An upset Clarko means someone has to play forward
The traditional 3 game Sunday Draftstars contest is the perfect cure for the Coronation hangover we all have. If only Kayo does a mini of the ceremony from London if you missed it last night. As Draftstars veteran ‘Tbetta’ explains, the civil unrest at Arden Street as presented some avenues to attack today’s contests.
$75,000 Main ($15 entry, 125 max)
$10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max)
$5,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 50 max)
$3,000 Mini ($2 entry, 15 max)
$2,500 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max)
$2,000 Micro ($0.50 entry, 100 max)
PORT vs ESS – Adelaide Oval: Fine.
COLL vs SYD – MCG: Showers.
NTH vs STK – Marvel Stadium: Under the roof.
In the midst of North Coach Clarko’s team selection dummy spit, we have rookie Blake Drury ($6,000 MID/FWD) added as a menu option. I’d be all over him in a DEF-stack combo meal if he were lining up in defence against the leaky Saints, but his strong recent VFL form was generated from games forward of centre – where the ball will not be so often this Sunday evening. At the opposite end, Cooper Sharman ($6,850 FWD/DEF) will find it difficult to get a breather, replacing Cordy in a back-up ruck role.
He’s been out of sorts for the past couple of weeks, but Jack Higgins ($9,640 FWD) presents excellent value if you think he’s one of St Kilda’s primary avenues to goals this week; he produced scores of 90 and 114 a few weeks ago with bags of 4 and 5 goals respectively. Teammate Jade Gresham ($11,160 FWD/MID) also has to be considered following scores of 87 and 101 in the past fortnight – against much tougher opposition than the Roos.
Errol Gulden ($14,000 MID/FWD) raised his bat (116) last weekend for the first time in a month, also raising his hand for DFS consideration. The extra midfield time through Justin McInerney’s axing last week certainly helped, and the dumping of this week’s whipping boy in Dylan Stephens ensures those minutes are still available.
There’s very little on offer in terms of core salary relief options in the midfield, with Miller Bergman’s ($6,000 MID/DEF) half-back role the only silver lining in this range. On these kinds of slates and with 4 MID slots to fill, that’s where nailing the mid-price range becomes crucial.
Luke Davies-Uniacke is still questionable and with no Tom Powell, Hugh Greenwood or Will Phillips in the fray, Ben Cunnington’s ($10,700 MID) midfield role is once again rock solid. He posted season-highs of 97 AF and 75% CBA action last week, so get him while he’s cheap. Jason Horne-Francis ($10,300 MID) and Travis Boak ($11,660 MID) are the other standouts in his range.
I’ll be paying up as much as possible on this slate though, with Jack Steele’s ($16,800 MID) midfield role restored last week for his 128. That figure could increase in the culling of the Kangaroos on Sunday. Brad Crouch ($15,700 MID) has slowed down ever since his skipper returned, but North is the perfect match-up for a greedy midfielder like Brad to get back on track.
Previously mentioned names of Cooper Sharman and Miles Bergman are obviously available back here, so you have the DPP flexibility to mix and match to find that perfect line-up if you need it. Alternatives are thin; Ben McKay ($7,080 DEF) has a rare opportunity to intercept mark his way to value this week, while Darcy Tucker’s ($8,360 DEF/FWD) role with all of North’s changes is anyone’s guess.
Harry Sheezel ($14,910 DEF) had everything go against him a couple of weeks ago – Aaron Hall returned to the side, he picked up a couple of niggles and even attracted a tag – but his luck has flipped ahead of Round 8. Hall is now back in the 2’s and Sheezel gets the juiciest DvP match-up known to defensive distributors, all in one big hit. Jack Sinclair ($15,050 DEF) is an alternative following his season-high 119 last week, as is the Dan Houston ($12,940 DEF) rollercoaster if you want to save a few pineapples.
Another tough line, with no one standing out from a value perspective. Sam Draper ($10,290 RUC) could be an option based on the Port ruck DvP, which is second only to West Coast’s ruck situation in terms of the most bankable boosts. The constant Andrew Phillips cockblock is a shame, though.
Mason Cox ($8,690 RUC/FWD) returns from injury to give Collingwood some vertical relief, but with no change to Collingwood’s defence, it looks like he’ll have to share duties with Billy Frampton. At the other end of the scale, we have the rampant Rowan Marshall ($17,260 RUC), but how often will you be able to afford him with the lack of value options on this tough 3-game slate?
Zach Merrett ($15,840 MID)
Essendon have shown their hand in terms of how they deal with a tight ag, with Merrett’s three lowest CBA games coming via Finn Maginness (68%), Marcus Windhager (64%) and now Mark O’Connor (38%) shadows. Unsurprisingly, that move to half forward to attempt to shake the tag against the Cats resulted in his lowest score (and first non-ton) for the year with a mediocre 82.
If all Port needs to do to remove their opponent’s best player from the midfield is to send a player to stand next to him, then why wouldn’t they give Willem Drew a special assignment this week?
Nick Daicos ($16,740 DEF/MID)
Given that the Ben Keays tag was so effective last week in holding Daicos to his first mortal game for the season, you’d have to assume Ryan Clarke is his Round 8 date. One underrated aspect to the Keays tag was the ability to follow him into the midfield when the switch inevitably gets made, and Clarke also has plenty of reps as a midfielder in the past. There could be another lean week on the horizon for Little Nicky.
Jack Ziebell ($13,780 DEF)
Clarko is not here to fornicate with spiders following that 90-point demolition, completely upending his defense by seemingly replacing ball-winners (Hall comes to mind) with actual defenders. By my count, he’s selected 8 or 9 possible defenders in the side – with the former skipper on top of that figure. I can definitely see a universe where Ziebell swings to the other end of the ground; Flynn Perez, Miller Bergman and the versatile debutant Blake Drury have all been added to the mix, while the recent injuries to Charlie Comben and Callum Coleman-Jones suggests the Roos need another bigger body up forward.
Now’s probably a good time to mention that Ziebell averaged just 56 points as a forward last year, sandwiched between his seasons of 100 and 96 (so far) as a backline distributor. If he does find himself closer to the scoring sticks, it’s a big no thank you from me.
Back to Boak
Speaking of former skippers, Travis Boak’s ($11,660 MID) trajectory is heading in the opposite direction to his North Melbourne counterpart. After starting the season underdone and marooned out on a wing, Boak’s score has increased every single week, culminating in a healthy 124 against the Saints. It’s no coincidence that Round 7 was his first game of the year with significant centre bounce involvement at 44%, and with no change to the inside midfield group at selection, we could see him hold that hybrid role. He’s simply too cheap if so.
Same Old String Trick
If you’ve been following footy for the past decade, you’d have heard about “The Dusty Role” at some point, and that’s exactly how Jake Stringer ($11,260 MID/FWD) was redeployed against the Cats last week for his surprise 115. The key element of the role is starting at every centre bounce possible (in this case, easily a season-high 80%) before pushing hard forward once the clearance is won. This gets Essendon a bigger body in at centre clearances, but also gives Stringer the chance at getting a mismatch in transition – and I’d say it worked, given he kicked an equal season-high 4 goals against the reigning Premiers.
The clear Home vs Away trend continues for Connor Rozee ($15,370 MID), bringing his season splits to a hefty 122 at home and just 78 on the road. With this week’s clash at Adelaide Oval, Rozee needs to be in your player pool – he scored 113 and 115 against the Bombers in their two meetings last season.
St Kilda – Full Stack
With a Sunday evening special against the Roos, this is essentially the highest scoring fantasy team versus the team that concedes the most points, so we could have a genuine bloodbath on our hands. It’ll honestly be hard to find a bad pick on the Saints this week, but a focus on midfielders and goalkickers is the way to go – they’re going to see plenty of the footy in those two thirds of the field.
North – DEF Stack
St Kilda ranks second only to the Bulldogs in terms of how much fantasy goodness they ooze to opposition defenders, which gives us an interesting philosophical question to mull over. The trio of Hall, Sheezel and Ziebell would have been the obvious answer for a DEF stack here, but the swiftly swinging selection scythe of Clarko changes things significantly.
With Hall dumped and Ziebell at some risk of swinging forward, Sheezel becomes the overwhelming fancy in defense for the Roos. Luke McDonald ($11,560 DEF) jumps a couple of pegs up the totem pole and has shown he can play that role to perfection in the past, while Corr is in a decent spot to +6 his way to value in the $8k range.
Port – Outside MID targets.
The DvP algorithm throws up outside players as an area to target against the Bombers, which instantly thrusts players like Dan Houston, Ryan Burton and Miles Bergman into the mix on top of the aforementioned Boak. Xavier Duursma would have been a perfect target in the 4-digit price range, but crisis creates opportunity, as they say. Riley Bonner ($8,820 DEF) should slot onto that wing and has shown a healthy scoring ceiling in years past.
In a parallel universe:
- Tom Mitchell revenge game, anyone? The former Swan’s disdain for Horse Longmire is legendary, and has manifested itself into scores of 101, 97, 125, 109 in his last four against Sydney…
- Could St Kilda’s lack of key forwards mean that someone like Griffin Logue is swung forward instead of Ziebell? Could I be jumping shadows with the former skipper…?
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