• Nine things we learned from round three
THIS weekend was a challenging one for NAB AFL Fantasy coaches.
Some late withdrawals, substitutions and some reliable players under-performing brought scores down. Those who managed to avoid some of the carnage would be happy to have gained the four points in the opening round for many head-to-head leagues.
HAWTHORN v FREMANTLE – MCG
Before the game I thought this would be a low scoring Fantasy game, being the Grand Final rematch and with only three players scoring over 100 on that last Saturday in September last year.
How I was wrong!
Eight Hawks and one Docker scored triple figures in an impressive display from the reigning premiers. Top scorer, midfielder Isaac Smith (142), booted three goals to go with his 30 disposals and 12 marks.
DEF/MID Sam Mitchell (121) returned after being a late withdrawal against Essendon with a calf complaint to gather 36 touches, pleasing the 58,810 coaches who stuck with him.
Three thousand more coaches took the punt on bargain defender Matt Suckling (117) and were handsomely rewarded with his impressive game that featured 30 disposals and a goal.
Fremantle midfielder Danyle Pearce (118) was the best for Fremantle and Matthew Pavlich’s (88) was a much better return than his 44 points last week.
Ben McEvoy was a late withdrawal before the game leaving David Hale (87) and Jonathan Ceglar (46) up against the in-form ruckman of the competition, Aaron Sandilands (87). The Dockers big man finished with 33 hit-outs.
WESTERN BULLDOGS v RICHMOND – Etihad Stadium
Mid-priced midfielder Jack Macrae (131) is in for another big price rise after his 30-disposal game saw him as the top scoring Fantasy player on the ground. With a breakeven of 37, there will be a few more price rises from the young Bulldog.
Midfielders Tom Liberatore (125), Daniel Jackson (120), Trent Cotchin (117) and Matthew Boyd (115) all joined Macrae in scoring triple figures.
After scoring just three Fantasy points in the first half, forward Jack Riewoldt (88) kicked four goals to help get the Tigers back in the game, scoring 35 points in the third quarter and 50 in the last.
Tigers defender Ben Griffiths (88) has one of the smallest breakevens heading into this week with -16. He is a worthy sixth defender and cash cow with scores of 73, 71 and 88 over the first three rounds.
Claiming their first win of the season, the Swans were very happy with forward Lance Franklin’s four-goal return that collected him 113 Fantasy points.
Also kicking four goals was FWD/MID Luke Parker (121), who top scored for the match.
Ruckman Sam Jacobs (109), forward James Podsiadly (105) and midfielder Rory Sloane (105) were the best for the Crows, but most pleasing were the scores from defender Matthew Jaensch (96) and FWD/MID Matthew Wright (91).
The two Matthews are doing their job as mid-priced cash cows in their respective positions. A couple more good performances will see them ready to upgrade to a fallen premium.
Continuing the Matthew theme, Brad Crouch's brother Matt Crouch (69) made his debut as substitute. He came on in the second quarter and in 53 per cent ground time gathered 18 disposals to show why he is a future Fantasy star. He will have a small price rise this round, but he’ll be worth jumping on this week if you have room to fit him in.
For the Swans, forward Gary Rohan (31) started in the green vest and FWD/MID Tom Mitchell (41) had a down day with just nine disposals before being subbed out at three quarter time.
GOLD COAST v BRISBANE LIONS - Gabba
The Suns won the QClash at Metricon Stadium and their fearless captain Gary Ablett (146) was very impressive.
The midfielder was the Fantasy captain choice for almost 40 per cent of the competition. His 38 disposals, 10 tackles and three goals made him one of the best options for the week.
Only one man was better in this game and that was Brisbane Lion Tom Rockliff (157). After missing round two through suspension, his Fantasy ownership dropped. Fewer than 10,000 coaches benefited from his 35 disposals, 11 marks and three goals.
Despite the loss, midfielder Jack Redden (120), DEF/MID Pearce Hanley (118) and defender Mitchell Golby (110) were among the Lions' better performers.
FWD/MID Dayne Zorko (59) was a popular inclusion this week coming off 93 and 130 in the first two rounds. Roy, Calvin and I found a place for him in our squads this week and in all cases, we would have been better off not trading at all.
Tom Rockliff was Fantasy gold with 157 points against the Suns. Picture: AFL Media.
In the Saturday night blockbuster at the MCG, Joel Selwood (116) led the Cats to victory. The midfielder produced a great score despite the un-Fantasy-friendly kick to handball ratio that saw eight kicks and 22 handballs. His 11 tackles were the most of any player in the match.
Collingwood midfielder Steele Sidebottom (126) collected 29 disposals, five marks, six tackles and a goal.
Calvin’s number one captain choice Scott Pendlebury (94) received a fair bit of attention from Cameron Guthrie (84). While not an awful score from the midfielder, it was a long way from the 127 he’d averaged against Geelong in his last four encounters and his 152 last week.
Like Pendlebury, Steve Johnson (69) didn’t back up from his huge score of 153 last week. He copped the Brent Macaffer (45) tag keeping the midfielder to 20 disposals and one goal.
The Fantasy value of forward Travis Cloke (33) will continue to fall with his second score in the thirties this season.
Defender Corey Enright didn’t get up from his round two ankle injury and was a late withdrawal before the match.
WEST COAST v ST KILDA – Patersons Stadium
Ruckman Dean Cox (112) kicked the last goal of the match to top off an excellent game.
Scoring one Fantasy point more was first-year Saint Luke Dunstan (113) - 29 disposals, four marks, five tackles and two goals was an outstanding performance.
Dunstan will be valued at over $300K after this week and he will be in for a few more price increases for his 47,442 coaches.
West Coast midfielder Xavier Ellis (76) ran off half-back but managed to kicked two goals to boost his Fantasy score, smashing his -22 breakeven.
I sang his praises last week and possibly even called myself a genius for picking him, but it wasn’t Tom Hickey’s night at Patersons Stadium. The ruckman was in for a tough match against Cox, Nic Naitanui and Callum Sinclair. He registered 39 Fantasy points, 80 fewer than his big game in round two.
Both substitutions were due to injury. Sam Gilbert (foot) was off in the first quarter without registering a stat. Mark LeCras (arm) will miss a few weeks leaving almost 30,000 coaches with a forced trade next round and a price drop due to his 16 points.
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY v MELBOURNE – Spotless Stadium
In trying conditions, especially towards the end of the game, saw some ordinary football but some great Fantasy scoring from Giant Adam Treloar (159).
The midfielder in his third year bounced back from his 69 points last week to rack up 33 disposals and lay a game-high 14 tackles to be the best at Spotless Stadium.
Midfielder Callan Ward (119) finished with 26 disposals and 11 tackles and ruckman Shane Mumford (118) was the most dominant big man on the ground with 60 hit-outs.
Midfielder Matt Jones (88) was the best for the Demons.
Both Nathan Jones (73) and Dom Tyson (62) were quiet in the second half and couldn’t secure the three-peat of Fantasy tons to start the season. Still, they will enjoy another price increase this week.