MARSH SERIES REPORT | Essendon v West Coast

Published by Patch on

About five minutes into the first quarter I was ready to throw a cheeky pineapple on the Dons to win the flag, before remembering wanting to do that at this time last year, and the year before that… and the one before that.

Essendon looked hungry and good and intense and our ball movement was brilliant, but West Coast weren’t overly keen on putting on the pressure we’ll see in round one. We had a few rookies put their hands up, some forward mid-priced teases put their cases forward and Tim Kelly looked like a ferrari in a midfield missing Yeo and Gaff.

The Bombers had most of their run off half-back gone as well as Hooker, Daniher, Heppell and a bunch of other mids and half-back flankers. Brynn Teackle (number 47) and Nigel Lockyer (number 46) got a run for the Bombers to try and nab the last spot on the list. Neither had stats available but won’t crack round one based on this game.

Oh, there was also lightning which called the game off for like 10 minutes in the second quarter. Also Essendon won 14.11.95 to 13.9.87 for people who like those sorts of numbers.


Devon Smith $335,800 FWD/MID – Oh boy, this’ll divide people. Started in a high half-forward role and had no centre bounce attendances which I saw in the first half, and didn’t start on a wing too many times which had a lot of people jumping off at the (second) main break.

However, the Lunchmeat heated up in the third, starting on a wing more frequently. It was his first game for over 12 months, too. I’d want to see another run from him before selecting him but I’m ready to forgive the slow first half. Had 20 touches and six tackles. Don’t cross him off just yet, but Heppell’s still to come back.

Zach Merrett $573,600 MID – Holy moly does he look FIT and HUNGRY. Had a disappointing year by his standards last year but was in everything early. The last thing anyone should do is lock him based on this match alone – the Bombers had so much more to prove than the Eagles and as such were going much harder, especially after he went missing in the second.

His stat numbers looked like he had full time on ground but by game’s end the numbers showed him having 65 per cent time on ground for 74 points. I like those numbers. One to consider at a point of difference if you like those sort of things.

Andrew McGrath $399,400 MID – Had 42 points from 10 touches in the first quarter playing as a pure midfielder. Seven of them were contested and he’s bulked up. Forget Townsend and Hibberd – is McGrath the Dons’ new contested beast? He was thrown around a bit in the second half and finished with 94. I still feel his role is as a midfielder, but I won’t even toy with him unless I see 70 per cent game time plus in the guts against Geelong. High on the watchlist though.

Brandon Zerk-Thatcher $189,000 DEF – I really rate the kid, and with Paddy Ambrose out for three months that spot is his to lose. He made his debut in the final round last year and I’m filthy on the Dons for bumping up his 2020 price.

He had 61 points tonight while spending most of his time lined up on JJK, so I’m not sure what he averages, but I wouldn’t be expecting too many 100-point games from him. It will mean Michael Hurley and Cale Hooker are likely to play lockdown roles, though, so if for some reason you were considering Hurley – stop considering Hurley. In my side for now, if only because of his job security.

Darcy Parish $465,400 MID/FWD – Wouldn’t be in the conversation without the forward eligibilty and scored 115 from 29 touches, with 13 contested. Started forward and rotated through the guts – watch those mid minutes next start because I’m not sold just yet.

Andrew Phillips $403,100 RUC Looks really solid as a ruckman. Put up decent numbers as the number one ruck at Carlton, and looked really serviceable early. Was sharing dutieis with Teakle during the game which he won’t do during the season but you’d have wanted to see more if you were after a cheap POD. Had 72 points from 12 touches.

Jacob Townsend $222,900 FWD – hit some crunching tackles but started very deep forward. Will likely be used in tandem with Jake Stringer as similar players, but neither are fantasy relevant at this stage. Had 61 points.

Irving Mosquito $123,900 FWD – YES! We finally get to see him in action and as an Essendon fan he’s an excitement machine. Sat out for the first half but got on in the second and looked very flashy and very exciting. I’m not sure he plays, and if he does I don’t know if he scores as a small forward. Only had 23 points tonight, but from 30 per cent game time.

The others: Young key forward Harrison Jones looked impressive for his first outing but won’t play regular season, and if he does he’ll average 15. While Brayden Ham looked really good and is cheapish at 200k, he was filling in for Saad (All stars game) and McKenna (drinking guinness). Aaron Francis looked rusty and probably won’t be fantasy relevant despite my love of him and Cian McBride looked… fine? Probably won’t play at 102k.

Will Snelling looked excellent and bullocking an good for the Bombers, but I’m not touching him with a barge pole at 321k in the mids. HE’S A FORWARD! Another mid-price option! One to watch next week after scoring 119 floating between forward and the midfield. Dylan Shiel and Kyle Langford both scored tons but aren’t relevant for mine.

West Coast

Jarrod Brander $133,000 DEF/FWD – After being touted as someone to move up the wing in 2020, Brander started deep up forward. He did move up the ground in the second quarter though, only to be relegated back to the forward line. I don’t know why, you’d think with a few key cogs missing in the midfield it’d be the perfect chance to throw him around. It didn’t happen and we might need to make other plans, unless Darling returning frees him up? Maybe? Or means he gets dropped.

Tim Kelly $561,800 MID – Ticking the legs over. Hasn’t got anything to prove so wasn’t attacking it with a huge amount of intensity early but he hasn’t lost any touch. In fact, it looked like he was playing with a dry footy despite others struggling with the wet. In my side and he’s now locked in – he had a 13 posession third term and looked a class above. 99 points but ticked all the boxes I wanted ticked – some may disagree.

BJ Williams $123,900 DEF/RUC – The rookie defender-turned-ruck can apparently jump very high. Can he jump into our Supercoach teams? He certainly put his hand up with 68 Supercoach points, a goal and 12 touches, much of which came from him as a forward. Tom Hickey and Oscar Allen still to come into the side though…

Nic Naitanui $487,800 RUC – What a speciman of a human. Football is so, so much better for having him on the park and he’s one of my favourite players to watch. He wasn’t on the park for long but given he used to have the highest PPM in the AFL, I reckoned you could start him even knowing he won’t creep far past 60 per cent time on ground. He had 58 points from 51 per cent time on ground. Reckon he’s a pass.

Luke Shuey $548,200 MID – Expect more of the same from Shuey this year. No Gaff or Yeo so he was hoovering up the footy with gay abandon through the midfield. Nothing unexpected from him here in 31 touches and 119 points frolicking around the outside of packs.

Shannon Hurn $562,200 DEF – Old Man Hurn just winding the legs over. He’s a seasoned veteran and he knows exactly how much he needs to put into these games to get himself right. Started nice and slowly before working his way back into the general’s role with 17 long raking kicks. Had 95 points to remind people he’s still here at seven per cent ownership.

Josh J Kennedy $NOPE FWD – He kicked six goals tonight against a rusty Aaron Francis, a green Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and a bruised Michael Hurley. He scored 122 points and looked, fine, I guess. Like I’ve seen people look worse. Especialy 32-year-old key forwards. But if you’re going a key forward in the pissy $300k range, go with Tom McDonald, even if JJK will score 200 in round one.

The others: The bargain-basement Hamish Brayshaw played 21 per cent game time and did not much – he won’t play round one, and not sure 200k Francis Watson sticks around when Jeremy McGovern returns. Grand final hero Dom Sheed has plenty of midfield minutes without Gaff and Yeo, don’t expect him to score 113 in the real deal.

Well community, what did you make of it? Will you be dropping Devon Smith? What did you think of Kelly?


Northerner · 28/02/2020 at 00:03

Thanks for the write up Patch.

Brander is a strike for now unfortunately. He would have made a great swing with Hill. Maybe a few more games in the WAFL and we get a downgrade target.

I’m hoping they look at Williams as Nic Nat’s partner in the ruck. He looks likely and with a few games under his belt could be good. Don’t think you lose much from Hickey and Vardy and therefore youth might win out. Might score OK as a rookie defender if they do play him.

I was a little more keen on Parish than your write up. He only had 65% TOG. He looked very good IMO and looks like he deserves to be starting in the guts. After Petracca, who looks a genuine beast, I think you have Greenwood, McPherson and Parish in that mid 400s space all with the potential to ave 100. But which one? is the call.

    derek · 28/02/2020 at 11:58

    William looks ok. has a crack.

    he is the ONLY ruck/defense DPP player. no-one to swing him with.

    he could still be a R3 option, especially if you are crazy enough to go with nicNat at R2

Eagle Power · 28/02/2020 at 03:38

LunchMeat 🤣🤣

Russty_ · 28/02/2020 at 08:15

I reckon Tim Kelly might be a decent call this year for the guys who aren't going with 5 ubers in the mids, first hit out and he did look a bit rusty but still got plenty of it and tonned up…it's gonna be a pretty powerful midfield at the Eagles this season.
I'm thinking of replacing Brander with Williams down back, looked a good backup ruck and agile but still Hickey and Vardy to keep out so…neither Williams nor Brander might get a game. I wish more rookies would appear.

    TRIGGA_HAPPY · 28/02/2020 at 14:08

    he is uber
    a discounted uber

    fully fit ruckman instead of a wannbe ruck tapping to him who kicks goals – where do I sign?

      Maverick_ · 28/02/2020 at 19:19

      I am tempted but His floor is so low and that worries me.. he had 10 scores under the ton! 6 of those scores being below 90, 4 being under 80 & 1 under 40 (de Boer tag?)

      I need another look at him before round 1.
      Gaff does interest me though! Uber consistent

derek · 28/02/2020 at 13:06

Devon has been locked in my team at from the start. For an extra $105k i can get Petracca. Will leave me with no warchest

    Therealsharkmove · 28/02/2020 at 19:17

    I'd do it as a warchest won't score you points. Having said that your side will change a fair bit between now and Round 1, so maybe a warchest not so bad

    Russty_ · 28/02/2020 at 19:50

    I reckon if Snelling gets a game with some midtime he could outscore both of them, he's only a little bloke but he loves getting the pill.

TRIGGA_HAPPY · 28/02/2020 at 14:09

so much potential in the fwd line

maybe say hang it all just go on middy sale pick up the guns later ….

    TRIGGA_HAPPY · 28/02/2020 at 14:10


    code is: 439713

TRIGGA_HAPPY · 28/02/2020 at 14:32

draft question

who would you keep?

Kade Simpson or Jack Riewoldt?
Can only keep 12 and the two boys above fighting it out for the 12th spot.
Got 3-4 backs and 2 fwds as keepers

reckon simmo will easily outscore roo?

or would you keep duusma who is mid only this year?

    derek · 28/02/2020 at 15:40

    i prefer to keep a fairly stable defense, anyone who can produce a consistent 75 to 85 is worth keeping.

    the forwards i would look at week by week match ups and grab a few off the waiver who might score well.

    Simmo has a bit of value, Roo has got nothing.

      derek · 28/02/2020 at 17:55

      when you say 'pushed back'…. do you mean he 'pushed back' into the midfield where he spent nearly all the game and racked up another 38 ….or he 'pushed back' to a tiny speck in the forward line where no-one would kick him the ball?

        Russty_ · 28/02/2020 at 19:45

        Good to hear about Xerri Neil, I'll be leaving him in the fwd line as a hopefully playing rookie and back up ruck, need all the warm bodies we can get.

        Jorg Ancrath · 28/02/2020 at 20:40

        I'm tempted by Brayshaw. Was on my never again list, but feel like he's very underpriced. Got messed around last year, was a bit soft at times and lost confidence. Reckon he'll be raring to go and should be back in the guts where he belongs.

          Russty_ · 28/02/2020 at 20:42

          Hey Andy do you want the last spot in my JR Mega-League?

            Jorg Ancrath · 28/02/2020 at 20:48

            Yea thanks. Hook me up bro.

      TRIGGA_HAPPY · 28/02/2020 at 19:32

      Thanks Derek though this comp is just like the afl pick your team b4 the start of the season via draft and have a mid season draft to replace any lti's and thats it.

      No waiver wire or changes every week still think I'll go with simmo though.

Josh · 28/02/2020 at 16:09

I don’t know if it’s just me but the rookies haven’t really been lighting it up so far in the marsh. Is young injured from freo If so is it bad or is it a small injury

    Josh · 28/02/2020 at 16:19

    If anyone can help me with rookies that have played well so far would be much appreciated so I can write them in my notes and keep an eye on them thanks community

    TRIGGA_HAPPY · 28/02/2020 at 16:52

    young is in the rehab group may struggle for rd 1
    and bonar did his hammy apparently at training today

    rook review all in the JR marsh reports.

      Russty_ · 28/02/2020 at 20:11

      Bummer for Bonar and any potential owners, never had him, his past leg issues turned me off, hope he comes good at some point this year.

Maverick_ · 28/02/2020 at 16:43

Aidan Bonar suffered a hamstring injury today in north’s practice match v demons..

    TRIGGA_HAPPY · 28/02/2020 at 16:50

    ahh no fwd rookies left,

Josh · 28/02/2020 at 17:04

All our good cheap options seem to be dropping like fly’s

    derek · 28/02/2020 at 17:53

    we might have to try a Guns & Guns strategy

Shake n bake · 28/02/2020 at 17:59

Off to the so called state game vics, all star game my tip all stars Grundy bog. Yours?

    TRIGGA_HAPPY · 28/02/2020 at 18:11

    Hard to go past Cripps.

      Shake n bake · 28/02/2020 at 18:19

      Haha with Grundy feeding him! So all stars for u2 Trigg.

        TRIGGA_HAPPY · 28/02/2020 at 18:36

        Yeah could be just a couple of HTA's.

        As with most games it will be won with kicking it through the sticks.

        Vics with Cameron and Lynch too potent so Vics in a close one! <img draggable="false" role="img" class="emoji" alt="😜" src=""&gt;

    Russty_ · 28/02/2020 at 18:42

    I'll go for Fyfe Shake, have a good time!

      Shake n bake · 28/02/2020 at 19:28

      Good vibe here Russty.

Jorg Ancrath · 28/02/2020 at 20:50

Watching Whitfield running around, looks good to go. Anyone jumping back on?

    TRIGGA_HAPPY · 28/02/2020 at 21:11

    Was never off

    How good are the skill of every players..
    Pretty slick.

      Russty_ · 28/02/2020 at 21:43

      Good game to watch, can't wait for regular season, Whitfield's only issue was his price.

JeffHeadJfc · 28/02/2020 at 22:22

Patchity patch patch patch. Great work mate! Truly a great analyst of the modern game. Expected no less.
Dev Smith had 6 tackles as you said, so he is welcome my team. Hasn't played in a year. Preseason game to get himself back into it. 6 Tackles. That's hunger. That's a hunger he's had to stifle for the last 18 months. He is going to average about 10 tackles a game for the first half of the season, and I personally don't give a stuff if he even gets a kick. Tackles and Turnovers. He's gotta be a lock just on that insatiable hunger. I think the same will apply for the Doch. These fine young men were cut down in their prime, and they are both going to show us what they are really made of this year. I'll bet my second born on it (as long as you raise him to be a Collingwood supporter, purely so he can tea bag you every Anzac day. Jeffreyhead out.

hedski · 29/02/2020 at 16:50

Ouch. There goes Tarantos shoulder, popped out, wasn't much in it, was already strapped up.

    Russty_ · 29/02/2020 at 18:00

    Yeah bloody bummer, I have him in my Draft side too since last year.

      hedski · 29/02/2020 at 18:16

      Russty have you been back to your draft team since you dropped players?
      I dropped down to 12 but when I go back in my whole 22 are still there, think I will have to trim it back 5 minutes before the draft on Wednesday night.

        Russty_ · 29/02/2020 at 19:17

        Yeah mate the 1st time I went back it had 24 there…the 12 I kept were all repeated?!…then I closed it and refreshed it and it was back to 12.
        Make sure you hit the "save rankings" button otherwise it won't save your order or changes.

          hedski · 29/02/2020 at 20:29

          I hit the save rankings and still have my squad?
          I'm not gonna touch it now til draft night in case of an injury (like Taranto)

            Russty_ · 29/02/2020 at 22:27

            I can't explain that Hed, sounds a bit dodgy glitchy, hope you figure it out.

gator59 · 29/02/2020 at 18:54

Well we've got one good midfield rookie Tommy Green GWS .. Just a lazy 105 SC Points

    Russty_ · 29/02/2020 at 19:18

    Hopefully he gets a game Gat but he's up against some pretty good competition.

      gator59 · 29/02/2020 at 19:35

      With Taranto going down and106 SC points surely they have to play him.. Dawson too has solved a few problems with a casual 125 SC Points

BluePooh · 29/02/2020 at 20:51

Give Carlton the spoon this week and every team that was scheduled to play them a bye. Seriously they are an embarrassment to our game, most womens teams could out-muscle them and most junior teams have better skills

    Russty_ · 03/03/2020 at 02:19

    They did look a tad poxy….I've seen angry startled Horses kick with more accuracy, but it's only the start of the season and hopefully their real stuff won't be as lacklustre and supremely shiteful as this was.

BluePooh · 29/02/2020 at 21:45

How do they do it? 100 top 10 draft picks in the past 20 years and still the absolute worst team ever to play AFL. Kick em out and give Tazzy a team

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