Times are tough for AFL Fantasy coaches. Premium players are scoring 60’s and the rookie roulette wheel is harder to predict than ever – yes, I’m talking to you Jay Lockhart. A somewhat lack of reliable downgrade targets this week leaves a few coaches fretting and praying that team selection reveals some fresh meat. Luckily, I’ve done the digging to find the diamonds in the rough for you.
Here we go…
Lachlan Young, Bulldogs ($258K, 76, BE -7)
Lachlan Young sits in this grouping despite plenty of doubt surrounding his name this week. In fact, with Suckling potentially making a comeback from injury it seems like Young will unfortunately be the odd one out and make way for the veteran. Should Young hold his spot and he might offer you a solid downgrade choice.
Noah Answerth, Lions ($237K, 60, BE -8)
Will be one of the most popular traded in players this week, that is of course if Answerth holds his spot. There’s a high chance that’ll happen after another decent outing on the weekend. It’s unlikely the Lions will make too many changes to their winning outfit, perhaps boasting Answerth’s job security, especially if he performs again in Round 8.
Xavier Duursma, Power ($426K, 70, BE 45)
By no means is it crucial to hold onto Duursma, but he’s someone that could be a good source of points through to the byes. I still have a few doubts after his 50’s from not too long ago, and if you can move him up it’s a wise choice.
Marty Hore, Demons ($403K, 81, BE 15)
Legend. Has gone over 80 in three of his last four games and should help most coaches until the byes. He’s worth keeping on your field this weekend against the Suns as well.
Jack Scrimshaw, Hawks ($400K, N/A, BE 35)
I, like 22.2% of the fantasy competition, decided to hold onto the young Hawk in the hope that he’ll return after his week’s “rest”. All signs point to Scrimshaw returning, but nothing’s certain. Here’s hoping he can come through with the goods against a tough Giants outfit and put forth a four-quarter performance.
Sydney Stack, Tigers ($361K, 89, BE 19)
What a gift from the fantasy gods Sydney Stack was this week! Thanks to Scrimshaw’s “management” a lot of us rolled the dice on Wilkie, Answerth and/or Stack on our fields and the Richmond cult hero came to the party. Here’s hoping another high score is in store against the Dockers.
Jay Lockhart, Demons ($281K, 100, BE -14)
I’d usually advise against trading a rookie $100k over basement price, but Lockhart’s last score at least forces us to ask the question. His first fantasy ton came out of nowhere and we can’t get caught point chasing. With a lack of targets this week, it could make sense for some coaches, but it’s not my cup of tea. Yet.
Jordan Ridley, Bombers ($431K, 61, BE 50)
There’s a chance that Ridley falls under his breakeven this week, but I have faith he can still outscore 50. Sydney aren’t the most restrictive side and it’s probably time to cash Ridley in after his swan song this round (pun intended).
Isaac Cumming, Giants ($205K, 33, BE 29)
Calvin always says that NEAFL numbers should be divided by three and Cumming’s score from last week is further proof. There’s a real chance the 1,073 coaches that traded him into their teams will see him become a one-and-done player if Whitfield returns.
Declan Keilty, Demons ($172K, 30, BE 27)
Was a rather non-factor on debut, but hopefully, he’ll be better for the run. In the back half of last season, Keilty played a key defensive role which concerns me. Give him at least another week to prove he can football.
Sam Collins, Suns ($334K, 50, BE 47)
Just over 12% of sides own Sam Collins right now, who has increased his starting price by nearly $100k following a shocking 21-point start. 50’s are nice to offer us a bench bailout, however, it’s time for Collo to move on.
Callum Wilkie, Saints ($332K, 31, BE 52)
I was so disappointed in Callum Wilkie that I called him Tim in my weekly round wrap-up video. And I’m not even an owner! I had backed him in after some reasonable games, but his Round 6 & 7 scores COMBINED don’t surpass his game from Round 5. Send him packing.
Jordan Clark, Cats ($331K, 50, BE 53)
Having made his money it’s safe to let the axe swing on Jordan Clark if you’re still an owner. After bouncing in and out of the Geelong side in recent weeks, there’s every chance he’ll make way for a returning Constable or Selwood this round.
On The Outside Looking In
Isaac Quaynor (Pies, $246K) – Didn’t play this week due to a VFL bye, but will hopefully continue to build his case this week.
Hugh Goddard (Blues, $170K) – Shaping up as a potential debutant brace yourself for Goddard being a one-and-done player when Jones is healthy again. Still, the discarded Saint is going at an average of 72 from four games and may cement a regular spot with a hot start.
Josh Rotham (Eagles, $216K) – Posted a 90 with 18 kicks, but there isn’t a clear path for Rotham to re-enter the side.
Will Hayes, Bulldogs ($283K, 59, BE -2)
By no means are we disappointed, but with Hayes finding his way onto a lot of fields this week thanks to Constable, we would have liked to see the Dogs pup get in on the points festival. Hopefully, a healthy Matt Suckling doesn’t throw doubt over his place in the team. Hayes as shown enough in three weeks to give me confidence.
Sam Walsh, Blues ($594K, 81, BE 85)
Fun fact, Walsh is currently the 3rd most expensive fantasy player that plays for Carlton. Now isn’t the time to trade him out with a bunch of other pressing needs around the grounds. I’m not stoked with Walsh’s mortal scores in the past fortnight, but I’ll back in the star rookie to figure it out, even with an imposing matchup against Collingwood in his sights.
Charlie Constable, Cats ($454K, N/A, BE 34)
With a glaring lack of reliable downgrade targets that fill me with confidence, I may try and get fancy and hold the Cats youngster, even if he fails to return to their AFL side this round. Constable should see minutes in the big time again this year, with his game-high 124 points in the VFL potentially forcing Chris Scott’s hand as soon as this week.
Bailey Smith, Bulldogs ($432K, 90, BE 26)
Back-to-back 90’s saw another group of coaches raise their eyebrows at Footscray’s newest midfield star. It is worth pointing out that was just the 10th highest score that Richmond gave up to a rampant Bulldogs outfit. Still, Smith deserves serious credit for piecing things together quickly.
Jack Ross, Tigers ($364K, 60, BE 15)
I’m not going to panic too much after Ross’ par-60, but I’m not going to lie, I wanted more. With Trent Cotchin still on the shelf, Ross isn’t in too much danger of losing his spot, but we can’t afford for him to go full Bailey Scott on us.
Jackson Hately, Giants ($314K, 80, BE -2)
Trading in Hately this round goes against all my instincts. However, two 80’s in three games mean that owners may as well hold him with their fingers and toes crossed. Josh Kelly and Lachie Whitfield’s fitness will determine his fate, but here’s hoping he holds his spot, and his streak of 80’s can continue.
Michael Gibbons, Blues ($348K, 61, BE 27)
There aren’t many days left for Gibbons as a money-making cash cow, even though he continues to tick upwards. His midfield-fueled 93 from a few weeks ago makes him worth holding for now, but if he struggles against the Pies he could be instantly moved along.
Tom Atkins, Cats ($343K, 74, BE 21)
Atkins and Gibbons have been linked for the entire season so far and right now, their position in a lot of teams are similar. Another good week saw Atkins’ value move in the right direction and he still has a few weeks of money making left in him.
Tarryn Thomas, Kangaroos ($334K, 84, BE 15)
The rare rookie POD, Tarryn Thomas had the best game of his young career against Carlton this week. Shocker I know. Enjoy the future earnings if you find yourself as a minority owner.
Liam Stocker, Blues ($246K, 40, BE 32)
There weren’t many people that brought in Liam Stocker this week on debut, and the ones that did weren’t chuffed with the returns. This is why it can pay to wait a week and see how a certain players’ role looks.
Zak Butters, Power ($360K, 34, BE 65)
A season-low nine touch game has Butters well and truly in the firing line this week. There’s a chance Port Adelaide even looks to give him a spell, but with their injury woes, he could dodge a bullet for one more week. Now that he’s bleeding cash he’s got to go though.
On The Outside Looking In
Corey Wagner, Demons ($279K) – After spending two straight weeks in the reserves a 25-touch (104) game could earn a recall, but don’t hold your breath.
Patrick Wilson (Crows, $278K) – This is getting a bit crazy. Team-high 125 with 25 touches and seven tackles could have Wilson in line for the Magarey Medal though (SANFL Brownlow).
Chayce Jones (Crows, $247K) – 99 points with 24 disposals boosted his chances of a call-up. His speed may be an appealing asset for the Crows in the Showdown this week
Ned McHenry (Crows, $240K) – Similarly to his draft peer, McHenry put up good stats (86 points, 24 touches). Unfortunately, there’s not enough room in the team for both of them.
Kai Pudney (Power, $170K) – May be given a baptism of fire in the Showdown after solid form, but appears unlikely.
Brett Bewley (Freo, $170K) – Connor Blakely’s potential inclusion all but draws a line through Bewley who had 22 disposals (71) in Peel’s W.
Nick Hind (St Kilda, $170K) – Hind could have almost punched his ticket for a debut this week. 82 points from 23 touches probably won’t cut it though.
Reilly O’Brien, Crows ($452K, 120, BE 9)
I considered snagging O’Brien on the bench back in Round 3 and for the coaches that did his production has been unreal. I advised against rolling the dice and fielding him, but his mammoth 120 might force me to rethink my analysis. Either way, he’s providing coaches with a great cash cow, who can get you a nice upgrade when he’s finished making the rest of us feel sick.
N/A – No relevant rookie/cash cow rucks are must have right now
N/A – No relevant rookie/cash cow rucks worth watching right now
N/A – No relevant rookie/cash cow rucks need to be dropped right now
On The Outside Looking In
Darcy Cameron (Swans, $170K) – Your fortnightly relevant Darcy Cameron game, this time including 40 hitouts and 22 disposals, equating to a score of 139.
Peter Ladhams (Power, $170K) – For what it’s worth, Ladhams had a monstrous 154 with 28 touches, 40 hitouts and a pair of goals!
Dylan Moore, Hawks ($211K, 67, BE -4)
I don’t know if Dylan Moore can co-exist with fellow youngster Mitch Lewis, but the instant rewards are promising. Moore was clean with the footy and set up two goals, ending the contest with 13 touches. His score did come against Melbourne so temper expectations in Round 8.
Josh Corbett, Suns ($196K, 59, BE 3)
I predicted half a dozen marks from Corbett and true to his MO he snagged seven and a fine 59 in Round 7. With reliable downgrade candidates few and far between this week, I’m all for moving Corbett onto your FWD bench with Parker or Petrucelle making way.
Connor Rozee, Power ($476K, 74, BE 62)
While his breakeven continues to etch close to his average, there’s nothing wrong with giving Rozee more time in your side. With a favourable fixture ahead and injuries to key midfield personnel, there’s no reason why we couldn’t see Rozee’s second fantasy ton in the next few weeks.
Gryan Miers, Cats ($444K, 93, BE 24)
Miers is quickly becoming a fan favourite at the Large Fry’s & Coke. A three-round average of 89 has Miers looking like the best FWD rookie, with a huge 25 disposals against the Bombers coming in a noteworthy 93% of TOG (time on ground). Gun.
Willem Drew, Power ($400K, 64, BE 49)
If you were considering trading out Willem Drew this week, let me point out two numbers. 92 and 86. Those are the two scores Drew had to open the year without Wines in the side. Sure, a lot’s changed between now and then, and those two contests were against the Blues and Dees. That being said, there could be instant rewards this week if he holds his place for the Showdown.
Liam Baker, Tigers ($379K, 96, BE 0)
You know how I spoke about Baker’s trend of outscoring himself every week? He did it again. For the fourth straight game, Baker posted an impressive season-best, much to the delight of 10.6% of coaches. There’s a chance he manages to do so again with a trip to face Freo on the near horizon.
Shai Bolton, Tigers ($276K, 62, BE 17)
Moved out of the trade category with a solid game against the Western Bulldogs, although it doesn’t come as a huge shock, with the Dogs not exactly a stellar fantasy defense. With Dan Rioli potentially missing, Bolton’s worth keeping in your outfit for another round.
Noah Balta, Tigers ($260K, 62, BE 9)
Strung together a strong 60 with a handful of hitouts and a season-best five marks. There isn’t a ton to get excited about Noah Balta’s fantasy game, but if you’ve made it this far keep riding it out.
Mitch Lewis, Hawks ($240K, 53, BE 7)
Three heartbeat scores might have to do it as a downgrade target this week. Granted, Lewis’ form has been fine for your bench and he seems to be holding his own. GWS poses a tough task this week, that could reveal his true colours.
Nick Larkey, Roos ($228K, 33, BE 6)
Quote from week RE: Nick Larkey. “I wouldn’t be surprised if he dropped a sub-50 this week though”. I’m not about to crown myself as Nostradamus, but there’s a reason I wasn’t super-high on him. Not all hope is lost with a chance to rebound against Geelong for those that took the punt.
Jack Petruccelle, Eagles ($380K, 55, BE 52)
It’s nothing personal Jack but, it’s time to go. Those of us lucky enough to experience his 115 on the bench will be happy to turn him into something meaningful after increasing his price by $210k this season. A matchup against the Saints could lead to another 60, but his breakeven is too high to tempt fate.
Matthew Parker, Saints ($326K, 59, BE 36)
If I was a betting man I’d put a lot of money of Matthew Parker being the most traded out player this week. There may still be one game’s worth of value, but considering that match is against West Coast there’s no need to get fancy. Thank you for your services.
— SportsbyFry (@sportsbyfry) April 27, 2019
On The Outside Looking In
Will Setterfield (Blues, $348K) – Could earn an instant return to the senior side after a 22-disposal showing (93). Surprised to still find him in 36% of teams.
Lachie Schultz (Dockers, $268K) – Kicked three goals, but didn’t do enough to enter the selection frame.
James Rose (Swans, $223K) – Kept up his stellar form with a 122 from two-goals and 28 disposals, although he still remains on the outs.
Brayden Ham (Bombers, $189K) – We could see Essendon forward Brayden Ham brought back into the side following his 21 touch, 10 mark game. My gut tells me we’ll have to wait for another good showing or two.
Toby Wooler (Lions, $170K) – Can’t really do much more to ask for a debut. Wooler keeps up these numbers (30 touches, 14 marks, 131 points) a first game shouldn’t be too far around the corner.
Cash Cow King – Round 7
Only one of the nominees is in my team this week, but I’m not giving Gryan Miers back-to-back votes. Instead, I have to side with the colossal 120 from Reilly O’Brien that caught the AFL Fantasy community by surprise. He totalled such a high score with a well-rounded game too, posting 44 hitouts with 22 disposals. Take a bow son.
Taking price, scoring potential and job security into consideration, here are my top 3 ranked rookie/cash cow options for Round 8 at each position. It goes without saying that if these players aren’t named in their respective sides then they fall out of the rankings.
Willem Drew/Liam Baker (I can’t split them!)