Thank goodness the byes are over! Time to load your full team back onto the ground and spoiled for choice, hover that mouse nervously over the VC and C buttons once again. Let’s take a look at who might deserve your attention this week…
1) Patrick Dangerfield
What more can we say about the great man? He is maybe a boring choice (but stay tuned) yet it’s impossible to look past him. Playing on Sunday afternoon makes him your perfect fallback captain if your VC option doesn’t quite deliver. The hard part will be working out a pass mark for your VC, this week more than ever. Consider Dangerfield’s record at Skilled this year (three games for 149+ every time), his average of 151 across the last month of footy, and his recent record boasting an average of 154 in his last three against the Dockers. You would want to be very sure about your vice captain this week.
2) Matthew Kreuzer
You have to seriously admire how Kreuzer has turned his footballing life around from almost-tradebait into likely All-Australian. Carrying a recent average of 136 into this game, he is now a genuine captaincy option for those lucky and/or astute enough to have him. This week Kreuzer is playing Richmond against whom he scored 121 in round one this year, and discarding the 18pts he scored against the Tigers in his first season they have since become his favourite team to score against averaging 103 across ten games. The only issue that I can see with giving the armband to Kreuzer this week is simply timing – the first bounce of his game will be at about 3/4 time in Dangerfield’s.
3) Joel Selwood
Again we have an obvious scheduling issue with Dangerfield but if you’re looking for a point of difference to the masses then Jelwood might be an option for you. Similar to Danger, Joel has been tearing up his home deck with three games of 126+ at home this season. Jelwood also loves playing Fremantle now that Crowley has disappeared from the scene, running at about 121 across the last five games against them. He copped a heavy tag for 73 last week but was in fine form prior and already has a couple of 150+ scores to his name this season. Will he begin his signature run home with another?
4) Josh P Kennedy
Another old favourite who traditionally finishes a season much stronger than he starts it. With a formline somewhat mirroring that of his Swans, JPK has discovered some semblance of form recently with five consecutive hundreds and this week plays Essendon, against whom he has averaged 125 in his last five. A strong chance to make it six on the trot and banking his score on the Friday night gives you a good vice-captaincy opportunity.
5) Marcus Bontempelli
Terribly out of form recently but even so, is still averaging just a touch under triple figures from his last three games. The Supercoach scoring just loves the kid. He is a gamble but again plays early in the round so gives us a chance to roll the dice if so inclined. Bont loves playing North, averaging 125 against them across his career with only one score in that time below 115. With plenty of media scrutiny since their loss to the Demons, if ever there was a week for an under-performing Bontempelli, and his under-performing Bulldogs, to make a statement – this is it.
1) Steele Sidebottom
Going way under the radar this year, Steele is quietly averaging 133 from his last three games and is in ripping form. His record against Port Adelaide is also fairly impressive with an average of 111 against them from the previous four outings. Meanwhile in Port’s last two games this season, they have given up 10x 100+ scores including a 150+ in both of those matches so there will definitely be some points on offer this week. Steele’s ownership is also incredibly low for a player going at 108 for the season with just 1.6% of RDT coaches and 2.3% of AFL Fantasy coaches currently able to give him the armband this week. So if you’re looking for a unique captain in good form with a strong ceiling, look no further.
2) Scott Pendlebury
Don’t have that Magpie? How about this one. Pendles has been Mr Reliable for years now and is running close to career-best form (high praise given the standard he has set!) with scores of 144, 125, 112 & 126 in his last month or so of football. His record against Port is also great, going at 114 from his last eight games against them and like Sidebottom above will no doubt reap rewards from the Power’s loose checking. Select with confidence.
Sidenote: Treloar whilst in great recent form doesn’t have a great record against Port, while Adams hasn’t played them since 2015 and has a lower floor than the others.
3) Patrick Dangerfield
Possibly the safest bet of the round is the reigning Brownlow Medalist playing in his own backyard. Moving back home has done wonders for Danger and he still hasn’t scored below 100 at Kardinia Park since the Adelaide trade, averaging 125 there in the past eighteen months. This year his scores at home have been 156, 125 & 131 whilst also boasting an average against Fremantle of 132 in his last three against them.
4) Luke Shuey
Like Dangerfield, Shuey just loves playing at home, having banked 4x 100+ scores from his 4x games at Domain Stadium. This season Shuey has hit triple figures in 82% of his games and more than 50% of the time when he goes 100, he makes sure of it and goes above 115. Melbourne are a very different side this year compared to previous seasons but for whatever it’s worth, his record against them runs at 107 in recent years. The Dees might be winning games and might even win this one, but even in the last three weeks they have still conceded 12 hundreds to opposition players.
5) Dayne Zorko
The #3 player this season for both total and average points, it seems the footy world is just starting to wake up to how good this bloke has become. The Magician is now on a run of five consecutive scores above 119 and I suspect he will make it six against the Giants this week who aren’t quite their usual stingy selves recently. He did score 131 against them last year as well and it’s just too hard to argue against his current form. Apologies to Carlton duo Gibbs & Docherty.
Thursday Night Vice Captain…
It’s out last Thursday night loophole for the year so let’s make the most of it. Mitchell vs Sloane, who do you pick? It’s an easy choice if you’ve only got the one but for the many coaches with both, I think Sloane is the answer this week. He scored 152 against the Hawks earlier this year and they are still leaking plenty of points. Sloane has gone 130+ in literally half his games this year but also throws out the odd shocker when tagged. On the other hand Mitchell has a higher but rarer ceiling but has not yet dropped below 100. Mitchell also has a higher ownership percentage so that’s another tick for Sloane if you’re looking for a potential point of difference.