So the first thing we need to do to our benches is get our guns back on the field! Volt, Boydy, Goddard and Montagna please step forward!!! Once again this week we are going to be compromised as to who we can play on the field with West Coast, Melbourne and Sydney all having the week off to go and hunt for Easter Eggs. We were stung last week with Nick Lower being dumped at the last minute. We also have issues with underperformers (yes A Krakouer I am looking at you here) and injuries to up and comers like Michael Coad who is now out for 12 weeks so if you haven’t traded him… do so now. So there are plenty of things we need to consider when looking at our fringe players and who should be on our field this week.
Last week all our selections did a great job with only Laidler and Coad missing out on big scores, but they were both in the 50’s still. The big surprise packet was Andy Otten who finally decided to play! His 87 was the sort of score that we all picked him for. However, I am concerned that this had a bit to do with some of the outs that Adelaide had including Richard Tambling. He will see a lot of the ball this week against Carlton so he may still score fairly well. Teammate Brodie Smith was fantastic again last week with an 87 also, I can’t see this form going away and with the injuries at Adelaide his job security is pretty good and with the other new players I can’t see him being the sub again soon.
Jesse O’Brien is back this week and I think he should be able to pick up where he left off, remember his last two games were 82 and 78. I would play him with a fair amount of confidence. Nick Duigan continues to dominate scoring over 70 in his last 3 with 93 against the Bombers and this week he comes up against a lack lustre Crows outfit, but this may see the ball not in his zone as much. Laidler was a bit of a disappointment last week with 57. So be wary with him, there are better options.
Heppell just continues to rack them up and had his best score last week with 90. Play him with extreme confidence. Not sure if you would have him but Taylor Hunt from the Cats has put together a few nice scores in the 60’s and an 80. Danny Stanley has been a bit of a disappointment with 55 last week. Josh Toy put in a very nice 75 last week after his first game being a sub affected 53 and with Michael Coad down with a Hammy Josh should get solid game time. Seb Tape is the only other guyfrom the Suns worth having a look at with a couple of 60’s so far.
Jake Batchelor put in his best game last week with a 69, but I can’t see him sustaining this given his other scores so far. Cam O’Shea from the Power is also getting a steady game and is playing the Suns this week. He scored 70 against the Crows last week and did do a stint up forward. Nick Lower is back for the Dockers, but is on the extended bench. So keep an eye on the squads on Saturday as that is when the Monday squads are trimmed I think.
Rohan Bewick returns from his bye week. He was also the sub in his last game where he scored 49 after a 68 and 73 before that. So I don’t expect him to have the green vest this week and he should be safe to play. Ed Curnow is the safest bet going around this week with his superstar average of 97 and the fact he is playing the Crows this week so I expect him to scor very well. Speaking of great, we have already spoken of Heppell above.
Andrew Krakouer has been a massive disappointment since his first game and I can’t see what he is going to do to change this, if you have another option I would use it until you either trade him or see some real scoring improvements.
For the Suns we have Harris and Swallow who are their best options in this price range. I was asked who is the best between these guys by @bombatomma during the week and for mine it is Swallow. He seems to have found his feet now after the first game baptism of fire. He also benefited from GAJ being out of action last week but he also scored 80 the week before with GAJ in the side. Whereas Harris is steadily cruising along in the 60’s over the last couple of weeks. Still nice for his price but I think Swallow will outscore him. Prestia was a bit of a one week wonder with that 100. Last week he burnt us all with a shit 38! I don’t need to call Chopper though as General Soreness has struck first!! So this may cause a few donuts for people this week (me included).
Shaun Atley came back last week and had a tidy 63 but I am just not sure about him yet, I would go with another option if you have one. Jasper Pittard had the Rising Star Nomination last week for a great game and more importantly he has had 87 and 79 over the last couple of weeks and with a game against the Suns this week I think he can continue that form from what I saw last Sat night. Libba should put in another tidy score, but I do worry about him on the vast expanse that is Pattersons Stadium, he may get a little lost out there.
Lastly Reece Conca finally did something (after I traded him of course) with 87. From what I have seen he is still a big risk, but if he is all you have then maybe play him.
Here there is no choice but Zac Smith, and what a choice he has been! He is averaging 70 and looks good. Most of us will have to play a ruck bench guy this week with The Big Cox out and I for one will have Zac on the ground.
Jayden Pitt has been a surprise packet of late with his 76 and 87 over the last two weeks. I like his game and I think he is cementing a spot in that Freo side quite nicely with a few guys out. However, he may struggle later on in the season with his endurance and could be squeezed out by Barlow when he finally returns, but for now, get him on the ground as he is named on the ground and not on their extended bench.
We have spoken about Andrew Krakouer and Jesse O’Brien earlier and both of them have eligibility in the forwards so I would have no hesitation putting Jesse in, but be wary of Krakouer.
Daniel Menzel is an interesting one, he has a 57 average, but that is from two great scores and two rubbish ones. If you have him, then perhaps take a chance if you have to, but he is just too inconsistent for me.
Cameron Richardson is a guy that a lot of people weren’t sure about and I was one of them. However, he is putting together some tidy scores in the mid 50’s and cracked 60 in his first game. I would play him as you know what you will get with him. Another guy in this bucket is Kyle Hardingham he has 4 scores between 52 and 76 and from that you know where you stand and I don’t see any reason why he won’t be around that mark again even though they are playing the Pies this week.
Shaun McKernan is going to be one of those guys that frustrates the hell out of people! He had a nice 83 in his first game but like the Crows form, he has dropped off in his last two. He had 58 against the Power and from where I was sitting he didn’t really stand out to me, but he does do some nice things. I think that in that first game he really relished not having Tippett there. Another that is frustrating is David Hale, many got him in for his DPP eligibility and he has been up and down like the proverbial yo-yo with his scoring and a sub affected 24 last week may be the last straw for some coaches. Another DPP Ruck Forward is Drew Petrie who features in heaps of teams. He isn’t reaching the heights many had hoped and his scores of 62 and 60 are not what we expected. However, in a multi bye week you may have no option but to play him. They are up against the Tigers who don’t have a good big man department by any stretch so he should be able to get some reasonable scoring done.
From the Gold Coast we have Brandon Matera who is just chugging along with an average of 53, he is a fairly safe bet. Charlie Dixon may have been in some teams given his size and pre-season form, but his scores have been underwhelming with two scores in the 40’s and a 24, I would leave him on the bench if you can.
So in the final analysis here is how I would rank the players by position.
- Smith, Brodie
- Smith, Zac
Hope this helps, but remember to check the late changes before the second lockout just prior to the Power v Gold Coast game on Sat avo.
Find me on twitter @pkd73 and let me know what choices you are facing for next week and who you need me to look at and I will include them in the analysis.