The Saints host the Dockers in what is the hardest game to pick of the day. The Saints have made five changes to the team that played Adelaide last week and I’m always cautious of teams that swing the axe like this. The Dockers are always a hard team to tip and their small half-forward midfielders could actually match the Saints for pace. The Carlton bandwagon hit a speed bump last week and will be totally derailed today at the MCG. Yes, the Blues have been excellent since Bolton’s departure but to suggest they are in the same category as the rampant Tigers is just ridiculous. The weather will be the only thing that dampens Richmond’s party here. And finally, the Live Final game. I’m not going to focus much on this game as I’ve already broken this game down in a separate article.
The rucks are actually pretty tough today with no real standout plays appearing during my first inspection. Harry McKay has shown an amazing ceiling recently but the combination of the weather and the matchup makes playing McKay an extremely bold (if not an entirely stupid) play.
Sam Jacobs looms as a solid mid-priced (as mentioned in the Live Final article), while it’s difficult to trust either of the returning Toby Nankervis or Matthew Kreuzer. Rowan Marshall is also too expensive considering he’ll be taking on Sandilands and Darcy.
I didn’t mind Jason Carter’s game last week in which he fell just short of 10x value. The speedster will enjoy the fast track at Marvel and he’s still $5K. Nick Coffield has hovered around value during the past few weeks and he’s the other cheaper play that I quite like today.
One of my favourite players of 2019 has been Josh Battle and he could easily have a 8-10 mark game today if Fremantle don’t use the ball well inside 50. Jayden Short is building back to his excellent 2018 form and although we haven’t seen a ceiling game from Connor Blakely, he’s offering a much more reliable floor recently. Sam Petrevski-Seton's move to half-back has boosted his fantasy numbers and he gains DPP def/mid status today. Hunter Clark is another player new to the defensive list, although his salary is a little high for his ceiling today.
Take away Nic Newman’s four goals last week and he still would have scored 100+. Brodie Smith’s midfield role also makes me a solid add to the player pool today.
I did a little double take when I saw Mitch McGovern at $6,500. But then I remembered that his fantasy form has been horrible in the navy blue so far and I moved on. Sam Switkowski played higher up the ground last week and his scoring benefited accordingly. This will be fast-paced game so Fremantle’s small mid-forwards will be needed today. The rest of the sub $10K are punt plays really, that have good chance of scoring better than a value game. Of this group, I like Riley Knight as a left-of-centre play.
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Dustin Martin is out so Shai Bolton and Josh Caddy could see additional midfield time. Black Acres has been just short of value in his last few games but returns to the fast track of Marvel. Michael Walters and Jack Billings are both expensive but have the highest ceilings of the forwards on offer today.
Jack Ross was impressive earlier in the season and he gets another chance to prove himself today. The Tigers must really see something in Ross because after missing several months with injury, he’s come into the senior team after playing one half of VFL last week. Ross will play a significant role in the midfield in Dusty’s absence. I don’t mind David Mackay in his outside role at Optus Stadium. The slightly more expensive Rory Atkins is also on my list for the same reason. Atkins’ scoring is often correlated to Crows victories but I still like him today. Will Setterfield keeps teasing a breakout game and I’d love him to bust through that 100 point barrier.
There’s a group of $11-13K players that I really like today. Jack Graham could get a small Dusty bump but Graham doesn’t really play the same role as Martin. The game script also doesn’t exactly follow Graham’s hard tackling style. Ed Langdon’s running game with be important at Marvel and I suppose you could take a ‘perform well in front of Melbourne-based club recruiters’ narrative as well as it appears Langdon will be heading east at the end of the year. Bryce Gibbs is playing two games in a row for the first time in a long time and his positional flexibility will come in handy, especially at Optus. Ed Curnow and Kane Lambert round out my player pool from this price bracket.
The St Kilda midfield has a different look to it today with Dan Hannebery and Jack Steven rejoining the team. This will scare a lot of people away similar to what happened with Dayne Zorko’s injury concern yesterday. The player I like the most in this scenario is Seb Ross as he has the outside game to complement these two returning to the coal face. Marc Murphy and Sam Walsh are also worth consideration at a similar price point.