As we get closer to the byes the importance of nailing your trades really matter. In this article I've composed a bunch of players across all lines that provide VALUE. This is key as you want guys with upside. With limited rookies coming through and none with good job security/scoring ability it's a big concern. Therefore you may need to take a haircut and take more risks with some of the guys you bring in to save some cash in the bank for future upgrades. As I've preached for the last couple of weeks, the byes should be at the forefront of your mind and therefore your moves this week should be benefiting your bye structure in some way. Aside from bye structure you should be looking to get at least 1 rookie off your field with your trades this week. The goal is to get these guys off field as soon as possible so leading up to the byes the one up one down strategy is in play (potentially two upgrades if you can). With limited rookie options available don't be afraid to pull the pin on some guys who are highly priced or over valued. A prime example of this would be Ziebell. Trading him down to an underpriced guy such as Ridley nets you over 200k which could then get you a premium upgrade elsewhere for little to no difference in points. If you have Andrew Brayshaw I would potentially look at doing something similar. Lets jump into the targets/watch list.
Jordon Ridley ($597k BE 97)
Will be a super popular target this week and for good reason. Started the season with a 4 game average of 108 before his 15 affected injury score in round 5. Ridley currently sits priced at 84 so there is certainly upside here. While I do think he's a great option I also believe he's had a slight change in role. He seems to be splitting his kick in duties with Redman which potentially limits his upside (he was sole kick out taker at the start of the year) and with Redman, Hind and Heppell providing that dash and run Ridley looks to have to play more lockdown at times. I'd compare his role similar to a Tom Stewart at the Cats. While I think the lofty heights set at the start of the season may not be attainable he should still be able to average around that 90-95 mark which makes him a good target this week.
Caleb Daniel ($584k BE 63)
Daniel is one who is capable of mixing it with the best when he's allowed to play that half back role freely. The issue comes when he either gets moved out of position or gets tagged by the opposition. You're never going to know what to expect when owning this guy but the reality is he should average out to be 90+ and therefore I think he's still a great target if you're prepared to ride out the good and the bad.
James Harmes ($540k BE 53)
Harmes has been a great value pick since moving into the midfield and has proven that in this role he should be able to average 90. The issue comes when Jack Viney comes back into the side. I expect that Viney will miss this week but he'll most likely be back next week and not having yet seen them both in the side together it brings a large amount of uncertainty of what to expect with Harmes. Melbourne did indicate in the pre-season that Harmes will be playing through the middle so I do expect him to go through there at times but I also expect his minutes inside to decrease slightly. Viney back probably affects Jordon the most and although I think Harmes will be affected I still think he can be around that 85 mark. He's able to consistently put up high tackle numbers which makes me think he can be fairly consistent. My other slight query is that he may be used as a shutdown player once they have their full midfield mix back. He's currently priced at 76 so there is still some upside here but this is probably your last week to get on board if you're interested.
Liam Baker ($566k BE 54)
Injury crisis leads to opportunity and Liam Baker was the beneficiary last week. Baker spent 62% of time at CBA's last week and as a result posted a score of 118 in which was arguably a best on ground performance (behind Dusty). This would obviously be a very short term play and his scoring ability will obviously depend on which Richmond midfielders they have available. If he could hold this role down until the byes you could ride him out and dump him then but it's a high risk play and if you have other issues you could get stuck with him. If he was slightly cheaper I'd be more keen but whilst it is high risk it could come with great reward if he can post those types of scores for the next few weeks.
Nic Newman ($546k BE 74)
Walked straight back into the side and looked to have taken up Docherty's role. Newman lead the kick ins for the Blues while Docherty who usually does recorded 0 for the game. Docherty looked to play a wing type role which allowed Newman to get to work across half back like we've seen in the past. Newman has shown he can average 90 and currently priced at 77 I think could be a good buy. After a long lay off it's hard to trust one game of data so I'd prefer to wait another week just to confirm what that role looks like. You could take a risk and jump on early, this is a guy I'm monitoring closely.
Mason Redman ($476k BE 48)
Redman looks to have taken the lead when it comes to kick ins at the Bombers. It's not as dominant of a split as what Ridley had at the start of the year but he's taking the majority over the last couple weeks. He looks to provide great drive from half back and is one Essendon are trying to get the ball in the hands of. Scores of 84 and 97 in his last two and has North, West Coast and Richmond in his next 3 which should all be relatively favorable for defenders. Currently priced at 67, he's a super left field name but he could be someone worth a punt especially if you're getting some dead bench wood up to him.
Brad Crouch ($671k BE 80)
Currently priced at 94. Has a 3 game average of 108 and quite frankly his 111 from last week could have been much higher if he didn't spend all that time on the bench getting a concussion test. Has the ability to put in a poor one but it looks like he's finding his feet in his new colors and I think the Crouch of old is back. A 105 average could be on the cards from this point onwards so I think he's a buy at the current price if you're looking for a midfield option.
Patrick Cripps ($616k BE 100)
Not a huge Cripps fan as he's burnt me in the past but he does come in awfully cheap at $616k (Priced at 87). Cripps has the ability to easily push that 100 mark and whilst I've never been hot on him there does come a price where players just become irresistible. Cripps is getting close to that price and is someone I'd be watching at least.
Bailey Smith ($579k BE 99)
Big bump in inside midfield minutes last week (At the expense of Treloar). His score didn't follow but if that role continues he could be 95 and comes in priced at 81. Always risky with Bevo and it's hard to expect any consistency in role but he's cheap and therefore someone to monitor.
Adam Cerra ($590k BE 115)
Excluding his injury affected score, Cerra has averaged 92.4. Currently priced at 83 there is at least 10 points here but in my opinion Cerra has the ability to be 95-100. With Brayshaw out this week he should see increased inside minutes and his score should follow. Solid trade in target for those who own Brayshaw as that 130k could get you a premium upgrade elsewhere. Longmuir did express Cerra was dealing with some soreness which is a slight concern but overall I'm quite keen on this one.
Sean Darcy ($639k BE 60)
Plenty have asked whether Darcy is a legit option and in my opinion I think he is. Has the talent and while he is injury prone he is in great form at the minute. Showed the ability to hit a ceiling score last week which is important. He is priced at 90, so while I think there is some upside it's limited. The dual position may come in handy if you ever need ruck cover in the future and with limited premium forward options putting their hand up Darcy could be worth a shout although I'd probably rather go with the next guy.
Dustin Martin ($578k BE 92)
Could arguably be the most traded in player this week and for good reason. Priced at 81, Dusty has averaged 93, 97 and 93 in his last 3 years so the value is certainly there at the price. Dusty always performs better in the second half of the year and while it's a vanilla pick you can't go wrong bringing him in this week.
Isaac Heeney ($481k BE 71)
Comes with risk but also carries a very cheap price tag. Priced at 68 and whilst he's zero chance of getting midfield time surely he can average 80-85 playing a half forward role. As a forward his scoring will likely fluctuate and he does have a poor injury history but if he's all you can get to I'd probably take the punt.
Peter Ladhams ($449k BE 72)
Was great as a solo ruck last week posting a score of 98. He is very cheap but even at the price he's not worth the risk in my opinion. Grundy this week is a big turn off and he's likely to only hold his spot for the next 3 weeks while Lycett is out. Too much going on here for him to be a genuine option.
Will Hoskin-Elliot ($496k BE 44)
Found his way onto a wing where he managed to score 113 taking 10 marks. He's played this role before and it's resulted in increased scoring. Buckley suggested that he wants to continue using Will in this role but it's hard to trust much at Collingwood at the moment. Very high risk play but it could come with a decent reward and no one has him so he could be a great unique.
These are all the guys in which I think provide value or at least should have in the back of your mind. This week proves to be challenging for many. As for myself I currently have 3 red dots on field with limited bench so it's certainly a struggle for me this round. I'm unsure what I'll be doing with my moves as I wasn't expecting Brayshaw to be out. I hope this has given you guys some ideas on who to target this week. Good luck this round homies and until next time... keep climbing up the ranks!