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Trent’s Take: POD Chasing (DEF & MID)

Last year’s winner goes POD hunting.

To Ziebell or not to Ziebell, that is the question. He has broken out of POD status, and like many coaches we were hoping to pick him up after the byes- but that bird has flown as Ziebell sits behind the play and is seemingly gifted points (although he is still one tough footballer). Whilst Ziebell has left the POD status behind, I thought with all the carnage last week I might look at POD’s across all lines over the next two weeks. A POD (Point of Difference) for this article will be any player 5% or below in ownership.

The reasoning is simple, we are all hunting for under-priced premiums, but if you glance at a lot of the top teams and then glance back at yours, you will notice a remarkable similarity.  We know Roy loves a good POD and with Dunkley, Neale, Dangerfield and Martin out -now just might be the time to invest in a POD. This week is Defence and Midfielders and next week Forwards and Rucks.


Dyson Heppell 628 K with 4% Ownership: AVG 99, last game of 142 with a BE of 46 with upcoming games against Carlton, GWS and Fremantle.  Coming into the season we all liked Heppell but baulked for two reasons:

  1. His propensity to hurt his back or foot and be a late out.
  2. We had Hind and wanted to get Ridley and didn’t want 3 DEF bombers.

With no Ridley, Heppell went gang busters. I am tempted by Heppell, and if I knew he wouldn’t miss a game between now and the byes- then I’d launch. The other consideration with all buys between now and the byes is their durability because this is the rookie cull season where many rookies get a rest or dropped and if that coincides with a week Heppell’s back flairs up- you are stuffed. But he is a very good player with a proven pedigree as a Midfielder and ball user. I would buy him if I had coverage on my bench and he played Collingwood every week.

Daniel Rich 712 K with 3%: AVG 100, last game of 95 with a BE of 94. The whipping boy of many a fantasy disaster, but this is all prior to 2019. He has been remarkably consistent for well over a year.  Leading into a GABBA game is when I would consider him, or Round 9-11 where he plays the Suns, Tigers and Giants with the last 2 at the Gabba and the other at Metricon (although 66 avg at Metricon).

Jack Bowes 716 K with 4%: AVG 102, last game of 81 with a BE of 116. I thought his ownership would be higher, but with Markov in many sides, I suspect no-one wanted two Suns defenders; and two quieter weeks with Farrar and Markov getting some pill and Suns generally playing quicker out of defence.  I won’t touch him at his price, but he has had 3 100+ in the first 6 rounds and he plays Collingwood.

Christian Salem 703 K with 1%: AVG 99, last game of 141 with a BE of 66. Like Rich, he has burnt me in previous years, but if you like Salem at 1% then this is the week (well, really, last week was), and he has the R14 bye.  Upcoming games against North, Sydney, Carlton and Adelaide. From the list of 4, Salem is the player that most attracts me. Other players with low ownership and going well are Atkins, Duggan and Ash.


Here is the long list, and from it, I will focus on 4 so the article doesn’t drag on. All of the guys are below 5% and are guns, Parish, McCluggage, Lyons, Pendlebury, Daicos, Brayshaw (Non-helmut), Mundy, Guthrie, Duncan, Anderson, Cunnington, Wines, Boak, Kennedy, Parker, T. Kelly and Liberatore. Factoring price and team injuries in the 4 I am looking at are Parish, McCluggage, Brayshaw and Guthrie.

Darcy Parish 673 K with 2%: AVG 96 with a last game of 150 and BE of 48. Like many in this category, it is now or never because they have an AVG around the 100 mark, but scored massive last week, which in fantasy circles is normally called chasing last weeks score.  However, most coaches were watching Parish after Shiel’s injury and he has been good every week after the Port Adelaide game.  If you already have Merrett, you are probably hoping a tag goes to Parish now (Curnow this week), but if you don’t have Merrett, this week is the week to get Parish.  Essendon also have a great run of games, Carlton, GWS, Fremantle, and Eagles. At 673 K and with another 40-50 K almost locked in, Parish does not even need to be a top 10 midfielder to get him into your side as you’ll be able to sideways trade him.

Hugh McCluggage 753 K with 2%: AVG 103 with a last game of 108 and a BE of 83. This is the Neale POD and you can change the name McCluggage for Lyons, but he is just more expensive.  A slow start of 78 and 78 has been replaced by 118, 113, 128 and 108. Everyone who likes McCluggage was looking for consistency, and the last 4 weeks have shown that. Upcoming games are Port, Fremantle, Suns and Richmond.  The price is probably the sticking point, and he’s probably one that got away, but he is an option this week if you want a player to replace the midfield option that Neale was.

Andrew Brayshaw 694 K with 5%: AVG 96 with a last game of 121 and a BE of 93. I tossed up last week between Mitchell and Brayshaw because of the fixtures and went Mitchell. Tagged for 2 weeks, but since then a 111 and 121. Next 3 games are not heavy tagging teams, Redden might run-with, but the Lions and Essendon don’t tag.  Still has 3 out of the next 4 at Optus and he is a good option this week.

Cameron Guthrie 799K with 2%: AVG 107 with a last game of 110 and a BE of 127. Dangerfield can be the kryptonite for Guthrie, but in the games Danger has missed this year, Guthrie has thrived. Could be a good option instead of Duncan who is also low ownership and is going brilliantly, and with Hewett out with concussion there will be no tag for Guthrie or Duncan (unless Ryan Clarke gets a game). Only 1 game in next 6 at home is my main concern which is the Suns in Round 10.

Last week was okay with 2129 and ranked 947, Macrae is holding up some of my dud mid-pricers (Tom Green). Good luck everyone!

Co-captain of DT Talk since we started this thing in 2007. Best finish was 13th in 2009... that was a long time ago. Follow on Twitter: @WarnieDT



  1. Henry Moore

    April 28, 2021 at 6:25 pm


    • Aluniesheis.

      April 29, 2021 at 2:32 pm

      I don’t think so- Fremantle just do not give mid clock above 70% to young mids. Look at Brayshaw and Cerra last year. Went well but on capped minutes.

      Strong capped at 70-72 and scores of 90-94 avg

      We’ll see this this year, don’t get tempted by teams coming off North and Collingwood.

      • Henry J Moore

        April 29, 2021 at 5:44 pm

        Hard to argue with what you have said. The only thing I would say is that Cerra is out and maybe Mundy and Fyfe need a bit of time out of there to keep them primed. Serong might get closer to %80 time on ground then 70% (i am hoping 77-78). At 600k I am going to take the punt. Appreciate your insight cheers. Coaches like yourself are helping me to improve the way I play this game.

  2. Cody O'Brien

    April 28, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    hey trent one more question. If i dont bring zeibell in this round, i assume id be trying to pick him up after the bye rounds? also would one up one down for the next few weeks be the best plan. Hopefully should mean i can get gawn next week and i can downgrade non playing rooks such as highmore

    • Aluniesheis

      April 29, 2021 at 2:28 pm

      That is the hope in a perfect fantasy world. Up to a premo and down to a new rookie. Sometimes you might need to think in a 2 week bloc, double downgrade one week to go up to an uber premo and a rookie.

  3. Belly

    April 28, 2021 at 11:37 pm

    Hi Trent, As others have said awesome insights this year and your willingness to respond and help others is fantastic.
    I’m trading Dunk and either Rowe/Brockman giving me about 1.56M to spend.
    Who would be your top 3 underpriced Premos to bring in this round that I should splash my cash on?
    I’m leaning toward Treloar as one of them.
    Have Brayshaw already. Any line works and happy tto keep some $ to potentially go 1 up 1 down next week.

    • Aluniesheis

      April 29, 2021 at 2:25 pm

      Treloar, Sidebottom and Zorko. Maybe an Eagles player as they are at home- Redden or Kelly.

  4. Ronald McDonald

    April 29, 2021 at 2:32 am

    Ziebell won’t last the distance

    • Aluniesheis

      April 29, 2021 at 2:26 pm

      Let’s hope Noble stops this insanity.

  5. Battered Savs

    April 29, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Oliver or Petracca?

    • Aluniesheis

      April 29, 2021 at 2:23 pm

      Oliver just, but Petracca is better to watch. I think he needs to score to beat Oliver.

  6. James

    April 29, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Hi Trent
    Please help.
    Best combo

    1. Grundy and Kozi F6
    2. Zbull and Flynn R2

    • Aluniesheis

      April 29, 2021 at 2:22 pm

      170 v 170 maybe comes down to confidence. I’d go Grundy.

  7. Scott

    April 29, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Def: Sholl, Markov, Fantasia, Stewart, Laird, Kosi (Jones, Highmore)
    Mid: Macrae, Gaff, Mitchell, Taranto, Gulden, Powell, Jordon, Robertson (F. Macrae, Sharp)
    Rucks: Gawn, Grundy (Flynn)
    Fwd: Martin, Phillips, Stephenson, Warner, Campbell, Scott (Brockman, Rowe)
    Utl: Fullarton

    Thinking of Brockman to Frederick and Martin to either Heppell, Parish or Crisp? $141K available. Is it worth spending $100K more on Crisp or take others to save money for next weeks trades of non playing rookies?

    • Aluniesheis

      April 29, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      First thought is whether to hold dusty for a week and get non players off your team. Sharp, Highmore, Jones , Brockman and Fullarton.

      I’d punt the highest priced of those for the two best rooks and bank cash that way.
      Maybe Frederick and a rookie named this week. 5 np is starting to get high.

      Unless Dusty is not back next week

      • Scott

        April 29, 2021 at 2:53 pm

        Thanks Trent,
        Sounds like a solid plan although worried about total score having to a couple of Scott, Macrae and Rowe on ground. I can move Kosi to replace Martin and put Frederick on ground. Martin has big BE and no guarantee of playing next week.

        • Aluniesheis

          April 29, 2021 at 4:51 pm

          So true, and Richmond play Friday making looping impossible.

          I think in your shoes I would wait until teams are named and see how many of my Sat rookies are not named. If you have no bench cover of note then you have to sell Dusty.

          • Scott

            April 30, 2021 at 6:49 pm

            Going to downgrade Jones for Frederick and Campbell for Farrar, both on ground along with Rowe (fingers well and truly crossed). Using F.Macrae and Scott as emergencies, keeping Dusty! $296K to start with next week.
            Good luck this week Trent.

  8. Troy

    April 29, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Just seeing what your thoughts on Aaron hall? scores he was also putting up before concussion where looking good

  9. CJ

    April 29, 2021 at 6:59 pm

    Thanks for the advice Trent! Will bring Grundy in. Who else to replace Neale/Dunkley…
    Would you rather Shai Bolton or Hunter since my forwards are mostly rookies or a mid like Brayshaw or Parish?

  10. Damo

    April 29, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    1) Rowe -> Atu (and maybe field, otherwise F Macrae)
    2) Highmore -> RCD (bench) or
    3) H Jones -> Frederick (bench)


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