Get Off The Bench: GRAND FINAL

So you have made it to the final or you are just looking to make sure you end up with the best possible national ranking that you can.  Well we all know that with the 8 locked away and all but 2 positions in the 8 virtually decided, it is time for coaches to get on the horn and get General Soreness down to the club to sort a few people out.  What this means for us is that we either have to have a bench that is fairly well loaded with guys getting a game or have a couple of trades up our sleeves.  In my case it is a little of each, a few guys playing and one trade left (my opponent this week already knows how many I have so it doesn’t matter…).

We already knew we would be without Stanton, Watson and Heppell this week, but then we get the news that Fyfe, Lower, Otten and Daisy Thomas would also be out so we were prepared for them to miss on Monday, but the real carnage comes on a Thursday night when we find out that Buddy, Hodgey, Birch, and Cyril are also going to miss!

These guys will get a DT Premiership Medal for you

Last time Andy Krakouer played the Cats he only scored 66pts, his form of late has been a touch patchy, with a 108, 86, 55, miss with injury and a 96.  So he has the potential to get a good score and I think he will, but he can burn you too.

Matty Wright is a Crow that has been good apart from one game in his last few and that was his red vested 31 against Brisbane.  He rebounded against the Tigers with a tidy 85.  Certainly consider this guy.

One guy I do trust is The Gu who has really shown his talent of late with only one score under 75 in his last 7.  He comes up against the Doggies, but I don’t think this will really trouble him too much and he should come through with another big score for you.  Despite his 52 last week, I am going to still recommend Zac Clarke because there is pretty much no one left to play for Freo this week!  His form has been all over 82 in his last 7 games except for last week, so he should still have a good output.

Nick Duigan scored 77 last time he plyed the Saints and his form at the time was about the same as it is now, so I think he should be a fairly safe bet, but he won’t get you a massive score this week.

Not sure why Allen Christensen got the green vest last week, perhaps he lost the raffle?  He only scored 30, but after a week off and less than half a game, I see him getting a full outing against Collingwood this week, my only concern here is that he is listed last on the bench.  Last time against Collingwood he had a green23, but don’t be put off by that, since round 14 he has had a 4 tons and a heap of good scores.

Dion Prestia, Danny Stanley and David Swallow have all been good performers for our teams all year (well most of it in Prestia’s case) and I see no reason that their recent form shouldn’t continue this week.  All of these guys should be scoring in the 70 – 90 range this week, However, when they played the Hawks last, Prestia had 28 and Stanley 83 and Swallow didn’t make the trip.  But I think their form of late has been much better than that and that was Prestia’s worst Non Vest score of the year.

Paul Puopolo had an 68 when he played the Suns at Launceston but his scoring was in the 60’s then.  Lately he has been drifting towards the forward line and snagging a couple of goals here and there, he won’t score 129 like last week, but he will certainly do better than 68.  Teammate Luke Breust is another that has really come on since last time, however, his first game against the Suns was also his first full game after coping 5 green vests in a row to start his career, and he repayed us with a monster 112 that day.  Given he is playing better and more consistently now, I would stick with him!  Rounding out the Hawks we have David Hale who won’t have much opposition and has been scoring in the 70 – 100 range of late and I can’t see that changing particularly with Bailey out, he will get more time on the ball and potentially stay on the ground for more of the game.  Isaac Smith had a down day last week (thanks, it helped me win a couple of games) but I think this will turn around against the Gold Coast this week.  He had a 99 last time they met and I expect nothing to change this time.

Cameron Pedersen didn’t do too well last week, but I think he has one more good score left in him.  He has a 69 last week but a 114 the week before.

How happy does it make me to put a couple of Power boys in this list…  John Butcher has been sensational for Port, and he hasn’t been too bad for the DT’ers too.  58, 67 and 93 in his first 3 games.  If you do have him, well done.  If you have to play him he should be ok, but he would be a good choice as bench cover.  Matty Lobbe has been good for the Power and has been over 70 and up to 93 in his last 4.  Just beware that Brogan is back so Lobbe may lose some points.

Ty Vickery has had two 80’s in his last two and has played well up forward kicking a few goals last week.  I would have confidence playing him this week if you need to.  His mate Dean Polo has come back to a reasonable score last week of 94.  He had a couple of weeks of 60’s there but hopefully he is back to where he was this week.

For those of you like me who picked up Andrew Gaff at the start of the year and realised he didn’t make enough cash to trade him and held him, you are reaping the rewards now.  He has had some great scores of late, his only poor one was 57 two weeks ago.  I will be playing him (through lack of players, thanks Hawks) and I think he should score a tidy 85+.

Risky picks, but sometimes the X Factor can win you the GF…

Patty Karnezis must think his car has broken down at the lights.  In the last three he has gone Greenvest, Redvest and then Greenvest again!.  I think his propensity for a vest and poor scoring of late mean he shouldn’t be on your ground this week.  Teammate Sam Sheldon also dropped off last week with a 52 and that worries me.  He had a good run of 3 games prior to that, but no real form prior to those 3.  Risky, but playable maybe.

Speaking of an X Factor, and not that crap tv show, Alex Fasolo would have to fall into that category.  He has been plodding along very nicely of late and has had some good scores, but I just wonder how he will go against the top contender in Geelong.  He scored 43 against Hawthorn, Green 21 against Carlton and 50 against the Saints so against those sides towards the top of the ladder he has struggled a bit.

Clayton Hinkley is a name that most won’t know and is my out and out smokey this week, but he is one of the Dockers that is still standing and has had 73 and green63 in the last two weeks, if he doesn’t cop a vest he could get himself a reasonable score? Maybe?

Harley Bennell is an interesting guy at the Gold Coast.  I just don’t know how to rate him I just don’t have the confidence in him.   Harley hangs around in the 50’s and 60’s mostly so I wouldn’t risk him.  You could also throw Brandon Matera into the mix too.  Since he lit it up against Port in Rd 5 (although that round has been permanently wiped from my memory) he has done pretty much nothing.  He had 6 weeks off then scored 70 last week.  I won’t be playing him.  Zac Smith has really ground to a halt at the end of the year and against Hale this week I think he will struggle again.

I have had to drop Stefan Martin to this area this week.  He has now been consistent, but only getting 60’s.  Just be aware that this is what you will get.

Kieren Harper will be ok, but he is really only Cinnamon.  I reckon maybe 65 max for him.

Tom Liberatore has made a comeback and he he has a 71, 97 and 60 in the last few.  So I think against a depleted Dockers outfit I think he should bet 60ish again.  His mates Tutty and Dahlhaus are a little questionable for me.  They can score well, but will they?

That’s it for Get Off The Bench for the year.  I wish you all the best for the Grand Final this week.  Thanks for reading throughout the year, I hope I have helped you, if not, well sorry about that!  I have certainly enjoyed trying to sift through the rif raf of the bench cover that we all have.  Next year we may not need to rely on these guys too much, or certainly not so many of them!  Have a great off season and I will see what I can do to help you pick your best side going into next year.  Catch you all over the summer in Twittertown @pkd73


  1. Puopolo
  2. Stanley
  3. Duigan
  4. Pedersen
  5. Polo
  6. Martin
  7. Tutt
  8. Talia


  1. I Smith
  2. Mzungu
  3. Swallow
  4. Krakouer
  5. Gaff
  6. Christensen
  7. Wright
  8. Prestia
  9. Fasolo
  10. Hinkley
  11. Bennell
  12. Sheldon
  13. Liberatore


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


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


  • Good read. Thanks for all the hard work during the season. Really worthwhile. I got into the grand final with no trades left and with all the outs I have only 2 emergencies. But no donuts, at this stage. Wish me luck

    Will I play Lobbe over Zmith?

    I will play HArper over Howe

  • Well done for the year Dunny. At least we don’t have to decide over Heppell and Poo this week. Poo takes the field for my Grand Finals.

    One trade and $60k left. Probably turn Fyfe into Scotland and then swap Scotland for Heppell. Sorry Rawlings, I can’t trust you on the field for a GF.

    As for Toasted, do I play Lobbe over ZSmith? Probably doesn’t matter as my opponent has Lobbe and no replacement. He also has 3 Hawks and Fyfe out.

  • Cheers for the read this year Dunny well done mate. Im in a world of hurt down back this week and will be coping my first duck egg of the year X 2!!!! with a total of 5 defenders out this week for me !!!! You wouldn’t read about it!! anyways mate cheers!

  • well done again dunny! great article!

    tonight i will use my last trade on buddy -> steve johnson. then my team will look like this…

    goddard, gibbs, delidio, adcock, broughton, fisher, suckling (puopolo(E), golby, hibberd)
    swan, ablett(C), pendles, boyd(V), redden, bartel (prestia(E), jacobs, sylvia)
    cox, mcevoy (j.tipp, mccauley)
    goodes, n.voldt, stevie j, chappy, didak, petrie, i.smith (mzungu(E), howe, fyfe)

    have i made the right trade and have i selected the right team on the field? thanks so much again mate you’ve done a magnificent job!

    • Look like a good trade (one I’ve just made in fact!). With regards to who plays though, do you think that McEvoy is going to outscore Mzungu and Petrie? With Gardiner in I’m worried. I’ve swapped Petrie into the rucks and put Mzungu on the field in my forwards with McEvoy as an emergency in the rucks (however I have no possible E in backs). The downside of this is that emergency cover is not as good and it’ll probably only be a difference of 15 points or so (expected – could be anything between -20 and 50). Otherwise, I’d still put Mzungu ahead of Petrie, but can understand if you think Petie’s a decent chance at 140 against Richmond.

  • Thanks dunny, fantastic mate

    Buddy to Stevie J or T.Cloke?

    • Definitely Stevie J.

      He had 129 last time they played the Pies and has the potential to score the big one
      Cloke will struggle v the Cats.

  • Thanks Dunny! Another ripper article after a whole season of great ones. Thanks for all the work you’ve put in Dunny. As a Crows fan, I can finally say I can trust a Port Power supporter! ;)

    My last question to you this season: :(

    Broughton (should get midfield time in depleted Freo team) or Poo (coming off 129 v GC)?

  • talia or callinan on the ground?

    • Talia. Callinan has a 70% chance of getting the green vest.

      • Callinan as 70% chance is wrong … but this question is a good example to show how to use the Vested Interest stats – because Talia and Callinan both come from Adelaide.

        If anyone adds up all the percentages for any Team they all add up to 300%. So you have to be a bit careful how you use them.

        Talia is named on field in Back Pocket:
        Adelaide has named their sub on the field only 3 times out of 21 games (14%).
        So you could make the assumption that there is only a 14% chance that ANY of the 18 field players will be named sub.
        But the chance for EACH individual field player (e.g. Talia) being the one named is much less than this – it depends on the likelihood of Talia being the ONE picked from the 18 v the likelihood of all the 17 others being the individual picked from the field 18.
        We don’t have stats on this, but say you decided there were 5 realistic subs candidates named on the field (Talia + 4 others), all having an equal (20%) chance that they would be the field player picked as sub out of the 18 field players.
        Then the overall chance of Talia being picked as sub would be close to:
        14% x 20% = 2.8% (not much).

        Callinan is named on bench in no. 4 spot:
        Adelaide has named their sub on the bench 15 times out of 21 (71%).
        So you could make the assumption that there is a 71% chance that ANY of the 4 bench players will be the sub.
        But in this case we also have stats for the individual positions on the bench. Of the 10 times Adelaide has named its sub on the 4 man bench, 7 of them have been in the #4 position (70%).
        So the overall chance of Callinan being named sub could be close to:
        71% x 70% = 50% (which is pretty high out of 22 possible players).

        You could also say that Callinan is nearly 18 times more likely to be the sub than Talia (50% / 2.8% = 17.9).

        As well as the numbers you can also look at the player types shown in all the vested player names:
        – Most of the subs are secondary mid-fielders and flankers like Callinan, not tall defenders like Talia.
        – There is also a trend to give running players a transitional game as sub when coming back from injury – suggesting Callinan again.

        I’ll post a copy of this with the Vested Interest thread as it’s a good example for how to use the stats.

        For any stats pedants out there:
        – I know that there are some apples and oranges assumptions here but the above calculations are good enough for this forum and the types of questions coaches ask.
        – take a deep breath … and let it go…

        Apologies for long post

        • I am a bit of a stats nut myself and can say pretty safely that your assumptions are sound. There are so many variables that you need to makes some calls and i believe you have made the right ones.

  • Been told to flip a coin on this, but any other thoughts.

    Who would you start out of Stanley or Adcock??

    Had trade plans for either one of these fellas, but the Hawthorn capitulation has left me using these trades else where.

  • Thanks for the great year Dunny.

    I need to bring a forward in for Buddy and can spend $415K. I’m thinking Gia or (heaven forbid) Missy Higgins against the Shockers.

    Which one should chop up more?

  • Some smokeys to consider for your FWDs – Gia and Robbie Gray

  • Thanks for the articles all year, Dunny!

    Howe doesn’t even make the list in the forward line, or did you forget him? I’ll play Prestia ahead of him, but with no vest and an easy opponent he has the potential for a big score.

  • Who for Franklin? Hall or Rok

  • HELP!!! I’m up against my boyfriend in the GF, I won the final last season so to keep my Dream Team Queen title I HAVE TO WIN again!!!!
    I’m a bit stuck on who to get and who to put on this week, so any help would be great.
    I have 2 trades left but only $20,300.

    He will probably read this and acuse me of cheating, but hey he has an army of who knows how many helping him out ….. so fairs fair!!! Your going down!!!

    Def: Gibbs, Goddard, Deledio, Adcock, Fisher, Enright, Suckling, Broughton, Puopolo, Nicholson
    Mid: Pendlebury, Swan, Ablett, Boyde, Mitchell, Rockliff, Sylvia, Hibberd, Blease
    Ruck: Cox, McEvoy, Hale, Thomspson
    Forward: Cloke, Goodes, Franklin, Prestia, Petrie, Riewoldt, Mzungu, Fyfe, Lynch, Richardson

    • Without looking at the numbers, I would trade Buddy to Didak and use the money to upgrade Prestia to a premium. Good Luck.

    • Yeah Buddy to Did’s for sure, pocket yourself about $138K. Then go Fyfe to Johnson, Chappy or ROK

      Good luck

    • asl

    • Defenders are fine – overloaded actually since you may not play Puopolo (against GC) who could score pretty high.

      Midfield starting 6 is same as mine – and I haven’t seen many better. You have cover in Blease and perhaps Nicholson in a pinch, but Blease is probably a better option.

      Rucks are OK – as good as everyone else’s. Hale is an option as a DPP forward starter since he is playing GC with Bailey out. He should score pretty well – maybe even better than Petrie or McEvoy.

      Forwards are in a mess.
      You have 5 passable starters – Cloke, Goodes, Mzungu, Petrie, Riewoldt (assuming it’s Nick) + 4 non starters (Fyfe, Franklin, Richardson and Lynch). Plus Prestia who you could use if you had to.

      So your problem is how to get 2 starting forwards for 2 trades – and keep Prestia for e-cover. But Fyfe and Franklin + $20.3k = $772.3k you should be able to get 2 good options – since so many premo forwards are out for this round.

      S.Johnson at $430k is probably overpriced for what he will score v pies.
      Chapman at $382k
      Higgins at $341k
      O’Keefe at $333k,
      Gia, I.Smith, Didak could all be worth a shot.

      The only pair you can’t get is Chapman + S.Johnson – who are up against the pies press anyway.

      Suggest you match up your side against your BF’s and then work out if you are leading (in which case play safer) or behind (in which case go for more risky high ceiling options).

      • Actually to make it simpler … your BF will probably have one of S.Johnson and Chapman. Get the same one as your BF… if he has both, or neither, just get Chappy.

        Then get the best other forward player you can afford (who isn’t injured or being rested which is most of the top ones you don’t have).

  • Always good stuff Dunny, cheers mate

    Well like everyone else The Magoo’s are struggling to put a team on the park, luckily I did save 2 trades just in case this did happen.

    As with most teams I need to replace Buddy and the Knife, there are a few options but am a bit unsure which way to go.

    Option 1. Buddy —> Petrie, Fyfe —> Johnson,Cloke,Higgins

    Option2. Substitute Fyfe for the Gu, Buddy –> Petrie, Lobbe –> Sandilands

    Bottom line is I guess do I strengthen my ruck or go for glory and hope Stevie J and the Dish both have blinders?


    • Option Two appears to give the biggest bang for your bucks, but I would go Buddy > Stevie J. Brogan back in so Lobbe’s output will be down. Sandi hopefully will give 90+.

  • Tough decision to make with my backline this week. I need to bench 2 out of the following: Goddard, Deledio, Gibbs, Enright, Broughton, Suckling, Adcock, Martin & Puopolo.

    Obviously Goddard, Lids, Gibbs & Enright are locks.

    The others I’m not so sure.

    You’d think that Stef martin against Port and Suckling and Puopolo against Gold Coast could go big?

    Am also worried about late withdrawals for hawks and subbing?

    Hard to say what kind of roles Adcock and Broughton will have this week?


    • I think you have to bench Adcock, backman have been scoring very poorly against Sydney especially at the SCG, he has the lowest ceiling of those players too.. any of them could go big except Adcock, he’ll be good for 90 max but I would be putting money on somewhere around 70

  • hey guys,

    first off i wanna vent my frustration at bringing rioli in for pavlich last week, went against my gut instinct and it has come back to bite me in the ass, he now joins the NEVER EVER again list!

    luckily with all the outs we all copped this week, iv still managed to field a decent side with my only dilemma currently in the backline, who to play out of puopulo v stanley? stanley has been very impressive this year and knows how to rack up the points and would be picked over puopulo every other day of the week except this time birchall is out, could this mean puopulo will take over his role?? decisions decisions… any help would be much appreciated.

  • well done again dunny! great article!

    tonight i will use my last trade on buddy -> steve johnson. then my team will look like this…

    goddard, gibbs, delidio, adcock, broughton, fisher, suckling (puopolo(E), golby, hibberd)
    swan, ablett(C), pendles, boyd(V), redden, bartel (prestia(E), jacobs, sylvia)
    cox, mcevoy (j.tipp, mccauley)
    goodes, n.voldt, stevie j, chappy, didak, petrie, i.smith (mzungu(E), howe, fyfe)

    have i made the right trade and have i selected the right team on the field? thanks so much again mate you’ve done a magnificent job!

  • Thanks for your work this year, have enjoyed these articles …

    I have two selection dilhemmas this week in an extremely close GF matchup, any thoughts appreciated…

    Am forced to play one of Tapscott or Howe – assuming both are named – both are ordinary prospects but I need every point I can get. Inclined to go Howe but what odds he will he be the sub again? I’m in two minds on this one, Tapscott looks safer.

    A bit more speculative – debating whether to put Puopolo on the field over Broughton. Surely Broughton must play midfield even though named in the backline? If he plays as named I suspect Poo is the better option vs. GC but hard not to back your premium…

  • Im overseas in the states and was wondering if anyone knew a way in which to watch the final games?
    is there an internet site in which i can stream it off? or anyway in which i can see the cats play?

  • Need some help – who to trade in for Fyfe this week – not confident of Stevie J or Cloke and thinking either:

    or will Cloke or Stevie J stand up tonight??

    Help please

    • I tossed a coin and got Missy in particularly as this season’s been a write off and just one last time I want to say “NEVER AGAIN!!!!”

  • Thanks Dunny – for nothing! Luckily the DT year is over and there will be no more ‘Get off the Bench’ articles. Stick to chewing scrote old chap!

    @ bobby – get Cloke – he’ll run Taylor ragged tonight.

    • WOW! someone has there period…

    • Harsh

    • Thanks for your feedback… I will file it with where all used toilet paper goes….

      Great advice on picking up Cloke! See this picking who is going to score well isn’t as easy as it looks.

      • Your reply is written as poorly as your articles!

        And all used toilet paper goes in the ‘dunny’…. How ironic… Now get back to that scrote!

        • Yet you still find the need to read the articles and comment? For someone who thinks they are no good then you certainly take a fair bit of interest.

          Thanks for your constructive critisism and I will take it all on board… oh wait…. there wasn’t any, just crap from someone with nothing better to do than have a go at those trying to help others.

  • Hey there people ned some advive on the best combination to maximise points, have no trades but plenty of subs ….
    Back; Gibbs, Adcock, Gram, Fisher, Goddard, Delidio, Puop (Heppelp, Otten,Toy (e))
    Mids, Swan, Pendles, Boyd, Rockcliff, Mitchell, Ablett (Sylvia, Jacobs, Callinan(e))
    Rucks; Cox, Petrie (Smith(e), Cordy)
    For; Chapman, N Voldt, J, Voldt, Goodes, ROK, Lobbe, Prestia (Howe, Fyfe, Franklin)

    So as you can see injuries and omissions hit me, not as hard as my opposition though (am in 4 Grand Finals), so do you think I have it right or start Smith/in the ruck and Petrie in the forwards and have Lobbe or Prestia off??
    Thoughts on Presta starting or will I get more from Smith against an undermanned Hawks?
    Also, do you think the emergencies are in the right places?


  • Who for Franklin? Cloke , Hall , Rok?

  • Franklin to Cloke or Rok?

  • It probably won’t effect anyone, but AdelaideNow is reporting Scully is a definite withdrawal from the Melbourne team coming to Adelaide due to soreness.

    • Actually looks like it was in the team lists yesterday anyway. Not news then.

    • That’s correct my good friend he did not travel.
      From what Ive heard he does have a plane ticket though

  • Hey Fellas Skully here to help you out for the next half hour or so. So send your questions through and I will answer as best I can

    • I’ve got a nasty rash downstairs – should I see someone about it?

      • You know what I probably would because apes have some scary flesh eating diseases that will eat away at your asshole

  • Back: Gibbs, Goddard, Deledio, Fisher, Enright, Suckling, Stanley (Jacobs, Heppell, O’Keeffe)
    Mid: Swan, Pendlebury, Ablett, Thompson, Boyd, Mitchell (Fyfe, Bewick, Callinan)
    Rucks: Cox, Jacobs (J Tippett, T Derickx)
    Forwards: Goodes, Johnson, O’Keefe, Higgins, Petrie, Mzungu, Smith (Franklin, Howe, Lynch)
    1 trade, 49k

    Worried about forward line depth and potential for Suckling to be subbed. Considering Franklin -> Cloke/Reiwoldt/Harvey or Suckling -> Scotland. What do you reckon?

    • Personally Ive taken a punt on Harvey always puts in good scores against Richmond.
      Smith should go alright but he would be the one Id trade.
      Or get rid of Suckling (who was f**king useless last week) for Scotland

    • Suckling is always named on the pine and always plays the whole game.

  • would you play broughton or gram?

  • thanks for the articles to all the dttalk boys

    who do i play as sixth mid gaff v d.swallow

  • Where would you place broughton (considering fyfe, pav, lower and mundy are out) and didak in those lists?