2017 is the year of the thriller, Community.
There’s been bloody cliff-hangers everywhere. In this round alone, four of the nine games were decided by 3 points or less. Never before has an AFL season produced so many close matches and upset results.
From a coach’s perspective, there were plenty of underpant stains across the board. Those who managed to avoid them posted respectable scores, but many felt the wrath of the SC Gods this round. As a result, par was hard to predict, but I’d say if you had around 2250 you were doing alright.
mark down round 14, 2017 as the round that broke me
— Patch (@PatchToTheMax) June 25, 2017
Robbie Gray (146 SC) was enormous in Port’s win over the Pies, slotting 5 goals and gathering 20 possessions to be the best player on the ground. Gray’s ceiling is through the roof, but playing that forward role will see his scores fluctuate from big tons to below par returns. Still, his price south of $500K makes him an almost irresistible option in the midfield. Will you take the plunge?
Patrick Dangerfield (145 SC) almost single-handedly willed a wounded Geelong outfit over the line against the plucky Dockers. Danger was in full-on beast mode with 23 of his 31 disposals contested, as well extracting 12 crucial clearances and 9 tackles. He’s well and truly on back-to-back Brownlow pace now.
Young Bomber Zachary Merrett (141 SC) is a dead set gun. He’s making a strong case to be a must-have midfielder in 2018. The Zach Attack racked up 33 disposals, 14 of them contested, as well as 8 clearances and 6 tackles at 81% efficiency. The fine outing pushed his season-average up to 114. Swans opponent Josh P Kennedy (127 SC) was prolific in his own right during Sydney’s thrilling win, muscling up a typically bullocking 36 possessions.
The Giants had a field day fantasy-wise in their romp over the Lions, with Jon Patton (153 SC), Dylan Shiel (143 SC), Jeremey Cameron (133 SC) and Toby Greene (127 SC) all reaping the rewards. Patton, Cameron and Greene nailed four goals each, while Shiel had the pill 38 times.
Tom McDonald (139 SC) was the hero for the Demons at Subiaco booting the match-winning goal with just 30 seconds left. McDonald has been thrust forward since Melbourne lost Jesse Hogan and it seems to be agreeing with him, averaging 120 in his past 2 matches. Team-mate Jack Viney (127 SC) was also suburb, dominating the midfield with 38 disposals.
The break out season of Matthew Kruezer (135 SC) has been astounding. He’s now the standout ruck prospect in the competition. An influential 37-hit out and 2-goal effort was the latest in a run of remarkable form. The Big Kruz now has six 120+ scores in his past seven games. From Round 7 onwards he has gone: 127, 104, 121, 146, 132, 144, 135. They are stunning numbers. But at a price north of $600K, he may be unreachable to many coaches.
Saint Jack Billings (130 SC) continues to put his hand up for a permanent spot in our forward lines. After a quiet start to the year, Billings has hit some blistering form of late. With 6 tons in his past 7 games, at an average of 107, he’s making a compelling case to be considered at F6.
Stef Martin (128 SC), Jack McCrae (122 SC), Dustin Martin (121 SC) and Sam Docherty (120 SC) all have high ownership percentages and they did not let their coaches down, playing excellent games that put them in their sides’ best players.
Brad Hill (130 SC), Ben Cunnington (126 SC), Steele Sidebottom (125 SC), Jeremy Howe (125 SC), Shaun Burgoyne (123 SC), Sam Menegola (123 SC), Rhys “Shotgun” Mathieson (122 SC) and Tom Campbell (120 SC) were others to crack the 120-mark this round.
Joel Selwood (3 SC) was knocked out in the first minutes of Geelong’s match yesterday, in a result that hit his owners hard. He will receive a concussion test during the week to determine if he is available, but knowing Joel, you’d back him in to get up for next week. The plus for those who don’t own him is that he’ll be dirt cheap in a week or two. He’s already dripped 40K from last week to be sitting at $538K. With an enormous breakeven of 241 this week he will soon be close to $500K – a dead-set bargain.
All the talk mid-week was on how much Dayne Zorko (51 SC) was flying, so Murphy’s Law had to step in and bring the magnificent one back down to earth. Zorko had an absolute stinker against the Giants, getting his hands on the ball just 5 times. You read right, FIVE possessions in a whole match. The Zork went head to head with Callan Ward, producing a result that would have been bitterly disappointing to thousands of coaches who traded him in this week.
Lions team-mate Tom Rockliff (82 SC) has been quiet since returning from a shoulder injury two games ago, but with Beams now out of the side, expect his output to increase in the future. Popular selections Lance Franklin (83 SC) and Rory Laird (72 SC) were below their best, as was GWS monolith Shane Mumford (77 SC).
Brad Ebert (58 SC) was having a really consistent season before this round. He started off well for the Power, but faded significantly in the second half. In Round 11 Zac Williams (49 SC) produced what looked to be a career-defining performance of 145 SC. But in the two matches since, he has been highly underwhelming, averaging just 56.
Jason Johannisen (82 SC) and Matt Priddis (68 SC) continued their disappointing form in 2017, while Mitch Wallis (76 SC) had him first blemish for the season. St Kilda’s Dylan Roberton (80 SC) and Carlton pair Kade Simpson (78 SC) and Marc Murphy (77 SC) were all quiet, but expect them to bounce back next week.
Marcus Bontempelli (139 SC) was back to his best on Saturday night after a lean couple of weeks, helping the Dogs to get the job done. The Bont had 28 disposals, 10 tackles, 1 goal and 8 clearances in a standout performance.
After starting off the season slowly, Matt Crouch (131 SC) has really his hit straps in the past month. The inside mid had 35 touches on Thursday night to go with 8 tackles. He’s averaging 114 from his last 4 matches and is starting to impact on games more. At under $550K, he could be a good POD in the midfield coming home.
Big Maxy Gawn (113 SC) will be ripe for the picking in a couple of weeks time after making a successful return from a serious hamstring injury. Maxwell barely got out of second gear and still managed to knock out a ton, so he looms as an excellent addition to the ruck when his price drops shortly.
Patrick Cripps (134 SC) has been up and down in 2017 due to a back injury hampering his pre season. He looked to have turned the corner in round 8 with a magnificent 157, but was unable to register three figures in the corresponding three matches. But scores of 114 and 135 in his last two have him poised for a strong run home.
Mark Blicavs (135 SC) has been well off the pace this season but he bounced back in a big way yesterday. Playing a part-time ruck role, he had 21 possessions, 22 hit outs and 9 tackles. After injuring his hammy, which resulted in a sub-50 return last week, Scott Selwood (72 SC) deserves a special mention for getting himself right to play on the weekend. Scooter, your owners salute you.
Hugh Greenwood (127 SC), take a bow. Many coaches have the dynamic ex-basketballer sitting at F6 and if he can maintain these sort of performances, he’s worth holding onto. Dare I say it, maybe even keeping. More than half of his 21 possessions were contested and he had 9 tackles, 6 clearances and 6 marks to go with 2 goals, all at a sublime 95% efficiency. Another gun ex-basketballer, Pendles, was certainly a fan.
Those still holding Will Hoskin-Elliott (91 SC), Nic Newman (90 SC), Blake Hardwick (84 SC), James Parsons (82 SC) and Sam Powell-Pepper (82 SC) would be pleased with their output in recent weeks, while Brissie duo Hugh McCluggage (77 SC) and Jarrod Berry (76 SC) posted respectable scores.
Brennan Cox (60 SC), Jono Beech (49 SC) and Callum Brown (43 SC) are on the bubble this week and while the trio have not posted any scores of note yet, they could be good downgrade options if their job security remains strong.
However, it might be worth waiting for Alex Witherden (76 SC). The young Lion looked the goods in his first match, gathering 20 disposals and 7 marks. A 117K DEF/MID option, Witherden will be heavily traded into if he can back his debut up with another good outing next week. Freo duo Sean Darcy (50 SC) and Josh Deluca (33 SC) also played their maiden games.
Other rookie scores: Ben Ainsworth (64 SC), Oli Florent (63 SC), Lewis Melican (60 SC), Tim Taranto (53 SC), Mitch Hannan (51 SC), James Stewart (51 SC), Luke Ryan (49 SC), Daniel Lloyd (48 SC), Declan Mountford (46 SC), Andrew McGrath (45 SC), Will Hayward (43 SC), Jarrod Pickett (43 SC), Shai Bolton (39 SC), Sam Petrevski-Seton (32 SC).
It would be a luxury trade of the highest order, but if Rory Sloane (80 SC) can’t develop a way to handle a tag soon he might have to be offloaded. Sloane was shadowed by Daniel Howe on Thursday night, who hasn’t done much tagging before, and it severely limited his output – again. The Crows hardnut is averaging just 77 in the 5 matches he’s been tagged in this season. It’s becoming a concerning theme he needs to rectify, because you bet your bottom dollar it will keep happening for the rest of the season. It would take massive plums to drop him now, but it’s worth keeping an eye on.
You would think if ever there was a game to get up and play well in, it would be your 250th. Not so for Heath Shaw (60 SC). Heater was barely sighted and had just 9 touches, despite GWS thumping out a big win. His average has dipped to a miserable 85 points per game and the patience of many coaches has run out. He’s got to go.
— Heath Shaw (@heathshaw23) June 24, 2017
The brittle Dayne Beams (12 SC) suffered a shoulder/collarbone injury after being steamrolled by Shane Mumford and looks set for a long stint on the sidelines. This may be a blessing in disguise for Tom Rockliff owners, as Rocky seems to perform much better when Beams is out of the Brissie side.
Tom Lynch (39 SC) is going through the worst form slump of his AFL career. Over the past 6 matches, Lynch is averaging a deplorable 64, with just one triple-figure score. He’s having zero impact on games, which is hurting the Suns severely. With his price dipping under $400K and a breakeven of 159, he could be picked up at a bargain price in a week or two.
Bacher Houli (119 SC) is one of the form players of the competition but he faces a stint on the sidelines for a crude hit behind play on Carlton opponent Jed Lamb. A two-week suspension means he is worth holding, but anymore and his owners should consider a sideways trade. Tom Stewart (48 SC) suffered a facial fracture in Geelong’s Sunday match and is in doubt for this week. He’s served his purpose, so it’s probably time to either upgrade or downgrade him. He might get up for this week, but it looks unlikely.
Caleb Marchbank (60 SC) and Jake Barrett (32 SC) have done a good job of making us some cash, but with massive break evens this week, they need to be shown the door. Toby Nankervis (62 SC) continues to underwhelm, but many of us have bigger problems, meaning he could survive for a couple more weeks yet.