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Before we jump into the tips, it’s important we quickly outline the changes to Moneyball this season.
- We now have a ‘FLEX’ slot in our squads, at the expense of the 4th ‘MID’ position we had previously. Quite simply, you can pick any player in the position, giving us a little more flexibility in forming line-ups.
- Point scoring has moved away from the custom formula last season and now sits in line with the scoring system that you already know and love!
With those tweaks in mind, let’s start ballin’!
Remember the last time that Marcus Bontempelli ($9,200 MID) came into a season underdone? That was last year, where he averaged 70 fantasy points over the first six weeks, with a top score of only 80. Now, The Bont is a better player than he was at this time last year, and I’m not suggesting he won’t be solid against the Pies tonight. However, $9.2k is a lot to spend on someone coming off a modified pre-season and I worried that the ceiling isn’t there for Bontempelli this weekend.
Historically, forwards struggle against the Bulldogs thanks to a combination of a strong back six and a turnover-based midfield game-plan. As a result, it could be worth fading out high variance FWD’s such as Jesse White, Jarryd Blair and Darcy Moore and sticking with Bulldogs in that area of the ground.
Unfortunately a MID in Moneyball, but a generous price-tag keeps Josh Smith ($6,700 MID) in contention for your squad. He’s possibly the competition’s most vanilla player aesthetically, but given that he scored 116 and 93 over the pre-season and plays a very fantasy-friendly halfback role, do you really care how he looks while he’s winning you cash?
Enter the $10k Magpies vs Bulldogs Special here.
Jake Stringer ($5,900 FWD) endured a horrible 2016 but looked like the Stringer of old in the JLT this year, suggesting that his groin troubles in the rearview mirror. He averaged 22 touches, 2.5 goals and 89 fantasy points in the last two weeks and just looked generally good, showing hints of the game-winning player we all know he can be. This is just speculation, but I think that the additions of Cloke and Crameri can only be beneficial to his game, having other forwards around him that need opposition attention.
With scores of 100 and 115 in the JLT, it’s hard to look past Luke Dahlhaus ($8,200 MID), especially given that he appears to be a full-time midfielder again. Dahl is reliable as they come, dipping below 75 just once last year and that was injury-affected. You can be confident anchoring him in cash games, but also feel free to inject him into your GPPs with the ceiling that he’s shown in the past.
My top pick in this game has to be Brodie Grundy ($9,400 RU), despite the hefty price-tag. This one is match-up based, with the Bulldogs forced to use Tom Boyd ($5,500 RU) as their sole ruckman due to accumulated injuries. While Boyd is a worthy play based on price in his own right, the Bulldogs conceded the 2nd-most points to rucks in the final 5 games of last year when they were in a similar aerial predicament and Grundy won’t miss the buffet.
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