18 down, 5 to go.
THE fantasy finals are almost upon us as the point totals around the ground start to climb into crazy territory. Anything under 2,300 would have likely seen you slide in ranking as ‘complete teams’ start to push for a noteworthy rank/league finish. Buoyed by some unreal fantasy performances from popular players, the points should only continue to flow in Round 19, with some coaches fighting for one of the last finals spots in their respective competitions. Before we look ahead though, let’s recap the weekend that was.
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2264 – The number of single goal wins Fremantle have this season.
Another poor captain choice didn’t help my cause, but I can’t be too unhappy with another score north of 2250. Rookies need to go from my field, but I may have to address the likes of James Sicily and Jack Ziebell first if they continue to struggle.
CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF CARNAGE
Players listed below are in doubt for Round 19 and perhaps longer due to injury/suspension issues.
Grant Birchall – Birchall missed last week after a solid return to footy in Round 17. Monitor his status throughout the week.
Will Brodie – A hamstring complaint saw Will Brodie’s day end early on Saturday with the chance that he’ll miss some time.
Zac Clarke – An illness kept him out of the lineup against the Crows, but Clarke should return this week if the Bombers want him in the team.
Nat Fyfe – Fyfe said late last week that the plan was for him to play in Round 19 after missing last weekend’s game with an elbow infection.
Dyson Heppell – Essendon’s skipper returned to the side against Adelaide, but he could be straight back out again with a nagging foot injury.
Shannon Hurn – No certainty to play this week after being a late out against the Dees. Fingers crossed, but West Coast have bigger fish to fry in 2019 so Hurn may be given another week off.
Jarman Impey – A few Draft coaches will be hurt by Jarman Impey’s torn ACL that has effectively ended his 2019 campaign.
Rory Lobb – Arguably Fremantle’s best player on the weekend, Lobb is seeking multiple opinions on his dislocated shoulder. Watch his status in the leadup to team selection.
Callum Sinclair – The big Swan has now been ruled out for the rest of the season opting to have surgery on his injured shoulder.
Jack Viney – A Tom Barrass bump saw Viney miss most of the Eagles/Dees clash with a concussion, but he should be right to go this weekend.
Ollie Wines – After missing last week with his fractured thumb Ollie Wines is no certainty to return this round.
FRY’S FAVOURITE FIVE
Honourable Mentions: Liam Shiels (133), Bayley Fritsch (134), Nic Newman (129), Ollie Wines (131)
+5. Brodie Grundy, Magpies (RUC, $872K – 181)
THERE are no words. Congratulations to the newest AFL Fantasy pig! 🐽
+4. Tim Taranto, Giants (MID, $787K – 145)
STARTING the year with Tim Taranto might have been the only thing I nailed this year. Josh Kelly and Lachie Whitfield are much popular, mainstream fantasy players, but there’s a chance that Taranto is better than both of them. Yeah, I said it. Fuelled by 14 tackles Timmy T has cemented himself as a fantasy star and he should continue to feast to close the year.
+3. Reilly O’Brien, Crows (RUC, $730K – 134)
THIS dude is getting serious buzz as the fantasy rookie of the year despite the success from more popular players like Xavier Duursma, Sydney Stack and Sam Walsh. O’Brien owns the fifth-highest average over the last five weeks (behind Grundy, Dunkley, Kelly and Macrae) with his 134 against Essendon another impressive scalp on his 2019 resume. Good luck getting another gig Sam Jacobs.
+2. Brodie Smith, Crows (DEF, $559K – 133)
SOME people are calling Brodie Smith owners lucky after repeated efforts to trade him out of their sides only to benefit from his huge Round 18 score. Smith wasn’t playing his traditional role against the Bombers, instead adopting a high-half forward cameo. Regardless of which position he holds down, you can safely hold Smith for at least a few more rounds on the back of this effort.
Image from foxsports.com.au
+1. Touk Miller, Suns (MID, $545K – 143)
IT’S been a tough season for Touk Miller on the Gold Coast. Missing multiple games with injury issues and some poor recent form has seen him virtually fall off the face of the fantasy Earth. However, he responded to the call last weekend, dropping his second straight 140+ score against the Blues by recording 27 touches, nine marks and 11 tackles. You couldn’t take a flier on him given his inconsistency, but it was nice to see Touk up and about again.
FRY’S FRUSTRATING FIVE
Dishonourable Mentions: Caleb Daniel (65), Isaac Heeney (76), Patrick Lipinski (41), Jack Ziebell (75)
-5. Patrick Cripps, Blues (MID, $620K – 55)
TALK about frustrating, what is going on with Patrick Cripps?! Looking like a Brownlow chance through the first half of the season, Crippa has only posted one triple-figure score since Round 8. He gets another life against Adelaide this week, but this may literally be his last chance before the axe gets swung.
-4. James Sicily, Hawks (DEF, $542K – 61)
SICILY’S stellar game against Collingwood a few weeks ago is the only time the Hawks defender has topped 65 in the last five rounds. If that’s not enough to get alarm bells ringing I’m not sure what is. Grant Birchall’s impact plus a revolving door of role changes has Sicily’s fantasy stock plummeting right now and being aggressive by trading him out will be a popular move this week.
-3. Rory Laird, Crows (DEF, $650K – 79)
2019 has seen Rory Laird consistently score around the 90’s, but his big ceiling has been missing. Usually, a few 70’s/80’s are balanced out by Laird scoring 120+, a threshold he hasn’t gone over at all this season. Hopefully, a big number is just around the corner, but Larid’s fantasy season has been somewhat disappointing by his usual standards.
Image from afl.com.au
-2. Marcus Bontempelli, Bulldogs (MID, $673K – 65)
PREMIUM players have these types of outings from time to time. Bontempelli fell victim to the fantasy-friendly Bulldogs midfield with Jack Macrae (132) and Josh Dunkley (123) instead feasting in the loss to St Kilda. I wouldn’t go overreacting and moving the Bont out of your side, but he’d better fire against Freo to reward his owners.
-1. Angus Brayshaw, Demons (MID, $544K – 70)
GUS Brayshaw managed a season-high nine tackles against West Coast on the weekend as he shadowed some of the Eagles in a run with type of role. Despite being closer to the footy he still only had 15 touches and gave away four free kicks, further hampering his score. Any hope we had of Brayshaw returning to a fantasy-relevant player is all but gone, let’s be honest.
IN – YOU can always rely on Josh Dunkley (MID/FWD, $878K – 123) and Lachie Whitfield (DEF/MID, $772K – 109) to be good trade targets, but there is still plenty of value to be had out there. My pick of the bunch right now is the under-priced Taylor Adams (MID, $621K – 111) who made a triumphant return to the Magpies’ team this week. Another cheap midfield target could be Shaun Higgins (MID, $584K – 116) who slotted right back into his role for North coming back from five weeks off. In other lines Hunter Clark (DEF, $529K – 105) could be a dice roll, but his recent form justifies picking him and Toby Greene (FWD, $621K – 115) may be hurt if Josh Kelly were to return, but more midfield minutes have seen Greene score well to close the year.
WE were treated to a debutant in virtually every line last week and if any of them hold their place, they are fine downgrade choices. Will Snelling (MID, $222K – 58) comes at a heftier price than his rookie peers, but he’s my preferred downgrade option for this week to close the year. Francis Watson (DEF, $196K – 72) made his long-awaited debut thanks to Hurn’s late omission and he could see more game time to close the year. Swans forward Hayden McLean (FWD, $205K – 87) impressed too, pinch-hitting in the ruck against three recognised Freo players, while Doulton Langlands (MID/FWD, $189K – 59) scored solidly enough to warrant being picked up.
Player No. 1161 to don the sash.
Give 'em hell, Will 👊 pic.twitter.com/URnVlK31sw
— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) July 18, 2019
OUT – AT this time of year you can’t afford to have any passengers in your team any more. Defenders Shannon Hurn (DEF, $591K – DNP) and James Sicily (DEF, $542K – 61) are on thin ice and Shaun Higgins’ return could spell doom for Roos hard nut Jack Ziebell (MID/FWD, $662K – 75). Ziebell has had some huge outings this year, but yo-yo swing sin his scores could lead owners to trade him out if he underperforms again. I couldn’t blame you for wanting to ship lacklustre duo of Patrick Cripps (MID, $620K – 55) and/or Angus Brayshaw (MID, $544K – 70) out for a more reliable option either.
MOVING rookies off your field should still take priority to help propel your team into the finals. Xavier Duursma (DEF/MID, $526K – 84) and Sydney Stack (DEF/MID, $521K – 66) boast high ownership still and could be upgraded for an elite player in either your defense or midfield. Blues duo Sam Walsh (MID, $670K – 89) and Will Setterfield (MID/FWD, $488K – 72) have also been loyal servants but chasing an elite talent in one of their positions is smart to do at this time of the season.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
FOR the second consecutive week Hunter Clark (DEF, 28% – 105) leads the pack of relevant waiver wire targets, boasting a five-round average of 92.8. There’s a chance he may already be on a roster along with another target Bayley Fritsch (MID/DEF, 29% – 134) following his four-goal haul against West Coast. The pending return of Richmond ruckman Toby Nankervis (RUC, 56% – DNP) is relevant for a lot of Draft coaches and despite his high ownership, there’s a chance he’s still available on your scrap heap and worth picking up. Andrew Brayshaw (MID/FWD, 14% – 101) rounds out the list fresh off his first ton of the year. He isn’t going to win you a head-to-head matchup, but Brayshaw might provide some depth across multiple lines that helps you during the finals.
THE health of Shannon Hurn will dictate how my trades unfold this week. If he plays I’ll give him another chance, but if not he’s got to go. James Sicily is on thin ice as well after a lacklustre month and while the popular tactic of moving on rookies, like Sydney Stack, is what I should do I might give him another life over the aforementioned defenders. Either way, I have Hunter Clark well and truly in my sights as a dice roll with Taylor Adams also high up on my wishlist to trade-in.
J.Sicily → H.Clark
S.Stack → T.Adams