West Coast will face off against Melbourne in a Friday night blockbuster from Optus Stadium to open up Round 9 in the AFL.
After a rough start to the season, Melbourne looked to have found some form, winning their last two games in row over the Hawks and Suns, but they’ll face arguably their toughest test of the season to date when they travel West to take on the reigning premiers.
The Eagles captured a good win over the Saints at Marvel Stadium in Round 8 to move into the top eight and will be looking to consolidate their position on Friday night.
PlayON have fantastic tournaments on offer for the Friday night clash between the Eagles and Demons including a guaranteed $500 tournament for just an $11 entry fee. We take a look at some of the players to target and avoid in the Friday night game below.
Gun for hire – Andrew Gaff ($16.3m)
Hard to look past Andrew Gaff as the standout player for the Friday night slate. After missing the first two weeks of the season through suspension, Gaff didn’t miss a beat stepping into the Eagles side in Round 3. He hasn’t had under 29 disposals in any of his six games this season and is averaging 114.8 fantasy points per game.
Gaff averages a monster 33 touches per game so far in the 2019 season as well as six marks and in his last seven games against the Demons, averages 28 touches per game.
Dud to avoid – Josh Kennedy ($9.9m)
Josh Kennedy hasn’t been his usual dynamic self throughout the first few months of the 2019 season. While he is yet to be held goalless in a game, kicking 14 through his seven games, it’s his disposal and mark numbers that have taken a real hit. He is averaging just 8.9 disposals and 4.4 marks per game compared to his career best year of 13.3 disposals and 6.7 marks per game back in 2015.
It might be that Kennedy is playing closer to goal that his numbers have dipped. While he could snag a few against the undermanned Melbourne defence, we think the disposal and marks numbers are a worrying trend.
Point of difference – Oscar Allen ($7.5m)
One Eagle who has stepped up this season is youngster Oscar Allen. The talented young forward is improving week by week as a third-string in the Eagles forward line or as a backup ruckmen. Last week was his best match so far with 13 disposals, 5 marks, 2 goals and 6 hitouts for 80 fantasy points. Those don’t sound like enormous numbers but at a price of just $7.5m, that’s some serious value if he can replicate those numbers this week against a weak Melbourne backline. Allen also comes into play if the Eagles only take one ruckman into the game as he’ll also pick up a couple of handy hitout stats. Worth considering!
Check back soon for the rest of our Round 9 picks and previews – but first head to the Lobby and lock in your lineup.