IT’S official the Sydney Swans are a sneaky flag chance. After starting 0-6 there was little hope they would see finals let alone compete for a flag, but fast forward to the present and they are soaring up the ladder. The Saints are trending in the opposite direction after being humbled on Friday night. Plenty of other story lines emerged over the weekend, but what else features in the Round 17 wrap up?

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In A Nutshell

– A four game winning streak by St Kilda was snapped at the hands of Essendon on Friday night. The 61 point win leaves Essendon just one win behind 6th place, keeping their finals hopes alive.

– IN perhaps the game of the round Luke Hodge couldn’t cap off his 300th game with a win, thanks to Patrick Dangerfield. The star midfielder kicked 5.6 in a dominant display as Geelong moved into 2nd place, all but ending the Hawks finals dreams.

– PORT did what they should have against the lowly Roos marching onto a 70 point win. The Wingard led Power now sit in 4th place with the second best percentage in the league.

– 15 points were all that separated the Pies and Suns in sloppy, wet conditions. A win for Nathan Buckley’s men eased the pressure on him, for the time being at least. It didn’t Suns coach Rodney Eade’s chances of getting a new contract.

– SYDNEY’S remarkable surge back up the standings continued with a huge win over their cross-town rivals Greater Western Sydney. A 13 point win gives the Swans a 9-1 record in their last 10 games leaving them sitting 6th.

AFL Round 17 Wrap Up 1Image from abc.net.au

– THE firing Adelaide forwards came out in force against Melbourne in Darwin, helping the Crows to a 46-point victory. Walker (four goals), Lynch (three) McGovern (two) and Betts (two) helped the Crows reclaim top spot on the ladder.

– A gallant effort from the Lions wasn’t enough for them to claim four points with the Tigers now back in the winner’s circle. Dusty Martin’s 40 touches will likely see him claim another three Brownlow votes.

– MUCH like Brisbane, Carlton refused to let the Bulldogs run away with the match, but they couldn’t get the job done, going down by 20 points. At 8-8 the Western Bulldogs aren’t out of the finals race just yet.

– WASTEFUL shots at goal cost Freo a potential win in Western Derby 46. The Eagles are now back inside the top eight as they celebrated the return of spearhead Josh Kennedy with a vital victory for their finals aspirations.

The Four Points

Bring Back The Barrell
THE latest advocate of the ‘bring back the barrel’ campaign is Melbourne defender Jayden Hunt. After his monster 65m torpedo at the end of the third quarter, Hunt became an overnight internet sensation. Fingers crossed this is the start of the topr making a triumphant return.

Danger’s Forward Thinking
FIVE goals and six behinds are a fantastic return for any forward on any given day. So for any midfielder to put up those numbers is just unbelievable. Granted Patrick Dangerfield isn’t your every day forward and the Cats star was playing primarily as a forward for most of the day. Geelong may have just unleashed a monster though and we could see this hauls common occurrence from Danger.

Fyfe Will Be Purple For Life
BACK-to-back great performances and a six-year contract extension for 2015 Brownlow winner Nat Fyfe means he has had a pretty decent fortnight. Now that his contract dispute is out of the way, it might be contributing to Fyfe’s improvement in play.

Don’t Stress Over The Giants
AFTER claiming just eight points in their last five matches some are saying that there should be alarm bells going off at GWS. They are still sitting in third spot, but they have a handful of tricky match-ups left leading to doubt being cast over the Giants. I’m backing them to send a message to the comp this week by smashing the Tigers.

Power Rankings

1. Adelaide Crows (level) – Deserve to be sitting at the top.
2. Geelong Cats (level) –
 Huge blockbuster this week visiting the Crows.
3. Port Adelaide Power (Increase 1) – Big % boost, maybe the Power are legit?
4. GWS Giants (Decrease 1) – I’m expecting big things against the Tigers.
5. Sydney Swans (Increase 3) – With their top eight quests ticked off, top four is still a chance.
6. Melbourne Demons (Decrease 1)
 – Need to beat the Power this week if they want to be considered serious threats.
7. Richmond Tigers (level) – We have to see more Richmond.
8. St Kilda Saints (Decrease 2) – Rollercoaster season is all over the shop.
9. West Coast Eagles (level) – Despite being back inside the top eight, they looked very unconvincing.
10. Essendon Bombers (level) –
Credit for wiping the floor with St Kilda.
11. Western Bulldogs (Increase 1) –
Still a sniff of making finals
12. Hawthorn Hawks (Increase 2) – Showed some mettle against the Cats. Needed the W though.
13. Fremantle Dockers (Decrease 2) –
2017 is done and dusted.
14. Collingwood Magpies (Increase 1) –
Up a spot because of their win, that’s about it.
15. Carlton Blues (Decrease 2) – Missed a huge chance at a scalp on the weekend.
16. Brisbane Lions (Increase 1) – Promising signs nothing to show for it though.
17. Gold Coast Suns (Decrease 1) – 
Rocket Eade’s in trouble.
18. North Melbourne Kangaroos (level) – You should be used to this by now.

THE hot seat is getting warmer for Rodney Eade after another loss, but he’s not alone. If Fremantle, Hawthorn and a few others keep slipping the axe could fall. A huge top of the table clash will be can’t miss footy on Friday night and the battle for the bottom places in the eight continues to be an exciting contest.

AFL Round 17 Wrap Up 2Image from heraldsun.com.au

Fantasy +3

2330 – I will firstly admit that I was partially lucky I scored so well. Elliot Yeo being a late out meant that my emergency Lewis Young (74) from the Bulldogs came in, much to my delight. A Danger/Titch/Zerrett led midfield produced, but the No. 1 rage trade culprit will have to be Luke Shuey.

  • FOR a lot of people Mitch Hibberd (9) was providing some solace as a bench emergency member. However, after a busted shoulder cut his day short he may very well be on ice for the rest of the season. Other popular younglings Nic Newman (68) and Andrew McGrath (75), and don’t even get me started about Rocky.
  • THE big names Dangerfield (140) Tom Mitchell (147), Gary Ablett (152), Dustin Martin (131) and Zach Merrett (144) all came to the party by boosting their owner’s scores. Connor Blakely (149), Chad Wingard (136) and Jack Macrae (123) all scored well along with little-owned vets James Kelly (138) and Shannon Hurn (137).
  • A few handy DPP additions will help some people’s Draft teams, but there are no more important trade targets this week than Steele Sidebottom (added FWD) and Connor Blakely (added DEF). Obviously, Sidey is the top trade target, but don’t sleep on the young Docker who had 149 on the weekend.