19 rounds down, four to go. The regular season is done and dusted as the battle for ultimate bragging rights is finally here. League and draft finals kick off this week and with just eight trades left until we pack up shop, the race for rankings is still alive and well. Another high scoring round saw players (and coaches) pump out some big numbers, some so big in fact, that we could see records broken by years end.
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2367 – How many coaches traded Ahern to Dangerfield at the last minute. Ouch.
WITH only six players scoring under 90 I finally pieced it all together to record my best score of the season. Shuey’s late out held me back from topping 2,400 while Walters sealed his fate with just nine points up until half-time even though he finished with a flurry.
ZAK Jones has been handed a two-match ban for his hit on Kyle Langford last Friday night, kickstarting Tribunal news. The only other potential issues came from the Gold Coast/Carlton game and they involve some popular names. Patrick Cripps could be in hot water for his tackle on David Swallow that forced the Suns mid to miss the rest of the match. Steven May could also miss after collecting Ed Curnow with a high bump. If I was a betting man I’d say Cripper gets off and May gets a week or two.
THE victims of those incidents David Swallow and Ed Curnow could both be in doubt for next week and should be monitored throughout the next seven days. Injury news remains bleak at Collingwood with Matthew Scharenberg (knee), Sam Murray (sore), and Jeremey Howe (concussion) all in doubt. The latter two might get up, but Scharenberg’s injury is expected to rule him out for the rest of the year. Add in Brody Mihochek (ankle) and the Magpies defense is severely depleted.
FROM that same game Dion Prestia (ribs) might struggle with a quick six-day break turnaround according to Dimma and Paul Seedsman will have scans today on his hamstring injury. Josh Kennedy and Luke Shuey were late outs for the Eagles and JK is no certainty to return against Fremantle in Round 20.
Image from facebook.com
COLLINGWOOD couldn’t even dodge injury woes in the reserves with Jamie Elliott (hamstring) being struck down with ANOTHER ailment. It was better news for the Crows, who had a number of players put their hands up after stellar games. Patrick Wilson (42 disposals) and Cam Ellis-Yolmen (41 disposals) are next in line for a recall while Brodie Smith (32 disposals) took another promising step in his rehab. He might come straight back in to replace Seedsman this week. Ryan Bastinac (36 disposals, 11 clearances) had another strong game and I have no idea what more Michael Barlow has to do for the coaches to pick him after he chalked up another 37 touches.
THE Dockers could finally welcome back Harley Bennell for next weekend’s Western Derby following 27 touches and eight marks for Peel Thunder. A few other fresh faces could join him in their team’s 22 with the Tigers father-son selection Patrick Naish edging towards a debut. Forgotten Saint Nathan Freeman might finally break through for a senior game as well following 37 disposals.
Fry’s Favourite Five
Honourable mentions: P.Ahern (114), B.Cunnington (147), L.Whitfield (130)
+5. Patrick Cripps (MID, $755K – 162)
THIS week Patrick Cripps wrestled the top mantle away from the most popular player in fantasy. Cripps was enormous against Gold Coast, cementing himself as a top-8 midfielder and perhaps, the front-runner for the Brownlow.
+4. Tom Mitchell, Hawks (MID, $936K – 160)
WHAT can I say another week, another 150+. Mitchell has now gone over 155 four times in his last five. Freak.
+3. Brodie Grundy, Magpies (RUC, $759K – 147)
THERE was a period of time when we were wondering if Grundy was a must-have. After he monstered the Tigers, we now have our answer.
+2. Elliot Yeo, Eagles (DEF/MID, $713K – 136)
HIS second straight score over 130 has Yeo well and truly back in coaches good books. Struggled slightly (90) last time against Freo, so hopefully, he can keep riding this recent form through the fantasy finals.
+1. Marc Murphy, Blues (MID, $668K – 139)
WHILE Cripps was stealing headlines throughout the AFL community, his teammate was slowly chugging along next to him. Murphy started the game on fire and is putting his hand up as a serious target for the final month of the year.
Fry’s Frustrating Five
Dishonourable Mentions: A.Gaff (83), S.Martin (77), R.Gray (72), T.McLean (80)
-5. Patrick Dangerfield, Cats (MID/FWD, $667K – 66)
COME on Paddy. I’m not quite sure what to think about the top forwards fright now as they continue to burn us week in, week out. Danger should be a permanent fixture in forward lines, but I wouldn’t be advising anyone to bring him in right now. Sigh.
-4. Rory Laird, Crows (DEF, $686K – 72)
LAIRD and Danger could be public enemies 1A and 1B right now. While his top defender peers were chalking up points at will, Laird struggled to get his hands on the ball late in the game and he MUST bounce back against Port.
-3. Michael Hurley, Bombers (DEF, $541K – 38)
HURLEY just outranks Buddy after he technically ruined two fantasy players’ scores on the weekend. We thought he would +6 his way to solid scores and be an acceptable replacement for Sicily. We were wrong.
Image from sportingnews.com
-2. Lance Franklin, Swans (FWD, $522K – 40)
THE man who witnessed Hurley’s suffocating play first hand. Buddy hasn’t gone over 100 since Round 12 and has just two 90’s in that time. Avoid him like the plague*.
*Watch him kick 10 against Collingwood now.
-1. Joel Selwood, Cats (DEF, $652K – 64)
ANOTHER premium faltering at the wrong time of year. Geelong’s last two games are hugely appealing (Freo and Gold Coast), but it might not be worth holding Selwood to see him score well in those two late games. Lift Jelwood.
THERE was some movement throughout the votes in both a positive and negative direction. Grundy (1) and Yeo (1) moved back into plus territory after good weekends while Laird (-1) and Franklin (-6) are trending in the wrong direction. Mitchell (19) increased his lead making the MVP award almost out of reach, while Gray (-12) was lucky to avoid sliding further into the negatives.
I’M including a new section analysing the best scoring quarter’s and halves of the week as well as the other noteworthy numbers. Starting with quarter’s and Brodie Grundy’s mammoth third (68) saw him take top honours this week. Patrick Cripps (60 in the 2nd qtr) and Yeo (54 in the 3rd qtr) were in the mix with Wayne Milera (59 in the 2nd qtr) and Liam Shiels (57 in the 2nd qtr) rounding out the top five.
THANKS to that third quarter, Grundy’s (102) second half alone outscored a bunch of the competition this week. Cunnington (96 in the 2nd half) was close to topping 100 in half a match with Cripps (90 in the 1st half) and Yeo (83 in the 2nd half) once again close to the top of the list. Marc Murphy (81 in the 1st half) and Charlie Curnow (76 in the 2nd half) also racked up tons of points, while amazingly Tom Mitchell scored exactly 80 points in the first and second half. Crazy.
Image from afl.com.au
THE crown for the highest breakeven doesn’t belong to Jack Macrae (131) anymore. Instead, his gun midfield mate Andrew Gaff (151) claims the top mantle with J.Selwood (147), Max Gawn (135) and Laird (132) also destined to slide in value a tad. Speaking of value, Port youngsters Jarrod Lienert (-16) and Kane Farrell (13) are at the bottom of the pile when it comes to breakevens this round. At other positions lumbering Freo big man, Scott Jones (13) and Bulldog forward Fergus Greene (20) are the standouts.
NO one is even close to Tom Mitchell (168 L3) over their last three games. The Hawks star recorded 40+ touches for the third straight week and he is within striking distance of Tom Rockliff’s all-time record for fantasy points in a single season. To take out the honour Mitchell needs 607 points (at an average of 151.7) to close out the year. Well and truly possible.
CRIPPS (133 L3) and Whitfield (130.3 L3) are in another tier just behind the star Hawk with daylight between them and the rest of the field. Funnily enough, Tom Hawkins (116 L3) is the best form forward in the past three weeks, but mainstream names like Danger (108) and Dunkley (106.3 L3) are better fantasy plays.
Quickfire Trade Thoughts
IN – THIS is the week to get in Jack Macrae (MID, $712K – 112). After dropping over $100K since returning from injury he might not get much cheaper and is a great option to finalize your midfield, should you be in that position. Grundy (RUC, $759K –147), Cripps (MID, $755K –162) and Whitfield (MID/DEF, $728K – 130) are all virtually must-haves and will be among the most traded in premo’s this week.
FROM a rookie standpoint we all cross our fingers that basement rook Nathan Freeman (MID, $170K – DNP) finally gets a call-up. If he does or doesn’t coaches will target him as a throwaway piece for their benches in an effort to generate as much cash flow as possible. Possible playing rooks Kane Farrell (DEF/MID, $183K – 49), Fergus Greene (FWD, $177K – 38) and Jarrod Lienert (DEF, $243K – 72) are safer choices if you need a potential emergency.
OUT – IF you are targeting Brodie Grundy, the parting ways with Stefan Martin (RUC, $642K – 77) could be the way to go. Paul Seedsman (DEF/MID, $433K – 18) and Buddy (FWD, $522K – 40) will be dumped by coaches too.
WATCH the status of Brodie Mihochek (DEF/FWD, $381K – 39) this week as he could be hurt meaning cashing him in is a good choice. Even though he beasted against the Eagles you could do worse things than turn Paul Ahern (FWD/MID, $447K – 118) is still the play. In no particular order, Brayden Sier (MID, $301K – DNP), Joel Smith (DEF/MID, $299K – 44), Brad Lynch (DEF, $269K – 24) and Stefan Giro (MID/FWD, $371K – 51) should be next to go.
AS I have already mentioned this week is all about getting rid of Michael Walters. He and Paul Ahern are the two on the chopping block, with Stef to Grundy tempting too. However, I back Ahern to score well against the Lions and Bulldogs in consecutive weeks and downgrading Giro means I can throw my $$$ on top of Walters to land Jack Macrae. Cripps and Oliver are tempting, but Macrae’s the one for me.
Giro → Farrell
Walters → Macrae
Good luck in Round 20!