To paraphrase our Lord and saviour and also Patch’s favourite band from the 90’s (and also currently his favourite band), Smash Mouth, ‘the disasters start coming and they don’t stop coming,’ which is how I feel this week. I’ve been waffling on in the last few weeks in the Panic Room about upgrade season, but every time I try to update I’m forced to again field a crap rookie (I’m looking at you Michael Gibbons) because I’ll lose a premium to injury or Chris Scott just being a jerk.
There are so many outs and drops this week it feels like the bye weeks are starting early. Which in a way is great because that means my week will be a disaster straight away, it usually takes until Sunday for the wheels to fall off completely. Always look on the bright side of things.
It just wouldn’t be a weekend without muttering angrily at fanfooty so I’m back for another week of footy goodness to dive into. The podcast is really moving up in the world being on Spotify and all (Lek tells me this is good…?). Barron is a magician that can somehow pump out a 3,000 word article about rookies impressing in the reserves and yet we have NONE at AFL level (except for you Noah Balta, ex oh). I assume everyone is VC’ing Grundy tonight, just in case he fails Damo has got plenty of captain choices for us to fall back on, and Matty is making the role of cursed cheat sheet writer his own with another beauty this week.
It really is all hands on deck this week. Entire benches have been wiped out and many are facing on-field donuts if finalised Sunday teams continue with the carnage theme. For tonight, Buddy and JPK are back to strengthen the Swans, James Rowbottom was panic traded into a few sides last week and has been dropped. Daniel Wells will play his first game of the year, as will Jack Madgen, who gets the unenviable task of stopping Buddy.
Hawthorn have also strengthened bringing into James Frawley and Chad Wingard. Dylan Moore and Big Boy make way. Port are debuting Peter Ladhams (RUC – 123.9k) for the injured Scott Lycett. Robbie Gray is also a returnee. Debutants from last week, Joe Atley and Joel Garner have been omitted. Tim English is back for the Dogs, but continuing the “drop all the rookies” theme for the week, Will Hayes and Lachie Young have been given the axe. LDU replaces Taylor Garner at the Roos. Bryce Gibbs continues his stop/start year, this time dropped for the returning Wayne Milera. West Coast have made 3 changes, but they won’t have much of an impact in long form SuperCoach. Chris Burgess has amazingly been recalled, yes we’re at the point of the year where a guy averaging 37 is a saviour for many to avoid a donut. Some big moves at the cats, Patrick Dangerfield won’t play this week and Charlie Constable has been dropped again. No Esava means Darcy Fort survives another week, Tom Atkins also returns after a week out. Joe Daniher is out of the Dreamtime clash against Richmond. Callum Coleman-Jones (RUC/FWD – 123.9k) has Bradbury’d his way to a debut.
On Sunday, Zac Williams will miss with his sore hammy. Cogs and Jackson Hately are on the extended bench for the Giants, as is Brayden Preuss for the Dees. Matt Parker, Will Setterfield, and Liam Stocker are all on extended benches for the clash of the titans that will be Saints v Carlton. Kade Simpson will make his return. Freo have again named Brett Bewley (MID – 117.3k), can you hurry up and play him please Ross? Connor Ballenden (FWD – 123.9k) has been named by the Lions. They also regain Luke Hodge, while Archie Smith is on the extended bench.
The House of Evil
Despite a few debuts last week there’s really no-one I’d go early on if you can avoid it, especially with the mid season draft on Monday we could get some better options next week.
These rookies come with a free frogurt! (that’s good)
These premiums come with Potassium Benzoate (that’s bad)
Can I go now? (Trade bait)
Smooth Kevy’s Lock of the Week
You really should be tripping over yourself to bring in Lachie Whitfield this week. If his price wasn’t tantalising enough, Zac Williams’ hamstring is playing up which points to even more responsibility (and points) for Lachie. Fresh off pulverising the Blues, his price actually dropped 18k due the injury effected 45 in round 6. His b.e is still a healthy 117 this week, so you could get away with holding for a week, but he really is head and shoulders the best pick this week.
If you already have him, for only $300 more you can pick off Jake Lloyd who is available the at the lowest price he’s been at this season.
Hey Now, You’re a Draftstar
Dreamtime! I love this game, I’ve been a few times myself and it’s an awesome experience. Let’s have a look.
Dig a little deeper at maybe the “taking the cheap ruck” isn’t as cut and dried tomorrow night.
Richmond give up 93DS to the opposition number 1 ruck this season (107DS last 4) but the returning Shaun McKernon (9.4k) has muddied the waters a bit. Despite Tom Bellchambers (10.1k) having a handy record against Richmond (93DS from 3) he has averaged 61DS with McKernon in the side this year and 70DS without. In the 14 games they’ve played together, Belly averages 74. It’s respectable, but you won’t be getting value from him.
Callum Coleman-Jones (5k) get his shot from being the last left standing rather than outstanding VFL form. His numbers per game (12.5 disposals (5.8 kicks), 4 tackles, 3 marks, 7.8 hitouts) don’t leap off the page, but good enough to put up 50-60DS value game if he can hit those benchmarks.
Noah Balta (6.4k) is the chalkiest lock and load value play tomorrow night. Josh Begley (5.8k) scored 54 last week and will be good value again if he can back that up. Josh Caddy (10.5k) has a handy record against Essendon, who are about middle of the road when it comes to curtailing medium forwards. He also saw more mid time last week as the Tigers try to get bigger bodies through the middle. Trying to pick which Tiger small forward will go off is difficult, Liam Baker (8.4k) has the safest floor due to some more midfield minutes. Richmond have had their problems holding medium forwards if you want to have a flyer on Jake Stringer (9.8k). Dusty (MID / 13.9k) has a ridiculous average of 125 in his past 5 against the Bombers and was back in a big way last week, scoring 135DS.
“Attacking Richmond via the backline” may not be a thing anymore. The 113DS conceded to medium defenders since round 1 has shrunk to 90DS over the past 4. Conversely, Essendon’s 93DS season average has risen to 99DS over the past month.
As a card carrying member of the Sydney Stack (MID / 10.1k) fan club I love him here and pretty much everywhere. Shane Edwards (MID / 10.2k) loves this fixture, and Nick Vlastuin’s price (10.6k) hasn’t caught up with his recent output. At the top end, Brandon Ellis (MID / 13k) has flourished since being moved onto a wing and Bachar Houli (12.9k) has scored above 113DS in 3 of his past 4.
For value, David Astbury (7.7k) has reeled in 23 marks in two weeks and without Joe Daniher to keep him busy, could see another value smashing game.
Nothing under 10k appeals to me here. Zach Merrett (15.8k) is a lock against a midfield that doesn’t tag. Darcy Parish (11.3k) has scored between 87-93 in his last 4 against Richmond, and there’s plenty of DPP’s highlighted above you can put into your mids.
I’d be praying to the SuperCoach Gods this week, community. It’s gonna be a tough one!