After a mega Saturday, we are back with the traditional 3-game Draftstars Sunday slate.
As Draftstars veteran ‘Tbetta’ explains, not as many slam dunk plays today than what we got yesterday.
MAIN CONTESTS: $75,000 Main ($15 entry, 125 max)
$10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max)
$5,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 50 max)
$3,000 Mini ($2 entry, 15 max)
$2,500 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max)
$2,000 Micro ($0.50 entry, 100 max)
ESS vs GEEL – MCG: Fine.
RICH vs GCS – Marvel: Under the roof.
ADE vs COLL – Adelaide Oval: Low chance of showers.
We’re not as blessed as yesterday with salary-saving options, but Gold Coast are certainly doing their best to throw cheap forwards into the mix for us. Bailey Humphrey ($6,000 FWD) was impactful as the sub last week for his 57 in limited minutes, so I’m interested in seeing what he can do with a full game now that he’s had a taste of the top level. The same goes for Alex Sexton ($6,110 FWD), whose price is all the way down after averaging just 22 points from his four games this year – all as the tactical sub. A full game will obviously do wonders for his scoring. Alex Davies ($7,060 FWD) is probably the best pick of the trio though, given the high likelihood of CBA’s opening up through Touk Miller’s knee injury.
Sam Simpson ($8,340 FWD) was busy across half forward with 72 for the Cats last weekend, and is an outside chance to pick up some midfield minutes with Cam Guthrie missing. Likewise Tyler Sonsie ($8,850) for the Tigers, with Dion Prestia finally listening to his aching body by taking up the option of a week’s rest.
He’s spent most of the year across half forward, but Taylor Adams ($10,910 MID/FWD) will see more midfield rotations with Scott Pendlebury missing with that nasty eye ailment. He received a +46% CBA bump when Jordan De Goey missed a couple of weeks ago and should see similar treatment here, especially as he’ll be fresher than his teammates after missing ANZAC Day’s thriller through suspension.
Rory Atkins ($6,000 MID/DEF) rears his head after averaging 100 in the VFL this year, but his role at AFL level is unclear given that the Suns are gearing up for a structural change with Mac Andrew omitted and Touk Miller injured. Nothing would surprise me with The Rat at this point, especially after Chayce Jones suddenly became a DFS darling a few weeks ago. The role is much clearer for teammate Braydon Fiorini ($9,270 MID), and that guaranteed midfield clock is certainly worthy of the extra coin in my opinion.
Rory Sloane ($11,590 MID) is back into the CBAs with a gradual increase over the course of the season up to last week’s 46%, resulting in fantasy scores of 83, 82, 111 in his last three showings. The veteran becomes a lock if Rory Laird is ruled out with the calf complaint, but presents super value either way.
Injury replacements are shaping as the key factor on this slate, with some more established midfielders in for potential boosts. Jacob Hopper ($13,200 MID) has been hot with 111 and 100 in the past fortnight and will have more responsibility with Dion Prestia absent, much like Patrick Dangerfield ($13,620 MID) in Cam Guthrie’s stead. Noah Anderson ($14,930 MID) is now the midfield alpha with Touk Miller missing, and I’m very interested to see how he responds to the promotion. The young gun dunked a huge 141 on Richmond’s head last year and flashed his hefty ceiling with 159 just a few rounds ago.
A close inspection of Geelong’s personnel log suggests that Mark O’Connor ($7,730 DEF) slots into the midfield this week. He already had a taste last week for season-highs of 31% CBA action and 75 AF, but be aware that his scoring is a rollercoaster in the guts due to frequent shutdown roles.
Lachie Weller ($13,870 DEF) moved up to a wing last week and pumped out a career-high 133 as a result, which was also great news for Darcy Macpherson ($13,130 DEF) and Wil Powell ($9,400 DEF) with scores of 109 and 79 respectively in defence. Unfortunately, Gold Coast’s changes make these niche roles super hard to pick, so make sure you’re weighing up the pros and cons where this trio is concerned.
Jack Bowes ($9,990 DEF) is a safer bet with midfield time likely given the long list of defenders named for the Cats on top of Guthrie’s absence. He’s proven to be good for an 80 all season long. His teammate Tom Stewart ($13,040 DEF) is safer yet again, back to hovering around the 100-point mark with all hands on deck in Geelong’s backline.
It’s shaping up as an Ivan Soldo ($7,710 RUC/FWD) chalk slate in the ruck, with Richmond sorely needing a bigger body to contest Jarrod Witts at stoppages. I’m personally a bit lukewarm on Soldo’s fantasy scoring given that he’s come straight back in from injury and has the aforementioned brutal match-up with Witts while both Ben Miller and Samson Ryan remain in the side – indicating that Richmond will rotate heavily through the ruck.
Billy Frampton ($9,800 DEF/RUC) is a cheaper alternative after churning out 70 and 79 as Collingwood’s makeshift ruckman. I’d probably rather go all the way up to his former teammate however, with Reilly O’Brien ($13,370 RUC) in an excellent spot to cash in on the lack of a recognised ruckman at the Pies – Rowan Marshall certainly did a fortnight ago with a healthy 134.
Liam Baker ($11,680 DEF/FWD)
The trend here is crystal clear – Baker does not get the juicy distribution rights whenever Short is in the side. In the three-game span as the primary playmaker off half-back, Baker averaged 104 fantasy points, compared to just 69 with Short in to dilute his role. Gold Coast is a green-lit match-up for defenders, but will he even get the chance to benefit from it?
Nick Daicos ($17,350 DEF/MID)
The Daicos dominance is reaching unprecedented levels, so I’ll eat my Draftstars hoodie if the Crows don’t keep their hubris in check and put some time into the overwhelming Brownlow favourite. Little Nicky has previously beaten forward tags by moving into the midfield and having an impact there, but with the feisty Ben Keays stationed up forward and obviously backed by plenty of on ball experience in the past, there’s much less wriggle room to escape a shadow.
Geelong ranks as the toughest MID match-up in the league and the Bombers are coming off a rushed 5-day break, which is rarely a recipe for success. Zach Merrett ($17,100 MID) is the exception to that after missing the ANZAC Day clash for being a naughty boy, but could he buck the DvP trend to be your messiah this Sunday? He’s posted scores of 119 and 143 against the Cats in the past two seasons and hasn’t scored below triple figures so far in 2023.
It’s hard to ignore Brayden Fiorini at $9,270 given the way that the tectonic plates on the Gold Coast have shifted abruptly. Touk Miller has missed just the single game in the past three seasons, so it’s fair to say that we’re in uncharted territory and CBAs are up for grabs. Hopefully you haven’t forgotten Fiorini’s end to 2021, where he filled a big midfield void to average 59% CBAs and a massive 110 fantasy points over the final eight rounds of the season.
There’s a wide range of outcomes with Rory Laird ($15,770 MID) this week, but that price-tag demands attention on a three-game slate. The first concern is reported calf tightness that caused him to leave main training early during the week, so stay glued to social media over the weekend for any update there. The second concern is the rampant Collingwood machine that chewed up Essendon, spitting out zero fantasy tons on ANZAC Day.
On the other hand, do we back in Laird given his incredible record of 163, 131 and 174 in his last three against the Pies? Collingwood don’t tag, they’re off a 5-day break and Laird will have the familiar turf of Adelaide Oval under his studs… Can we get calf check, stat?
The Other De Koning Ruckman
There was more cloak and dagger drama from the Cats last weekend with Jon Ceglar’s late withdrawal, seemingly giving Mark Blicavs the full-time ruck gig… but there was one more twist to come. While Tom De Koning is a recognised ruckman on Carlton’s list, his brother Sam has always been groomed as a swingman – until last weekend.
SDK ended up taking 37% of Geelong’s overall ruck contests, and it’s no coincidence that he posted a season-high 52 whilst doing so. It’s not a huge score by any means, but at just $6,630, it’s very serviceable – and there’s scope for that to improve as he adjusts to the role with Ceglar marooned on the emergency list once again.
Richmond – Full Stack
This one is dead simple – Richmond are a below average match-up in every single position for DvP, while Gold Coast are positive in every single category (although admittedly, Witts’ recent absence has skewed those ruck numbers). With Gold Coast on the road without their skipper Touk Miller, the ball is very much in Richmond’s court and I expect them to capitalise on Sunday afternoon.
Geelong – Full Stack
After a geriatric start to the year, Geelong have shifted gears and outscored their opponents by massive margins of 457, 224 and 274 in the past three weeks. Copping the Bombers on a short turnaround is a great omen for those looking to cash in on this trend, and I’d be targeting outside players after Nick Daicos (140), Steele Sidebottom (126) and Josh Daicos (106) top-scored against Essendon on Tuesday.
Adelaide At Home
I’m not sure Adelaide are in the correct spot for a full stack against the Pies, but I thought I’d flag an interesting pattern. The Crows have outscored their opponents fantasy-wise in all 4 games at Adelaide Oval this year, while losing both of their games on the road. Something to keep in mind.
In a parallel universe:
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