An interesting week of captains in Round 4! Danger copped an early knee to the kidneys and spent a lot time up forward; Dusty got tagged by Robbo; the Saints improved a lot (and held Treloar & Adams to a lot of handballs)… at least Rory Sloane tore it up! And now onto Round 5:
1) Patrick Dangerfield
This is nowhere near as clear cut as it was last week, however he tentatively still gets the number one spot in SuperCoach this week due to his consistent form since the start of 2016. He copped an injury-affected 90 this week and he’s only scored below that twice since 2015, which is quite impressive. Assuming he’s fully right this week he should be back to his previous scoring where he averaged 139 from Rounds 1-3. If we don’t know whether that’s the case or not though it’d be nicer being able to play the VC on him, if possible.
2) Rory Sloane
After a slow start in Round 1, Sloane has been on fire! His last three are now 124, 146 & 168 & he’s clearly on a hot streak, as are the Crows. He won’t have any fears up against the Suns this week either and should be in for another good one.
3) Scott Pendlebury
Pendles doesn’t like it when people question him – he almost always responds with a better performance, so there’s that. He’s also playing on ANZAC Day in a game that he’s previous won the best on ground medal twice, so there’s also that. Plus he’s had three scores over 120 already this year in just four rounds… getting interested yet? And then there’s this: In his career he’s played against Essendon 20 times now and has scored 100+ in 15 of those 20 matches. This includes his rookie year. He loves playing the Bombers, it doesn’t look like the Bombers are tagging at the moment, he scored 131 on them last year & along with all the rest he shapes as a great option this week. If not perhaps a captain with the consistently massive ceiling of some others, he’s one that you can feel extremely confident about locking in at least a good score and probably more.
4) Tom Rockliff
Is he back? Can we trust him? Questions that confound many a SuperCoach player this year. What can be seen is that he’s averaging over 130 points so far as well as 12 clearances a game and that big 170+ from last week does demand attention. The Bulldogs have been quite successful lately but they do still allow quite a few stats to be racked up by their opponents and it would not surprise at all for Rockliff to replicate last week’s efforts and put up big numbers because of that.
5) Marc Murphy
It’s finally too hard to ignore this bloke – he’s started the season now with four straight scores over 120, an average of 137 & just really playing some damn good footy! His record against Port has been quite solid too with five 100s in his last six full games against them (four of which were over 120, albeit none of those since 2014). The man is fit and on a roll and it’s not a bad thing to hop on and enjoy the ride while it lasts.
Stef Martin & Luke Shuey were honourable mentions this week and were unlucky to miss out. Shuey has been very solid against the Hawks in his career, has a 141 & 127 already this season and given how the Hawks are going he’d be licking his lips. Stef has had three scores over 125 already this year, had a massive 159 on the Dogs back in 2015 & the Dogs are having their ruck issues lately so Stef should be pretty solid again. The last man to mention here is the one and only Gary Ablett. Gaz has not quite been the same man that we all remember, however his last two have been much better and his record against the Crows is nothing short of spectacular – his last six full games against them have yielded an average of 142! Now the Crows are a bit better than they have been, Gaz is a little older than he was & it just feels like more of a risk than it used to be, but it is a big risk that could end up paying huge rewards. The Bont should also be good again and is in pretty good nick.
AFLFantasy / DreamTeam
1) Tom Rockliff
To borrow a quote from the great Yogi Berra, “It’s like deja vu all over again.” Rocky put on a fantasy footy clinic last week, putting up a stack of possessions, tackles, clearances and DT points. He’s one of only five players to have scored over 100 in all four games so far too. Against the Dogs he has a good record, having scored 100+ in five of his last seven (three of which were 139+) and the Dogs have been allowing decent points this year & last, so if Rocky keeps the same role and form as last week he’s every chance of scoring well again.
2) Taylor Adams
Adams had 39 possessions last week – did you notice? Or did you just see his final score of 107? He’s had a 151 & a 137 in other games this season already too. He’s on a streak of three straight 100s against the Bombers, his opponents this week, two of which were over 120 as well. With an average of 124, a big ceiling and a Bombers team that was freely scored against last week, it could be a big day out for the Pies’ #13.
3) Rory Sloane
Sloane’s form since Round 1 just keeps getting better, now having 143, 139 & 152 in his last three. This form is way too good to ignore, especially since it doesn’t feel either unexpected nor unusual for him nowadays. He’s got a game up against the Suns this week, who while no midfielder has yet gone 130 against them (though Docherty did) they have conceded 120s to fellow high-scorers this year in Rocky & Murphy so it looks like he should be pretty good again.
4) Stefan Martin
A perhaps unusual pick but you’ve just gotta look at the details. Stef is another one of the only five players to have scored 100+ in all four weeks so far this year & he put up a big 152 against the Dogs in late 2015. Opposing rucks against the Dogs have also scored very well this year (Goldstein 112, Sandilands 91, Grundy 94) so consistency & ceiling gets Stef the #4 slot.
5) Patrick Dangerfield
He was no standout this week but his record over the past year & a bit gets him over the line. To be honest there’s also the slight unknown of how injured he really was last week and in AFL Fantasy/Real Dream Team we don’t have the luxury of seeing his VC score first. If perfectly fit though then he deserves to stay in the to 5.
6) Marc Murphy/Tom Mitchell
These two have been too consistent to leave out this week. Murphy has scored 120+ in all four games so far (the only one to do so) & Mitchell has scored 115+ in all four games so far, three of which were 125 or more, so they’re both in great form and both are incredibly consistent. Murphy’s record against Port is ok, and Mitchell is up against 2017’s most restrictive team so far in the Eagles, but their consistency has them at #5 as the safe fall-back options for the week.
It was super hard to narrow it down to a top 5 (or even 6-7!) this week as there were so many worthy options. Treloar & Pendlebury’s records against Essendon make them well worthy of the armband (and both scored 129 & 127 last year respectively too). Heck, even Brodie Grundy has been on fire too & Leuey has given up 127 (Kreuzer) & 108 (Jacobs) since he came back already. Nick Riewoldt has scored 95+ in 20 of his 24 matches since the start of last year (and one of those scores under that was inury-affected) so he should be a very safe option too. Shuey & Gaff have the easybeats this week in the Hawks and both could easily be huge. Six of Gaff’s last seven against the Hawks are already over 100 & he is averaging 116, it’s just his relatively rare ceiling that has kept him out. Shuey’s record against the Hawks hasn’t been quite as good as Gaff’s, though he did score a pair of 90s on them last year and this year’s Hawks are a much worse proposition so I would really expect Shuey to be good (although if Sam Mitchell doesn’t get up there remains some chance the Hawks may try to tag him with a Langford or a Shiels). Zach Merrett didn’t get a guernsey as Collingwood is the only team that he’s never scored 100 on. Even last year with his big 118 average for the season (including a hot start) he only managed 66 against the Pies; he could be good but again it’ll be against history (though the Pies did give up a lot of points to Sainters last week).
Good luck for this week!