Adelaide Crows

Get them in: Defender Luke Brown could play his first game of the season in Saturday night's Showdown after returning from ankle surgery on managed minutes last weekend. First-round draft picks Ned McHenry and Chayce Jones pressed their cases with outstanding SANFL games, while Myles Poholke was the non-playing emergency.

Under the pump:  Kyle Hartigan or Jake Kelly will make way if Brown gets the nod, while Jordan Gallucci had a 33 per cent efficiency from 12 disposals against Fremantle.

Medical room:  Richard Douglas and Paul Seedsman are at least another week away, with Wayne Milera and Sam Jacobs not far behind.

Verdict: Jones comes in for Gallucci for his forward pressure and ability to add pace through the midfield. Brown could do with another run in the SANFL. - Lee Gaskin

FREE AGENTS LIST Who is in this year's pool?

Brisbane Lions

Get them in: The Lions' NEAFL team is trouncing everyone at the moment, ensuring plenty of pressure on the seniors. Ben Keays kicked another four goals at the weekend, while Allen Christensen starred and versatile second-year player Toby Wooller continued to press his claims for a debut with 30 disposals and 14 marks.

Under the pump: Lewy Taylor was quiet against the Swans with just seven disposals but hit the mark with a couple of kicks inside 50 during the crucial last quarter.

Medical room: After missing two weeks with a hamstring injury, vice-captain Harris Andrews is all but assured of being available this week.

Verdict: If Andrews is fit he has to come in, either at the expense of the unlucky Ryan Lester or even Luke Hodge if the veteran decided he needed a week off. – Michael Whiting

Toby Wooller is pressing his case for a senior debut after strong performances in the NEAFL. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: The Blues are hopeful Matthew Kreuzer (adductor) and Mitch McGovern (hamstring) will return from injuries that ruled them out last week. Hugh Goddard won 18 disposals and 10 marks in the VFL to put his hand up for a club debut.

Under the pump: In reality, there will be a host of Blues who feel nervous after a horror loss to the Kangaroos. Levi Casboult might be feeling the heat the most this week, especially if Kreuzer and McGovern return.

Medical room: The Blues will wait on Kreuzer and McGovern, while Liam Jones is unlikely to recover from a pretty severe concussion that saw him taken to hospital on Sunday night.

Verdict: Kreuzer should return in place of Andrew Phillips, while Casboult will most likely make way for McGovern. Former Saint Goddard is the man set to replace Jones, should he not recover from a concussion, while Will Setterfield and Matthew Kennedy will also come under consideration. – Riley Beveridge

Big man Matthew Kreuzer will be a welcome addition to the Blues' line-up. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: Forward/ruckman Mason Cox and defender James Aish could return from injury for the clash with old enemy Carlton at the MCG on Saturday. Top draftee Isaac Quaynor could come into consideration for an AFL debut while veteran runner Travis Varcoe will be fresh after the Pies' VFL bye.

Under the pump: In his first AFL game in 11 months, injury-prone swingman Ben Reid showed he was still up to the challenge, only his inaccuracy (1.4) marring a strong performance. Likely to come under selection pressure if Cox is ready to resume.

Medical room: Midfielder Taylor Adams (groin) will be out for at least a month but Cox (ankle) and Aish (concussion) could be passed fit. Chris Mayne (fractured back) is less likely.

Verdict: Adams to be replaced by Varcoe or, fitness permitting, Aish. If Cox is ready the unlucky omission might be Reid. – Ben Collins

WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor


Get them in: Orazio Fantasia has missed the past two weeks with illness but is expected to return for Friday night's clash with Sydney. Brayden Ham played well in the VFL with 21 disposals and a goal, while Ben McNiece and Josh Begley were emergencies last week. 

Under the pump: Mark Baguley has maintained his place in Essendon's forward half despite limited impact with the ball. He has averaged nine disposals and three tackles in the Bombers' seven games this year.

Medical room: Tom Bellchambers (ankle) will be watched closely after playing sore throughout the loss to Geelong on Sunday. David Myers was managed last week so could also be in contention for the Essendon match committee, while Andy McGrath (jarred knee) is tipped to be fit. 

Verdict: Zac Clarke is available if the Bombers need a ruckman to face the Swans, while Fantasia will come in. – Callum Twomey

Youngster Brayden Ham could be in line for his second AFL game. Picture: AFL Photos


Get them in: The Dockers couldn't squeeze Connor Blakely in for the loss to Adelaide but try keeping the prolific 23-year-old out after he racked up 31 disposals and kicked a goal in Peel's big win over East Perth. Sean Darcy (11 disposals, 42 hitouts, one goal) will be considered after Rory Lobb was beaten in the ruck by Reilly O'Brien.

Under the pump: Cam McCarthy has been quiet since coming back from a virus and gone goalless in two games, although it's hard to point the finger at forwards following the dour Crows affair. If Darcy comes back, though, Lobb going forward complicates things.

Medical room: Griffin Logue made his comeback from hamstring issues for Peel last weekend but will need more game time to push for senior selection.

Verdict: Spots are tough to come by and finding someone to drop for Blakely is tough, but Ethan Hughes might miss out in the only change. – Travis King

Geelong Cats

Get them in: A late withdrawal against the Bombers, Zach Tuohy will be fit to return. Charlie Constable had game-high disposals and tackles in the VFL on Sunday, while Ryan Abbott booted two goals from his 20 disposals and appears just ahead of Darcy Fort as the next big man.

Under the pump: A late inclusion, Zach Guthrie will be the first to go out of a jam-packed backline. Jordan Clark had little impact played higher on the wing and finding a spot back in defence will be tough. Brandan Parfitt was the late addition for Joel Selwood so remains on the fringe.

Medical room: Esava Ratugolea is a long shot to prove his fitness from concussion. Joel Selwood missed with soreness, however the club is set to make a call on his place late in the week, while Patrick Dangerfield is sore with his knee. Even if Gary Ablett beats his suspension, he could be in line for a rest after seven matches.

Verdict: Tuohy for Zach Guthrie and Abbott for Ratugolea. If fit, Joel Selwood for Clark on a wing. Constable for Ablett (if rested) or Parfitt. – Mitch Cleary

MID-SEASON DRAFT 50 players who could spark up your list

Gold Coast Suns

Get them in: In his first match back from an ankle injury, Sean Lemmens kicked four goals in a best-on-ground display in the NEAFL. His speed and pressure is just what the Suns' forward line needs.

Under the pump: George Horlin-Smith (nine disposals) struggled for a second straight week, while Aaron Young (10) was also quiet in his first game for the season.

Medical room: After missing last week with a sore shin, Pearce Hanley should be available, while Lachie Weller is also due back after missing four matches with a hamstring injury.

Verdict: The Suns really need some speed to complement their inside grunt, so Hanley and Lemmens should come in for Horlin-Smith and the unlucky Young. – Michael Whiting

Speedy Sean Lemmens booted four goals in the NEAFL last week. Picture: AFL Photos

GWS Giants

Get them in: The Giants are hopeful Josh Kelly (adductor), Lachie Whitfield (adductor) and Phil Davis (ankle) will be fit to return for Sunday's clash with Hawthorn. Harry Perryman had 28 possessions and nine tackles in his return through the NEAFL last week, while Zac Langdon kicked three goals.

Under the pump: Defender Matt Buntine has been dropped for the last two games but earned a reprieve when Davis didn't get up, while youngsters Jackson Hately and Isaac Cumming could be in trouble if Kelly and Whitfield return.

Medical room: Key defender Aidan Corr rolled his ankle against St Kilda last week and is set for at least a couple of weeks out, while Adam Kennedy will be tested later this week after copping a head knock.

Verdict: Co-captain Davis should be right after missing two games, so he returns at the perfect time to replace Corr in defence. Another week off for Kelly and Whitfield. - Adam Curley


Get them in: Jack Scrimshaw was rested last week and is likely to come straight back in, as should James Cousins, who missed last week through suspension. Other options include Harry MorrisonConor Glass and David Mirra.

Under the pump: Tim O'Brien was outmarked a couple of times in one-on-one contests and could be vulnerable. Dylan Moore was solid and needs games, but seems the most in danger out of the small forwards.

Medical room: Defender James Frawley (hamstring) should return this week or next after missing three games, while Isaac Smith (foot) went into the rooms during the last quarter of last week's loss to Melbourne.

Verdict: Scrimshaw and Cousins replace O'Brien and Moore, while Frawley's fitness will determine whether Kaiden Brand remains in the team. – Marc McGowan


Get them in: Melbourne co-captain Jack Viney will have to test his injured shoulder to see whether he can get up for the game against Gold Coast. Sam Weideman responded positively to his omission with 21 disposals and 2.3 in the VFL, while Corey Wagner racked up 25 touches. Tim Smith (back) and Braydon Preuss (shoulder) could also come into the frame if they're cleared to play. Oskar Baker (20 disposals and two goals) put together a positive game.

Under the pump: Debutant Declan Keilty had just six disposals and minimal impact in the game against the Hawks. Despite Jordan Lewis's form issues, coach Simon Goodwin has made it clear the veteran will remain in the team.

Medical room: Viney (shoulder), Smith (back) and Preuss (shoulder) are the three main contenders who will need to be medically cleared. Melbourne may play it safe with Viney and give him an extra week.

Verdict: Weideman could come straight back in for Keilty, but Melbourne should take the long-term approach with its emerging young forward and let him develop confidence and form over several weeks in the VFL. No change. - Ben Guthrie

FULL INJURY LIST Who's ruled out and who's a test?

North Melbourne

Get them in:  Luke Davies-Uniacke appears the most likely player to earn promotion but he wasn't dominant in the VFL at the weekend. Paul Ahern didn't win as much of the ball and failed to lay a tackle, while Aaron Hall was tagged out of the game. There aren't any forward openings, but Curtis Taylor continues to impress.

Under the pump: Late inclusion Sam Wright was a good performer against Carlton, but he is vulnerable if Luke McDonald is fit.

Medical room: McDonald (knee) will push to play this week after being a late withdrawal. Scott Thompson (adductor) needs to pass a fitness test, as does Ben McKay, who didn't play in the VFL because of a quad injury after overcoming pneumonia and a sore toe in recent weeks. A fourth defender, Tom Murphy (ankle), is nearing his return, but midfield recruit Dom Tyson aggravated his calf injury. Bailey Scott was concussed last week in a first-half VFL incident in which the tackler, Frank Anderson, was suspended for the next fortnight.

Verdict: McDonald comes in for Wright. - Marc McGowan

Defender Luke McDonald looks likely to return if he is fit. Picture: AFL Photos

Port Adelaide

Get them in: Co-captain Tom Jonas (calf) could be a big inclusion for Saturday night's Showdown with Adelaide. It's hard to ignore Steven Motlop after three SANFL games, Jack Trengove or Joe Atley could come in if Ollie Wines (ankle) doesn't get up, and Matthew Broadbent's experience would be handy in a Showdown. Forward Billy Frampton (nine goals in past two SANFL games) and rookie-listed ruckman Peter Ladhams (28 disposals, two goals and 40 hitouts last weekend) would be the bolters.

Under the pump:  Zak Butters might need a rest, Todd Marshall is struggling to hit the scoreboard, Jarrod Lienert would make way for Jonas, while Karl Amon, Willem Drew and Riley Bonner are no certainties. Ruckman Scott Lycett was below his best against Collingwood, but should retain his spot.

Medical room: Wines (ankle), Brad Ebert (concussion) and Jonas (calf) will be assessed.

Verdict: Providing the injured trio all play, it will be two changes for Port – Jonas and Motlop, for Lienert and Marshall. Motlop's inclusion will allow Justin Westhoff to play more time forward. Coach Ken Hinkley has backed in his kids all season, so he'll give Butters a chance to show what he can do in a Showdown. - Lee Gaskin

FULL FIXTURE Every round, every game


Get them in: Classy small forward Dan Butler was named Richmond's best in the VFL after kicking three goals. Tom Lynch is crying out for another big body in the forward line, and hard-nut Jacob Townsend is in VFL good form. Father-son selection and half-back flanker Patrick Naish (23 disposals, one goal) is inching closer to a debut, as is draftee midfielder Riley Collier-Dawkins (18).

Under the pump: Forwards Tom Lynch (five disposals) and Josh Caddy (11 and one goal) were far from their best against the Bulldogs but will be safe due to a lack of other alternatives. Noah Balta struggled as a key back but was better when working up the ground and is needed as second ruck.

Medical room: It's just going from bad to worse for Richmond. Daniel Rioli has been playing sore for a couple of weeks with a succession of thigh corkies, and also got a knock to the ribs against the Dogs. Integral defender Nick Vlastuin rolled his ankle in a similar incident to fellow backman David Astbury last week.

Verdict: As much as coach Damien Hardwick might wish Jesus was available for selection, it is much more likely Butler will come in for Rioli, who desperately needs a break. Astbury is expected to return, taking the spot of either Connor Menadue or Vlastuin if he doesn't recover in time – Sarah Black

The Tigers could replace Daniel Rioli with Dan Butler. Picture: AFL Photos

St Kilda

Get them in: Hard-nosed onballers Luke Dunstan and David Armitage thrived as Sandringham scrapped out a win over Frankston, winning plenty of footy and kicking a goal each. Nathan Brown responded to his demotion well and Brandon White held firm down back. Robbie Young hurt an ankle but played out the game while Bailey Rice kicked a couple of goals. Nick Hind has been in reasonable form.

Under the pump: In attack, Ben Long and Jonathon Marsh were quiet in the loss to Greater Western Sydney. Hunter Clark didn't see much of the footy and Darragh Joyce struggled to contain Jeremy Cameron.

Medical room: The Saints are optimistic Jimmy Webster didn't suffer a broken hand against the Giants but it's still sore, so he could miss.

Verdict: If Webster is ruled out, White to replace him. Also, Brown for Joyce, Dunstan for Clark and Young to debut, if he's fit, in place of Marsh. - Dinny Navaratnam

Sydney Swans

Get them in: Superstar forward Lance Franklin has missed the past two matches with a minor hamstring issue but could be ready to return against Essendon on Friday night. Defender Colin O'Riordan had 41 possessions in the NEAFL last week to continue his outstanding form, while Ryan Clarke had 47 in the Swans' big loss to Brisbane.

Under the pump: Midfielder Robbie Fox struggled in his return to the top level against the Lions, so his spot in the side will be looked at ahead of the Swans' clash with the speedy Bombers.

Medical room: Speedster Harry Cunningham will miss the next 4-6 weeks after tearing his adductor against the Lions last week, but in some good news, Daniel Menzel (groin) is on track to play his first game of the year in the reserves.

Verdict: Franklin will train on Wednesday in an attempt to face Essendon but might need another week. O'Riordan comes in to replace the injured Cunningham. - Adam Curley

Will Buddy finally play after two weeks out with a hamstring issue? Picture: AFL Photos

West Coast Eagles

Get them in: If Tom Hickey is fit, the former Saints ruckman will be back for his first showdown against his old club at Marvel Stadium.

Under the pump: Adam Simpson leapt to the defence of Nathan Vardy after the Gold Coast victory but Hickey's form is too good to overlook.  

Medical room: Young forward Jake Waterman probably would have played the Suns if not for a corkie. He was running with Hickey on Monday and looks ready to return, but has he missed his chance? There is a watch on Chris Masten after he failed to train and walked laps on Monday.

Verdict: Brendon Ah Chee is a chance for his first 2019 appearance after 32 touches – and a hanger - in the WAFL, especially if Masten isn't fit, but Hickey for Vardy could be the only change. – Travis King

Ruckman Tom Hickey is in line to take on his former club this weekend. Picture: AFL Photos

Western Bulldogs

Get them in: Forward/ruck option Tom Boyd kicked three goals in a low-scoring VFL win over Casey Demons, but Luke Beveridge has stated he is a longer-term proposition for AFL level. Bailey Williams had 30 disposals and five marks in a best-on-ground performance. Lewis Young was strong in a ruck and forward role with 31 hitouts, 21 possessions and 10 marks.

Under the pump: Not much went wrong for the Bulldogs on the weekend. Matt Suckling's availability might add pressure on Lachie Young and Will Hayes, who were given their debuts in round five against Carlton from Suckling and Taylor Duryea injuries.

Medical room: Experienced defender Suckling is expected to be available for selection having recovered from a groin injury. Ben Cavarra has been luckless so far this season and suffered a hamstring strain in the second half for Footscray.

Verdict: Suckling in, Young out. The latter has held his own since debuting but a fit Suckling demands a spot in the side. – Paul Bastin