13 down, 10 to go.
THE testing bye rounds seem to be causing some coaches more headaches than others. All my well-laid plans and shuffling around went up in flames at team selection last week and I’ve almost punted any hope of finishing the year with a decent ranking. Here’s hoping the Large Fry’s & Coke can end the byes with a bang and keep my reputation intact.
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1689 – Wikipedia doesn’t go this far with relevant history…
LET’S not waste too much time here. 17 players (if Ryan Gardner can be included in that conversation) combined for my lowest point total in a while despite only two players scoring under 60. We’ll be better for the run.
I’M adding a new recurring section to the Round Wrap Up articles. While not all the players mentioned here are dealing with ‘injury issues’ exactly, all of them are shrouded by some doubt over appearing Round 14.
Taylor Adams – Not yet ready to make his return to Collingwood’s side.
Harley Bennell – Could this be the week Bennell returns to the big time? It’s hard to find someone to squeeze out of Freo’s outfit, but if they choose Bennell looks as ready as he’ll ever be.
Ed Curnow – Carlton’s bye this weekend should help him recover from a rolled ankle he suffered last weekend and appear in Round 15.
Matt de Boer – Chances are he isn’t running around in a lot of Fantasy teams, but de Boer facing up to two months on the sidelines is noteworthy news regarding one of the leagues best taggers.
Brad Ebert – All signs point to Ebert making a senior recall for his first game since Round 7.
Darcy Fort – If Esava Ratugolea doesn’t get up we could see Fort make an appearance.
Brodie Grundy – Mystery over Grundy’s availability has coaches severely panicking. If he does miss with a neck issue I would advise against trading him. You’ll regret it.
Dan Hannebery – Has thrown his hat into the mix after two solid weeks for Sandringham. Should make an AFL appearance any week now.
Shannon Hurn – No certainty to return from a hamstring issue with West Coast sweating over his fitness. May miss another week.
Josh Jenkins – Expected to miss 4-6 weeks after hurting his knee on Thursday night. Bench him in Draft, but if he’s crucial to your team, hold him.
Josh Kennedy (Swans) – The much-needed addition to Sydney’s on-ball rotation is all but locked in this week.
Tom Liberatore – Good news bad news for Libba after hurting his knee on the weekend. He has escaped any ‘serious’ form of injury, however, he’ll still miss 4-6 weeks.
Sam Menegola – Still at least another week away as Menegola continues to deal with a knee issue.
Tom Rockliff – Will miss (at least) another week with a hamstring issue.
Jake Stringer – The quick turnaround with a Thursday night game against the Eagles could see Stringer miss this week.
Ollie Wines – Is expected to return to Port Adelaide’s midfield this week vs. Geelong.
Image from au.sports.yahoo.com
FRY’S FAVOURITE FIVE
Honourable Mentions: Jack Macrae (140), Dustin Martin (140), Griffin Logue (100)
+5. Jack Billings, Saints (MID/FWD, $631K – 170)
WHERE the hell did this come from? Hopefully, you are reading this with Billings still in your lineup after the Saints small flirted with danger by dropping a few 60’s lately. A career-high 170 and the highest score of the round fuelled by 11 tackles makes up for his recent shortcomings.
+4. Josh Dunkley, Bulldogs (MID/FWD, $745K – 158)
IF you aren’t a Josh Dunkley owner by now, you have an uphill battle trying to squeeze him into your side. Relishing his full-time midfield role, Dunks started the game against Carlton on fire, with 62 points in the first quarter coming via 15 touches and a goal. He didn’t slow up finishing with a season-best disposal (42) and point (158) tally, pushing himself into the elite FWD category.
+3. Josh Kelly, Giants (MID, $854K – 148)
I’M going to say it, Josh Kelly is the best player in fantasy right now. The definition of must have property, Kelly continues to produce at an elite level. He hasn’t gone under 120 in his last five contests and as a result, Kelly is single-handedly vaulting some coaches higher in the rankings.
+2. Tim Taranto, Giants (MID, $811K – 156)
IF Kelly is the best player in fantasy Taranto might be second. No offense to the star ruck duo, but Taranto is having a true breakout campaign in 2019, posting more points than any other player through 13 rounds. Granted, a pair of superstar rucks and the No. 1 DEF in Jake Lloyd could all overtake him this weekend, but regardless, he looks every bit like a true top-8 MID.
+1. Reilly O’Brien, Crows (RUC, $603K – 146)
TODD Goldstein, Stefan Martin, Rhys Stanley, Tim English and Matthew Kreuzer. None of these players has outperformed Reilly O’Brien this season with the Crows big man putting forth an unreal game in Round 14. A colossal 54 hitouts to go with 19 touches and seven tackles could see ROB hold Sam Jacobs out of Adelaide’s side for the rest of the season. Starting him on your field after the byes is a bit of a risk, but his form is hard to ignore.
FRY’S FRUSTRATING FIVE
Dishonourable Mentions: Jarrod Witts (84), Dylan Shiel (77), Connor Blakely (68)
-5. Patrick Cripps, Blues (MID, $646K – 67)
THE fantasy enigma that is Patrick Cripps continues to yo-yo, this week posting another disappointing score. While I fully subscribe to the ‘hold your premiums’ mantra, Cripps’ form is hard to tolerate and a lot of coaches will look to move him on now that his bye has arrived. I can’t blame them.
-4. Jaeger O’Meara, Hawks (MID, $643K – 74)
LOOKING nothing like the premium midfielder we once thought he could be, Jager O’Meara has failed to fire for owners. With just two scores over 110 in his last six games, it’s wise to hold him during the byes, but planning a succession plan makes sense. The Swans, Eagles and Magpies in the next three weeks aren’t exactly the smoothest run either, giving coaches another reason to send O’Meara packing in the near future.
Image from heraldsun.com.au
-3. Jack Ziebell, Kangaroos (MID/FWD, $663K – 82)
ZIEBELL finishing on 82 was a let down for coaches given how he was tracking earlier in the game. Only three touches in the second half and a stint up forward contributed to his low score and hopefully, this is only a small blip on the radar for owners.
-2. Brayden Fiorini, Suns (MID, $746K – 85)
EMERGING as a unique trade target in recent times, Fiorini getting to 85 is still a decent score. That being said it’s a far cry from the 120’s & 130’s we’ve seen him produce already this year and against St Kilda, we were expecting a LOT more. These type of lesser outings can take a player out of trade calculations and Fiorini might find himself in that boat if he keeps this up after his bye.
-1. Bachar Houli, Tigers (DEF, $755K – 88)
LANDING as a negative is a bit unfair for Houli who continues to look like he’ll finish in the top handful of defenders this season. However, a lot of people took a punt on him with the VC loophole Thursday night and were left wanting more. Don’t go moving him on or anything crazy, as he’ll hopefully learn his lesson.
IN – I’VE been saying it for a few weeks now and I was glad to see Jack Macrae (MID, $678K – 140) look like an ultra-premium again. With Liberatore set for a stint on the sidelines, I expect more points to flow for Macrae, starting this weekend against the Pies. Tom Stewart (DEF, $621K – BYE) is another value play this week who I have my eye on, with a high floor and a favourable upcoming run. Sticking with that run for a moment, if you have the money to land a big fish while a Jarrod Witts to Max Gawn move will be tempting, I’d rather pull the trigger on a Mitch Duncan (MID, $795K – BYE) type who could continue to score like one of the best midfielders until seasons end.
ROOKIES don’t usually score 100, with an even smaller percentage pulling the feat off in their first game of the year. After a dominant display against Port though, Griffin Logue (DEF, $254K – 100) has joined that illustrious group and leads the downgrade targets this week. If he holds his spot Brett Bewley (MID, $238K – 62) could save you some money and give you another playable midfielder and the dearer duo of Oskar Baker (MID, $310K – BYE) and Dylan Clarke (MID, $334K – 67) will tempt a lot of coaches too. If I had to split the two I’d side with Baker given his recent consistency – posting a three-round average just under 80.
OUT – I’M still subscribing to the idea of holding your premiums, yes, even Patrick Cripps (MID, $646K – 67). While the Carlton bull has looked awful in the last month at times, he also threw up a 150+ just two weeks ago. If you really have no pressing rookie issues then moving on from Brodie Smith (DEF, $548K – 87) to a truly premium defender could be justified. As I mentioned above, chasing Gawn could also see some coaches pivot from Jarrod Witts (RUC, $671K – 84), after a successful 13 game experiment.
Image from zimbio.com
A popular question being asked early on this week is if we can move on from Sydney Stack (DEF/MID, $481K – 92) and Sam Walsh (MID, $600K – 86) now that their bye has arrived. Personally, I’m facing the same tough decision, but these rookies need to be moved on at one point or another, so if you can get an uber talent, green light the move. Some of Walsh’s teammates like Michael Gibbons (MID/FWD, $408K – 46) and Will Setterfield (MID/FWD, $416K – 76) will find themselves axed from a lot of teams this week too with Noah Balta (RUC/FWD, $374K – 37) also in the firing line.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
LEADING the free agent Draft targets this week is Bulldog Patrick Lipinski (MID/FWD, 30% – 129) fresh off more midfield time thanks to Libba’s injury. If he can keep chewing up midfield minutes, he’ll be a must-have and maybe even emerge as an option in Classic. His teammate Aaron Naughton (DEF/FWD, 12% – 71) possesses versatility that will be chased by some coaches too. If Shannon Hurn misses any more time then I’d also take a look at Lewis Jetta (DEF, 5% – 74) with the (potential) returning Dan Hannebery (MID, 23% – N/A) another option if he’s still floating around. Finally, don’t forget about Nic Naitanui (RUC, 35% – N/A) who will play in the WAFL this week and keeps inching towards a return.
IT’S time to get serious at the Large Fry’s & Coke. Moving on from loyal servants Witts and Walsh to Gawn and Macrae respectively isn’t locked in, but some combination of big names will come in for me this week. I’m also looking long and hard at Mitch Duncan, but am hesitant to pay up TOP top dollar for his talents. If Hanners isn’t named I can also do a simple Drew to Dyl Clarke move and save some money or target another downgrade target should they emerge.
S.Walsh → J.Macrae
W.Drew → D.Hannerbery
J.Witts → M.Gawn