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Best 22- Midfielders and Rucks

Jake’s back with the second instalment of the mini-series: Best 22. This week he proposes the top 8 Midfielders and Ultimate Ruck pair to complete the best on field team you can have over the last 6 rounds. Who will make it?

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Hello and welcome to the second edition of The Numbers- Best 22. This week i will be reviewing last weeks performance from my proposed Forwards and Defenders, and also predicting which 8 Midfielders and 2 Ruckmen are the elite in their position. First, here is the review of last weeks article. If you haven’t checked that article out yet, I recommend you do.


mcveighShaw, Hodge, Mundy and McVeigh all tonned up, and thus it would be very rude to demote them from the top 6. Special mention to McVeigh, who was the cheapest of this bunch and the one that many believed was not worthy, he went out and smashed a 131 in the demolition of the Crows. He increased 10K, however is still a bargain at $484K, with a more than attaianable BE of 71. If you’re upgrading down back this week, then McVeigh is your man.

Picken scored 99, and just missed out on a 5th straight ton. He holds his positions at D2.

Boyd was subbed out shortly after 3QT for an almost respectable 76. This either means he has a niggling injury and will be monitored (read: rested or that they were going to win by nearly 100 points and they might as well rest him now, instead of giving him a week off before finals. Hopefully the latter.

The other best scores from defenders were from:

Rampe (127)- Just about everyone from Sydney tonnes up, his two weeks before that were both 68. Not worthy of a top 6 DEF.

Higgins (118)- Too dependant on goal scoring to be a genuine defender

McPharlin (109)- And with that name, it becomes obvious I have already scrolled down too far.

The crowd favourite was Elliot Yeo, as 49% of you voted in last weeks article that he was deserving of Top 6 Defender. He scored a mere 69 points against gold coast. It must be noted however that since round 4 he has (without fail) alternated weekly between 100+ scores, and sub 100 scores. This week was also going to be a sub 100 score, and therefore (history states) he should be right for a 100 this week.

And so the top 6 defenders remain the same.


Dahlhaus, Swan, Adams and Bartel all scored 100+ this week, and thus are deserving of their spot in the top 6 forwards. I especially enjoyed watching Dahlhaus’s game on the weekend, he tackles hard, wins plenty of clearances and is also happy to lead into space for a cheap +6. Junk Time Jimmy scoring 28 points in the last 15 minutes of the game to ton up from nowhere was another highlight.

Martin managed 90, and similar to Picken, this is a solid score that makes it impossible to eradicate him from the top 6.

Riewoldt. I took a risk including you in the top 6 forwards. Ahead of many more popular picks, I acknowledged his great form and included him. Unfortunately, he gave me nothing this week, and I now have no choice but to eliminate him from the Best 22, but who comes in?

T. Mitchell (132)- Finally! I’ll keep him for the rest of the season, and he might end up being Top 6, however his role is so unpredictable that he can’t quite be trusted.

Bennell (130)- A good score in a great game, and coming off a 124 the week before he could be the man. But he isn’t proven, and its easy to imagine him getting tagged to a sub 50 score. I’ll pass.

Hunter (127)- Matt mentioned him in the Weekend Washup, however I think whilst he provides obvious value, he is not Top 6 Material. Yet.

Crameri (123)- Fluke

Ziebell (123)- So close, however his 61 last week just gets him beaten by:Gray2

Gray (121)- Welcome back Robbie. 37 Touches is more than useful for any forward, and to be honest I knew in my heart that he was deserving of a spot in the top 6. His averages have been tarnished by a red vest, however if you take that out he averages 102.8 since round 4. Additionally, he was also your favourite pick, as 32% of you voted that he was the most deserving forward.



Might as well get this over and done with, as surely everyone already knows the result. Its the same system as last week, a combination of season average, last 3 average, last 9 average, 3 round projected and ease of draw produce a predicted average over the last 5 rounds.

NamePriceAverageL3 Avg3RD PROJLast 9 AVGExpected RUC 100+ in next 6 weeksPredicted Avergae


Martin beats goldstein! This is largely due to him having the easiest draw of the ruckmen, however fixture is more important for ruckmen than it is for other positions, as all ruckmen are fairly similar whilst forwards, midfielders and defenders can vary greatly in role. This prediction further supports a few whispers that a 90K downgrade from Goldstein to Martin might be a solid way of generating cash

Goldstein- 111.18

Despite not taking out R1, 111.18 is still a very handy average to have over the last 6 rounds. He has been the highest averaging player over the last 9 rounds, averaging a handy 127.8 in this time. If you jumped on him after Martin or Mumford failed you, then you would have to be happy with his performance lately. I managed to snare him up for a mere $500K at Round 10, and have captained him every week since then for an average of 130.1. Not bad for a ruckmen.

RucksBlicavs- 99.48

He really is a genuine ruck rover, and plays in the ruck sole because Geelong have no one else better. He gets only 16.5% of his score from hitouts, whilst someone like Goldstein gets 35% from hitouts. As he works around the ground a lot and gains plenty of clearances, he rarely has an off game. Averaged nearly 100 this year, and that should continue over the last 5 rounds.
Jacobs- 92.37Jacobs

As a year-long Jacobs owner, I can only describe he’s year as disappointing. Started the year as the second highest priced Ruckman at $550K, as has scored far too many 60’s to go with his 8 tons this year. Still a keeper, but not living up to his potential.

Naitnui- 85.94

Of the cheaper options at the start of this year, Naitanui has clearly been the best, outscoring Leunberger, Bellchambers and even Grundy in total points this year. Three tons in a row a couple of weeks back, but his last score of 57 is disappointing for his owners. Still averages 95.8 over his last 9 outings.

Kreuzer- 81.21

He has been a more than handy stepping stone, averaging 90 over his last 6. Unfortunately 80-ish scores are not comparable to the monster scores being produced a little higher up the table, and you wouldn’t want him on your field come grand final day.

Midfielders Now for the big one. The hall of fame. The Top 8 Mids. The 16 Mids that are being analysed are the 10 highest scorers this year (Steven Hannebery, Pendlebury, Armitage, Gaff, Stanton, Priddis, Kennedy, Ellis and Ebert), the next 5 highest average’s (Lewis, Fyfe, Montagna, Dangerfield, Macrae), and Tom Rockliff. Also note that player eligible also as a Forward or Defender (like Swan or Hodge) have already been selected in their other positions, and thus do not feature here.

NamePriceAverageL3 Avg3RD PROJLast 9 AVGExpected MID 100+ in next 6 weeksPredicted Avergae

Hannebery- 113.11 My prediction for M1 over the last 5 rounds. A sneaky shot at the Brownlow, Hannebery has 5 scores 125+ over the last 9 rounds, only 1 below Goldstein. He has only one score below 86 this year, and with a fantasy friendly run home, I doubt this stat will change over the last 5 rounds. Gun.

Macrae- 112.48Macrae A season long legend, MAcrae is still only owned by 2.9% of the competition. Thats less than a third of the ownership of Jake Kelly. Yes, thats the Kelly that scored 4 fantasy points in 4 quarters of footy. With the second easiest run home of the midfielders researched, and a 9 round average of 116, He is more than worth his price tag of $605K. I’m finding the money to go Beams->Macrae this week

Steven- 111.74 Wel deserving of a spot in the top 8 Mids, Steven has been the season’s highest scoring player for a long time now. He has dropped off slightly, with a Last 3 average of 98, however his 9 Round average of 112 is still very respectable

StantonStanton- 109.52 As a season long owner, I can only describe Stanton as a roller coaster. Two scores below 60, Four others under 100, and 11 above 105 is pretty handy though. You could call it selective stats, however he is the highest scoring midfielder since round 11, only dropping below 113 once in those 7 weeks.

Montagna- 107.45 A latecomer to the St Kilda fantasy friendly party this year, Montagna missed the 5 of the first 7 rounds. Since then he has not dropped below 89, which included a stretch of 6 games straight of 110+ scores. I’d be more than happy with him in my team, however at $575K he comes at a price.

Gaff- 107.35 The outside runner beats fellow eagle Priddis to a spot in the top 8 Mids, with a projected average of 107.35 over the last 5 rounds. This is good enough for a spot as M6, which is fitting as he has scored the 6th points of any midfielder this year, including a run of 9 straight hundreds that ended with his 96 on the weekend.

Lewis- 106.74 Started the year with a bang, then drifted out after his suspension, but looks to be back in time for finals. He’s gotFyfe back to his old tricks of racking up +6’s in the backline, whilst still can kick goals. Should be a safe bet for a top 8 Mid, despite the tough run home fantasy wise.

Fyfe- 105.89 Been a little bit disappointing over the last few weeks (since i traded him in). He still averages 105.8 this year, and more importantly has the easiest draw of any midfielder over the last 5 weeks. If he can suit up this week, look out for another ton.Mids

Dangerfield- 105.88 Just misses out on top 8 Mid status by the smallest of margins, however all this will change if Fyfe is not named on Thursday. If Fyfe misses once again, Dangerfield will take his place as a more than handy top 8 Midfielder. Capable of pushing 130+, and very rarely goes below 80.

Pendlebury- 105.46 Toughest fixture of the researched midfielders, which bumps his projection out of the top 8 mids. Still a very worthy scorer and one that you wouldn’t be trading out unless of course he get injured. You would think he would step his performance to another level if Collingwood were any chance to play finals in 2015.Priddis

Priddis- 105.30 Didn’t quite live up to the hype in his game against Gold Coast last week, however still managed a passable captains score of 106. Only dropped below 90 thrice this year, and should push a 105 average over the last 5 weeks, with a fantasy friendly fixture.

Kennedy- 104.87 Been especially good since coming off the bye, only dropping below 100 once in this time, for a still respectable 95. Should be plenty more where that came from, with an expected 11.27 100+ scores expected from Sydney midfielders over the next 5 weeks. He should take around 4 of these.

Ellis- 104.60 Been consistent all year, only two scores below 90 and they were 81 and 87. Easy run home as well, and should push 100+ in 3 of the last 5 weeks. Not a high ceiling though (highest score 127), and will struggle to get his next 5 average above 105.

Ebert- 103.07 Look out for a couple of big scores over the next two weeks as he faces the Bulldogs then GWS. If you’re an owner, hold for the next couple and then reevaluate. Probably not worth trading in at the moment, look at Joel Selwood around his price.

Armitage- 102.43 Early season lead out man has dropped off a bit lately. Still well and truly worth keeping, however anywhere near the form he had at the start of the season. Only averages 99.8 across his last 9 games. Not top 8 Mid worthy. Rockliff

Rockliff- 97.46 We all know he’s better than 97.46, however his recent performances suggest otherwise. I suggest he will average in excess of 110 over the last 5, however the formula that i have consistently used throughout this series proposes he won’t crack a 100 average. It will be interesting to see whether no beams means a return to last years scores. Should be nice and cheap next year.

That’s It, the ultimate 22 players that I believe you could have over the next 5 rounds. Now the real debate begins. Leave a comment below on who you believe should be in the ultimate 22 players to finish the season off with. How many of these players do you have?



  1. Oscar


    August 6, 2015 at 9:04 am

    Neale not there,
    Good job on the post, but pointless without neale.

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      August 6, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Neale is neither a top 10 overall scoring MID, or one of the next 5 highest averaging players.

      I’m interested on where you would rank Lachie Neale, and who would be your top 8 Mids?

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      August 6, 2015 at 11:49 am

      Excluding DPP’s like Swan,Hodge etc and injured players like Ablett & Beams, Neale still doesn’t make top 20 in price, sits outside top 15 in averages and outside top ten in overall points.
      Whilst Neale might be a great player who scores well, if you take the time to read the paragraph on midfield selection, you’ll see the only thing pointless on this page is your comment.

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        August 6, 2015 at 12:30 pm

        Thanks Savabeer

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        Lachie Neale

        August 6, 2015 at 3:53 pm

        Neale’s ceiling is insane though. Only player in the comp with 3 scores over 145 and if Fyfe misses again this week and then is rested R23 he could be a great option to trade in.

        If I had to pick up any mid though it would be b/w Macrae, Hanners and also Selwood due to his price.

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          August 6, 2015 at 5:22 pm

          Personally i believe Ceiling is overrated when comparing midfielders. If he has such a great ceiling and still averages just a touch over 100, then there must be a few shockers in there (which there is)

          Additionally, that stat is similar to my selective stat from stanton, you could also say Goldstein is the only player with 7 scores above 130 this year.

          Still a great option, but i’m sure most would agree Neale isn’t top 8

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            Lachie Neale

            August 6, 2015 at 5:50 pm

            Ceiling does matter though when you have to take risks as you are taking a punt on a player to potentially either win or lose you a game.

            btw I wouldn’t include Neale in the top 8 mids, however I reckon teams that have him should definitely keep him at M7 or 8 as imo. I consider him in the 10-20 category and could be great for teams that want to take a risk on a POD. If I didn’t own him though, I would not pick him up now.

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    August 6, 2015 at 10:06 am

    I have 9 of these players, and not a single one of them is a midfielder.. Anyone actually have the best 22?

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      August 6, 2015 at 10:18 am

      I Have 10 of them, and that includes 5 of the Forwards.

      I highly doubt anyone would have the best 22, as the team ranked #1 at the moment has only 11. I wonder who has the most….

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        August 6, 2015 at 11:20 am

        I have 13. 5 forwards too, with Lids missing out. Only 3 of the mids (Steven, Lewis and Macrea). Both rucks and the defensive trio of Hodge, Mundy and Boyd.

        Surprised about the mids really.

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    August 6, 2015 at 10:47 am


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      August 6, 2015 at 12:28 pm

      The formula i used doesn’t account for past season trends, which is the main reason people would be looking at him to average well over the last 5. I’ve got him in and he should score well, but his season form wasn’t enough.

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    August 6, 2015 at 11:26 am

    I still cannot understand why people do not rate Sam Mitchell he is and always has been a champ.

    And by the way I am a Swan supporter.

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      August 6, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      Would you have him in your top 8 Mids? If so, who would those 8 Mids be?

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    August 6, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I have to say I’m a little surprised!
    I have only Steven on my midfield but lots of players that just miss out.
    All of the choices make perfect sense, and will be looking to get in Hanners ASAP.
    Great article mate

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      August 6, 2015 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks mate
      The midfield is very unique, how there is no doubting they are all deserving.
      I wouldn’t think any team has all 8, but i would be interested in whether anyone has more than 4 of these players.

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    August 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Can’t see Stanton keeping it up to be honest but the formula is solid and he has been good of late

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      August 6, 2015 at 12:40 pm

      To be honest, i can’t see him keeping up his current form either, however a 105+ average looks more than reasonable.

  7. gambler


    August 6, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    My boys Rocky and Ellis got the most votes for who will average highest from here :)

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      August 6, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Until Ebert mysteriously received over 800 votes, surely thats a hack?

      • gambler


        August 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm

        Must be, he’s got the worst form of just about any premo mid

  8. Oscar


    August 6, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Steven, Lewis, Hanners, Macrae, Stanton, Pendles, Neale, Montanya.
    Gaff does not tackle, Fyfe is injured but I would possibly chuck in Priddis as well.

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      August 6, 2015 at 1:49 pm

      Gaff’s lack of tackling hasn’t affected his scoring so far this season, and i mentioned how if Fyfe is not named Dangerfield will take his spot.

      Fair enough though, I’d be more than happy to have those 8 as my midfield. We can only wait and see now.

    • gambler


      August 6, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      Stanton and Neale no. Can’t rely on them week in and week out. Like Oscar said below would rather Rocky and Ellis instead and its not even close

  9. Oscar


    August 6, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Rocky and Ellis I like more than Montanya, Stanton

  10. Oscar


    August 6, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    Fwds are Martin, Swan, Dalhaus, Adams, Bartel and Gray
    Backs are Picken, Hodge, Mundy, McVeigh, Boyd, And Shaw

  11. Stuart


    August 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I don’t have one of the “top 8 mids” after trading fyfe a couple of weeks ago :(

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    August 6, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Looking to upgrade the rucks but can’t get to Martin. Tossing up between Gawn and Blicavs, thoughts?

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      August 6, 2015 at 5:17 pm

      Gawns option to slot into the forward line at any time is handy, however i think Blicavs will average more over the next 5 rounds.

      I have Blicavs at 99 AVG, and Gawn at 98 AVG, make of that what you will.

      i’d go Blicavs

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