ONE BYE round down, two to go. The good news is we can now bring in players fresh off their bye. The bad news is the suspension to the No.1 forward in the game… who was also the No.1 player in the game prior to his well below-par farewell match.

What about these rookies? They don't want to leave! The week before Nic Martin's bye and planned trade, he pumps 113 and fellow young star Nick Daicos took note, racking up a whopping 36 possessions on his way to 109 just as coaches were looking to offload him in the next two weeks.

THINGS WE LEARNED Melbourne has a big problem up forward

During the byes, the big boys need to stand up and there were plenty of them doing so, unfortunately a few too many dragged their feet and are certainly in the barrel leading into their week off. On a similar note, there are some fattened cash cows ready to move on as we look towards round 13.

Fantasy Pig of the week

After a couple of quiet weeks, the big fella knew what his coaches needed and he delivered. Max Gawn absolutely dominated against the Swans, playing a massive 97 per cent game time and stuffing the stat sheet with 28 possessions, nine marks, three goals and 30 hitouts for a round-high 149 - a phenomenal effort for a ruckman. Given the ease of taking a loophole captain through the byes, a few switched-on coaches took advantage of the double shot, handing the Dees skipper their vice-captain responsibilities and they were rewarded.

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Captain Max kicks a brilliant snap goal

Max Gawn snaps a great goal on the run after a clever team play

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Honourable mentions

Touk Miller celebrated his milestone game from start to finish against the Roos, racking up 32 possessions to compliment his eight tackles and five marks on his way to an impressive score of 135. He was another popular captain choice who delivered in a time of need. Darcy Cameron confirmed why the Pies' FWD/RUC is in Roy's Rollin 22 after a thumping score of 132 in a friendly match-up with the Hawks that included 26 possessions and nine marks. Meanwhile Andrew Brayshaw was at his best, racking up 39 touches, four marks and six tackles for 131 in a dominant performance against the Lions

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  1. Max Gawn RUC 149
  2. Touk Miller MID 135
  3. Darcy Cameron RUC/FWD 132
  4. Andrew Brayshaw MID 131
  5. Callum Mills MID 126
  6. Daniel Rich DEF 125
  7. Jack Macrae MID 124
  8. James Aish DEF/MID 123
  9. Rory Laird MID 122
  10. Hugh McCluggage MID 118
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Brayshaw sends crowd into frenzy with freakish finish

Andrew Brayshaw continues his staggering season with this mesmerising goal in the last

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Cash cows of the round

The best player with a starting price under $300k will be awarded the Michael Barlow Medal as the best cash cow of the year.

The votes for round 12:

5 – Nick Daicos Collingwood, DEF/MID - 109
After losing his spot at the top of the leaderboard last week, the Pies ball-magnet turned it on against the Hawks to ensure he is sitting back up the top as equal leader. He had the ball on a string and looked like he has been in the system for years, collecting 36 possessions and taking three marks. He may not be the trade-out target we thought over the next two weeks.

4 – Greg Clark West Coast, MID -  71
After three scores of 60 following a whopping 110 on debut, the mature-age Eagle can think himself lucky getting four votes for just 71. He had 11 possessions and an impressive 10 tackles.

3 – Paddy McCartin Sydney, FWD/DEF - 68
Talk about stepping up in the bye rounds. The Swans' intercept defender comfortably outscored his average from his 13 touches and six marks.

2 – Tyson Stengle Geelong, FWD - 65
Not a huge outing by the Cats' impressive recruit, but his 12 possessions and six marks were enough to move him up the leaderboard.

1 – Jason Horne-Francis North Melbourne, MID - 63
The Roos' No.1 man put in a serviceable effort for his coaches with 15 possessions, two marks, four tackles and a goal. This week or next serve as appropriate times to trade.

LEADERBOARD: Nic Martin 29, Nick Daicos 29, Tyson Stengle 15, Tristan Xerri 14, Jason Horne-Francis 9, Greg Clark 9.

Rage trades

Bailey Smith FWD/MID – How quickly things change. It was just a couple of weeks ago the Dogs hard-running midfielder was leading the competition for average and his impending FWD status made him a 'must have', given he is easily the best forward available. Well since then, he has missed a game against the Eagles and will now miss two weeks for a headbutt. Coaches can't trade him out quick enough given we basically won't see him again for a month.

Paddy McCartin FWD/DEF – There is no rage here, just gratefulness. The big Swan has been one of the great stories of the season, and he also happens to be one of the great slow-burn cash cows. The plan was always to move him on at the bye and it remains a good move. Maybe a cash grab to Blues recruit Sam Durdin if he is named to replace Jacob Weitering.

Sam de Koning DEF/FWD – In similar fashion to Paddy, it's time for the impressive Cat defender to go as part of an upgrade trade. After failing to reach 50 in the first six rounds, the star of the future has grown before our eyes, as has his value. He only dropped under 50 on one occasion in the following six rounds as his marking game increased significantly.

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