AFL Rd 23 Saturday Preview

during a Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL training session at Spotless Stadium on August 8, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

We’ve almost reached the final eight stage, so we are really down to business here in both the real AFL and our fantasy leagues. Let’s look through the Saturday slate and see who’s in our line up for this week.

Ruck

Paddy Ryder ($9.4m – Port Adelaide) proved his poor Round 21 was just an aberration and almost half the owners on PlayON have forgiven him after a great showing last week. 55 hitouts showed he’s not about to wear down even this late in the season.

If you fade Ryder, one cheapie option to look at is Zac Smith ($8.0 – Geelong), who has now eclipsed the 1,000 point mark in four consecutive games. His match-up is tough, but at that value he’s worth the risk.

Another favourite of ous, Matthew Kreuzer ($11.7 – Carlton) has also been in excellent form since recovering from the concussion he suffered a few weeks ago. He’s averaged over 30 hitouts in last three contests.

Defenders

A surprising name who has started to crop up with consistent performances for a few weeks now is Trent McKenzie ($6.0 – Gold Coast), who has been one of the better defensive options for the Suns in spite of his low price.

His 1,380 point performance last week was no fluke, but rather the culmination of steady weeks of progress from a man coming back from 12 months of injury. Pair McKenzie up with a stud like Michael Hibberd ($9.4m – Melbourne) or Kade Simpson ($13.7m – Carlton) and you are good to go.

Another sleeper option is Simpson’s teammate Jacob Weitering ($7.4m), who is finishing strong, with two 1,200 point games in his last three. At just 19 years old he looks a bright one to pencil away for next season as well.

Midfielders

Dayne Beams ($13.3m – Brisbane) has been the standout on an otherwise rubbish Brisbane Lions season, and has been largely responsible for their strong surge to end the season. He’ll be determined to help them avoid the wooden spoon on Saturday against North Melbourne.

Going up against Beams will be Ben Cunnington ($8.8m), fresh off a 1,600 point game of his own. The absence of the injured Jack Ziebell will likely again lead to more work for Cunnington and more points for our fantasy teams.

There’s few players in better form than, Josh Kelly ($13.8m – Greater Western Sydney) who is really putting himself in the shop window ahead of his impending free agency. Kelly and teammate Lachie Whitfield both dominated last week, and we would expect a repeat performance this time out.

Port Adelaide’s Travis Boak ($10m) is in over 45% of line-ups after a big time performance in Rd 22. That performance looks to us like something of an outlier after 33 disposals.

Forwards

Cameron Pedersen ($7.9m – Melbourne) has two consecutive huge games the previous two weeks, and at just under $8 million still represents incredible value for fantasy owners. Pederson’s teammate Jesse Hogan returned from injury to post a big performance in Rd 22, and looks primed for another big game this week.

Another cheapie, Mason Cox ($7m – Collingwood) looks like a one hit wonder after a 1,500 point game last week that bears no resemblance to his rest of season scores. Port Adelaide’s Charlie Dixon or Carlton’s Jed Lamb look like better options at similar prices.

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