WELL, welcome back. There was a fair bit to take in, wasn't there!
Firstly, it was awesome to get a weekend of semi-normality before we bunker down for the foreseeable future. From a Fantasy perspective, it was all over the shop! The shortened quarters have basically made some premium players redundant, with any slow ball accumulators leaving coaches up in arms after disappointing returns. On the flipside, some stood up, filling the void of excitement that can only come with watching one of your players act like a Pig. It's truly a beautiful thing.
NINE THINGS WE LEARNED The Bombers are still hard to trust
The Marsh Series can be a trap when it comes to seeking mid-priced talent, but it didn't tell any lies about Demon bull Jack Viney. He arguably had the game of his life and miraculously only spent 78 per cent of the shortened quarters on the ground while recording 34 possessions, five marks, six tackles and a goal for a round-high 132. He looks to be in career-best form and has a point to prove after losing captaincy responsibilities. He is currently owned by seven per cent of the competition but given his cheap price, that is sure to spike... in a couple of months.
Honourable mention: Dylan Shiel is never really in the conversation for a premium option but he blew that concept out of the water, recording numbers that he would traditionally be pleased with in a full time game. He is owned by just one per cent of the competition and I bet that made his 122 from an impressive 35 possessions even sweeter. An amazing effort given the shortened quarters.
Evidence that the game is not what we are used to can be found in champion Cat Patrick Dangerfield's output. The premium midfield option was earmarked by his 11 per cent of coaches as being a value pick with the likelihood of more midfield time following the departure of Tim Kelly. Matt de Boer's tag didn't help Danger's cause on the way to just 40 points from 16 touches and a beautiful 50m goal on his left.
Honourable mention: Darcy Parish and Andrew Brayshaw have been talked up by their clubs to take the reins in the midfield but unfortunately for coaches who backed that in and jumped on, they were very underwhelming. Parish got plenty of opportunities in the midfield but played a team low 66 per cent time on ground for just 12 touches, one mark and one tackle for 37. In similar fashion, Brayshaw played just 65 per cent for 14 touches, one mark and one tackle for 44. The boys have a remarkable amount in common … including both deserving the chop.
Marlion Pickett didn't disappoint his 73 per cent of coaches with what looked like a solid performance on Thursday night with 60 from 14 touches and six tackles, but turned out to be a huge effort in comparison to many 'premium options' over the course of the round. He remains a must-have option when play resumes.
The top five
- Jack Viney: 132
- Dylan Shiel: 122
- Ben Cunnington: 117
- Brodie (Pig) Grundy: 114
- Luke Parker: 113
- Jack Viney
- Marlion Pickett
- Sam Naismith
- Jeremy Howe
- Brett Bewley
As far as lockout goes, as much as it hurts, it won't be lifted until we know more about the course of the season. As the boss said, we need to be flexible and we need to be agile so the more information at hand before making big decisions, the better. And don't feel like you are alone – I have one hell of a rage trade to make after swapping Bailey Smith to Darcy Parish 10 minutes before lockout, so I feel your pain. Hang in there and tune into The Traders' podcast to get the most up to date news.
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