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The Friday Scramble

The Friday Scramble: Preliminary Finals

The Preliminary Finals are upon us and so are a heap of injuries and for some very unlucky coaches, unavoidable donuts! What should we do? Well Scramble obviously!!

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So your league is now down to the final 4 teams (well there is also the consolation finals too I guess). This is the critical week. You could have been on top all year long but one hiccup this week  and all that good work is undone. So, you could look at this week being the most important round of the season. But really even if you have been knocked out of the finals there is still rankings pride to be played for. And if you are close enough to the top 100 in AF, A Hat!

Donuts Ahoy!

There is a real prospect of people facing donuts this week with all of the injuries going on, and I am highly suspicious of there being some last minute changes to teams too. The one that I suspect is most at risk is for Port with Paddy Ryder a big chance to be a late out. And for those that play in RDT and SC you may have run out of trades already or you could be using your last one this week and then just praying that you will get through next week.

If you find yourself in the situation that you could be faced with a donut this week, don’t panic! Whilst it isn’t the ideal situation just sit back, take a deep breath, and have a look at where that donut is going to least hurt you.

What you need to do is look at who you can bring in that is going to give you the most points for your buck. So really if it is a choice between one of your forward, back and centre lines the line I cover first is the centres. These guys are the ones that generally score the big points and if you are a little low on cash, it is where you will have more options. Next I would cover the forwards, because, let’s be honest, goals are the most valuable thing in fantasy generally and if your replacement guy snags a couple then you are going to be pretty happy. Last would be the backlines, but if you can get a guy that plays for a team that chips it around a bit they can be valuable, but I find the defenders are more likely to be hit and miss with their scoring, particularly the ones you would be looking to bring in at this stage of the season because you probably already have the key ones.

What about the Rucks you say? Well given most of us have bargain basement guys on the bench that probably aren’t playing you would take a ruck replacement first if you need to.

Whatever you do don’t stress too much about it, taking a donut is not what we want in this game but if there are just too many forces working against you, sometimes they are very difficult to avoid.


Now I wouldn’t normally jump in on Calvin’s turf here but all three of these guys are likely to have a good outing this week. With both Adams and Sidebottom playing against the Power this week selecting them isn’t without any risk. Port have been one of the harder teams to score against this year, but they have become a little easier in recent week and according to Calvin are the 5th hardest team to score against at the moment. Just 3 Eagles cracked the 100 mark last week. If I had to pick one of the Collingwood boys I would go with Sidebottom to get the better score but I am not confident in it being a huge one.
Jelwood on the other hand I do like the look of. A few weeks ago Tom Mitchell took 160 points off of the Dockers and that was in Perth! His last two full games against the Dockers has seen Joel score a 99 and a 128 (there was a 2 in there but he was asleep for most of the game). I think Joel can go big against the Dockers at home and Calvin tells us that the Dockers are the third easiest to score against in the last three weeks.
So for me I go Joel Selwood as captain out of those three.

Firstly, nice outfit! But seriously here I do like Matty Lobbe in this situation. Both he and Darcy are playing against teams that don’t have big name ruckmen in them at the moment and I think both will score well. However, Lobbe has far more experience than Darcy and that is pretty much what I am basing my decision on. Lobbe up against the Dogs should see him have plenty of the footy and I am expecting that he will dominate the hitouts also. He would have rucked against his old mate Jackson Trengove plenty of times at Power training and will know just how to beat him. So with that choice, I am going Lobbe.

Selection Table

A few changes that are Fantasy relevant, here are my thoughts on them.

Toby Nankervis comes back into the side and should have a pretty good outing against big Bellchambers. I wouldn’t trade him in but will be good for those that held.
Ryder held his spot but Frampton is listed as an emergency and I would not be surprised at all if big Paddy misses this week.
Nat Fyfe is back! This is really only relevant to draft teams that have held him. He won’t be in any classic teams still….. surely!
Heath Shaw is out but we knew that and he is gone for the season.
Josh Kelly misses out too with his concussion, not a surprise, but it should be just the one week so if you have good enough cover to get you the win this week hold, but if not you do need to trade even though it is just a one week injury.
MICHAEL BARLOW!!!!!  He is in… Finally!  Once again though, just a draft option.
Matty Kreuzer is out for the season with his heart complaint that saw him a late out last week. Such a shame, but you can’t take risks with things like that!
Michael Hibberd is back for any one unlucky enough to still have him (yes, I still have him in a couple of formats due to his lack of trade value).
Jesse Hogan is another must trade as we know he will now miss the remainder of the season.
Paul Seedsman returns for the Crows this week. But I feel most teams would have already traded him out.

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Things to Remember

  • When it comes to a Prelim, it is all or nothing! Try all the sneaky trades you can if you are an underdog, if not, just hold your nerve!
  • Don’t give up! You still have rankings to play for and you will be surprised how many spots you can climb in these last two weeks as some coaches give up.
  • Late outs will happen! They are inevitable this time of year so make sure you have adequate bench coverage in case it happens to you.

Good luck to everyone in their prelim finals this week, unless you are playing me of course! Hopefully you can all get through to the big dance next week and battle it out for the glory. Have a great weekend and also good luck to all the local footy teams that are in the midst of their finals or just starting them now, particularly my mates at Edwardstown in SA.

Cheers everyone and see you all next week for the last Scramble of the season as we all hopefully head into another Grand Final!

A passionate Port Adelaide Fan who simply loves footy! That is how I would describe myself. Catch my weekly article "The Friday Scramble" with all the last minute things to think about for the weekend Follow: @pkd73.



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    August 17, 2018 at 7:43 am

    Dusty to Cripps/Beams
    Wingard to Devon/Menegola?

    • AF Rising Star

      AF Rising Star

      August 17, 2018 at 8:34 am

      Wingrad to Menegola

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    August 17, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Should i go beams witherden r.gray or ablett jpk simpson? Thanks

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    August 17, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Hey I’m having a struggle! I can do:

    Lienert to Witherden (+30) and Kelly to Duncan (+90) … or

    Wingard to Dunkley (+20) and Kelly to Ablett (+110?)

    Duncan has been all over the place but great fixtures, Witho obv has a great match up this week but a terrible one next week. Wingard scares me big time with this new “mobile “ forward line!
    My semi final opponent has got a very similar team to mine but none of these players as yet! I think I’m a touch stronger.

    Any help very much appreciated!!

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      August 17, 2018 at 9:39 am

      I like the Dunkley Ablett option.

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      August 17, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Andy…. it also gives me$220k for next week… if there is a next week.

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        August 17, 2018 at 1:13 pm

        Good luck, blimp.
        I’ve got no cash left now, but I can always trade Siers if I’m around next week.

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    August 17, 2018 at 9:37 am

    Kelly to Ablett
    Lienert to Brayshaw (keep Simpson, with fingers crossed)


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      August 17, 2018 at 10:02 am

      Brayshaw is a must and you can’t argue with Ablett!
      As far as Simpson goes I had him and downgraded him and have been happy with that- Lienert has performed similarly. If I’m you though I keep him too. I don’t quite trust Witherden as much as the traders seem to and he has a real tough game next week. All the other D6 options aren’t really much better than Simmo either.

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      August 17, 2018 at 10:04 am

      Well it’s actually basically Lienert vs Simmo now I look at it. Yeah trade Lienert.

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        August 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm

        It’s a toss up, but maybe Simmo has another good game left in him.

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    August 17, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Who goes first? Adams Neale or coniglio

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      August 17, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Neale. Doesn’t have a good record v Geelong and might not be as productive in midfield with Fyfe back.

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    August 17, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Bit of unfortunate circumstances as I was really hoping to bring Grundy in for Jacobs this week (!!!) I’m going Kelly to Macrae which leaves me with 515k to upgrade Alex Johnson at D6.. This only allows me to upgrade to a Hurley, Brandon Ellis, Houli or DBJ type.

    Any Smokey recommendations?

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      August 17, 2018 at 11:42 am

      Pittard could be a smokey. Last four games had scores of 100, 78, 74 and 106 – is a bit all or nothing with him though. Otherwise probably Ellis in my opinion – pretty kind draw and might get bit more midfield time with Tigers resting those few players.

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    August 17, 2018 at 10:16 am

    What’s priority to trade:

    1) Phillips ( to Ablett or Beams )
    2) Lienert ( to Crisp )
    3) Wingard/Rockliff ( to Dunkley or Menegola )

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      August 17, 2018 at 11:31 am

      Provided they’re all on field I think Phillips to Ablett or Beams (either should have 120+ scores would think) will have the greatest points differential so would be inclined to do that.

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        August 17, 2018 at 11:33 am

        Thanks Tom. Am leaning towards Ablett or Beams for Phillips.

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    August 17, 2018 at 10:29 am

    In a pickle. Can go phillips to jelwood and coniglio to ablett, leaving no bench cover. Unfortunately this is the only way i can get bald jesus.
    Otherwise its just a phillips to anyone upto 690k and then a rookie out and in.
    Is ablett going to outscore coniglio i guess is the question. Any advice dt community?

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      August 17, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Yes he will score more than Cogs would think, would go with first option there.

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    August 17, 2018 at 10:31 am

    S. Martin to Grundy or Dusty/Parker/Shuey to Beams/Crouch/Ablett?

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      August 17, 2018 at 10:57 am

      Parker out i reckon

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    August 17, 2018 at 10:50 am

    Ahern to Mundy, Lienart to Witherden or just accept they’re in my starting lineup and go Martin or Rockliff to Ablett, Beams or Merrett?

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      August 17, 2018 at 12:26 pm


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    Mad Fish

    August 17, 2018 at 10:54 am

    What do people think of going Phillips to Duncan this week? I’m short of Ross, so was thinking of going Duncan with his nice draw.

    Parker to Beams is my other trade, and already got Ablett.

    What do people think?

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      August 17, 2018 at 10:59 am

      Similar spot mad fish. Duncan v jelwood is the other option. Either i think would be better than phillips. Any thought on the above?

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    August 17, 2018 at 11:12 am


    Have only 45k in bank

    Yeo/ laird/ Whitfield/ Brayshaw/ Lloyd/ lie era (lynch/ COR)
    Titch/ Macrae/ Cripps/ Cong/ Ross/ beams/ zerrett/ Phillips (Sier/ j smith)
    Gawn/ goldy (Cameron/ frampton)
    D smith/ westy/ McLean/ Heeney/ rocky/ Wingard (keeffe/ battle)

    Who 2 to trade out and who to bring in

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      August 17, 2018 at 11:18 am

      Phillips and lienert i reckon. Lienert at d6 ud only go to withers and whoever u can get for phillips. Probs a cat. Any advice for me jay jay? im battlin!

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        August 17, 2018 at 11:22 am

        thanks Bradelz. i think getting the 2 cats in would be great and go with no bench cover

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        August 17, 2018 at 11:25 am

        if i go lienert to witherden and then phillips have only 345k left, so not much to pick from, would sier be good to field and get a rookie in and bank the cash for next week upgrade sier

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          August 17, 2018 at 2:54 pm

          Mmm issue is theres really no good 2nd tier backs unless u take a punt. Witho v gc will be a joke

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    August 17, 2018 at 11:29 am

    Hey everyone, I have 244k salary and in struggling to choose what trades to do, any help would be awesome!

    Had planned to trade out phillips and e.curnow, now have to get rid of Kelly, so;

    A) Should i trade phillips (vs Port) or Curnow (vs Bulldogs), and
    B) What two mids should I bring in? I can bring in both top dogs in Cripps and Oliver, or can chase form and matchups, eg. Gaz, Ross?


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    August 17, 2018 at 11:34 am

    Stef Martin and josh Kelly out for menegola and grundy?

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      August 17, 2018 at 11:43 am

      Yep, what’s the highest priced mid you can get to still get in Grundy though?

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    August 17, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Abblet or Hunter or Beams

    who to pick to win this round?

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    August 17, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    trade shuey or dusty?

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    Craig Johnson

    August 17, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    I have $160k in the bank.

    I am thinking to trade as follows:

    Neale to Crouch
    Sidebottom to Duncan
    (keep gibbs)


    Neale to Ablett
    Sidebottom to Heppel
    (keep gibbs)


    Neale to Ablett
    Gibbs to Crouch
    (keep sidebottom)


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      August 17, 2018 at 2:33 pm

      I’d go with your third option. Ablett and Crouch should go bang this week. And Sidebottom should pump out a ton v Port.

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    August 17, 2018 at 12:28 pm

    Yeo/ laird/ Whitfield/ Brayshaw/ Lloyd/Simpson
    Titch/ Macrae/ Sidebottom / conigs/gibbs/ beams/ zerrett/ Neale
    Gawn/ Grundy
    D smith/ westy/ McLean/ menegola/ rocky/ Wingard
    Who 2 to trade out and who to bring in
    $160k in the bank

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      August 17, 2018 at 12:43 pm

      Get rid of Simpson to Withers
      and then downgrade rocky to Dunkley (if you have the cash

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    August 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Kelly+Gibbs to Fyfe and Ross
    Kelly + Ahern to Oliver (or other premo, already have Crouch, Titch, Macrae, Merret, Cripps) + 170k player

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      August 17, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      What about Ablett or Beams. Both have great match ups whereas Oliver plays West Coast who can be restrictive. Plus possible Hutchings tag.

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    August 17, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    hey guys in a pickle, all or nothing for me, any help appreciated

    2 of jelwood, sloane, duncan, sidebottom, shiels OR bont/robinson + uber mid.

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    August 17, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Pls help, been agonising all day.

    M Crouch or Seb Ross?! Thanks

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    August 17, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Crouch for safety (120+), Ross for ceiling (140+) but he can score 60’s

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    August 17, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    Ryan clarke or Austin logan on the ground this week

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    August 19, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Logan Austin all the way

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