Here we are again Folks, some more monster scores on the weekend with plenty of Premos firing their best shots, yet others were found sleep walking through our weekends and doing nothing but annoying us with their presence, or at least their lack of points.
In some major news for this tiny corner of the Interwebs, later on in this article we’ll be announcing the name of the end of season DoW winner, the ultimate Dick of the Year in Fantasy. It’s a big deal in my books and it came from a supporter of the DoW weekly wrap so it comes with our first awarding of the Moreira’s Magic subscription for season 2024. More on that soon. This week we also dive back up in the coaches box for a couple of sprays and one pat on the back just to make sure we’re not overly focussing on the hardworking AFL players sweating it out on our behalf.
First though a wrap of the week that was from a dick or no dick Fantasy performance. First up was those who were last up and Marvel on Sunday evening. I mean holy crap nuggets Batman what was that about? 0 – 7 to 3 – 9 at half time? 3 goals from 19 shots at them? Had they pumped something wild and wonderful in under the roof or what? It led to good news for some owners as Jack The Bull racked up 100pts before the oranges came out? When would a bloke disappoint you by scoring 68pts in a half? After he’s scored 100 in the first half, that’s when. It’s a shame we didn’t see a double tonne but 168 was marvellous going at Marvel. Great stuff from Zieb’s as he heads in to a rough patch for scoring scoring to Cal’s Scale of Hardness.
At the other end of the spectrum in this game we had LDU continue his dive in to the gutter outside the Fantasy Pub by yet another crappy outing. 69 is just horrible from a supposed Premo and now anyone who had him shouldn’t and anyone looking at him should look away. I mean ferrcrissakes LDU, Ziebell was out there getting points like me grabbing the honey joys at my kid’s birthday parties and you couldn’t get in on it? Maybe even just get some tumeric powder on your scone and ranga yourself up a bit to pick up a few +6’s? Do SOMETHING like that! As he’s only on 4% ownership now he struggles to qualify on ownership levels but given his early high levels I will not abandon those who were hoping for a breakout and only got a swift kick in the aggotts for their faith. He’ll stay on the DoW radar until the performances get better so that those who had him can enjoy not having him.
Back to the positive prongs and doesn’t Lil Liam Stocker deserve a big pat on the butt for his game this weekend. 127 of the tastiest points of the weekend for holders of the Saints new gun HB (hopefully). He seems to have stolen them from Jack Sinclair (77) this week in a worrying sign for his owners but as I’m not one of them, I’ll happily enjoy a 127 from Lil Liam as a still held mid-pricer.
Once again this week we saw some monster scoring out there across the league. None were more monstery than Josh Dunkley’s 172 to kick things off on Friday night. Those who had VC’s him had the best nights sleep possible after his game which, according to his coach, was the one of the best games he’s ever seen. Pretty solid praise and well deserved. Dunks was an absolute terror to the Blues on Friday and was even laying big boy, body crunching tackles late in to the game when it was all over, as Sam Walsh’s corked thigh will attest too. It was a special, special effort and a big boon for the roughly 100% of us who hold his card in our teams. Dunkley got double figure stats in everything that matters on the weekend. He even smacked the metres gained stat out of the park. No holes, no negatives, just points. His game was so good the very good games of Adam Cerra (130) and Sam Docherty (129) were basically assigned to the “who cares” bin on the night. Welcome back to the Doc, it’s great to see you again and Cerra must be a tempting pick for many of us, I know he is to me.
At this stage and whilst we’re talking Carlton, I’d like to pause and recognise the work of Michael Voss in his role at the Blues. Unless you’re a Carlton fan, it’s likely you don’t have much love for the Bluebaggers. As a “big” Vic club many fans love to see them humbled and many fans love to hate them. Well Vossy is doing his bit to change that image and I’m going to be one of the only ones to recognise and reward it rather than roast him for it. His game plan is giving us Fantasy Folks points all over the shop. Cerra has 3 x 130’s in a row, Doc racks them up, Blacres is going mental too and, of course, Sam Walsh is cooking with the real good gas. On top of that, we have 2 excellent rookies in Cincotta and the younun with the longevity of scoring in Ollie Hollands all giving us much Fantasy joy each week plus Cash Cowan lurking in the shadows ready to fatten up when given the chance. So we’re loving the Carlton stuff in the Fantasy realm and this is good for the overall likeability of the Blues brand. But Vossy is doing it whilst making sure not to have his excellent list playing well enough to beat and offend anyone that’s too good to spice any ill will up and then be unlikeable again. Sure they beat up on North and the Hawks but that’s expected and beating the reigning premiers will always be popular to other teams so kudos to Vossy for his work making the Blues much more likeable.
Back on field and also going completely mental was the new Orange Ruffy in Tom Green who decided we need to come up with a better term for him than just a breakout mid. Tom’s 170 was complete domination as well and he did his in a losing effort which for me, makes it even betterer. Breakout doesn’t cut it for this robust ranga so we need something else to describe what he’s doing this year, it’s a Boomout at least. What a season he’s having. In this same game Tim English also broke the buck and half mark (151) and did so looking like he was plying his trade under his own personal umbrella. “Speaka-no” made a complete mockery of the conditions with his sure hands and his clean possessions. He’s having a season to behold as well and may very soon be making us all forget about the great ruck seasons of the Cox’s, Grundy’s, Gawn’s and Goldy’s in the past. A 120 average looks a sure thing right now.
Someone who had his breakout season already but was worrying a few of his coaches this year was another member of this week’s 150 club. Andy Brayshaw (157) is so good he can do a knee, keep it quiet, do the recovery on his knee and get you decent scores while he’s doing and THEN bang you out a 150+ to say thanks for sticking with him. AB was absolutely everywhere on the weekend and filled up the stats line. At one point he collected 3 possessions plus a tackle in the one passage of play that led to a goal. His coaches actually collected 16pts from that passage as he laid 2 tackles along with his 2 kicks and a handball, all in about 30 seconds. Talk about announcing “I’m back”.
Doing even better than that was young Erol Gulden over at the MCG. He seemed to grab and kick the ball every single time it was in play and the Swans had it. He turned 0 CBA’s in to a scrumptious 161 points for his owners, and like Tommy The Gun Green, he did this in a losing effort. 13 marks and a superb 32 kicks out of 37 possessions made for a sensational outing for the little Swan. He’s going to give us shaky days here and there but I’d bet your life on the fact this won’t be the last 150 we get from him this year. He’s an angry, yet very polished and hard working bull ant that I love to see get at it.
We’ve now finished the light petting of the positives of the weekend, it’s time to stare down the dark passage and call out those who prevented their coaches from rising up the rankings towards Hat-land. Please return your seats to the upright positions and stow your tray tables, it’s about to get stormy.
We’ve seen there were quite a few Boys that engorged our scores, but there were unfortunately more who did very little to impress. The first of these I’ll mention is a bloke who is now a serial DoW nominee, but to this point he’s never been quite bad enough to get the half page photo of shame. Captain Headcase of the Hawks in James Siciliy had a putrid fortnight not long ago and was the first and so far only back to back runner-up for the DoW in those weeks. He recovered over the last fortnight though pretty well with a 115 and a 96 so was scoring OK even though shedding cash. This week though he’s back to the bad Sic Dog and giving his 30% of coaches a score of only 70. Now it’s not a disaster as his 49 was but its not far from it. To make matters worse, if you’re an owner and a Hawks fan all at once he was not only not scoring for you in Fantasy but he was giving away goals and giving away 50’s in the real gear and seemed completely disinterested in getting hold of the pill. Poor form from the Sic Dog.
2 other blokes on the hard grass at Optus deserve a donging too. Sean Darcy is in many teams and has been a very decent if not good pick for those 16% of caoches that have hopped on board the Big Swaggy train. For the most part he’s done well, but this week, against old mate Lloyd Meek, he threw down only a 76 and instead let Luke Jackson do the heavy lifting in the comfy Freo win. Maybe Darcy was helping Lloydy get his season started after a somewhat patchy start but that’s not good enough for his coaches at all. Especially in the same week Timmy T is throwing his coaches a 150 and doubling down on big Darc. His knee is no excuse, if you;re out there you need to be doing better than that.
Not as crucial but a donging that has to be handed out is to a very popular rook (for now) is Fergus Green with an e from the Hawks. Carrying Fergus around as a kid should make you as tough as nails. Early signs for Fergy were pretty bloody this year good but his last 2 have stunk like the brown on his jumper. 18 last week was surely going to be his season low and an aberration wasn’t it? Fergy would surely knuckle down and return to decent form and get 60+ against a Freo outfit that leaks points pretty easy? Nope, “With an e” played a half of footy as though there were 24 Freo players out there and the spare 6 were all on him. 6 points! The only good thing about him this week was he warned us last week so I’m almost sure no one had him on their grounds. Small mercy at least.
Yet another serial Dick up to his bad tricks again was Lachie Neale who dribbled out a paltry 67. His ownership is still remarkably high in my opinion at just under 8% and he must be incredibly annoying for those that have him and be as much a pleasure for those of us don’t and who see him in the oppo line-up in our league games. What a sulky little Dick he is too. Whilst Josh Dunkley was getting points at every stoppage whilst at the same time shutting down a premo and Brownlow Medallist, Lachie was adjusting his emo fringe, scratching his butt and sledging any Carlton player in earshot about mistakes they made or about the scoreboard he had precious little to do with moving. Dunks did 2 jobs on the weekend and if Sookie Neale doesn’t give him his own paycheck for that game then he’s having a laugh.
For the second week in a row the Richmond game gave us a lot of candidates for the DoW, this time they bought the Eagles along for the ride. Dom Sheed (111) deserves an initial mention just for being very cruel to his past owners. Sheeds was a very popular pick to start the year and then ran around like he’d forgotten how to football. He then ran in to an elbow at training and injured his head pole and was out for weeks meaning coaches had to do the mid-price shuffle to rid themselves of the 90yr old looking mid price mid. He came back in to his outfit this week and what does he do? He spanks out a 111 as if he was spitting in the eyes of all those who had shown any faith in him early days. Cruel work from Dom. Noone owns these guys but plenty used too and it’s amazing how little they care about playing well nowadays. Andrew Gaff (49) and Jack Darling (33) have moved in to pay check thievery territory in recent years. Jack has become so bad that WA’s mediot and Kane Kornes try-hard wannabe Peter Sumich has even suggested the Eagles play one short rather than run out there with Covid Jack. High criticism indeed. Also not in any teams but making a Fantasy impact for comedy stakes alone was Noah Cumberland who saw Bailey Humphries work last week and decided to do even worse. He had a quick chat with Samson Ryan pre-game to get some tips and then put his worst foot forward with a -2. Thankfully only Noah’s friends and family have him in their teams after he dished that up.
A few coaches also appeared on the radar this week for their moves and how they affected us. Ally Clarko had some very positive impacts in putting together a gameplan that allowed his oldest and newest players in Ziebs and Harry Sheezel to run amok and give owners plenty of smiles. But he also worked out a plan to make Jack Steele (85) and Brad Crouch (83) lolok like they hate each other even more. That plus slightly injuring Ro Marshall (83) plus giving us the gross Jy Simpkin (58) and LDU scores makes him a little on the ropey side for Fantasy coaches this week.
Bevo was accepting plaudits on the weekend for his team’s form and kudos to them for what they’re doing right now, they’re real contenders. I don’t know why, maybe because they didn’t want to have a tape leaked to the public about them, but I’m stunned no mediot member stood up and said “Hey Bevo, isn’t this recent form more about you playing your good players where they’re good rather than where they’re not? I mean JJ won a Normy as a half back all those years ago and it’s only the last month or you’ve played him there again and even the Chief of the most remote tribe in the deepest darkest Amazon rain forest knows Bont is a midfield gun, but you’ve only jusdt unleased him there fulltime again. So haven’t you just done what everyone else outside your Whitten Oval office knew you should have done and has known it for about 5 years?”. Doing the obvious after spending years trying to be smarter than everyone but not isn’t super coach gear at all. I look forward to having my audio of booing Wayne Carey leaked to the media in a few days. It’s great to see them playing well now he’s seemingly getting out of their way and letting them play. In a few weeks Fantasy coaches may even be able to trust them again.
The other coach who really needs a Fantasy Rocket is B(r)ad Scott at the Bombers. Bad has always perplexed me as a character, I always thought he was a crap coach but he actually had some decent runs on the board. As a coach angry is ok, in fact it’s usually either good to see if it’s your coach or funny as hell if he’s not. But Bad has a history of looking like those Easter Show Clowns with the rotating heads and open mouths you stick table tennis balls in too whenever a decision gets paid to the opposition. Then you add his effort to try to beat up on the Marvel Stadium roof operator because it rained on his team once kind of put him permanently in the Dick box for me. But now his transgressions are affecting the Fantasy world in a big way so I can’t keep it to myself any longer. Our boy Will Setterfield has remade himself this year as a contested Bull capable of scoring big and shutting out others. That’s what Gold Coast drafted and Carlton traded in and then traded out without ever giving him a crack at the job he’s good at. Bad Scott did give him a crack at it and it was so successful many were thinking Setters = Keepr. But Bad, instead of keeping the train rolling, has decided he’ll do what the Blues did with him, play him on a freaking wing! Setters has proven at 2 other struggling outfits that outside work is not his go but here we have another coach thinking he’s smarter than all the evidence provides and ruining one of the great Fantasy stories of the year. No one wants to see Stringer in the guts Mr Scott! Not a single human apart from The Package himself. You were doing so well and giving hope to a group of supporters who’d had a super tough run for so long and now you’re looking at the cracks that are appearing and putting a crowbar in them instead of doing what’s been working. PLEASE, for the love of Jobe, just put Setters back in the guts and let him, Zac and Darcy go bunta each week with a triple serving of tonnes.
OK, all coaches have been dealt with and its time now for the top dongs to be handed out and to find ourselves the actual DT Talk Dick for Week 8. Before getting to the votes there are some who are desperately lucky not to be in this group, Jordan De Goey (60) decided to take another week off this week and was super lucky not to be getting more attention. Isaac Nothing was DoW worthy YET AGAIN with a 64 and he just keeps crapping on us every week. Christo Petracca (80) is showing why he made the pre-seaon Dicks of DT list with his up and down scoring. Kade Chandler and his incredibly strong and square jaw were a god send for us all last week but he was horrible this week with a 37. Pre-season ace, lock, must have mid Tom Mitchell handed his 7% of coaches a 72 to continue his far from Piggy season.
But the dishonour role starts with one of ex-Pig Tom’s ex-Pig ex-team mates. Brodie Grundy was another reasonably popular pre-season pickand, if you timed it right and ditched him after the sugar hit of his game against the Eagles, he was a handy stepping stone to the big English as R1. However, if you held longer hoping that’d continue scoring with Max Gawn out then you’ve been hit in the face with a big flat stick. Other than a Roos cruise to 100 he’s plonked an 81 and a 54 on coaches and he topped it all of with a 48 this week. That’s horrid stuff and he really is a major issue for you now if he’s in your team. Its working on ground for the D’s but it’s a Fantasy dirt nap for your team.
It’s hard to dong the young kids, especially those who play in positions where low scores can drop on you from out of nowhere and even moreso when you’re playing at the reigning Premiers home ground. But even with all that said Josh Rachele (27) has previously been a wonderful pick for his coaches this year. 2 tonnes, a high 90 and some solid stuff otherwise was shooting his coaches up the rankings. However this week he did more damage than all that good and said “Nup, this cold is too hard on the mullet, I’ll see you nest week”. 27 is a good quarter, it’d even be an acceptable half if there were 2 more to come. But to have 27 in total in a closely contested game where you’re now a key part of the Crows plan is definitely DoW worthy. This was a game played in tight and prone to decent tackle numbers which could have pumped the score up a bit. Even Isaac Smith had 3 and he spends more time outside than a 6yr old with a pool in the middle of summer. Josh had 1. Your age, your excitement level and the fact you’ve been good for your coaches are the only things keeping you out of the big photo this week. He’s going to be hard hold this week.
So this gets us to the number 1 dong for week 8. I’m expecting this to be a little controversial because our Dick of the Week scored more than most players already mentioned and he’s also a pretty popular identity. For throwing coachews a low 70 Patty Cripps wins the DT Dick of the Week for Round 8. Whilst not having huge ownership, he does qualify with his 9% which is close enough to the loose 10% I set out early days. His team is under pressure now and he has players scoring in bunches all around him, and he’s even been scoring pretty well recently too – against West Coast and the Saints anyway. But when you only get 70 points and the guy tasked with slowing you down gets a whopping 172 and plays apparently the best game an experienced coach has ever seen, then in my books, you get the ding for the DT Talk Dick of the Week for round 8.
As a Patty Cripps owner I’d been satisfied-ish but not thrilled with the start to his year. He has won me ground in a few weeks and been just OK in others. As a Dunkley owner like the rest of you, I should be thrilled with the fact Patty let Dunks run everywhere and rack up every stat in the book, and I was. But what was to stop Patty doing some of that work too? 6 tackles is ok but when you’re direct opponent who is clearly standing right there the whole game has 33 possies and adds 13 tackles to his mix what’re you doing wrong to not get a few more Pat? Meanwhile he’s only collected 2 marks despite being one of the best marking mids going around. So is Dunkley, this is true, but he managed 11 of those too so why wouldn’t Pat get some easy action like the rest of his mates? The Blues had more possessions and more marks by a decent margin over the Lions but Patty wanted none of it. Fair enough if you’re taking your man away from the ball who’s tagging you and then limiting his impact, but Crippa actually increased the damage Dunks was doing by letting him do whatever he wanted and not doing anything himself. On more than a few occasions Cripps was seen chasing the ball or the ball carrier with all the eagerness of Dusty Marting running towards a journo. This was an all-time stinker of a game in my view and when you couple the Fantasy with the real world to this extent you become Dick of the Week winner.
Now, what to do with this weeks Dick? We all know Patty won a Chaz in somewhat controversial fashion. But it wasn’t his performance that was the source of the controversy. His performances were top notch for the large part of last year and most average games were followed by good ones once Crazy Vossy put aside his ambitions of rucking Patrick, so I think we’ll be ok to hold this Dick for now. Dunkley’s performance will no doubt attract future efforts from other coaches to do the same but there aren’t many Josh Dunkley’s running around and I doubt Cripps or Voss will let that happen again. The fact Fages thinks it was such a special effort means it’s unlikely to be easy to repeat even if Fagan is putting some mayo on the sanga with that comment. I’m expecting a bounce back from Crippa and will enjoy it when it comes. A repeat will see him thrown away and then right fast.
There we have it Folks, I know there were lessor scores and so potentially bigger Dicks but I hope I’ve explained it well enough so even if you don’t agree, you do understand. Patty has the 3 votes this week secured regardless and is now mid-table in the DoW of the Year award.
Speaking of which, there were some great suggestions for the annual award for the Dick of the Week we’ll get too at the end of the year and thanks to all for ending them through. There was one clear standout though. Kane Cornes and Tom Browne were common themes in the suggestions. Most of the Kane Cornes mentions would probably push the decency boundaries slightly more than I’d get away with and as much as he deserves to be associated with an award for Dick-ish behaviour, he has avoided it by a hair.
So with that preamble done with, I can announce the name chosen as the one to carry our Dicks in to infamy is the The DoWnLow Medal. This was clearly the top one in my books even including those with too blue a leaning, it was both clever and clean. Congrats to regular reader and contributor Dulcify who has won the prize and given our award a great name to carry on in perpetuity. It was actually Dulcify who came up with the idea for the award and not me so he’s doing great work for the DoW.
If any of you have graphic design skills and can come up with an artistic impression of our Medal then I’d very much appreciate it. It needs to be clean enough for publication but also a nod to the Dick-ish nature of the award. I’ll post the finalists and if we get any then the top 2 will also get a Moreira’s Magic subscription for next year from me. If you can whack up an image fit for use please flick it through to email@example.com and I’ll put up the best of them. The best will then be used for the first time at our gala event article to end the year and for all the years to follow.
All the best folks and happy prepping for the fast approaching byes (nerd alert!).