TALK about limping to the end! The bullets are flying thick and fast at the moment which makes the race for a car, a hat and a GF more interesting than ever. That doesn't mean it's not bloody annoying, however.
The big names just keep dropping. Thursday night it was Lachie Neale (MID, $696,000), giving coaches the 'you know what' with gastro, Josh Kelly (FWD/MID, $762,000) was a late out and then to rub salt into the wound Callum Mills (DEF/MID, $830,000) pulled the pin with about five minutes to spare.
If that wasn't enough, Cats superstar Patrick Dangerfield's (FWD/MID, $657,000) night ended early and as you can see, the big-name carnage has thrown a cat amongst the pigeons.
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Now, if you are anything like myself, continually peeling yourself off the canvas, some good news would be nice to help finish what we started and make it to the end of the season. Hopefully the news regarding Sam Walsh (MID, $823,000) is accurate regarding him overcoming an ankle sprain and he will be good to go, unlike my starting ruck Reilly O'Brien (RUC, $673,000) who has succumbed to a knee injury, basically bursting the good news bubble and setting up another week of forced trades.
With all this carnage, don't get caught up removing your rookies from the ground, many of us have missed that boat and you need to be content with having the likes of Lachie Bramble (FWD/MID, $470,000) or Jeremy Sharp (MID, $520,000) on the ground, especially if you get a couple of looks at that position through looping. Those boys are scoring better than a number of underperformers who you shouldn't hesitate to trade first. That is, of course, if you manage to free up at least one trade that isn't forced.
TOP FIVE PRICE RISES
- Conor Nash (FWD, $344,000) +62,000
- Rowan Marshall (RUC/FWD, $690,000) +$53,000
- Kieren Briggs (DEF/FWD, $306,000) +$51,000
- Daniel Rioli (FWD, $431,000) +$47,000
- Trey Ruscoe (FWD, $373,000) +44,000
TOP FIVE PRICE FALLS
- Patrick Dangerfield (FWD/MID, $657,000) -$62,000
- Josh Dunkley (FWD/MID, $706,000) -$60,000
- Brandon Ellis (MID, $606,000) -$55,000
- Shannon Hurn (DEF, $648,000) -$55,000
- Dylan Shiel (MID, $566,000) -$50,000
- Conor Nash (FWD, $344,000) - 15
- Josh Honey (FWD/MID, $232,000) - 12
- Max Lynch (RUC/FWD, $229,000) -11
- Cooper Sharman (FWD $222,000) -8
- Nick Bryan (RUC, $195,000) -5
- Mitch Duncan (MID, $714,000) 198
- Tom Rockliff (MID, $818,000) 187
- Josh Dunkley (FWD/MID, $657,000) 164
- Patrick Dangerfield (FWD/MID, $657,000) 154
- Shannon Hurn (DEF, $648,000) 149
Let's face it, a team isn't complete unless it has the little pig running through the midfield. His 157 this week shows why he is a 'must have' for the last two weeks of finals, as does his five-week average of 132. He doesn't come cheap but he is worth every cent and should see a spike in his 22 per cent ownership.
The Giants star looked down and out after a couple of weeks sitting forward and showing an unusual reluctance to tackle, which caused a huge dip in his scoring and price. Thanks to a couple of midfield injuries, he was back where he should be against the Cats and scored an impressive 132 which included … nine tackles.
Although he should have been selected the last two weeks, circumstance doesn't always allow it. Now although his price has increased dramatically, he still offers a heap of value and although it feels like everyone has him now, he is only owned by 15 per cent of coaches.
Also consider: Jack Steele, Touk Miller, Lachie Whitfield.
After a horrible run of form, coaches couldn't trade Cumming fast enough. As it turns out, it was premature with the defender back on kick-out duties and used much more to get some drive out of defence. He scored 116 which was his first triple-figure score since round 15.
Similar to Cumming, the Blues accumulator had been very disappointing, especially considering the notable absences from the navy backline. He appeared to turn a corner against the Suns, however, working hard to get his hands on the ball collecting 25 possessions and eight marks for 117.
In a predictable act of Fantasy cruelty right in the middle of Finals, Houston, one of the most traded-out players of the week due to a horrible run of form, decided to turn it on for 105. He certainly looked worthy of holding this week after 24 possessions, four marks and seven tackles.
Also consider: Jeremy Sharp, Lachie Bramble, Lachie Hunter.
The horrible run of luck continued for the Cats superstar this season with another injury that looks set to keep him on the sidelines. It is conceivable that he has had up to three stints in coaches' teams this year and given it is a must-win in Finals, unfortunately he has to go one more time. If he miraculously recovers and is named, of course he is a hold.
Although the inspirational leader will be required to step up in the possible absence of Sam Walsh, unfortunately he isn't pumping out the scores required for a midfield position during the finals. He converted his 22 possessions to just 67 points on the weekend which is a far cry from his best.
The star ball-winner's run of impressive high scores has dried up of late and he is now considered well below the top group of premiums. Although he is still capable of pumping out a big one on his day, there are far safer options if you have a luxury upgrade available prior to this week's Prelim.
Also consider: Jordan Ridley, Brandon Ellis, Nick Hind.