As we get closer to the byes you should have a clear path and be trading accordingly. I'm a firm believer that if you plan strong for the byes you can make massive ground on the competition and climb a fair deal in rank. In this article I'll be suggesting more players than usual as a lot of the "prime" upgrade targets all have the round 12 bye which is not ideal for a lot of sides. At this stage of the competition taking risks is more accepted and therefore I'm going to talk about some real left field names. Lets jump in!
Rookies on the Radar
Riley Collier-Dawkins ($232k MID BE -10)
Clear number 1 rookie option this week. Injuries to Bolton and Edwards ensures that his job security is quite strong and should continue to see plenty of time through the middle. If you didn't jump on last week get on now!
Caleb Poulter ($254k MID/FWD BE 4)
Has a nice role on the wing for the Pies and in a struggling side that looks to give opportunity to the youth he should have okay job security. I expect him to hold and continue to score around that 60 mark but I don't think he's worth paying up $254k for. I'd probably rather bring in a $170k rookie that's named this week and bank the extra $84k for an upgrade.
Ryan Byrnes ($240k MID BE -10)
Has looked good and brought a link up dynamic to the Saints team. Dunstan potentially pushes him out of the side this week but I still think he's been good enough to hold his spot. I don't feel like he can hold long term and the Saints have some experience guys to come back soon which may see them re-jig their side. Coming up to the byes job security is key and I don't think you'll find it here. I'd probably be avoiding.
*Has held his spot this week but Dunstan didn't make a return which is pressure on his spot next week. I'd be hesitant but if you can get him and the upgrade you like then you can potentially go ahead with it*
Matthew Owies ($223k FWD BE -1)
Has been kicking goals for Carlton which is all you can ask for from a small forward. Owies has looked solid and after his first two performances I think he can hold his spot in the side for a while. He doesn't have a great ability to score but I think he has better job security than Byrnes and maybe Poulter also. Due to the fact he's cheaper than both those guys I would maybe consider him as a downgrade option this week.
Having read my comments for the blokes above you've probably gathered that I'm not too hot on the rookie crop we have available this week. Outside of RCD I probably wouldn't be targeting those guys I've mentioned and instead be looking to a $170k guy who gets named. I'm expecting to see quite a few fresh faces when teams get announced in which I've included below in a list of guys to keep your eye out for.
When doing a 1 up 1 down trade like I suggest you should always prioritize the premium player on the upgrade end of the trade. They will be the player you have for the whole year and therefore you want to make sure you get the guy you want. If this means taking a punt on a $170k rookie than I'd do it. All rooks at this stage have shaky job security so make an educated guess and who you think could string some games together. For example Richmond have a stack of injuries that could see some young kids get some games, Collingwood look to experiment with their younger players, Port Adelaide have lost their number 1 ruck for 4 games which could open the door for Hayes. These are just some things to consider when factoring what sort of job security a guy might have.
Names to look out for include:
Jake Lloyd ($758k DEF BE 108)
Lloyd is currently priced at 107 and while he doesn't look to be the player he was (115 level) he's still Jake Lloyd. Sydney look to prefer to ball in the hands of Dawson when exiting the back 50 which is probably why we have seen a slight drop off but when you compare him with the likes of fellow round 14 bye players (Mills, Laird, Crisp) he probably presents the most value still. His next 2 games include Collingwood and Freo which should see him able to score up around that 120 mark, he most likely doesn't get much cheaper and while he isn't a must have at the price he's a good option to bring in this week.
Jack Crisp ($720k DEF BE 96)
Last week we saw Crisp produce a monster score of 126 due to the fact he was given a fulltime midfield role. Crisp has played midfield minutes here and there throughout the year but on the weekend attended 89% of CBA's which is up 40% on his season average. Collingwood are throwing the magnets around so it's hard to predict whether Crisp will maintain usage this high going forward but with limited options available he's bound to get regular mid time of some sort. If his usage can stay above 70% I think Crisp can average 110 and currently comes in priced at 101 so I do see upside here. If worse comes to worse you know he's capable of averaging 100 as a defender so the risk is low. He does have a tough run of games with Sydney, Port and Geelong in his next 3 which is my only slight query.
Luke Ryan ($623k DEF BE 85)
Ryan looks set to return from injury this week and priced at 88 I think he presents as value if he gets the right role. We've seen Ryan in the past go on stretches where he averages 95-100 so he does peak my interest especially as I do need round 14 bye players in my personal side. I wouldn't be jumping on this week but he's one I'll be monitoring carefully to see if he has a good role or not. He may be forced to play more lock down with the injuries Freo have at the moment and in that case the upside may not be there.
James Harmes ($515k DEF BE 44)
Harmes is one who has been much talked about throughout the week and I can see why. Priced at 73 he certainly has upside and saw a nice healthy amount of CBA's last weekend at 55%. My concern here is when Viney returns. There is no doubt that when Viney returns Harmes CBA usage will decline and therefore most likely effects his fantasy output. Depending on how long Viney is out for will determine how much I like this move. If you're looking at bringing in Harmes this week you'll have to be holding until his bye which means you'll have to carry him for 5 weeks. If Viney returns in 2 weeks time and Harmes then see's a reduction in scores to around that 75-80 range then it's probably not worth it. If Viney is out for 3 weeks it make it slightly more appealing. I'm not a huge fan just for the fact that I can't see him maintaining his role long term but in saying that I would still be looking at him as an option if you can get a bench rookie up to him or a rookie off the field.
Jordan Ridley ($614k DEF BE 127)
I still believe Ridley is a top 6 defender and therefore presents huge value at the current price. He was forced to play more of a lockdown type role on Toby Green last week which is a slight concern but most sides don't have a small forward of that caliber. With Freo, North and West Coast in his next 3 if you're looking for a defensive upgrade I wouldn't be afraid to jump on early despite the 127 break even.
Caleb Daniel ($573k DEF BE 75)
Caleb Daniel can be a rollercoaster ride but there is no denying that priced at 81 he presents upside. When used in that half back distributing role he is well and truly capable of averaging 90-95. Bevo isn't the most reliable coach when it comes to these sorts of things and even last week despite the 92 he scored he was used forward for 2/3 of the game. It wasn't until he was moved to half back where he exploded and finished strong. At the current price the risk is quite low as I can't see Daniel going any lower than 81. If he's all you can afford as an upgrade I would still consider jumping on board.
Zac Jones ($621k MID BE 45)
After an interrupted start to the season with injury, Jones has hit his straps and is in fine form. The last two weeks we've seen him attend large volumes of center bounces (84% last week) and while not only benefiting his fantasy scoring it's resulted in better performance overall for the Saints. It's obviously working and therefore something I can see continuing. Currently priced at 87 I think Jones can be 100 which makes him a nice chunk underpriced and a great option if you're looking for a midfield upgrade this week.
*Disregard everything I just said, he's out with a quad injury now*
Brad Crouch ($658k MID BE 92)
Sticking with the Saint Kilda theme, next we have Brad Crouch. Crouch has been underwhelming this season so far but the usage of Jones in the guts more seems to have benefited him. He's also seen a slight up tick in TOG in his last two games where he has posted scores of 105 and 109. Crouch has proven he's a quality player in the past and as the season goes on you'd only expect he gets better as he grows more comfortable with the new system at the Saints. Currently priced at 93 I think he can certainly be 100+ and if he gets back to his best he could even be 15 points underpriced.
Dom Sheed ($657k MID BE 71)
Sheed has demonstrated this season that he has the ability to post some huge ceiling scores (135 and 138 this year). On the flip side he's also posted some gross scores (58 and 47) with both of these scores when West Coast played away. When the Eagles get their chip mark game going at Optus it's an absolute points fest and Sheed is the type of player to cash in on these opportunities. If the Eagles can get some consistency away from home and string some form together I don't see it unreasonable for Sheed to average 105 for the rest of the year.
James Worpel ($582k MID BE 52)
There's a couple things I don't like here but I still think he's a good pick. The first thing being he has the round 12 bye which makes it hard for most sides to jump on. The second being that while he has seen high inside midfield usage it has been while O'Meara has been out of the side. Having been played out of position all year and as a tagger at stages Worpel of late has been free to play the role he's best in and as a result has scored 124 and 105. No doubt if he continues in this role he averages 100-105 and priced at 82 makes him a bargain. O'Meara back this week potentially results in Worpel returning to an unfavorable role but at the price I'd be willing to pay to find out. I think he's surely done enough to stay in that inside midfield role.
Tom Mitchell ($786k MID BE 96)
If you don't have him and can afford to go up to him whilst making it work with your bye structure then I'd be doing it. He's probably the only player in the midfield at the minute that I'd be paying over $750k for. Currently priced at 111 he's not as much value as he was a couple weeks ago but I still expect he will average 115+ from here on out. He's a top 3 mid in my opinion and worth paying the cash for.
Rory Sloane ($648k MID BE 62)
Another guy who presents value and therefore is a strong target this week. Currently priced at 91 but should continue to average 100 from here on out. Clear midfield role and a proven scorer in the past.
James Rowbottom ($600k MID BE 56)
Not someone that I'd personally jump on myself but I couldn't tell someone off for trying it. I've owned him in previous seasons and it didn't end well for me. He's scoring well at the minute and been rather consistent but I still have queries over how consistent he can be in the long term. Not for me but I don't hate it.
Luke Parker ($719k MID BE 115)
Parker when he's on can go big on his day. He's priced at 101 which see's him reasonably priced but he has a great draw and is an outside chance to get forward DPP in round 12. Due to these factors along with him being super unique (1% ownership) I don't mind it as an option.
Sam Menegola ($638k MID BE 85)
Menegola is a guy who plays exclusively outside which is usually a red cross in terms of what I look for in fantasy. The fact he plays for Geelong who are hitting their straps, have been recording high disposal numbers and chip the ball around a lot I can see Menegola being a type who is favoured. Has been a little bit underwhelming for his standard this season but last week looked good and is a type when he gets going could average 100. Currently priced at 90 so he's not a huge bargain but he's an interesting option.
Aaron Hall ($633k DEF/FWD BE 38)
This bloody legend! Served me up 266 points on debut last week. I've been asked numerous times if you can still jump on and the answer is YES! Currently priced at 89 I don't see any reason why Hall can't be at least 100 in this half back role. North feed him the footy, it spends plenty of time down back and he takes large volumes of kick ins. He's still my number 1 forward target due to the fact he should rise a nice amount in value whilst providing good scores.
Josh Kelly ($683k MID/FWD BE 83)
He's back! Leon has finally come to his senses and has not only chucked him back on the wing but last week we saw Kelly attend 69% of CBA's. 121 and 105 in his last two, I expect scoring like this to continue and if he holds this role down he could be the number 1 forward this year. Very cheap and a fantastic option if you can make it work with the byes. A breakeven of 83 means he shouldn't rise too much in price over the next few weeks and therefore if you can't bring him in now because of your bye structure he'll still be value to bring in come round 13 (after his bye).
Dustin Martin ($590k MID/FWD BE 126)
Dusty hasn't been too great of recent but I expect that to turn around pretty soon. Dusty has proven over the last few seasons that he's a 90-95 type guy and currently comes in priced at 83. With the injuries the Tigers have along with the fact they're not travelling as well as they'd like to be (8th on ladder), there will be a heavy reliance on Dusty to step up and perform. He should see big midfield minutes with the lack of options through there. You could go early on him but he's one that I'll be targeting heavily in 1-2 weeks
Connor Rozee ($495k FWD BE 35)
Rozee is a type I'd be looking at if you're upgrading a bench guy and getting a rookie off the field. I'm not in love with him as an option but priced at 70 he's certainly cheap, should make some cash and is a much more capable scorer than having a rookie on field. If he really gets going he could even average 90 over the next stretch of games which makes him a super bargain.
Josh Daicos ($531k MID/FWD BE 66)
Daicos was one I was super hot on a couple weeks ago but having seen him play midfield the last couple weeks I'm less hot on now. His CBA's last week dropped back down to 25% which isn't great. He doesn't have a super high ability to lay tackles and take marks which limits his ceiling. Not the best option considering you can get Dusty who is a proven 90-95 for 60k more.
The forward line is a pretty dead zone so far this year. There are other guys available such as Fyfe, Zorko and Billings for example but you get what you pay for there and there is no value. As a result I'd be steering clear of these guys for now as I think you can better spend your cash elsewhere.
Plenty of teams have Bolton or Stephenson and as a result will need to trade. I advise that if you have DPP available to go to either a midfielder or a defender unless you can afford to get Hall or Kelly.
These are the guys I'd be looking at this week. If you can fix up a non-playing bench rookie and get an upgrade that's the ideal move. If you're stuck with Stephenson or Bolton than it's an obvious trade but if you don't have those guys then I'd be doing a one up one down and moving on a Gulden, Warner, Robertson etc up to a premium or an option I've mentioned above. The main priority is to get rookies off field so you should be trying to make this possible each week leading up to the byes. Many have asked during the week about trading guys like Sholl, Markov, Phillips, Williams etc.. my advice is to hold these guys. The floor on these guys is much higher than a rookie who is capable of scoring 40. For that reason I'd be prioritizing moving the rookies first.
As always I hope this guide has helped in giving you some options to look at this week. If you like a guy who isn't mentioned back yourself in and like usual these are just my opinions, take them with a grain of salt. In past years it's burnt me when I haven't backed my own judgement so weigh up all your options and go with your heart. Cheers for all the support lately guys, Much love. Good luck this round homies and until next time... Keep climbing up the ranks!