G’day Fantasy Champions, I hope you had a great Fantasy weekend and that the points dropped for you as though you were a Gun playing in the Ruck against West Coast, or any position now it seems. Some big games on the weekend and some big results too. Whips are starting to get pulled out and ready to crack, the final 8 is taking some sort of shape and that can only mean one thing, some fans will be looking to sack their coaches. Not long ago it was the Freo mob, currently it’s Carlton and in a few weeks from now it’ll be someone else. Thankfully, none of the coaches in here can get sacked from their teams because I know my team would’ve flicked me weeks ago if they could. I’m having easily my worst year so the DoW has become a welcome distraction. I could try to blame the distraction of this article as the reason for my tardy team this year but the reality is that’d be 100% pure bullcrap and I’m not Mick Malthouse so I will give no hairbrained excuses. I’m just crap this year.
And to be honest, going this weekly Dicking has been lots of fun, as it has shone light of the Fantasy darkness but also bought focus on the good as well via the prongings that are the weekly donging companions. What has also been interesting to track is the response of the weekly Dick to the DoW award and the performances they put in the week after they’ve been anointed. We’re yet to see a double-dick but some have come close. For the most part though, those who have been Dicked this year have responded as we’d hope they would. In fact, on average our DoW winners have given us a 63% increase in their scoring the week after grabbing the award. Only Patty Cripps has not done significantly better the week after his donging by following up a DoW 70 with an equally poor 73, he was simply lucky he was out-Dicked that week.
Our best DoW response has come from our first DoW. There can be no argument that being the inaugural DT Dick of the Week stung Rory Laird right where it hurts the most, right in his Fantasy. He responded by almost tripling his DoW score the next week and has been mostly very good since then. His DoW worthy 57 got him the award but he responded with a 142 which was a whopping 149% increase on his DoW score. The last DT Dick we had responded almost as well. Jacky Sinclair was disinterested and despondent last week, this week our Dick was harder than a cat scratching post and as prolific on the pull as Ryan Reynolds at his peak. Jack lobbed a 72 last week but came back full chested this week and rewarded his coaches with a sexy as can be 141, that’s a 96% increase on last week and is a beautiful and frankly inspiring response. It was not only these 2 bookends either. Even regular candidates Jack Macrae (52% increase) and Lachie Neale (53%) responded well. Angus Brayshaw (78%), Will Setterfield (31%) also responded really well and even Patty went better the next week but only by 4%. Only LDU didn’t improve and that’s because he didn’t play the next week. Maybe the DoW broke LDU but I can’t bear to think about that so we’ll move on.
This week Saint Sinclair was the latest to show what is a clear trend and one we must now consider as we move into the sideways trading part of the schedule. We have previously seen how Trader Roy can Rocket someone and get them going in-game. Well we now have the DT Dick Bounce to take in to account each week. The Dick Bounce is real and this year has so far seen a 63% average increase on scoring for those given the DoW the week before. So come finals time or in those deep season days where you are striving for hard for the Hat, be sure to review the Scale of Hardness, the Last 3 and 5 week Averages, the match-ups and now the potential Dick Bounce. It could get you a Hat or maybe a crucial league win. If a Premo gets the DoW, pick that Dick next week and he’ll do you right.
There were others out there this week doing us right too. Zac Butters (148) continues to shake the “Softaz” monicker that came his way. It was never a commentary on his approach to the contest, we all knew he was tougher than trucky nuts (wheel nuts I mean for the PG crew), but Softaz Butters would always get injured when you needed him the most by bashing himself in where blokes twice his mass were pulling the handbrake. Imagine if Jack Darling had Zac’s appetite and attitude? The Eagles would have 2 more flags and Jack would have 3 Brownlow’s! Zac is now not only scoring like a Premo but he’s there doing it each week and he deserves credit as a potential future Pig. This new Frozen Butters is tough and reliable nowadays and its brilliant to watch.
Connor Rozee was great for coaches this week too. His 121 was great stuff and overshadowed some bigger name Premos who got lost a bit in the rain that poured down in Adelaide. Rozee was everywhere all night and only Frozen Butters was better on the night. Christian Petracca (85) was his enigmatic self this week. A first half of almost nothing had his coaches crying for his blood but then a monster half to almost make up for it is just Trac all over. D’s fans would’ve been rueing his first half where even just a bit of that second half gear might have kept them close enough to steal the win in the end. 2 other D’s who weren’t great for us were the twin towers of Grundy (71) and Gawn (66). Those conditions were a huge excuse for the big guys though with Mother Nature applying her tag with all that water and also return of “The Dampener” in Scotty Lycett to keep things quiet for the D’s rucks. Mulligan’s are the trend right now so I’m happy for Gawndy to get one here.
Speaking of dampened, Jack Ze Bull was off to another flyer on the weekend with 50 points at quarter time. As a non-owner and playing in an in-league rivalry game against someone who has him, I was spewing all sorts of vitriol at anything orange at that stage but then Jack just sat around and did nothing much the rest of the game. His 95 to finish was OK for owners but not as much as you’d hope for when he has 50 before anyone else has properly woken up. Jye Simpkin (115) was back to his best after a patchy year so far and along with potential wonder kid Georgie Wardlaw (82) and actual wonder kid Harry Sheezel (112) did their best for the Roos. The biggest Dicks in this game though were the North interchange crew who couldn’t count. Imagine not realising 76 was a bigger number than 75 and costing your mob a win because of it. Ouch. I’ll also give the North cheer squad a mention for expecting all of us to get up and applaud at the 23min mark of Q1. Credit to Mark Howard for recognising the difficult time for everyone involved in that Ego Gil shemozzle as Howey managed to stop yelling for 1 minute and sent some good thoughts out.
But this is no place for real world issues, let’s get back to Fantasy Fantastic performances and credit to Rory Laird in his game for firstly, playing all 4 quarters this week and secondly, for scoring like Laird 2022 with his 131. Nice work from the Crows Gun. Bailey Smith reminded us again how good he can football and the 121 he plonked on the board for owners will get many more joining the B-Train (thanks Bob for the correction). Also going back to last year’s scoring was Andy Brayshaw over in Perth. His 135 continues his run of elite form and his little mate Caleb Serong gave those who held him a nice 125 to enjoy. Tanner Bruhn (93) was a popular pick early on and his recent form has rewarded almost 3% of people who held him or bought him back recently. He’s killing his stock for Fantasy next year but he’s doing well right now and has a good run going right now.
Up in Brissie some blokes were killing it too. Dunks was back to his good gear and Hugh McLuggage (128) made a rare appearance in the top scorers list. Also doing good work was Bailey Humphrey (90) who has given coaches his version of the Dick Bounce too. Since he got a mention in this part of the interwebs he has nearly got a Don twice and has AVERAGED a very delicious 83! That’s some good going and a LOT better than the 0 that got him a mention. The Dick Bounce is real my friends! You don’t even need the DoW to get it.
Not so great was Noah Anderson (79) who’s come back to earth hard and taken some hopeful coaches with him. In their respective teams Will Powell (67) and Dane Zorko (58) slapped the faces of anyone thinking they might have been a good POD a few weeks ago. An off field pronging from this game goes to the people who chose Q Clash as the name for that game. It deserves much better than that surely. It smacks so much of Gill lying back and looking at his loafers again and either coming up with it or just ticking it off with a smug grin thinking it to be “marvellously clever”. Nope, it’s crap. Like the Gather Round needs Reacher Round we need something better for the Qld teams when they battle it out. In other zones we have the Showdown and the Derby which both do the job. The Battle of the Bridge isn’t bad either. Even Tropic Thunder works better for Qld and that is awful and took me all of 3 seconds. Queensland deserves better AFL, get on to it. Although it’d be just like Queenslanders to thinks it’s awesome so maybe I should just shut up.
Elsewhere Zac Merrett (158) was making Trader Warnie’s beard glow bright red as he whacked out the only 150 plus we had this week. The buck and a half mob was on a roll there for a while but this week we again only had the one. Zac was the biggest benefit of the Bombers brand new plan of giving everyone at least 20 touches. This was an amazing game in terms of Fantasy scoring. 11 Bradman’s in the one game has to be close to a record surely! There were also 2 scores of 99 and late game hero Sam Durham only needed 1 more tackle to get to 100 as well. Points were everywhere here. There were so many points that even Jordan Ridley (127) and regular DoW nominee Andy McGrath (117) got plenty of them. Read that again and let it sink in, Andy McGrath (117). The closest McGrath has got to a 100 this year is when he’s dived into his wallet! This week though he was a regular Nick Daicos for a couple of hours and on behalf of all his previous owners I can say thanks for the reminder of what we wanted from you but up yours for not giving it to us until you were dumped. Dick-ish but not DoW. For his mate Ridders the bonk on the bonce caused no harm and he may now be a trade-in target for the more strategically challenged Fantasy coaches out there sitting in the bottom of the rankings.
In a real tough week for the Eagles who racked up another 100pt flogging to add to their recent huge list of those, Dom Sheed carried his weirdly ancient but regal head around UTAS and gave his followers a massive 139 points to enjoy. Top effort from Sheedster and both he and his bionic throat have been in good form since he got back. Similarly, Alex Witherden gave a reminder of his scoring ability with a tasty 125. Witho struggles to actually defend but no one in the Fantasy world gives a fetid dog turn about that, we want points and he gave them to us in a big bag. Sharing his fun was the Sic Dog who also dished up a 125 in a very nice job. I’m actually buggered if I know how a fullback on a team that’s winning by about 130 points racks that score up but there’s no way I’m going back to watch that game to see for myself so I’ll just enjoy his work for this week. It’s a credit to Will Day that him getting “only” 86 is noteworthy but he’s been doing much better than that so hopefully he gets back to that gear soon. The good news from that is that he copped a tag and still gave us 86, not bad at all. Something that really grabbed my eye was this game had all of the bottom 10 as Eagles players, that must be rare as well. One of those was recent rookie hero Sanga Ginbey who went from laying 16 tackles and a massive rookie score of 96 to laying only 3 for 24 points from 74% game time. I’d hate to be a coach who bought him in on the back of that score last week and copped his one this week.
In other games, Jordan Dawson (85) almost hit his floor this week but bloody hell Ballarat looked hard to football in on the weekend. None of his coaches can be upset at his work this year. In a similar vein, and also getting his first negative mention is Nick Daicos. He’s been great for coaches this year but his 79 was disappointing for us all. Thankfully it is pretty much all of us who have him so no real harm done there. In some good news on the Naicos score the one coach left out there in Coober Pedy who lives underground and gets dial up by peddling a bike and doesn’t have Nick gained some ground on the rest of us.
Lachie Whitfield was meant to get us 150+ against the Saints this week but he didn’t so I’m giving him a dong. 86 doesn’t kill anyone but I know I wanted more. Those who still have Brad Crouch as a PoD would be raging after yet another snoozy effort and a 79. We were also expecting 150+ from Rowan Marshall but against the GWS Ruck ATM he could manage “only” 110. Again, this is far from terrible but I’m sure he carried plenty of C’s on the weekend so it was less than expected and therefore a bit sad.
Jeremy Cameron owners in Classic, or more likely in Draft, would have been licking their lips when previous DoW coach Justin Longmuir played with fire by lining a previously busted up, slower and heavily under sized Luke Ryan on him. To JL2’s credit and especially to Luke’s, he did a great job on him and it was a job that Cameron owners would’ve hated. 64pts was not great but the 3 set shots he missed would have helped ease the pain a bit and gives hope for a better day next week.
Editorial Addition: Initially I’d decided to leave Dion Prestia (30) out of the dongings through lack of ownership. However, on reflection and the sound suggestion from regular contributor Dulcify, this little nugget deserves a prod for his performance on the weekend. As already mentioned this game had more Hundred’s in it than if Ricky Ponting played C Grade Ammo’s for a year and yet with over 70% game time Prestia could only manage 30 points? In our first DoW article of the year I criticised Rory Laird for his lack of tackles in his 57 and mentioned my Ma only had 2 less than him in that game. Well Dion had the same number of tackle as my old girl this week which is just appalling work. A few weeks ago Nugget kicked 3 goals in a minute, that was 27 points in the time it takes boil noodles. This week he got 30 points in a full, uninjured game. Jobe Watson could learn how to pronounce, define and use the word obstreporous in a sentence in the time it took you to rack up 30pts on the weekend. Horrible stuff and your sub 1% ownership should not exempt you from some DoW consideration.
OK, we now get to the business end of the Dick article where things can get messy. Our top 3 for the week begins with our old mate Bad Scott. There was so much to work with this week and it’s a good week to dong him because he is back in the winner’s circle and feeling chipper, and good for him too. However, from an outsider’s and neutral’s perspective he seemed to change his gameplan to take on the Tiges but he gave us zero warning about it. Dick move. Look I know winning Premiership points is important, but what about us Fantasy coaches Scotty? He put together a gameplan that meant a months’ worth of points were being scored by the Ridley’s, McGrath’s, Hobbs’ (92), Redman’s (107), Caldwell’s (112) and Martin’s (104) on his team without so much as a cheeky wink to camera or something like that to let us know it was coming! Maybe even just wear a Traders cap or T-shirt during a midweek presser just to give a Fantasy nod, something??!?! On top of his plan leading to Costco bulk points at discount rates, this new gameplan still allowed the Taranto’s (120) , Bolton’s (120) , Rioli’s (114) , Martin’s (100) and Ross’s (103) to rack them up too! The Lessor Scotty was so committed to seeing Fantasy points fly up on the board that he even decided to put Jakey Stringer (62) on Shai Bolton for a stretch to “curb some of his influence” (his words, not mine). I mean Jake Stringer to play defence? Is Eddie Maguire going to do the Racial Tolerance lectures at RMIT? Will we get Brian Taylor to teach humility to AFL rookies next year? Are we going to get Jonno Brown or maybe Trader Calvin to read out the Brownlow votes for all of the tricky multi syllable names this year? On the one hand B(r)ad, great work giving us the best Fantasy outcome possible, it was an awesome scoring game and you got your team an excellent and exciting win. I also have to admit, it’s nice to see Essendon supporters smiling a bit again after decades of darkness. But on the other hand the middle finger is itchy because you left us hanging on the upcoming points-a-palooza and we in the Fantasy world, the real important world, we missed it. Dick-ish, but DoW.
On field there were 2 blokes down back who vied for the DT Dick of the Week for Round 10. Once again this was a VERY close-run thing, in fact we ALMOST ended up with our very first 2 timer Dick. However, Angus Brayshaw gets a dong and just misses the top award this week. And he misses simply because it was so dam wet in SA that I gave everyone some grace, just a little. 57 points is bad going even in the we going. Others managed OK, some were even better than that. Guys like Houston (115), Hunter (88), Byrne-Jones (97), Williams (82) and May (80) all hit scores that were very serviceable or better. Does a helmet need windscreen wipers? I remember as a kid how hard and heavy those old footy’s used to get in the wet, and if Gussy’s head gear goes the same way in the rain then I’ll issue apologies and move on. Until I get proof of that though I’m calling 57 when the ball is on the ground and you’re there too a poor performance. He’s now a serial offender and was OHHH so close to a DoW #2 this week. As a Gus owner he’d be driving you bonkers and I thank all things Holy I just missed that bullet this year because pre-season he was very tempting. I age him a slight benefit due to the weather and his scores often coming from the outlet kick/mark which wasn’t an option for much of the game.
The winner though is a handy little PoD who’s been largely a big smile on the face of any coach who got him in their team, largely but not this week. He’s had good scores, been pretty reliable and given some very handy tonnes to his teams. However, he’s also shown a propensity to 50-something his coaches and generate ugly feelings deep in the guts. This was his 3rd 50 of the year and a 55 when everyone around you is doing the Bradman shuffle is just Dick behaviour in the extreme. Our DT Dick of the Week for Round 10 is Liam Baker.
Liam is a great bloke to watch getting his footy job on. He’s frantic, exciting, fast, energetic and his big scores are more fun to watch than Joe Biden falling up a flight of stairs. However, in his floor games, he’s likely infuriating to keep an eye on as an owner. On the weekend I saw him bottom out for the second time this year and in both games its been a similar story. He’s buzzing around the joint and he’s ALMOST doing something for 2 hours of footy. He almost lays tackles, he almost gets to the right spot for the handball receive or easy plus 6, he almost gets to the contest. Unfortunately, on night’s like Dreamtime at the G he almost drove me mad – and I don’t own him. The DoW is a tough caper and whilst I doubt there’s anyone who dislikes the way this bloke goes about it, when you get 55 in a high scoring game against a team that loves to leak points then for this week, you are the DT Talk Dick of the Week and gets his 3 votes in the 2023 DoWnlow Medal.
One last quick donging for the week too, as with most of us I was reading the AFL Injury List on Tuesday was was struck by the following few in the middle of the list of injuries at Cat-land;
Sam De Koning – Face, Cam Guthrie – Toe, Jack Henry – Foot, Ollie Henry – Testicle.
I mean holy crap! What was happening with those Guys? That’s a very interesting list in terms of sequencing, surely they could have broken those 4 up with a standard hammy or ankle or something. This looked like they’d just played the roughest or most X-rated game of Twister you could imagine. Just the SDK – Face was jarring. Was he too pretty or too ugly to play? What’s wrong with his face? But then to follow that with Toe, Foot and then right in to Testicle? Maybe go with “Groin” for Ollie? Wow. Made my eyes water a bit and I hope they’re all doing OK.
That’s it for the week Fantasy Soldiers, well done for sticking with your teams if they’re struggling. This is the time a few ghost ships start to emerge so if you’re new to this caper then know that there is nothing more DoW worthy than giving up on your team in your in a league. Stick at it and ruin some finals aspirations. Any artistry for the DoWnlow will be gratefully received and win you a Moreira’s Magiuc sub for next year so please send anything you can come up with to email@example.com along with news of any of your league mates who’ve done something dumb enough to get a League DoW.
See you next week Folks.