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Trent’s Take: Preliminary Final Match-ups

Get the game-by-game rundown of trade targets for the semi finals.

The value of finding a diamond in the rough match up is more critical than ever as with only 2 weeks to go you only have to see them back up against one other opponent, like our warning with Jack Silvagni last week.

Two weeks is about as long as you want if you are speculating on an under-priced player with your first trade in order to upgrade to a premium with your second. This week in each game we’ll throw up two match ups: a player to score heavily and a player to trade in as the under-priced player. For example, from my team, I could get rid of Ridley for Rioli/Nash to go Kelly/Hunter to a Wines type.

Richmond v GWS

The likely Friday night game means the EME loop for owners of Peatling and Briggs plus a decision on trading in the role change of Daniel Rioli.  Since his move to half back 5 weeks ago he has slowly become a prominent ball user with his last 3 games of 83, 69 and 99. A 431K FWD, you could sell an under-performing FWD like Hunter to invest elsewhere.

Richmond have always conceded high scores to mids and half-backs (Brayshaw 156, Cerra 138, Ryan 107, Hall 126, LDU 115, Simpkin 114, Danger 118 and Guthrie 117) so avoid GWS forwards, but Whitfield and Taranto (assuming he stays in the midfield) are good VC options. The only other legitimate smokey options I think are too expensive in Prestia and Graham.

Brisbane v Collingwood

A lot depends on Neale, as it was reported widely after the game regarding their 100% win percentage without Neale in 2021 and the midfielder fantasy scores in those games, especially with McCluggage ( 714 K AVG 101), who scores in the 7 games without Neale are 119, 110, 121, 97, 81, 74 and 109. He scored well when Neale played and Neale didn’t score well, but his meat map is more centralized when Neale is out which at least means he has more opportunities.

Collingwood’s forward pressure game is often average with Scrimshaw dominating last week and therefore Rich is an excellent option. For Collingwood, the usual suspects score well whether they win or loose which is great for Fantasy with the only real smokey being the soon to be retired Chris Mayne who at 718 K is no bargain, but with these scores in his last 6 (103, 109, 84, 110, 93, and 94), he could be a POD in your league finals.

Geelong v St Kilda

Looking for a Geelong bounce back in this game and it was interesting to see Guthrie handle a tag after Dangerfield’s injury last week. He scored 102 and if Danger is out then Ross might run with Guthrie, which makes his high end scoring less likely. The POD if Danger if out is Menegola, 638 K MID.  Menegola is mister fixit like Blicavs, he can play mid, forward, wing and his scoring tapers depending on how defensive his role, but he can score 129 (and also 58).

The other smokey is Selwood who at 560 K is an almost sideways from Byrnes and with that 29 against Richmond in his rolling average it looks bad, but outside of that he has gone 81, 92 and 104. St Kilda were awesome last week and the same three we mentioned last week are the same three this week, Steele, Marshall and the smokey Zak Jones.

Suns v Essendon

It would be hard to make any outlandish suggestions here, like buying Peter Wright, and so the simplest suggestion is if you can get Miller or Fiorini, do so. I cannot bring myself to buy Powell who scored 136 and is a 530 K DEF, as he scored 42 the week before, but he is certainly looking an improved player.  Since Essendon give up midfield scores the speculative pick would be Noah Anderson at 537 K who as the third midfielder can sometimes get off the chain in free wheeling games, but he can also go missing for a half.

For Essendon, a lot will depend on whether you hold your nerve with Ridley and Parish, which against the Suns seems a good option. Parish is not going great since the tag came to him, but the Suns didn’t close tag Walsh so they probably will just run with Parish and Merrett at stoppages rather than around the ground.

Hawthorn v Bulldogs

Like Rioli, this is where a role change throws up a speculative pick: Conor Nash, a 344 K FWD who since coming into the Hawthorn midfield has scored 95 and 92. This is where you could take a risk in your league and punt an under performing fwd premo in order to upgrade to an uber premium midfielder. Even if he scores poorly like he has done previously, at least you get an uber premium midfielder as consolation and hey Hunter only scored 66.

The interesting dilemma at the dogs is with Smith/Hunter owners and whether now with both Dunkley and Treloar back, they become sells, even to Treloar who scored 90 first game back and scored 6 tons in a row earlier in the year. I am always mindful of high impact running players second up after a long break and whilst he could score 110, at 658 K, he is a risk. Smith was back too 74% GT with his heat map showing him back on the wing.

North v Swans

Let me throw a stupid comment out there, but there may be some in this predicament. Can you sell a high performing player in order to get a similar premium on another line because of a match up? I think you can for your league finals. For example, you could risk selling Aaron Hall, 839 K FWD/DEF, if you can get Miller or Steele.

The reasoning is, will Hall outscore those players this week? And the Swans against defenders can curtail scoring. These are the scores by defenders against the Swans: Highmore 87, Heppell 95, Wilson 93, Perryman 85. My team is not able to affect such a trade, but you could for example go Hall to Nash and Byrnes to Miller or some variation like it, if you have a rookie type still on ground.

Melbourne v Adelaide

I am not a Clayton Oliver owner, but seeing the Hutchings tag curtail his scoring and the potential of a Keays/Schoenberg tag makes him not a buy this week. The wet made it a dour affair with forward pressure machine Neale-Bullen scoring 111, but he is not a trade in.  Salem scored 79 in difficult conditions and at 626K is a good choice against Adelaide. There are no trade ins for Adelaide.

Port Adelaide v Carlton

This is where I might throw my upgrade hope, from Tim Kelly to Ollie Wines.  Carlton cannot stop midfielders scoring heavily, and after Wines had a relatively quiet game, of 95, he might go big again.  The trades for Carlton will be dictated by Walsh’s fitness, but Newman at half back should get a lot of plus 6’s. If you don’t have the cash then Boak or the incredible Willem Drew who scored 110 from 59 % GT, but it was a heavily contested game and he made 10 tackles, but he and Amon are the real Fantasy stars at Port this year. The other option has to be Butters who we mentioned last week. Could you pocket nearly 300 K from Hall and then upgrade a 600 K mid to Wines or a 700 K (like Walsh or Brayshaw) to Miller.

Eagles v Fremantle

No Brayshaw should mean even more time on ground for Cerra and Serong, but it could also mean high midfield scores for Eagles midfielders like Kelly (who I still might sell), Gaff, Sheed, Yeo, Redden, and maybe the returning Shuey.  The Eagles game was in tough conditions and maybe the Dockers can have a few high scorers, especially with forward pressure. They were terrible against the Lions, and none are worth the risk, but if you love the dockers against a tired Eagles side, then maybe Taberner might kick a bag, 387 K FWD who has a season high 98, but with some low and injury games.

Upshot: Scored 2410 and ranked 2019. This week, if Briggs can get 70 plus then an under performing Hunter to Nash and one of Miller or Wines. Good luck everyone. A shout out to the pig Rockliff, you won me the title last year with some snoutish work, well done on your fantasy career.

Trent Sutcliffe, coach of 'aluniesheis', won AFL Fantasy Classic in 2020, one of the most challenging seasons to date.



  1. Jack o

    August 10, 2021 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Trent Great read,
    I think that I really have 2 options with my trades this week unless mills Kelly or Walsh doesn’t play in which case I’ll probably upgrade one of them to touk or steele.

    Option 1. Bianco to a 170k and trade out bramble for any player under 750, I’m thinking Marshall, Whitfield or McClugage. This leaves Briggs as my only rookie on field.

    Option 2. Trade Bianco to a 170k and reeves to one of Tarryn Thomas, Sidey, or serong. This leaves bramble as the only rookie on my field.

    Just wondering which option u think will help me win my prelim final this week and which players from each option you think are the best picks.

    • Aluniesheis

      August 10, 2021 at 7:24 pm

      Bramble better than Briggs. You could eme Briggs, but it rules out Whitfield. I got Thomas last week and he looked ok. So I like 2, unless Briggs goes 80.

  2. Rambo Tambo

    August 10, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    Great article! Who goes first out of Ridley and Hunter?

    • Aluniesheis

      August 10, 2021 at 7:50 pm

      Depends on who you can get, but I think Hunter because of his higher price.

  3. Led

    August 10, 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Who would you bring in out of Zorko,Marshall,Whitfield?

    • Aluniesheis

      August 10, 2021 at 7:50 pm

      Whitfield is a vc option. But otherwise Zorko.

  4. Nige

    August 10, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Luv ya work, but now you’ve scared me off on Treloar. I’ve got 670K max for a mid or forward and only have Sidebottom in that range. Danger? Anyone else?



    • Aluniesheis

      August 10, 2021 at 8:47 pm

      He looked good. It is just his injury history, but at least it was an ankle and not soft tissue.

      Marshall and Thomas

  5. Aby Benny

    August 10, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    who goes first out of haynes and hunter?

    • Aby Benny

      August 10, 2021 at 7:55 pm

      haynes can get me to zorko and hunter to lyons, not sure if there is much difference between them.

      • Aluniesheis

        August 10, 2021 at 8:49 pm

        Agreed, so it is tough, it might be who you can get to with your other trade.

  6. Campbell

    August 10, 2021 at 7:52 pm

    Best mid under 926 k

    • Aby Benny

      August 10, 2021 at 7:55 pm

      mitchell mitchell mitchell if you dont have him

    • Aluniesheis

      August 10, 2021 at 8:49 pm

      Wines for me

  7. jeremy sharp

    August 10, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    hunter to zork? will he match lyons/steele?

    • Aluniesheis

      August 10, 2021 at 8:50 pm

      Steele is super consistent

  8. Buddy

    August 10, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Ziebell, Tarryn Thomas or Wingard?

    • Aluniesheis

      August 10, 2021 at 8:51 pm

      Wingard has a ceiling

  9. Jacko

    August 10, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    T.Thomas, Sidey, trèalor, serong or windgard

    • Aluniesheis

      August 10, 2021 at 8:51 pm

      I went Thomas last week

  10. The Kid

    August 10, 2021 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Trent, what do you think about Redden?

    • Aluniesheis

      August 11, 2021 at 8:56 am

      I think the match suited him, but generally he is just below the top mids.

  11. PurpleGrib

    August 10, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    Trent – love your words of wisdom each week. I have learnt much. Where do you access heat maps and all the data you often refer to? Can I access this info from somewhere also?

    • Ashley

      August 10, 2021 at 9:18 pm

      You can access heat maps from the AFL app by clicking on individual players stats for each game.

    • Aluniesheis

      August 11, 2021 at 8:57 am

      In the AFL app. Go to matches and click on players, the click on the individual player.

  12. Ashley

    August 10, 2021 at 9:17 pm

    Love your work Trent.

    D: Laird, Whitfield, Mills, Stewart, Newman, Harmes (Madden, Durham)
    M: Steele, Oliver, Merrett, Macrae, Petracca, Lyons, Mitchell, Bianco (West, Peatling)
    R: Gawn, Grundy (Reeves)
    F: Hall, Kelly, Zorko, Dangerfield, Hunter, Bramble (Honey, Briggs)
    U: Williams
    Cash: 397k

    Currently thinking, if Dangerfield and Mills named, Bianco and Reeves to Miller and non-playing ruck. This will leave Briggs/West and Bramble next week to a sub-700k forward and non-playing elsewhere. Is this the right move or should I be looking at something else?

    • Aluniesheis

      August 11, 2021 at 8:58 am

      Like the move. May do something similar with Burgess, maybe to Comben from North.

  13. Harry

    August 10, 2021 at 9:30 pm

    Trading Bianco and Newcombe + 540k which are the better trades or any other suggestions

    1. Touk (c) and 327 or below rookie
    2. Zorko and 459 thinking Rioli/McPherson
    3. Treloar and 615 thinking Scrimshaw/Serong/Yeo/Burton


    • Harry

      August 10, 2021 at 9:39 pm

      I was thinking 2 because Zorko good matchups but that will mean I have to field West over Briggs

    • Aluniesheis

      August 11, 2021 at 8:59 am

      If you need the second trade on ground then 2.

  14. George

    August 10, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Hey Trent great write up!
    I have Brayshaw & Walsh and am thinking trade both of them to either Touk/Steele & JKelly or Wines & Petracca, what would you recommend?

    • Aluniesheis

      August 11, 2021 at 9:01 am

      Walsh looks like he’ll play, all good options I can’t afford Miller but he is no 1 then Steele .

  15. Nick

    August 10, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Which trade is best? (going to go Bramble to 170k rook and put E on Ginnivan/Briggs)
    1. Heeney to Zorko/Marshall/Mills/Crisp/Rich/Mayne
    2. Ridley to Zorko/Marshall/Mills/Crisp/Rich/Mayne
    3. Gaff to Miller/Steele/Wines
    4. Another option is to go Heeney to Nash and Ridley to Marshall/Rich/Mayne

    • Aluniesheis

      August 11, 2021 at 9:03 am

      The advantage of 3 is that Miller is a captain choice.

  16. Denny

    August 11, 2021 at 12:36 am

    Hey Trent, awesome!

    Bought in Mills for Taranto last week but managed to climb rank – 617 now. Assuming Mills and Danger play, do I go:

    1) Cumming to Lyons/Wines/Fiorini. Daniel D6
    2) Daniel to Touk. Cumming D6
    3) Bramble and Bianco to Taranto/Fiorini/Guthrie. Cumming and Daniel remain D5 and D6.

    • Aluniesheis

      August 11, 2021 at 9:04 am

      Good rank, 2 and c on Touk

  17. Rex

    August 11, 2021 at 1:01 am

    Who should go Hind or Stephenson

    • Aluniesheis

      August 11, 2021 at 9:04 am


  18. ...

    August 11, 2021 at 7:05 am

    Random question for anyone, but is there anyway I can leave a Fantasy Draft league? As in, just delete my team from the league completely??

    There’s a few teams (presumably the same person) who are trading between eachother to create 1 stacked superteam and I’m just not here for it..

  19. Euman

    August 11, 2021 at 7:32 am

    Hi Trent what’s up with Walsh? Also I have for my last spots each line Bailey Williams D6 Sharp M8 and HEENY F6 – who should I target to up grade? Note I have Walsh and dangers. Thinking dangers or HEENY to a Nash or Rioli then Bailey Williams to Lloyd or mills – thoughts? Also have underperforming Crouch in mids so maybe he goes instead to a fiorini or Steele money permitting

    • Aluniesheis

      August 11, 2021 at 9:07 am

      Walsh had an injury to his ankle late in the game, but the team said he should play. Crouch just as likely to score this week or get 70. Heeney to Nash if it frees up cash for a good upgrade trade is solid.

  20. Cody

    August 11, 2021 at 9:56 am

    Hey trent, would the points play be to downgrade hunter and then upgrade brayshaw to maybe steele. Team looks as follows
    Laird, Stewart, Whit, Daniel, Cumming, Ridley
    Touk, Walsh, Merret, Brayshaw, Fiorini, Adams, Taranto, Harmes
    Gawn Marshall
    Hall, Zork, Kelly, Danger, De Goat, Hunter

    • Aluniesheis

      August 11, 2021 at 12:22 pm

      Like you I am thinking either Hunter or Ridley depending on which eme loop of Peatling or Briggs hopefully can go 70 plus. But the other would be Harmes.

  21. JMD012

    August 11, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    Hey Trent,
    Love your articles every week. Just a dilemma and would love your opinion. I have Brayshaw and unsure to hold or trade
    1) Ridley or Tim Kelly -> Whitfield (I have put Whitfield just purely based on matchups in the next 2 weeks, however can basically get anyone in Midfield or Defence 795k for Ridley and 846k for Kelly). I like Wines as well.
    2) Dunkley -> Marshall or Darcy or basically anyone in forward line, already have Zorko, Hall, Kelly, DeGoey, Kennedy (I took the risk at Dunkley a high price 2 weeks ago, and it didn’t work, I was ranked 189 at the time and needed to take a risk to go into top 100, didn’t work but that’s ok, now looking for league wins)
    3) Brayshaw -> Touk or Steele (Trading Brayshaw gets best players in game)

  22. Cody

    August 11, 2021 at 12:38 pm

    Would hunter to nash be an alright downgrade to get brayshaw to steele. Is there a good enough point differential there, or would it be smarter to go from west down to 170, then hunter or ridley up

  23. FantasyFailure

    August 11, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    Hi Trent, Love your weekly posts, they are good reading. I have a problem with my trades. I can either go Parish -> Taranto and Reeves-> 170k ruck spud for next week cash, or I can go Bramble and Sharp to 170k spud and Steele. My prelim matchup is pretty good but I should win if all goes to plan. Which one is the best? Once again great read and good luck!

  24. The Kid

    August 11, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Trent, who do I go out of Cerra, Redden, Thomas?

  25. CJ

    August 11, 2021 at 3:32 pm

    Thanks for your article Trent!
    Which option do you think is best?
    1. Ridley to Crisp
    2. Hunter to Zorko
    3. Kelly to Lyons

  26. Jenko

    August 11, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Who to trade out this week out of Salem or Stringer, can get either of these two up to Titch

  27. texantexan

    August 12, 2021 at 12:57 am

    Excellent as always Trent and has got me thinking.

    Currently ranked in the 800’s and just trying to finish as high as possible so willing to take a few risks.

    What are your thoughts on one of these:

    1. Hunter -> Nash (or if Rioli then can only afford Touk)
    Parish -> Touk or Steele
    Bramble stays on field

    2. Hunter -> Sidebottom
    Parish -> McCluggage
    Bramble stays on field

    3. Hunter -> Nash
    Bramble -> $771k FWD that I don’t have (Thomas, Wingard, Sidebottom, Darcy?) or swap Kelly FWD and bring in a MID (Adams?)
    Parish stays and plays

    Laird, Hall, Rich, Lloyd, Whitfield, Short
    Mitchell, Walsh, Merrett, Macrae, Oliver, J.Kelly, Parish, Taranto
    Grundy, Gawn
    DeGoey, Marshall, Ziebell, Dangerfield, Hunter, Bramble

  28. Ak

    August 12, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Hey Trent, I’m looking for a 641k defender (already have Newman)… I’ve got Maynard currently (but Howe is out so not sure if his role changes again)… could also go Perryman, Salem or Sinclair but feel their ceiling isn’t good enough. Who would you go for?

  29. Bill Gates

    August 12, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    Nash and cash or Rioli and no cash (for Bramble onfield)? Other trade is Hunter to Zorko.

  30. Battered Savs

    August 13, 2021 at 10:56 am

    Butters, Wingard or Maynard ?

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