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SuperCoach Plus: 11 things you need to know for round 14 of the AFL season
Every point matters in the final bye round. From Stephen Coniglio’s stunning turnaround to captaincy advice, here is intel you need to get the edge on your KFC SuperCoach rivals.

Who are the biggest winners and losers from Mark McVeigh taking over as GWS coach?

Who have been the biggest money makers of 2022, who is the greatest KFC SuperCoach scorer of all time and who should you put the C and VC on this week?

Find out all that and more below.

1. COG-NITION

Braydon Preuss owners are still cursing Mark McVeigh, who hasn’t selected the ruckman in his best 22 since he took over from Leon Cameron (Preuss had 14 disposals, 18 hitouts and kicked 2.1 in the VFL on Sunday). But Stephen Coniglio owners are queuing up for tickets in the Spike fan club. In the past three rounds under McVeigh, Coniglio is averaging 32 disposals, 14 contested possessions, seven clearances and 133 KFC SuperCoach points. Prior to that, he was averaging 21 disposals and 88 points. His change in fortune comes down to role, playing 74 per cent of game time as a midfielder compared to just 27 per cent under Cameron. He has attended 60 per cent of centre bounces under McVeigh, compared to just 25 per cent under Cameron. The only caveat with Coniglio’s scoring is that he has faced the Eagles and the Kangaroos in two of his past three matches. Coniglio’s price spiked by more than $67,000 this week and he is projected to make another $31k next week.

2. WILD ABOUT HARRY

Injecting Coniglio back into the midfield isn’t the only magnet that has moved on McVeigh’s whiteboard. Harry Himmelberg has been switched from the forward line to defence and the move has been a huge winner. Himmelberg has never averaged more than 76 points a game in the first six years of his career, and averaged 63.3 in his first nine game this year. Since the move to the backline under McVeigh he is averaging 25 disposals, 10 marks, four intercept marks, four spoils and 131 KFC SuperCoach points, including a massive 187 on Sunday on the back of 37 disposals at 95 per cent efficiency, 16 marks, 11 intercepts and a goal. That sent his price soaring by more than $85,000 and he has a Break Even next round of -61. If you’re looking for a bargain and/or a point of difference for the run home, he’s in fewer than 1 per cent of teams.

3. WHITFIELD WATCH

Lachie Whitfield was played all over the field by Leon Cameron this season, even being used in multiple roles within games. Has the proven KFC SuperCoach star found his groove under McVeigh? After scoring a season-low 43 points in Cameron’s last game as coach, Whitfield returned with a season-high 29 disposals, 14 marks and 117 KFC SuperCoach points in round 13 – his first ton of the season. He was used in his customary wing role, playing 85 per cent of game time in that position against the Kangaroos, compared to just 14 per cent under Cameron. The result was a stat sheet very familiar to fantasy players – 29 disposals at 79 per cent efficiency and 14 marks (all uncontested). Reading too much into one game is risky – 10 Giants scored 99 or more – but at just $428,300 (Break Even 86), he’s jumped onto the watch list.

4. THE BLUE WE ALL MISSED

Another player who almost everyone has overlooked this year but should be on the radar is Carlton defender Adam Saad. With the focus on teammate Sam Docherty (and fair enough given his incredible comeback), Saad is quietly putting together a career-best season. His ton against Essendon was his third in a row and seventh of the season and his average this year of 101.5 is up 19 points per game from last year (his three-round average is an even more impressive 109.6). Saad is averaging more than 20 disposals for the first time on record, while his 1.9 intercept marks and 6.6 intercept possessions also career-highs. Likewise, his kicking efficiency of 81 per cent is the best of his career. Still valued at just $507,000, he’s another great POD in only 4 per cent of teams.


5. JACK IN FREEFALL

Jack Ziebell was one of the best buys of the 2021 KFC SuperCoach season, averaging 107.6 points a game over 21 matches in a new role in defence. But his scoring has reflected the Kangaroos’ fortunes this season as his stats dropped off a cliff since putting up 115, 122 and 62 points in the first three rounds playing in the backline. A move to the forward line has killed his KFC SuperCoach numbers and in the past two weeks he has managed just 38 points against Gold Coast, and 21 points from six disposals against the Giants, his lowest score in any full match on record. His price fell another $26k after lockout to just $321,700, more than $264,000 lower than his round 1 value.

6. PENDLES THE GOAT

Known as Dependlebury over a long time, Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury will join the likes of Chris Judd and Gary Ablett in KFC SuperCoach royalty once he retires. Pendlebury’s average this season of 93.5 is a slight uptick from last year after 13 straight years of 100-plus scoring. But it’s time to acknowledge one of the all-time KFC SuperCoach greats – possibly the greatest. Since 2005, he sits atop of the SuperCoach scoring list based on total points alone, while his average of 109 ranks fifth overall behind Dane Swan, Nick Dal Santo, Judd and Ablett.

7. WILL BRODIE WATCH

Will Brodie owners watched nervously as dual Brownlow Medal winner Nat Fyfe played his first game for the season on Sunday, anxious to see his impact on the role that has made Brodie such an incredible KFC SuperCoach asset this year. The good news – his role didn’t change, attending a team-high 23 centre bounces. The bad news was he managed just one clearance and 22 disposals overall, to finish with 82 KFC SuperCoach points, his lowest return since round 7. After lockout Brodie’s price fell for the first time this season, an $8700 drop following 10 consecutive price rises.


8. MONEY MAKERS

Brodie is still a clear No.1 on the list of 2022 KFC SuperCoach moneymakers, adding $340,700 to his price tag since round 1 – well clear of No.2 Bomber Nic Martin (+$263,600) and No.3 Charie Curnow (+$256,700). Ruck duo Braydon Preuss (+$252,400) and Jarrod Witts (+$237,600) round on the top five, with star rookies Sam De Koning (+$236,600), Paddy McCartin (+$218,500) and Nick Daicos (+$210,300) all in the top 10. KFC SuperCoaches are familiar with the work of No.14 James Sicily (+$181,900) and No.15 George Hewett (+$177,700), but some more surprising names on the list include Billy Frampton (+$150,600), Jake Soligo (+$141,800), Keidean Coleman (+$133,400) and Lloyd Meek (+$118,500).


9. EFFICIENCY MATTERS

Hitting targets is a key factor in KFC SuperCoach scores, and it was clearly demonstrated in round 13. Sam Docherty hit the target with 88 per cent of his 33 disposals on Friday night on his way to 139 KFC SuperCoach points, while Sam Walsh’s disposal efficiency of 66 per cent was a big reason for his season-low 75 points from 29 disposals in the same game. Will Brodie was an even bigger offender, hitting the target with only 54 per cent of his 22 disposals against the Hawks. Jordan Ridley scored 103 KFC SuperCoach points from just 14 disposals on the back of 100 per cent disposal efficiency on Friday night, and Keidean Coleman hit the target with 18 of his 19 disposals to score 99 against the Saints.

10. CAPTAINS CORNER

No Lachie Neale, Clayton Oliver or Max Gawn makes picking a captain in round 14 even trickier than usual. The Blues big guns could fire on Thursday night – Sam Docherty scored 144 against the Tigers in round 1, while Patrick Cripps put up 132 in that game. Sam Walsh didn’t play in round 1, but he scored 122 against the Tigers last year. The other game to watch for captains this round is GWS Giants vs Western Bulldogs. Josh Dunkley averages 143 in his past three against GWS and Jack Macrae 126 in the same period. Josh Kelly owners might want to look elsewhere – he scored only 69 against Dogs last year. Other players with a red flag are Isaac Heeney (57 vs Port Adelaide last year) and Jack Sinclair (47 and 59 in his past two against Essendon).

11. DON’T NAP ON CATS

West Coast has been conceding some huge scores this season, so expect some Cats to go big in Perth on Saturday. If Tom Stewart returns from concussion he is at the top of the list with two 170-plus scores in his past six and an average of 117 in his past three against the Eagles (non-owners will be watching his Break Even of 144 closely). Stewart also averages 105 in five games at Optus Stadium. Patrick Dangerfield averages 104.5 at the venue, Tom Hawkins 94 and Jeremy Cameron just 61. The value watch is Mitch Duncan. His price has dropped $99,200 since round 1 based on a season average of 84.1, his lowest since 2013. But his recent form has been more encouraging, scoring 117 in his last game, against the Bulldogs. And he loves playing West Coast, averaging 133 in his past three against the Eagles and 119.7 in three games at Optus Stadium. Bargain hunters take note – Geelong faces the Eagles twice in the run home, including round 23 – KFC SuperCoach grand final day – at the Cattery.
 
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It was just part of an earlier article :-

And yet you’re planning to trade Christian Petracca this week at his lowest price?

I know. Will I ever learn? Trading out a premium is almost always a bad idea, even when he has a three-round average of 74 like Petracca. You could sideways trade him to get up to 18 scoring players this week, but even that isn’t as easy as it sounds with Petracca’s price falling to $487k. In my case, it’s about team balance and I need Touk Miller. It’s as simple as that. But I’m tipping Trac goes on a Coniglio-like blitz from Round 15 onwards.
 
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It was just part of an earlier article :-

And yet you’re planning to trade Christian Petracca this week at his lowest price?

I know. Will I ever learn? Trading out a premium is almost always a bad idea, even when he has a three-round average of 74 like Petracca. You could sideways trade him to get up to 18 scoring players this week, but even that isn’t as easy as it sounds with Petracca’s price falling to $487k. In my case, it’s about team balance and I need Touk Miller. It’s as simple as that. But I’m tipping Trac goes on a Coniglio-like blitz from Round 15 onwards.
What's he basing a "Conigluo-like blitz from round 15 onwards" on and especially with their prime ruck Gawn gone?
 
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What's he basing a "Conigluo-like blitz from round 15 onwards" on and especially with their prime ruck Gawn gone?
I think the article was done before the Gawn news.
Watched him closely over the last month, his kicking has been very ordinary- I just can’t see him being a top 8 mid especially with Gawn now injured for en extended period of time. Flicking him for Laird personally who has a great run home/ super consistent also.
 
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I think the article was done before the Gawn news.
Watched him closely over the last month, his kicking has been very ordinary- I just can’t see him being a top 8 mid especially with Gawn now injured for en extended period of time. Flicking him for Laird personally who has a great run home/ super consistent also.
Exactly my thoughts, thanks for the validation (y)
 
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AFL Round 15: Every club’s predicted team changes
Several big names are due to return from injury this weekend as the run home ramps up a notch. See how every club could line up with our predicted teams.

ack Gunston, Dayne Zorko and Darcy Parish are among those hoping to show they’re 100 per cent on the track this week, while Carlton has to find a replacement for another injured defender.

Our experts analyse where every club is at and their likely team for this weekend.

ADELAIDE


B: P.Parnell, J.Butts, N.Murray

HB: B.Smith, T.Doedee, J.Dawson

W: J.Hately, B.Keays, J.Soligo

HF: S.Berry, T.Walker, D.Fogarty

F: J.Rachele, L.Gollant, S.McAdam

R: R.O’Brien, M.Crouch, R.Laird

I/C: W.Milera, J.Rowe, H.Schoenberg, W.Hamill

IN: L.Gollant, H.Schoenberg

OUT: R.Thilthorpe (ankle), N. McHenry

Second-year forward Riley Thilthorpe may be a forced change.

He injured his ankle in Sunday’s away loss to Gold Coast, paving the way for newly re-signed Lachlan Gollant to replace him after he kicked three goals in the SANFL.

Harry Schoenberg (27 disposals, four clearances, five inside 50s) starred in the Crows’ reserves win and could be rewarded for his SANFL form.

Does Ned McHenry make way?

He has been solid this season but quieter the past two weeks.

Otherwise the Crows could reshuffle their line-up and go smaller in defence for Sunday’s game against the Kangaroos.

-Matt Turner

BRISBANE

B: N. Answerth, H. Andrews, D. Rich

HB: B. Starcevich, M. Adams, D. Zorko

C: J. Berry, Z. Bailey, H. McCluggage

HF: C. Rayner, E. Hipwood, M. Robinson

F: D. McStay, J. Daniher, C. Cameron

FOLL: O. McInerney, L. Neale, J. Lyons

I/C: D. Robertson, L. McCarthy, J. Payne, K.Coleman

IN: J. Payne

OUT: D. Gardiner (injured)

The Lions had the bye on the weekend giving skipper Dayne Zorko extended time to prove his fitness for the highly anticipated top of the table clash against Brisbane on Thursday at the MCG. Darcy Gardiner is out for an extended period of time with key position player Jack Payne a possible inclusion.

-Will Hogan

CARLTON

B: N.Newman, L.Young, J.Boyd

HB: A. Saad, L.Plowman, S. Docherty

C: M.Cottrell, P.Cripps, J.Newnes

HF: C.Durdin, C.Curnow, M.Owies

F: J.Silvagni, H.McKay, Z.Fisher

Foll: T. De Koning, S. Walsh, G.Hewett

Inter: M.Kennedy, B.Kemp, L.O’Brien, J.Martin

In: B.Kemp

Out: S. Durdin (inj)

Carlton’s backline woes continue with Sam Durdin out, but he is likely to be replaced by Brodie Kemp. Jack Martin remains in some doubt and could miss, which would pave the way for Josh Honey to return to the team. Jack Carroll (29 VFL disposals), Paddy Dow (27), Will Hayes (26) and Liam Stocker (26) are all knocking on the senior door.

-Glenn McFarlane

COLLINGWOOD

B: B.Maynard, D.Moore, J.Noble

HB: S.Pendlebury, J.Howe, I.Quaynor

C: S.Sidebottom, T.Adams, J.Daicos

HF: J.De Goey#, B.Mihocek, O.Henry

F: J.Ginnivan, M.Cox, J.Elliott

Foll: D.Cameron, P.Lipinski, J.Crisp

Inter: N.Daicos, B.McCreery, N.Murphy, W.Hoskin-Elliott

NO CHANGE

NOTE:IF DE GOEY ISN’T SELECTED, TYLER BROWN LOOMS AS A REPLACEMENT

There are two big ifs about this team to take on Greater Western Sydney, which will play out. The first centres on Jordan De Goey, who has been at the centre of a storm of his own making. The club is looking into his behaviour on a mid-season trip to Bali so his position within the team here is not guaranteed until they reach a conclusion. If De Goey doesn’t play, Tyler Brown is likely to play. Then, there is Steele Sidebottom, who has been carrying an injury, but will hopefully prove his fitness to take on the Giants. It is hard to see the Magpies making any other change.

-Glenn McFarlane

ESSENDON

B: J.Kelly, J.Ridley, J.Laverde

HB: D.Heppell, M.Redman, N.Hind

C: N.Martin, Z.Merrett, D.Parish

HF: A.Perkins, H.Jones, B.Hobbs

F: J.Stringer, P.Wright, M.Guelfi

R: S.Draper, D.Shiel, J.Caldwell

IC: B.Ham, A.Phillips, M.D’Ambrosio, S.Durham

IN: Darcy Parish

OUT: Andrew McGrath (groin)

No need for any mass changes which hasn’t been the case too often this season for Ben Rutten. Ball magnet Parish missed last week with a calf strain but is expected to come back in for McGrath who pinged his groin against the Saints.

-Scott Gullan

FREMANTLE

B: H.Young, A.Pearce, G.Logue

HB: B.Cox, L.Ryan, B.Walker

C: E.Hughes, A.Brayshaw, J.Clark

HF: M.Frederick, M.Taberner, T.Colyer

F: N.Fyfe, R.Lobb, M.Walters

FOLL: S.Darcy, W.Brodie, C.Serong

INT: D.Mundy, J.Aish, L.Schultz, B.Banfield

IN: M.Taberner, M.Frederick

OUT: B.Acres, S.Switkowski (both injured)

The Dockers had big names Nat Fyfe and Michael Walters return from injury before the bye, and Taberner looks to have overcome his back spasms after kicking 3.2 in the WAFL last week. Acres was subbed out with a low-grade hamstring injury in round 13, while Heath Chapman could come into consideration if he has recovered from his own hamstring setback. Frederick shapes as a logical resplacement for the injured Switkowski after serving his club-imposed suspension for drinking alcohol on a six-day break.

-Dan Batten

GEELONG

B: T.Stewart, S.De Koning, M.Blicavs

HB: Z.Tuohy, Z. Guthrie, J.Bews

C: M.Duncan, C. Guthrie, M.Holmes

HF: I.Smith, J.Cameron, P.Dangerfield

F: T.Stengle, T.Hawkins, B.Close

FOLL: R.Stanley, J.Selwood, T.Atkins

I/C: J.Henry, S.Menegola, M.O’Connor,L.Dahlhaus

IN: Holmes, Henry, Dangerfield

OUT: Kolodjashnij (omitted), Stephens (omitted)

Things are tightening up at selection for the Cats as they clear out the injury list. Patrick Dangerfield will make his long-awaited return from a mini pre-season in a blockbuster against Richmond. Youngster Max Holmes’ was the Cats’ best in the VFL on his return from ankle surgery and will come into the AFL side, while Jack Henry also made a successful return. After clearing Covid protocols, Gary Rohan should be available and so too will Shaun Higgins and Esava Ratugolea. But there aren’t many spots available. Jake Kolodjahsnij might be the unlucky one squeezed out of defence, while Cooper Stephens has been solid in a run at the top level but Dangerfield probably takes his inside-midfield minutes. Tough week for match committee.

-Josh Barnes

GOLD COAST

B: S. Lemmens, S. Collins, C. Graham

HB: D. Swallow, C. Ballard, J. Bowes

C: A. Davies, N. Anderson, B. Ellis

HF: B. Ainsworth, M. Chol, N. Holman

F: I. Rankine, L. Casboult, O. Markov

FOLL: J. Witts, M. Rowell, T. Miller

I/C: J. Sharp, J. Farrar, J. Jeffrey, M. Rosas

IN: J. Bowes, J. Sharp, M. Rosas

OUT: W. Powell (injured), C. Budarick (injured), S. Flanders (omitted)

Jack Bowes is a certain starter in the Suns 22 after impressing as the sub against the Crows. The Suns lost important duo Wil Powell and Connor Budarick to serious injuries but do have the depth to cover.

-Will Hogan

GWS

B: N. Haynes, S. Taylor, I. Cumming

HB: A. Kennedy, L. Keeffe, C. Idun

C: J. Riccardi, T. Green, L. Ash

HF: S. Coniglio, H. Himmelberg, L. Whitfield

F: W. Derksen, J. Hogan, T. Greene

FOLL: K. Briggs, T. Taranto, J. Kelly

I/C: T. Bruhn, P. Davis, J. Wehr, C. Ward

IN: T. Taranto, P. Davis, K. Briggs, W. Derksen

OUT: B. Preuss (suspended), J. Peatling (injured), R. Angwin (injured), Z. Sproule (omitted)

It could be time for young key forward Wade Derksen to be unleashed after a string of impressive games in the reserves. The Giants injury list is mounting with Jacob Hopper expected to be a week away while timelines on Brent Daniels and Matt de Boer are still uncertain.

Daniel Lloyd is also available but it’s uncertain if he will come straight back into the senior side. Kieran Briggs missed last week’s VFL game to due to illness but might be required to jump straight up to the AFL side with injuries to Matt Flynn and suspension to Braydon Preuss.

-Will Hogan

HAWTHORN

B: H. Morrison, B. Hardwick, K. Hartigan

HB: J. Scrimshaw, J. Sicily, L. Bramble

C: W. Day, J. Newcombe, D. Howe

HF: D. Moore, M. Lewis, J. O’Meara

F: L. Breust, J. Koschitzke, J. Gunston

Foll: N.Reeves, T. Mitchell, C. Wingard

I/C: J. Impey, C. Jiath, C. Nash, J. Blanck

IN: J. Impey, J. Gunston, M. Lewis, J.Blanck

OUT: S.Frost (injured), J. Callow (omitted), S. Butler (omitted), L. Shiels (omitted).

Hawthorn’s forward stocks are set to be bolstered by the return of Mitch Lewis and Jack Gunston, while Jarman Impey should also return after being managed against the Dockers. James Blanck could come into the frame to make his debut with Sam Frost out for a month with a knee injury. The availability of Max Lynch and Josh Ward (concussion) remains unclear.

-Rebecca Williams

MELBOURNE

B: C. Salem, S. May, J.Bowey

HB: J.Jordan, J.Lever, A.Brayshaw

C: T.Sparrow, A.Neal-Bullen, E.Langdon

HF: M.Brown, B.Fritsch, C.Petracca

F: C.Spargo, B.Brown, K.Pickett

Foll: L.Jackson, Clayton Oliver, Jack Viney

Int: James Harmes, S. Weideman, M.Hibberd, H.Petty

IN: S. May, S. Weideman

OUT: M.Gawn (injured) D. Turner (injured)

The Demons were dealt a significant injury blow when captain Max Gawn was ruled out for up to five weeks with a syndesmosis injury. Weideman could come into the frame to provide another forward option and, potentially, ruck support. After serving his one-match club-imposed sanction – following his time out under concussion protocols – for his altercation with teammate Jake Melksham, Steven May will return for the clash against the Lions.

-Rebecca Williams
 
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NORTH MELBOURNE

B: L.McDonald, B.McKay, A.Corr

HB: K.Hayden, J.Walker, A.Hall

C: H.Greenwood, L.Davies-Uniacke, F.Perez

HF: C.Lazzaro, N.Larkey, C.Zurhaar

F: T.Powell, C.Coleman-Jones, C.Taylor

R: T.Goldstein, J.Simpkin, J.Anderson

I/C B.Scott, T.Xerri, T.Thomas, P.Curtis

IN: C.Lazzaro, C.Zurhaar, C.Coleman-Jones, B.McKay, T.Thomas

OUT: J.Horne-Francis (suspended), L.Young (suspended), J.Ziebell (injured), J. Stephenson (omitted), K.Turner (omitted)

Two major outs for the Kangaroos with No. 1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis to miss two matches through suspension and captain Jack Ziebell sidelined for a month with a facial fracture. Forward Cam Zurhaar could spearhead the inclusions for the Roos, along with key defender Ben McKay, who has completed the 12-day concussion protocols.

-Rebecca Williams

PORT ADELAIDE

B: D.Byrne-Jones, T.Clurey, T.Jonas

HB: R.Burton, A.Aliir, D.Houston

C: K.Amon, O.Wines, R.Bonner

HF: M.Georgiades, J.Finlayson, K.Farrell

F: T.Marshall, C.Dixon, S.Powell-Pepper

R: S.Hayes, T.Boak, C.Rozee

I/C: J.Mead, L.Jones, W.Drew, X.Duursma

In: S.Hayes, T.Boak, X.Duursma

Out: B.Teakle, Z.Butters, M.Frederick

With injuries to midfielder Zak Butters (knee) and debutant ruckman Brynn Teakle (collarbone), the Power has two forced changes to make.

Travis Boak’s return from Covid helps ease the loss of Butters a little.

A bigger question is what ruck set up will the Power use against Gold Coast’s All-Australian contender Jarrod Witts?

As adept as Jeremy Finlayson has been in the role, it will be a surprise if he is tasked with battling Witts without support from a recognised ruckman.

That means Sam Hayes may be in line for a return after spending the past two games in the SANFL.

Xavier Duursma’s influence as the medical substitute in Saturday’s win over Saturday was substantial and he should come back into the side for Martin Frederick.

— Matt Turner

RICHMOND

B: N.Broad, D.Grimes, R.Tarrant

HB: L.Baker, N.Vlastuin, J.Gibcus

C: M.Pickett, J.Short, K.McIntosh

HF: J.Clarke, T.Lynch, H.Ralphsmith

F: J.Riewoldt, S.Bolton, K.Lambert

FOLL: T.Nankervis, D.Prestia, D.Martin

I/C: D.Rioli, S.Edwards, J.Graham, I.Soldo

IN: D.Martin, I.Soldo

OUT: T.Cotchin (collarbone), N.Balta (hamstring)

Martin will make a welcomed return for the Tigers blockbuster clash against the Cats after missing with illness, and will replace former skipper Cotchin, who has been sidelined with a broken collarbone. Balta (hamstring) was playing up forward and lending a hand in the ruck in the Tigers’ the win over Carlton which could give Soldo a look-in, after he kicked two goals and won 27 hit-outs in the VFL. Three-game key defender Ben Miller is set to be on standby for Robbie Tarrant, who is in doubt after undergoing minor surgery on a broken knuckle he sustained against the Blues. Mosquito fleet Jake Aarts (four goals in the VFL), Noah Cumberland (three goals, six tackles), Jason Castagna and Maurice Rioli, who provided late spark as the sub, could all be considered for a recall.

-Dan Batten

ST KILDA

B: C.Wilkie, D.Howard, J.Battle

HB: B.Paton, J.Webster, J.Sinclair

C: D.McKenzie, J.Steele, B.Hill

HF: J.Billings, B.Long, R.Marshall

F: T.Membrey, M.King, J.Higgins

FOLL: P.Ryder, B.Crouch, J.Gresham

I/C: H.Clark, S.Ross, N.Wanganeen-Milera, Z.Jones

IN: J.Steele, D.McKenzie

OUT: D.Butler, R.Byrnes (both omitted)

Ratten confirmed Steele would return for the club’s important clash against Sydney, with the captain even pushing for a world record return last week from his AC joint injury. Butler might find himself out of the St Kilda line-up again, while Dan McKenzie has been a regular this season and should return if he has recovered from his concussion. Mitch Owens (concussion) will also be in the frame with his tackling pressure after the Saints’ season-low tackle count against Essendon. As will Marcus Windhager, last week’s unused sub, who responded to his demotion in fine fashion with 31 disposals and two goals in the VFL.

-Dan Batten

SYDNEY

B: D. Rampe, T. McCartin, H. Cunningham

HB: N. Blakey, P. McCartin, J. Lloyd

C: J. McInerney, L. Parker, D. Stephens

HF: W. Hayward, S. Reid, C. Warner

F: L. McDonald, L. Franklin, T. Papley

FOLL: T. Hickey, C. Mills, I. Heeney

I/C: C. O’Riordan, J. Rowbottom, E. Gulden, B. Ronke

IN: T. Hickey, B. Ronke, D. Stephens

OUT: P. Ladhams (suspended), S. Wicks (omitted), O. Florent (omitted)

Tom Hickey should come in for Peter Ladhams after making his way through the reserves. The Swans might look to make some changes given the disappointing loss to Port Adleaide and coach John Longmire might look to youngster Dylan Stephens for some run and carry. Oliver Florent has been a promising player for a few seasons but might be one that needs to find some form in the VFL.

-Will Hogan

WEST COAST

B: S.Hurn, T.Barrass, L.Duggan

HB: J.Jones, H.Edwards, B.Hough

C: A.Gaff, T.Kelly, J.Redden

HF: D.Sheed, J.Darling, J.Waterman

F: J.Cripps, J.Kennedy, W.Rioli

FOLL: B.Williams, E.Yeo, L.Shuey

I/C: J.Petruccelle, R.Bazzo, C.West, C.Jamieson

IN: H.Edwards

OUT: J.McGovern (injury)

West Coast made wholesale changes last week for a host of returning stars but it won’t need to do the same this week after arguably its best performance of its dismal season to date. Could win number two be on the cards against Essendon on Friday night? Edwards appears the standout candidate to replace intercept star McGovern after being dropped last week, while Alex Witherden responded to his axing with 32 disposals and 16 marks in the reserves and should come into consideration.

-Dan Batten

WESTERN BULLDOGS

B: E.Richards, R.Gardner, T.O’Brien

HB: C.Daniel, A.Keath, B.Dale

C: R.West, J.Macrae, A.Scott

HF: J.Schache, J.Ugle-Hagan, T.Liberatore

F: M.Bontempelli, A.Naughton, M.Wallis

R: J.Sweet, J.Dunkley, A.Treloar

IC: R.McComb, B.Williams, J.Johannisen, L.McNeil

IN: J.Sweet, L.McNeil, M.Wallis

OUT: T.English (concussion), C.Weightman (elbow), T.Duryea (knee)

English was a surprise out with a delayed concussion which is disappointing given he looked very good against the Giants. Jordon Sweet showed he was a capable replacement earlier in the season while veteran Mitch Wallis, who has been a medical sub recently, is the perfect replacement for the unlucky Weightman who is most likely to only miss one week with a dislocated elbow.

-Scott Gullan
 
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KFC SuperCoach AFL: Zak Butters, Tim English, Braydon Preuss and the burning questions of Round 15

With Max Gawn out and key rucks and forwards going down injured, Demon Luke Jackson is ready to step into the KFC SuperCoach void. Burning questions answered.

The KFC SuperCoach Gods have struck again.
Just when coaches were planning to launch into round 15 with full-premium teams and projected scores well above 2500, three key injuries have derailed those dreams.

Thousands are dealing with the problem of Zak Butters’ knee, Tim English’s concussion and Braydon Preuss’ suspension/injury.

Neither Butters or Preuss aren’t worth enough to sideways trade to a top-line premium either, so the prospect of spending another two trades in round 15 looms large. English is expected to miss only one week, so sit him on the bench if you can.

For many, moves this week will mean running the gauntlet in the last two months with four trades or fewer.

It’s a daunting prospect, but with some luck, you just might survive.

The Phantom is still on leave, allegedly spending time with his family.

His KFC SuperCoach results suggest he might be spending his time elsewhere though.

Tim Michell is back to answer all the burning questions ahead of round 15.

How do I replace Zak Butters?

If you’re like me, you were close to pushing Butters to the F7/M9 insurance spot and his knee injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. If you’re also like me and traded Stephen Coniglio 4-5 weeks ago, here’s your opening to bring him back. It’ll cost you $80-100k more than you sold him for but swallow the humble pie and pay up. Coniglio’s last month under Mark McVeigh has been incredible and he’s playing like he’ll be a top 3-4 forward for the rest of the year. If that means burning two trades, so be it. The best one-trade option is Isaac Heeney, although you could consider Tom Hawkins too with Geelong’s friendly run home. Heeney now has six tons and five scores of 112-plus this year after his 124 against Port Adelaide.


can’t really trust Heeney, can I?

We’ve almost all been burned at some stage by his injuries, role changes and form slumps. But Heeney has only really had one stinker this year and has only scored less than 81 twice. He’s a brilliant player and if you think the extra trade (by not going one up one down to upgrade Butters) will help in the run home, I’m a fan of the Butters to Heeney swap.

How do I cover Tim English this week?

In one scenario, you could use Luke Jackson as a stop-gap option for English this week by trading him into your side for Zak Butters. That trade would net about $90k and open up a RUC/FWD swing to use Jackson at R2 this week. Then one of your bench forwards can cover for English. You would then have the option of using Jackson at F6 or looping him from F7 until Max Gawn returns. Jackson’s PPM as a ruckman this year has been 0.91, which isn’t far behind Darcy Cameron’s 0.93. If he steps up as the No.1 as expected, scores of 80-plus should be the minimum for the next month.

What about Braydon Preuss?

At $444k, there’s not really any good answer here. If you have Darcy Cameron forward, you could swing him to your rucks, trade in Heeney and solve your issue in one move. But if you need a ruckman, the top alternatives now are Jarrod Witts (+$147k), Toby Nankervis (+$122k) and Sean Darcy (+$114k). If you don’t have much cash in the bank, that means finding a rookie to cash in and there aren’t many left who will make a profit to get you to Witts, Nankervis or Darcy. If you’re willing to take the riskier path, Luke Jackson is $381k and about to be Melbourne’s No.1 ruckman for a month.

Can we just scrap the ruck line next year?

Anyone else at their Witts end? See what I did there? OK, bad puns aside, the KFC SuperCoach ruck carnage has been unprecedented this year and even 2022’s most reliable big man Jarrod Witts battled to 68 points against Adelaide on Sunday. My ruck line is currently Tim English, Darcy Cameron and Brynn Teakle. At the start of the year Cameron was FWD only and Teakle was a WAFL player not listed in KFC SuperCoach. Grundy injured. Gawn injured. English injured and sick – and now injured again. Nic Nat injured. Preuss injured and suspended. Even Teakle got injured on debut and won’t play again this year. The rucks have been a disaster. The only plus side is your two starting rucks will likely be much cheaper next year, when unfortunately we will have to pick ruckmen again.

So considering all this carnage do we need to re-evaluate our definition of a true premo?

If you’ve got someone averaging 90-95 at D5 or D6 and less than eight trades, just roll with them. The Butters and Preuss blows in Round 14 were a timely reminder we’re going to need to make forced trades during the run home. Yeah, Jayden Short has a three-round average of 90 and Patrick Cripps is averaging 96 in his last five. But unless you’ve got more than eight trades, you shouldn’t even be considering trading them.

And are you worried about Patrick Cripps though?

Not enough to burn one of my remaining six trades. He’s in 59 per cent of teams so if he has a down week, it’s unlikely to impact your rank significantly anyway.

Is Judson Clarke a must-have rookie?

No. If you need a FWD-MID this week then by all means jump on put I prefer Massimo D’Ambrosio or Patrick Parnell.

How good is Massimo?

Both D’Ambrosio and Parnell have looked like little pocket rockets in defence. D’Ambrosio had some really nice moments against St Kilda and the assured ball use he displayed in the VFL translated to the AFL. Parnell is on the bubble, unlike D’Ambrosio, but he has Luke Brown breathing down his neck. Chayce Jones also played SANFL at the weekend. Keeping his spot after being subbed in Round 12 was a promising sign, but I still need convincing about Parnell’s job security. After all, you aren’t picking a rookie for cash generation at the point of the season. You want to know they’ll be playing and can provide at least 50 points in the event of an injury or Covid. I’m more confident Massimo will be there later in the season when we’ll probably need him.

Is Patrick Parnell really 20 years old?

He might look about 10 years younger, but I highly doubt the Crows would pick a 10-year-old in their senior team. The kid can seriously play.

How and why did Greg Clark get dropped?

How — you’d have to ask Adam Simpson. Why — I can only assume because of all the midfielders brought back to face Geelong. He was subbed into the game early enough to score 44 against the Cats, but the issue now is his break even is 52. SuperCoach Plus has Clark peaking at $286k in Round 20. He should be the next midfielder in should West Coast cop an injury and has shown he can score well. If you can, continue to hold for midfield cover. He might get picked the week you need him.

He’ll be back in the 22 soon, right?

The Eagles were pretty good for most of the game against Geelong. Assuming the injured Jeremy McGovern is replaced by Harry Edwards or Josh Rotham, Simpson would need to swing another change to get Clark back into the team in Round 15. He should be your M9 anyway, so it won’t be as annoying as being named sub last weekend if Clark doesn’t make the cut.


I’m thinking of buying Christian Petracca this week. His form has to turn soon right?

I hope so. I intended to trade him during the Round 14 bye but then Max Gawn got injured and my plans were torn up. He has a break even of 118 so take the opportunity to have a look at how the Demons midfield fares without their regular service from Gawn. Even if Petracca pumped out a 150 against Brisbane you would only have to pay about $500k next week.

I still have Nick Daicos, is he a season keeper now?

Cover for your defence and/or midfield is going to come in very handy in the next nine rounds. Especially cover as good as Daicos. Forget cashing him in, Daicos has a more important role to fulfil now.
 
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How many trades should I have left?

More than me. An absolute minimum of four after this week, when most coaches will have to move Butters on. If you have six or more, you’re in a much healthier position than most. If you’ve somehow still got eight or more, can I borrow one?

My team isn’t finished. Should I be worried?

What does a finished team actually look like this year? The rucks have been a mess, injuries and Covid have caused chaos and there’s still nine rounds to go. It’s been a bumpy ride but with a bit of luck you can still jump up the ranks or succeed in league finals — with a team full of premos or one still carrying a few dodgy mid-pricers.

Jack Steele is back this week. Should I be planning to bring him back?

If you have the luxury, why not? He’s projected to be about $542k in two weeks. If Petracca doesn’t lift or Zach Merrett is still scoring 90s, it’s going to be mighty tempting.

What about Gawn and Grundy?

Who could have predicted they would be PODs for the run home? I don’t see a scenario where many coaches will have enough trades to bring them back in a month. If you somehow do, both of the ‘set and forget’ ruckmen need to be in your thoughts. The fact most teams will go into the run home without Gawn and Grundy sums up how wild this year has been. And the year has gone for all of 14 rounds.

What round is it OK to run out of trades?

It depends who your cover is. If you have Nick Daicos at D7 and he can cover your defence and midfield, you might feel comfortable running out in Round 20 or 21. If your cover isn’t so reliable, Round 22 is the earliest you’d want to hit zero.

Can I have some extra trades?

If I can’t then you can’t. And I’ve asked — OK, begged.

Is The Phantom going to win KFC SuperCoach?

He’s 62nd overall now and about 500 points from top spot. Would he reveal his identity if he won KFC SuperCoach? Now there’s something to ponder.

But you didn’t answer. Could he actually win it?

Frighteningly … yes.
 

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Jackson’s PPM as a ruckman this year has been 0.91, which isn’t far behind Darcy Cameron’s 0.93. If he steps up as the No.1 as expected, scores of 80-plus should be the minimum for the next month.

Terrific stat, thanks @Shannon!
 
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Doctor SuperCoach: Replacement players for your team after big injury blows
Injuries to the likes of Zak Butters, Braydon Preuss and Tim English have inflicted major headaches. DOCTOR SUPERCOACH examines the best replacement players.

Doctor SuperCoach

4 min read
June 22, 2022 - 8:30AM

Disaster has struck on the injury front this week, with several key players and rookies becoming unavailable for selection.
This week in Doctor’s Orders, the expert team at Doctor Supercoach look at the best players around the $500k mark who could help fill the void left by the likes of Zak Butters, Braydon Preuss and Tim English.

Isaac Heeney ($453,100 MID/FWD)
Heeney has always been a hot and cold player but at just $453k this week, he looms as a great solution to the Butters/Preuss dilemma.

An average of 122.4 SuperCoach points across the first five rounds of the season highlights how damaging the Swans star can be on his day, and his past month has started to show signs of a return to form.


Three scores in the 90s and a score of 124 last week against Port Adelaide are far better reading than the 50s and 70s that have been inadvertently scattered throughout his 2022 campaign.

He has not attended a centre bounce in the past three weeks, so looks to have a permanent forward role from here on in; but given his superstar ability, expect him to continue to average 95-100 points, making him a solid F6 option.


Stephen Coniglio ($533,400 MID/FWD)
A number of coaches traded out the Giants captain after his abysmal score of 37 against the Blues in Round 9 but since the coaching changeover, ‘Cogs’ has found a new lease in life.

Scores of 140, 85, 174 and 113 have followed, making him one of the most in-form forwards in SuperCoach.

Interim Giants coach Mark McVeigh says that he wants to play his best players in their best positions, so it appears as though Coniglio will play throughout the midfield for the rest of 2022; though to what extent remains a bit of an unknown.

His centre bounce numbers are as high as they have been throughout the season as well, attending 59% in the past month. However, with Jacob Hopper and Tim Taranto scheduled for returns within the next fortnight, keeping his CBAs high will be key to continued SuperCoach scoring.

He’s not a speculative pick either, because Coniglio has done this before, averaging as high as 108.4 SuperCoach points in 2018.

Don’t be afraid to swallow your pride and bring him back in, he’s the real deal.

Adam Treloar ($505,200 MID/FWD)
With teammate Bailey Smith ruled out for another few weeks through suspension, Adam Treloar could be a major benefactor.

Treloar attended 62% of centre bounces against the Giants, which was just 2% less than his season high of 64%. Three of his top-four centre bounce games have come when Smith has been out of the side, so expect Treloar to play around the ball even more than usual in Smith’s absence. Lachie Hunter will be expected to come back into the side in coming weeks, which may impact Treloar’s wing share.

The former Giant and Pie averages 102.6 SuperCoach points without Smith in the side in 2022 and if he can continue this trend, he will be a handy addition to SuperCoach forward lines.

Tim Taranto ($465,300 MID/FWD)
Taranto made his return via the VFL last week and was impressive, amassing 27 disposals against the Gold Coast.

The Giant averaged 110 in the first month of 2022 and has scoring history behind him, having averaged 102.4 and 97.3 points in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

The major question mark around Taranto is where he will play once reintegrated into the senior side. Will McVeigh deploy him in a midfield role, or will he feature forward of centre where he has been used to great effect in the past?

A riskier ploy given he hasn’t featured at AFL level since Round 9, but high-risk moves can often bring high rewards – or spectacular fails.

Harry Himmelberg ($503,200 FWD)
Role changes are everything in SuperCoach; think Jack Ziebell, Aaron Hall and James Sicily in recent times.

McVeigh has opted to play the key position player in defence since taking over as GWS coach and it has been to great success so far.

Himmelberg has the highest three-round average (136) of any player in the competition, which included a whopping 187 SuperCoach points against North Melbourne.

His precision kicking and footballing IQ have been an asset in defence, with the Giants feeding Himmelberg the ball as much as possible since he moved down back.

Plus, with a break-even of just 14, there is money to be made in this trade. He could rake in another $50k if he continues to score well, which would mean that worst case scenario, you can sideways trade him if he gets moved back to the forward line; which he did in Q4 last week against the Bulldogs.

Todd Goldstein ($532,900 RUC/FWD)
After being forced to play second fiddle to Tristan Xerri in the early parts of the season, Todd Goldstein has wound back the clock in recent weeks.

Xerri suffered a foot injury and missed Rounds 7-9 but even since his return, North Melbourne have chosen to continue to use Goldstein in the No.1 ruck role.

His centre bounce attendance was at just 39.8% prior to the Xerri injury but has risen to 61.4% since Xerri went down.

Since Round 7, Goldstein has averaged 111.8 SuperCoach points per match, a stark difference to the 72.2 points he averaged when playing second ruck to Xerri in the first six rounds.

With the blowtorch continuing to be turned up on North Melbourne, surely Noble plays his best ruckman in the ruck. Could this former favourite be the solution to our struggles this week?
 
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KFC SuperCoach AFL: Round 16 trade guide, Tom Stewart replacements

Tom Stewart’s uncharacteristic high hit on Dion Prestia won’t just come at a cost for his side and Richmond.
More than 45,000 KFC SuperCoaches are set to be forced to burn a trade with the intercept star expected to spend at least three weeks on the sidelines.

Lucky we held onto our trades, right…?

Stewart went out with a bang for his owners, finishing with 29 disposals, 17 intercept possessions and a whopping 161 SuperCoach points.

Unfortunately, Stewart had a break even of 210 due to his concussion induced score of 39 against the Western Bulldogs, so his price will dip from $583,600 to around the $560k mark.

There’s no shortage of high quality options on offer, and even some bargains if you don’t want to leave yourself strapped for cash.

TOP OPTIONS
James Sicily

If you have been without Sicily for the entire season, this is your chance to grab him. Sicily posted his second-lowest score for the season against the Bulldogs, with his 87-point effort 70 fewer than his round 14 break even. It means if you have around $45k in the bank, you will be able to afford the top-averaging defender in the game.

Jordan Dawson

Dawson could be the best option of the lot and remains in just 12 per cent of teams. The Crows rebounder averaged 119.6 points from his previous six matches before round 15, hitting the ton in each of those matches. Dawson is the designated kicker out of defence and has a high points to disposal ratio, regularly posting 100-plus totals with fewer than 25 disposals. He could drift out of your price range after yet another big game against North Melbourne, where he finished with 134 points.

George Hewett

Mr Consistent. Hewett has fallen below 100 points just once in his 11 matches – and that was a score of 97. The Blues ball-winner is in for a price drop that will see his value dip below Stewart’s, meaning you can get to him in one move if you are among the 43 per cent that doesn’t own him.

Sam Docherty

Another quality option from the Blues, Docherty has wound back the clock to average more than 110-points per game. Doherty is on the kick-ins and like Dawson, he is the designated kicker out of defence. Can’t go wrong here.

Jack Sinclair

Sinclair slumped to his lowest score of the season against Sydney after copping a first-half tag, but he still managed to score 79 points on a horror night for the Saints. Will other sides continue this tactic? That query may persuade us to look at some of the names above over him. Regardless, he has had a stellar season to date, posting 11 tons in 14 matches.

DISCOUNT BARGAINS
Aaron Hall

Hall managed to comfortably pass his round 15 break even of 127 against Adelaide in a performance reminiscent of his breakout SuperCoach season last year. Hall registered 153 points from 38 disposals and 30 kicks down at Blundstone Arena. The obvious risk is injury, particularly for those of us low on trades, but the upside is undoubted. From round 15 last year, Hall averaged 122.3 points per game. Could he do it again?

Lachie Whitfield

He is on many team’s ‘never again’ list, but since returning from injury, Whitfield has posted scores of 118 and 101. He looked well on the way for another ton against Collingwood, too. His price is set to skyrocket with a break even in the 30s ahead of round 15, but you still should be able to make $100k on a Stewart to Whitfield downgrade.

Jake Lloyd

Remember this guy? Our D1 of the past few seasons hit a low of 42 points against Port Adelaide, before returning to the Lloyd we know and love on Saturday, scoring a formidable 148 points. It was just his third ton since round 5, though, so it might not be a risk worth taking.

LEFT FIELD
Liam Baker

Richmond’s Mr Fix It has been thrown around all over the place for the Tigers, but in recent weeks he has been the man Damien Hardwick has turned to in the midfield. The clean utility is averaging 25.5 disposals and 107 SuperCoach points in his last six matches, including a 126-point outing against the Cats, where he led the way with team-highs for contested possession and clerances. Trent Cotchin is on the sidelines with an AC joint injury, and his DEF-FWD dual position status is a plus, but is it too much of a risk?

DEF-MID SWING
Jack Steele

It was a dirty night for the Saints, but Steele made an impressive return from a shoulder injury, tallying 29 disposals, 10 tackles, eight clearances and 115 points. Two scores in the 70s – one of those injury affected – means his price will be within range for a sideways trade from Stewart. His run home last year was enormous and there’s every chance he could do it again as the Saints try to remain in touch with the top-eight.
 
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THE SUPERCOACH STARS YOU NEED IN RUN HOME
We’re on the home straight and the finish line is in sight (just) for KFC SuperCoach 2022.

The byes are in the rear-view mirror and although there are bound to be some potholes from here, with eight rounds to go most teams are complete, or very close to it.

This is a great time to take a step back and look at your full squad to assess how you’re placed for a charge up the overall rankings or league ladder. Who is your worst defender, midfielder and forward? What is your bench cover like? How many trades do you have left?

The answer to that last question will dictate what moves you can make, but there is a big gap between teams fielding Lachie Whitfield – or still using Paddy McCartin or Nick Daicos – at D6 over players with Tom Stewart or Sam Docherty.

To help in your KFC SuperCoach stocktake, our experts have hashed out the must-have players in every position. In these gradings the top tier is the players we think are certain to be top-scorers in their position from here to the end of the year. If your midfield is missing more than one or two of Lachie Neale, Clayton Oliver, Callum Mills, Jack Macrae, Rory Laird or Touk Miller, that is an issue you might want to address ASAP.

Who you have instead is also relevant – most teams will have an assortment of top tier premiums with a couple of second-tier players as well, which is OK. But you don’t want too many. And tier three is a throw at the dice that could come off, but probably won’t.

DEFENCE
TOP TIER

James Sicily, Sam Docherty, George Hewett, Jack Sinclair, Jordan Dawson, Jack Crisp

SECOND TIER

Bailey Dale, Jayden Short, Daniel Rich, Dan Houston, Adam Saad, Aaron Hall, Tom Stewart*

THIRD TIER

Lachie Whitfield, Luke Ryan, Mark Blicavs

At round 15, there were six defenders averaging 108 points a game or more – Sicily, Hewett, Docherty, Sinclair, Stewart and Dawson. Sicily has gone more than 10 points better than his previous best this year (105.1 in 2018), ranking elite for disposals, intercept possessions, metres gained and marks. Hewett has been one of the great finds of the year after only averaging 80 once in a season before this year. Docherty’s comeback from cancer has been one of the most incredible stories of the year and it is a mark of the man that he has produced career-best football after all the adversity he has encountered. Sinclair has built on a strong finish to last season to confirm himself as one of the top DEF-MIDs in KFC SuperCoach, while Stewart and Dawson’s intercept ability and precise kicking attract plenty of love from the KFC SuperCoach scorers. Stewart, however, is in for a holiday and is out of the top tier for this reason. Crisp may not have the ceiling of the others top-ranked defenders, but he has been super consistent, falling below 97 just once since round 4. If you have at least five of these six in your KFC SuperCoach team, you will have built a very strong defence.

Bailey Dale and Jayden Short are perhaps unlucky not to be considered in the top tier of defensive options but it took truly elite numbers to get there this year. (13 defenders are averaging at least 100 points a game and seven over 105). Crisp has been incredibly solid for those who started him for DPP and durability, while Dale is one of the most consistent scorers in the game. Many thought Short’s move to the midfield would result in a huge uptick in his scoring when he pumped out 152 against West Coast, but he only has two tons (with a top of 110) in five games since. Rich has come with a bullet thanks to five scores between 117 and 135 in rounds 8-15, while Houston and Saad have rarely let down owners who opted for a point-of-difference. Saad was one of the form defenders during the bye period, scoring four successive tons from rounds 10-14.

Two hamstring injuries already this year for Hall makes him a risky, but he shapes as a very rewarding option if he stays on the park. Luke Ryan has been brilliant in the past six weeks but went through a rough patch earlier in the season with six scores of 75 or less in the opening nine rounds. Whitfield has huge upside but has only really got going in the past two weeks since returning from injury.

TRADE ADVICE: If you don’t have any of the top-tier defenders, that’s where your focus should be. All six consistently scoring big numbers and are likely to be the top-six scorers for the remainder of the campaign in their position. Stewart should be a the top of the shopping list after a recent price drop, Dale is the standout option in the second tier and Hall is the best value pick if you can only afford a player in the $500k price range.

MIDFIELD
TOP TIER

Lachie Neale, Clayton Oliver, Callum Mills, Jack Macrae, Rory Laird, Touk Miller, Jack Steele

SECOND TIER

Sam Walsh, Andrew Brayshaw, Josh Kelly, Ben Keays, Darcy Parish, Patrick Cripps, Christian Petracca

THIRD TIER

Ollie Wines, Brad Crouch, Tom Green, Zach Merrett

Midfield was the position which caused the most debate among our experts, but there were at least six obvious names who had to be considered must-have selections. If your big six in the middle are Neale, Oliver, Mills, Macrae, Laird and Miller, then you have six players capable of regularly scoring 120-plus. Mills and Laird were still in fewer than 20 per cent of teams before round 15, but Oliver (49.4 per cent), Neale (69.8 per cent), Macrae (56.3 per cent) and Miller (41.4 per cent) were among the most-popular players in KFC SuperCoach.

Five of those six players were last week averaging 121 points or more and Miller was not far behind at 116.2. Miller is worthy of his spot in the elite tier with only two scores below 99 and five 130-plus totals. Andrew Brayshaw is the most unlucky player to miss out on this select group, averaging 114.6 to round 15. Darcy Parish is another who would have been top tier had an injury-affected score of 51 in round 13 not dipped his average to 112. Parish doesn’t have the monster scores Miller does in his armoury this year, but has been a superb with his consistency.

Parish and Brayshaw are therefore the standout options in the second tier ahead of Cripps, Walsh, Kelly and Keays. Petracca is the value buy – he has endured a recent form dip but still had an average of 106 after Melbourne’s round 14 bye and showed signs of a return to form against the Lions, with some clangers costing him a much bigger total. Keays is also good value and has a great run home. Each of these players is capable of the massive numbers the top tier produce most weeks, but have shown they are a rung below with lower scores in some matches.

Many would make a case for Ollie Wines to be in the second tier but as far as trade options go, he falls in behind the players mentioned above. Crouch, Merrett and Tom Green are another rung below.

The outlier is Jack Steele, who was averaging 109 when injured in round 9. There’s no reason to question his status as an A-Grade midfielder when he’s up and running.

TRADE ADVICE: Don’t bother going beyond the first two tiers in the midfield. That’s where the big scores are. Some of these options will be available for $550k or less to finish your midfield and that’s great buying for players of this quality – look at Petracca right now or Steele in a week or two. If you can find the money for one of Mills or Laird, it could be what sets you apart come KFC SuperCoach league finals.
 
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RUCK
TOP TIER

Jarrod Witts, Toby Nankervis,

SECOND TIER

Todd Goldstein, Sean Darcy, Braydon Preuss, Brodie Grundy, Max Gawn*

THIRD TIER

Reilly O’Brien, Oscar McInerney

No one needs us to tell you what a disaster the ruck line has been this year. This has been where many coaches have been forced to use a good portion of their 35 trades – so much for ‘set and forget’ hey? The standout big man has been Witts, who has returned from an ACL injury with career-best numbers in KFC SuperCoach. He has an encouraging run home and with Max Gawn sidelined, looks certain to be the No.1 ruckman of 2022. Who would have thought that was possible when many picked him as a stepping stone at the start of the year?

Gawn hasn’t hit the extreme heights of previous years, with six of his 13 scores before going down with injury being 92 points or less. But three monster games of 160, 172 and 198 were a reminder of Gawn’s KFC SuperCoach scoring ability and justify him being considered in the two must-have rucks. Now, it’s going to be a matter of whether you have the trades to bring him back when he returns from injury, which could be sooner rather than later.

Where’s Brodie Grundy, you ask? Good question. Grundy was supposed to be the ruckman every KFC SuperCoach team had to start with this year. His first six rounds were solid without being spectacular, hitting 120 twice in six rounds and averaging 103.5. There will be big question marks over his role and scoring potential when he returns due to Darcy Cameron’s emergence while Grundy has been sidelined.

Todd Goldstein has been one of the great stories of the season after re-emerging as a premium big man just when it seemed Tristan Xerri had become David Noble’s go-to man in the middle. Goldstein bottomed out at $414k but since round 7 has scored 125, 142, 103, 88, 123, 98 and 104. Well done if you jumped on. Braydon Preuss would likely have been a top-tier ruckman but how can we trust his body or suspension history? Preuss had the best ruck points-per-minute of any player before round 15 of 1.17. Toby Nankervis has led superbly for Richmond, but it took him six rounds to produce a ton.

Beyond these names, Reilly O’Brien and Oscar McInerney have shown promise without being genuine options for KFC SuperCoach to consider. Luke Jackson is the other RUC who now features in thousands of teams but that was more out of necessity than anything else for many.

TRADE ADVICE: Many teams are running with a makeshift ruck setup with Gawn, English and Preuss all unavailable. The best play would be to get a ruck line featuring two of Gawn, Witts and Darcy, pushing Tim English to the forward line. But that could take some maneuvering.


FORWARDS
TOP TIER

Tim English, Josh Dunkley, Marcus Bontempelli, Luke Parker

SECOND TIER

Will Brodie, Stephen Coniglio, Tom Liberatore, Isaac Heeney, Zak Butters, Bailey Smith*

THIRD TIER

Taylor Walker, Harry Himmelberg, Jeremy Cameron, Jed Anderson, Tom Hawkins

The Bulldogs have the top four forwards by average and we’ve got three of them in the top tier, with Bailey Smith bumped down a level due solely to the fact he won’t be available for another two matches. Based on scoring, you could place him alongside the big three and Swan Luke Parker, who is No.2 for total points and fifth on average (106.2).

Will Brodie and Stephen Coniglio have some small question marks but it’s incredible both are even in the running considering you could get them both for under $500k combined before round 1.

The fact the top six is still up in the air and only nine forwards are averaging 100 points a game means you can take a flyer at F6, where a lot of coaches now have Luke Jackson or Darcy Cameron who provide some much-needed ruck cover.

Key forwards are generally a no-go zone in KFC SuperCoach but eight weeks is almost a short enough run to back in a player like Taylor Walker or Tom Hawkins – who both have favourable fixtures – to produce two or three massive scores and jump into the top echelon.

TRADE ADVICE: This will be the last position to be finished for many teams, and more than 91,000 coaches are hoping Will Brodie finishes the season strongly with Nat Fyfe in the Fremantle team, and 101,000 with fingers crossed Stephen Coniglio continues his renaissance under caretaker coach Mark McVeigh. The Bont is the No.1 target if you don’t have him and English will be high on the shopping list (again) when he returns from his latest sting on the sidelines. Heeney is still the value buy despite a score of 59?
 
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SuperCoach Plus: 11 things you need to know for round 16 of the AFL season
There’s a captaincy option that can’t be ignored this week with a monster score on the cards. Plus, inside the scoring of struggling premiums, the leading bubble boy and more.

Captains have plagued KFC SuperCoaches this year but there is one option that stands head and shoulders above the rest.

And for those who are unsure who to trade in for Tom Stewart, there is a frontrunner who can’t be ignored.

In this week’s SuperCoach Plus article we take you inside the scoring of some struggling premiums, the favourable upcoming opponent for ruckman outline the standout downgrde option and more with 11 nuggets to help your side in the run home.

1. OLIVER’S BUNNY
Sticking the VC or C on Clayton Oliver this week is a no-brainer. The ball-magnet has amassed staggering totals of 199 and 203 in his past two matches against Adelaide at Adelaide Oval and averages a whopping 132 points against the Crows across his career – the most of any player. SuperCoach Plus projects Oliver to score a whopping 193 points, which would see his price hurtle to $716k.

2. IF NOT OLIVER…
While Oliver is the clear standout, several other appealing captaincy options are on offer this round. Jack Macrae averages a formidable 134.5 points in 11 outings against Brisbane, with the dependable Dog projected to score 143 points. Jack Steele, who made a promising return from a shoulder injury last week, averages 125.3 points across 10 clashes with Carlton, while Patrick Cripps doesn’t mind playing St Kilda, going at 122.7 points per game from nine meetings.

3. IN HARMES’ WAY
Lachie Neale did extremely well to score 111 last round from a season-low 22 disposals. It was all down to efficiency, as he had just two negative acts for the match which were both clanger kicks – losing 6.8 points from his score. Neale burst out of the blocks and looked to be on track for a monster score, but was kept in check after quarter time by Demons stopper James Harmes, who kept Neale to just nine disposals in the 54 minutes they were matched up.

4. GO-AHEAD GOALS
SuperCoach has different weighting for the moments that count, and two goals in the dying minutes in the Geelong-Richmond epic were awarded accordingly. Maurice Rioli’s set shot goal with two minutes left in the final term was worth 12 points, while Jack Henry’s tallied 12.3 points for his matchwinning major a minute later. Hours later, Luke Parker’s late goal against St Kilda when the game was dead and buried was worth just the four points.

5. SINCLAIR SAT ON
Rebounder Jack Sinclair was tagged for the first time this season and it had a significant impact on his output. Sydney John Longmire sent Ryan Clarke to the SuperCoach sensation, restricting Sinclair to 11 disposals in the 54 minutes they were matched up. Sinclair was moved into the forward line to break the tag, where he had spent most of his career before being switched into defence and through the midfield. He finished with a season-low 17 disposals and 79 points, but the fact he was still able to post a solid score means

6. D1 DAWSON
Jordan Dawson shapes as the standout candidate to replace Tom Stewart, if you have an extra $30k lying around. The Crows recruit had solid start to the season but has gone to another level since round 8, averaging 27 disposals, 122 points and recording a 79 per cent kicking efficiency. From round 1-7, Dawson tallied 23 disposals, 98 points and went at 73 per cent by foot. Dawson is currently $593,300 after posting scores of 134 and 140 in his last two matches and is projected to rise nearly $20k this week. With Stewart suspended for four weeks, Dawson looms as the No. 1 defender from here.

7. WHY TRAC FAILED TO TON
Christian Petracca has frustrated owners by averaging just 86.6 points from his last five games – compared to 116.8 in his previous nine matches – but there were signs that his SuperCoach slump is starting to turn against Brisbane. Petracca racked up 31 disposals, 14 contested possessions, and eight clearances, however, he didn’t get the reward for his disposals. The Demons beast went at just 45 per cent by foot from his 20 kicks and lost 12.3 points to negative acts, which was reflected in his 97-point score. Petracca has fared well in recent clashes against the Crows, posting totals of 126, 116 and 132 in his last three matches, and he is certainly due.

8. MASSIMO LEADING THE WAY
Massimo D’Ambrosio is currently the most traded in player ahead of round 16 and is the standout bubble boy on offer. The mid-season draftee is renowned for his ball-use and his elite kicking has been on display for the Bombers off halfback, hitting the target with 14 of his 17 kicks in his first two matches. After posting solid scores of 51 and 53, D’Ambrosio is projected to rise $42,900 this week and is at basement rookie price.

9. RUCK FEAST FOR POWER OPPONENTS
Port Adelaide has switched to a smaller ruck division in recent weeks and it has paid off. Since round 12, the Power has had the worst hitout win rate of any side but its hitout-to-advantage rate is the best in the league, ranking second in the competition for clearance differential over this period. Why is that relevant to SuperCoach? Well, with Scott Lycett still a few weeks away, it means Ken Hinkley is likely to persist with Jeremy Finlayson and Charlie Dixon in the ruck, and that opposition ruckmen can go to town. Jarrod Witts was case in point on Sunday, tallying a whopping 18 hit-outs-to-advantage and 18 contested possessions on the way to 148 points, regularly taking the ball directly out of the ruck and finding his teammates with his tapwork. Sean Darcy, Braydon Preuss and Max Gawn face the Power in the next three weeks and will be licking their lips.

10. HEENEY THE `FORWARD?
Isaac Heeney owners were tearing their hair out over the weekend, but it could have been a lot worse. Heeney spent the entire match up forward against the Saints and finished with a season-low 11 disposals and failed to win a contested possession for the first time this year. His three effective kicks for the night were all goals, and equated to 20.1 of his overall 59 points. As Fantasy Freako tweeted on Saturday night, Heeney hasn’t had much luck against the Saints in recent times, managing scores of 54, 55 and 67 in his previous three matches.

11. ROOKIE’S NIGHT TO FORGET
Our heart goes out to rookie Callum Jamieson, who has shown some promising signs since debuting this year, but the young ruckman posted the lowest score by anyone to play a full match this year against Essendon. Jamieson only had six acts for the match, half of those being negative, losing 7.9 points from his overall score to finish on -4. Not exactly the best Tim English cover for those who were desperate… He wasn’t helped by his time-on-ground, either, spending just 57 per cent of the match on-field.
 
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KFC SuperCoach 2022: Round 17 trade guide
After a loophole option in KFC SuperCoach? Or just need the right value pick to finish your team? Here are the top 11 targets to consider under $500k ahead of Round 17.

The Phantom

The race to KFC SuperCoach glory is on, but with dwindling trade counts, improving your side at this stage of the season becomes difficult.
You may be in the market for an expensive bench loophole option, or that last player to complete your team.


But whatever it is, the recent ruck injury crisis, and an eagerness to trade aggressively through the byes across the board, many KFC SuperCoaches won’t have much to work with.

To help, here are the top 11 trade targets available for less than $500k.

1. Lachie Whitfield
$477,500 DEF/MID

OK, we’re probably convinced now. After returning from injury, the talented Giant has posted scores of 118, 101, 103 and 96 under new coach Mark McVeigh. Whitfield, who is averaging 28 disposals in the past four matches, is playing with more freedom than he did in the first half of the season and it would’ve been four KFC SuperCoach tons on-the-trot if it wasn’t for eight clangers in difficult conditions against the Hawks. $477k is good buying for the fourth-highest three-round average in defence.

2. Steven May
$379,199 DEF

The Melbourne defender’s off-field actions have overshadowed his value in KFC SuperCoach. It’s easy to forget May averaged 97 before the concussion in Round 11 and 108 in the opening five matches. Then there’s the 16 scores of 100 or more in the previous two seasons. Sure, the Crows kicking inside-50 isn’t the best in the competition, but May, again, highlighted his scoring power, tallying 108 KFC SuperCoach points from just 18 disposals. The left-footer finished a season-high 12 intercept possessions – seven of them marks – and played on with his two kick-ins. Need a D7 loophole option, or just short on cash to finish your on-field 22, May is your man. You’re probably not going to find two players with a better chance of pushing the top six in their position, from this point, than Whitfield and May.

3. Patrick Dangerfield
$425,900 MID

That’s not a typo. The same Patrick Dangerfield that averaged 114 KFC SuperCoach points or more in each season between 2015-2020 is available for $425k. Sure, he may not be the player he once was but he still averaged 111 KFC SuperCoach points in 2021, if you take out the injury-affected Round 21 score, in a season where he missed nine of Geelong’s first 11 matches through injury and suspension. Apart from the huge 155-point performance to start this year, Dangerfield’s scoring is a concern, as is the way in which coach Chris Scott uses him – from a SuperCoach point-of-view – week to week. But, in his first game back from injury, the star midfielder tallied 19 disposals and 96 points in just 62 per cent game-time.

4. Tim Taranto
$429,300 MID/FWD

Another player who has scored well in the past, but put up some average numbers in 2022 so far. After bursting out the blocks with three KFC SuperCoach tons in the opening four rounds, Taranto averaged 81 in the next five matches before being sidelined with a back injury. His 56-point performance on return in Round 15 doesn’t scream ‘pick me’, either, but the 24-year-old’s game-time increased from 72 to 87 per cent against the Hawks, resulting in 30 disposals, 10 contested possessions, 10 tackles and 111 KFC SuperCoach points. Jacob Hopper’s imminent return will crowd the Giants’ on-ball mix even further, but Taranto attended only eight centre bounces on Sunday, anyway. A kicking efficiency of 58 per cent is a concern – and probably still the area holding him back from joining the KFC SuperCoach elite – but there’s no doubting the value at $429k.


5. Connor Rozee
$482,900 FWD/MID

After a slow start, Rozee was one of the key reasons Port Adelaide almost pinched a victory against the Dockers on Sunday. The young star, who has attended the second-most centre bounces for the Power behind Ollie Wines since Round 6, booted two goals and had 13 disposals after half-time to finish with 96 KFC SuperCoach points – his fourth score of 96 or more in as many weeks. Rozee is now averaging 97 points per game since that clear role change following the Round 5 game against the Blues and, given his contested work and ability forward of centre, is a player who doesn’t need a lot of the footy to produce a three-figure score. His rising price is what’s keeping him slightly down this list, though.

6. Mitch Duncan
$468,400 MID/FWD

Will Duncan’s latest three-figure score finally see the star Cat hit is straps in KFC SuperCoach? After a very limited pre-season, which saw him average just 76 in his opening six matches, Duncan followed up his first KFC SuperCoach ton of the year in Round 8 with three scores of 82 or less. He then went 90 and 75 after his 117-point effort in Round 12. So what happens after the 31-year-old’s 31 disposals and 14 marks against the struggling Roos? We definitely know he’ll play at GMHBA Stadium in three of the final four rounds of the season, but, given his consistency, that’s about all we can be sure on.

7. Keidean Coleman
$437,700 DEF/FWD

The skilful defender benefited from Daniel Rich’s early injury on Thursday night, finishing with a career-high 118 points as the Lions tried to get the ball in his hands in the back-half whenever they could. Coleman also finished with season-high score involvements (9), kicks (18), metres gained (552) and intercept marks (3). But he’s been building for a while, after returning from injury. The efficient 22-year-old, who impressed late last year, is averaging 93 points since Round 8, despite reaching the 20-disposal mark just twice in the past eight matches.


8. Matt Rowell
$488,300 MID

Speaking of popular pre-season options who have turned the corner, the Gold Coast midfielder posted his third KFC SuperCoach ton in four matches on Saturday, finishing with 23 disposals, 17 contested possessions and 113 points against the Magpies. Rowell still isn’t marking the ball in space – or anywhere – but his work at the contest is as good as ever, with the 21-year-old averaging 15 contested possessions and nine tackles per game since Round 10. At $488k, there are a number of other fallen premiums in reach on the other side of $500k but the Suns do play Essendon, West Coast, Hawthorn and North Melbourne in the final six matches, if you’re after a unique midfield option.

9. Tim Kelly
$484,400 MID

While Rowell’s past month may have been more consistent, Kelly’s scoring potential in the run home could be greater. ‘Could’ is the word that puts him below Rowell, but his 40-disposal, 17-contested possession, 127-point performance against the Tigers was a strong reminder of what Kelly can do at his best. As was the 38 disposals and 139 points against the Bulldogs in Round 11. With the Eagles’ form on the rise, as they find consistency with personnel, and Nic Naitanui back to give the midfielder’s first look, Kelly might end up being too low on this list.

10. Tom Hawkins
$448,600 FWD

The veteran forward booted six goals on his way to 129 points against the Kangaroos in Round 16. But a week earlier, Hawkins had just eight disposals and 43 points in the win over the Tigers. It won’t easy against May, Jake Lever and the Demons this week, but there’s likely to be another bag of goals in the run home, making him more of an option for those looking for an F7 loophole option.

11. Izak Rankine
$460,700 FWD

With 16 goals of his own, and 15 direct score assists, since Round 8, Rankine is just about the form small forward in the competition. And it’s resulted in some impressive KFC SuperCoach numbers, too, with the sublimely-skilled 22-year-old scoring 88 points or more in his past eight matches. He’s taken his game to another level in the past four, too, booting 12 goals and posting three KFC SuperCoach tons. But is he going to go 130? Probably not.
 
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KFC SuperCoach 2022: The Phantom’s burning questions and Round 17 trade advice
Is it time to trade Patrick Cripps? What about Jayden Short? How do we climb the rankings now? The Phantom is back to answer the big KFC SuperCoach questions.

Official statement from The Lair...

If you break it down, his last six weeks, The Phantom’s had no continuity in his game and training.

He came in on the back of some good training and one podcast, but only lasted a quarter of the show.

Unfortunately, he didn’t record the week after due to suspension – family matters - and probably wouldn’t have anyway because of his injury.

He hasn’t trained that well, but he’s available this week at reserves level.

Ends.

Yeah, nah.

I’m available, so I’m in.

Flynn – I mean Tim – Michell has been great, but you don’t keep a Ferrari in the garage.

Did that statement sound familiar?

It should. It was Mark McVeigh last week, addressing Braydon Preuss’ non-selection.

Who would’ve thought a Giants coach could derail a KFC SuperCoach season.

So, you’re back?
Yes, sorry. I just needed to vent. In my six weeks of absence, Preuss has played one game, scored 17 and hurt Tim English. But let’s move on…

You said Preuss has derailed your season?
Well, not yet. After holding onto the Giants big man up until last week, as well as Tim English and Luke Jackson – who I still have – I’ve fallen back outside the top 100, to sit 134th overall after 16 rounds. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to be ranked so high – but it’s been a frustrating few rounds.

So, what now?
It’s a good question. Thankfully, Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge confirmed English will be available for selection, providing he gets through training on Tuesday.

Who would’ve thought Bevo would be the hero in this story.

With two trades left, I will – hopefully – be holding this week. But, hey, I said the same thing seven days ago.

There will be no luxury trading Patrick Cripps or Tom Green for me – not yet anyway.

Should I be doing that?
It all depends on how many trades you have left. Look at all the outs we’ve had over the past month.

So, if you’re like me with two or three trades left, I’d hold, even if you are desperate to climb the rankings.

Any points you make up by trading Cripps’ 91-point three-round average to, say, Jack Steele, who has posted back-to-back KFC SuperCoach tons since returning, could be wiped when you cannot cover a premium injury later in the year.

Whether that be a 0 or the need to play an on-field rookie when others have sideways traded that injured premium.

But for those with six or more trades, spending $23k to get to Steele could be money well spent, with a handball-happy Cripps – only 27 of his 87 disposals in the past three matches have been kicks – posting just two KFC SuperCoach tons since Round 8 as Sam Walsh’s influence in the midfield grows.

What other luxury trades would you suggest?
Hypothetically – as in don’t come after me when it backfires – these are some of the trades I’d consider.

Cripps/Tom Green to Callum Mills.

After back-to-back scores in the 80s, Mills’ price - $590k with a breakeven of 171 - is falling so, if you’re not ready to commit to a luxury trade just yet, it’s something to consider over the next few weeks. Despite a quiet game against the Bombers, I still expect Mills to outscore Cripps and Green from here, given his enormous ceiling. He’s still in less than 19 per cent of teams, and it’s high-scoring points-of-difference you need to climb the rankings at this stage of the season. Green’s scoring continues to be solid, but he hasn’t scored more than 117 since Round 3.

Jayden Short to Jordan Dawson/Jack Sinclair.

If you are one of the 71,000 KFC SuperCoaches with Short at D6, and don’t have each of the three defenders averaging in excess of 110 – James Sicily, Dawson and Sinclair – you will battle to make up ground. And Short, who has failed to pass 85 in four of his past five matches, is struggling to have a consistent KFC SuperCoach impact through the midfield. Dawson, on the other hand, has settled into one of the most-friendly KFC SuperCoach roles in the competition, floating across in defence to be Adelaide’s playmaker. He reads the ball brilliantly, allowing him to win it back off the opposition, and his left-foot is a thing of beauty, rarely turning it over and most-often kicking long. And he takes the kick-ins, when not being moved forward to take contested marks inside-50. Although, he may not be as big an aerial threat as Dawson, Sinclair’s role for the Saints is equally as enticing. Short gave up 68 points to Sinclair and 62 to Dawson in Round 16. It will cost you, but it’s likely to be worth it.

Isaac Heeney to Tom Liberatore.

In a similar story to Short, more than 70,000 KFC SuperCoaches have had to cop seven sub-100 scores from Heeney in the past nine matches, four of them 75 or less. He’s, again, being stationed more inside-50, with no centre bounces attendances since Round 10. Liberatore, on the other hand, was at the restart of play more than any other Bulldog last week and has the second-highest five-round average – 121 – of any KFC SuperCoach forward behind Harry Himmelberg. And the best thing is the clearance machine is only owned by five per cent of the competition, giving you another all-important point-of-difference for the run home.

Phant, pls, I have no cash…
Well, luckily, I ranked the top 11 trade targets under $500k on Monday. See them here.

Great, but who is my best straight swap for Dustin Martin?
Like straight-straight? Tim Taranto.

Back to Himmelberg, is he the real deal?
More Giants!? Fine.

I think he is, yes.

In the build-up to the past two matches – in and around the Preuss fluff – McVeigh has mentioned the “temptation” to move Himmelberg forward again and the club think he “can play a role there” again this year.

But the strong-marking tall lined up in defence again on Sunday, with Phil Davis and Nick Hayes in the line-up, finishing with eight rebound-50s and eight intercepts in difficult decisions. And, importantly, he played on with each of his four kick-ins.

Despite going forward and spending time in the ruck against the Bulldogs in Round 14, Himmelberg is averaging seven intercepts – three of them marks – and nine rebound-50s in his past five matches.

So, Mark is back in the good books?
It’s a love-hate relationship.

Phant, all Tim Michell gets for stepping up in your absence is a low-blow Matt Flynn comparison?
Yeah, fair point. He did a ripping job with burning Qs while I was away. He gave your more analysis and advice in six weeks than I have all year. I hope you listened, too, because his team is coming home with a wet sail.

The race to glory is on.

And this Ferrari is back on track.
 
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