Get Off The Bench: Round 22

As more and more teams are running out of trades, the right decisions in regards to who to play on the field is more important than ever!  Last week we saw some reasonable efforts from a few guys like Gu, I Smith and even Krakouer who did ok, but then, Nick Lower, what the hell happened there!  That cost me a few of my matchups that is for sure!  One that did better than I thought was Paul Puopolo.  Perhaps it was because he knew I was there watching him that he wanted to put in a good performance, if he had asked I would have requested he and the rest of the Hawks take the avo off, but alas it wasn’t to be.  However, if you were near the MCC members and saw a group of 4 Power supporters go up like it was the winning goal for each of our 5 goals, chances are you saw me, hey we made the trek across, might as well have a bit of fun if we are getting flogged!

So this week, we have the Cats out of our teams.  Hopefully you have saved enough trades for this week and next (when we are without the Blues) and can side swap or upgrade your Cats.  If not, then you are going to be relying on your ever dwindling quality bench guys (because you have probably already upgraded all the ones that were ok and made you some cash).

These guys are a safer bet than Milney to kick the first goal! (he has done it 8 times this year)

Our best performers of late are the guys you want in your side, they are all scoring well, and scoring consistently.  They are headed up by Tendai Mzungu who has back to back tons and a pair of 80’s prior to that.  He has been thrown into the Midfield of late and this is really helping his DT output!  I can’t see any changes in this plan for him in the near future.  Isaac Smith is another guy that is on fire of late.  He has now a 90 95 and 115 in his last 3.  He really looked good on the weekend.  He will have a far greater test this week against Carlton than he did against Port on Saturday, but against some of the better opposition he is still scoring well.  Andrew Gaff has really come from the clouds now that Woosha has let him off the Green Leash!  Averaging 94 in his last 5 and with the Eagles soft run home, he is really looking like he belongs in that Eagles side.  3 tons in those 5 show me why I picked him in my initial side and why he was No. 3 in the draft last year.

David Hale has been very solid for the Hawks over the last 7 games with nothing lower than 76.  He is averaging 82 over that period so doesn’t vary his scoring a great deal at all.  Will have his work cut out for him against the Blues, but should still put in a solid performance.

Andy Otten moved up from the 60’s and into the 80’s ont he weekend with a good outing against the Cats, but take into account the ball would have been down his end a fair bit in this close one.  This week against the Gold Coast he will be doing a fair bit of rebounding across half back, but I expect another score in the 60-70 range for him.  Teammate Matthew Wright continues to surprise me.  He had his first ton since round 8 and his scores haven’t been terrible in between either, so he is certainly a contender to score very well against GCS as he often plays up forward a bit and likes to kick a goal.

I am going to leave Krakouer up in this part of the list this week despite his 55 last week.  His form leading up to this game against the Saints was very good and they play the Lions at the G this week and I think that he will come back this week.  Similarly I will give Dyson Heppell a free pass for his 68 on Sat night.  However, he is another that I think is looking forward to the end of the season.  He is at Patterson’s Playground this week and he scored 81 against the Eagles back in round 7.  I would expect a score of at least that this week.

Zac Clarke still had a great game despite the return of Sandilands.  he did have his lowest score for the last 4 weeks, but that was still an 87.

Sam Iles made a comeback on the weekend with a 91.  He had a 44 the week prior, but that was his lowest score for the season.  I think against Adelaide at home he should pull out a nice score.  The Cannon, Trent McKenzie, played a nice game but only got a 62.  This was his lowest since round 13.  However, I think he will bounce back this week.  I reckon about 75+ is what you can expect from him.  Danny Stanley has also had his worst score for a while (since rd 11), but he has played really well lately and should still be safe to play.  David Swallow was touted for a rest this week, however since he didn’t get one, I am a bit nervous about how he will go this week.  If they were talking about it he must be fairly tired.  His last two have been his worst two in the last 8 weeks.  I am very fearful that he will get a vest this week.

Do we need to say too much about the Hawks?  They had a good day on Sat and their form is still very good.  Isaac Smith, Max Bailey and David Hale all had good games.  They played above their average last week, so I would expect them to be on average this week.  Paul Puopolo came up with the goods as I didn’t expect him to score that well, but I also didn’t expect the blowout that I saw.  81 from Puopolo was his best since rd 15.

Matthew Lobbe has had a couple of 70’s in the last two and this is a good effort, particularly in last weeks game.  This week against the Dogs at home I think he should do very well and score in the 80’s.

There is no extra trades or money next year if you tank in DT, so don’t play these guys

Brodie Smith seems to be copping his fair share and more of green vests of late, 3 of his last 5 since returning to the team.  He should be played with extreme caution and not at all if you have a choice.

Pump a guy up and he lets you down every time.  Patrick Karnezis is certainly a case of this.  So much so that his Green vest this week actually saw him outscore his previous week by 2!  Unfortunately his time is done, don’t play him.  Same thing has happened to Dean Polo I gave him a wrap and now he has put out a 61 and a 66 in the last two.

Nick Duigan has been a bit inconsistent of late.  His last 4 weeks have been 31 58 84 and 47.  This doesn’t scream “pick me” to coaches.  I think the long season has started to take its’ toll and I think he won’t score much more than about 60ish this week.  I think Stewart Crameri is another that has been bitten by inconsistency.  His score of 62 is below par for this guy.  He had a great run but has declined over the past few weeks.

Dion Prestia copped a green vest on Saturday night,  His 30 points is not what coaches need!  I would be very nervous if you need to play this guy.

Stefan Martin is a guy I have liked this year, but his form has dropped off in the last few weeks to an average of about 60.  Not sure if this is due to a change in playing style now that Bailey is gone but this scoring trend worries me.  Dan Nicholson is another I get asked about and after some poor scores and now a Green Vest against West Coast, I wouldn’t play him either.  Jeremy Howe is here for another reason, he had 95 on the weekend, but his two before that were below 70, and that isn’t good enough in a finals match, you need to know your guy is going to get a score over 70 with some confidence.

Cameron Pedersen was coming good, but his last game was a full game for 21 pts, not good enough.

Ben Jacobs has hit the wall a bit I think, his scores of late have been struggling to get above 6o and when he does, he doesn’t go much higher.

Sam Reid has dropped off the radar as has Alex JohnsonJack Darling plummeted back to earth again this week with a 60 showing his 88 and 99 were not a true indication of how he is going at the moment.

Luke Dahlhaus is a bit up and down at the moment with 73 58 and 81 in his last 3.  However, against the Power, he may stay at that higher end scoring, but I am just not sure.


With a bit of carnage at the selection table for a few teams (read: my team) it could be a struggle.  This is exactly why you save trades for this time of year.  Good luck in your elim finals and hopefully you are able to field a good side!  Twitter me at @pkd73


  1. Stanley
  2. Puopolo
  3. Heppell
  4. Otten
  5. Martin
  6. Duigan
  7. Jacobs


  1. I Smith
  2. Mzungu
  3. Gaff
  4. Krakouer
  5. Wright
  6. Heppell
  7. Iles
  8. Swallow
  9. McKenzie
  10. Crameri


  1. Hale
  2. Z Clarke
  3. Bailey
  4. Lobbe
  5. Vickery


  1. I Smith
  2. Mzungu
  3. Krakouer
  4. Hale
  5. Howe
  6. Lobbe
  7. Dahlhaus
  8. Prestia


  • i’m loving your 1st & 2nd selection for the defs, mids & fwds Dunny as i have them all…fingers crossed they get me over the line this weekend :)

    • and well done on your articles each week – it’s one that i look forward to for a read & especially at this crucial part of the season…nice one!!!

  • Excellent article as every week. Really useful. Well done. I have gone with Poo and Zu this week.

  • cheers mate great article again!
    the only problem with me this week is because of the rookies are playing well, im not sure whether to play them or the premiums.

    who do you suggest i should play this week out of the following (i need 3):
    mzungu, i.smith, didak, sylvia


    • They say Sylvia’s move to midfield may result in more points. Tough call.

      He is in for Chapman for me, so I have no choice.

    • Of those 4 I think I leave out Didak. Tough call, but given his 2 green vests he would be my biggest concern… having said that I am playing him this week, but I have no choice.

      • I’m playing Did’s over I. Smith this week. Didak’s ready to explode against Brissy and Smith will not get as much ball against Carlton’s midfield imo.

      • Malthouse said no more vests for Didak so he can prove himself for the finals…cmon Dids, repay the faith!

  • Nice one again Dunny. Love your work.

    I’m in the Prelims so don’t really have too much to worry about, but am still aiming for maximum points.

    Poo over Heppell? Some thought that Heppell may get the green vest?

    • I just think that Heppell is starting to tire, and the big ground at Pattersons may tire him just a bit more. Also travelling for a youngster can take it out of them. I know players score well over there, but he is getting tired.
      Given that Puopolo is a mature ager he should be more likely to keep going at the same pace.

  • Hi Guys,

    I need 2 out of these 3 players

    I.Smith, Foley, and Didak

    Who would you start?

  • I’ve got to choose between Lobbe and Bailey and I was just wondering why Bailey is higher on your list when you said you expect him to return to his average (mid 60’s I think) and are expecting a big game from Lobbe?

  • 2 of Broughton, Adcock, Heppell and Poo
    2 of Sylvia, Higgins, Gu and I Smith

  • Bailey or Lobbe?
    Missy or Gu?

  • Trading bartel out guys with salary of 399,500.. who would you choose out of barlow, thomas, cotchin or montagna already have swan, pendles, boyd, thompson and rockliff. Opponent has Ablett so need a point of difference

  • Worth giving J tippet a run in the ruck to cover smith or play L Keeffe for collingwood prob either is better than get zero what you guys think

    • Have u read the teams? Lachlan Keefe at CHF and playing Brissy. Wheres the ball gonna be?

      • Just asking the question mate Im not a retard tippet is full back named on his brother so where do u think the ball will be dip sh@t

  • Great article dunny. I just had a couple of dillemas. Do i play:

    Talia or Jacobs

    Mzungu or I.Smith or Riewoldt (2 out of 3)

    • Maybe Talia (didn’t think anyone would have him)

      If it is N Riewoldt, play him and I Smith
      If it is J Riewoldt play Gu and I Smith

  • who u reckon will score better 1, Sam Mitchell 2. Gary Ablett 3.Dale thomas

    • Good question. Looking to trade Bartel or Krakouer out for someone. I have enough to straight swap Kraks to Shiels so add him to the list at only $370k.

    • gary this week, mitchell for the season

  • This is awkward, i have to play one of Talia (vs GC), Howard (vs Port), Jacobs (vs Doggies), or Prestia (vs Adelaide) Help please.

  • Backs: Gibbs Goddard Fisher Hepple Suckling Broughton Adcock -(Stanley Otten Talia)
    Mids: Swan Pendles Boyd Redden Montagna Hodge ( Chappy J Selwood Bewick)
    Rucks: Cox Bailey ( Smith Lobbe)
    Forwards: Fyfe Goodes Buddy Cloke Reiwoldt Krak Mzungu ( Stevie J Howe Richardson)
    23,100 and 1 trade left. I am playing a very very good team this week and trying to get through to the preliminary final. I need some help to get through this week. Lots of good coaches here thanks for the advice.

  • selling bartel – for daisy/ barlow/ priddis? leaning towards daisy mainly because as a lions fan it’ll make sat nights game more enjoyable to watch.

    midfield already is swan, pendles, boyd, ablett, hodge.

    • Thoughts on Shiels??

    • Bringing one of those as well, except for Priddis (out of my $$ range), and so far I have them in the same order as you, plus a couple of others…

      1. Daisy – high ceiling, should score well against Lions and hopefully won’t be rested for the remaining 2 DT rounds.
      2. Barlow – very consistent, should deliver 100s each week.
      3. Priddis (if I could afford him) – consistent, high ceiling and good DT finals run.
      4. Shiels – GC in the DT GF is the carrot, but can be a bit up/down with his scoring.
      5. Mundy – risky but super consistent, wish he came back last weekend to show us his form/fitness and to have his big price crash this week.

    • If you go Daisy we’ll have exactly the same midfield :0000000000000

  • Birchall, Gram, or Bock? Gonna get one of these guys

  • Would anyone be tempted to play J Tippett in his first game? Its him or Lobbe, I think Lobbe since he is good for 70 and have absolutely no idea what Tippett might do.

    • Remember that Brogan is back this week which could affect Lobbe’s output.

      But you couldn’t seriously consider playing Tippett in his first game in a knockout final, that’s ludicrous!

      • Ruck doesn’t have a big influence anyway, and my opponent’s consists of Z Smith, Griffin, and Bathie so I can afford to take a small risk there. I agree with Brogan back, Lobbe might be down a bit, which is the only reason I’d consider Tippett. Playing defence he should see a bit of the ball.

        I guess I could swing Petrie into the ruck and play Howe instead of Lobbe… But I really don’t trust that kid. Lobbe has done nothing but impressed me when I have had to play him; I expected nothing against Collingwood in the wet or Hawks at MCG and both games he scored in the 70s.

  • Tossing up playing Puopolo or Robert Murphy vs Port? What do you guys think?

  • Just did a late season downgrade :000000

    Went T. Lynch to Callinan in my fwd line so I could swap him with Sylvia and free up ~ 70K

    Then went Hibberd to Bock down back.

    1 question:

    Stanley v Adelaide at Metricon or Adcock v Pies in Melb?

  • Billz

    If anyone was thinking of jumping on leon davis, hes now been replaced by Buckley and wont play this weekend!/search?q=%23aflpieslions

  • Im still unsure about playing Puopolo over Heppell?

    • I have both and am playing Heppell, but I have a bye this week so I havn’t really put much thought into it

  • Slappers

    whats up with Lower?

    do you think he will play next week?

    I need him to as he is my 6th DEF…

    • Just rubbish last week, I was at the game. He is on the block for Suckling next week

  • birchall or bock? Mainly focused on this week?
    Bock is playing alot like Sam fisher right now and really like it been rebounding well…. Birchall my oponent has so its risque’

  • Slappers

    DEF: Gibbs, Deledio, Fisher, Suckling, Adcock, Lower, Duigan (Pedersen, hibberd, howard)
    Mid: Swan, Boyd, Mitchell, Hodge, Bartel, Mzungu (Prestia, callinan, irons)
    Ruck: Cox, Sandi (Smith, Bailey)
    FWD: Stevie J, Fyfe, Pav, Goods, Chappy, Sylvia, N.Riewoldt (Howe, Richardson, Gordon)

    option 1:
    Gibbs – God
    Mzungu – Ablett

    Option 2:
    Swap Fyfe with Mzungu (makes Mzungu my 7th FWD, and fyfe my6th MID)

    Gibbs – God
    Lower or Duigan – Birchall


    or do you pros have any other options?

    • has to be option 2… lower – birchall… hes not playing

      • Slappers

        im ok for this week… as i skip this week and am in the prelim’s next week…

        so lower could get a game next week…

        are there any other good Defenders?


        Option 3:
        Swap Fyfe with Mzungu

        Gibbs – God
        Mzungu – Franklin/ROK?

        • i just dont think lower will score well from now on in all honesty…
          i’d stick with initial trade 2… but i would double trade ur backline

          gibbs- goddard

          lower- birchall/ bock

  • hey guys i need to play two out of these three who should i pick :s sylvia, mzungu and n.voldt

  • Ah…loving the week off in 4/5 leagues but being forced to play Mzungu, Sylvia and Gilbert. Will Gilbert ever pull his finger out…my worst mistake this year.

  • Finished top in two leagues and now in cut throat final and i dont want to go out in straight sets

    Backd – Gibbs goddard delidio fisher suckling heppel broughton (lower poo talia)
    Mids – pendel swan boyd ablett thompson gu (bartel prestia jacobs)
    Rucks – cox sandi (tippett lobbe)
    Fwds – fyfe goodes cloke okeefe franklin petrie nroo (sylvia lynch richardson)

    Is that my best line up or should i have sylvia in playing.

    5 trades left and 11000 in bank but these are useless if i loose.

    Is it worth trading lower to an unknown – have sufficient cover for gibbs in his bye and will trade heppel for the granny if i make it so can make close to 200000 off lower.
    then maybe upgrade bartel to anyone was thinking mitchell (but he may be rested) nds or montags

    or are there any better options. Really hate sylvia but if i upgrade him who in the fwds will miss out

  • should i play J.Adcck or D.Heppel

  • play sylvia, issac smith or mzugu on field?