Jarrod Berry, Jeremy Cameron, Steele Sidebottom. Pictures: AFL Photos

WHO IS a chance to play in round 18?

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 R18 ins and outs. Check it out.

The Crows' stability will be tested after a disappointing loss to Essendon that could prompt multiple unforced changes. Key defender Jordon Butts is expected to return after a stint in concussion protocols, restoring the backline balance. From there, it is midfielder Harry Schoenberg who is pushing hardest for selection after playing as the substitute against Essendon and racking up nine disposals in just over a quarter. Forward Shane McAdam booted three goals in the SANFL and is on the cusp, while young midfielder Sam Berry (31 disposals, seven inside 50s and a goal) produced a terrific performance, bringing his usual midfield grunt while also spending more time forward. – Nathan Schmook 

R17 sub: Harry Schoenberg (replaced Jake Soligo)


Another week with some tough decisions for Chris Fagan ahead of playing Melbourne at the MCG on Friday night. Josh Dunkley missed the win over West Coast with a calf problem and is in serious doubt to miss again, but is still an outside chance of regaining his place. Jarrod Berry (hamstring) is a stronger possibility of returning, while Lincoln McCarthy is available after serving a one-match suspension. Callum Ah Chee is also back from a concussion. Deven Robertson and Jaspa Fletcher have been terrific in recent weeks, but finding room for everyone is an impossible task. – Michael Whiting

R17 sub: Kai Lohmann (replaced Dayne Zorko)


The Blues could lose Matt Kennedy (knee) for the rest of the season, though will breathe a sigh of relief given he's avoided an ACL injury. Last week's sub, George Hewett, should be his replacement ahead of Saturday's game with the Power but Paddy Dow (concussion) could also be a chance after recovering from the AFL's 12-day protocols. Mitch McGovern (thigh) suffered a corkie and will be put through a fitness test later this week. Caleb Marchbank (23 disposals, seven marks) impressed at VFL level and will be on standby if he doesn't get up. Ruck duo Tom De Koning (knee) and Marc Pittonet (knee) will also face fitness tests, while Corey Durdin (knee) and Zac Fisher (hamstring) are a chance to return at some level. Jaxon Binns (33 disposals, one goal) and Jesse Motlop (25 disposals, one goal) were among the best in the VFL, while Ollie Hollands (23 disposals, five tackles) made his comeback from a collarbone injury in the reserves. – Riley Beveridge

R17 sub: George Hewett (replaced Matt Kennedy)


Craig McRae is hopeful of regaining Brayden Maynard and Steele Sidebottom for Saturday's game against Fremantle at the MCG. Dan McStay made a low-key return in the VFL in his first game since round five last weekend, but could be considered with Brody Mihocek ruled out for a second week with a hamstring issue. Fin Macrae has been in the squad for much of the season without getting a look in and put his hand up again with 38 touches in the VFL last Friday. Harvey Harrison kicked three goals against Footscray, while Josh Carmichael was strong with 25 disposals and Jack Ginnivan kicked a couple of goals at Avalon Airport Oval. Jakob Ryan was the carryover emergency last weekend and didn't play at any level. The Magpies will need to replace Will Hoskin-Elliott (hand). – Josh Gabelich

R17 sub: Trent Bianco (replaced Will Hoskin-Elliott)


The Bombers have some selection headaches ahead of a trip to Geelong on Saturday night. Gun defender Jordan Ridley was cleared of a serious knee injury and is an outside chance to face the Cats, but that seems more unlikely than likely, making Kaine Baldwin an option if fit following an ankle injury, while Nik Cox could also be considered. With Sam Draper (hip) also unlikely to play and Andrew Phillips suspendedNick Bryan seems certain to come in as the solo ruck at GMHBA Stadium. Essendon had a bye in the VFL, but the strong win, and performance, in the win over Adelaide means it is unlikely to make unforced changes. Dylan Shiel started as the sub again, while Will Snelling (10 disposals) was relatively quiet and Sam Weideman (six disposals) was held goalless for the sixth straight game but did kick five goals against Geelong in round seven. – Dejan Kalinic

R17 sub: Dylan Shiel (replaced Jordan Ridley)


The Dockers want to reward WAFL form and have options this week after a deflating loss to Carlton. Half-back Corey Wagner (24 disposals for Peel Thunder) looms as a rebounding option off half-back or even a winger, while mid-season recruit Ethan Stanley (18 and two goals) is a wildcard after impressing in his short time at the club. The Dockers will be forced to adjust their midfield set-up after star vice-captain Caleb Serong was suspended. Moving James Aish into the middle to help cover Serong's role and utilising Wagner or Stanley on a wing could be an option for Justin Longmuir.  Key defender Joel Hamling is available and could play his first game this season after Brennan Cox was ruled out this week with an ankle injury. Forwards Sam Sturt and Bailey Banfield were both emergencies against the Blues and have been called on regularly this year. – Nathan Schmook

R17 sub: Karl Worner (replaced Matthew Johnson) 


Geelong could regain Jeremy Cameron for Saturday night's big game against Essendon after the Coleman Medallist missed a second game on Sunday due to concussion. Isaac Smith was managed against North Melbourne. Sam Menegola was included in the 26-man squad on the weekend but played VFL and finished with 20 touches. Jed Bews and Jake Kolodjashnij both missed the win over the Kangaroos due to injury. Mitch Knevitt was solid in the loss to North Melbourne's reserves at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday night. – Josh Gabelich

R17 sub: Ollie Dempsey (replaced Mark Blicavs)


Having an interim coach in Steven King throws up any number of possibilities – does he stick with the regulars or mix things up to play St Kilda following defeats to Collingwood and Port Adelaide? Wingmen Jeremy Sharp (39 disposals) and Elijah Hollands (27 and a goal) excelled in the VFL at the weekend, while Alex Davies and Mal Rosas jnr could also be considered. Ben Long, after being dropped to play Port, and Sean Lemmens are also options to consider for the backline. – Michael Whiting

R17 sub: Jy Farrar (replaced Ben King)


The Giants will lose Lachie Keeffe (hamstring) and Nick Haynes (suspension) for Saturday night's clash with the Crows, giving coach Adam Kingsley a decision to make down back. Phil Davis (21 disposals, eight marks) impressed at VFL level, while Leek Aleer (18 disposals, seven marks) was another standout. The club is confident Brent Daniels (hamstring) will finally return, but Xavier O'Halloran (thumb) is no certainty to play again this season. Young forwards Wade Derksen (13 disposals, four goals), Max Gruzewski (nine marks, four goals) and Aaron Cadman (15 disposals, two goals) impressed at reserves level over the weekend. – Riley Beveridge

R17 sub: Nick Haynes (replaced Lachie Keeffe)


James Sicily is back after serving his three-game suspension for a dangerous tackle. James Blanck is out after entering concussion protocols. Luke Breust could return this weekend after missing the trip to face Greater Western Sydney due to a badly bruised throat. Sam Mitchell has some youth pushing to play. Ned Long collected 31 touches and six clearances for Box Hill on Saturday, while Henry Hustwaite is pushing for a debut after gathering 26 disposals and seven clearances against GWS' reserves. Lloyd Meek went back to the VFL and finished with 31 hitouts, 18 disposals and a goal against Matt Flynn. Cam Mackenzie was solid while mid-season pick Brandon Ryan produced his best game yet for Box Hill by slotting 4.0 after kicking 0.6 last week. – Josh Gabelich

R17 sub: Harry Morrison (replaced Jarman Impey)


With Harrison Petty (ribs) cleared to play, the Demons have no fresh injury concerns and could go in unchanged for their crunch match against Brisbane on Friday night. Coach Simon Goodwin flagged that out-of-form livewire Kysaiah Pickett might spend more time in the midfield in an attempt to regain some of his explosive form, while Christian Petracca might have found himself a part-time home up forward after his four-goal outing. The Demons finally found their groove in attack against the Saints, but Josh Schache (four goals, eight marks) or Jacob van Rooyen (one goal) could come into consideration for a recall should the Demons still want to tinker with their forward line mix. James Harmes (27 disposals, six clearances), Adam Tomlinson (27 disposals, nine marks) and Kade Chandler (19, five clearances) could also be considered after performing strongly in the VFL. – Alison O'Connor

R17 sub: Joel Smith (replaced Harrison Petty)


The Kangaroos have suffered another bitter blow, with key defender Griffin Logue (knee) to miss the next 10-12 months after he ruptured his ACL last weekend. Jy Simpkin has entered the AFL's concussion protocols for the second time in six weeks. He will definitely miss Sunday's clash with the Hawks, and perhaps longer with the club to take a cautious approach to his return. George Wardlaw (illness) and Liam Shiels (calf) are both likely to feature this week, but Tom Powell (knee) is still around a fortnight away. Will Phillips (30 disposals, eight tackles) and Ben Cunnington (26 disposals, six marks) were standouts at VFL level playing through the midfield. Last week's sub Jack Ziebell, as well as Josh Goater (23 disposals, eight marks) and Kallan Dawson (19 disposals, seven marks), could put their hands up for selection in the backline. Mid-season recruit Robert Hansen jnr (nine disposals, four goals) had his best game since arriving at reserves level.

R17 sub: Jack Ziebell (replaced Griffin Logue)


A couple of key-position players could come under consideration for Port this week as they prepare for a trip to Marvel Stadium to play in-form Carlton. After missing wins over Essendon and Gold Coast in the past fortnight, ruckman Scott Lycett (knee) is a chance to regain his spot to strengthen Ken Hinkley's midfield. Captain Tom Jonas is also in line to play his first AFL game since round 10 as cover for injured Trent McKenzie. Wingman Xavier Duursma has also impressed in two SANFL games after overcoming a knee injury. – Michael Whiting

R17 sub: Quinton Narkle (replaced Trent McKenzie)

Tom Jonas leads the team out ahead of the R9 match between Port Adelaide and North Melbourne at Blundstone Arena on May 13, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Ivan Soldo is set for just his second AFL game this year after missing most of the season with a plantar fasciitis issue, replacing the suspended Toby Nankervis in the ruck. Rhyan Mansell is available for selection after his own three-match ban, while there's a spot forward on offer after Jacob Bauer's hamstring injury. Jack Ross played so well on the wing after coming on as sub, there's a chance the Tigers will persist with Marlion Pickett in attack, or bring in Mansell or Noah Cumberland. The other asterisk is on whether the Tigers will rest Jack Riewoldt (with Samson Ryan in the wings) or Trent Cotchin for the trip to Perth to face West Coast. – Sarah Black

R17 sub: Jack Ross (replaced Jacob Bauer)


St Kilda copped three more injuries on the weekend, losing Max King, Seb Ross and Zaine Cordy on Saturday night. Bradley Hill is a chance to return after hurting his knee against West Coast, along with Josh Battle who will need to exit concussion protocols this week to be available. Hunter Clark has missed the past couple of months but made a successful return for Sandringham, finishing with 26 disposals to put his hand up for a senior recall. Jack Hayes got through his first game since tearing his ACL in round six last year and looms as a senior option in the closing months of the season. Jack Bytel continued his strong season in the VFL with 30 disposals and 10 tackles against Casey. – Josh Gabelich

R17 sub: Ryan Byrnes (replaced Max King)


The selection squeeze is on at the Swans, who lose Jake Lloyd (concussion) from the loss to Richmond, while gun midfielder Chad Warner (calf) will miss at least another week. Joel Amartey is available again after being managed last week, Sam Wicks roared back into contention with four goals and 24 possessions in the VFL and Matt Roberts made a successful return from injury in the twos. Ryan Clarke and Dylan Stephens both topped 30 disposals in the VFL, but that might not be enough to win their spots back. - Martin Smith

R17 sub: Aaron Francis (replaced Jake Lloyd)


With the return of more senior players and a handful of others coming off the injury list, there will finally be decisions for the Eagles to make at selection this week. Captain Luke Shuey and veteran defender Shannon Hurn are both expected to face Richmond after being managed for the trip to Brisbane. Premiership defender Tom Cole is also in the mix for elevation after being eased back from a serious ankle injury as the substitute. Up to six AFL players are expected to feature in the Eagles' WAFL team this week, bringing relief after weeks of low availability. – Nathan Schmook  

R17 sub: Tom Cole (replaced Jeremy McGovern) 

Shannon Hurn and Luke Shuey lead out the Eagles in 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

Ryan Gardner is pushing to be available after spraining his ankle against Collingwood last Friday night. Sam Darcy is in the hunt to return for the first time since round two after two strong performances in the VFL. The 2021 No.2 pick starred for Footscray last Friday, finishing with four goals from 21 disposals, 15 hitouts and 11 marks. Buku Khamis was in the 26-man squad against the Magpies and finished with 2.5 in the VFL. Jordon Sweet dominated in the ruck again, while Riley Garcia gathered 26 disposals and seven clearances at Avalon Airport Oval. Luke Clear and Oskar Baker both made an impact in the VFL side's 20-point win. – Josh Gabelich

R17 sub: Tony Scott (replaced James O’Donnell)