Moneyballin’ – Round 17

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St Kilda vs Essendon

St Kilda are ranked #1 for conceding points to opposition defenders, and this coincides with Michael Hurley ($8,500 DEF) averaging 99 over the last 10 weeks. How can you go wrong here? The most impressive thing is how often he’s getting the pill in his hands, putting out Laird and Docherty level disposal numbers with 30, 31, 30 touches leading into this Friday night.

While we’re talking game trends, Essendon is now the hardest team to score ruck points against over the past 5 weeks. These have been their victims lately:

R11 – Mumford (68)
R12 – Ryder (67)
R14 – Naismith (46)
R15 – Stef Martin (74)
R16 – Grundy (72)

There’s some quality ruckmen in there, so this isn’t based on a soft draw or anything – the Bombers murder rucks. So while this is more about not wanting to pick Hickey against the Bombers, Tom Bellchambers ($6,500 RU) has only the single score under 74 this year and comes up against Hickey – who leads a Saints side that has been the 2nd easiest team to score ruck points against this season.

VALUE PICKS:

  • Jack Steven ($8,800 MID): Essendon haven’t tagged since Round 5, which means Steven should run free. Averaging 80 when tagged compared to 103 when left alone this season, and coming off 122 last weekend.
  • Shane Savage ($6,500 DEF): 88 and 94 in his last two. Is he soaking up some of Roberton’s ball perhaps?
  • David Myers ($5,200 MID): Back after a stint on the sidelines with 31 touches, 103 AF. Not a lot of quality under $6k in this game, and you’ll need some cheap guys.

Geelong vs Hawthorn

BEST PICK: James Sicily ($6,200 FWD)

  • Stratton’s injury has done wonders for Sicily’s scoring in a backline role.
  • Averaging 95 AF and 9.3 marks over the past 3 weeks.

BEST STAT: Sam Menegola ($8,700 MID)

  • Average without Joel Selwood: 119.
  • Average with Joel Selwood: 95.
  • Love Menegola as a fantasy guy but there’s no doubt he’s playing a lot off a HFF.
  • On the other hand, Menegola’s career high (133) came earlier this year against the Hawks.

VALUE PICKS:

  • Mark Blicavs ($7,600 RU): 126, 79, 120 in his last 3. Tackling has increased massively lately and it’s showing in his scores: averaging 7.7 over last 3 weeks compared to just 2.9 per game previously.
  • Luke Hodge ($8,100 MID): Raise your glasses for the legend! 128 against the Cats earlier this year and 5 of his past 6 games against Cats have been tons.
  • Joel Selwood ($8,300 MID): Great value after concussion has lowered his price. 105, 103 in last two vs Hawks.

Port Adelaide vs North Melbourne

BEST PICK: Dan Houston ($5,700 DEF)

  • Has now officially taken over from Pittard as distributor off HB and his scores are benefitting as a result.
  • 101 and 91 in last two.
  • Averaging 20 touches, 10 marks over the last fortnight.

BEST STAT: Patrick Ryder ($8,100 RU)

Ryder is fast becoming my favourite ruck play because:

  1. He’s in form, scoring 119, 135 in last two,
  2. Comes up against Goldstein, who’s actually conceding 5th most points to rucks lately,
  3. Ryder dominates his opponents, ranking as the hardest ruckman to score against the year.

VALUE PICKS:

  • Ben Cunnington ($7,400 MID): 99, 92, 94. Great pick for double-ups, but won’t win you big comps.
  • Mitch Hibberd ($3,900 MID): If you think he can get to 87 again, absolute bargain.
  • Justin Westhoff ($8,000 RU): For some reason, Westhoff is a RUCK in Moneyball. Averaging 94 in his past 5, I love the idea of Ryder as your ruckman and Westhoff as your flex.

West Coast vs Collingwood

BEST PICK: Trent McKenzie ($4,500 DEF)

  • 69 last week (17 disp, 6 marks) which is solid for his price.
  • Comes up against Pies this week, who allowed backmen in Hurley (122) and Kelly (113) to score with ease.

With Barlow/Hall/Ablett missing, The Replacements have been standing up:

  • Touk Miller ($7,400 MID) – 110 last week thanks to 10 tackles. MID time on the upswing.
  • David Swallow ($7,300 MID) – 109, 107 in last two. His 18 contested possessions last was was 3rd best for the round.

VALUE PICKS:

  • Josh Thomas ($4,900 MID): 80 and 66 so far. Big upside in him as he’s hit 130 on multiple occasions in the past.
  • Scott Pendlebury ($10,300 MID): Loves playing the Suns, 109, 111, 145, 141 in last four vs them.

GWS vs Sydney

Bounce-back boys, Luke Parker ($9,300 MID) and Callan Ward ($8,900 MID) demand your attention this weekend. Both players have returned to form after shithouse starts to the year:

Parker: Avg 111 in last five, 90 previously.
Ward: Avg 113 in last six, 76 previously.

Both guys are producing 5-figure salary type numbers at a discounted price, so get on.

BEST STAT: Sydney haven’t scored a single ton in their last 2 games vs GWS.

  • Derbies are always different types of games and these are always slow, arm wrestle type games between these two teams.
  • Leave this game out of your Saturday Slam line-ups where possible.

VALUE PICKS:

  • Jon Patton ($6,900 FWD): Been in beast mode lately, averaging 4.3 goals and 111 AF in his last three. Patton’s last three weeks have produced his three highest scores for the year.
  • Kieren Jack ($7,000 MID): 125 and 90 in his last two after producing a highest score of 74 previously. Role change from forward line into midfield is to thank.

Melbourne vs Adelaide

BEST PICK: Josh Jenkins ($7,900 RU)

  • Jenkins has kicked 3+ goals in four games straight.
  • Averaging 112 in his last 3.
  • No player has kicked more goals than Jenkins over the past 6 weeks.

BEST STAT: Rory Sloane ($9,200 MID)

  • Went untagged last week, scored 105 and Adelaide won…. That won’t happen again this week.
  • Demons beat Crows earlier this year when they played, with Vince tagging Sloane to 63.
  • Avoiding on that basis.

VALUE PICKS:

  • Michael Hibberd ($7,700 DEF): 107 against the Crows earlier this year.
  • Alex Neal-Bullen ($6,200 MID): As expected, moved into midfield rotation with Viney/Tyson/Jones out, and 2nd top-scored with 92.
  • Jake Melksham ($6,300 DEF): Like Neal-Bullen, got the promotion into the midfield with key midfielders missing, scoring 85.

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