FIVE down, 18 to go.
WE are in the middle of a crazy period in the AFL Fantasy season, with just one day off in between the last round and the next. Easter is behind us as we turn our attention to Anzac Day and the last of the Thursday night games for a stint of time. With new DPP’s, two more partial lockouts and a handful of fresh cash cows emerging there’s plenty to unpack from Round 5, with a quick turn around forcing coaches to act quickly.
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ROUND 6 brings us another batch of 28 new dual-position players, with a handful of relevant names included. Starting down back Sydney Stack (+DEF) now gives coaches a handy link into their backline making the cash cow very fantasy relevant if he holds his place in Richmond’s side. Caleb Daniel (+DEF) added defender status as well and looms as a potential dark horse who can push for top-6 positioning in the forward or defensive line. Fantasy studs, Lachie Whitfield (+MID), Travis Boak (+MID) and Jack Billings (+MID) all added midfield status, but it’s likely they’ll still be used as top players in their respective starting positions.
THERE aren’t many relevant rucks outside of the big three right now (yes, I’m giving Witts some love), but Rowan Marshall (+RUC) adding a second position makes him very relevant in Draft leagues. The forward line saw a record number of additions with 15 new players granted FWD status. A handful of options are now very relevant in Draft, but Brad Ebert (+FWD) and Dustin Martin (+FWD) are the standouts, both capable of challenging for top positioning up forward in Classic AFL Fantasy. Popular rookies Michael Gibbons (+FWD), Zak Butters (+FWD) and Tom Atkins (+FWD) will now give coaches added trade flexibility while Zac Clarke’s (+FWD) new status could see some coaches swing him in between their benches.
2168 – The number of days since Carlton last scored 100 points.
The boys somewhat pieced it together in Round 5, with Jack Billings performing well on debut. With nearly $300K in the bank, I’m looking forward to finally removing some rookies from my field and climbing up the rankings, with Duursma and Drew the potential casualties.
FRY’S FAVOURITE FIVE
Honourable Mentions: Matthew Taberner (128), Brayden Fiorini (126), Rory Sloane (125), Tim Kelly (121)
+5. Zach Merrett, Bombers (MID, $707K – 143)
WELL, well, well. Look who decided to show up. After averaging 80 in his first three contests, Zach Merrett has found his fantasy form by posting two huge scores, including a round high 143. It’s unlikely that Merrett will be any cheaper than he is right now and looms as a great trade target.
+4. Jake Lloyd, Swans (DEF, $825K – 135)
CONSISTENCY is what fantasy coaches covet, and no one has been a more reliable source of big scores this year than Jake Lloyd. Keeping his 120+ streak alive, Lloyd dropped 135 on the Tigers, tying with Lachie Whitfield to own the highest average this season.
+3. Stephen Coniglio, Giants (MID, $773K – 126)
THOSE owners who traded Cogs out after a lacklustre 50 against the Eagles will be kicking themselves following his past few weeks. He isn’t setting the world on fire, but Coniglio continues to produce consistently, top scoring for the Giants with a whopping 37 touches.
+2. Jarrod Witts, Suns (RUC, $709K – 123)
SHOUTOUT to all those coaches who started with Jarrod Witts in their side at R2. Through five rounds he looks like the best value pick in the rucks and back-to-back 120’s have a lot of coaches chuffed with their decision to give him a chance. Keep in mind Witts’ has had an easy run to start the year, but his numbers are hard to ignore.
+1. Jack Petreculle, Eagles (FWD, $350K – 115)
A lot of cash cows have stolen the +1 in recent times, but none of them were quite as unexpected as Jack Petreculle on Friday night. An enormous 115 from Petra was sitting wasted on a lot of coaches benches, but none of us expected him to go so large against the Power and snag the Rising star nominee for Round 5.
FRY’S FRUSTRATING FIVE
Dishonourable Mentions: Lachie Hunter (65), Sam Menegola (69), Brodie Grundy (78), Travis Boak (79)
-5. Taylor Adams, Pies (MID, $656K – 56)
BEFORE the season started a lot of coaches had their hearts set on Taylor Adams, including yours truly. His performance against Brisbane was a letdown, to say the least, all but removing him from a lot of coaches radars. I’m sure he’ll be right back in the mix when he scores 130+ on Anzac Day.
-4. Stefan Martin, Lions (RUC, $593K – 55)
IT’S official, Stefan Martin is cooked. The big Lion looks like a shell of his former fantasy relevant self and as a result, he continues to put up uninspiring performance after uninspiring performance. If you are one of the unfortunate 4% of coaches who own him, then you have to find another option ASAP.
-3. Todd Goldstein, Kangaroos (RUC, $594K – 66)
ANOTHER aging ruckman failing to fire is Todd Goldstein. Squaring off against Tom Bellchambers would have usually seen Goldy feast in the hitout battle but he barely managed to top the count (25-23) and gathered just 13 touches. His second straight low score puts Goldstein in the camp as another sub $600K ruckman who frustrated owners have to move on.
-2. Jack Darling, Eagles (FWD, $455K – 18)
I don’t tend to include non-relevant players in this section, but this vent comes from a lot of Draft coaches. Jack Darling had a dirty night at the office last weekend, putting forth a putrid 18 points recording just six touches. With a 33 a few weeks earlier, you could be forgiven for sending him packing and chasing other options.
-1. Lachie Neale, Lions (MID/FWD, $804K – 76)
ONE of the most popular trade targets last week let a ton of coaches down this weekend by dishing up an uncharacteristic score. Neale’s hot streak came to a grinding halt with his 76 after a three-round average pushing 130. It doesn’t mean he isn’t still a good pick and a lot of coaches will want to have him in their sides, but Neale’s stinking still stings.
IN – IF you’re in the market for a midfield upgrade then this might be the week to snag Zach Merrett (MID, $707K – 143). A potential Levi Greenwood tag on Anzac Day might scare a few people off, with George Hewett (Sydney) on the horizon as well. There’s no reason why Merrett can’t stay hot even with the added attention, offering coaches with the chance to land a discounted premium upgrade. The form of Brad Sheppard (DEF, $631K – 110) makes him hard to pass up and non-Jack Billings (FWD/MID, $681K – 105) owners will be looking to land him up front as well.
Image from standard.net.au
IT’S not too late to jump on the rookie train for Jack Ross (MID, $263K – 63) and Marty Hore (DEF, $298K – 99) with the young duo the proud owners of the two lowest breakevens right now. Giants youngster Jackson Hately (MID, $271K – 84) did enough in his debut to be on a lot of coaches radar’s, even though he won’t likely post 80’s every week. Will Hayes (MID, $196K – 71) is another popular MID target who’ll come into a lot of sides this week with Lewis Young (DEF, $188K – 57) and Brayden Ham (FWD, $189K – 58) in that same group if they can hold their spot in the Bulldogs’ and Bombers’ side.
OUT – THE owners of Stefan Martin (RUC, $593K – 55) and Todd Goldstein (RUC, $594K – 66) will have their work cut out for themselves, however, Shane Mumford could provide some respite as a downgrade option. There aren’t a lot of popular ‘premiums’ in other lines who I’d look to move on at the moment, with Jack Macrae (MID, $837K – 100) keeping his triple-figure streak alive.
THROUGHOUT the season you want to move cash cows on as their breakeven gets close to or exceed their average. This week, a handful of players in that bracket include Jordan Clark (DEF, $332K – 48), Xavier Duursma (DEF/MID, $390K – 50), Matthew Parker (FWD, $308K – 47) and Zak Butters (MID/FWD, $363K – 60). All of them have proved to be good sources of cash generation, but I’d look to move them on probably in the order I listed them too.
WAIVER WIRE MOVES
SOME of the new dual-position players could become relevant on your radar, but I have my heart set on a returning Cat as the hot waiver wire add. In his first game of the year, Cameron Guthrie (DEF, 21% – 98) looked right at home for Geelong and could be a steal if you act quickly. Those people chasing ruck support might want to target Tim English (RUC, 53% – 109) if they need support in that area, with Demons forward Jake Melksham (FWD, 29% – 75) emerging as a good depth piece in your forward line.
Image from westernbulldogs.com.au
LESSER owned talents like Sydney Stack (MID/DEF, 12% – 75) and Marty Hore (DEF, 11% – 99) can be considered if you need help, however, younger players’ scores tend to fluctuate rapidly. In front of the sticks, Brody Miocheck’s (FWD, 23% – 105) form is getting harder to ignore, but it’s worth mentioning his scores have either been above 100 or under 70, lacking a lot of consistency. The midfield is always a tough spot to find production and those struggling to find help might want to look at Jackson Thurlow (MID, 8% – 83) who has a three-round average of 72.
WITH three rookies (Clark, Duursma, Parker) at the top of my list for culling, it’s time to land a big fish. I can’t reach Whitfield in the backline and my forward line is coasting nicely at the minute. For that reason, I’m tossing up between Brad Sheppard and some extra cash or a fallen Rory Laird. With Wayne Milera injuring himself I’m going big and bringing Laird in at this stage, and turning Jordan Clark into Jack Ross (Stack going into DEF), to make the move possible.
X.Duursma → R.Laird
J.Clark → J. Ross