AFL Rd 16 Sunday Preview

Ahead of Sunday’s Daily Fantasy Contests, we preview each match to see who should be in your PlayON teams.

 

North Melbourne v Freemantle

Two sides desperately in need of a win to drag up a few rungs on the ladder face off in Sunday’s opener. Both teams have taken several tonkings on the trot, with Freemantle having lost five straight and North Melbourne four. Someone will be breaking that trend this weekend.

The early season contest was sneaked by Freemantle in a low scoring contest that saw just 18 goals kicked. That game was dominated by Aaron Sandilands, who produced over 50 hitouts on his own. He’ll miss this clash however, after suffering a season ending hammy in week 15.

His absence will thrust promising talent Sean Darcy in the spotlight who will face off against the experienced Todd Goldstein. Darcy has equitted himself very well this year, and his $6.3m price represents an absolute steal this week. Think long and hard before leaving him out this week.

Lachie Neal is obviously the big name in midfield, but his price is prohibitive and he hasnt always quite lived up to it this season. Teammate Bradley Hill has a better trend of producing value for money to fantasy owners.

Up front, whoever dominates their opposite number more between Shaun Higgins and Michael Walters could carry the day in what seems likely to be a close affair. Walters is coming off a six goal performance in round 15 which makes him tough to ignore.

Carlton v Melbourne

Ordinatilly you would chalk this one up as a dolly for Melbourne but the absence through injury of Nathan Jones and Jack Viney means Carlton will give themselves some hope of pulling off the upset here.

Despite Sam Docherty’s seemingly endless brilliance Carlton have done very little of substance this season, but they have won two of their last four, after just three from their first ten matches.

Docherty is a borderline must have in your fantasy teams each week, and fellow defender Kade Simpson has helped him marshall a relatively sound backline.

Up front is where they really struggle, but they couldn’t be playing their opponents at a better time given all of the injury struggles Melbourne are having, with Jack Watts also set to miss this game.

One man no longer injured is ruckman Max Gawn who hasnt missed a step since returning to the pitch. He’ll look to dominate opposite man Matthew Kreuzer in a match up that could decide the day.

Others to look out for in this one are Marc Murphy, who has been dominant in midfield for Carlton at times this season and Jesse Hogan who will be picking up the slack for the Melbourne attack in Watts absence.

West Coast Eagles v Port Adelaide

Port Adelaide are developing something of a reputation as a flat track bully as they boast the same number of wins and losses as this week’s opponents despite a points differential that is superior by over 300.

This anomoly comes from the fact that they have lost close encounters with almost all of the sides around and above them, something that doesnt bode well for this week’s game agains the Eagles, who won the first encounter 97-87. Port Adelaide need to find the form they’ve showed when dismantling the weaker sides this season, if they want to avoid another defeat. None more so than Robbie Gray, who was shut out in that game, but is currently ranked first among forwards in official AFL’s rating system.

In addition to Gray, Justin Westhoff needs to produce against a fellow top eight side in order to justify his standing as a regular for fantasy owners.

Both sides can boast relatively strong health ahead of this one, with Josh Kennedy’s potential return a particular boost for the Eagles.

In midfield Andrew Gaff has made himself one of PlayON’s most popular players with a string of consistent high point performances. He features in almost 40% of line ups for Sunday’s contests. Going up against Gaff is youngster Sam Powell-Pepper who has acquited himself well enough to be considered the AFL’s number on rookie this season. His low price of $7.4 m makes him intriguing to say the least.

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