They’re nearly here. Year in, year out, the bye rounds prove to be a testing time for AFL fantasy coaches and the right rookies/cash cows can sometimes make or break you over a one month period. Hopefully, you’ve mapped out some form of a plan for the three bye rounds and over the next month, I’ll do my best to help you pick the right players to keep your head above water. Start now until the end of Round 14, I’ll order rookies under the same categories, but section them off depending upon their bye rounds. If you haven’t taken too long a look at your bye structure, there’s still one last chance to make some final tweaks with a pair of trades still up your sleeve.
MID-SEASON ROOKIE DRAFT
On Monday we saw 13 new players enter the AFL system, so naturally, that means there are 13 potential trade targets for our fantasy sides to aid us through the rest of the 2019 season. While we won’t see all of the new rooks play, there are some who are expected to feature in AFL sides before the season closes, with new Bulldog Ryan Gardner set to make his debut this weekend! You can read the full rundown on the new draftees by clicking here and I’ll provide relevant updates on the hot names as the season progresses.
ROUND 12 BYE
Brett Bewley, Dockers ($177K, MID, 38, BE 18)
It’s surprising to see Bewley nearly sitting in 25% of teams despite playing just one professional AFL game to date. He didn’t light the world on fire in that appearance either, with just 11 disposals for his 38. I expect him to hold his place in the Dockers outfit though, at least for this weekend. Here’s hoping he can up his scoring and stay put during the latter bye rounds.
Robbie Young, St Kilda ($194K, FWD, 18, BE 23)
I’m not so optimistic on Robbie Young’s chances of staying put for another month however. He looked fine on debut but took a severe step backwards against Carlton with just four touches. If he survives it could be a good indication of his solid job security or the fact that St Kilda has no idea what they’re doing. Tough to say.
Connor Rozee, Power ($492K, DEF/FWD, 41, BE 88)
Last week I expressed my jealousy towards Connor Rozee owners and this week he responded by throwing up his worst score of the season. Don’t read into it too much, Rozee’s still worth holding on to for now.
Xavier Duursma, Power ($489K, DEF/MID, 99, BE 51)
Weapon. Duursma’s role this year has seen him roam one wing for the Power and rack up a ton of the footy in the process. He should be one of your last rookies removed from the field and his DPP is just an added bonus.
Bailey Smith, Bulldogs ($489K, MID, 93, BE 55)
Having gone under 80 once in his last five games, there’s nothing wrong with keeping Bailey Smith in the mix for a longer stretch. The reliable pup isn’t in a ton of teams (5.42% to be exact) and as a result his name isn’t being talked about as frequently as some others. Still, there’s no denying Smith’s numbers and he continues to seamlessly find his fit in the Dogs loaded midfield brigade.
Callum Wilkie, Saints ($359K, DEF, 68, BE 40)
During the bye weeks, it’s important to maximise the players you have on the field. Given the scarcity for reliable Round 12 players in the backline, a player like Wilkie could provide coaches with a solid boost over a few rounds and for that reason alone he’s worth holding.
Zak Butters, Power ($363K, MID/FWD, 69, BE 53)
If you’ve held Zak Butters for this long then there’s no point axing him just yet. Over 15,000 coaches are still rocking the Port youngster in one of their lines and he could throw up a pair of 60’s to help you after his week off in Round 12.
Mitch Lewis, Hawks ($290K, FWD, N/A, BE 29)
A late omission from the Hawks outfit means Lewis could come right back in for Round 11. However, Ben McEvoy’s injury could see them opt to play Pittonet in more games, potentially jeopardising Lewis’ spot in the team. Watch this space.
Peter Ladhams, Power ($170K, RUC, 51, BE 10)
After lighting the SANFL on fire Ladhams was rewarded with his AFL debut last weekend and he responded accordingly. A 51 doesn’t mean we have to drop everything and bring him in, but there’s a chance we haven’t heard the last from him in 2019.
Jack Scrimshaw, Hawks ($387K, DEF, 56, BE 71)
A knee injury will keep Scrimshaw out for at least the next month of footy. It’s a shame his time in a lot of team’s will end this way, but he’s now a top priority to trade out.
Matthew Parker, Saints ($319K, FWD, 66, BE 47)
Two goals against the Blues helped Parker put back-to-back 30’s behind him and actually rise in price again. I can see the potential upside in keeping him throughout the bye’s, but Parker’s low scoring output makes him virtually worthless and moving him on is a fine idea.
On The Outside Looking In
Willem Drew (Power, MID/FWD, $405K) – This may be Willem Drew’s last chance for a lot of coaches. If an injury to Rockliff and a 113 point, 30 disposal, eight tackle outing can’t get him a callup he can be traded.
Will Hayes (Bulldogs, MID, $338K) – 21 disposals and 70 fantasy points doesn’t sound like a great performance but there are rumours Hayes could come straight back in this week. I’m not buying it.
Dylan Moore (Hawks, FWD, $291K) – I was surprised to see Moore dumped, after looking like he had done enough to hold his spot. Don’t go offloading him just yet.
Zac Clarke (Bombers, RUC, $280K) – Nothing new to report on the Zac Clarke front. Use him to make a quick $100k over the byes.
Lachlan Young (Bulldogs, DEF, $276K) – Was one of his sides best (17 touches, seven marks, 76 points), but it’s unlikely he comes back in before their bye.
Dylan Clarke (Bombers, MID, $250K) – I’d advise paying up for him right away, but more health issues at Essendon could see Clarke play his first senior game for 2019 this weekend.
Joe Atley (Power, MID, $238K) – Put his hand up for consideration with 31 touches (93 points), but I can’t see him coming in.
Harley Bennell (Dockers, MID, $236K) – It’s time for your annual Harley Bennell update after he managed to stay healthy for 10 days. We laugh now but after 30 touches and two goals (114 points) he could soon come into serious consideration.
Brayden Ham (Bombers, FWD, $207K) – A lot of coaches are hoping that injury blows to the Dons will help Ham earn a recall. Keep hoping…
Nick Hind (Saints, MID, $170K) – Another mundane 75 points from 20 touches that won’t see Hind crack the senior side.
Jackson Ross (Hawks, FWD, $170K) – 17 goals in six VFL games (at an average of 74 points) may see Ross earn his AFL debut in the next few matches.
Ryan Gardner (Bulldogs, FWD, $170K) – Lastly, new rookie Ryan Gardner is set to make his debut for the club, despite only arriving on Monday! An average of 49 in the VFL including a whopping 11 last week means it’s wise to wait a week at least.
ROUND 13 BYE
Darcy Fort, Cats ($228K, RUC, 41, BE 4)
Quickly becoming one of the most owned fantasy players, Darcy Fort now finds himself in over 50% of teams. His 41 this week doesn’t fill me with hope and confidence about his spot moving forward. As long as he survives until his bye round, we won’t be complaining.
Mitch Hinge, Lions ($209K, DEF, 68, BE 17)
Hinge had a much better showing in the second game of his career, kicking the first goal of his career in the process. I still have my concerns, but with Zach Bailey and Jarrod Berry set to miss a few more weeks at least, Hinge’s spot is his to lose.
Oskar Baker, Demons ($202K, MID, 72, BE -3)
Much like Hinge, Oskar Baker bounced back from a forgetful debut to reward those coaches that took the punt. He was on the field for a handful of teams and paid them off handsomely by kicking two goals and topping 70 points. I’m tempering expectations, but it’ll be interesting to see if he stays hot against the Crows.
Marty Hore, Demons ($464K, DEF, 74, BE 64)
While Duursma and Stack continue to produce around him Marty Hore still remains my favourite defensive rook. Playing with the poise of a 100-gamer, Hore topped 70 again last weekend and at this rate, he should be the last rookie you trade away in your backline.
Tom Atkins, Cats ($349K, MID/FWD, 96, BE 38)
Tom Atkins was a saviour for a lot of coaches in Round 10, providing perfect cover for those coaches who decided to hold Patrick Dangerfield. His heroics have earned him a place in our teams for at least the next few weeks as he likely continues to tick up in value.
Noah Answerth, Lions ($289K, DEF/MID, 63, BE 37)
The ship has probably sailed now to land Answerth, who put an average performance behind him and returned to 60+ against Freo. His flexibility to swing between multiple lines will be a huge asset for nearly a third of the competition come bye time, as long as he holds his place in Brisbane’s team. Fingers crossed.
Gryan Miers, Cats ($493K, FWD, 45, BE 93)
OK, now we can start to complain (slightly) about Miers. We wanted big things against the Suns, but Miers instead responded with his worst game of the season, failing to hit the scoreboard for the first time since Round 1. His time is coming…
Jay Lockhart, Demons ($383K, DEF/MID, 43, BE 55)
Call me a hater, but I’ve never been a fan of Jay Lockhart’s fantasy game. I’ve got nothing personally against the kid, but I had a hunch that his 100 and 92 were random outliers in what has otherwise been a mediocre campaign. It’s wise to hold on to players who have held their place in the team for a few weeks, but if I was an owner I’d find it hard to not trade him out this week.
Jordan Clark, Cats ($376K, DEF, 84, BE 37)
I like to point out when I’m right a lot of the time, so let’s mix things up, shall we? Here’s my excerpt from Clark a week ago:
“He went gangbusters in Round 8 throwing up a career-high 95, before reminding us why a lot of people have already traded him out following his 27-point performances against the Bulldogs. Ditch.”
Charlie Constable, Cats ($500K, MID, N/A, BE 76)
I come bearing bad news for 24.6% of the competition. While holding Constable has paid off for some coaches, the time to trade is now with the young Cat suffering a groin injury in the VFL on the weekend. Cash. Him. In.
— SportsbyFry (@sportsbyfry) May 26, 2019
Jack Petruccelle, Eagles ($358K, FWD, 34, BE 71)
If you’ve persisted this far with Jack Petrucelle it’s time to relieve yourself of his 30’s. He has failed to top 55 in any of his last five matches and even though he’ll probably be a part of West Coast’s lineup’s during the byes, you can afford to move him on and improve your team in the process.
Corey Wagner, Demons ($279K, MID/FWD, 45, BE 40)
I didn’t know that Corey Wagner was still sitting in over 7% of teams in the competition. I’m not going to waste any more time here, send him packing.
On The Outside Looking In
James Rowbottom (Swans, MID, $258K) – Talk about a response! 31 disposals, 10 tackles and 132 fantasy points is a great way to let the match committee know they made a mistake.
Isaac Quaynor (Pies, DEF, $246K) – A slew of star Pies are set to return this week, which could be the only thing that stands in the way of Quaynor making his AFL debut.
Archie Smith (Lions, RUC, $217K) – Doesn’t seem likely to replace Stef/Oscar anytime soon.
Josh Rotham (Eagles, DEF, $216K) – Faces an uphill battle to take Lewis Jetta’s spot. 87 points from 21 touches is a good start though.
Darcy Cameron (Swans, RUC, $170K) – He doesn’t seem to be in the mix right now, but a 129 point effort (39 hitouts and 22 touches) is worth giving some props too.
Cory Lyons (Lions, MID, $170K) – Entering the selection frame, but a 95 point effort probably won’t see him crack the Lions’ best 22.
ROUND 14 BYE
N/A – No relevant rookies/cash cows with the Round 14 bye land in the “Get ‘Em” category this week
Sam Walsh, Blues ($560K, MID, 83, BE 95)
Alright Sam, we need to talk. After capturing the hearts of fantasy coaches across the globe you’ve stumbled slightly in the past five weeks, taking your average in that time back down to just 76.3 compared to 102.2 in the five-round before that. We aren’t greedy, we’ll accept somewhere in the middle, but if these 70’s and 80’s continue you’ll be the most traded out player come Round 14. Just saying.
Reilly O’Brien, Crows ($550K, RUC, 106, BE 56)
Sauce Jacobs is on his way, with big red a chance to play in the SANFL this weekend. That means Reilly O’Brien’s time atop the Crows depth chart could fast be coming to an end. Whether Adelaide is better off playing O’Brien full-time is a question for another day. For now, owners can start to compile their shopping list for who they plan to turn O’Brien in to.
Liam Baker, Tigers ($468K, FWD, 112, BE 41)
Baker went BANG in Round 11, putting a few quiet matches behind him to potentially even end up in the Brownlow votes. 24 touches, nine tackles and a goal saw him earn a Rising Star nomination and the adulation of nearly 12% of all fantasy coaches.
The round 10 NAB AFL Rising Star nominee is… Liam Baker!
Congrats to the 21-year-old Tiger 🐯 pic.twitter.com/MhFNmMpMVG
— AFL (@AFL) May 27, 2019
Sydney Stack, Tigers ($453K, DEF/MID, 58, BE 58)
As I’ve mentioned a few times already in this piece, rookies/cash cows that have solidified a place in their respective team’s 22 aren’t your highest trade priority. There’s every chance that Stack could decline slightly from his current price, but I have faith on him posting numbers closer to, if not surpassing 80 and helping coaches navigate the bye rounds until his week off.
Michael Gibbons, Blues ($383K, MID/FWD, 35, BE 62)
It’s fair to assume that Michael Gibbons’ money making days are over. However, he can still contribute a few scores in the 50-60 range and potentially help out during the bye weeks. Gibbons has been tabbed for “more midfield time” by the Blues and with now would be as good a time as any for them to deliver on that promise.
Noah Balta, Tigers ($362K, FWD, 82, BE 10)
Balta’s uptick in production is coming at a perfect time for those coaches that held him. In line for the addition of ruck status next week, Balta could be a very handy tool to have during the bye rounds and hopefully he can string more of these 70+ scores together while he’s residing on the field.
Josh Corbett, Suns ($300K, FWD, 42, BE 22)
I, much like a lot of Dangerfield owners, was forced to field an unreliable rook this week, with Josh Corbett the lucky ‘winner’. It’s encouraging to see him lay five tackles, but his subpar game could bring his job status into question. Have faith though, I believe Corbett can hold his spot.
Nick Larkey, Kangaroos ($316K, FWD, 60, BE 31)
Larkey has found a home inside 50 for North and as a result, we should see him produce a few handy results in the early bye rounds. There’s nothing wrong with moving him on once Round 14 hits, but until then my advice would be to hold the big Roo.
Liam Stocker, Blues ($281K, MID, 52, BE 26)
The streak of 50’s continued from Stocker last weekend, with the Blues youngster still failing to captivate the fantasy community. He has risen slowly in price, making him too expensive to invest in now. His 52 was a career-high score though, maybe signalling better things to come?
Isaac Cumming, Giants ($213K, DEF, 43, BE 22)
He might survive another week, but it seems like Isaac Cumming’s time in the AFL isn’t going to last much longer. If he wants any chance of staying in their best 22, Cumming will have to do something special against the Suns this weekend, that is of course, assuming he holds his spot.
Callum Coleman-Jones, Tigers ($193K, RUC, 66, BE 0)
After making his sooner than expected debut last round CCJ will likely be out of the team in Round 11. Nothing’s impossible, but the inclusion of Ivan Soldo should see him return to VFL making him hardly worth a trade in.
Shai Bolton, Tigers ($370K, FWD, 60, BE 38)
This may be harsh, but I can see Bolton making way for Dan Butler any week now. We’ve already seen Bolton used as the whipping boy having being dumped before and while placing him in the ‘Drop ‘Em’ category may be presumptuous my hunch is he’ll be bounced before he reaches the bye rounds. For the sanity of 3,500+ coaches, I hope I’m wrong.
Chris Burgess, Suns ($220K, DEF/FWD, 24, BE 48)
No one wishes an injury upon a player, but Chris Burgess (and his owners) would have been fist pumping to themselves when Sam Collins was hit for six. In true Burgess fashion though, this was a lose-lose scenario with the versatile Sun losing money and throwing up a season-worst 24. Given his struggles that led to him being dropped in the first place that’s saying something.
On The Outside Looking In
Will Setterfield (Blues, MID/FWD $366K) – 23 touches (89 points) has Setters in the selection frame, which is good news for over 32% of the competition.
Jackson Hately (Giants, MID, $314K) – If he was on any other list Hately wouldn’t be racking up numbers in the two’s. 36 possessions and 135 points to his name might force the Giants to give Coniglio another rest, but it seems like Hately will miss, again.
Bailey Scott (Kangaroos, MID, $289K) – For those who keep asking about Bailey Scott let me remind you that he is averaging 41 from three VFL games since being dumped.
Curtis Taylor (Kangaroos, FWD, $185K) – Don’t give up on Taylor bobbing up before their Round 14 bye for another AFL game. 1.2 and 70 points on the weekend is a fine start.
Patrick Naish (Tigers, DEF, $170K) – Don’t go trading him in yet, but Naish’s form (22 disposals, 86 points) could see him get a berth sooner rather than later.
Connor Nutting (Suns, DEF/FWD $170K) – Remember the name with Nutting a serious chance to make his debut in the second half of the year.
Nick Shipley (Giants, MID, $170K) – Hately’s form is impressive, but Shipley isn’t that far behind him. Another ton and 26 touches keeps him sniffing around.
Cash Cow King – Round 10
A player coming off the bench on onto your field out of dire need usually leads to sweaty palms for fantasy coaches. However, two candidates for the CC King award this week came off the pine for a lot of coaches and delivered above and beyond what was expected. My vote goes to Tom Atkins who has saved himself from the axe with a noteworthy 96 that wasn’t wasted on my bench!
Taking all fantasy aspects into consideration, here are my top 3 rookie/cash cows you should own, make a move for in each of the three bye rounds.
* = if named