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Cats v Tigers – Scratch Match Fantasy notes

Nathan took in the last game of the praccy match series.

When it comes to the preseason, it’s all about preparation. Making sure that you and your team are at optimal fitness, have a perfect understanding of your role, and have your pipes at their most prominent. I took a similar approach to preparing to watch this game, so after clubbing until 3am, I sat down with a hangover, a blue Powerade, and 20 nuggets from uber eats, and got to work.

4 Quarters of a preseason is long enough, and 6 quarters just about did me. I’m only going to bother covering the first 4, so if you’re reading this to learn about Geelong and Richmond’s VFL squads, I suggest you re-evaluate your life and turn away.


Pretty graphs will tell you one thing and one thing only. Dusty is back. The most dominant mid on the ground, with the most CBA attendances. Other interesting notes are:

  • No CBAs for Bolton, who played primarily as a forward
  • Nank/Soldo with an even split of ruck time – I expect this to be similar going forward
  • Narkle only getting CBAs in the 3rd and 4th quarter as the kids started to have a go means I expect him to be out of the rotation going forward

When looking at the CBA combinations for the first three quarters, we saw that Richmond was very happy to just use the awesome foursome of Prestia, Dusty, Dow & Ross, with no preference as to which 3 appeared at the CBA. Geelong took the opposite route, being more indecisive than the AFL deciding how holding the ball should be interpreted this year.

  • Danger and Guthrie were the most used combo, with a rotating third of Parfitt, Holmes, Selwood and Higgins depending on the quarter. I would expect that these two would team up as one of Geelong’s “CBA Combos”

Prestia & Dusty are Richmond’s two main midfielders, so the question is in the regular season who best fits alongside them? Dow and Ross played their part well, so do Cotchin/Graham join them? Or do they lead their own “combo” group of CBAs

It wouldn’t be a preseason fantasy write up without discussing each of the players in an unnecessary amount of detail – so here you go!

Notable absences: Trent Cotchin, Kane Lambert, Daniel Rioli, Jack Graham, Matthew Parker, RCD

Dustin Martin – $682k Mid/Fwd

Who else was I going to talk about first… this man looked INCREDIBLE when he played. Attending CBAs, getting plus 6s, Dusty did everything except kick a goal or lay multiple tackles (and lets be honest its preseason, who wants to tackle in a 3 hour game of footy). There are some of us that have been unfair to Dusty this preseason, and in a sea of underpriced forwards, he’s one that needs to be considered. Can you do it? With all the value around I’m not sure I can take him off my never again list, but with limited rookies I will certainly be exploring the options. I’ve been burnt before, but I’m ready to be hurt again by a top 3 highest scorer from the game.

Jayden Short – $783k Def

Speaking of the top scorers from today’s game, please meet Jayden short as the clear #1. Short likely went 130+, however if we go way back in the history books we can see he did the same thing in a preseason game last year… Don’t read too much into this score, but if you were keen on him before this match, he looked to have the role with no more Houli, and could be a perfect D2/D3 for this season. Vlastiun had more kickouts which was concerning, but his main target was Short who could get a cheap +6. Top 6 defender for sure.

Dion Prestia – $769k Mid

A forgotten man in draft, Prestia attended CBAs, and moved well around the ground – I would expect that he could go 90+ again, and should be a draft slider that you can pick up on the cheap.

Ross –  $468k Mid

Looked very impressive in his time in the CBA’s, and covered ground well to take a few marks – with the other midprice options we have in Caldwell/Rowell I’m less tempted by Ross’ efforts, but another showing in the preseason game might just convince me to indulge.

Nankervis – $699k Ruck

The new captain was solid and won the ruck battle, but splitting the role with Soldo & Balta means he’s a draft only option for us. Kicked a nice goal when he played up forward and looked comfortable, could he get DPP?

Ivan Soldo – $393k Ruck

The other big man at the tigers, he was very impressive in his first game back in 18 months – kicked 2 goals and played well in the middle against the Stanley/ Ratugolea combo

Hugo Ralphsmith – $258k Mid/Fwd

Took a while to warm up, but his second quarter was outstanding – looked to have scored close to 40 points at half time, but didn’t feature much afterwards. If he plays round 1 he’s a great option at F6, as he was competitive across half-back and won a lot of contested possessions. Watch next week to see how rioli impacts his role.

Nick Vlastuin – $638k Def

Safe D5 pick in draft – kick ins and strong, reliable footy.

Thomson Dow – $322k mid/Fwd

A Dow getting CBAs? At this time of year? During this part of the season? In this part of the country? Localised entirely at GMHBA stadium?

Now that Dos has left the room to write another song, let’s talk about Dow’s actual role. Dow was in the CBAs and it was a great success for him to get there, however I don’t believe he would have scored more than 40 fantasy points. Not a +6 merchant, and with other tiger mids coming back, it’s a no from me.

Shai Bolton – $652k Mid/ Fwd

Livewire up forward, kicking three great goals. No CBAs and minimal work pushing up the ground means he’s destined to stay a forward in my eyes. Had a leg concern in the final 30 seconds of the 4th “quarter” but got back into the contest and should be fine

Robbie Tarrant – $506k Def

New Club, Same role – not fantasy relevant, but please come back to North Robbie, I miss you.

Tom Brown  – $258k Def

Tom Brown Tom Brown

Unlikely to be best 22, or a fantasy relevant scorer, and researching his price to make this reference was not worth it.


Notable absences: Mitch Duncan, Jonathon Ceglar, Gryan Miers, Sam Menegola, Jack Henry, Gary Rohan, Toby Conway

Patrick Dangerfield – $728k Mid

Danger looked in great touch, attending a lot of CBAs and was terrific running up and down the ground and taking marks on the lead. Would have top scored for Geelong and gone close to 100, despite the limited game time. A real option for us to consider as an underpriced midfielder. He still has that time forward that I don’t love to see, but If Hawkins/ Cameron are fit then he shouldn’t need to be in the F50 as often as last year. Clearly Geelong’s game style last year wasn’t enough to win a flag, will there be long-term changes to Danger’s role as a result?

Max Holmes  – $432k Mid/fwd

Did someone say 2nd year breakout? Had a lot of CBAs, and also spent a lot of time on the wing. If Duncan is out to start the season Holmes could find himself with a lot of the ball and given he’s in a contract year, he could increase his average by 20-30. One to target in keeper leagues.

Tom Stewart – $812k Def

Did what he needed to do, and then did a bit more. Took a terrific mark, and should have another season as a top 6 defender. Very safe option in defence, but I didn’t see anything to indicate he will outscore last season. If anything his team looked to be playing less ‘keepings off” football which might limit the +6s he gets from the 1000 switches Geelong makes a game.

Tyson Stengle – $298k Fwd

4 goals 3! What a return to the big(ish) leagues for Stengle who seemingly has locked down a spot until Chris Scott realises he is 23, not 32. Dahlhaus was barely sighted all game, so I would be very happy to take a punt on Stengle as a late round pick in draft. He’s cheap in classic too, and with our concerns around forwards there will be some people who jump at this effort and throw Stengle in there. I personally will stay far away from this role type – he’s not going to do this most weeks, and his scores will drop accordingly.

Zach Guthrie – $508k Def

An underrated Footballer, Zach performed well in this match – providing great dashing run off half back and taking the game on. Not classic relevant, but could be a breakout year of sorts in draft.

Zach Guthrie’s brother Cam  – $922k Mid

As one incredibly inconsistent podcast dubbed him, the “Geelong Jesus” did not have a great game. Outplayed by his brother and while I do listen to holmesyheroes and don’t adjust my premiums based off their preseason games, based off today’s display I would be very concerned about his value if I had him in my team.

Sam De Koning – $190k Def/ Fwd

Not a great day for the birthday boy, as he gave away a couple of free kicks and probably had less than 10 touches. Not the solution for your D6/F6, but could be a slow burner with great DPP flexibility if there’s indication from the coaches that he’s locked down a spot (unlikely based off what I saw).

Anyway, that’s enough fantasy talk for one weekend! Leave a comment letting me know your thoughts on this match or on the review, or shoot me a message on Twitter! @obermullet

Nathan is a full-time North Melbourne fan who is determined to get an AFL Fantasy Hat. He is a part-time podcaster at Hat Chat, which takes a weekly look at the AFL Fantasy world, targeted at those coaches looking to win a hat!



  1. BzG

    February 27, 2022 at 8:13 am

    Looking for an F6 $190-300k locked into best 22. Does Stengle look a worse pick than Rachele, Jamarra, Stone, Pedlar and Ralphsmith? Very few rook options available f6-8 based on the preseason, but I guess perfect for C loop red dots. Throw us a bone pleeeeze!

    • Squid

      February 27, 2022 at 9:39 am

      Ralphsmith looks good for a 60 something average, certainly seems best 22, Stengle probably booked his spot but per the article is definitely the small forward crumber, won’t push up much and unlikely to get as much opportunity come the real thing when there are not hundreds of inside 50s and real pressure. Not a “bad” pick but you should be able to do better.

  2. Mitch

    February 27, 2022 at 9:11 am

    11/10 write up. Great reading helping me battle through my own hangover from 3am clubbing. Inject those fantasy related memes into my veins

    • Obermullet

      February 28, 2022 at 12:06 am

      memes > fantasy content

  3. Squid

    February 27, 2022 at 10:02 am

    First game I’ve watched, 2 very good teams.

    Dusty looks in ripping nick and was dominant, for the first time in years Prestia looks fit and injury free, basically on ice after the 2nd quarter easily the most prolific ball winner on the ground up to then, Short very quiet I thought after the first 15 minutes when he realised Stengle was making him look a bit silly so he should probably man him up.

    For cats Danger was impressive, bursting out of congestion playing a lot of mid minutes, worth a look for sure, Stewart possibly cats best, no concerns on his fitness all while holding back a bit, could have murdered a few tiges but refrained, unlike Parfitt who should get the Vandenberg award.

    Ralphsmith looks best 22 for tiges, Gibcus brown and Sonsie all got a run with the “A” team before your Caddy’s Pickett’s and the like and went OK so keep an eye on them.

    De Koning may play, won’t score much though, Cooper Stephens is in the mix but probably needs an injury somewhere to get in otherwise there doesn’t seem like much rookie love to come from the cats.

    • The Choozler

      February 27, 2022 at 10:59 am

      I’m bullish on Dangerfield and Martin. Locked and loaded.

      • Obermullet

        February 28, 2022 at 12:06 am

        they both just looked so good!

    • Gary Lion

      February 27, 2022 at 12:51 pm

      Thanks for re-writing everything already said in the article. Big help you dumbass

      • Squid

        February 27, 2022 at 3:22 pm

        Except I largely didn’t do that at all, but thanks for your observations and constructive feedback nonetheless, it’s what really makes this site such a great community and resource for all.

  4. Sydenmosis

    March 8, 2022 at 3:24 am

    Next to no news on Duncan and his calf, if he wasnt injury prone before is he now officially?

  5. The Kid

    March 8, 2022 at 7:20 am

    Could we do Xerri as R2 for a couple of weeks?

    Also, is Mills too much of a risk?

    • The Chosen Won™®©

      March 8, 2022 at 8:21 am


      Good Luck

      • The Kid

        March 8, 2022 at 8:35 am

        No to which question or both?

      • The Chosen Won™®©

        March 8, 2022 at 8:43 am


        Good Luck

    • The Choozler

      March 8, 2022 at 9:25 am

      Xerri isn’t a ruck

      • The Kid

        March 8, 2022 at 9:26 am

        Yeah my bad

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