Another massive week of AFL approaches and with this round stretching out to Tuesday it’s going to be a great weekend. Let’s get looking at some of the big discussion points before we head into the round.
Don’t Leave it Too Long
No matter how well (or poorly) your side is currently performing i can guarantee you their are several players your desperate to get into your side. Those without Tom Rockliff have no doubt spent plenty of time asking themselves was last week’s monster a one off under Chris Fagan or is the master points accumulator back to his best? Those without Patrick Dangerfield (yep they exist) or Zach Merrett for DreamTeam/AFLFantasy coaches they are thinking ‘How Do I get him in ASAP.’ Regardless of your current overall ranking their are several top tier players, perhaps you call them “uber’ premiums in every single line that currently aren’t in your side, yet.
While we do have some incredible value that’s almost ripe for the picking (which we spoke about on this week’s podcast) for fallen premiums we do want to make sure we get these clear ‘top tier’ players across every single line.
While picking up value is important and having something unique in your side will separate you from the pack their are certain player that without owning them it’s going to be incredibly difficult to achieve the success you crave. Prior to lockout commencing tonight I’d encourage you to identify the top 2-4 players in each line, then if you don’t own them currently make a plan to get those you’ve missed. Map out potential cash cows you’ll need to cull and trade in over the coming 8 weeks prior to the multi bye to ensure you can get these big premiums.
While I won’t do every line I will give you a kick-start, let’s look at the backline i think it’s very clear that Sam Docherty, Rory Laird and Taylor Adams are the top 3 defenders in all 3 formats and if you don’t own them make the plan to do it ASAP. Failure to own these guys means your banking on them being outperformed weekly by your other unique options, and while that may happen for some weeks, i think across the whole season failure to own these guys will make it difficult for you to achieve overall rankings success. The next tier of defenders in my eyes would be Heath Shaw, Jake Lloyd, Jason Johannisen, Leigh Montagna and Kade Simpson. The final tier could be highly expansive but Jeremy Howe, Dylan Roberton, Alex Rance (SC only), Matthew Suckling, Christian Salem, Matthew Boyd and any number of other players all could fit here. Make sure in your side you identify in your opinion the clear top 3-4 players per line, I believe they are there and relatively obvious, once done that build a plan to bring them in and then fill your side with others you think will be around the mark of top 10 averaging from here on in.
Doing this simple exercise should help you identify who your missing and set you on a course for targetting what trades you need to look at doing over the coming months. Good luck!
AFLFantasy – Potential DPP’s
Prior to the commencement of Round 6, 12 & 18 AFLFantasy will award some new Dual Positions, and with the first batch due early next week here’s my take on some of the popular names and some potential new options.
Brandon Ellis – GAIN DEF
How the mighty have fallen, 2 years ago I thought Brandon was set to become one of the next uber premiums in AFLFantasy. However, a clear role change this year has him firmly entrenched in the defensive 50 of the Tigers. While I wouldn’t encourage anyone to go out and buy him, DPP makes him a potential candidate for Matchday if you’re looking for a unique pick.
Travis Boak – GAIN FWD
Despite just the one triple figure score Travis is still averaging a solid 94. While he’s no certainly (unlike a fellow teammate who is) he’s certainly having his fair share of forward rotations. However, 12 months ago the fantasy community was calling for the same thing. I think it’s more unlikely than likely that he gains it, but certainly if he does then he’s worth targeting after his round 9 bye.
Brent Stanton – GAIN DEF
After round one I was certain that he’d gain defense status with a clear role with him running off half back. However over the past 2-3 weeks he’s spent much more time playing across the wing. He’s certainly still a possibility, but I doubt it.
Curtly Hampton – GAIN MID
Handy for versatility and not much else, Curly has been playing his role in the Crows midfield unit, and while it won’t add relevance it will give flexibility if covering outs or upgrading in other lines and need him to help cover the holes.
Kieran Jack – GAIN FWD
Even if he gains it, I’m not convinced he’s worth chasing after your salary cap side. The Swans have spent most of the season without Isaac Heeney and Tom Papley playing, both who were key members of their forward set up last year. To compensate they’ve used Kieran much more inside the 50, whether it’s enough time to get DPP I’m unsure, but certainly worth considering in a draft or Matchday format.
Michael Barlow – GAIN FWD
In the preseason Rodney Eade said he’d split his time between an inside midfield role and playing high half forward. Rocket has been true to his word, and Barlow is right in the mix to become a forward next week. If he does, he’s certainly worth targeting after his round 9 bye.
Anthony McDonald-Tipunwuti – GAIN FWD
A clear cut call for me, ‘Tippa’ has been electrifying in the forward lines for Essendon and seeing as he’s booted 6 goals for the season, including a career best 4 last week against the Crows. Certainly not as relevant as he was 12 months ago when rookie priced, but could be handy if you’re playing with a deep draft league side.
Lachie Weller – GAIN DEF
I was surprised he failed to gain it 10 days ago in UltimateFooty but I think it’s an absolute certainty Lachie picks up Defensive status here. He’s been one of, if not the key ball distributor with him averaging 3 rebounds 50 per game. While I don’t think he’ll be in the top 10-15 defenders for the year he would certainly be worth a spot in your draft side.
Andy Otten – GAIN FWD
With the injuries to Mitch McGovern and Josh Jenkins the Crows have flung AO into the forward line with some relative success. For me Andy’s DPP is a no brainier and will allow you some further flexibility when a certain Port Adelaide player I mention also gains DEF status.
Shaun Higgins – GAIN MID
Simple decision for AFLFantasy here. He’s spent the vast majority of every game as a midfielder and while gaining MID/FWD status won’t make him more relevant it will give coaches some added flexibility.
Lachie Neale – GAIN FWD
This one really excites me, he’s playing almost exclusively as a forward as evidenced in last weekends matchups where he kicked 4 goals in the third quarter and helped turn the game in the Dockers favor. The extra special thing about this is I believe he’s simply playing this role to gain match fitness as he lacked a preseason and should be getting moved back to a full time midfielder. If that happens (and he gains DPP) Lachie Neale will be the #1 forward to the season.
Dan Houston – GAIN DEF
He’s the Port player I alluded to earlier. Having already gained DEF eligibility 2 weeks ago in UltimateFooty for me, I see his DPP as arguably one of the easiest ones. He’s clearly playing as a defender and the Power love getting the ball in his hands. The flexibility he gives in Tandem with an Andy Otten will be a great strategic advantage.
Robbie Gray – GAIN FWD
Lock this one in, and it’s a BIG one. For the past few seasons we’ve had Robbie Gray available as a forward and after starting with the just midfield status he should gain DPP back. He’s averaged 96, 96 & 97 the past 3 years and with only Nick RIewoldt, Luke Dahlhaus and Jack Macrae the obvious top tier of the forwards he would sit nicely alongside them.
Bob Murphy / Jason Johannisen / Liam Picken / Lachie Hunter – GAIN FWD
If one gets it, they all should get it, however, that being said I’m not confident any of them gain it. The bulldogs have great versatility within their side and love using players in a variety of roles. All have spent solid minutes forward, but whether it’s enough outside their main roles in the side is the big unknown. If either of Hunter or Picken gain DPP, they’ll instantly be in top 10 FWD contention.
Steele Sidebottom – GAIN FWD
Appears to be more based off the forward flanks and pushing up rather than running between the arcs. An outside chance, but far from a certainty. It’s a very similar role to what Isaac Smith played last year, which saw him mid-season gain MID/FWD DPP.
David Mundy – GAIN FWD
The former Dockers skipper along with current Captain Nat Fyfe are spending plenty of time forward as Fremantle look to give youngsters a shot through the midfield and also give his side another target to goal. He’s spending over 50% of game time up front over the past 2 weeks and if he does that again this week it’ll certainly get him right in contention.
Harry Taylor – GAIN FWD
He’s a lock to get forward status but he’d only be relevant if you wanted to take a MASSIVE risk in the matchday formats of AFLFantasy. He shouldn’t be anywhere near your Classic team!
One of the newest additions over the past 2 years especially to the fantasy footy landscape are the daily match day formats of the game. Each week rather than focusing on one specific gameplay format I’ll suggest one player per game I’d suggest locking into your daily formats of fantasy.
Port Adelaide Vs Carlton
Brad Ebert is back to his best from a few seasons ago. Currently averaging 105 in DreamTeam/AFLFantasy and 111 in SuperCoach he’s the perfect unique pick.
Western Bulldogs Vs Brisbane
Popular Captain option this week Tom Rockliff will be highly selected this week, but I find the correlation between his biggest score of the year and the Lions only loss over 6 goals an interesting correlation. For me though Stefan Martin is the man, the Bulldogs lack a genuine opponent for him (yes, they have Campbell, but I said opponent lol) and given his current form of the season he’s an absolute must for me in this game.
Gold Coast Vs Adelaide
The Suns key defensive stocks will be given a workout this week with No May, No Thompson, so enter crows key forward Tex Walker! He’s been on fire the past few weeks kicking 11 goals from the past 3 matches and is currently averaging 108 in DreamTeam and 114 in SuperCoach.
St Kilda Vs Geelong
Dylan Roberton is on fire at the moment. With Nathan Brown and Jake Carlisle in the side he’s able to go back to playing his best footy as an intercept player and as such his scores are sky rocketing. While he won’t get the 12 marks like he did last week, he’s coming off the back of 3 consecutive 90+ scores. People score chasing will be on him this week too, but for mine, I still think he presents too much value to not highlight here.
Sydney Vs Greater West Sydney
Massive game for Sydney, and while I do think GWS possess too much class I think the time is right for Luke Parker to dominate the game and get back to his best. A quiet opening month of footy has seen his price dip, so he’s certainly presenting some potential value. Last year he was a top 10 averaging midfielder and he boosts a mighty big ceiling. Take the punt!
Fremantle Vs North Melbourne
North Melbourne genuinely lacks for outside speed and class, and it’s for that reason I think the Brothers Stephen Hill and Brad Hill will find themselves with plenty of the ball outside the contest and with no Kangaroo able to go near them.
Hawthorn Vs West Coast
Everything within me wants to say Sam Mitchell here, the script is written perfectly for him to have 35 touches and be the best on ground, but Seeing as he’s not playing I’ll go elsewhere. Side with strong outside runners and ball users cutting up the Hawks at the moment I’m picking Andrew Gaff to roam the wings of the MCG and get plenty of it.
Richmond Vs Melbourne
For many they feel this is the Tigers first ‘real’ test of the season, while for others they see that this game could set up and almost guarantee the Tigers make the 8 given their favorable draw due to a poor 2016. With all the attention on Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin getting back to some of his best form Tigers midfielder Shaun Grigg is certainly going unnoticed. From his 4 games this season he’s already had 2 x 110+ scores and 1 in the 90’s across all formats. He’d be a unique selection, he’s got a high ceiling and for me he’s worth taking an outside pick.
Collingwood Vs Essendon
While players like Steele Sidebottom and Scott Pendlebury have excellent records against the Bombers and Brent Stanton seems to be the Matchday specialist I’m taking a punt and suggesting Michael Hurley. The Magpies are bleeding fantasy points to oppositions defenders and I could see Hurls landing plenty of intercept marks and also getting on the ed of plenty of transition possessions. It’s unique, but it’s worth it!