WELL, there were plenty of bullets to round out the last of the bye rounds and I think I copped every one of them! Can't say I didn't deserve the Preuss one however, that was like sticking my head down the barrel of a loaded cannon and the big fella didn't disappoint, managing to injure himself and cop a suspension all in 10 minutes!
For many coaches, it's time to lick the wounds and assess the damage. Hopefully you had a bit of luck with injuries and come out of the byes with a well-balanced team ready to luxury-upgrade your way to the finish line. For injury-ravaged teams like mine, we need to soldier on, one injury/suspension/spud at a time.
Fantasy Pig of the week
The frontrunner of all current un-snouted players reminded us of his ceiling against the Giants. In a week of need for many coaches, Jack Macrae looked hungry and stepped up his defensive pressure accordingly with a season-high nine tackles to go with 37 possessions and a goal for a score of 148 – his best for the year. He has really turned it up a notch the last two games, recording eight and nine tackles which makes it no coincidence he is averaging 136 in that time. If you don't have the star Dog, he needs to be a priority for the run home.
Toby Greene announced he is fully back with a massive game against the Dogs. He topped off his solid three-week block of form with a season-high 134 which included seven goals. He spent a whopping 98 per cent of the game on the ground and took an impressive six marks. The ever-reliable superstar defender Sam Docherty was at it again, working overtime to keep his Blues in the game against the Tigers with 31 possessions, eleven marks and 129 points. Cam Guthrie wasn't far behind, taking complete advantage of his match-up with the Eagles, laying an impressive 13 tackles in his equal season-high 126.
TOP ROUND SCORERS
1. Jack Macrae MID 148
2. Toby Greene FWD 134
3. Sam Docherty DEF 129
4. Cam Guthrie MID 126
5. Mason Redman DEF 129
6. Rory Laird MID 124
7. Jordan Dawson DEF/MID 118
8. Karl Amon MID 117
9. Callum Mills MID 116
10. Jade Gresham FWD/MID 116
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:
5 – Tyson Stengle Geelong, FWD – 81
The Cats recruit continued to impress in new colours, with another stellar contribution. He enjoyed the match-up out west for 15 disposals and three goals to receive his first five-voter!
4 – Jake Soligo Adelaide, MID - 78
The hard-working Crow outdid a number of midfield premiums this week with 20 possessions, five marks and three tackles.
4 – Ben Hobbs Essendon, MID/FWD - 78
The well-built youngster backed up his three votes from last week with another three-voter to continue his charge up the leader board. His 22 touches ensured his third score over 70 in a row.
2 – Nic Martin Essendon, FWD/MID - 75
Another solid performance from the hard-running Bomber sees him edge within two votes of Nick Daicos as we gear up for the run home and race for the Barlow Medal.
2 – Patrick Parnell Adelaide, DEF - 75
The baby-faced Crow had a massive first half before copping a heavy knock at the end of the first half. He bravely returned and finished on a respectable 75.
LEADERBOARD: Nick Daicos 34, Nic Martin 32, Tyson Stengle 20, Tristan Xerri 18, Ben Hobbs 12 Jason Horne-Francis 9, Greg Clark 9.
Braydon Preuss GWS, RUC
Bringing in the big Giant was always fraught with danger given his issues with illness, suspension and injury but the value was there given his solo ruck duties and undeniable form when on the park. Well… in about 10 minutes of game time he showed a great ability to score, before giving away a free kick that eventually resulted in a week suspension at the MRO, while giving away another free kick and copping an injury that ruled him out of the game. Suspension and injury… Two out of three wasn't bad and it basically sums up the big fella for his owners.
Zak Butters Port Adelaide, FWD/MID
Despite being traded out by a number of coaches last week, many held faith and gave Butters one more week to prove his worth for the run home. He started the game on fire, rewarding those who held, comfortably leading the scoring in the game before copping a knock to the knee and subbing out early in the second quarter. He has to go now.
Jake Lloyd Sydney, DEF
The star Swan has been well down on what we have become accustomed to over the years, but this was next level. In 80 per cent game time, the former ball magnet managed just 18 possessions with and almost unrecognisable two marks for a season-low 48.