The Harley Reid cup comes early in the AFL season with the Hawks and Eagles highlighting an indifferent Sunday slate on Draftstars.
The other two games are more watchable for the casual fan but don’t sleep on what is happening at “Pig Park”. “Tbetta” is back with another bumper Round 10 Sunday preview for your Draftstars teams.
$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)
HAW vs WCE – UTAS Stadium: Fine.
CAR vs COLL – MCG: Showers.
GWS vs STK – GIANTS Stadium: Fine.
We’re atypically devoid of bankable options for salary relief in the FWD slots, which has me digging deeper for value. If you think the Hawks can slap around the underdone Eagles in Tassie, then Jacob Koschitzke ($6,100 FWD) could get on the end of a few scoring chains, or maybe Cam Mackenzie ($8,110 MID/FWD) feasts on their Swiss cheese midfield?I feel a bit better about targeting those in the midrange though. Oscar Allen ($10,560 FWD) is now West Coast’s big banana up forward with Darling out (if he wasn’t already), and Hawthorn are t
he second-best matchup for Key FWDs in the league this year. A couple of untimely injuries prices Jade Gresham ($10,560 MID/FWD) cheaper than he should be, scoring 101 and 87 in his last two uninjured games.
It’s the Dual Ruck structure that intrigues me the most though. With a number of juicy ruck options available, stashing Mason Cox ($10,300 FWD/RUC) in a FWD slot allows you to find value in a line sorely lacking it – while giving you greater exposure to the other tantalising RUC options.
The return of Campbell Chesser ($6,000 MID/DEF) will please those in the season-long fantasy community, but it might be better to view him with some trepidation in DFS this week – West Coast have already said they’re going to manage their youngsters through this latest injury crisis. Lachie Bramble ($8,670 DEF/MID) is an interesting option, likely to fill a wing role with Changkuoth Jiath and Harry Morrison exiting the 22-man squad.
The mid-range is full of players that can thump out a 120 on their day, with Karl Amon ($12,140 MID), Matthew Kennedy ($12,560 MID) and Dom Sheed ($12,860 MID) causing a logjam in that bracket. There’s certainly value to be found here.
As for the Premium echelon, my clear favourite pick is Sam Walsh ($16,090 MID). Not only has he been Carlton’s best scorer over the past month with an average of 123, he also has a crazy record against the Pies, pumping out monsters of 120 and 155 in his last two against his bitter rivals. I also like the big three in the GWS midfield of Tom Green, Josh Kelly and Stephen Coniglio with St Kilda’s defensive net allowing plenty of +6’s for their opponents to feast on.
The stacking options are juicy in defence on this slate, so once again we’re probably going to be light-on for “core” selections. Cameron Fleeton ($6,000 DEF) was barely sighted last week with 31 on debut, but the pillow-soft St Kilda match-up could fast-track his confidence this weekend. Jordan Boyd ($6,380 DEF) slides in for Alex Cincotta for the Blues, but he’ll likely play a more defensive role than the man he’s replacing.
Besides a few players and stacks that I’ll cover in more detail below, I like James Sicily ($14,120 DEF) whenever he jumps on that brief plane to Launceston. His last three scores at Pig Park have been slate-winners of 115, 132 and 151 as the kick-mark combos always seem to flow in the Apple Isle.
Kieren Briggs ($8,400 RUC) has finally usurped Matt Flynn and now gets a rare opportunity to battle it out in the ruck solo for GWS. He’s averaged 31 hitouts and 112 in the VFL this year, so it’s fair to say that he’s earned hit shot. Briggs’s only two games with >50% ruck responsibility in 2021 resulted in very handy scores of 79 and 77, which is rolled gold at his price.
You always need to consider the West Coast ruck match-up in 2023, but sadly Hawthorn have muddied the waters by bringing in Ned Reeves to assist Lloyd Meek (or is it vice versa?). I don’t have a clear read on the hierarchy for the Hawks as it’s flipped all year between the pair, so maybe take half a dozen of one and 6 of the other? Solo men in Marc Pittonet ($10,290 RUC) and Rowan Marshall ($16,010 RUC) round out what is a surprisingly potent ruck pool for a three-game slate.
Tim Kelly ($15,140 MID)
I’ll never understand a pricing algorithm that spits out Kelly at this price, but it makes our decision making very simple. You want to shoot for upside in DFS and despite averaging 103 points this season, that ceiling is one thing TK sorely lacks. He’s registered just the single score over 108 all year, and a potential Conor Nash tag makes it highly unlikely he’ll break the mould down in Tasmania this Sunday.
Adam Cerra ($14,970 MID)
Carlton haven’t settled on a midfield mix this season, with Cerra’s move to defence yet another questionable decision from Michael Voss and his assistants. The former Docker was coming off scores of 130, 137 and 130 in consecutive weeks before being flicked back, finishing with a season-low 62 against the Doggies. George Hewett’s demotion to sub frees up midfield minutes so there is some hope of a midfield renaissance, but I have those rotations going elsewhere. Buyer beware.
Nick Daicos ($16,550 DEF/MID)
The recipient of those minutes could be Ed Curnow, who has snuck under the radar and into the 22 via the tactical sub last weekend. Adelaide provided the rest of the competition the blueprint to stopping Nick Daicos, and that was by sending a defensive forward with midfield experience to cover all game, regardless of where the Pies shift him throughout the game. The Crows used Ben Keays for that and held him to 99, the Swans used Ryan Clarke (84) and the Blues will use the senior Curnow. At a lick off the highest-priced player on this slate, I don’t think you can pick the guy staring at a guaranteed tag from one of the historically better stoppers in the land.
One of the reasons we follow KPIs – such as kick-ins or CBAs – is for the instant boosts that they can provide to back-ups, as we saw last week with Alex Witherden ($11,580 DEF) stepping up in the absence of primary kicker Shannon Hurn. The former Lion raised the bat for the first time this season with 106, thanks chiefly to the massive 11 kick-ins he was responsible for against the Suns.
This now brings his season splits to +17 fantasy points without Hurn in the side, which matches his outrageous +36 from a healthy sample size in 2021. Given that the Hawks are the most inaccurate side in the competition in front of goals this year, I expect plenty of opportunities for Witherden to rack up those freebies.
Adam Cerra’s pain is Matthew Kennedy’s ($12,560 MID/FWD) pleasure with a spot opening up in the midfield, and he grabbed it with both hands against the Bulldogs. Kennedy posted his highest score since Round 2, racking up 97 fantasy points on the back of a season-high 75% CBAs. Hewett’s demotion to the substitute only solidifies Bam-Bam’s midfield role in my eyes, which mathematically makes his excellent value in the sub-$13k range.
With Isaac Cumming ruled out until after the bye, we should expect Lachie Ash’s ($12,980 DEF) increased recent output (averaging 105 in his last 3) to continue for at least the short term. He shared kick-in duties with Whitfield last week for his season-high 123 last week, and he’ll likely do so again on Sunday – against the best match-up in the league for DEFs, no less.
GWS – DEF Stack
It’s become the most bankable trend in AFL DFS this season, so we’re back with yet another defender stack against the shorthanded St Kilda. Lachie Whitfield ($14,130 DEF), the aforementioned Lachie Ash and Nick Haynes ($13,390 DEF) are the obvious targets given their recent resurgence as a trio, but the cheaper Idun and Buckley have flashed ceilings when the game state works in their favour.
Hawthorn – Full Stack
West Coast are deep in the green zone for MIDs, FWDs and RUCs this year so you can never go wrong with stacking those against the winged Eagles, but even DEFs are starting to catch up now with that significant injury list. They’re 2nd to only North in fantasy differential with -189 per game this year, and it’s fair to say that a trip down to Tasmania isn’t a recommended remedy for that terminal of an illness. Go hard on the Hawks down at the fast deck of Pig Park.
St Kilda – Target RUCs
The numbers that GWS have conceded to opposition ruckmen lately is so absurd that it finally cost Matt Flynn his place in the side at selection. I’m talking a stupid “Peter Ladhams with 130, Tim English with 151 and even Mason Cox smacking out a 129 level of insanity”. Unless Kieren Briggs has been training at King Kai’s Planet over the off-season, Rowan Marshall ($16,010 RUC) might just break the slate without breaking a sweat.
In a parallel universe:
- Xavier O’Neill went to Noah Anderson last week, which shows that the Eagles aren’t afraid to target a young gun with one of the few strategic tools available to them. Could Will Day’s break-out season have elevated him to taggable status already…?
- Likewise, could O’Halloran’s job on Daicos last week translate to a Sinclair task? Gut says no, but they’re similar types and it’s worth monitoring…
- With Riccardi coming into the side, could Harry Himmelberg finally find his way to defence? I noticed he had a kick-in after a last quarter swap against the Pies…
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