Get Off The Bench: Round 19

Firstly an apology to those that chose to follow me with Puopolo last week.  I thought the stars had aligned for him to have a blinder by playing Melbourne and with Suckling out, but no, he stunk it up and couldn’t even get to the half century.  However, he wasn’t alone with a bad score!  Isaac Smith copped a green vest, Ed Curnow struggled again, Duigan had a shocker, Lower crashed back to earth and Shane Savage who has been gold could only get to 26 before being bumped and getting a red vest.  So the weekend was littered with bad scores from our fringe players, no wonder I didn’t have much success in my picks last week, but given the scores I have seen, having all our premiums playing meant you didn’t need my rubbish help!

So we are back to the last (thank god) of these bloody multi bye rounds, and if you are like me and no chance to win the car, you probably don’t care too much this week about your score, it is all about round 20 and getting that top 4 position in your league.  With this being a multi bye round, we are also going to probably be at our limit with our teams too and having to use all of our bench no matter who they are.  Throw in the missing Volt from the forward line that probably already has Goodes and maybe O’Keefe as well and it could spell carnage and donuts.

If you have a choice, pick these guys first

Danny Stanley has fast become a permanent 7th back in most teams, over the last 4 weeks he hasn’t dropped below 90pts with his very nice 110 on Sat night when he apparently wasn’t going to play.  With GCS playing STK this week I expect another ton.  Whilst at GCS, Swallow haskept his steady form going too.  Certainly well worth a pick if you are running short in the midfield.  Big Zmith is just cruising along, not hitting the heights consistently like early in the year, but a serviceable 67 on the weekend was ok, however, with Jolly out I did expect bigger things and up against Big Boy McEvoy this week he should do ok and I would see a score in the 70’s as par for him.  Prestia and McKenzie also played well with a 67 and 72 respectively.  They seem to have found their groove at the Suns and are a safeish bet most weeks now as cover.  Iles is another guy that is now finding his tru potential.  His 81 continued his string of good scores of late however, note that he is OUT with a hip injury.

Chook mentioned his love (and it got a bit wierd there) for Stefan Martin on Wednesday in his Rooks article and I agree with him (not about the love though) that Martin is a good scorer at the moment.  He has cracked the ton in his last two outings but faces a big test at the Cattery on Saturday.  I expect a good score, but not a miracle, so 80 would be a pass mark for him this week.

Simon Buckley had a good game and has now had two 90’s in his last 3 outings, but his job security and chance of a vest worries me a touch.  However, his scores don’t lie and I would be playing him if I had him.  My best bet of last week was Andrew Krakouer and he didn’t disappoint with a 90 against the Suns.  His form seems to be on the improve of late and back at his favourite ground, the MCG this week against a flailing Bomber outfit he should score well.  Their opponents have one shining light, Heppell, but I am ever fearful that he will be a late withdrawal as he really looks like he needs a rest, his scoring has been droping over the past 3 weeks and I am a little worried that it may continue that way if he isn’t allowed to freshen up.  However, he did crack the ton against the Pies on ANZAC day so here’s hoping that he can do that again!  Crameri seems to have picked up where Hibberd left off, he is consistent in the 80 – 90 range so I can’t see any reason (apart from playing against Collingwood) that this should change this week.  He ripped out 112 in the corresponding game earlier this year, so things look up for him on Sunday.

Last week I was worried about the effect of the Derby on scoring.  Mzungu surprised me a bit with his 83, he got a touch more than I had hoped for and with that is rewarded with another game for the Destroyers this week (not that I have much choice).  Teammate Lower was widely lauded to have another belting score after his 130 from the previous week, but if I have taught you guys only one thing this year it is that these blokes are nothing if not inconsistent!  His 66 showed us that, I was a little surprised at the 66 actually as every time I checked the game I kept seeing him near the ball!  He will bounce back though and should do ok this week.

One bloke that has snuck under a few radars is this weeks rising star winner, Allen Christensen.  He was priced at $97k at the start of the year and copped 4 green vests in his first 5 games, then had a spell of 4 weeks before coming back and scoring 109, 56, 73, 120 and 113.  His 56 came in that loss to the Eagles in Perth but he wasn’t alone for the Cats that night.  This kid is really good and is taking advantage of some “injuries” or resting in the Cats midfield of late.  He has cemented his spot in the side as far as I am concerned.  Back at Skilled on Saturday against Melbourne he should have a great score, he averages 67 there, but a few of those would be green vested efforts.

Luke Breust has been solid with a 70 last week, Hale has also been good with a 77 last week and a few 80’s and 70’s in the preceeding 4 weeks.  I wouldn’t jump off Savage, I Smith or Puopolo just yet.  Firstly because like I said, with 3 byes we may not have the choice, but I think they will all come back this week and perform admirably.  Just note that Savage is OUT this week.

Cam Pedersen has really taken his chance in the last few weeks with back to back 80’s.  I think he has really solidified his place in this team and is paying back those owners that kept him when he couldn’t get a game.  Teammate Harper also is playing ok at the moment, he has 65 and 77 in the last two and should hold his spot.  I really think these two guys should do ok against the Blues on Friday night.

The only Crow in contention for this column that really performed on Friday night was Andy Otten who put together 66 and has been fairly consistent since his return from injury a few weeks ago.  He has averaged 73 since then, so I would stick with him.

Still in need of a player, give these guys a run, but don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Luke Dahlhaus can consider himself unlucky not to be in the top section this week.  His 73 and 64 in the last two tell me he should, but the concern I have with him this week is that they are playing the Eagles, and I don’t think he will get the freedom he has had of late.  Libba came in as a late replacement last week, so be wary of him, but his 66 with a Green Vest is encouraging, although he was on fairly early.

Andrew Gaff needs one more good score to be a contender, he had a 58 in the Derby to follow that ton that came out of the blue.  He is showing why they drafted him so high and why I picked him in my team, just glad he is getting a game and not making me look like a complete idiot for selecting him!  I think the sub rule has really hurt this kid’s scoring potential after getting 5 greens in his first 6 games.  His mate Jack Darling is a guy that has disappointed over the last few weeks, but he did eke out a 63 before being thrown the red vest on Sunday night.  But with none of his last 6 games over 70 pts, he is now a massive risk to be keeping and still playing.

Melbourne Trio Howe, Nicholson and Strauss have shrugged off early good form to languish in the doldrums of late.  Only Howe’s 83 last week is of any note for these guys, and I wouldn’t be trusting him just yet, his last good score of 105 was followed by a 39.  The other two guys have been sitting between 30 and 60 in their last 4 games each.

Tom Lynch continues to be the bone of my contention with another rubbish score after a promising start to the game.  After a pair of 90’s in his first two, a lot of us jumped on him and rightly so, but he must be the winner of the Beau Muston award for this year as in his following 8 appearances he has only gotten over 50 on 2 occasions.

Nick Duigan has really struggled of late, I know he had an injury but he hasn’t come back well.  65, 50 and 31 in his last 3 have not inspired me at all and I hope, for his sake, that he can turn this around.  However, I wouldn’t risk him at the moment if you have other options.

At the Crows, Dan Talia really struggled with 27 and Matt Wright with 50 didn’t inspire either, however, they had plenty of mates that struggled too!

And that brings us to the end, and now on to the hard part, putting these guys in some sort of order!  I have had a crack at it, but feel free to debate it amongst yourselves in the comments!  As always keep your ear to the ground throughout Friday and follow all the big guns from @DTTalk on Twitter to get any latest info that might save yourself from picking someone that pulls out just before lockout.

Twitter me @pkd73


  1. Stanley
  2. Heppell
  3. Martin
  4. Lower
  5. Pedersen
  6. Puopolo
  7. Otten
  8. Buckley
  9. Duigan


  1. Christensen
  2. Swallow
  3. Heppell
  4. Krakouer
  5. Crameri
  6. Mzungu
  7. I Smith
  8. Prestia
  9. McKenzie
  10. Buckley


  1. Hale
  2. Lobbe
  3. Zmith
  4. ZClarke
  5. Bailey


  1. Krakouer
  2. Mzungu
  3. Breust
  4. Hale
  5. Lobbe
  6. Harper
  7. Prestia
  8. I Smith
  9. Dahlhaus
  10. Howe
  11. Darling


  • Ah ” Off the bench ” always a great read early before work, i thank u! My starters this week are :

    Backs : Lower and Otten
    Mids: –
    Rucks : Zmith
    Forwards : – Muz and Howe ( Howe will depend if knights is named tonight )


    • Yeah keep an eye on Knights, I agree with Roy on this and I think he will play in the Mids this week.

  • Got trade happy this morning and now im only left with 2!!!!!!!!!!???????!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bartel > Calinan
    Howe > Lecras

    Sounds crazy but my finals spot was set and I should make it through the first round at least so I thought I get rid of Bartel whos been a little hot and cold this year and cash in on Howe as Lecras just looked too tempting

    Desperate times.

    • and yes I realise Calinan isnt playing but wanted to free up some more cash for my last two trades :)

    • WOW……you must be desperate!!!!
      Trading out 2 blokes who are playing and only bringing 1 in.
      Trading out someone who is “effectively” averaging 100 for someone who is averaging 90.
      You could easily have waited 2 weeks to do this and been better off financially and also had clearer picture of blokes form and further injuries.

      BUT it is your team so i wish you luck!!!

    • Not to mention that you say you should win your 1st final, so Bartel bye really shouldn’t affect you!!!

    • What a terrible trade

  • Good one again Dunny.

    I think this week it is all hands on deck with the number of outs. Add Riewoldt and Higgins and most people are down to bare bones.

    Analyser suggests I will be lucky to make 2000 this week.

  • jacobs or puopolo?

  • Choices, choices, choices.

    Darling or Tapscott for last Fwd position?
    ALTERNATIVELY – I could switch Goodes for Mzungu and play him on the field…but then I have no cover for Daisy Thomas in the midfield. Risk it?

  • Hey Dunny what’s your reasoning behind Lobbe of Z Smith?

    • Zmith up against Big Boy McEvoy whilst Lobbe is up against Jacobs, I like that matchup for Lobbe more than I do Zmith, also Zmith has been struggling a bit and I think he is getting a bit tired.

  • Didn’t see Jacobs on the list and given he’s playing Adelaide I thought he would rate a mention???

    • Yeah he could have been on list, just not sure on him. I think he would slot in there around the Duigan position.

  • Does anybody think i should start Jacobs over Duigan or Puopolo?

    • if you have a trade an $10k in the bank – trade the Poo to Adcock – BE 37.
      If you have Adcock I’d play Jacobs

  • I have 2nd ruck gute issues.

    I have stuck with ryder all year he keeps slipping down the leader board so it’s time to ryder-off into the sunset and get someone who will score consitantly in the 90’s (Big Cox is No. 1)

    Here’s what I am thinking:

    * Jacobs – hitting his straps at the right time
    * Leunberger – The burger is getting better and greasier with time
    * McEvoy – break out year however concerned how much air time if gardiner comes back
    * Goldstein – sorry mate you have a bye
    * Mumford – solid year after a break out last year however not the most consistent in the pack


  • Any word as to how. Higgins is out for??

    I’m hearing season but he’s not listed on Western Bulldogs injury list??
    Hopefully he misses just this week and comes back after the bye..
    With minimal trades left it will be either him or Brtel to trade out.

    • hes out untill round 24

    • Hope you Higgins owners learned to never trust the man in DT again.

      Injury king of the AFL.

      How many games has he actually played this year?

      • Billz

        Higgins has played 14 out of a possible 17 so far, take out that sub affected 29 and he has averaged 90.7 over 13 games, which gives good reasoning for myself and others who picked him up mid season. As a Higgins owner over the last 3 years now im starting to get abit impatent, but i know one year it will all click and his ability will see him reach massive heights!

      • 2006: 5 games
        2007: 20 games
        2008: 4 games
        2009: 17 games
        2010: 16 games
        2011: 14 games, with the strong possibility that he will not add to that tally

        Speaks for itself

      • Yep, I agree with Roy

        he’s on the never again list

  • **long**

    • a loss this weekend and I think you will find they wont play him again – have done whats needed and have him right for next yeasr

  • hey fellas, this week my team will be the following:

    goddard, gibbs, scotland, fisher, jacobs, puopolo (no cover)
    swan, pendles, boyd, ablett, bartel, mzungu (prestia here or fwds)
    cox, mcevoy (no cover)
    petrie, chappy, buddy, fyfe, sylvia, howe, i.smith (prestia here or fwds)

    where do you guys think i should put prestia as my EMG?

    cheers ;)

  • My big decisions this week are:

    1. Jacobs over Puopolo
    2. Lobbe over Smith and Bailey
    3. Mzungu, Prestia and Howe over Dahlhaus.

    I have Deledio, Adcock, Roo, Goodes and Higgins out. Good luck everyone

    • Billz

      I too have those 5 out plus Rockliff, this is a week where the depth of most is being stretched, thank god for no league matches!

  • Thanks Dunny, great article as always

    I’m finding it really hard this week to pick my last couple of spots. I need to fill two spots with any of Z.Smith, Krak or the Gu.

    The Gu at home is tempting but the Hawks have been pretty good at restricting points this year
    Krak at the G against the bombers should go allright but he has the potential to get stuck in a pocket and not be seen for half a game
    Z.Smith plays on the ball and has scored well in the past but his scores have dropped off

    Decisions…decisions, thinking Krak and the Gu and put Petrie in the ruck?

  • Pick 2-
    Puopolo, Duigan, Jacobs

  • I have a man love for danny stanley.

    hes going great guns.

  • Is higgins taking another visit to the general or is it a legit injury. heard it was general and there no info on his injury that is clear enough.

    • stuff all news around about his soft cock injury but if its any longer that 2 weeks, he will soon become goodes next week

    • The consensus seems to be that it is swelling in the knee and if the dogs lose this week then they will probably ice him up for the year

      Either way he is out for the next two weeks at least and I can’t carry him on the bench this time of the year so he goes for Lecca

    • Sports News First reported the following 2 days ago (

      “And Bulldogs young gun on-baller Shaun Higgins faces prospects of knee surgery that will end his season.

      Higgins, 23, will have scans to a knee complaint later this week that could require an operation and a recovery beyond the end of August and a now highly unlikely Bulldogs finals series.

      The classy on-baller is expected to at least require arthroscopic surgery which would almost certainly end his season, especially if the Dogs lose to top four hopefuls West Coast in Melbourne on Saturday and then have a bye in Round 20.”

      Although Eade has been quoted elsewhere talking the injury down i.e. it is just knee swelling and hopefully he’ll be right for round 21.

      So, who knows what the truth is? At best, its 2 weeks. At worst, its the season.

  • Darling will pull out a big one this week after being on pace for 90+ last week before getting vested !! No Kennedy means bigger responsibility and more chances I have him on the bench so he’ll get a spot with Jacobs other than that no wholesale changes. Sit 4th in my league but top for most points scored by about 600 with 2 rounds to claim the $250 in that category. Happy days especially when the guy chasing is copping a few donuts this week !!!

  • great,