THE BUSINESS end of the season is approaching, but every week is serious work for Draftstars coaches. Here's our round 19 cheat sheet with everything you need to know about the weekend ahead. For more information visit draftstars.com.au.
Hawthorn v Sydney, MCG, Friday night
A big game to open the round, and we're going to start with this one in the turbo format, when you pick six players – one from six different tiers. If you haven't given it a go yet, try it for yourself in the free beginner mode. Here's who we're grabbing from there.
In tier one it's too hard to go past Tom Mitchell (MID, $18,250) and his 130-point average. It's tougher from there, but Jake Lloyd (MID, $12,400) stands out with his 94-point season average for the Swans in tier two.
Another Swan, Isaac Heeney (FWD/MID, $12,250), is a prime choice in the third category with the best average of the group (95.8 points a game in 2017), while Nic Newman (DEF, $11,800) has made a name for himself as a genuinely good Draftstars choice this year and is a prime pick in tier four.
Ryan Burton (DEF, $10,700) has been a revelation this year for the Hawks and is averaging nearly 84 so deserves a shot as your tier five pick, while Swan George Hewett (FWD/MID, $10,100) scored 78 points last week and looks a solid pick as the final player in our line-up.
North Melbourne v Melbourne, Blundstone Arena, Saturday
Ben Brown (FWD, $11,150) is in the running to win this year's Coleman Medal, but he hasn't been a very popular forward choice in Draftstars this year. His six-goal and 119-point haul last week against Essendon might change your mind, and he's averaging 85 for the season.
Just like Brown, teammate Taylor Garner (FWD, $10,300) well and truly exceeded his season average last week against the Bombers with his 129-point belter. Garner is an exciting player, but his average of 68 for the season means you should be a little wary of picking him expecting another triple-figure score when he's only done it once.
It was good to see Dom Tyson (MID, $13,400) back and firing for the Dees last week against Port Adelaide as he gathered 111 points. Michael Hibberd's (DEF, $13,550) 129-point effort was the best of what has been a terrific first season for the Dees, and he should be right near the top of your defenders list.
Jack Viney (MID, $13,150) is one to watch in the next few weeks. After missing a couple of weeks with injury, the Melbourne co-captain returned last week with 90 points. We're backing him to quickly recapture his best.
Greater Western Sydney v Fremantle, Spotless Stadium, Saturday
Callan Ward (MID, $14,050) is on a mission. The Giants co-captain is averaging 115 points a game over the past five weeks and last week topped his team in their defeat to Richmond. Ward has hit form and has reached triple figures five times in his past eight games.
The Giants have a deep midfield, and Josh Kelly (MID, $14,850) is a safe bet as a premium midfield option. Zac Williams (DEF, $11,800) has also become a solid Draftstars option and gathered 102 last week, while we'll be happy with Will Setterfield (MID, $9500) if he can keep producing 70 as he did on debut last week given his price.
We called it last week that Connor Blakely (MID, $15,750) is heading towards Draftstars stardom, and he didn't let us down against Hawthorn with 114 points. He's reached triple figures his past four games and in that period has averaged 126.
With Michael Walters (FWD, $11,800) injured, Blakely is clearly the best Dockers bet, but Lachie Neale (MID, $16,350) continues to put up good numbers and is averaging 101 for the year. Another Fremantle option is young ruckman Sean Darcy (RK, $12,450), who hasn't dipped below 80 points in his first five games.
Port Adelaide v St Kilda, Adelaide Oval, Saturday
You couldn't blame the Power midfield for their loss to Melbourne last week. Travis Boak (FWD/MID, $14,250), Brad Ebert (MID, $14,900), Ollie Wines (MID, $14,900) and Robbie Gray (FWD/MID, $13,200) all broke through the 100-point barrier and remain strong midfield choices.
Someone who should sit above the rest when looking at your Port Adelaide options is Paddy Ryder (FWD/RK, $14,050). Ryder scored 103 points last week and is averaging 105 over the past five weeks. He presents as an in-form big man who plays and scores like a midfielder.
We knew Seb Ross' (MID, $14,250) score of 71 in round 17 would just be a blip, so it was good to see the Saints midfielder repay the faith with 113 points last week against the Swans. Ross and Jack Billings (FWD, $11,750), who scored 91 last week to keep his average at 90 for the year, remain two of the most consistent Saints.
Dylan Roberton's (DEF, $11,550) barnstorming start to the season was too good to last. The defender was averaging as much as 109 points earlier this season, but after just one century in the past five weeks, he's dropped back to a 95-point average.
Carlton v Geelong, Etihad Stadium, Saturday night
The buzz is all around Charlie Curnow (FWD, $11,350) of late, and it's easy to see why. The young Blue is getting more and more of the ball, and last week collected 95 points against the Lions, to lift his average to 92 over the past five weeks. He might not be reliable enough for you this year, but underline his name for coming Draftstars seasons.
Some key Blues were down last week by their standards, including Sam Docherty (DEF, $16,350), who posted his lowest score since round one (93 points). For a second-tier midfield option, Sam Kerridge (FWD/MID, $13,100) might fit your needs, though. The former Crow is averaging 83 this season from six games.
The usual faces stood up for the Cats last week with Joel Selwood (MID, $15,850), Patrick Dangerfield (MID, $17,700) and Mitch Duncan (MID, $15,100) the only Geelong players to reach triple figures.
Zach Tuohy (DEF, $11,400) continues to be a solid choice in the backline with his 89-point average, while Sam Menegola (FWD/MID, $13,000) will be expecting to get back to his best after just 79 points in last week's defeat the Crows.
Gold Coast v Richmond, Metricon Stadium, Saturday night
Brayden Fiorini (MID, $13,600) hasn't impressed the NAB AFL Rising Star judges enough to get a nomination yet, but he's certainly taken our eye. Last week the young Sun led the way for his side with 109 points against the Bulldogs, taking his average to 91 over the past five weeks.
Another younger Sun Jack Martin (FWD, $13,350) stepped up with 108 points and Touk Miller (FWD/MID, $12,500) continues to be consistent and can be picked in two different spots, but it's probably best to steer clear of most Suns.
Dustin Martin (MID/FWD, $15,900) is clearly the best Tigers option and scored 116 points in last week's win over Greater Western Sydney, combining with teammate Trent Cotchin (MID, $14,750) as the only Tigers to pass 100.
Nick Vlastuin (DEF, $9200) scored well last week with 87 but it seems an outlier given his 55-point average, while Toby Nankervis (FWD/RK, $10,700) has dropped off and is averaging 75 the past five weeks. Kane Lambert (FWD/MID, $12,150) remains a good choice, though, and has an average of 81 over the past five games.
Western Bulldogs v Essendon, Etihad Stadium, Sunday
If you had Liam Picken (MID, $11,650) tucked away in your team last week you would have been rapt with the six-goal effort that saw him collect 111 points. It was well above his 78-point average, similarly to Shane Biggs (DEF, $11,600), who also registered 111 against the Suns despite a 75-point average.
In case you've missed it, Lachie Hunter (MID, $13,250) is back to some of his best Draftstars form. The premiership midfielder scored 115 points last week but that shouldn't be a surprise – it's his third ton in his past five games. He looks to have pushed through his mid-season lull.
We haven't spoken much about Dyson Heppell (MID, $13,950) this year as a leading Draftstars pick, probably because Zach Merrett (MID, $15,650) takes all the limelight for the Bombers. But the Essendon skipper has averaged 98 in his season back in the game and last week gathered 101 against the Roos.
David Zaharakis (MID, $14,250) also continued his brilliant run of form with his fifth century from his past six games. He's a premium midfield option now. Orazio Fantasia (FWD, $9900) has kicked 36 goals this year and booted four last week but is hard to pick for Draftstars – he's not hit triple figures yet this season.
Collingwood v Adelaide, MCG, Sunday
Collingwood ruckman Brodie Grundy (RK, $14,100) has been a very popular choice all season and with good reason. His 127-point effort last week against West Coast steered the Pies to a win, and was the 10th time this year he has surpassed 100.
Jack Crisp (MID, $13,700) is less reliable but has pushed his average to 87 after his 121 points last week, while Jeremy Howe (DEF, $11,950) has also been excellent with an average of 90. We hope you risked it and grabbed Jordan De Goey (FWD/MID, $11,100) last week. He scored 96 points last week, which is his third very good score from the past four weeks.
Rory Sloane (MID, $14,750) starred for the Crows last week in a return to form after managing just 34 points the week before due to his concussion. Sloane gathered 134 points against the Cats in a performance that would have pleased those who stuck by him despite the fitness concerns.
Matt Crouch (MID, $14,550) again hit triple figures and is a model of consistency, while Hugh Greenwood (FWD/MID, $11,100) continued to show he can be a quality pick-up for Draftstars coaches. The former basketballer scored 85 points and has shown he is good for around that mark most weeks.
West Coast v Brisbane Lions, Domain Stadium, Sunday
There weren't many Eagles to lift to the level required last week in their loss to Collingwood, but Dom Sheed (FWD/MID, $11,200) and Luke Shuey (MID, $13,500) kept trying hard. Sheed's 102-point effort means he has scored 91 or more in seven of his past eight games, so he's in strong form. And Shuey remains the best West Coast Draftstars choice given his 103-point average.
Josh Kennedy (FWD, $11,750) gave a good reminder of his appeal last week with six goals and 91 points for the Eagles, and he remains in the Coleman Medal hunt. If not for injury he would have been a runaway winner, and a few more 90+ scores for us would be helpful.
If you have been on the Dayne Zorko bandwagon, and are looking to replace the suspended midfielder this week, swap him with his teammate Dayne Beams (MID, $14,700). Beams looked back to his best last week against Carlton with 142 points in a dominant display that was the third time this season he's scored in the 140s.
Defender Sam Mayes (DEF, $11,800) has stepped up in recent weeks and is averaging 88 in the past five weeks, while Alex Witherden (DEF, $12,600) continues to outdo himself, scoring a career-high 97 points last week against Carlton. His 88.6 average is very tidy for a first-year defender.