Round 13 continues through the weekend, but Saturday’s and Sunday’s depleted slates take on a very different look. Saturday sees a bunch of the league’s worst facing off, while Sunday has a standalone blockbuster. These bye weeks can be tough, force you to spend time with the family, get off the couch and do something with your day.
There are still thousands in guaranteed cash prizes to be won at PlayON though, so let’s look at picks from each game.
Carlton v. Fremantle
Nat Fyfe returns for the Dockers to add a bit more spice to a game that really has no relevance as far as the finals go. Carlton really should be better than they are and it’s frustrating to see this bevy of young talent struggling to consistently put a full game together. Despite it being a battle between two of the league’s worst, there are plenty of relevant fantasy players taking part.
Gun: Ed Curnow ($16.4m)
Fourth in scoring, a near 120 average and pulling all the strings for his team, Ed Curnow is legit. He’s the most reliable scorer Carlton have had this year, which is saying something given Patrick Cripps and Kade Simpson are on his team. He’s a great pick every week.
Dud: Lachie Neal ($16.1m)
Similarly priced to Curnow but averaging nearly 20 points less. That still has him with a triple figures benchmark, but the return of Nat Fyfe should see his usage dip a little bit and he will have his hands full dealing with the aforementioned opposition.
Point of Difference: Connor Blakely ($14.7m)
The forgotten man in the Fremantle midfield, but Connor Blakely has consistently performed this year, with a strong 90 average. The youngster gets plenty of run forward and has really improved as the season progressed. HIs 111 last week showed he can go big. Fyfe returning might hurt that score though.
Gold Coast Suns v. St Kilda
Woof. Honestly, let’s not waste either of our time and just keep over this match. One player scrapes into the top 30 of these two teams combined, and two more jump in if you go top 50. There is nothing to see here from a footy standpoint, nothing surely from a gambling standpoint and nothing from a fantasy standpoint.
Hawthorn v. Adelaide
This is better. Hawthorn are still yet to unveil who they are, which in fact may be the best way to look at them. Adelaide on the other hand have been a huge disappointment this year, and it cannot be sitting well with them that their noisy neighbours are starting to perk up. I’m expecting a big performance from Adelaide and their stars here.
Gun: Rory Laird ($16.5m)
I can see Rory Laird given plenty of time in midfield for this one as the Crows look to spark a season that is just starting to slip away from them. Laird is the best defender in the game not named Alex Rance and has all the skills to be the best midfielder in the game not named Patrick Dangerfield.
Dud: Any Hawthorn player
Isaac Smith is their highest scorer not named Tom Mitchell, and he (and Mitchell) may be the only Hawthorn player that you should even think about. They are a very irrelevant team as far as fantasy goes, and even Mitchell’s mind-blowing scores have dried up recently. They’re hard to watch at times and often hard to follow for fantasy players.
Point of Difference: Sam Gibson ($9.4m)
Sam Gibson costs just $9.4m and is averaging 89. His scores haven’t fluctuated too far away from that mark either. A top line under-the-radar pick on a team that should be able to get plenty of run on the big MCG pitch.
Geelong v. Richmond
This is a cracker. Sydney’s showdown with West Coast on Friday night takes the top billing for Round 13, but this one isn’t far behind. Dustin Martin returns to face off against the superstar Geelong midfield, Alex Rance and Tom Stewart take the field together as the two standout All-Australian fullbacks and top 4 places are on the line.
Gun: Gary Ablett ($16.6m)
The little master has found his role in this team and has been absolutely unstoppable in recent weeks. He looks to be the fittest and healthiest he’s been in years and is thriving with the space of playing alongside Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield. His near 140 last week was incredible. Ride the wave.
Dud: Shaun Grigg ($11.8m)
Shaun Grigg has certainly cooled off after a brilliant start to the season and has not been able to play his best footy alongside the indifferent form of superstar Dustin Martin. His average has dipped below 80 and his scores are consistently sitting closer to 70. Coming up against this Geelong midfield I can’t see how that changes.
Point of Difference: Mitch Duncan ($15.5m)
The forgotten man when it comes to Geelong but Mitch Duncan is as important to them as anyone and he is a very strong fantasy player. An average over 100 and his game means he doesn’t usually waver too far from that. There will be plenty of contested possessions and tackles for Duncan to make in this one, and he’s a good option if you’re looking to save a million on one of the bigger names.
That’s all for this week’s picks, so now be sure to get your lineups in. Good luck!