3 games on Sunday is a great way to watch AFL on the couch but better with Draftstars teams to follow. ‘Tbetta’ is a back with another edition of ‘Stargazing’ with some interesting players to choose from today.
MAIN CONTESTS:$60,000 Main ($15 entry, 100 max) $10,000 High Roller ($150 entry, 3 max) $3,000 Mini ($2 entry, 15 max) $2,000 Fiver ($5 entry, 20 max) $2,000 Buck Hunter ($1 entry, 100 max) $2,000 Micro ($0.50 entry, 100 max)
GWS vs GCS – Manuka Oval: Fine.MEL vs ADE – MCG: Showers clearing. STK vs NTH – Marvel Stadium: Under the roof.
FWDPrices are super tight in the forward line on this slate, so we might have to consider some throwaway options in attack to be able to afford the guys we actually like in other positions. Taj Woewodin ($6,000 FWD) is capable of more than we’ve seen at AFL level so far (37 and 44), and it only takes a couple of instances of right-place-right-time for him to outperform this price-tag. That’s exactly what happened for Charlie Lazzaro ($6,000 FWD) a couple of weeks ago, coming in as a late replacement (and even lucking into some midfield due to early injuries) and scoring 74 with 10 tackles out of the blue. While the midfield time was oversold by Simon Goodwin, Kysaiah Pickett ($9,170 FWD) did see a couple of CBA cameos and responded positively with 77. There’s been no structural change at selection for the Demons, so let’s see if he can continue to build his confidence back up after a mid-season lull.
Ever the enigma, Ben Keays ($14,190 FWD/MID) once again finds his way into this article. While you’d assume he’d be guaranteed midfield time with Rory Laird and Josh Rachele exiting the team, that’s far from the case with the Crows recalling midfielders Matt Crouch and Harry Schoenberg from the SANFL gulag. So once again, we ask – does Keays play in the guts, up forward, or even as a tagger? With scores of 123, 114 and 126 in his last three starts against the Demons, the answer is very relevant.MIDWhat a midfield smorgasbord we have this Sunday, with so many tasty treats on offer! With this much value available, you’ll have to make some tough decisions with your exposures.
Harry Schoenberg ($7,790 MID) is the first morsel on the menu – see below for more on the Adelaide bull. Jack Bytel ($8,020 MID) forces his way back into the senior team on the strength of 30 touches and 10 tackles in the VFL last week, and may have timed his run perfectly with a midfield role against the lowly Roos. His price is only so low due to his last four games being sub-affected, so you can disregard his recent “form” and focus more on his only full game at AFL level this year – an 83-point gem all the way back in Round 1. Then we have the reliable Will Phillips ($9,810 MID), who is always a chance to rack up when he gets the CBAs. With North still missing their co-captain Jy Simpkin on top of injured youngsters in George Wardlaw & Tom Powell and overlooked veterans Hugh Greenwood & Ben Cunnington, I think we can assume those inside minutes are his to lose.
The options keep coming in thick and fast as we scroll up the list. James Jordon ($9,970 MID) is enjoying great KPIs and producing solid scores, but is he genuinely tempting after a price rise in a highly-competitive range? The other competitors include Zak Jones ($10,330 MID) as he builds form in his hybrid midfield role, as well as the evergreen Liam Shiels ($11,850 MID), who posted a season-high 64% CBA share last week for his 109 against his former club.
Then we move into the ceiling vs basement neighbourhood. Sam Flanders ($12,500 MID) looks to be a part of Steven King’s best midfield mix moving forward, and his scores of 94, 101 and 120 over the past month are hard to ignore. Matt Crouch ($12,610 MID) is a former premium option and there wouldn’t be a soul on the planet surprised to learn that he’s coming off 5-straight SANFL tons. He’s a bit more expensive than the other pair, but can we trust Luke Davies-Uniacke ($14,950 MID) after scores of 122 and 138 with Marcus Windhager lurking in the shadows?DEFHe’s probably not “core” worthy, but Adam Tomlinson ($7,690 DEF) is cheaper than he should be and will be keen to hold a spot down. He has two scores over 80 from his five games this year, so the blueprint is there. The same goes for Patrick Parnell ($7,990 DEF) and his totals of 77 and 100, sandwiched between the early-injury scores of 0 and 1 that have poisoned his price-tag. St Kilda’s opponents are always hard to ignore back here, so expect more ownership than usual for the lesser Roos. Aidan Corr ($8,200 DEF) had a team-high 8 kick-ins last week without Jack Ziebell, while Josh Goater ($8,780 DEF) pumped out a career-high 85. Tarryn Thomas ($10,780 DEF/MID) let a few down last week but has the Finn Maginness tag excuse ready to go, so I’m excited to see what he can do with a full game off the leash. Speaking of the Saints, I found their Teamsheets intriguing. Jack Sinclair ($15,040 DEF/MID) can probably expect to spend more time as a pure defender against the Roos with the additions of Hunter Clark and Jack Bytel putting a squeeze on midfield time. Could this affect the blistering form of Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera ($14,790 DEF), who is ticking over at 108 points per game over the past month?RUCIn complete contrast to Saturday’s slate, the ruck line is barren on Sunday with some dual-rucks flattening out the projections for everyone involved. Max Gawn ($15,470 RUC) is the obvious exception to that with the Demons going against the grain by whittling their ruck contingent down to one – more on him below.Of course, there are so many pay-up options to choose from on a 5-game slate that you can simply take your pick of the litter. If you’re chasing value in this range though, Jack Steele ($15,020 MID), Josh Kelly ($15,070 MID) and Touk Miller ($15,220 MID) appear to be the best bargains on offer.
It could be a case of the classic Stars & Scrubs strategy if you’re looking to diversify your ruck portfolio then, with Anthony Caminiti ($6,960 FWD/RUC) ripe for an upswing against North Melbourne. He has already scored in the 70’s a couple of times this season, which would be slate-winning if he could replicate it again here.
Christian Petracca ($16,080 MID)
Melbourne is undeniably a better football side (at least on the scoreboard) with Petracca spending significant time up forward, but the shift comes at a personal cost. While his scores of 104 and 115 haven’t looked out of place for him the past fortnight as a spearhead, it’s important to remember that these are basically his maximum possible scores in this role – his 4 majors in both these games were back-to-back career highs. At a hefty $16k, the reduced disposal rate will bite hard on the inevitable days where he isn’t able to kick a bag.
Tristan Xerri ($11,820 RUC)
Up until this point we’ve been blessed in the ruck department at North Melbourne, with the focus on rebuilding essentially guaranteeing that Xerri is the solo ruckman whenever fit. Unfortunately, the complete lack of fit tall forwards or pinch-hitting ruck options has ended that charmed run, with the veteran Todd Goldstein coming in from the cold to fill the void.
I’m not sure what the eventual split between the incumbent and the incoming ruckmen will look like as they swap between the forward line, but I think it’s fair to say that it’s not good news for either of them. In their last 16 games as a pairing, only 1 ton has been registered by either Xerri or Goldstein. No thanks.
Harry Himmelberg ($12,070 DEF)
What would you do if you were the GWS coach? You’ve just lost your best key forward in Jesse Hogan (quad) for the next few weeks, but you’ve just regained a career defender in Nick Haynes from suspension. On top of that, you’ve already got the backman Harry Perryman sitting in the midfield following a late withdrawal from Finn Callaghan last week – but he’s back in, so Perryman can return to defence. What single move would solve all your structural problems in one fell swoop?
Adam Kingsley has continually refused to swing Himmelberg forward this year when it could have made his life easier, so this switch is far from a foregone conclusion. But it is the first time he’s been without Jesse Hogan and Lachlan Keeffe this season, so if there was ever a time to pull that lever, it’s now. Of course, the subtext here is that Harry is a far better fantasy defender than he is a key forward, so make sure you’re baking the possibility of this scenario into your exposures on Sunday.
Everyone in the footy world was wondering how on earth Melbourne would pull off the Grundy trade and be better for it, and it turns out that Occam’s razor wins again. The Demons went back to the tried-and-tested method of Max Gawn ($15,470 RUC) as the solo ruck, and didn’t the end result put a thick black period at the end of Grundy’s marching orders! 39 hitouts, 29 touches, 7 tackles, a goal and 162 fantasy points is video game numbers.
I have no issues with following the field by going back to the well on Max this week; his only two games without a recognised second ruckman (such as Luke Jackson or Brodie Grundy) in the past two seasons have resulted in scores of 149 and 162. Beast mode.
His last three games at AFL level have been as the starting tactical sub, which has placed Harry Schoenberg ($7,790 MID) on the Clearance Sale rack for astute DFS punters. It’s been far from smooth sailing for the inside brawler in 2023, but this is still the same young midfielder that pumped out adjusted (for injuries, subs, etc) averages of 68 and 70 in the previous two seasons. While the injury to Rory Laird (shoulder) granted him another shot in the seniors, he’s certainly earned the opportunity with his SANFL form, averaging 108 from his past 6 starts.
Last Man Standing
There was a logjam to start the year, but as the season has wore on, North’s slutty veteran defenders have been phased out with Aaron Hall and Jack Ziebell sitting outside of the 22. This is great news for Harry Sheezel ($14,350 DEF) buyers this week, who’ll be the undisputed primary half-back distributor in a team playing St Kilda. He had 30 touches and 8 marks when he last met the Saints in Round 11, but that with Hall (128) and Ziebell (99) suckling from the same teat… Not this time.
Lick those lips and lock that Sheezel.
St Kilda – Full Stack
North has conceded the most fantasy points of all teams this season – yes, even more than West Coast – and they’ve named a squad with more holes than 50 Cent in May of 2000. If they wear red, black and white and play in the MID or FWD lines, they absolutely need to be considered this Sunday afternoon.North Melbourne – DEF Stack
Of course, the best trend in DFS is back with Defenders versus St Kilda. I expect the sharks to absolutely feast on this stacking option this week, which means that it won’t just be the obvious guys you need to consider if you’re following suit. Players who usually focus on actually defending like Aidan Corr, Ben McKay, Josh Goater and Lachie Young will have more freedom this week and are therefore all capable of an upswing here, so make sure you’re including them in your player pool.
What’s gambling really costing you? For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au