After Thursday night’s potential Grand Final preview, Friday’s fixture will likely bring you back down to earth. The Bulldogs are remaining somewhat competitive in games against the average and bad teams, but their record against the top is pathetic and Geelong have all the talent to inflict another big defeat on the home team. The loss of Jackson Macrae means they do not have a consistent ball winner in midfield and no one to link up their solid defence with their flimsy forward line. Geelong, on the other hand, are well rested and readying an assault on the Top 4.
Let’s look at the fantasy picks.
Gun: Patrick Dangerfield ($15.7m)
I’m a big believer in the best eventually turning it around. If Messi hasn’t gone a few games without a goal, I for sure will be backing him to correct that. If LeBron James has a couple of poor games shooting the ball, you best believe he’s going for 40 against Boston to break the slump. The same goes for Patrick Dangerfield, who by his best player in the game standards has had a poor season. Perhaps the bye will reignite Danger, and give him the time to get rid of any niggling injuries and provide the platform for a back half of the season where he averages 120+.
Dud: Marcus Bontempelli ($14.1m)
You’d have hoped Jack Macrae’s absence would have sparked Marcus Bontempelli into action, increasing his work load and influence and motivation to run what really should be his team. That was not the case, as the Bont struggled to a 56 for a Bulldogs side that was screaming for someone to step up. It really is sad to see what he has become, this entire team looks so shot of confidence, it is unrecognisable from the side that won the premiership only a few years ago. Luke Dahlhaus and Bontempelli the two poster boys for that. Avoid.
Point of Difference: Matthew Suckling ($13.7m)
One of the few reliable Dogs week-in-week-out, Matty Suckling is putting together a season averaging in the high 80s and the scores don’t deviate too far from there. He should have plenty of work to do too against a rampant Geelong midfield, so despite the likelihood of this being a blowout, Suckling should still find himself with plenty of chances to tackle and intercept mark. Expensive but if you’re looking for someone in the early fixtures, he’s a safe pick.
Check back soon for picks and analysis for the rest of this weekend’s AFL action. In the meantime, be sure to get your lineups in. Good luck!