Luke Ryan runs with the ball during Fremantle's clash against Richmond in round eight, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

THE MATCH-UP was there for the taking, and not only did Sam Flanders (MID/FWD, $991,000) embrace the St Kilda fixture, he grabbed it with both hands and squeezed every drop out of it.

The Gold Coast attacking half-back was in great form heading into the favourable match-up and the popular VC option turned it up another notch to ensure he didn't let his faithful coaches down with a season-high 163 to be the top scorer of the round. 

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He had the ball on a string, gathering 42 disposals and 13 marks to be one of five Suns defenders to score over 110, which has Dayne Zorko (FWD/MID, $998,000) owners pretty excited about what he can produce on Friday night.

For most of us following the plan of targeting premium players off their bye, it was a successful week on the trade front with many of the popular options exceeding expectations.

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The leader of the pack was standout premium option Errol Gulden (MID, $968,000) who looked ready to explode pre-bye and did so in his first game back with 37 disposals, eight marks, five tackles and a goal for 151.

The under-priced premium target of Zac Fisher (FWD/DEF, $807,000) didn't let anyone down with his fifth hundred on the trot after gathering 36 disposals and six marks for 115. He worked so hard for his coaches he finished the game on the pine with cramp! Lachie Whitfield (DEF, $804,000) was back to his best against the Hawks, working tirelessly across half-back with 30 disposals and 12 marks for 123.

Zac Fisher kicks the ball during North Melbourne's clash against West Coast in round 12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Unfortunately, it wasn't the same result for coaches who targeted Giants star Tom Green (MID, $743,000) who had 26 touches but only converted it to 77 points. If you are in this boat, don't stress, he was a bargain pick and will repay the faith before you know it despite his tough draw. Someone who wasn't a bargain and failed to fire for the first time this year was Lions gun Josh Dunkley (MID, $944,000), who had a season-low 79 from an uncharacteristically thin stat line which consisted of 24 disposals, two marks, three tackles and a goal.


  • Billy Dowling (MID/FWD, $247,000)
  • Nathan Kreuger (RUC/FWD, $295,000)
  • Errol Gulden (MID, $968,000)
  • Jordan Clark (DEF, $891,000)
  • Luke Ryan (DEF, $1,022,000)


  • Sam Clohesy (DEF/MID, $564,000)
  • Clayton Oliver (MID, $744,000)
  • Darcy Wilson (MID/FWD, $614,000)
  • Riley Bonner (MID/DEF, $719,000)
  • Touk Miller (MID, $784,000)


  • Bodhi Uwland (DEF, $543,000) +$76,000
  • Alex Sexton (FWD/DEF, $740,000) +$67,000
  • Eric Hipwood (FWD, $516,000) +$62,000
  • James Peatling (FWD/MID, $552,000) +$58,000
  • Zac Fisher (FWD/DEF, $807,000) +$56,000)


  • Riley Bonner (MID/DEF, $719,000) -$56,000)
  • Nick Vlastuin (DEF, $584,000) -$52,000
  • Seb Ross (MID, $537,000) -$48,000)
  • Noah Answerth (FWD/DEF, $417,000) -$45,000
  • Touk Miller (MID, $784,000) -$43,000


  • Billy Dowling (MID/FWD, $247,000) -18
  • Nathan Kreuger (RUC/FWD, $295,000) 0
  • Logan Morris (FWD, $321,000) 2
  • Jye Menzie (FWD, $345,000) 3
  • Will Hamill (DEF, $329,000) 4
Billy Dowling kicks a goal during Adelaide's clash against Richmond in round 13, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos


  • Connor Rozee (MID, $771,000) 159
  • Josh Dunkley (MID, $944,000) 148
  • Dayne Zorko (FWD/MID, $998,000) 148
  • Rowan Marshall (RUC, $987,000) 147
  • Nick Daicos (DEF/MID, $957,000) 147


Errol Gulden (MID, $968,000): Obviously there is no point chasing last week's score… The thing is, this won't be the last huge score we see from the hard-running Swan this year, so best get on before he is over a million dollars. He was the pick of the premiums last week given he looked set to have a massive second half of the year following his bye and once again he needs to be a target of the highest priority with a BE of 85 leading into his game against the Crows.

Jordan Clark (DEF, $891,000): The Dockers' attacking half-back has had a great season, but it's fair to say he turned the dial to extreme in the three weeks leading up to his bye with an average of 140 in that time which included a season-high 151 from 36 disposals and 15 marks. He has increased by $200k since the start of the year and that doesn't look like slowing with a BE of 50 leading into a nice match-up with the Dogs at Marvel.

Jordan Clark in action during Fremantle's clash against Melbourne in round 12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Luke Ryan, (DEF, $1,022,000): Paying up for a defender over a million dollars sounds ridiculous, but the question needs to be asked… Can you afford not to have him? The Dockers general down back is feasting on a weekly basis, averaging 113 for the season and 136 in his past five. The Dockers are playing a game style where they love to launch from half-back and Ryan is the guy that decides when and where it happens… usually after taking two marks and having two kicks in the process. He gets contested marks, uncontested marks, demands the ball and the best thing is, his teammates listen and follow orders. He has a BE of just 90 despite his huge price tag and won't be getting any cheaper this following this week's game.

Dayne Zorko ($998,000): I don't often flag a 35-year-old who is a tick under a million dollars with a BE of 148 as a stocks up guy… but here we are. The Lions star has made the half-back role his own and he is having an amazing season in the role, averaging 112 with a five-game average of 123. The reason I can write about him despite his BE of 148 is the fact he is a shot to get it with a match-up against the Saints at home, fresh off seeing what the Suns defenders did to them last week. He has also been in sensational form at home, as we saw in round eight where he scored 184. The game is on Friday night, so I don't think the planets have aligned for a better VC option this year.

Billy Dowling $247,000): Despite having a round 15 bye on the way, the young Crow is the standout downgrade target following a brilliant debut, albeit against the Tigers. He had a huge last quarter which helped boost his score to an impressive 89 which included 17 disposals, nine marks and a great goal. It leaves him with a BE of -18 and he is a cash cow you don't want to miss for the run home.


Riley Bonner (DEF/MID, $719,000): The accumulating Saint has been one of the best picks of the season, averaging 86 and increasing by $256K. Unfortunately, both are dropping at a rapid rate following a three-game average of 54 which includes a season-low of 37 on the weekend, leaving him with a BE of 141. Despite many coaches having a plan to keep him until his bye, it's time to pivot and jump off a week early.

Riley Bonner is tackled by Jaidyn Stephenson during St Kilda's clash against North Melbourne in round eight, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

Clayton Oliver (MID, $744,000): It looked as though the Dees star was slowly tracking back towards his best but unfortunately his scores aren't reflecting that with a three-game average of 79 on the back of a disappointing performance against the Pies where he was well beaten for a score of 67 from 28 disposals, just one mark and a disappointing two tackles. He has a BE of 105, a total he hasn't hit the past five weeks and his timely bye gives justification to upgrade him to a premium option. 

Touk Miller (MID, $784,000): Frustrated owners of the hard-working Sun are pulling the trigger following a disappointing effort where he battled against a 'Windy' tag all game before eventually finishing on just 47. He is obviously much better than his score suggests but with a bye this week and BE of 133, many are taking up the opportunity to upgrade him to a more reliable target who has completed their bye.

Touk Miller looks dejected after the R13 match between Gold Coast and St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on June 8, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Jack Macrae (MID/FWD, $679,000): There were high hopes for the former premium following his 30-disposal, six-mark, seven-tackle and one-goal performance for 129 in round six, especially after he backed it up with a 90. Unfortunately, it's been far from smooth sailing from there and he is another that can now be justifiably traded one week earlier than his bye following a disappointing effort that consisted of 20 disposals and one tackle for 64 points which leaves him with a BE of 93 prior to his match-up this week with the Dockers.

Sam Clohesy (DEF/MID, $564,000): After forcing his way into the Suns line-up in round four and pumping out scores of 95 and 94, the 21-year-old has served as the perfect cash cow leading up to his bye. He has increased by $364K and produced some handy scores along the way in times of need. Given he has the week off, it is the perfect time to offload him as part of an upgrade trade.

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