The drums are beating. The sweat drips off brows across the office, as you stare down your opponent, bloody Gary from HR. It’s always Gary from HR.
He’s not even good at Supercoach, he picked a team with Shaun Higgins and Brandon Ellis and Elliot Yeo and by some freak of nature – some ungodly freak of nature – he’s made it to the grand final. He started a midfield with all of Beams, Murphy, Oliver, Jaeger and Crouch.
He’s the sort of madman who starts Matt Kruezer because that his favourite player, after doing so for eight years and it him finishing 16th, and then claim he’s a genius because it worked this year.
IT’S NOT HAPPENING, GARY. Community – you need to finish your office’s Gary. Put that pretender back in his place.
Isn’t as bad as we expected it to be… so far. The outs will come, don’t you worry about that.
Starting with what we know, Gary Ablett has thrown the toys out with the bathwater and pulled out of the Gold Coast 22 only two hours after he was named with a sore heartstring hamstring.
Daniel Hannebury is listed as out with a hip complaint for the Swans, while Nic Newman comes in for him.
Sean Darcy has been suspended for a week, so misses – however Freo are bolstered by the return of Lachie Neale.
Michael Hurley will again miss with a calf problem.
A whole bunch of North Melbourne rookies will be missing, with Brayden Pruess, Cam Zurhaar, Taylor Garner and Daniel Nielson all missing this week.
Ryan Burton and Ricky Henderson will miss for the Hawks, while Bed Ried was withdrawn from Collingwood’s side this morning.
After rumours he would miss, Chris Fagan has confirmed Dayne Zorko will play.
— Michael Whiting (@MichaelWhiting) August 24, 2017
We’re also unsure how Todd Goldstein is holding up this week, and the added Battle for the Spoon factor in this week’s North vs Lions clash could tip him into ‘rested’.
Todd Goldstein battling eye, elbow and knee injuries. Strong mail he might miss v Lions. Roos still hopeful he plays but not sure yet
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) August 25, 2017
And to sink the boot into 2018 before it’s even started, we’ve got some rookies! Harry “Generic Middle Name Here” Morrison will debut for Hawthorn, possibly lining up against Patrick “You Forgot To File Your Paperwork,” Lipinski. Meanwhile, for North Melbourne, Ben “This Is The Third Time I’ve Had To Think Of A McKay Pun This Year And I’ve Just About Had It” McKay will debut, and the late inclusion of Kayle ~whooshing noises~ Kirby will inflate the price of what was 2018’s forward rookie lock.
We also might see the possible debuts of Jake “The Snake On A Lake” Waterman and Baily “Steamed” Rice on Sunday.
THE PATCH UP
If you’ve made it to a grand final and still got trades, your side does not need patching up. If anything, you should be telling me what to do. I’m instead looking forward to 2018, in particular positional changes.
2018 DPP watching has begun. Would love to know exact criteria used to decide changes, these are some I’m keeping an eye on in round 23 pic.twitter.com/lKOxqkPuRL
— Patch (@PatchToTheMax) August 21, 2017
On top of this, the forward line is likely to get even more difficult in 2018, as I’m fully expecting a lot of mid/forwards to lose their dual position eligibility. The big three Dogs in Dahlhaus, Macrae and Toby McLean are all likely to be mid only next year, and there are a few other players who are borderline.
While I’m not sure what the criteria champion data/Supercoach HQ use to define positional changes, I’m concerned we may lose a few more forwards. Jack Gunston should retain forward status, but Elliot Yeo is likely to be def/mid instead of fwd/mid, James Sicily will be defence and Shaun Higgins (as much as you’ll laugh at me for suggesting he’ll be a loss) will probably move to a midfield only selection.
Sure, we’ll gain Robbie Gray as a forward only selection, but those suggesting Dustin Martin, Paddy Dangerfield or The Bont will pick up forward eligibility are kidding themselves – none of them are spending enough time or picking up enough ball inside forward 50.
So it looks like we’re going to have to lean on our key position forwards… again. Either that or hope we’ve got a lot of high-quality forward rookies in 2018.
In defence we’re going to have a plethora of options – Taylor Adams is about the only loss we’ll have. Jake Lloyd will be cheap, as will Jason Johanissen, and the players mentioned above who gain defensive status will all provide extremely valid options.
The one I have my eye on this week is Pearce Hanley from the Gold Coast Suns, who’s had a torrid year with injury, and heading home after his brother passed away earlier in the year. Hanley is an electric player when he gets up and running, and should play a big role in the club’s third rebuild. If he gets defensive DPP (which I reckon he will), he’s a big smokie for mine.
HEY NOW, YOU’RE A DRAFTSTAR
But why are we looking at next year when we’ve still got Daily Fantasy to play with? This week’s contest is the St Kilda vs Richmond clash at the MCG, which will see Nick Riewoldt play his final game.
While that’s a big chance to pull the Saints over the line, I can’t see it happening, with Richmond too strong and too good and – after being comprehensively pantsed last time – won’t be fooled by the Saints’ antics again this time.
I’d wager Alex Rance won’t be sucked into defensive 50, but his form in Draftstars isn’t great – he tends to be a better Supercoach pick. So, I’ve gone with two Saints this week in Shane Savage, who’s in good form, and Jake Carlisle, who’s likely to be freed up by the Tiger’s lack of tall timber.
In the middle, I’ve omitted Dustin Martin on the back of Fantasy Insider’s score predicter – supposed to hit 114, Dustin’s price tag just doesn’t seem worth it. Instead I’ve gone with value in Luke Dunstan and Dion Prestia, the latter of whom has had a stellar three weeks since he’s returned to the side.
The leap of faith on Daniel Rioli and Jason Castagna will win it or lose it for me. Both players are extremely up and down, but I’m banking one of them has a week like Jacob Townsend did last week and kick a few sausage rolls. What are your thoughts, community?
THIS WEEK’S DRAFTSTARS ACTION
Season long fantasy footy is almost cooked – but the daily form of the game will be cranking every game right through until Grand Final Day folks.
Plenty to get your teeth stuck into this week:
* FREE contest with $100 prize pool. Excl. NSW & SA. 18+ gamble responsibly
* $2 buy-in contest open to all states. Almost $400 additional prize money added to the buy-in pool.
* FREE to play, if your team beats his you’ll share in $5000
Dustin Martin only scored 74 the last time he played the Saints, despite no tag going to him, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t go large this weekend – especially as the Saints.
Supercoach Gold is expecting Lewis Taylor to be the third highest scoring player of the round so obviously we should all trade him in and make him captain.
Or you could stick with the tried and tested combination of Tom Mitchell and Paddy Dangerfield as VC and C, or give The Bont or Jack Macrae a fair old shake of the sauce bottle on Friday night footy.
Zach Merrett and Nathaniel Fyfe go head to head on Sunday, and one of those will go off the chain. I’m hoping for Essendon’s sake his name starts with “Z” and ends with “achary Merrett”.
The only two ‘left-field’ options I’d consider this week are an in-form Patrick Ryder against the fourth-string ruck setup of the Gold Coast Suns (I mean Tom Bellchambers scored 128 against them last week. Tom Bellchambers.) or Dayne Zorko, despite him letting me down every time I’ve suggested him as a captaincy option. So take that as you will.
AND THAT’S ALL, FOLKS.
That’s the Panic Room done for another year – we now get eight months off panicking, screaming and stressing over our Supercoach teams, which of course means I have eight months off trying to calm down.
Thank you to Jock, Higgo and Crouching for all their love, kindness, care and fly-kicking to the face (it’s character building) this year. Similarly Barron, Carl and Lek have all been stellar this year – in particularly Lek who’ll message me at about 5.00 every Friday picking up the singular instance I’ve used the wrong word/first name for a Crouch brother. Huge thank you as well to those behind the scenes flapping tarp, and to Kev for filling in while I was away!
And most importantly thank you for reading – from those who comment all over the place to those who lurk in the background, thank you all. See you in the lead up to 2018!