Versus: Round 11

Tom returns for another week of putting players head-to-head in Versus.

Jeremy Howe ($415,000) V Matthew Suckling ($413,000)

Jeremy Howe’s AFL career has been littered with high marks, prompting commentators to severely overuse the obvious pun lurking within his last name. The Magpies gained a player with clean hands overhead, speed, good endurance and unique versatility in the off-season. Since taking out the Demon’s best and fairest award last year, Howe has been utilised down back where his assets have been a key factor in the Magpies mid-season revival. After struggling to make much of an impact early on in the season, a change in role has seen him post Fantasy scores of 98, 83, 94 and 117 over the last month. Throughout this period, Collingwood have no-doubt played their best football, smashing Brisbane and accounting for Premiership contenders Geelong. Although they most recently lost to the Bulldogs, Howe was a shining light. He amassed 28 disposals, 11 marks, 3 tackles on his way to a season-high of 117 points – the second highest round 10 score by a defender. Looking ahead for Howe and the black and white troops sees the fixtures shaping nicely. First they play Port Adelaide at the MCG in round 11, followed by Melbourne in the Queens Birthday clash a week later. After the bye, they go head-to-head with Fremantle and arch-rival Carlton at you guessed it – the MCG. Normally I wouldn’t consider bringing in players who haven’t recorded a season average of over 80. However a change of roles and new found confidence could be worth a shout. A BE of 38 should further help his cause.

The Bulldogs snapped up a real weapon when Matthew Suckling made the trip across Melbourne to join the young Western Bulldogs. A duel Hawthorn premiership player in 2014 and 2015, Suckling is best renowned for his deadly left foot. Capable of slicing open defences or spearheading attacks, Suckling’s kicking skills will no-doubt play a big role as the business end of the season enters the frame. Like most of the Bulldogs defenders, Suckling enjoyed a great start, scoring 92, 91, 87, and 95. By now, ‘Suckers’ was staking a strong claim for a position as a top six defender. Unfortunately, his season came crashing back down when he re-injured his knee against Brisbane – the same injury which caused him numerous issues in the past. Suckling was unable to return to the field, resulting in a score of 15 and a huge decrease in price. Thankfully, it was not an ACL injruy and last week, Matt returned to the field – doing so in fine fashion. Suckling transitioned back into senior footy as if nothing had ever gone wrong, scoring 92 points from 22 disposals, 7 marks, 1 tackle and a goal. Whether he’s up in the forward line, on the wing or setting up the play from down back, Suckling poses a threat to any opposition. On previous occasions his deadliness and accuracy has seen some teams specifically look to lock him down. However he has joined a team where stars such as Macrae, Bontempelli, Liberatore and Hunter surely attract more attention. June is shaping up to be a big month as the dogs face West Coast, Port Adelaide, Geelong and Sydney. This could make or break their top four chances but expect consistent scores throughout from Suckling. His ceiling may not be as high as other notable defenders but consistency, value and DPP flexibility make Suckers a smart pick up leading into the byes.

Verdict: In this case I tend to back the player with the runs on the board. Although Howe arguably has a higher ceiling than Suckling, the Bulldog will be more consistent which is what you want from defenders. Personally I would much prefer two 90’s over a 110 and 70. I’d expect Suckling’s price to easily rise past the $450,000 mark in coming weeks but on the flip side, Howe may struggle to push beyond that boundary. Suckling for me but Howe may turn out to be a nice late upgrade for D5/6.

Who do you take?

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Jordan Lewis ($491,000) V David Armitage ($462,000)

Hawks veteran Jordan Lewis has been a Fantasy premium for numerous years now. He started last season on fire, posting five consecutive scores of 110+ before missing rounds 6 and 7. Lewis continued his ripping form into the Hawks round 8 clash with Sydney, scoring 116 Fantasy points. But just as coaches started to jump on board, Lewis’ form hit a bump. As true champions do, Lewis’ series of under par performances didn’t last long. His scores didn’t dip below 90 for the remainder of the season. In many ways, 2016 has started along the same lines. After 134 and 110 in the opening two weeks, Lewis then pumped out a 60 – much to the disgust of his owners. A 111 the following week saved his position in many teams. However poor showings in weeks 5 and 6 caused his price to severely deflate. Just like last year, many coaches saw the value and jumped on board. They have been rewarded with three tons in four weeks including a huge 140 most recently. The best thing for non-owners is that he is still priced well below his potential at $491,000. With the likes of Sam Kerridge and Ben Kennedy starting to top out now looks like the perfect time to pick up Jordan Lewis. When Lewis is at his very best, racking up disposals and laying tackles seems easy. He can push forward and has a knack of stepping up to kick important goals. Interestingly, each game where he has kicked a goal this year, has resulted in a ton. Hawthorn should also make their next two months seem easy. They face Melbourne, Essendon, North Melbourne, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide, Sydney, Richmond and Carlton in a series of matches which should see Lewis and team-mate Sam Mitchell return to their brilliant bests. A BE of 64 and bye in week 15 combined with value and great upcoming fixtures is surely enough to warrant a trade this week. But get on him soon as his price will escalate back up to the high $500,000’s in the blink of an eye.

David Armitage was undoubtedly one of the surprise packets of the AFL last year. The Saints midfielder averaged a cool 107 Fantasy points – hitting the ton for the first time in his career. At various stages last year, particularly early on, Armitage and team-mate Jack Steven were the two top midfielder’s. After scoring 89 points in the opening week of the 2015 season, Armitage then went on an awesome run of form. He toned up for nine straight weeks before Melbourne were able to restrict him to 75. Although things finished a little shakier, his first half form was enough to see him finish as the 13th highest Fantasy scorer overall. His partnership with Jack Steven worked extremely well, with Armo’s inside work complementing the run and carry of Steven. Its fair to say that very few coaches would’ve predicted such a top class season from a player who had never previously reached great heights. As a result, David started this year at the premium price of $592,000. It would’ve taken a brave man to start with him considering proven performers like Hannebery and Pendlebury were available for around the same price. So far in 2016 Armitage has recorded scores of 105, 92, 80, 113, 93, 74, 58, 60, 103 and 158. Compared to last year, these scores are fairly disappointing however opposition teams have clearly found out a way to quell the Queenslander’s impact. Like Lewis, a dip in form has resulted in him being very under priced. $462,000 for someone who was super consistent for the majority of last year is very cheap. But also similar to Lewis, Armitage’s price looks set to return to its normal value thanks to a low BE (45). St.Kilda play Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval this week in what will be a tough game. Adelaide has one of the biggest home ground advantages in the league and should be able to beat a young Saints team. The Crows have conceded an average of 2.25 100’s per game this year, ranking them third. Jump on Armitage and watch as his price and consistency is restored.

Verdict: These two inside midfielder’s shot out of the blocks last year and looked like absolute must haves. Unfortunately their form decreased as the season wore on. Both started this season highly priced and were overlooked by many to a point where they were premium POD’s in the midfield. This season has been similar and has seen both players priced drop below $500,000. Don’t expect that to last long so jump on this week to get the best value. Judging by previous years, I have to trust Lewis in this scenario. Both are top choices though.

Who do you take?

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MB-AFL-6K-Sat-Slam (1)


  • When I was doing my Trades yesterday I was thinking of who am I going to bring into my side this week and I had 3 options, the 3 options were Suckling, Howe or Wingard. I decided to go Wingard as he is starting to score well plus he is a cheaper option.

  • Surely this was a week for a Ruck Versus, given all of us with Martin looking to offload

  • You’re getting real fucking lazy when writing these articles, where is the days where you had 3 or 4 RELEVANT verses options? Why would you not do a verses for a ruckman, clearly with SMartin being in the top 5 most traded out players this week, it would be the logical choice to write about, saying that.

    It is very well written, and keep up the good work, maybe just do abit more to make a impact on this website

    • +1 a ruck versus would have been very handy considering Martins recent form


        Stef has been stinking. Perhaps partially or wholly attributable to Trent West’s presence, Fantasy coaches are left with a conundrum this week with his BE to 130 and with Stef having already shed so much coin.

        For those with cash to splash, Goldie is the prima facie obvious answer, yet his knee issue may see him miss Friday. Gawn is the next most likely candidate, but is hugely inconsistent, and many already have him as R2. Tippett is probably third most likely and has a favourable match up this week, but for those who already have Gawn this means no starting rucks for the R14 bye.

        Lycett has been in very good form, but ruckman have struggles against Tom Campbell’s mobility and against the Dogs generally. He isn’t hugely reliant on ruck taps necessarily but the Dogs at Etihad may not be his cup of tea. Similar principle applies for Nic Nat. Blicavs has GWS this week so won’t pay instant dividends.

        For mine – if West is dropped keep Stef – he plays well with Rocky and as sole ruck. Also Walker would be a better pick for Lions, giving Lions a target up forward with Schache and give Stef a chop out. If West plays Goldy (if he plays), then Gawn, then Tippett in that order. Lycett is a smokey

        • Grundy also very consistant but not a big ceiling, for me I am considering Gawn v Grundy v Lycett

          Lycett seems to be showing that he can be consistent and a big scorer.

          Think I may just go Gawn due to his ability to win (fantasy) matches

    • Probably could have worded that a bit nicer.

      Entitled much?

    • I’d love to know how going out of your way to provide advice and help to someone is “real fucking lazy”.

    • Bit harsh to label someone lazy who writes these articles for free?

      • +1. Thanks for your article Tom.

        • Would’ve loved to have done a comparison on ruckman but school has been real busy lately. No Versus articles next week as I’m away on a camp but after that it should return to 3 comparisons a week as the term comes to an end. :)

          • Good on ya for taking the time out to write an article at all mate. For some reason there seems to be an unusually large number of knob ends criticising everything posted on the site this year.

          • Cheers Andy :)

  • I’m taking a punt and bringing in Dunkley and Blakely – I need the loot gained to bring in premos during the byes.

  • Why don’t people do there own research instead of blaming you guys for being lazy. Maybe it’s because they are busy at work or busy with personal stuff, we are all in the same Comp.

  • why do you people doubt howe so much? he looks great back there and pies have an easy draw for the next few

    • Not speaking for anyone but myself.. My concern with Howe is that its on record he had an arrangement with buckley that he wouldnt be used in defense. I fear that Howes’ role as the sweeper may be shortlived and he’ll return to his days of scoring 40-80s playing as a forward. Risk vs reward, you brave? :)

  • I admit the versus articles aren’t a must read for me, because I do my own research and make up my own mind. In saying that, when I do read these articles I always think to myself “holy shit, this was well researched and written!”

    Of all the articles on here, mbrucie’s were most relevant to me and they’ve stopped completely.

    In saying that, what the fuck is stopping us from generating conversations of interest to us in the comments section? Ala Alex? Nothing.

    So Blaise and Tyson M, the floor’s yours…

  • Titch or Steven? and try to just give me a name (don’t just say ‘Titch might tag’), I just need a straight answer please.

    Cheers fellas

    • steven has the easier run home is cheaper wont take tagging duties and has the rd13 bye as opposed to titch who has the 14 bye along with a lot of other popular DT picks. i would grab steven. PS i have both so no bias here

    • Titch might tag.

    • Steven will never tag…genuine ball winner and makes me angry when I watch him and I don’t have him in my team (got him in last week at his bottom price $$$$)

  • G’day gang.

    This is for Supercoach…….

    Suckling Def-Fwd – $407,200 BE 132


    McVeigh Def-Mid – $420,000 BE 80

    I am sort of leaning towards Sucking due to FWD DPP. He has been more consistent than McVeigh.


    • Take away mcveighs 2 goals that he scored last week and his score isn’t that great. I would go suckling. Going him next week in fantasy

    • This week McVeigh, I think he is a better bet to go past his BE and get more expensive where Suckling will most likely be a bit cheaper next week with a lower BE. Both are on my radar

  • Hey fellas abit of a versus myself

    Gawn v Grundy v Lycett ?

    Obviously Gawn = Ceiling but poor consistency
    Grundy = Consistent 90-100 scores
    Lycett = Risk v Reward could average 95+ consistently

    • gawn, grundy, lycett in that order by end of year. i’d happilly take a few 60’s if i get a few 160’s

    • oi james

      1. your name sucks – get a new one
      2. honestly wouldnt touch any of those blokes without some sort of protection – even a dirty half used conny would do
      3. consider NR in the ruck – bloke is a sea-dweller and has a feral head, but can hit the scoreboard like when he kicked 8 on sanjeev kohli in the curry footy game



      • oi nivrajtheprawndog

        1. because your name is any better you pansy, get a life..
        2. I don’t get the half used conny ref, please elaborate..
        3. who is NR?

        in summary get a life you bored kid

        • I’m guessing

          1.nivraj is female


          3. nick roo?

          have to admit they are pretty funny at times

  • What about R. Gray vs Dahlhaus as a forward upgrade? Any thoughts? I’m leaning towards Dahlhaus…

  • Can afford Suckling but not Howe, $1k short. That decides it then! However (‘scuse the pun), Howe (hahaha) many dogs is too many? That will make it 4 and that’s on the field as well…

  • Gibbs, treloar or Neale ?

  • I’d go Neale with his ceiling.

  • Sam mitchell or Rockliff this week? They’ve really made this hard for me but both will be in by 2 weeks anyways

  • Id go Mitchell more reliable in the long term