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Cash Cows

Fry’s Cash Cows – Rd. 5

Another week, another fantasy article from Fry examining the most important cash cows!

Four down, 20 to go!

Now the boat is starting to rock. Sure, there were issues for fantasy coaches in the first few weeks of the season, but looming carnage in defence and unreliable rooks have some coaches fearing the worst as Round 5 approaches. A lot of our mainstream cash cows haven’t reached peak value yet, which is convenient as there aren’t too many standouts at the state level putting their hand up for selection! It’s still early enough in the season for cash generation to be viewed as a priority, so if you’ve managed to dodge the major injury issues it’d be wise to turn your trade focus to the most promising rookies.

Make sure to also cast your eyes over:

DT Talk 2023 Rookie Guide
DT Talk 2023 Preseason Watchlist
SBF – The 20 most important rookies/cash cows for 2023

Rookie/cash cows are defined as players who started the season priced at $300,000 or lower

Cash Cow King – Round 4

Why do we even bother here – 5 votes, Harry Sheezel (119). The rest of the votes were hard to hand out this week, with Will Ashcroft (76) the next best scorer with his 3rd consecutive 70+ score. Popular FWD’s Mattaes Phillipou (66) and Kade Chandler (64) were hard to split, while Gold Coast big man Ned Moyle (74) excelled after Jarrod Witts was a late out. No offence to Judson Clarke (90), but you’re barely in 1,000 teams mate.

Who's gets your vote as the most important cash cow in Round 4?

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Round 4 Power Rankings

After 4 weeks of action, these are the top 10 cash cow performers in season 2023!

Making Moves

Money makers

Harry Sheezel ($680K, 119, BE 6) is still really good. There are a group of rookies joining him in the success story basket, with MID mainstays Will Ashcroft ($477K, 76, BE 18), Ollie Hollands ($397K, 54, BE 24) and Cam Mackenzie ($444K, 56, BE 23) still serving their role as productive cash cows. Their time will come, but there are much more pressing issues in the fantasy community right now. I need to somewhat apologise to Will Phillips ($357K, 66, BE 7) as well, after cautioning coaches who considered investing in the young Roo. Even with LDU and Simpkin rejoining the North midfield brigade on Good Friday, Phillips still churned out his second consecutive 65+ score. Chasing him now is a risk, but he deserves mention for his decent scoring rate.

There were early concerns over Kade Chandler ($443K, 64, BE 20), although he recovered from a 3-point first quarter to produce a solid score. His teammate Jacob van Rooyen ($281K, 48, BE -3) continues to climb in value after emerging as the most popular trade target prior to Round 4, with fantasy coaches getting another boost to their FWD stocks when Luke Pedlar ($343K, 67, BE -2) returns from suspension this week. An additional special shoutout goes to Max Michalanney ($384K, 66, BE 13) as he keeps producing respectable fantasy numbers. I was initially worried that he would offer little to no fantasy value as a tall defender, but it’s clear the Crows have a good one on their hands in Michalanney.

Keep the faith

First Sam Docherty, then Will Day, surely not Reuben Ginbey ($482K, 46, BE 36) too?! There are doubts over his availability ahead of their clash with Geelong with Adam Simpson flagging a potential rest for some of the Eagles’ younger brigade. Even if Ginbey is given a week off, I would advise against cutting him just yet, despite the ongoing carnage in defence. If the 7th overall pick isn’t the one Simmo was alluding to, we may see Noah Long ($288K, 48, BE 10) given a spell, or worse, flicked to the role of sub. Should he stay in their best 22, Long will keep plying his craft up forward and tick upwards in value. Similar can be said for Fergus Greene ($283K, 39, BE 16) and Mattaes Phillipou ($356K, 66, BE 22), with the latter in particular producing a promising score in Round 4 to ensure he keeps rising in value.

Phillipou has tested the patience of coaches in recent times, however, he is no longer an issue that needs to be addressed ASAP. For now. Greene is still slowly climbing in price as well, although he’s hardly a trustworthy rook with Mitch Lewis working his way back to full health. He may challenge Greene for his spot in the side, but there are no real dangers regarding the job security of Samson Ryan ($244K, 32, BE 24) following a syndesmosis injury to starting ruck Toby Nankervis. The Tigers may call upon Ben Miller to support Ryan after a strong VFL showing but expect Ryan to have a ton of opportunity in the next few weeks.

Hardcore coaches will know I was extremely bullish on Bailey Humphrey ($299K, 47, BE 29) prior to the season commencing and 11 touches on debut didn’t exactly wow the fantasy community. I still believe that Humphrey can be an important cog for success this season, but at the same time, I can see why coaches are hesitant to pay up for the Suns first-rounder. Sticking with paying up for players, the small portion of coaches who opted to start with Jye Menzie ($405K, 57, BE 34) will need to start planning their exit strategy as he nears his peak value. At the opposite end of the ground, both Judd McVee ($307K, 58, BE 5) and Miller Bergman ($282K, DNP, BE 6) have done enough to ensure they stay in our sides for at least another 2-4 weeks. Good Friday was anything but for Bergman owners after he was a late out vs. Carlton, although I expect him to right the ship, while McVee produced another decent score to keep his breakeven in single digits.

Cut them loose

Backline rookies are hard to come by, and while trading Lachie Cowan ($297K, 42, BE 22) and/or Campbell Chesser ($237K, DNP, BE 8) won’t net you a lot of cash, it will sure help you sleep better at night. There are no assurances that we get a decent downgrade option in DEF, but if we do, you’ve got the green light to make a move and pounce on the $200K player.

GameDay Squad – Create. Coach. Compete.

Thin Ice

A few of our FWD cash cows could be in peril if they dish up another crappy score. Some are giving Alwyn Davey Jr ($334K, 39, BE 23) his marching orders after he struggled against the Giants and you might argue that he’s only one performance off topping out in value. I’ve got much bigger issues to address and will hold Davey Jr, with St Kilda’s Anthony Caminiti ($335K, 46, BE 11) another forward who may be playing on borrowed time. While a score of 79 against the Bulldogs a few weeks ago has ensured he continues to rise in value, Caminiti might be the first one out if Tim Membrey is declared fit to take on Collingwood. There’s no huge reason to panic, just call it a hunch. Either way, Caminiti can’t have many games left before he maxes out in price.

Wait and see

Coaches are clamouring for reliable rookies to filter through, but unfortunately, a lot of the recent debutants haven’t fired the way we hoped. Second-gamer Dylan Williams ($218K, 49, BE 8) was solid in his first AFL outing since 2021, recording 16 touches (13 kicks) in Port’s narrow win. Having made the switch to the backline recently, Williams could be a viable option, although I want to see him top 50 points before I sign off on a trade. Arthur Jones ($201K, 35, BE 18) is another cheap FWD option who falls into the same bracket – a potential downgrade who hasn’t shown scoring promise yet.

There have been positive signs for both Harry Rowston ($278K, 27, BE 30) and Elijah Hewett ($251K, 17, BE 35), although Round 4 wasn’t kind to their owners. Combining for just 15 disposals, you don’t have much of a choice but to ride it out and hope Rowston and Hewett refind their mojo. Special shoutout to Gold Coast first-gamer Ned Moyle ($236K, 74, BE -8) who stepped up in the absence of Jarrod Witts with 35 hitouts and an impressive 7 tackles. I expect the Suns’ co-captain to return this week, but if Moyle gets a solo run at it again, invest! Also, no Judson Clarke ($349K, 90, BE 0). I understand you scored a 90, but I can’t endorse paying up for the Tigers cub.

Sub status

Subbed On – Matthew Johnson, Jack Bytel

Subbed Off – Reef McInnes, Connor Stone, Tyler Brockman

Jack Bytel ($346K, 14, BE 38) can’t catch a f@%$ing break right now. Subbed on for Rowan Marshall in the 4th quarter, Bytel lasted just minutes before injuring his ankle and is set to spend more time on the sidelines. He still managed to outscore the rookie trio who were subbed off over the weekend even though he played a measly 7% of the game! The group of Tyler Brockman ($311K, 13, BE 30), Reef McInnes ($246K, 12, BE 50) and Connor Stone ($218K, 12, BE 43) all failed to capitalise on the opportunity in front of them, and as a result, they saw their Round 4 performance end early. Matthew Johnson ($200K, 16, BE 36) wasn’t given a serious run in Freo’s loss to the Crows and it doesn’t appear as though his role in the team is going to improve any time soon.

Reserves Watch

Will this week be the one we see a Josh Fahey ($200K, 118, BE 25) debut? Possibly not. It’s through no fault of his own, with the second-year Giant banging down the door after another stellar VFL outing that saw him chalk up a game-high 33 disposals for 118 points. If we don’t get a Fahey first game, then perhaps Alex Cincotta ($200K, DNP, BE 25) can save the day after playing the role as holdover emergency for Carlton last week. A somewhat serious knee injury to Sam Docherty will create an opportunity in the Blues’ senior side, one that hopefully Cincotta can snap up. Nah, not him either? Well then we may have our fingers crossed for Corey Wagner ($285K, 71, BE 36) or – I can’t believe I’m saying this – the fabled Will Gould ($200K, DNP, BE 25). Wagner was solid for Peel Thunder in the WAFL gathering 20 disposals and 71 points, while Gould didn’t get a chance to push his case thanks to Sydney’s VFL bye.

Both of those two remain outside chances, but Wagner intrigues me as a possible inclusion for the Dockers. Paying the extra $85K for a potential bench pick isn’t ideal, but it may be worth it. Around the rest of the grounds, George Wardlaw ($294K, 47, BE 37) didn’t produce the same score he has in recent times, but the budding Roo did compile 6 clearances against Carlton. In the same game, 32nd overall pick Jaxon Binns ($238K, 126, BE 30) put up some monster numbers with 28 touches, 9 marks, 2 goals and 126 points. It’s tough to envision him getting a game right away, but stranger things have happened.

Binns wasn’t the only reserve who put forth a big stat line last weekend, with Connor Blakey ($235K, 111, BE 29), Bailey Lauire ($200K, 127, BE 35) and Ollie Dempsey ($200K, 103, BE 25) getting the job done from a fantasy standpoint too. Blakely amassed 27 disposals to emerge as one of Gold Coast’s best players on Sunday, Bailey Laurie’s 35 touches helped fuel a big win for Casey and Dempsey managed to score a fantasy century with 25 disposals and 10 marks, despite copping a 55-point loss. West Coast youngster Zane Trew ($200K, 114, BE 25) top-scored for the WAFL Eagles as well with 114 points from 28 touches, but you’d imagine he’ll stay on the outs.

Remember the Name

In no particular order, here are some of the other rookie-priced players to consider throughout the season.


Jake Stein (Suns, $288K)
Josh Fahey (Giants, $200K)
Will Gould (Swans, $200K)
Josh Weddle (Hawks, $266K)
Rhett Montgomerie (Bombers, $200K)
Jaokb Ryan (Magpies, $246K)
Corey Wagner (Dockers, $285K)
Sam Banks (Tigers, $200K)
Sam Durdin (Blues, $213K)
Darragh Joyce (Lions, $241K)


Connor Blakely (Suns, $235K)
Jhye Clark (Cats, $286K)
Blake Drury (Kangaroos, $200K)
Angus Sheldrick (Swans, $200K)
Billy Dowling (Crows, $216K)
Elijah Tsatas (Bombers, $292K)
Darcy Jones (Giants, $260K)
Ed Allen (Magpies, $264K)
Hugh Bond (Crows, $202K)
Jaspa Fletcher (Lions, $278K)
George Wardlaw (Kangaroos, $294K)
Henry Hustwaite (Hawks, $228K)


Jacob Edwards (Kangaroos, $200K)
Lachlan McAndrew (Swans, $200K)
Alex Mirkov (Blues, $200K)
Harry Barnett (Eagles, $256K)
Max Heath (Saints, $200K)
Dante Visentini (Power, $200K)


Josh Sinn (Power, $233K)
Thomas Berry (Suns, $286K)
James Tsitas (Suns, $200K)
Jaxon Binns (Blues, $238K)
Angus Sheldrick (Swans, $200K)
Joe Richards (Magpies, $206K)
Ollie Dempsey (Cats, $200K)
Finlay Macrae (Magpies, $290K)
Sam Sturt (Dockers, $200K)
Patrick Voss (Bombers, $200K)
Aaron Cadman (Giants, $300K)

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER@SportsbyFry for all things AFL Fantasy (and more)! Feel free to hit me up with any questions you have throughout the season. Good luck! ✌️

An Australian coffee/burrito enthusiast who is the frustrated owner of 16 fantasy teams. Writer for SportsbyFry and DT Talk ?

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