Another round down which saw a lot of carnage for a lot of sides. This week wasn't my week and in a round where many managed scores of 2100+ I only managed to score 1966. As a result my rank slipped again to 1112. Whilst it wasn't the best week for me there were still many positives to take from this round and while my team underperformed I'm very happy with how my side is looking at this stage a bounce back this week should be on the cards.
Darcy Parish: After his poor performances in round 1 and 2 my patience was running thin with Darcy. Fortunately, injuries to Caldwell and Shiel meant that Darcy was surely going to get that inside role I thought he would have at the start of the year and therefore I kept him and flagged during the week that he should be 100+. Much to my expectation, Parish played as an inside mid all day with no bullshit half forward business. As a result he managed a score of 117 and was one of my biggest shining lights this week.
Tim Taranto: After playing a lot forward in round 1 it was looking like a DPP forward role could be on the cards. The last two weeks we have seen Taranto spend more time inside and with Coniglio now injured long term this should be something that continues. While he likely won't get DPP it's not an issue when you're pumping out scores of 127 and competing with the best scorers in the comp. Hopefully this is a sign of what is to come for the rest of the year.
Nick Hind: Having already picked up a forced trade in Jarrad Witts seeing Hind get cleaned up and come off was just what I didn't need. On 60 points at the time Hind missed almost all of the 3rd quarter and it was looking like he would be taken out of the game with concussion. Miraculously, he emerged after 3 QT, took the field and scored 37 points in the last quarter to finish on 97. This is the sort of effort the rest of my boys need to acknowledge and put in themselves. Well done Hind you bloody legend!
Sam Docherty and Tom Stewart: After average and below average starts to the season it was nice to see both of these boys crack the 100 mark. Both are very similar in the fact that they are both playing more defensive roles and giving up their kick in duty which is not great for scoring long term. Luckily they are good enough players to still score well but these may be factors that stop them from finishing as top 6 defenders as I originally thought they would be. Hopefully we see more of this 100+ business going forward.
Jarrad Witts: There's no denying that this one cut deep, especially after Gawn and Grundy both went 135 and 152 respectively. Owning Witts was a big reason to why my rank slipped this week. The worst part is, Witts was shaping up to be a great value ruck in a season where there weren't many and now I'm dealt with a forced trade in a situation where only 9% of the competition have the same issue. Far from ideal in a week where there are plenty of great trade options but on the bright side I'll be getting Grundy into my side who will likely get the captain duty straight off the bat.
Hayden Young: After looking disgusting it was only fitting Young would come off injured on 24. In all honesty the way he was going he probably wouldn't have managed much more anyway. This one sucks as I was going to trade him anyway and so now with him being injured so will most of the competition that own him. I was hoping to get a leg up by jumping off early but unfortunately that won't be the case now.
Andrew Brayshaw: After being my hero last week, Brayshaw was bitterly disappointing this week. In a round where most the vanilla premiums went 100+ scoring a 63 really hurt. Curnow did do a run with role with him all game and did a fantastic job at curbing his influence. Against the Hawks this week he should bounce back and have a big game but the Curnow tag is just something to monitor going forward for other top midfielders up against Carlton.
Highest Scores This Week
Andrew Gaff ($754k MID) 154
Cam Guthrie ($812k MID) 153
Brodie Grundy ($856k RUC) 152
Josh Bruce ($485k FWD) 152
Jarryd Lyons ($807k MID) 142
Jack Ziebell ($682k FWD) 139
Harry McKay ($518k FWD) 137
Taylor Walker ($558k FWD) 136
Max Gawn ($864k RUC) 135
Dayne Zorko ($739k MID/FWD) 133
Set and Forget Rucks?
With the rookie ruck combination clearly being the winner across the first 2 rounds the ruck situation was something that was going to be interesting this week. With both Grundy and Gawn coming up against very inexperienced opponents the writing was on the wall prior to the round starting. Injuries to popular mid-price ruck options in Witts and Draper (last week) meant those who went with the set and forget ruck combination were rewarded this week. This week I had a poor showing but a lot of my rank slide I can contribute to not owning these guys. Witts + Flynn gave me a combined score of 144 where as Grundy + Gawn would have netted you a huge 287. If you had Grundy VC and looped him then you would have ended up with 439 from 2 players. At the conclusion of round 1 when both Grundy and Gawn got off to a slow start I mentioned that while it wasn't great most coaches outside the top 100 do not own these guys and therefore they are a great unique for you when compared to the top coaches. I think we could see this weeks top 100 contain a grundy/gawn combo but almost all will have at least 1.
Hold Your Premos!
Under performing premiums was a huge topic of discussion with many fed up with the early performances of Treloar, Cripps, Neale, Gaff, Lloyd etc... This round was a perfect example of why you don't trade your premiums especially this early in the season. Scores of 106, 125, 103, 154 and 119 respectively meant those who opted to hold were rewarded with fantastic scores this week. Premiums are premiums for a reason and players have poor patches of form over the year. Trades are valuable and especially at the start of the season you can't afford to be making sideways moves like this. On the flip side these are some perfect examples of players you should be looking to target to bring into your side. I'll talk about this a bit more in this weeks trade talk but these guys are all down a decent chunk on their starting price (last years output) and therefore they provide good value to bring in.
Can You Target Key Forwards?
With the increased speed in the ball movement teams look to be struggling to defend as a whole and therefore we are seeing less effective zone defence and more one on one contests inside 50 along with more space inside 50 for leading forwards to utilise. In round 3 we saw players such as Bruce kick 10, McKay kick 7 and Tex kick a bag of 6. In previous years a bag was 4 or 5 goals and was something we wouldn't see all that often. Tex Walker has kicked 5+ in every game this season which makes me think that key forwards are definitely more relevant that they have ever been in the past. I personally will be sticking to what I know works and what I trust but for those looking to bring Tex in this week I don't think it's the worse move. Against North he should kick another 5 and continue making cash in large amounts. You will need to use another trade on him at some point as I can't see him being a top forward and with all the carnage we are seeing you also need to be prepared to get stuck with him. Just a couple things to consider but he's an option if you have the luxury.
Plenty of Carnage
This week we saw how brutal AFL Fantasy can be. With rookies starting to drop like flies along with injuries to Witts, Young and Coniglio I think we have just seen the signs of what is to come. With reduced interchanges and increased speed in the game we could potentially see more injuries and more players rested than in previous years, therefore more headaches for fantasy coaches. This is certainly going to be something of interest this year and adds another element to the game which will give things another dynamic for sure.
Early Look At My Trades
With Jarrad Witts and Hayden Young my options this week are very straight forward and likely won't change regardless of whatever else unfolds throughout the week. As I don't have enough cash straight up to go Witts to Grundy I will be going Young to Burgess to get that coin.
Grundy looks a man on a mission at the moment and his intent last week was exactly what I needed to see. I think he's safer than Gawn in terms of consistency. Gawn looks to be playing a variety of different roles and I think 2021 will be the year we see Grundy return to that number 1 fantasy ruck.
Burgess has never been a fantasy scorer but that's because he's only ever really played as a key back which everyone knows is the worst position to score fantasy points. With Witts and Day out along with Zac Smith 4-5 weeks away Gold Coast literally have no one else and therefore we should see Burgess play ruck for the next few rounds at least. While he'll likely lose a chunk of the ruck contests his agile enough to make an impact at ground level and just him being up around the ball should lead to decent scoring.
I hope everyone had a good this week and are able to do the moves they want to do. If anyone wants a trade question answered I'm shouting out a bunch on you guys over on Twitter and I'll be answering your question in the next episode of Trade Talk over on my YouTube channel. If you have a question you want answered make sure to follow me @aflfantasyfreak and comment on my post asking for trade questions. Hope all is well with everyone of you and until next time... Keep climbing up the ranks!