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Professor

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PORT ADELAIDE
Not many headaches for Ken Hinkley at selection this week where the only decision is who is the unlucky omission for Travis Boak.

Boak had a back spasm in the final minutes of the warm-up on Saturday night and was replaced by Sam Powell-Pepper who played well with 24 disposals but that is Boak’s spot and he will come straight in if fit to play.

Hinkley got a good response from his inclusions with Justin Westhoff, Karl Amon and Dougal Howard all playing strong footy after spending last week in either the SANFL or on the sidelines with suspension.

But there is a ‘watch and act’ warning on ruckman Scott Lycett who bravely played through knee soreness after clashing with Josh Jenkins in the first quarter on Saturday night.

“Knee on knee they look like PCL’s when you see them and you think that’s going to rule you out possibly, but he kept going,” Hinkley said of Lycett.

“Eight days will do him the world of good and hopefully he can get up again … I think he’s going to be OK when you consider he played out three-and-a-half quarters with it.”

If Lycett doesn’t come up for the Lions clash then Paddy Ryder or Peter Ladhams will be back in.

— Reece Homfray

INJURY LIST:

Travis Boak (back) test

Matthew Broadbent (mental health) indefinite

Scott Lycett (knee) test

Jake Patmore (knee) season

Jack Trengove (leg) indefinite

Jack Watts (leg) indefinite

RICHMOND
INJURY LIST:

Luke English (shoulder) test

Callum Moore (ankle) 3-4 weeks

Toby Nankervis (adductor) 2 weeks

Marlion Pickett (finger) 2-3 weeks

Alex Rance (knee) season

Jack Riewoldt (PCL) test

Jack Ross (ankle) 2-3 weeks

Fraser Turner (leg) 3-4 weeks

Things are getting pretty rosy down at Punt Road, with some ominous form coupling a shrinking injury list. The Tigers gave their percentage a welcome shot in the arm against the Suns, hammering the home side and announcing themselves as a potential top-four contender.

Jack Riewoldt is almost over his knee and the big question is: Will Damien hardwick bring back his star spearhead for a home clash with GWS — a game everyone at Richmond is looking is eagerly awaiting.

“That’s a pretty formidable challenge for us, we’ll get a better understanding of where we’re placed,” Hardwick said after his side’s demolition at Metricon Stadium.

“They beat us by about six goals earlier in the year so we’re looking forward to challenging ourselves against one of the better sides in the competition.”

— Ben Broad

ST KILDA
Add Josh Battle to St Kilda’s long list of injuries. Expect Dan Hannebery to come straight back into the side after he was managed this week. Jack Lonie and Ed Phillips are a chance to add a little steel to the side this week, but the big question is will Jack Steven come back fit and firing. They’d love to slot him into the guts to do his work, but it’s a question of when he feels ready. The first quarter was seriously ugly against the Roos, but they showed signs after that, outscoring North by a point — even if it was game over at the first break. It doesn’t get any harder than the next test — a trip to alphabet stadium to take on a Geelong side smarting from being pantsed by the Bulldogs. A hammering could be the death knell for Alan Richardson. Will the players step up for their under-fire coach?

—Michael Randall

INJURY LIST:

Battle (adductor) TBC

Logan Austin (shoulder) indefinite

Jack Bytel (back) season

Jarryn Geary (leg) 6-8 weeks

Dean Kent (quad) season

Max King (ankle) season

Billy Longer (concussion) indefinite

Jack Lonie (knee) test

Paddy McCartin (concussion) season

Ed Phillips (hamstring) test

Lewis Pierce (concussion) indefinite

Dylan Roberton (heart) season

Jack Steven (mental health) 1-3 weeks

Jimmy Webster (hand) 1 week

SYDNEY SWANS
John Longmire hopes big man Darcy Cameron can overcome a quad issue and allow him to use versatile tall Aliir Aliir in his more-preferred role.

The Swans were forced to use Aliir in the ruck against the Bombers, where he performed well in his side’s disappointing loss.

“Aliir, to be fair on him, we like him down back … circumstances just meant that we have to change it and he still does a good job for us. He hasn’t played a lot in the ruck but he’s been pretty good,” Longmire said.

“To do it week in, week out against the biggest bodies like (Brodie) Grundy and (Max) Gawn, it can be quite taxing, but he adds that versatility … (and) gives you another midfielder at ground level.”

Longmire and the Swans still believe they can feature later in the year and continue their remarkable recent record.

“Clearly, we want to keep making finals … we might be the only team the last decade or so that’s been able to do it (consistently),” Longmire said.

“We want to keep doing it — that’s what we’re about, but we’ve still got to go forward as a team and we feel like we’re doing that. It’s not going to go always upwards. There’s going to be some plateaus and maybe even a step backwards, but there’s still some good signs.”

— Ben Broad

INJURY LIST:

Darcy Cameron (quad) test

Lance Franklin (hamstring) 2-3 weeks

Jack Maibaum (knee) season

Jarrad McVeigh (hamstring) test

Sam Naismith (knee) indefinite

Callum Sinclair (shoulder) 3 weeks

Nick Smith (hamstring) season

Durak Tucker (knee) indefinite

WEST COAST
Forward Josh Kennedy, a late withdrawal against Fremantle with the flu, is set to return for Friday night’s cracker with the Magpies.

A key feature of the Round 17 opener will see Nic Naitanui go up against Collingwood star Brodie Grundy. Naitanui starred against Freo, showing two knee reconstructions haven’t robbed him of his trademark explosiveness at ground level.

“We have missed Nic,” Eagles coach Adam Simpson said after the game.

“We had him for 17 weeks last year and it was really unfortunate he wasn’t there at the back end of the season. We are a better team with him in it.

“There is some mental scarring when you do two knees so dealing with that — it is a credit to Nic that he can let himself go and carry what he has been carrying being 114 or 115kg in the most combative position on the ground and he is probably the best at it.”

— Ben Broad

INJURY LIST:

Jarrod Brander (calf) test

Patrick Bines (hernia) TBC

Harry Edwards (foot) TBC

Mark Hutchings (hamstring) 2 weeks

Jack Petruccelle (hamstring) test

Nathan Vardy (knee) 1-2 weeks

Daniel Venables (concussion) TBC

WESTERN BULLDOGS
It was the “enormous” last quarter — and the ideal response — that coach Luke Beveridge was looking for.

And it might have locked Bulldogs premiership player Toby McLean back into the side for the back end of the season.

McLean was dropped after playing the first 12 games of the season.

But a best afield effort in the VFL last week, backed up by some incredible efforts as the Bulldogs stormed over the top of ladder leaders Geelong on Saturday night, was precisely the response the coach was looking for.

“(It) has been made glaringly obvious through the commentary (that) I asked him to come up with what we know he is capable of, and influence results,” Beveridge said.

“I felt like (against Geelong) he really influenced the result of what he was able to do.”

“He made a really solid contribution, and in the last quarter, when we went to the six-forwards mode, we needed a bit more one-on-one and aerial presence.

“He is not a tall player, Toby, but he is quite a competitor. I thought he had an enormous last quarter.”

McLean ended up with 101 Supercoach points, and while he is currently only in two per cent of teams, he might be a smoky forward/mid for $350,000.

— Glenn McFarlane

INJURY LIST:

Caleb Daniel (hamstring) 3-4 weeks

Billy Gowers (ankle) 1-3 weeks

Tom Liberatore (knee) 2-4 weeks

Fergus Greene (shoulder) Season

Mitch Wallis (ankle) test

Lukas Webb (ankle) 2-4 weeks
 

Professor

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Possible Pies debutant.

Mid-season draft pick John Noble rockets into selection frame for Collingwood
Jay Clark, Herald Sun
an hour ago
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Collingwood’s mid-season draft pick-up John Noble has rocketed into the selection frame as coach Nathan Buckley considers making changes for Friday night’s Grand Final rematch against West Coast.
Noble had another 28 possessions in the VFL on Saturday, while hard nut midfielder Taylor Adams may still be another week away to fix a serious groin injury.
Spearhead Mason Cox will have to fight to keep his spot at training this week after struggling in the Pies’ surprise loss to Hawthorn on Friday night.
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Collingwood has been soundly beaten in the air in its three games against the Eagles last year and may still need Cox to compete hard in attack against key backs Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass.
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Collingwood has a tough run against West Coast, Greater Western Sydney and Richmond over the next three weeks and need to regain form quickly to keep hold of a top-four spot.
Noble, 22, has bolted into the selection frame after impressing with his elite speed and decision-making skills over the past three games in the VFL.
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In particular, his kicking could become a weapon off half back as the Magpies look to rediscover some more run and precision ball-use out of defence.
Noble, who was emergency for the loss to Hawthorn on Friday night, has averaged 24 possessions since he was taken from West Adelaide in the SANFL with pick No. 14 in the mid-season draft.
Collingwood had only 35 inside 50s against the Hawks and will look to refine its ball movement this week to help better supply its forward line targets.
John Noble is pushing his case for selection. Picture: Michael Klein
AFL legend Wayne Carey said Cox had to provide a stronger contest in the air after finishing with only six possessions and three marks against the Hawks.
“He had a great year last year,” Carey said on Triple M.
“What happened the other night, and this is why you say he is out form, he got outmarked by Jarman Impey and by James Sicily, guys who are a lot shorter than him.


“What Collingwood rely on, as a bare minimum, is that he is not outmarked, and that’s what is occurring on him at the moment.
“But their ball movement is the (bigger) concern because when they move the ball with some fluency, they look dangerous
“They can’t play this stagnant, stop-start game.”
Originally published as Pies’ mid-season draft pick rockets into selection mix
 

Professor

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SuperCoach Round 17 trade guide: Is it too early to consider luxury upgrades on players such as James Worpel?

Is there too long left in the SuperCoach season to be weighing up luxury upgrades? Or could punting a player such as James Worpel launch you to finals success? TRADE GUIDE

Tim Michell, Herald Sun

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July 8, 2019 11:36am

FOXSPORTS0:17

Cunnington in hot water again

AFL: North Melbourne's Ben Cunnington has been fined $8000 so far this year by the MRO. And he is likely to be in hot wa...

One of the most difficult calls at this point of every SuperCoach season is how long to hold onto players on the cusp of becoming a premium scorer.

Tough Hawthorn midfielder James Worpel is the prime example this year, averaging 88.3 points per game despite producing only two hundreds.

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The 20-year-old has been one of the most consistent scorers of the season in his second AFL campaign, posting between 70-110 in each of his 15 matches.

Most of the 45,281 coaches who have Worpel in their teams will have selected him as a forward, where his average would serve well as a F6-F7.

However, if you want to jump up the rankings, you can’t settle for an average of 88 when some of the top forwards are regularly pumping our scores above 110.

In Round 16, 14 forwards scored above 120 and 25 amassed 100+.

SUPERCOACH: WHO TO RAGE TRADE THIS WEEK

SUPERCOACH: THE FALLOUT FROM GAWN, BOAK INJURIES

If that remains the case from here until the end of the year, you’ll likely be conceding at least 10 points per round to the top coaches and potentially in league match ups.

While it doesn’t sound like much, the difference between a league win or surging up the rankings can often be just a few points.

In SuperCoach terminology, upgrading a player with an average close to 90 is considered a ‘luxury’ trade.

James Worpel has been a consistent scorer without breaking into the premium category this season. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images.

With seven rounds left, if you’re in the fortunate position of having eight trades or more, you can afford to consider how to upgrade players sitting just outside the premium bubble.

You’ll need more than $100,000 to upgrade a player such as Worpel to Travis Boak or Josh Dunkley, but those extra points could make a world of difference come finals.

Oliver Hanrahan is the player to grab if you want someone on the bubble this week. Picture: David Crosling.

TOP TARGETS

Lachie Neale $571,700, Mid, Average: 123.5, Break even: 51

He’s the topscoring midfielder of the year by 52 points with an average of 123.5, yet Neale is somehow only in 50.9 per cent of teams. He returned to top form in a big way on Sunday against the Giants with 31 disposals, six marks and six tackles. He’s too cheap not to be in your side at less than $600,000 and you’ll pay the price if you don’t get him before league finals.

Dylan Shiel $483,500, Mid, Avg: 100.2, BE: 52

We don’t all have the bank to pay for the top premiums, but Shiel is well-priced for a player with a three-round average of 110.7. He’s scored 97, 112 and 123 in the past three weeks and had a disposal efficiency of 76 per cent against Sydney. That wasn’t one a one-off either. Since returning from injury, Shiel also disposal efficiency of 72.7 per cent against West Coast in Round 14.

Josh Kennedy $514,000, Mid, Avg: 107.1, BE: 62

With an ownership of only 1.2 per cent and eight tons in 12 matches, the Swans veteran is the ultimate POD midfielder. Five of his last seven scores have been 115-125 and the sole reason he’s available for $514,000 is scores of 68 and 77 when he was injured and then returned in Round 14. If you’ve got a midfield spot left to fill, strongly consider Kennedy.

Marcus Bontempelli $570,600, Mid, Avg: 115.6, BE: 62

The Bont is on a roll and plays his next three games against Melbourne, St Kilda and Fremantle under the roof at Marvel Stadium. His ability to rack up points quickly is his greatest strength. He had 85 in a quarter last weekend against Port Adelaide and scored 146 against Geelong despite being on 0 after almost 20 minutes.

Shannon Hurn $532,800, Def, Avg: 110.4, BE: 111

The perfect choice to finish your defence. You might get away with waiting one more week before bringing in Hurn, but if you have the money saved this is the round to jump on the West Coast skipper. His last four scores are 85-104 but Hurn will still finish as one of the top SuperCoach defenders.
 

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James Sicily $437,700, Def, Avg: 96.6, BE: 36

Back in defence and back in the SuperCoach good books. Sicily was unstoppable across half back against Collingwood, finishing with 14 marks and 28 disposals for a team-high 141 SuperCoach points. Unless Alastair Clarkson sends him forward again, this is as cheap as he will be for the rest of 2019. Take the chance to add a cheap D6 to your team and hope he reproduces efforts like Friday night.

Isaac Heeney $496,400, Fwd-Mid, Avg: 95.9, BE: 43

Heeney is flying in the past month, managing scores of 102, 90, 117 and 134. Any fears he would spend more time forward with Lance Franklin injured have proven unfounded and he will help round out your forward stocks at under $500,000. If you already have a finished midfield and forward line, you could consider adding Heeney as a floating M9-F7 and loopholing his scores.

Derek Eggmolesse-Smith $102,400, Def, Avg: 77 (one game), BE: -93

Job security is the biggest concern for Richmond’s debutant from Saturday, who had 19 possessions and three tackles in the Tigers’ demolition of Gold Coast. With so many players vying for selection through the VFL, only consider him if you need a basement-priced downgrade in defence. Just ask Patrick Naish owners how fraught job security can be at Punt Road.

Kyle Dunkley $102,400, Mid, Avg: 58 (one game), BE: -55

Dunkley didn’t have a great impact after halftime on debut but had done enough to the main break to still score 58. If you can hold off another week, you could downgrade his Melbourne teammate Oskar Baker or Dylan Clarke and make about $170,000 to help finish your team. With injuries mounting again at the Demons, Dunkley should get a chance to prove his wares.

Isaac Quaynor $153,500, Def, Avg: 82 (one game), BE: -73

A brilliant start for Quaynor, but can you afford to pay the extra $51,000 rather than downgrading to Eggmolesse-Smith?

Oliver Hanrahan $123,900, Fwd, Avg: 64.5, BE: -56

The sole bubble boy this week, Hanrahan is projected to jump by $54,000 if he scores 65 this round. With a lack of forward cover, you could do worse than trading a midfield rookie, swinging a Mid-Fwd into their position and bringing in Hanrahan to cover for any late outs (such as Travis Boak on Saturday night). His 85 against the Magpies came from 16 possessions and two goals.

WAIT A WEEK

Jake Lloyd $552,000, Def, Avg: 113.3, BE: 143

Tim Kelly $529,300, Fwd-Mid, Avg: 105.2, BE: 112

Lachie Whitfield $564,100, Def, Avg: 110.9, BE: 155

Nat Fyfe $596,700, Mid, Avg: 117.4, BE: 131

James Worpel $434,000, Fwd-Mid, Avg: 88.3, BE: 94

Kelly and Fyfe might hit their break evens this week, but their price won’t rise by more than $10,000 unless they manage 150+. Whitfield was a late withdrawal from GWS’ squad to face Brisbane Lions after initially being named, giving coaches another week to build their bank in preparation for a defensive upgrade. Jake Lloyd at under $550,000 will be too cheap to resist if you’ve overlooked the prolific Sydney half-back flanker to this point. Worpel, who is discussed above, is a wait and see on whether you should punt him before finals or not. He’s currently in 45,281 teams.

THE PAHNTOM: HAS CLARKO DONE US ALL A FAVOUR?

TRADE HQ: THE TOUGH LIST CALLS MAGPIES MUST MAKE

Marty Hore is a priority trade out this round after his collarbone injury. Picture: AAP Image/Daniel Pockett.

CHOPPING BLOCK

Reilly O’Brien $544,200, Ruc, Avg: 96.2, BE: 124

Marty Hore $357,600, Def, Avg: 76.3, BE: 133

Matt Parker $265,100, Fwd, Avg: 53.7, BE: 57

Xavier Duursma $353,200, Def-Mid, Avg: 71.3, BE: 96

Connor Rozee $361,400, Def-Fwd, Avg: 76.3, BE: 99

Sam Walsh $422,800, Mid, Avg: 88.9, BE: 85

Hore is the first trade priority after his collarbone injury against Carlton, which caused him to score three points and drop by $51,400. It was a disastrous result for those who held off a week before upgrading him to Shannon Hurn. Adelaide ruckman O’Brien has likely maxed out in price and unless Max Gawn isn’t named again and he’s your R3, this is the best time to cash in. You can mount a case for holding Parker, Duursma, Rozee and Walsh for bench cover, but if you’re relying on them on field it’s time to look at upgrading with many teams at full-premium status.

Darcy Moore will jump above $400,000 this round after his ton against Hawthorn. Picture: Michael Klein.

HOLD

Jordan Clark $300,400, Def, Avg: 61, BE: 4

Noah Answerth $253,500, Def-Mid, Avg: 56.5, BE: 7

Darcy Moore $399,200, Def-Fwd, Avg: 80.5, BE: 33

Dylan Clarke $259,600, Mid, Avg: 70.4, BE: 36

Griffin Logue $273,800, Def, Avg: 78.3, BE: 45

Jackson Hately $238,300, Mid, Avg: 68.8, BE: 46

Sydney Stack $439,800, Mid, Avg: 83.7, BE: 57

Will Setterfield $302,600, Fwd-Mid, Avg: 58.6, BE: 33

Brodie Smith $383,500, Def, Avg: 84.6, BE: 65

Each of these nine players should meet their break evens in Round 17, with Clark (87) and Answerth’s (80) impressive efforts at the weekend ensuring their respective BEs crashed to four and seven. Moore will get above $400,000 thanks to his 103 against Hawthorn and his flexibility will be valuable with trades running low. Clarke and Logue still have money to make despite disappointing scores on Saturday, while Hately should hold his place at GWS if Josh Kelly is out injured. Sydney Stack (106) continues to produce top results, while Brodie Smith (97) returned to form and is still an option for your D6-D7 role.

BARGAIN BIN

Under 500k

Isaac Heeney $496,400

Tom Stewart $486,400

Robbie Gray $474,600

Luke Ryan $467,000

Bachar Houli $464,400

Under 450k

Brad Sheppard $440,500

James Sicily $437,700

Ed Curnow $427,900

Marc Murphy $423,100

Ryan Burton $416,500
 

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SuperCoach rage trades: Jack Billings, Jack Ziebell proving value picks in forward line

Jack Billings and Jack Ziebell both went big in Tasmania, delighting their SuperCoach owners. But both forwards have been inconsistent in past years, so can you trust them? RAGE TRADES.

Paul Dunn, Herald Sun

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July 8, 2019 9:51am

FOXSPORTS0:37

Worst score review of all time?

AFL: Is this score review in the Giants game against the Lions the worst we’ve ever seen in the AFL??

With Max Gawn and Travis Boak both late withdrawals at the weekend, it really tested the depth of our SuperCoach teams.

This is why using your trades smartly at this time of the season has — and will always be — so important.

Having said that, we can’t be carrying blokes that aren’t scoring well as we continue our push toward finals.

Here are some of the players we should move out and who should replace them to supercharge your side.

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Angus Brayshaw hasn’t been able to recapture the form which helped him finish third in last year’s Brownlow Medal. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images.

BOOT HIM

Ricky Henderson

Just over three per cent of coaches jumped aboard the Henderson train and it has been paying off nicely, but that all came to an abrupt halt over the last fortnight. A 68 and a 35 while he was tagged showed us opposition teams have realised his value, and this will hurt his scoring. If you rode the roller coaster it is time to get off.

Gary Ablett

Ablett was on watch last week, but this round his 68 saw him with just 11 possessions. He has only scored 100 or more in two of his last seven games and this is enough for us to say that he must go. His role this week was more as a forward, which doesn’t help his scoring unless he is kicking goals and he didn’t hit the scoreboard at all.

David Mundy

We have given Mundy a few chances and even though he had the fourth-best score for the Dockers this week, he still hasn’t been over 95 points in his last six weeks. This was after a great run of four straight where he was 110+. With him losing value week after week you may want to cash in and find someone that is scoring more consistently.

Elliot Yeo

This may be a little harsh, but he has had just one score over 100 in the last four weeks and the score this week (76) was his second lowest of the season. He recorded the fifth-lowest disposal efficiency for any Eagle in this game where they dominated the Dockers. He should have been one of the best, but he had just the 20 possessions at 50 per cent effectiveness.

Angus Brayshaw

Unfortunately he has returned to his previous levels of scoring which sees a 69 and now a 76 in the last two weeks. His return to form seems to have been a mirage. If you are still holding him, upgrade him to someone else to try and get some better value for your money.

Alex Witherden

Despite a 96 in his previous game he has now had three scores under 60 in his last four weeks. He has definitely struggled to meet the high expectations that we have all had for him this year. With just a few games left until finals we can’t rely on him to get us over the line.

SUPERCOACH: ALL THE ROUND 16 HEROES, VILLAINS

TRADE HQ: HOW WOULD MAGPIES REPLACE GRUNDY?

Tom Stewart’s consistency makes him a top SuperCoach selection. Picture: Peter Ristevski.
 

Professor

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BUY HIM

James Sicily

People have been worried about him for a few weeks with his role change hurting his points. This week he was back where he belongs and even after those poor scores boosting his break even (BE), he beat that with his 141 this week. The bonus for all those that don’t have him is he is incredibly cheap. Jump on now before he goes back up.

Isaac Heeney

Heeney has put together back to back 100+ scores for the first time since rounds three and four with this week’s score being the second highest of his season. Overall his last four weeks have been the best of his season and with his price under $500k he could be a good cheap upgrade for your forward line.

Tom Stewart

Despite this being his first score over 100 in the last 6 games, he hasn’t been under 87 in that time either. He is super consistent and someone that you can rely on in your defence to get you that good score every week. Priced at under $500k he presents you with some great value.

Marcus Bontempelli

Bontempelli has had four scores over 100 in a row now and is in fantastic form. This week he equalled his second highest score of the season. With him playing in the midfield permanently and not having to go forward, we are seeing the Bontempelli that we always knew was a fantastic inside midfielder who can take a game apart.

Stephen Coniglio

Coniglio had his second best score of the season and he looked great. This gave him his third over 130 in the last five weeks and with Josh Kelly a chance to be out with a calf injury then Coniglio could be in line for some big scores over the next few weeks.

Jack Billings

Billings can be quite the rollercoaster ride. After last week’s 76 he came out with a 144. If you are looking for league wins and not an overall ranking then he could just get you over the line with a huge score like this in some weeks.

Jack Ziebell

Ziebell has been very solid recently with three of his last four games resulting in scores over 120. Anyone that can score like this for you in the forward line presents a great deal of value. He is in less than 5 per cent of teams and as a result he could be the difference in a league matchup for you.

Jack Crisp, pictured with Nathan Buckley, is worth consideration as an underpriced defender. Picture: Julian Smith.

WATCH FOR ANOTHER WEEK

These guys aren’t buys or boots just yet, but they are ones that we should just keep a close eye on.

Jack Crisp

Like Sicily, Crisp is at a bargain basement price. He has been consistent most of the season and his last three games represent that. He doesn’t have the big ceiling that some others do but he also doesn’t put in poor scores either with just four scores under 80. He may not be the best option out there, but he doesn’t let you down. Consider him.

Zach Merrett

Merrett’s 59 came with him missing much of the second quarter from a head knock. But this now sees him with 3 sub-90 scores in the last 5 games and only one over 105. One more sub 100 score and you may want to look at bringing in someone that is in a bit better form.

Michael Walters

Back to back scores under 100 now for Walters for the first time since rounds 8 and 9 after four 100+ scores in a row. Look for him to hopefully get back to that scoring as this was a poor night for the Dockers. Don’t boot him just yet but have the trigger finger ready.

Tom McDonald

If it wasn’t for a knee injury during the game he would have been a buy. Just keep an eye on things during the week and if he is good to play he could be worth considering as he had 6 goals for his 139 this week which makes it two over 130 in the last three weeks.

Tim Taranto

This was his first back to back scores under 100 for the season. We shouldn’t panic just yet with Josh Kelly missing the majority of the last quarter with a calf injury. If Kelly does miss time then Taranto will pick up a big portion of Kelly’s midfield minutes.

TOP SCORERS OF ROUND 16

158 — Clayton Oliver

156 — Stephen Coniglio

150 — Lachie Neale

148 — Todd Goldstein

146 — Marcus Bontempelli, Patrick Dangerfield

CAPTAIN SCORECARD

A few different names in this section over the byes as we search for a skipper with our regular go to guys not playing every week.

A++: Clayton Oliver 158, Stephen Coniglio 156, Lachie Neale 150

A+: Patrick Dangerfield 146, Marcus Bontempelli 146, Brodie Grundy 145

A: Jack Ziebell 126, Jack Macrae 116

B: Matt Crouch 107, Andrew Gaff 106, Josh Kelly 106*, Josh Dunkley 103

F: Rory Sloane 84, Dusty Martin 78, Nat Fyfe 76

DNP: Travis Boak

* Injury Affected

Marty Hore broke his collarbone early in Melbourne’s tense win over Carlton. Picture: David Crosling

ROOKIE WATCH

Time to Trade

Ben King BE 40 scored 25

He is going to provide you with little more than a heartbeat on your bench as cover. If you are holding him for any other reason he needs to be traded.

Josh Corbett BE 77 scored 25

As for King he is only a bench heartbeat for your side. Nothing more.

Gryan Miers BE 53 scored 19

Miers was great in round 15 with his 110 but the two scores either side of that are now 27 and 19. The best play here is to cash him in with that 110 still providing some value to us.

Marty Hore BE 117 scored 3

Unfortunately Hore broke his collarbone early on during the game and this will now see him out for a number of weeks and with the Demons unlikely to make the finals he is a must trade. Unfortunately, he has lost a heap of money due to this 3.

Luke Davies-Uniacke BE 59 scored 42

He is one that you could consider holding for bench cover, but given there are far better options for bench cover then he is one you can trade out.

Losing money, but you can hold for cover

Zac Butters BE 74 scored 55

Connor Rozee BE 69 scored 58

Xavier Duursma BE 95 scored 66

All three of these Power rookies have done their job and have reached their peak value in our sides. There are two solid options for them, one is to keep them as bench cover but given the value they have reached you would be better served taking that cash and using it to bring in a premium where you can.

Tom Atkins BE 75 scored 44

Atkins may still have value as a bench cover option so he is one that you may want to use like that rather than trading.

Sam Walsh BE 133 scored 86

If you have held Walsh for this long then you must be holding for the long haul now as he has already lost a fair amount of value from his peak.

Michael Gibbons BE 91 scored 47

Similar to Walsh he was a guy we needed to trade in the byes if that was our plans. Otherwise he is getting a regular game which is what we need for bench cover.

Tarryn Thomas BE 69 scored 52

Thomas is another of our rookies that doesn’t look like missing out on a spot and he is scoring reasonably well so you can safely hold for bench cover.

Rookies on the bubble

Oliver Hanrahan (Fwd) Scores of 44 and 85

Looked good against the Pies and with a distinct lack of downgrade targets at the moment he could be one worth taking a flyer on if you are looking to make some quick cash this week.

Rookies on watch

Matthew Parker BE 29 scored 34

Parker is a bit up and down, his best is good and in the 60s so would provide good cover but he won’t always do that so he is one you could consider trading.

Start Him

Shai Bolton 122, Sydney Stack 106, Nick Larkey 91, Bailey Smith 91, Jordan Clark 87, Sam Walsh 86, Oliver Hanrahan 85, Jarrod Cameron 84, Isaac Quaynor 82, Reilly O’Brien 79, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith 77, Noah Answerth 77, Will Setterfield 74, Callum Wilkie 73

Sit Him

Xavier Duursma 66, Mabior Chol 62, James Rose 61, Connor Rozee 58, Kyle Dunkley 58, Jack Lukosius 58, Zac Butters 55, Dylan Clarke 55, Nick Blakey 55, Tarryn Thomas 52, Griffin Logue 50, Nick Hind 46, Harrison Petty 44, Tom Atkins 44, Luke Davies-Uniacke 42, Jackson Hately 40, Jay Lockhart 32, Ben King 25, Josh Corbett 25, Gryan Miers 19, Marty Hore 3 (injury affected).
 

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Not sure about the BE's in this weeks articles ... they don't match my or the calcs from FootyWire ... unless something has drastically changed in the formula ...
 
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BUY HIM

James Sicily

People have been worried about him for a few weeks with his role change hurting his points. This week he was back where he belongs and even after those poor scores boosting his break even (BE), he beat that with his 141 this week. The bonus for all those that don’t have him is he is incredibly cheap. Jump on now before he goes back up.

Isaac Heeney

Heeney has put together back to back 100+ scores for the first time since rounds three and four with this week’s score being the second highest of his season. Overall his last four weeks have been the best of his season and with his price under $500k he could be a good cheap upgrade for your forward line.

Tom Stewart

Despite this being his first score over 100 in the last 6 games, he hasn’t been under 87 in that time either. He is super consistent and someone that you can rely on in your defence to get you that good score every week. Priced at under $500k he presents you with some great value.

Marcus Bontempelli

Bontempelli has had four scores over 100 in a row now and is in fantastic form. This week he equalled his second highest score of the season. With him playing in the midfield permanently and not having to go forward, we are seeing the Bontempelli that we always knew was a fantastic inside midfielder who can take a game apart.

Stephen Coniglio

Coniglio had his second best score of the season and he looked great. This gave him his third over 130 in the last five weeks and with Josh Kelly a chance to be out with a calf injury then Coniglio could be in line for some big scores over the next few weeks.

Jack Billings

Billings can be quite the rollercoaster ride. After last week’s 76 he came out with a 144. If you are looking for league wins and not an overall ranking then he could just get you over the line with a huge score like this in some weeks.

Jack Ziebell

Ziebell has been very solid recently with three of his last four games resulting in scores over 120. Anyone that can score like this for you in the forward line presents a great deal of value. He is in less than 5 per cent of teams and as a result he could be the difference in a league matchup for you.

Jack Crisp, pictured with Nathan Buckley, is worth consideration as an underpriced defender. Picture: Julian Smith.

WATCH FOR ANOTHER WEEK

These guys aren’t buys or boots just yet, but they are ones that we should just keep a close eye on.

Jack Crisp

Like Sicily, Crisp is at a bargain basement price. He has been consistent most of the season and his last three games represent that. He doesn’t have the big ceiling that some others do but he also doesn’t put in poor scores either with just four scores under 80. He may not be the best option out there, but he doesn’t let you down. Consider him.

Zach Merrett

Merrett’s 59 came with him missing much of the second quarter from a head knock. But this now sees him with 3 sub-90 scores in the last 5 games and only one over 105. One more sub 100 score and you may want to look at bringing in someone that is in a bit better form.

Michael Walters

Back to back scores under 100 now for Walters for the first time since rounds 8 and 9 after four 100+ scores in a row. Look for him to hopefully get back to that scoring as this was a poor night for the Dockers. Don’t boot him just yet but have the trigger finger ready.

Tom McDonald

If it wasn’t for a knee injury during the game he would have been a buy. Just keep an eye on things during the week and if he is good to play he could be worth considering as he had 6 goals for his 139 this week which makes it two over 130 in the last three weeks.

Tim Taranto

This was his first back to back scores under 100 for the season. We shouldn’t panic just yet with Josh Kelly missing the majority of the last quarter with a calf injury. If Kelly does miss time then Taranto will pick up a big portion of Kelly’s midfield minutes.

TOP SCORERS OF ROUND 16

158 — Clayton Oliver

156 — Stephen Coniglio

150 — Lachie Neale

148 — Todd Goldstein

146 — Marcus Bontempelli, Patrick Dangerfield

CAPTAIN SCORECARD

A few different names in this section over the byes as we search for a skipper with our regular go to guys not playing every week.

A++: Clayton Oliver 158, Stephen Coniglio 156, Lachie Neale 150

A+: Patrick Dangerfield 146, Marcus Bontempelli 146, Brodie Grundy 145

A: Jack Ziebell 126, Jack Macrae 116

B: Matt Crouch 107, Andrew Gaff 106, Josh Kelly 106*, Josh Dunkley 103

F: Rory Sloane 84, Dusty Martin 78, Nat Fyfe 76

DNP: Travis Boak

* Injury Affected

Marty Hore broke his collarbone early in Melbourne’s tense win over Carlton. Picture: David Crosling

ROOKIE WATCH

Time to Trade

Ben King BE 40 scored 25

He is going to provide you with little more than a heartbeat on your bench as cover. If you are holding him for any other reason he needs to be traded.

Josh Corbett BE 77 scored 25

As for King he is only a bench heartbeat for your side. Nothing more.

Gryan Miers BE 53 scored 19

Miers was great in round 15 with his 110 but the two scores either side of that are now 27 and 19. The best play here is to cash him in with that 110 still providing some value to us.

Marty Hore BE 117 scored 3

Unfortunately Hore broke his collarbone early on during the game and this will now see him out for a number of weeks and with the Demons unlikely to make the finals he is a must trade. Unfortunately, he has lost a heap of money due to this 3.

Luke Davies-Uniacke BE 59 scored 42

He is one that you could consider holding for bench cover, but given there are far better options for bench cover then he is one you can trade out.

Losing money, but you can hold for cover

Zac Butters BE 74 scored 55

Connor Rozee BE 69 scored 58

Xavier Duursma BE 95 scored 66

All three of these Power rookies have done their job and have reached their peak value in our sides. There are two solid options for them, one is to keep them as bench cover but given the value they have reached you would be better served taking that cash and using it to bring in a premium where you can.

Tom Atkins BE 75 scored 44

Atkins may still have value as a bench cover option so he is one that you may want to use like that rather than trading.

Sam Walsh BE 133 scored 86

If you have held Walsh for this long then you must be holding for the long haul now as he has already lost a fair amount of value from his peak.

Michael Gibbons BE 91 scored 47

Similar to Walsh he was a guy we needed to trade in the byes if that was our plans. Otherwise he is getting a regular game which is what we need for bench cover.

Tarryn Thomas BE 69 scored 52

Thomas is another of our rookies that doesn’t look like missing out on a spot and he is scoring reasonably well so you can safely hold for bench cover.

Rookies on the bubble

Oliver Hanrahan (Fwd) Scores of 44 and 85

Looked good against the Pies and with a distinct lack of downgrade targets at the moment he could be one worth taking a flyer on if you are looking to make some quick cash this week.

Rookies on watch

Matthew Parker BE 29 scored 34

Parker is a bit up and down, his best is good and in the 60s so would provide good cover but he won’t always do that so he is one you could consider trading.

Start Him

Shai Bolton 122, Sydney Stack 106, Nick Larkey 91, Bailey Smith 91, Jordan Clark 87, Sam Walsh 86, Oliver Hanrahan 85, Jarrod Cameron 84, Isaac Quaynor 82, Reilly O’Brien 79, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith 77, Noah Answerth 77, Will Setterfield 74, Callum Wilkie 73

Sit Him

Xavier Duursma 66, Mabior Chol 62, James Rose 61, Connor Rozee 58, Kyle Dunkley 58, Jack Lukosius 58, Zac Butters 55, Dylan Clarke 55, Nick Blakey 55, Tarryn Thomas 52, Griffin Logue 50, Nick Hind 46, Harrison Petty 44, Tom Atkins 44, Luke Davies-Uniacke 42, Jackson Hately 40, Jay Lockhart 32, Ben King 25, Josh Corbett 25, Gryan Miers 19, Marty Hore 3 (injury affected).
Missed my new star Rowbottom...sadly didn't row my boat during the byes.
 

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Sean Darcy is a good chance to return to the Fremantle lineup for Saturday’s clash with Hawthorn in Launceston, according to general manager of football Peter Bell.

The ruckman was managed for Fremantle’s clash against West Coast and Bell said the 21-year-old could replace veteran Aaron Sandilands for the one of the longest away trips in football.

Sandilands made his return from injury against West Coast after more than a year out due to injury.

“Aaron performed admirably (against West Coast) and he was really courageous in standing under a few high balls as well,” Bell told 6PR.

“It’s a big ask coming off a year out of football and we know the athleticism of Nic Naitanui and the running ability of Tom Hickey as well. We also brought Rory back from injury after he had been out of the game for a few weeks.

“We have Sean as well who we thought we needed to manage through last weekend.

“More than likely Sean will be playing against the Hawks down in Tasmania but I’m sure we’ll see Aaron again, if not the week after but certainly through the latter third of the season.”

Bell added that Fremantle are looking to protect captain Nat Fyfe as much as possible with the star midfielder often playing on the most physical opposition players.

“Nat is certainly such a physical player and he cops a lot of punishment within the contest,” Bell said.

“Being an elite player in the AFL, like most elite players, he does cop a bit of treatment off the ball as well, and that’s been over the course of the season.

“He’s been really durable and we’re thrilled with the amount of footy he’s been able to play this year, just missing the one game through concussion.

“It’s about us protecting him as much as well can and giving him support.”
 

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Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley lays down the challenge to his midfield group ahead of Lions clash

After his matchwinning 43-disposal, 15-clearance effort against Port Adelaide in round three, Brisbane’s Lachie Neale will have a target on his back at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

Andrew Capel, The Advertiser

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Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley ahead of Sunday's clash against Brisbane

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley speaks to media on Thursday, ahead of Sunday's AFL game against Brisbane at Adelaide Oval.

Gray backs Port to find Neale answerPort young gun already elite in one key area

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has put the heat on his midfield to curb the influence of Brisbane superstar Lachie Neale at Adelaide Oval on Sunday, saying the Power “hasn’t been able to control the opposition’s best midfield player that well’’.

“So that is a challenge for our midfield group,’’ Hinkley said as he plots to snap the high-flying Lions three-game winning streak in a battle of two top-eight teams.

Former Docker Neale — a product of SANFL club Glenelg — has been outstanding in his first season at Brisbane, averaging 32.4 disposals and eight clearances.

He has been the spark plug of the Lions’ engine room.

Second favourite for the Brownlow Medal behind Geelong’s Tim Kelly, Neale had a whopping 43 possessions and 15 clearances when Brisbane came from behind in the final quarter to beat Port by 17 points at the Gabba in round three.

Port Adelaide’s Brad Ebert trains with teammates at Alberton Oval on Thursday. Picture: AAP Image/Kelly Barnes

“I think every side in the competition has tried (to stop him) but I don't think it’s been very successful,’’ said Hinkley.

“As a team you’ve got to limit the damage that their team does to us and Lachie is one part of their team.’’

Hinkley said the Power was likely to take an “all hands on deck’’ approach to curbing Neale rather than rely on one player to blanket him.

“Our midfield group, we back them in against other midfield groups,’’ he said.

“Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it hasn't worked for us. Clearly in a couple of our most recent losses we haven’t been able to control the opposition’s best midfield player that well.’’

Port Adelaide coachKen Hinkley at three quarter time during Showdown 47. Picture: Sarah Reed

Hinkley said the midfield battle would go a long way towards deciding the match as both clubs (Port is seventh and Brisbane fourth) jostle for top-eight spots.

“The game is won and lost more often than not from the dominance of your midfield and they’ve got a really strong one,’’ Hinkley said of the Lions.

“And they’ve got an emerging one. Obviously they’ve got Lachie and (Dayne) Zorko who are pretty established players but they’ve also got (Hugh) McCluggage and (Jarrod) Berry as younger players coming through and they’ve got a good ruckman in (Stefan) Martin, good wingmen and great flexibility.

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“They are a really strong midfield group who run really hard, so we are going to have our work cut out.’’

Port will be attempting to win consecutive games for the first time since rounds five and six in its rollercoaster season, having followed a win with a loss since losing to Adelaide in round eight.

It thrashed the Crows by 57 points in Showdown 47 last Saturday.

“We’ll be doing our absolute best this week to get it done because the competition suggests at the moment that we win, then lose, then win, then lose,’’ Hinkley said.

“I’m really confident that we can get it done, I really believe in the team, but the reality of the competition is that we're not the only team in the comp that has had some problems winning every week because it’s such an even competition.

“We’re playing a team that’s in the top four, so we’ve got a real challenge on our hands.’’
 

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Adam Williams has led SuperCoach for 10 of the past 13 rounds and plans to finish the season in style
Adam Williams hasn’t had many regrets on his way to the top SuperCoach ranking. But there was one move he made during the byes he wishes he could take back.
Tim Michell, Herald Sun
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From 14,184th after Round 1, Adam Williams has emerged as the SuperCoach to beat.
The Port Adelaide fan, from Brisbane, has been ranked in the top-three coaches since Round 4, when he jumped from 11th overall to first.

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The 23-year-old Queenslander has led the standings for 10 of the past 13 rounds and his team Ryder2Gray sits 26 points clear after Round 16.
With the $50,000 grand prize in sight, Williams said he still had enough trades to bolster his team during the run home.
“It is a bit stressful,” he said.
“I have never been remotely good at SuperCoach. I have had a bit of success in (other fantasy sports).
“But SuperCoach, I have never been particularly good at it. But I lucked out early on and have just played well since then.”
Starting Port Adelaide pair Scott Lycett and Travis Boak was a key decision for SuperCoach leader Adam Williams.
Williams’ support for Port Adelaide led to one of his key decisions — starting Scott Lycett over Max Gawn.
The retail worker traded for Melbourne star Gawn about a month ago, having swung Lycett into his forward line when breakout Adelaide big man Reilly O’Brien assumed the No. 1 ruck role from Sam Jacobs.
SUPERCOACH: DUAL POSITION-PLAYERS TO SAVE YOUR YEAR
TRADE GUIDE: THE BEST TRADE-INS FOR ROUND 17
DOCTOR’
S ORDERS: EXPERT CALLS ON LUXURY UPGRADES
“Most of my starting picks were pretty good,” he said.
“I started with Boak, (Rory) Sloane, (Zach) Merrett, those types.
“I haven’t really traded in too many players that have underperformed afterwards.”
Williams has been wondering whether his strategy of targeting unique players — which has been crucial to his success — will eventually prove his downfall.
Adam rates Crows star Rory Sloane as one of his top starting picks. Picture: AAP Image/Sam Wundke.
He currently has Mitch Duncan (two per cent of teams), Harris Andrews (three per cent), Jack Ziebell (four per cent) and Merrett (10 per cent) as players who set him apart from most others in contention.
“I got the lead pretty early in the year and have lost it a couple of times,” he said.
“During the byes, I thought I might have been down and out.
“I went a bit of a Hail Mary then, when I probably shouldn’t have. That was when I brought in Harris Andrews.”

He said a premium defender would be his next target as he strives to complete a near-perfect SuperCoach campaign in grand style.
“I’ve still got a bit of room to move. I have still got to bring in at least one defender,” he said.
“When I brought in (Mitch) Duncan a couple of weeks ago I think I should have gone with a more (popular) player then.
“I’m still considering trying to match the others around me more than trying to be out of the box unique like I am at the moment.”
Zach Merrett has remained a point of difference for Adam for much of the year. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images.

STARTING FIVE
Adam rates his best starting picks
1. Travis Boak (fwd) — average: 113.1
2. Scott Lycett (ruc-fwd) — average: 101
3. Zach Merrett (mid) — average: 106.4
4. Darcy Moore (def-fwd) — average: 80.5
5. Rory Sloane (mid) — average: 108.4
 

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The Phantom’s Round 17 Captain Analysis: It’s hard to go past Brodie Grundy on Friday night but the field of fallback options is an impressive one if he fails
It’s all a bit same, same this week. Friday night, Collingwood, Brodie Grundy VC: While it’s the go-to play for most SuperCoaches, there are a number of other great candidates.
The Phantom, The Advertiser
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OK SuperCoaches, I’ll just save some time and insert last week’s analysis here:
Collingwood plays on Friday night so Brodie Grundy has to get the VC again.
There’s some other great options on Saturday but don’t try and outsmart yourself.
Play the percentages, SuperCoaches.
And, like last round, Adelaide’s Rory Sloane is another standout captain option with the Crows travelling to take on the Suns on Saturday night.
If anyone is going to come out and make a statement — regardless of the opponent — after last week’s “embarrassing” second-half, it will be Sloane.
Here are all the options.
Brodie Grundy, right, at Collingwood training. Picture: Daniel PockettBRODIE GRUNDY (COLL)
v West Coast, Friday night
In his past four Friday night matches this season, Grundy has posted scores of 160, 108, 165 and 145. If you’re a regular, you will know that is actually a line from last week’s analysis, with the addition of the 145-point performance from Round 16.
Including last year’s finals series, Grundy is averaging 130 points in his past three matches against the Eagles. But it’s important to note, West Coast star Nic Naitanui didn’t feature in any of these fixtures. It will be his third game back from a knee reconstruction on Friday but with the Eagles still managing Naitanui’s game-time, it’s unlikely his presence affects Grundy’s score.
SHANNON HURN (WC)
v Collingwood, Friday night
Last week, Collingwood gave up 141 points to Hawthorn’s intercept king James Sicily. In Round 15, North Melbourne’s Jasper Pittard finished with 25 disposals and 125 points. A week before that, skilful Bulldog Caleb Daniel tallied a season-high 35 disposals and 114 points. Get where this is going?
JAKE LLOYD (SYD)
v Carlton, Saturday
The Sydney ball-magnet tallied 32 disposals, nine marks and 130 points in the Round 3 clash with the Blues. And Lloyd bounced back from a disappointing 62-point performance against Gold Coast — and defensive-forward Brad Scheer — with 122 points against the Bombers last week — his seventh score of 120 or more this season. More of a VC candidate but it would be a big call to overlook Grundy.
Swan Isaac Heeney is back in form. Picture: Jason McCawley/Getty.ISAAC HEENEY (SYD)
v Carlton, Saturday
The week-off in Round 13 looks to have done wonders for Heeney and his sore ankle with the 23-year-old posting scores of 90, 117 and 134 in his past three matches. While he only attended one centre-bounce against the Essendon last week, Heeney still tallied 33 disposals, 11 contested possessions, 10 marks and six inside-50s. And don’t forget the young star’s season-high of 137 came against the Blues earlier in the year. Midfielder Luke Parker might cop some attention from Carlton’s Jack Silvagni so Heeney is a nice left-field option if you’re so inclined.
JAMES SICILY (HAW)
v Fremantle, Saturday
The All-Australia defender roared back into form against the Magpies last week, tallying 28 disposals, 14 marks — four of them contested-intercepts — and a season-high 141 points. Sicily’s previous season-high of 127 came in the Hawks’ first trip to Tasmania this season. And he’ll be back there against the Dockers on Saturday after Ross Lyon’s side gave up SuperCoach tons to Eagle half-backs Brad Sheppard (131) and Hurn (101) last week.
Expect Adelaide co-captain to make a statement against the Suns. Picture: Sam WundkeRORY SLOANE (ADEL)
v Gold Coast, Saturday night
As I mentioned in the beginning, expect Adelaide’s co-captain to make a statement against a SuperCoach-point-leaking Gold Coast outfit after an underwhelming 23-disposal, 84-point performance in the disappointing loss to the Power. Sloane scored 104 points in the Round 5 meeting at Adelaide Oval and in his last trip to Metricon Stadium, the star midfielder finished with 30 disposals, 13 tackles and 139 points.
PATRICK DANGERFIELD (GEEL)
v St Kilda, Saturday night
Ignoring the 83-point performance, one in which he was clearly hampered by injury — and poor kicking — against the Crows in Round 15, Dangerfield has posted scores of 115, 130, 149, 141, and 146 since Round 8. A great captain option if Grundy fails.

CLAYTON OLIVER (MELB)
v Western Bulldogs, Sunday
The contested-ball star hasn’t featured here recently but, after scores of 122, 114, 114, 103 and 158 since the bye, he’s earned a mention. Especially given he averages 121 points in his past three matches against the Bulldogs.
JACK MACRAE/MARCUS BONTEMPELLI (WB)
v Melbourne, Sunday
I’ve grouped the Bulldogs’ stars together for multiple reasons. Both boast a three-round average of 128 or more, both average more than 120 points per game at Marvel Stadium this season and both scored 128 points or more in their last meeting with the Demons. Expect both Macrae and Bontempelli be in the thick of a midfield shootout on Sunday.
Lachie Neale has a great recent scoring-history against the Power.LACHIE NEALE (BRIS)
v Port Adelaide, Sunday
He’ll cop some attention from the Power — although Dan Houston did miss training on Thursday — but the star midfielder should still be good enough in the final game of the round. Neale dominated Port Adelaide in Round 3, finishing with a season-high 177 SuperCoach points, on the back of 43 disposals, 25 contested possessions and 16 clearances. And, while it was with his old side, Neale averaged 121 points in his previous four meetings with the Power.
THE PHANTOM’S CALL
Same as last week for me — Grundy VC into Sloane C.
Originally published as Same, same or a little different for Round 17 captain?
 

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SuperCoach Investor Dan Begala examines why bench cover could decide your fortunes in the last seven rounds of 2019
West Coast rookie Jarrod Cameron will cost you $166,400 after a price rise, but his dual-position status could make him the best bench cover for the run home. Are you jumping on?
Dan Begala, Herald Sun
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July 10, 2019 3:58pm
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There were chaotic scenes at the SuperCoach Stock Exchange during Round 16, with a raft of omissions and ultra-late changes curtailing the scoring trajectory of most teams.
We knew Patrick Cripps was gone. We had a hunch Max Gawn would miss.

But Travis Boak? Well, that came right out of the blue and his omission — two minutes before the showdown — left forward lines across Australia in tatters.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however, with some experienced campaigners navigating the carnage to post season-high scores well in excess of 2400 points.
The SuperCoach Investor, Daniel Begala, says the greatest lesson from last weekend should be the importance of bench depth as head toward the pointy end of 2019.
Travis Boak was a late withdrawal before the showdown due to back spasms. Picture: AAP Image/Kelly Barnes.
BEAUTY & THE BENCH
It’s never pretty when you have to rely on your bench.
It sort of feels incomplete, hollow and leaves you wanting more (premiums, of course).
But the AFL season is replete with bumps, bruises and six-day turnarounds so it’s almost a foregone conclusion that you’ll be missing your stars when it matters most.
It’s certainly not a sprint, but a survival of the fittest.
Enter: Round 16.
The market had anticipated absences, but no one — unless you’re a prolific insider trader or The Wolf of Collins Street — could have forecast the late withdrawal of Travis Boak only moments before the first bounce.
Cripps, Gawn and then Boak. It was donut central — for some.
We’re steadfast on rushing our team towards premium completeness, but many — including yours truly — have done so at the expense of some reliable cash cows that may have mitigated the absences of Gawn, Cripps and Boak last weekend.
They’re the reinforcements, or more importantly, the real heroes of Round 16.
As we approach the pointy end of proceedings, your bench cover — when called upon — can be more pivotal to a league clash that hangs in the balance than any premium star.
Jarrod Cameron was a Round 16 hero for those who needed bench cover. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Wainwright.
Whist many of Boak’s 83,371 owners succumbed to the sweetness of a warm jam doughnut, there were others — 9.3 per cent of coaches to be exact — that revelled in the spoils of 84 points from young pocket rocket, Jarrod Cameron ($166,400 mid-fwd).
Casting the heroics of Cameron aside, the weekend pain reiterated the importance of bench cover and the retention of players such as Reilly O’Brien, Sydney Stack and Dylan Clarke who would otherwise serve as stepping stones.
Yes, they’ve appreciated handsomely. Yes, they’re unlikely to be called upon.
But when they are called upon — as we saw in Round 16 — the dividends can be extremely lucrative and help differentiate your side from the rankings herd.
With trades wearing thin, it’s essential that all of your rookie additions (to free up cash) are strategic; contribute dual-position flexibility and boast strong job security until season’s end.
You never know who could pinch a Norm Smith Medal in a SuperCoach Grand Final — it could be the player you least suspect!
SUPERCOACH: ULTIMATE ROUND 17 TRADE GUIDE
TOP PICKS: HOW SUPERCOACH LEADER HIT THE FRONT
DPP STATUS: THE FLEXIBLE PLAYERS TO SAVE YOUR YEAR

David Mundy’s flexibility makes him worth consideration despite a drop in form. Picture: Matt Turner.

THE BENCHWARMERS
Bench strength is pivotal. We get that.
But what about underpriced premiums that can float among the arcs from now until season’s end?
They’re the utilities, the mercenaries and the sultans of “swing”.
They are your F7, M9 and D7’s of the world and the upmost luxury for some.
If you’ve lathered your side in flexibility with rookies such as Jarrod Cameron (mid-fwd), Patrick Bines (ruck-fwd) and Tobe Watson (mid-def), it’s time to complement them with a bona fide star (or two) that can manoeuvre among the arcs and double as “premium” coverage across multiple lines.
The ship may have sailed on showdown medallist, Robbie Gray ($475K, mid-fwd), but there are plenty of underpriced options such as David Mundy ($421K, mid-fwd), James Worpel ($434K, mid-fwd) and Justin Westhoff ($407K, ruc-fwd) looming as attractive benchwarmers until the curtains draw on Season 2019.
If you’ve got 6-8 trades remaining and the hallmarks of a fully-premium side, it’s time to pay heed to these veterans of our game — particularly Mundy and Westhoff — who could pivot your side from zero to hero in the space of one late withdrawal.
It’s food for thought, but will undoubtedly add much-needed reinforcement to your side should carnage bestow itself on the SuperCoach Stock Exchange once again.
It’s only a matter of time, so get on the front foot and be proactive with your trades and bench composition.
COMMENTS
 

Professor

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Doctor’s Orders: Four SuperCoach gems that fit a tight budget

Trying to finish your SuperCoach side on a limited budget? The experts at Doctor SuperCoach dig into the numbers to find four hugely underpriced gems who could win you a final.

Doctor SuperCoach, Herald Sun

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Dockers say bye to Bennell

Trying to finish your team but short on cash?

Looking for solid bench cover? This week in Doctor’s Orders, the experts at Doctor SuperCoach look at several cheaper options to help round out your sides.

GRANT BIRCHALL $205,200 DEF | AVG: 87 | BREAK EVEN: -51

Birchall’s return to AFL football after a two-year lay-off was one of the feel-good stories of the year. Although his time on ground was limited to just 66 per cent, he looked right at home in the Hawthorn defence, managing to accumulate 21 possessions, eight marks and five rebound-50s at 81 per cent disposal efficiency.

In his prime Birchall was a pillar of SuperCoach consistency, achieving an 80-plus average in over 75 per cent of his seasons at Hawthorn. In his most recent playing period stretch of 2011 -16, Birchall had six consecutive years of averaging 84-plus.

His proven scoring prowess is great, but what makes Birchall that much more impressive is his price tag. As a back-up option you can’t really go wrong bringing this man in as he won’t break the bank and has the ability to score well on a consistent basis. His injury risk could be a concern, but you have to remember there are only six regular season matches left. Expect his time on ground to increase too as he gradually builds his fitness.

Grant Birchall played his first game last Saturday since Round 15, 2017.ZACH MERRETT $497,100 MID | AVG: 106.6 | BE: 129

This late in the season you will struggle to find an elite midfielder for a bargain, but for under $500,000 you can lock up one of the best. The reason for the low price is the concussion Merrett suffered in Round 16, but he bounced back to his accumulator ways immediately in his next game against the Kangaroos.

Excluding two injury-affected games, Merrett is averaging an astonishing 112 points across the year, which is more than enough to consider for your starting line-ups. The classy Don is a stat sheet stuffer with season averages of 28.5 disposals, 5.3 tackles, 4.9 clearances and 6.1 score involvements a game.

Combining his history and current scoring, along with Essendon’s late-season form and finals push, means Merrett is likely to continue on his premium scoring ways. Pricing aside, he stacks up against the other top-tier midfielders, so to get him at a much cheaper price is just icing on the cake.

A bargain-priced Zach Merrett could be the final piece of your midfield puzzle.CHAD WINGARD $359,100 FWD/MID | AVG: 67.5 | BE: 84

When Tom Mitchell went down with a broken leg, many coaches were optimistic about starting an underpriced Wingard. Unfortunately, his body succumbed to soft tissue injuries and he missed the first two matches of the season. His interrupted pre-season, along with his X-Factor type talent meant he was thrown permanently forward by Alastair Clarkson to start the year.

Last round, after his successful return from a second soft-tissue incident, Hawthorn deployed Wingard in a more midfield-oriented role which resulted in a season-high score of 88. He had a similar season last year where he averaged 69 playing in the forward line across the first 11 games before averaging 103 as a midfielder for the remainder of the year.

If he continues to get midfield minutes there is no reason why Chad can’t be a solid final forward or bench cover, however, there is no guarantee on this role. At this stage of the year it may seem too risky to bring in Wingard for a starting role in your side, but he could still be the perfect M9/F7 swingman to end the season with solid bench cover.

TOBY GREENE $420,900 FWD | AVG: 83 | BE: 43

Greene disappointed many coaches to start the year, but he now firms as potentially one of the best bargains in the game. Callan Ward, Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio usually man the GWS midfield, but all have fallen victim to injuries, leaving plenty of opportunity for others to step up — including Greene.

This is where the value in Greene lies, as he has uber premium type potential when being placed in the centre. Last weekend’s game against Richmond proved this correct as he put on a clinic having 34 disposals, six tackles, seven clearances and two goals which resulted in 138 SuperCoach points.

PHANTOM: BEST CONIGLIO REPLACEMENTS?

TRADE GUIDE: BEST ROUND 18 TARGETS

RAGE TRADES: TIME’S UP FOR POPULAR PIE

This is not a once-off from Greene, who has quite the scoring history. Toby started out in the AFL as a major ball-winner, averaging 28 touches per game in his first season of AFL football. He managed to do this again in 2014 before transitioning into one of the game’s best half-forwards. In his seasons playing as a pure midfielder, Greene averaged 94 and 102 SuperCoach points respectively – both numbers that would see him be a top forward option if he could repeat them for the remainder of the season.

After facing Collingwood this week, the Giants play five teams currently outside the top eight and Greene could be one of the key cogs in the GWS midfield. He is a proven scorer and now firms as the perfect fallen premium to round out your forward line or a perfect point of difference bench cover with a high ceiling.

Get more expert tips from the Doctor SuperCoach team here and listen to their latest podcast below:
 

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Doctor’s Orders: Four SuperCoach gems that fit a tight budget

Trying to finish your SuperCoach side on a limited budget? The experts at Doctor SuperCoach dig into the numbers to find four hugely underpriced gems who could win you a final.

Doctor SuperCoach, Herald Sun

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26 minutes ago

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Dockers say bye to Bennell

Trying to finish your team but short on cash?

Looking for solid bench cover? This week in Doctor’s Orders, the experts at Doctor SuperCoach look at several cheaper options to help round out your sides.

GRANT BIRCHALL $205,200 DEF | AVG: 87 | BREAK EVEN: -51

Birchall’s return to AFL football after a two-year lay-off was one of the feel-good stories of the year. Although his time on ground was limited to just 66 per cent, he looked right at home in the Hawthorn defence, managing to accumulate 21 possessions, eight marks and five rebound-50s at 81 per cent disposal efficiency.

In his prime Birchall was a pillar of SuperCoach consistency, achieving an 80-plus average in over 75 per cent of his seasons at Hawthorn. In his most recent playing period stretch of 2011 -16, Birchall had six consecutive years of averaging 84-plus.

His proven scoring prowess is great, but what makes Birchall that much more impressive is his price tag. As a back-up option you can’t really go wrong bringing this man in as he won’t break the bank and has the ability to score well on a consistent basis. His injury risk could be a concern, but you have to remember there are only six regular season matches left. Expect his time on ground to increase too as he gradually builds his fitness.

Grant Birchall played his first game last Saturday since Round 15, 2017.ZACH MERRETT $497,100 MID | AVG: 106.6 | BE: 129

This late in the season you will struggle to find an elite midfielder for a bargain, but for under $500,000 you can lock up one of the best. The reason for the low price is the concussion Merrett suffered in Round 16, but he bounced back to his accumulator ways immediately in his next game against the Kangaroos.

Excluding two injury-affected games, Merrett is averaging an astonishing 112 points across the year, which is more than enough to consider for your starting line-ups. The classy Don is a stat sheet stuffer with season averages of 28.5 disposals, 5.3 tackles, 4.9 clearances and 6.1 score involvements a game.

Combining his history and current scoring, along with Essendon’s late-season form and finals push, means Merrett is likely to continue on his premium scoring ways. Pricing aside, he stacks up against the other top-tier midfielders, so to get him at a much cheaper price is just icing on the cake.

A bargain-priced Zach Merrett could be the final piece of your midfield puzzle.CHAD WINGARD $359,100 FWD/MID | AVG: 67.5 | BE: 84

When Tom Mitchell went down with a broken leg, many coaches were optimistic about starting an underpriced Wingard. Unfortunately, his body succumbed to soft tissue injuries and he missed the first two matches of the season. His interrupted pre-season, along with his X-Factor type talent meant he was thrown permanently forward by Alastair Clarkson to start the year.

Last round, after his successful return from a second soft-tissue incident, Hawthorn deployed Wingard in a more midfield-oriented role which resulted in a season-high score of 88. He had a similar season last year where he averaged 69 playing in the forward line across the first 11 games before averaging 103 as a midfielder for the remainder of the year.

If he continues to get midfield minutes there is no reason why Chad can’t be a solid final forward or bench cover, however, there is no guarantee on this role. At this stage of the year it may seem too risky to bring in Wingard for a starting role in your side, but he could still be the perfect M9/F7 swingman to end the season with solid bench cover.

TOBY GREENE $420,900 FWD | AVG: 83 | BE: 43

Greene disappointed many coaches to start the year, but he now firms as potentially one of the best bargains in the game. Callan Ward, Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio usually man the GWS midfield, but all have fallen victim to injuries, leaving plenty of opportunity for others to step up — including Greene.

This is where the value in Greene lies, as he has uber premium type potential when being placed in the centre. Last weekend’s game against Richmond proved this correct as he put on a clinic having 34 disposals, six tackles, seven clearances and two goals which resulted in 138 SuperCoach points.

PHANTOM: BEST CONIGLIO REPLACEMENTS?

TRADE GUIDE: BEST ROUND 18 TARGETS

RAGE TRADES: TIME’S UP FOR POPULAR PIE

This is not a once-off from Greene, who has quite the scoring history. Toby started out in the AFL as a major ball-winner, averaging 28 touches per game in his first season of AFL football. He managed to do this again in 2014 before transitioning into one of the game’s best half-forwards. In his seasons playing as a pure midfielder, Greene averaged 94 and 102 SuperCoach points respectively – both numbers that would see him be a top forward option if he could repeat them for the remainder of the season.

After facing Collingwood this week, the Giants play five teams currently outside the top eight and Greene could be one of the key cogs in the GWS midfield. He is a proven scorer and now firms as the perfect fallen premium to round out your forward line or a perfect point of difference bench cover with a high ceiling.

Get more expert tips from the Doctor SuperCoach team here and listen to their latest podcast below:
Surprised Marc Murphy wasn't included .... 462,500 | BE 58'ish | 3 rnd ave of 114 ...
 

Professor

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St Kilda confirms it wants to provide ruck support for Rowan Marshall, every Saints player rated
St Kilda confirms it’s in the market for a ruckman to support highly-rated youngster Rowan Marshall as Champion Data rates the Saints’ list, which isn’t pretty reading.
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It's never fair - St Kilda captain on coach Alan Richardson's sacking
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Trade guide: Where is your club’s list at?


St Kilda has confirmed it is circling Essendon’s Sam Draper and North Melbourne’s Todd Goldstein to bolster its ruck stocks.
Draper and Goldstein are both out of contract at season’s end and have been targeted to partner St Kilda young gun Rowan Marshall next season.
The untried Draper has fielded a four-year offer worth up to $1.8 million, while North has recently upped the ante to help match St Kilda’s three-year deal for Goldstein.

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St Kilda chief executive Matt Finnis said the club rated Marshall highly but admitted they needed to find someone else to help lighten the considerable load on the 23–year-old.
“We’ve got a young ruckman in Rowan Marshall who I think everyone has been incredibly impressed with this year,” Finnis said on 3AW.
“But the fact is he has done it all alone. He needs some help.
“We like Sam Draper as a young player (and) we like Todd Goldstein as an experienced player.
“And there are other ruckmen who fit within that framework as well.
“But the reality is we are in the market for a ruckman to help out Rowan Marshsll who we think is going to be a great player.”
Essendon’s Sam Draper is on St Kilda’s radar. Picture: Getty Images
Essendon is confident of retaining Draper after taking him with its first pick in the 2017 rookie draft.
He is yet to play a senior game but has shown tremendous potential in the VFL.
The Roos have offered Goldstein a revised two-year deal with a trigger clause for a third season.
Departed St Kilda coach Alan Richardson admitted it was difficult to try and talk to prospective recruits, knowing he would not be at the club next season.
“There are conversations with players that we are not allowed to talk about from other clubs and you are turning up and you are pitching and you are wanting them to join your footy club and there is uncertainty around the senior coach,” Richardson said.
“That doesn’t really work.”
IS THE SAINTS’ LIST ANY GOOD?
St Kilda’s playing list has done Alan Richardson no favours this year and presents a far from appealing proposition for prospective coaches.
Champion Data’s list analysis rated St Kilda’s squad the 15th best in the competition entering this season, but some of the club’s key stars have gone backwards since.
Jade Gresham was the only Saints player to be rated “elite” by the AFL’s official number crunchers entering the year.
As it stands, St Kilda has no elite players and only eight “above average” players, down on nine from last year.
While Gresham has lifted his average disposals from 17.6 to 22.1 a game on the back of more midfield time this year, his average goal output has dropped from 1.6 majors a game to 0.8.
Jack Billings has fallen from an “above average” rating last year to currently sit as only ‘average’.
Jack Billings has dropped from an “above average” rating last year to “average” this year. Picture: Getty Images
Jarryn Geary, Jack Steele, Blake Acres and Daniel McKenzie have suffered the same drop.
Against Geelong last weekend, St Kilda played eight players rated “average”, seven “below average” and one rated “poor”.
This is despite the Saints’ list having eight players who were top-10 draft picks.
The Saints list ranks 12th for average age and 14th for average games.
St Kilda has won six games this season, but four of those came in the first five weeks, three by 11 points or less.
THE PLAYER RATINGS

Elite:
None
Above Average:
Jack Steven (Mid-Fwd)
Jade Gresham (Mid-Fwd)
Shane Savage (Gen Def)
David Armitage (Gen Def)
Rowan Marshall (Ruck)
Jimmy Webster (Gen Def)
Tim Membrey (Key Fwd)
Jack Sinclair (Mid-Fwd)
The Saints rate Rowan Marshall highly. Picture: Getty Images
Average:
Josh Bruce (Key Fwd)
Jack Billings (Wing)
Luke Dunstan (Mid)
Jack Steele (Mid)
Sebastian Ross (Mid)
Jake Carlisle (Key Def)
Jarryn Geary (Gen Def)
Dean Kent (Gen Fwd)
Daniel McKenzie (Gen Def)
Blake Acres (Mid-Fwd)
Below Average:
Jack Lonie (Gen Fwd)
Callum Wilkie (Key Def)
Jack Newnes (Wing)
Billy Longer (Ruck)
Dan Hannebery (Wing)
Sam Rowe (Key Fwd)
Dylan Roberton (Gen Def)
Ben Paton (Gen Def)
Nathan Brown (Key Def)
Ben Long (Gen Fwd)
Ed Phillips (Wing)
Hunter Clark (Gen Def)
Poor:
Josh Battle (Key Def)
Matthew Parker (Gen Fwd)
Bailey Rice (Gen Fwd)
Brandon White (Gen Def)
Nick Coffield (Gen Def)
Paddy McCartin (Key Fwd)
Unclassified:
Logan Austin (Key Def)
Nick Hind (Gen Fwd)
Jonathon Marsh (Key Def)
Darragh Joyce (Key Def)
Lewis Pierce (Ruck)
Robbie Young (Gen Fwd)
Max King (Key Fwd)
Sam Alabakis (Ruck)
Jack Mayo (Key Fwd)
Oscar Clavarino (Key Def)
Jack Bytel (Mid)
Doulton Langlands (Mid)
 

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SuperCoach Investor: Think outside the square for final premium upgrades

You’ve got zero chance of winning SuperCoach if you recruit one of the ‘Big Five’ stars who is already in all your opponents’ teams. Which left-field guns should be on your trade radar?

Daniel Begala, Herald Sun

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July 17, 2019 2:18pm

FOXSPORTS1:13

Tomlinson on Coniglio injury

AFL: GWS Giants utility Adam Tomlinson says the team was rocked by Stephen Coniglio's injury against the Tigers in round 17.

The market was oozing with prosperity over the weekend with some coaches – including yours truly – finally unveiling their finished SuperCoach sides with premium stars in every position of the ground.

It’s the ultimate proud parent moment as your team of pre-season misfits blossoms into a fully-fledged portfolio with premium stocks capable of tickling the weekly 2500-point barrier.

You’re probably on the verge of autopilot once your side is complete, but that’s no excuse to rest on your laurels, as we’re only a fortnight away from the “real” SuperCoach season.

If you’re one, two or maybe even three upgrades away from a fully premium side, it’s time for one final burst.

The SuperCoach Investor, Daniel Begala, reveals the key tactics that you should consider if you’re looking to differentiate yourself from the herd and propel your team to rankings and league success.

BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

Cash is King. That’s what they say in Finance 101.

The only issue, however, is that we’ve been bereft of income-generating rookies since the byes, other than the likes of Sam Walsh, Sydney Stack and Reilly O’Brien.

It’s made upgrading trickier than normal, but astute investors have responded with calculated acquisitions of underpriced stars such as Robbie Gray or Marc Murphy, who presented unrivalled value.

Value is a key word at the tail end of the season.

Typically these SuperCoach bargains are returning from injury or, in the case of Murphy, benefiting from a fresh set of eyes and significant change to their weekly roles.

It’s a spike in SuperCoach output that catches the eye of only the seasoned campaigners.

Blink and you’ll miss it kind of stuff.

This is SuperCoach “arbitrage” and traditionally only available for fleeting moments during a season, so there’s no room for hesitation.

Mitch Duncan at Cats training. Picture: Alison Wynd

With trades dwindling, injuries mounting (Exhibit A: Stephen Coniglio) and finals fast approaching, it’s integral that you get bang for your buck with all of your remaining trade decisions.

Using the Coniglio injury as an example, it’s paramount that you consider the next tier of midfielders as a primary solution for filling his void and, importantly, generating additional liquidity for the latter stages of the season.

You’ve got to exercise discipline and avoid the obvious allure of the Fantastic Five – Lachie Neale, Nat Fyfe, Patrick Cripps, Jack Macrae and Marcus Bontempelli – and instead chase SuperCoach value at or around $500K.

EXPERT COLUMN: AMAZING FINDS IN BARGAIN BIN

THE PHANTOM: BEST CONIGLIO REPLACEMENTS

TRADE GUIDE: TOP ROUND 18 TARGETS

Outside of these five standouts you can almost throw a blanket across the scoring output of the next tier of AFL midfielders, it’s that tight.

The SuperCoach Investor advocates for the likes of Zac Merrett ($497K, in 9.7 per cent of teams), Mitch Duncan ($502K, 2.5 per cent) and Andrew Gaff ($506K, 4.6 per cent) as the most attractive replacements for Coniglio this week.

They’re the go-to men if you’re looking to solidify your midfield (“M8”) with cash left over to deal with any injuries and trades that may arise between now and season’s end.

Merrett, Duncan and Gaff are proven scorers and sure to ratchet you up the rankings should they deliver top-tier dividends commensurate with their output of season’s past.

Why isn’t Zach Merrett in more SuperCoach teams?

They’re the calculated decisions you’ll need to make as you’re no chance – literally, no chance – of making up rankings ground if you conform to the popular suite of replacements such as Adelaide pair, Rory Sloane and Matt Crouch.

You’ll need to disregard all of their scoring to date – and I mean all of it – as we’re simply focused on selecting the replacement players who we suspect will score the most points between now and Round 23.

Round 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23. That’s it.

Who does The SuperCoach Investor envisage will score the most points from now until season’s end from Merrett, Duncan and Gaff?

I suspect Merrett – with a combination of soft games and a pursuit for finals – will reign supreme with an average north of 115 points for the remainder of the season.

He hasn’t been Merrett of season’s past, but if you disregard his injury-affected game against the Swans (R16), the Essendon maestro is averaging almost 110 points per week.

Get the chequebooks out, folks, it’s arbitrage time (again).

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Ken Hinkley says not making finals would mean Port Adelaide have failed this season, ahead of must-win clash against GWS

Port Adelaide’s finals chances are dwindling but Ken Hinkley says a top-eight finish is still the Power’s ‘minimum’ and ‘pass mark’ for 2019.

Simeon Thomas-Wilson, The Advertiser

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14 minutes ago

FOXSPORTS0:57

Right time to celebrate?

AFL: Port Adelaide young gun Xavier Duursma pulled the bow and arrow out of his quiver when his side was down against Ri...

PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says making finals isn’t just the Power’s “pass mark” it is still “our minimum” ahead of their must win clash against GWS on Saturday.

Having lost consecutive games for the first time since rounds seven and eight, falling a win plus percentage outside the top eight, the Power face a massive clash against the Giants at Adelaide Oval - with a third straight loss set to all but kill their top-eight hopes.

If the Power fail to make the top eight come season’s end it would be the second straight season in which they have not played finals football and Hinkley said it would be a failure if the club missed out.

Paddy Ryder could return to the AFL side (AAP Image/Kelly Barnes)

“It’s important we play finals,” he said on SEN.

“We set out to do that at the start of the year, that’s where our mark is and it shouldn’t just be our pass mark, that’s our minimum.

“We are working bloody hard to play finals.”

Before being outclassed by Richmond at the MCG last Saturday, the Power had blown hot and cold each week - winning one game then losing the next - frustrating Hinkley and their fans.

“We are a bloody good side when we get it right but we are average when we get it wrong,” he said.

Dropped big man Paddy Ryder could be recalled to the side in an attempt by Hinkley to rediscover the Power’s best footy after impressing at SANFL level last time out.

“We need to change some things up and be adventurous,” he said.

“Ryder and (Scott) Lycett can play together if both are in good form.”

GWS have been ravaged by injuries, losing star midfielders Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio to injury in recent weeks, but were able to stun Collingwood last time out.

After choosing not to go with the hard tag against the Tigers, Hinkley said it was unlikely the Power would do the same to negate the running machine that is the Giants’ Lachie Whitfield.

“He (Whitfield) is a great player, an absolutely fantastic player but so is Toby Greene, so is Taranto, they have got a few but Lachie is certainly a player who causes a teams a lot of problems,” he said.

“He just gut runs and goes as hard as anyone in the game I reckon, he is a really difficult player to play against.

“Darcy (Byrne-Jones) played against him last year and Darcy did a good job to hang on with him but at the end of the game it seemed like Darc was just hanging on.

“(But) he will be no more of a focus then anyone else on the team.

“But I want to challenge them with what we have got as well, with Robbie Gray, Tom Rockliff and people like that and our forwards have some threat about them as well.

“It’s not an intimidation moment for us, this is an opportunity for us to go after them.”
 
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