Sunday’s AFL features the bottom 3 teams and a team destined to come 9th. But that doesn’t worry Draftstars players as this brings a new opportunity to climb the leaderboards! ‘Tbetta’ is back with another bumper ‘Stargazing’ preview for Sunday’s Draftstars contests.
$60,000 Main ($15 entry, 100 max)
$10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max)
$5,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 50 max)
$3,000 Mini ($2 entry, 15 max)
$2,000 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max)
$2,000 Micro ($0.50 entry, 100 max)
NTH vs HAW – Marvel Stadium: Under the roof.
WCE vs RICH – Optus Stadium: Fine.
North has lost a couple of big-name midfielders at the selection table with Jy Simpkin concussed and Hugh Greenwood axed, which means there’s a big void to fill. Eddie Ford ($7,010 FWD) spent some time on a wing last which could continue, while Cameron Zurhaar ($9,310 FWD) helped out with the midfield rotations and ended up with a season-high 42% CBA share. I’m not hinging my entire slate on either, though.
We expect the ball to be in Hawthorn’s forward line a lot, which shines the light on Mitch Lewis ($10,300 FWD) after a couple of quiet weeks. North is the second-best match-up for key forwards this year, and while Lewis didn’t get to face the Roos last time due to injury, his season-highs of 6 goals and 126 fantasy points against the Eagles provides a helpful blueprint.
One Hawk who did get to feast on North Melbourne last time was Dylan Moore ($12,420 FWD), pumping out a season-high 132. The high half forward role is perfect for capitalising on these easy kills because you have access to both the extra midfield points and the easy goals, which is what his suitors will be envisaging for Moore against the Roos. He averages 99 points when kicking at least 1 goal this season.
It’s young talent time at West Coast as they focus on the future, which has resulted in better fantasy roles for Campbell Chesser (wing) and Elijah Hewett (inside midfield) at roughly $7.4k on Draftstars. They’ve both scored in the 60’s over the last fortnight, which would be wins at this price on a two-game slate. And at home, who’s to say they can’t break through the 70-point barrier?
Then we move into the Simpkin Substitute zone. George Wardlaw ($10,230 MID) has looked capable beyond his years and already has three scores above 80 from seven career starts; I expect him to enjoy a career-high CBA figure with the names missing. Liam Shiels ($11,310 MID) is destined for some midfield time against his old club, but I’m mainly focussed on Tarryn Thomas ($10,950 DEF/MID). From the Teamsheets that North has provided, it looks like he can expect a lot of inside midfield reps against the Hawks.
The Eagles have experimented with Luke Shuey ($12,380 MID) in defence to great effect this year, but with a few key backline troops returning over the past few weeks, he’ll be mainly a midfielder against the Tigers. With scores of 120 and 109 in his previous two games in either position, there’s not really a wrong answer with how to use someone of his quality. Injury is always a risk with Shuey, but this is way too cheap for what he’s currently producing in full games.
We have to talk about Tim Taranto ($18,250 MID) and this absurd price-tag, which is more than $3.5k greater than the next most expensive midfield option this Sunday. I would usually stay well away from someone this exorbitantly expensive on a multi-game slate, but on a two-gamer? With very few options to pivot to? Sometimes ceiling is more important than “value” which is where I sit with Taranto this week – there’s maybe 1-2 other players on this entire slate that can match his best.
There’s a lot of cheap cattle for us to consider in defence, but I’m not sure how many are headed to stud instead of someone’s sizzling Szechuan beef stir fry.
Jackson Archer ($6,000 DEF) and Josh Goater ($7,960 DEF) will line up in defence for the Roos, and I think the latter could have a more offensive role in store for him with Jack Ziebell and Aaron Hall on the sidelines. For the Tigers, Sam Banks ($7,020 DEF/MID) was Short’s understudy in defence and should be better for the run.
Outside of the many West Coast options – spoiler for below – the best picks could be a couple of Roos. Harry Sheezel ($14,260 DEF) has shown a healthy ceiling in his first year in the league, which has been spoiled mainly by random switches forward. Given North’s changes at the selection table where they’ve added a couple of forwards and lost a couple of defenders, I have him sitting pretty across half-back this Sunday. The other North option is Luke McDonald ($12,250 DEF), who has been enjoying a hierarchical bump in the backline with scores of 85 and 111 in the last fortnight.
With all four cubs naming solo ruckmen this Sunday, everyone is in play.
My favourite pick is Tristan Xerri ($11,620 RUC), despite the DvP matrix suggesting that the Hawks are a tough match-up. That data is outdated though, as it was based on their infamous Reeves/Meek tag-team – I just watched Ned Reeves get slapped around by Kieren Briggs in the ruck, so I’m not worried. Match-ups aside, Xerri passed the eye test with flying colours in his return from injury, scoring 110 from 45 hitouts and 19 touches against the Cats.
Luke Davies-Uniacke ($14,340 MID)
I really wanted to pen a positive write-up for LDU here. He’s coming off 122 after a muted return from injury the week prior, he’s going to have a huge workload without his partner-in-crime Jy Simpkin, and the Hawks are a positive match-up for inside midfielders. Green lights everywhere, so what’s the issue?
The problem is Scott Maginness and his 131-game career for Hawthorn. That allowed his son Finn Maginness to be selected by the Hawks as a father-son pick, where almost four years later he performs an absolute tagging masterclass by keeping superstar Josh Kelly to just 6 touches and 30 fantasy points across multiple roles. That was last weekend obviously, which all but guarantees that the Shark Finn will be circling Davies-Uniacke this Sunday.
Will Day ($14,000 MID)
Obtaining objective truth from the Teamsheets is more reading tea leaves than reading blueprints, but try as I might, I can’t figure out how Hawthorn uses the versatile Finn Maginness as a tagger whilst also keeping Will Day in the guts this week. They’ve lost a defender in the shuffle so something has to give, and I think it could be Will after a slow CBA slide over the past fortnight where he’s produced scores of just 79 and 87.
We’re yet to see what Day’s role and scoring looks like as a defender in 2023, so this is more of a flag than a repellent.
I’m unashamedly reusing headlines here, but big Ivan Soldo ($10,360 RUC) certainly deserves it based on exposed form from previous seasons. Toby Nankervis’s deputy averaged 71 over a 10-game stretch as the stand-in sheriff in 2020, following a 72 from 11 games in 2019 as the solo ruckman. Throw in a few years of development and a hopeless West Coast side that concedes more points to ruckmen than any other this year, and I’m expecting 70-ish to be his baseline here.
It’s quite incredible that we can snap up James Sicily ($15,720 DEF) for less than $16k given all his high scoring markers coming in. His last three scores this year have been monsters of 125, 165 and 130, which usually sends salaries into the stratosphere on its own. On top of that, surely his projection is through the roof against North Melbourne, who concede the 2nd-most fantasy points overall and 4th-most to defenders?
I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth too closely though, and I’m just going to enjoy having easy access to the best ceiling on the slate. Sicily already dropped a 132 on North Melbourne’s head this year, and his last score at the defender-friendly Marvel Stadium was that monstrous 165.
I would usually immediately disregard the volatile Shai Bolton ($14,140 FWD/MID) at this price, but a few factors work in his favour here as a boom-or-bust candidate. Firstly, and most obviously, is the West Coast match-up, especially after he already posted a 137 (31 touches, 8 marks and 3 goals) against them earlier this year.
Secondly, the nature of a two-game slate means we need to entertain the riskier options more often. And lastly, the proud West Australian seems to love playing in his home state, notching scores of 124 and 136 in his last two appearances at Optus Stadium. Make sure he’s in your player pool.
Hawthorn – Full Stack
An incredible 8 Geelong players pumped out individual season-high fantasy scores against the Roos last week, and that was with the foot off the accelerator after half-time. North seems to be really leaning into the developmental side of their rebuild the past couple of weeks by dropping Todd Goldstein, Aaron Hall, Jack Ziebell and Hugh Greenwood in favour of their youth, so I’m forecasting some heavy losses to come over the final 6 rounds of the year. Hunting Hawks stacks makes a lot of sense here.
Richmond – Full Stack
My placeholder for this is “West Coast sucks balls, blah blah blah”, and that pretty much sums it up. Every week I try to whip out a shiny new stat that encapsulates just how easy they are to play football against, but this week, just take my word for it – whatever the measure, they are the worst at it.
While I expect the Eagles to be more competitive at home after regaining a few veterans over the past few weeks (and finally having enough fit and able players to drop Andrew Gaff and Xavier O’Neill), I’m not sure a couple of extra 30-year-olds can reverse the potency of this trend. So, stack those Tigers – but maybe not quite as much as you have done over the past couple of months.
West Coast – DEF Stack
5 out of 6 West Coast’s top scorers last week were defenders, and that was without a positive match-up. If the Eagles are going to keep going into their shells to try to limit margins, I think we’ll see a lot of big defensive scores created from the stagnant ball movement for the rest of the year. It doesn’t hurt that Richmond concedes the 3rd-most points to DEFs this year, either.
Combine this micro-stack with one of the two above and you’re already halfway to a slate-winning line-up this Sunday.
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