Adelaide Crows

Get them in: The fresh legs of utility David Mackay – last weekend's unused emergency - will be useful for Thursday night's clash with Richmond at Adelaide Oval on the back of a five-day break. Forward Darcy Fogarty could replace Hugh Greenwood.

Under the pump: Despite doing a great job on Jeremy Cameron, defender Kyle Hartigan might make way to tackle the small Tigers forward line. Greenwood shone late with a vital contested mark and goal, but was quiet after coming in at the last minute to replace Lynch.

Medical room: Lynch is out with a calf injury.

Verdict: The Crows would be unwilling to make too many changes to a winning side. Mackay comes in for an unlucky Hartigan. - Lee Gaskin

Brisbane Lions



Get them in: The Blues will be hoping to regain former skipper Marc Murphy from fractured ribs, while a number of players put their hand up for selection in the VFL. Matt Kennedy had 30 disposals and a goal, Alex Fasolo won 20 touches and Andrew Phillips kicked three majors.

Under the pump: The Blues will be happy with the number of contributors they had against the Lions, with few not doing their job. Wins make the selection decisions harder for caretaker coach David Teague.

Medical room: The club will wait on tests for Murphy, while Lochie O'Brien limped from the field late in Saturday's game due to a leg injury.

Verdict: Murphy in for O'Brien, with the Blues to keep faith in the majority of the side that handled the Lions last week. - Riley Beveridge

Even a winning Carlton side will find room for a fit Marc Murphy. Picture: AFL Photos




Get them in: Dylan Shiel, Orazio Fantasia and Jake Stringer are expected back this week against Hawthorn after overcoming their respective soft-tissue injuries. Martin Gleeson also played his best VFL game of the year last week so is getting close to his first AFL game since 2017. 

Under the pump: Dylan Clarke was very good against Carlton in his return to the senior side, but coach John Worsfold couldn't guarantee the midfielder a spot against the Hawks with other players returning. Ben McNiece and Mark Baguley are others who could be on the fringe.

Medical room: Essendon is starting to get a better run with injury, and its bye last week came at a good time. 

Verdict: Three certain ins if fitness permits means there'll be a couple of unlucky players. Aaron Francis is another who could make way for Stringer after only two kicks against the Blues. - Callum Twomey

THINGS WE LEARNED Tigers won't win the flag


Get them in: Losing full-back Alex Pearce (ankle) and ruckman Rory Lobb (foot) soured the Collingwood win, and Freo will likely turn to defender Griffin Logue and Sean Darcy to fill the breach against Port Adelaide. If Darcy hasn't overcome a sore ankle, Scott Jones could play his sixth career game.

Under the pump: There won't be many unforced changes after two stirring wins before the bye.

Medical room: Could the Dockers spring a selection surprise and call up Harley Bennell for his third game in purple? Bennell has been outstanding in two WAFL games back from calf trouble. Stephen Hill should be ready for his first game in 2019 but it would be a shock if that wasn't at Peel against South Fremantle.

Verdict: Logue in for Pearce and Darcy to replace Lobb. - Travis King

Rory Lobb's injury could open the door for Sean Darcy to return. Picture: AFL Photos

Geelong Cats


Gold Coast Suns

Get them in: In his third match back from injury Callum Ah Chee excelled in the Suns' NEAFL loss to Brisbane at the weekend with two goals from 23 touches. Richmond recruit Corey Ellis was another to shine on his comeback from groin surgery, while draftee Jez McLennan also impressed. 

Under the pump: After a promising start to his career, Josh Corbett has had a tough few weeks, going goalless for the past month.

Medical room: A few problems from the loss against North Melbourne, with Jordan Murdoch suffering a serious ankle injury and likely to miss some time. Touk Miller played the match out with a corked quad and would have a question mark about his availability to play the Saints.

Verdict: With Murdoch out, Ah Chee has to be next cab off the rank. He can play either half-back of half-forward. If Miller doesn't overcome his niggle, it's a perfect time to give McLennan, a half-back, his debut. - Michael Whiting

GWS Giants

Get them in: In the NEAFL, Zac Langdon booted three goals, first-round draftee Jackson Hately had 23 disposals and key defender Lachie Keeffe impressed.

Under the pump: Daniel Lloyd was a late in when the Giants lost to Adelaide but contributed well and would be stiff to miss out. Isaac Cumming was quiet, with nine disposals.

Medical room: An ankle injury hobbled Nick Haynes and he didn't finish the Crows clash. Brilliant forward Toby Greene was a late out with a knee complaint but is expected to train well and be right to face North Melbourne on Sunday at Blundstone Arena.

Verdict: Greene for Haynes. - Dinny Navaratnam

FANTASY FORM WATCH Premium players to target in bye rounds


Get them in: Dylan Moore is likely the first small forward cab off the rank to replace Chad Wingard, although don't rule out an AFL debut for Oliver Hanrahan, who's been in good form. Harry Morrison, Kaiden Brand, Jarryd Roughead and Jackson Ross are the other leading options.

Under the pump: Conor Glass was solid in his three senior games before the bye, but could be vulnerable, as could swingman Tim O'Brien.

Medical room: Star recruit Chad Wingard's tough start to life in brown and gold continued before the bye when he suffered a second hamstring injury, after calf setbacks in the pre-season. Jack Scrimshaw (knee) is still weeks off, while gun ruckman Ben McEvoy (ankle) is edging closer. Ryan Schoenmakers (calf), Darren Minchington (hamstring), Jacob Koschitzke, Conor Nash and Changkuoth Jiath will all look to return in the VFL.

Verdict: Moore and Morrison for Wingard and Glass. - Marc McGowan

AROUND THE STATE LEAGUES Charlie’s back, axed Tiger rebounds



North Melbourne

Get them in: Midfielder Paul Ahern wasn't quite as prolific in the VFL at the weekend but is the obvious candidate to be Shaun Higgins' injury replacement. Taylor Garner is too good to be at state league level for long and was prominent again, while Bailey Scott is also pushing for selection.

Under the pump: Sam Durdin probably didn't do enough, with fellow backman Jamie Macmillan due back from his calf complaint.

Medical room: Dual Syd Barker medallist Higgins (AC joint) will be a significant out for the Roos, who also lost depth when Aaron Hall (knee) went down in the VFL. Hall would have been a contender to replace Higgins. Macmillan (calf) should return after missing last week, while Sam Wright (ankle) and Dom Tyson (calf) are likely to be back after next week's bye.

Verdict: Ahern and Macmillan for Higgins and Durdin. - Marc McGowan

BARRETT Don't let North test Horse's loyalty, Swans

Port Adelaide

Get them in: Co-captain Ollie Wines is likely to miss Saturday's clash with Fremantle, with the hard surface at Optus Stadium a factor in the decision. Wines had 32 disposals in the SANFL last weekend after missing six weeks with a broken leg. Midfielder Tom Rockliff (hamstring) will be assessed this week. Vice-captain Hamish Hartlett is a chance to be recalled, but key forward Charlie Dixon will spend another week in the SANFL to build his match conditioning after booting five goals in his first game in almost 10 months due to a broken leg and ankle damage. Brad Ebert will also play in the SANFL if he's cleared to return from concussion.

Under the pump: Matthew Broadbent, Sam Powell-Pepper and Kane Farrell could be squeezed out.

Medical room: Rockliff will be assessed this week, while Ebert will travel to Melbourne for tests on his ongoing concussion symptoms.

Verdict: Just the one change – Hartlett for Broadbent. - Lee Gaskin

Hamish Hartlett looks ready to play his first AFL game since round five, 2018. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: Lively forward Shai Bolton did what was asked of him after being dropped, recording 25 disposals, 11 tackles and a goal. Nathan Broad was a surprise omission and after 19 touches and four marks could come straight back in. Big man Mabior Chol has hit a rich vein of VFL form rotating between the forward and ruck (22 hitouts, 15 touches, two goals).

Under the pump: Jacob Townsend (three disposals) had a poor and ill-disciplined match in his return to AFL. Jack Graham (11 touches) didn't get too much of the ball but laid nine tackles. Noah Balta struggled in defence, but his ruck support is crucial.

Medical room: Unfortunately, another busy week at Punt Road, with Dustin Martin (cork) and Nick Vlastuin (ribs) copping hits. Missing from the Geelong game were Brandon Ellis (groin) and David Astbury (hamstring), with Ellis the better chance to return of the pair.

Verdict: Townsend may make way for either Chol (who would play his second AFL match and first since 2016) or Bolton, depending on whether the Tigers choose to go tall or short. Broad might be needed against a strong Adelaide forward line and should come in if Vlastuin doesn't pull up. Patrick Naish impressed in his debut but could make way for Ellis. - Sarah Black

St Kilda

Get them in: The trio of ill players who missed the Port Adelaide clash in China – Blake Acres, Daniel McKenzie and Jonathon Marsh – should be fine. The Saints and Sandringham are coming off a bye, but defender Brandon White has been excellent in the VFL for much of the year, while Ben Paton is on the fringes of selection. Boom recruit Dan Hannebery is coming off his first game of 2019, for the Zebras, but needs another run in the seconds before being promoted.

Under the pump: A few would be nervous after St Kilda was demolished by the Power. Among them would be late ins Nick Coffield and Darragh Joyce, along with Robbie Young, Ben Long and Ed Phillips.

Medical room: Skipper Jarryn Geary will miss with a broken left leg, but fellow defender Jimmy Webster is nearing a comeback from right hand surgery.

Verdict: McKenzie replaces Geary, Marsh takes Joyce's spot and Acres returns for Coffield. If fit, Webster would take Phillips' place. - Dinny Navaratnam

It's unlikely Dan Hannebery will make his Saints debut just yet. Picture: AFL Photos

Sydney Swans


WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

West Coast Eagles


Western Bulldogs

Get them in: The Dogs could be strengthened by the return of Hayden Crozier, Mitch Wallis, Taylor Duryea and perhaps even veteran Dale Morris for his first game of the season, though the 36-year-old is likely to require a VFL hitout. Would-be debutant Rhylee West and veteran Tory Dickson could also come into contention for the post-bye clash with Carlton at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night.

Under the pump: Little man Toby McLean last year appeared set to become an A-grade midfielder, but his form has tailed off since being moved forward. In three of his past four outings he has managed no more than 16 touches and has been held goalless.

Medical room: Morris (knee), Crozier (toe), Duryea (hip) and Wallis (ankle) face fitness tests.

Verdict: If passed fit, Crozier and Wallis would return, and it could be time for West to be given his opportunity. - Ben Collins

It could be a big week for a famous Bulldog family if Rhylee West debuts. Picture: AFL Photos