I’m sweating like a pig after running round McKay, searching for a glimpse – just a single glint – of Zachary Merrett.
About halfway into the second quarter some bloke who hauled me off the top of Essendon’s dugout told he wasn’t here. He took me to a holding room somewhere and I watched the game on my phone, blinking back tears.
The commentary was abysmal, and included a five minute discussion on shoes, both teams had long periods where they played terribly, and dodgy WiFi connection meant I’d regularly miss a minute or two of play.
Also Essendon were robbed – ROBBED I TELLS YOU – after being denied a blatant 50 metre penalty but I’m not salty at all. That’s just what we have to expect when we let Queenslanders – far north ones at that – have a turn at running things.
Anyway, before I get gang tackled by unruly Queenslanders here are my scratchy notes on what little fantasy relevance could be gleaned from this game.
Notable absentees: Zach Merrett *sobs*, Dyson Heppell, David Zaharakis, Mark Baguely, Orazio Fantasia, James ‘Pops’ Kelly, David Myers, Paddy Ambrose, Matty Dea, Cale Hooker, Tom Bellchambers
Looked very good at times, and very ordinary at others. The Mosquito Fleet will be fantastic, but there’s not too much fantasty relevance at the Dons this year – just too much uncertainty and probably few rookies.
JOSH BEGELY | 117,300 | FWD | 79 SC
After the ravings about the Mosquito Fleet last week, they look to add another to their number in Josh Begely. A quick half forward flanker who averaged 17 disposals and two goals in the TAC cup last year, he looked right at home early with 3 first half goals. Didn’t get a huge amount of ball and will have shaky job security if he actually gets a game but did all the right things today. Have another look at him if he gets a gig next week.
ASH McGRATH | 211,800 | DEF/MID | 54 SC
Looked very good and seems to have ensured a round one berth with the Dons, however with 16 possessions (ten handballs), he probably hasn’t done enough to justify selection at his elevated price with the number of defensive rookie options we’ve got.
Watson scored 38 #SuperCoach points in the final term to finish with 92. McGrath had 58.
— Fantasy Freako (@FantasyFreako) February 26, 2017
JOBE WATSON | 453,300 | MID | 94 SC
Started very slowly in the heat but worked his way into the game. Didn’t hit anything resembling full flight and did some work under some packs, but somehow ended up with 24 touches and three clearances. Encouraging signs if you’re looking for encouraging signs, but beware of confirmation bias. Don’t reckon he’s as fantasty relevant as some think he is.
Stay away from banned bombers. Traps imo — John (@imjohnb) February 26, 2017
BRENT STANTON | 496,100 | MID | 86 SC
Played across half back and looked to be the general. If we could pick him back there he’d be well and truly in the conversation. However, he’s a midfielder, and they’re a dime a dozen. Not for Supercoach, but will be given DPP in Fantasy and as such is worth consideration. Very valid CoachKings selection.
MARTY GLEESON | 353,600 | DEF | 62 SC
Looks really, really good and composed after being groomed into that half back role. Should have had a shot on goal to win us the game if we weren’t bloody ROBBED by that Jarrod Grant prick kicking the ball backwards while manning the mark. FUMING. If someone tells me “relax, it’s just a practice match” I might scream.
Anyway Gleeson will play well and maybe hit a 85-90 average this year, but he also might not. Don’t bother.
JAMES STEWART | 169,800 | FWD | 47 SC
Really, really liked Stewart’s game today, but he only had the six touches and solitary miracle goal so I can’t see him being a good selection, even before we consider Cale Hooker’s return. Was found up on a wing and working hard, but a very firm no in my forward line.
— AFL (@AFL) February 26, 2017
DYLAN CLARKE | 123,900 | MID | 42 SC
One of the Dons’ latest pick ups in the draft, and boy he looked good. Not good enough to get a round one berth, though, with so many names to come back in and the squad to be culled by 4. He also made the embarrassing mistake of handing the ball off to a ruckman to kick. Not ready yet.
BRENDAN GODDARD | 532,100 | MID | 69 SC
Wasn’t going to include him in the writeup but my sister requested I include him simply so I can label him a flog. He’s a flog. Don’t select him.
Matt Luenberger struggled today and was given a lot of chop out by Shaun McKernan, who can be upgraded to cover David Myers. Michael Hurley looked good, but won’t pick up enough points to be of interest.
Kyle Langford looked like he’ll become a really good player, but next year is the year we put him on our fantasy radars. Ditto Jason Laverde and Darcy Parish, with Parish needing a large improvement on his disposal efficiency before we have a look at him.
Young gun Jordan Ridley has huge wraps on him internally at the club but won’t play round 1, you’d think, and Joe Daniher (-1 SC) had a Mare with only one touch.
Notable absentees: Gary Ablett, Aaron Hall, Jarrod Harbow, Michael Rischetelli, Tom Lynch, Jarrod Witts, Matt Rosa, Jack Bowes, Mitch Hallahan
Suns looked really good in parts, and their mammoth inside 50 count is very good news for Tom Lynch’s prospects this year when he returns in JLT 3. Still have a few kinks to iron out, but don’t write them off yet.
DAVID SWALLOW | 280,200 | MID | 82 SC
Jaeger O’Maera reignited the Swallow vs Jaeger debate this afternoon buy burning his name into Arden Street’s turf. Like the HiddleSwift contreversy last year, I’d been firmly team They Can Both Bugger Off, but leaning towards Taylor Swift (which in this metaphor is David Swallow).
However, Swallow might as well have been Taylor Swift out there today as he had 3 touches to half time. Finished with 18 touches (with 100% DE if you don’t mind), but I hardly saw the #24 jumper. Sorry Tay Tay, but Jaeger Hiddleston’s biceps are drawing me into their orbit.
TOUK MILLER | 428,900 | FWD/MID | 67 SC
Had the first clearance of the game and had 8 touches to quarter time. Finished with 21 touches, with only 57% effective, and was handball heavy. Not sold, especially with Gaz, Hall and a few other second stringers to come back. Looked reasonably good forward, too.
MICHAEL BARLOW | 533,200 | MID | 116 SC
The Suns’ top possession winner for the day, finishing with 31 touches. However, a massive 24 of those were handballs. Didn’t see enough to suggest he’ll go a top 15 midfielder, but as an owner of him in a keeper draft league I was pretty happy with what I saw. Good CoachKings pick.
JACK MARTIN | 404,200 | FWD/MID | 82 SC
Blistering pace and explosive ball movement highlighted Martin’s game and boy was he exciting. Started off a half back flank, moved forward, spent some time in the middle – Rocket Eade looks to be using Martin as the Suns’ x-factor in place of Harley Bennell in 2017. Stabbed a few at goal, and did kick one – with 19 possessions at 63% I’d be interested in seeing his SC score when they’re released (check the comments a few hours after the game for those).
Good old bunch of rookies on show from Gold Coast this afternoon, chief among them Ben Ainsworth (198,300) and Will Brodie (175,800)
Ainsworth played deep forward, and while he looked very good down there, with 13 touches and two goals, he won’t quite produced the required output to make us dollarydoos.
Will Brodie, on the other hand, had it on a string early rotating through the midfield and the forward line. Was compared to JJK, and kicked back to back goals in the first quarter. Finished with 18 touches, 2 sausage rolls, 5 tackles and 97 scaled Supercoach points. Will wait for JLT 3 before locking him in.
Brodie cracks the #SuperCoach ton (103). Attended a team-high 16 centre bounces. Barlow 114 and Swallow 78 (all 18 disposals effective).
— Fantasy Freako (@FantasyFreako) February 26, 2017
PEARCE HANLEY | 471,600 | MID | 62 SC
Appearing at centre bounces, with plenty of clearances. Not a huge amount of possessions but did some very nice things with the ball, but not enough nice things to select him. Has a ridiculous average at Metricon, but to put that in perspective, he’s played against Gold Coast every time he’s played there. Nope.
KADE KOLODJASHNIJ | 375,400 | DEF | 40 SC
Had to double check he was on the team sheet after he disappeared early. Ran out of the backline a few times as the game wore on, but nothing like what we saw in his breakout year of 2015. Tantalising price but we’ve got a lot of good guns and a lot of good rookies in defence – no need to play with mid priced fire.
ALEX SEXTON | 356,100 | MID | 117 SC
Looked like the Suns’ main midfielder for part of the game, and finished with 26 possessions and 2 tackles. But have another look at his price and scratch him off the list. With Aaron Hall, Gary Ablett and a whole bunch of second string midfielders to come back in, he won’t have the same impact in the regular season.
Brayden Fiorini (279,100) had 23 decent touches and would be an interesting prospect if he wasn’t the single most awkwardly priced player in the league. Keegan Brooksby and Dan Currie both held their own in the ruck today, which is very bad news for Jarrod Witts. I won’t be touching the Sun’s ruck division with a barge pole this season.
Peter Wright will have to step up now Sam Day is out for the year, but as a yong key forward he’s a CoachKings prospect only. Ditto Adam Saad – not enough there of interest.
Someone’s shoved some food through the slot in my door so I’m off to eat some grub – how did you see the game, community? Also if anyone knows any lawyers who do pro bono stuff for trespassing, shoot me a line.