WHO IS a chance to play in round 16?
In this week's In the Mix we find the players who are giving their selectors plenty of food for thought.
Who's going out, who's sore, who is under the pump? Our reporters attempt to pick all the R16 ins and outs. Check it out.
The Crows will need to make one change ahead of hosting Brisbane on Saturday with skipper Rory Sloane (finger) unavailable. The need for an inside midfielder might bring former Giant Jackson Hately into calculations, although he was quiet in the SANFL at the weekend. Josh Worrell went back to the lower level and played well, as did Billy Frampton, who might be starting to put pressure on Darcy Fogarty, who kicked two goals from three touches against Carlton.
R15 medical sub: Andrew McPherson (unused)
Verdict: Hately for Sloane. – Michael Whiting
Following a commanding win over Geelong there's no reason to make changes, but Chris Fagan still has a few decisions to make. Veteran Grant Birchall was a late withdrawal with illness and is available again to play Adelaide on Saturday. If he comes straight back in, James Madden, Jack Payne or Cal Ah Chee would make way. Jarrod Berry also played his first game back at VFL level after a lengthy stint out with a groin injury.
R15 medical sub: Rhys Mathieson (unused)
Verdict: Birchall for Payne. – Michael Whiting
The Blues will need to find a replacement for veteran Marc Murphy, who hurt his calf during last week's win over the Crows. Fortunately, Zac Fisher should return from ankle soreness to take his place. Levi Casboult is available after serving a one-match VFL suspension and may be recalled to provide Tom De Koning with ruck support against in-form Docker Sean Darcy, given Jack Silvagni took the secondary ruck role last week. That would mean a re-jig in the forward line and could spell bad news for Lachie Fogarty, who has been quiet recently. Zac Williams is also set to serve a one-match suspension, with last week's medical sub Nic Newman likely to take his place as the side's running defender.
R15 medical sub: Nic Newman (replaced Marc Murphy)
Verdict: Three changes, with Fisher, Casboult and Newman to replace Murphy, Fogarty and Williams. – Riley Beveridge
The Pies will be forced into at least one change with Beau McCreery injuring his hamstring in the opening stages in the loss to Fremantle. Jordan De Goey is available from suspension, while Callum Brown is also in the frame after coming on as the medical sub against the Dockers. Robert Harvey also has a decision to make on whether he continues with the three-pronged tall attack after Mason Cox's first game back since round four or if he goes for extra height against St Kilda's talls. Jack Madgen is another whose spot may be looked at, while Jay Rantall, Brayden Sier and Finlay Macrae all impressed in the VFL, while Mark Keane and Tom Wilson could be options in defence.
R15 medical sub: Callum Brown (replaced McCreery)
Verdict: De Goey and Callum Brown for Cox and McCreery. – Mitch Cleary
The Bombers are likely to regain Will Snelling from his thumb injury this week as they prepare to play Geelong at GMHBA Stadium. They came out of last week's defeat to Melbourne without any injuries, but they could look to rest first-year gun Nik Cox after a quiet performance last week. The Bombers have been close to debuting mid-season rookie draft selection Sam Durham – he was an emergency last week – and he could be right in the frame as a wing option this week. Zach Reid, as well, is a chance to come in, after showing some impressive signs in the VFL.
R15 medical sub: David Zaharakis (used)
Verdict: Snelling and Durham in for Cox (rested) and Guelfi. – Callum Twomey
The return of skipper Nat Fyfe appears locked in after he was a late withdrawal in round 15. It is timely for the Dockers, who have lost key forward Matt Taberner for a month and could need their dual Brownlow medallist to rotate forward. It's hard to see changes beyond that after an impressive win against Collingwood. If there are, Connor Blakely (27 disposals and two goals) impressed in the WAFL, while defenders Ethan Hughes and Hayden Young are on the verge of returning from injury and will force their way in eventually.
R15 medical sub: Mitch Crowden (replaced Taberner)
Verdict: Fyfe for Taberner. – Nathan Schmook
Last week's medical sub Quinton Narkle remains firmly in the frame for a place in the starting side as the Cats consider changes off the 44-point loss to Brisbane. Gryan Miers is also up for selection after back-to-back VFL games after his fractured leg, while Charlie Constable (44 disposals), Max Holmes, Zach Guthrie and Rhys Stanley also performed strongly. Shaun Higgins' spot could also be up for debate, while Luke Dahlhaus didn't register a kick against the Lions. Esava Ratugolea lacked impact, however the Cats appear committed to the Ratugolea-Blicavs ruck combination for the short-term, while Brad Close has impressed over the two months.
R15 medical sub: Quinton Narkle (unused)
Verdict: Miers and Narkle for Dahlhaus and Higgins. - Mitch Cleary
The Suns have at least one, and possibly two, huge additions for Thursday night's match against Richmond. Captain David Swallow will return from concussion after missing Saturday's loss to North Melbourne, while vice-captain Sam Collins is finally expected back after an ankle injury cost him three games on the sidelines. There was no VFL game last weekend for players to press their claims.
R15 medical sub: Brayden Fiorini (unused)
Verdict: Collins and Swallow for Caleb Graham and Alex Sexton. – Michael Whiting
The Giants will be desperate to bounce back from a shock loss to Hawthorn when they take on ladder leader Melbourne. That could mean a recall for Shane Mumford who was sidelined with back soreness in round 14 and watched on again last week as young pair Matt Flynn and Kieren Briggs handled the ruck duties. The veteran ruckman has played in only one loss in his seven matches this season. The Giants midfield will be looking for a boost after a disappointing display, with second-year onball bull Tom Green in line for an immediate return to the senior side after gathering 41 disposals in the VFL. Jake Riccardi was lively in that game and kicked three goals from seven scoring shots. Stephen Coniglio and Jesse Hogan are expected to play this week but that is more likely to be at the lower level as they return from long-term injuries.
R15 medical sub: Lachie Ash (unused)
Verdict: Mumford and Green in for Briggs and Ash. Adam Kennedy to start as medical sub. - Martin Pegan
Classy forward Chad Wingard suffered a hamstring injury in the win against GWS and defender Denver Grainger-Barras' debut finished early with concussion. Grainger-Barras will definitely miss, while the extent of Wingard's injury is yet to be determined. Emerson Jeka kicked another four goals in the VFL, while Conor Nash (28 disposals) and Ollie Hanrahan (30) were among Box Hill's best.
R15 medical sub: Shaun Burgoyne (used)
Verdict: Burgoyne to push into the starting line-up for game 400 in place of Grainger-Barras, with Hanrahan in the wings if Wingard is unavailable. – Sarah Black
The time is now for Ben Brown. The Demons have been experimenting with their forward line recently, but their new recruit's five-goal haul in a VFL victory over Essendon – which also featured 14 disposals and eight marks – should be enough to see him finally return. Sam Weideman was impressive in the VFL as well, finishing with one goal from 21 disposals and 11 marks, but he may need to bide his time after recently being axed from the senior side. Tom Sparrow would appear the unlucky one set to make way for either Brown or Weideman. Nathan Jones (36 disposals, six tackles, one goal) and Jake Melksham (24 disposals, two goals) were also solid in the VFL.
R15 medical sub: Nathan Jones (unused)
Verdict: Brown to replace Sparrow. – Riley Beveridge
The Kangaroos finally have the good problem of selection headaches, with Taylor Garner set to return from an ankle injury and with Jared Polec (28 disposals) performing strongly in his VFL return from a hamstring problem on the weekend. Bailey Scott (31 disposals, seven tackles, one goal) was also solid as the Roos beat Werribee, while youngster Charlie Lazzaro (18 disposals, nine tackles) pushed for a recall as well. However, with the senior team coming off their second victory of the season, does David Noble change a winning formula? In even better news, Jed Anderson will return from a long-term ankle issue through the VFL this weekend while Tom Powell should be available having been managed last week.
R15 medical sub: Atu Bosenavulagi (unused)
Verdict: No changes from the starting 22 as the Kangaroos gain some momentum. – Riley Beveridge
Important defender Tom Clurey has been cleared to return after a broken jaw suffered in round nine and is considered likely to come back through the SANFL. But if Trent McKenzie misses this week with a sprained AC joint that will need to be monitored, he could be recalled immediately. Hamish Hartlett is also an option in defence after missing the Sydney clash in round 15 with a hip flexor complaint. Sam Mayes impressed as the medical substitute and booted the match-winning goal, pressing his claims for elevation to the 22. Ruck/forward Peter Ladhams (17 disposals and a goal in the SANFL) is available, while Riley Bonner racked up 29 touches in the SANFL .
R15 medical sub: Sam Mayes (replaced Trent McKenzie)
Verdict: Mayes for Dylan Williams, who moves to medical substitute. Hartlett for McKenzie if injured. – Nathan Schmook
After a nightmare game – both on the scoreboard and on the injury front – Noah Balta and Nathan Broad have had surgery on syndesmosis injuries. David Astbury (Achilles) will take one defensive spot, with Rhyan Mansell or possibly untried tall Ben Miller an option. Nick Vlastuin (corked quad) is in a race to be declared fit, with Sydney Stack and newly deployed half-backs Daniel Rioli and Jack Ross possible options. Riley Collier-Dawkins will be front of the queue for the hamstrung Dion Prestia's spot, while Tom Lynch's return from a knee injury should see one of Samson Ryan or Mabior Chol (battling a dislocated finger) make way.
R15 medical sub: Rhyan Mansell (used)
Verdict: Astbury, Mansell (into starting line-up), Collier-Dawkins and Lynch for Balta, Broad, Prestia and Ryan. – Sarah Black
Jack Billings should be fit to return from a knee injury that saw him pull out late against the Tigers. Late inclusion Nick Coffield injured a hamstring that will sideline him for at least a month, while medical sub Leo Connolly didn't look out of place on debut and Dan McKenzie performed strongly on return. Dean Kent impressed in the VFL in his first game in two months following concussion but will likely to need one more game to be in contention. Jack Lonie (20 disposals, two goals) responded to being dropped, while Darragh Joyce is also in the frame with James Frawley still injured.
R15 medical sub: Leo Connolly (replaced Coffield)
Verdict: Billings for Coffield with Connolly to remain sub. - Mitch Cleary
Veteran ruck-forward Callum Sinclair dominated in the VFL with 31 disposals, seven marks, 44 hitouts and a goal, and could return for his fifth match of the season to support Tom Hickey in his battle with Nic Naitanui. After a couple of dynamic displays Joel Amartey gathered only four disposals and no marks against the Power and could be the tall to make way. Small forward Sam Wicks is available after missing a week with suspension, while James Bell's position is under threat after having eight touches in 83 per cent game time. Nick Blakey was one of the best players in the VFL with 24 disposals and could move into the starting 22 if the Swans decide to omit Kaiden Brand.
R15 medical sub: Nick Blakey (unused)
Verdict: Sinclair, Wicks and Blakey into the starting 22. Amartey and Brand omitted, Bell drops to medical sub. - Martin Pegan
The Eagles will be forced into at least one change after star forward Liam Ryan was offered a one-match suspension and could well opt for more after a disappointing performance against the Western Bulldogs. There are several options at WAFL level, with Jamaine Jones (21 disposals and one goal) and Alex Witherden (25 and three inside 50s) pressing hardest. The midfield was comprehensively beaten by the Bulldogs and the accountability of Mark Hutchings is an option against the Swans. He had 26 disposals, eight clearances and a goal in the WAFL. If key defender Tom Barrass is sore, then Harry Edwards is available after a strong WAFL showing. Jarrod Brander would bring a mix of run and height if recalled, while Jackson Nelson could play a role in the midfield.
R15 medical sub: Jackson Nelson (unused)
Verdict: Jones, Witherden and Brander for Ryan, Luke Edwards and Jake Waterman. – Nathan Schmook
It will be interesting to see which way the Bulldogs go at the selection table with Ryan Gardner (shoulder) set to miss with his injury sustained in the Dogs' stirring away win over West Coast. Hayden Crozier could come straight back in as a marking backman, or they could look at Lewis Young from the VFL. It is hard to see too many unforced changes from the line-up that crunched West Coast at Optus Stadium, with Mitch Wallis, Roarke Smith and Josh Schache possibilities to break into the starting 22 and Patrick Lipinski (29 disposals) a chance after a strong VFL performance.
R15 medical sub: Mitch Wallis (used)
Verdict: Crozier in for Gardner. – Callum Twomey