We’re finally here, and who’d have thought we’d have these two teams playing for the flag. After 23 rounds of footy and three weeks of finals, we’re left with Collingwood and West Coast.
The seemingly unbeatable Richmond Tigers were very much beatable last week, being completely overrun, outgunned, dominated and bamboozled by a Magpies side hellbent on making the Grand Final. I was suspect of the reigning premiers last week given they had played just one game in 28 days, and evidently that was what cost them as Collingwood came out of the gates with a swarming opening half that really ended the game at the major break.
Then there was the Eagles. West Coast, a team many believed to be a fraudulent contender throughout most of the season, managed to outdo even the Pies’ performance, leading an astonishing 69-6 over Melbourne at half-time. A truly unfathomable scoreline given the sentiment around these two teams. The westerns were unrelenting in their effort to condemn the Demons fans to another miserable ending to their season, yet stunningly they head into the finale as rank outsiders, despite throttling Collingwood at the G only a couple of months ago.
Weather permitting – and reportedly there may be a few light showers around – this will be an end to end, high scoring affair between two up tempo teams who have very different strengths.
Let’s look at who you should lock into your daily fantasy lineups for the big game.
Gun: Elliot Yeo ($18.5m)
I’m all in on Elliot Yeo to be the man for West Coast in this game, and to claim the Norm Smith. Yeo is the perfect combination of elite skill with physical freakishness, traits perhaps matched only by Nat Fyfe and Patrick Cripps. He has excelled in the absence of Andrew Gaff and playing on the ball, showing he can be an elite player in defence, midfield and the forward line. He has the strength to shed tackles and win contested possessions, but also the ability to distribute the ball efficiently and effectively with hand and foot. He is an elite marker of the ball, and I think he goes beyond 30 touches. He’s averaged 117 in the finals and I’m banking on him going north of that. Steele Sidebottom is the other option, for obvious reasons. His performance last week was as close to footballing perfection as it comes.
Dud: Adam Treloar ($14.4m)
I think we’re going to have to wait until next year to get the Adam Treloar back who looked like he was going to threaten for the Brownlow. Treloar very clearly is not 100% and is unable to influence games with his run which makes him the elite game breaker he is. He’s barely broke 70 these finals, he’s struggling to find the ball and Collingwood simply are looking to the plethora of other midfield options they have instead of their young star. He will be a gun for years and years to come, and someone who will be integral to your plans next season, but he’s one to avoid in the final game of the year.
Point of Difference: Tom Phillips ($14.6m)
Tom Phillips has emerged not only as a strong and consistent fantasy player, but also a key part of the Collingwood build up play. The Pies love to go full throttle through quickly ball into the corridor and into their versatile forward line led by Jordan De Goey, and Phillips is crucial to the early stages of that. Phillips is often entrusted with the second possession coming out of their own end, particularly down the left flank where he links up with the aforementioned De Goey and Steele Sidebottom. Phillips is a consistent source of disposals and uses the ball very efficiently, so the risk is low. He was impressive while not outstanding last week, proving a safe outlet for the Magpies backline that many thought would struggle to deal with the Richmond pressure. He’s an unsexy midfield pick, but he just might be a winning one as he slips under the radar amongst his higher profile teammates.
That’s all for this season’s daily fantasy AFL picks, now be sure to get your lineups in.