Lachie Whitfield in action during Greater Western Sydney's clash against Sydney in round 15, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

IT HAS been a busy week in AFL Fantasy with some of the biggest news we have seen in years.

Firstly, Izak Rankine (four weeks) and the popular Isaac Heeney are suspended. Heeney is in 99 per cent of the top 5000 teams and his bid at the AFL Appeal Board on Thursday evening failed.

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Touk Miller is expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks with a wrist injury and then we have Max Gawn. Melbourne's big man injured his ankle last week and will be on the sidelines for the next 2-3 weeks after scans revealed a chip to the base of his right fibula. Unfortunately, he is a must-trade, however… we have plenty of great options.

Max gone

Gawn is gone and therefore we need to look at the best options for the run home. Unless you are going for a value option, whoever you bring in will most likely be there for the remainder of the season.


Best premiums

From the ruckmen available, Tristan Xerri (RUC, $953,000) has scored the most 120-plus scores this year and therefore he is the most expensive option. After he plays Brodie Grundy this week, he has the best draw for the run home where he plays teams he has already dominated this year like West Coast (which he scored 129 against earlier in the year), the Western Bulldogs (129) and Hawthorn (126).

Tim English (RUC, $911,000) is the most traded in player this week as Gawn's replacement after averaging 117 in his last three games. He has a great match-up this week and will provide an instant reward for those bringing in the star, who averaged 119 last year.

Tim English handballs during the R7 match between Western Bulldogs and Fremantle at Optus Stadium on April 27, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Best value

Tom De Koning (RUC, $824,000) is significantly cheaper than the premium options despite averaging 113 in his last five games. A recent ankle injury to De Koning is the only concern as he could be replaced by Marc Pittonet at the drop of a hat.

The other value player to consider is Hawthorn's Lloyd Meek (RUC, $795,000). Meek has registered four 100-plus scores in his last seven games and is recently coming off 94 and 112. If you have other issues you'd like to fix up besides Gawn, then Meek will give you the cash you need.

Trap or treat?

How will you use your two trades this week? Here are some traps to avoid and some treats worth considering.

Jye Caldwell (MID/FWD, $912,000) TREAT
A forward scoring like this is ridiculous and you need to get on board. Caldwell has now averaged 133 in his last three games and has cemented himself into the Essendon midfield. Get on board… now!

Jye Caldwell celebrates a goal during Essendon's win over West Coast in round 16, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Andrew Brayshaw (MID, $887,000) TREAT
Fremantle has a great draw on the horizon and Brayshaw is starting to heat up with recent scores of 146, 80 and 136. He plays the Hawks this week and had 134 and 157 against them last year.

Dylan Moore (FWD, $825,000) - TREAT
With not many forwards stepping up to the plate, Moore certainly has in the last two weeks with scores of 119 and 127. Outside of Sam Flanders, Caldwell, Heeney and Dayne Zorko… he is the next best.

Colby McKercher (DEF/MID, $667,000) TREAT
Oink… oink. Colby returned in style last week with 37 disposals and a career-high 123 points. Even though he went up $75k in price as a result, he is still a huge bargain with a breakeven of just 22.

Luke Jackson (RUC/FWD, $689,000) TRAP
Yes… Jackson is a one-week play with Sean Darcy out with concussion, but after the huge issues this week has delivered, you could be stuck with Jackson and the one-week play could be turning into three.

Luke Jackson celebrates a goal during the match between Melbourne and Fremantle at TIO Traeger Park in round 12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Live Teams Show

The Traders will be live tonight to cover all the important ins and outs as teams are announced. They break down the popular trades, discuss captains and answer all your burning questions. Watch the Live Teams Show every Thursday night via and the AFL Live Official App and ask your questions in the comments.

Listen to the AFL Fantasy Podcast with The Traders at Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. 

Most traded in

  • Tim English (RUC, $911,000)
  • Shaun Mannagh (MID/FWD, $293,000)
  • Colby McKercher (MID/DEF, $667,000)
  • Dylan Moore (FWD, $825,000)
  • Jye Caldwell (MID/FWD, $912,000)

Need a downgrade option? Then Shaun Mannagh (MID/FWD, $293,000) is clearly the pick of the bunch. Not only is he coming off 115 from 14 tackles, he is carrying a breakeven of -32 and will provide important bench cover needed over the coming weeks.

Colby McKercher in action during the R17 match between North Melbourne and Gold Coast at Marvel Stadium on July 6, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Most traded out

  • Max Gawn (RUC, $961,000)
  • Alex Sexton (DEF/FWD, $751,000)
  • Isaac Heeney (MID/FWD, $892,000)
  • Izak Rankine (FWD, $779,000)
  • Joel Freijah (MID/FWD, $440,000)

If you have no issues to fix-up this week, you can certainly part ways with Alex Sexton (DEF/FWD, $751,000), who scored 55 last weekend. Sexton played an important role for Fantasy coaches early in the year, however, his position at the Suns is now on thin ice. If you have the option this week, he needs to be moved on.

Calvin's best captains

No.1 – Josh Dunkley v West Coast @ Optus Stadium, SUN 4.40pm AEST

Dunkley has been on fire with recent scores of 140, 158 and 118. The Eagles are back to their old tricks and giving up Fantasy points. We have seen five players score 120-plus in the last three games against them.

No.2 – Marcus Bontempelli v Carlton @ Marvel Stadium, SAT 4.35pm AEST

Put this man under the roof and he'll produce the goods. Bontempelli has averaged 124 in his last five games at Marvel Stadium and has been in great form. He had 118 against the Blues last year and could be in for another big day.

Marcus Bontempelli in action during the Western Bulldogs' clash against Melbourne in round one, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

No.3 – Sam Walsh v Bulldogs @ Marvel Stadium, SAT 4.35pm AEST

Midfielders against the Bulldogs have scored well in recent weeks, highlighted by Connor Rozee (147) and Zak Butters (136) last weekend. Walsh has struggled recently with taggers but the good news here is… the Bulldogs don't tag! Expect him to be back to his best.

No.4 – Lachie Whitfield v Richmond @ the MCG, SUN 3.20pm AEST

Whitfield has averaged 123 in his last five games with a lowest score of 106. We all know that Richmond has given up the most 100-plus and 120-plus scores this year and if Whitfield comes out hungry, he will feast on the points that will be up for grabs.

No.5 – Zach Merrett v Melbourne @ the MCG, SAT 7.30pm AEST

Essendon's captain scored 119 against the Demons last year and tends to get the job done when he's not being tagged. He's coming off a nice 120 last weekend from 30 disposals and six marks and the cherry on top here is… Melbourne doesn't tag! 

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