FREMANTLE coach Justin Longmuir will resist the urge of throwing a defender into attack as the Dockers prepare to unleash a forward line featuring just one tall target against Melbourne on Saturday.
Longmuir's forward line plans have been thrown into disarray following a devastating run of bad luck over the past 10 days.
Key forward and back-up ruckman Rory Lobb will miss about half the season with a serious knee injury, while small forwards Michael Walters (hamstring), Mitch Crowden (calf), Bailey Banfield (syndesmosis), and Michael Frederick (calf) were also cut down.
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Fremantle's woes went from bad to worse when rookie key forward Josh Treacy - who was pencilled in to make his AFL debut against the Demons - copped a two-match ban for striking during a WAFL practice match.
The Dockers contested that charge on Wednesday night, but failed to get Treacy off.
With ruckman Sean Darcy unlikely to be picked after suffering a knee injury over the summer, Matt Taberner is set to be the sole tall target in attack against Melbourne.
Longmuir had toyed with the idea of using either Joel Hamling or Alex Pearce up forward, but he has decided against moving the key defenders out of position.
"Throwing the backs forward - you disrupt the backline," Longmuir said.
"We feel like the backline in the two games against the Eagles has been really strong and a positive part of our game. We don't want to rob Peter to pay Paul.
"We feel like Tabs can give us a good contest forward of the ball, with the help of (David) Mundy, (Nat) Fyfe, (Adam) Cerra, and our mids rotating forward."
Ruckman Lloyd Meek will make his AFL debut in what will be a tough initiation against star Melbourne big man Max Gawn at the MCG.
Longmuir has been thrilled with the recent efforts of Meek, saying it was a no brainer to pick the 203cm ruckman.
Treacy, an 18-year-old rookie, has been suspended for two matches by the WAFL.
And given that suspension can only begin when the WAFL season starts in a fortnight, he will end up missing the first four rounds of the AFL season.
Treacy's swinging forearm while going in for a tackle concussed Brady Grey, and Longmuir said the forward needed to learn a lesson from the incident.
"It's a thing in his game he needs to stamp out, otherwise he'll be in this situation more often," Longmuir said.