WHAT a way to start the fantasy finals! An epic weekend of footy saw bumper scores all around the grounds and the coaches who have put in the hard work over 20 weeks reaped the benefits. Of course, I’m wasn’t one of those coaches who’s score ticked into unchartered territory with my motley crew far less inspiring. Still, as plenty of players got in on the action, most coaches benefited from at least one or two big-time performances.
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2236 – How many weeks Andrew Gaff’s suspension should be according to Freo fans.
LAST week consistency was the flavour of the week. In Round 20 though, chaos ensued with ‘premiums’ either struggling to score over 60 or topping 115 without a sweat. A few of these players are dipping to this sub-par standard more often than others and there are a few definitely on notice. The Paul Ahern experiment backfired, but I’ll back him in again next week. Maybe.
EASILY the biggest story in the football world right now is the impending suspension that Andrew Gaff is facing. After punching Andrew Brayshaw in the jaw late in the third quarter Gaff has been referred straight to the AFL Tribunal were he is facing the prospect of at least a month-long ban. Many expect Gaff to be ruled out for the rest of the season, making him a must-trade from a fantasy perspective.
THE other bloke involved in the incident, Andrew Brayshaw, is probably done for the year as well. With displaced teeth and a fractured jaw, the Freo cash cow will need a near miracle to get back onto the field in 2018. Similarly, Brett Deledio is facing the prospect of another season-ending calf complaint suffered in the Giants win over Carlton. GWS have been decimated by injuries and they can now add Toby Greene and Dawson Simpson to their budding list. Jake Stringer might be hurt again and needs to be monitored while rookies, Joel Smith (broken collarbone) and Josh Battle (concussion) could miss next week after suffering injuries.
IN the two’s a few prominent names could earn a recall. Premiership halfback Bachar Houli played a half of VFL getting 15 touches as he comes back from a calf strain. He sat out the second half and could still face a week or two in the reserves before returning to the AFL. Dom Sheed (34 disposals) shapes up as the Andrew Gaff replacement while youngsters Darcy Cameron (28 touches, 48 hitouts, 13 marks) and Dylan Clarke (30 touches, 9 tackles) might have forced their way back into the seniors.
Fry’s Favourite Five
Honourable mentions: S.Coniglio (144) T. Mitchell (146), A.Brayshaw (143), L.Franklin (139)
+5. Brodie Grundy, Magpies (RUC, $777K – 150)
TAKE a bow Brodie. Brave coaches around the country were chasing a HUGE point of difference and rolled the dice by captaining the big Pie. It might have only been an eight-point advantage, but at this stage of the year, every point counts. Must have!
Image from heraldsun.com.au
+4. Seb Ross, Saints (MID, $689K – 160)
I love Seb Ross. Never enough to trade him in, but he is supremely underrated from an AFL fantasy point of view. Good for a stable 105 each week, Ross took things up a notch this week rewarding 1.43% of the comp.
+3. Josh Kelly, Giants (MID, $753K – 153)
IS Kelly the best player in the league? No offense to the likes of Danger, Fyfe and Tom Mitchell, but Kelly had one of those games against Carlton, hardly putting a finger wrong. He also repaid those coaches who held him through his 80’s a few weeks ago.
+2. Dayne Zorko, Lions (MID, $704K – 154)
A mammoth game from start to finish sees Zorko earn two votes this week. A consistent effort throughout four quarters against the sometimes stingy Roos was awesome from Brisbane’s utility. Trade target fo sho.
+1. Clayton Oliver, Demons (MID, $770K – 154)
Bit unlucky to only get one vote following his huge start to the game, but we all expected it against the Suns. Oliver, took the most of the opportunity in front of him chalking up a lofty total very early on and is demanding more attention each week.
Image from foxsports.com.au
Fry’s Frustrating Five
Dishonourable Mentions: Ed Curnow (72), Steele Sidebottom (70), Tom Rockliff (69)
-5. Rory Laird, Crows (DEF, $650K – 67)
WTF, Rory. With a ‘set’ top-6 down back we weren’t expecting a very mortal average of 76 in his last three matches. Laird needs to reward us against the Giants or we might be forced to do something crazy.
-4. Kade Simpson, Blues (DEF, $619K – 60)
SEE above. We need our premiums to perform at this time of year and Kade Simpson is consistently going in the opposite direction. I’m worried that he won’t suit up for all three of Carlton’s final games…
-3. Isaac Heeney, Swans (MID/FWD, $540K – 66)
SIGH. It’s been an interesting season from Isaac Heeney, but my patience is wearing thin. With the forward line in flux, ditching the Swan might be a wise decision if you don’t have anything more pressing to deal with.
-2. Stefan Martin, Lions (RUC, $615K – 67)
SPEAKING of pressing issues, Martin has got to go. No tons in the last five weeks and two scores under 80 over the last fortnight aren’t the best signs heading into a matchup with Grundy. See ya Stef.
Image from couriermail.com.au
-1. Toby McLean, Dogs (MID/FWD, $591K – 73)
There were a few candidates for this spot and it might be harsh to give McLean a slap on the wrist. Actually, he has gone from a 105.6 point average before the byes compared to just 82.5 points in eight games since. He’s lucky I don’t slap him for real! Lift.
BOTH Tom Mitchell (19) and Robbie Gray (-12) are still the leading vote-getters for MVP honours, but there are some players gaining ground. Josh Kelly (8) and Brodie Grundy (6) are in the hunt and a slip up from Mitchell, coupled with another big performance from one/both of them could make things very interesting. Gray’s toughest competition is Isaac Heeney (-9) and Rory Laird (-6) who had better up their game if they want to avoid taking the trophy out of Gray’s hands.
BOTH Marcus Bontempelli (62 in the 3rd qtr) and Clayton Oliver (62 in the 1st qtr) had 60+ quarters over the weekend. Bont didn’t really go on to a massive score, but he managed to kick four snags in his 62-point third. The likes of Dayne Zorko (55 in the 3rd qtr), Tom Mitchell (52 in the 2nd) and Stephen Coniglio (52 in the 2nd) deserve recognition along with Crows big man Josh Jenkins (57 in the 1st qtr).
OLIVER wasn’t finished at quarter time, using his huge start to fuel a triple point first half. His 103 points were the most in a single half this weekend as Tom Mitchell (95 in the 1st half) feel just shy. Sebastian Ross (88 in 1st half), Brodie Grundy (84 in the 1st half) and Lance Franklin (84 in the 2nd half) were noteworthy with Dayne Zorko’s (78 in 1st, 76 in 2nd) consistency a positive sign for owners.
RORY Laird (143), Andrew Gaff (143) and Brett Delidio (143) tied for the highest breakeven entering Round 21. They lead the charge with a trio of ruckman (Todd Goldstein (131), Stefan Martin (127) and Max Gawn (126)) all high on the list as well. Kade Simpson (130) and Devon Smith (128) own the unfortunate owner as the highest BE’s in your defense and forward lines. On the other side of the coin, youngsters Ryan Abbott (-18) and Alex Johnson (-15) own the lowest BE’s and are destined to go up in value. Port duo Jarrod Lienert (-10) and Kane Farrell (-8) plus Bulldog forward Fergus Greene (-8) are other notably cheap players who could generate some late season dough.
OVER a three-week span Tom Mitchell (L3 164.3) is the creme of the crop (der), putting himself head and shoulders above the rest of the league. Grundy (133.7) is deserving of the second best label while Cripps (132), Kelly (131.3) and Yeo (128.7) are also in the hunt. Whitfield (120.7) and Dunkley (115.7) are also peaking at the right time for their owners.
Quickfire Trade Thoughts
IN – IF you are a non-owner this seems like the week Brodie Grundy (RUC, $777K – 150) has to come in. He goes head to head with Stef Martin this week, who shapes as the likely casualty from Grundy’s addition. In the midfield, there are plenty of viable targets with Jack Macrae (MID, $713K – 132), Patrick Cripps (MID, $776 – 118), Clayton Oliver (MID, $770K – 154) and Josh Kelly (MID, $753K – 153) all worth consideration. Up forward both Josh Dunkley (FWD/MID, $664K – 127) and Patrick Dangerfield (MID/FWD, $675K – 128) should be at the top of your shopping list.
MAXIMISING dollars in order to get the best players possible is crucial at this time of the year. For that reason, it’s smart to chase basement priced rookies coming into the side or players just off their debut. This week Ryan Abbott (RUC, $206K – 93) and Alex Johnson (DEF, $204K – 89) fit the bill with the likes of Kane Farrell (DEF/MID, $216K – 73), Nathan Freeman (MID, $187K – 57) and Fergus Greene (FWD, $209K – 78) next in line.
OUT – IT’S time for over a quarter of the competition to make the move. Stefan Martin (RUC, $615K – 67) has to go. Along with popular defenders Laird (DEF, $650K – 67) and Simpson (DEF, $619K – 60), Stef will be on the chopping block this week. Andrew Gaff (MID, $744K – 109) owners will be shopping for a new gun midfielder as his suspension is surely set to end his season. Steele Sidebottom (MID, $622K – 70) and Isaac Heeney (MID/FWD, $540K – 66) are also on thin ice.
DITCHING injured cash cows like Colin O’Riordan (DEF, $277K – DNP), Joel Smith (DEF/MID, $319K – 70) is a good money making play this week. Downgrading them or perhaps another bench player like Brody Mihochek (DEF/FWD, $383K – 59) or Brayden Sier (MID, $343K – 89) could allow you to throw those savings on top of Paul Ahern (FWD/MID, $453K – 39) landing you a nice upgrade.
I really want to get rid of the underperformers like Heeney and Sidebottom, with my heart set on Menegola/Dunkley/Cripps. However, I can’t keep putting up with these scores from Stef. He could still be admirable for an 85 this week, but the time to go big and get the Ruck Pig is now. To get Grundy I’ll probably ditch Mihochek into a $170K dude, leaving me with some $$$ for the last few trades.
Mihochek → Basement Rook
Martin → Grundy
Good luck in Round 21!