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Get Off The Bench: Round 8

And we all thought the end of the multi bye rounds would make it easier to score big with simple choices. However, the DT gods were against us as usual, but it was our premiums that let us down, on the other hand some of our Fringe players came up with the nice scores. Not only that, we have some injuries to contend with after Grimes, Curnow and Harris are all out of their teams this week. Lets have a look at this week….

We got some fresh meat last week and a lot of us broke the rules and traded them in before they had played a game, I am talking about Paul Puopolo and Isaac Smith.  They were outstanding in their first game on Friday night against the Power, they took to the big time like a first year Uni student takes to Tequila.  This week we will be without two of the more popular picks in the rookie market Ed Curnow and Nick Duigan as they put the feet up and have a bit of a rest however, Ed’s rest is a little longer than most of us would like now that he is out for up to 6 weeks.  This doesn’t mean we will be caught short though!

As I mentioned last week I am no longer going to review guys that are going to be certain starters for you every week (unless you have 22 guns).  This will be players like Heppell at the moment, but that list will grow as we move forward during the season.  However, with these guys dropping out of this column we have some new guys coming in as we get General Soreness and Poor Form taking an effect on some of our mid range players.  With Curnow out now we may need to consider him in this arena until he gets back to his stunning best (which hopefully is in his first week back).


Interestingly this week our fringe defenders only managed 2 vests between them all this week with Jesse O’Brien and Josh Toy both donning the Green, however this didn’t really have an impact for Toy as he was thrust into the battle fairly early when Gorringe went down with a dodgy hammy.  However, he has made sure he won’t get the vest this week with him being dropped!  O’Brien didn’t have as long on the ground coming on in the 3rd when Raines was asking if anyone got the number of the bus that hit him.  And he didn’t do much with the time he had on the ground only managing to scrape together about 15 points.  With his last couple of weeks being a bit of a slide from his heights from rounds 2 and 3 I am starting to worry about this guy.   Although is Job security should be ok given they don’t have much else up there in Brisbane at the moment.

Adelaide pair of B Smith and L Thompson both struggled a bit last week but then again so did their entire side so their scores in the mid 50’s were not too shabby.  I like both of these guys and think that their job security is fairly safe given that Craigy doesn’t like to make too many changes and he needs to develop this batch of youngsters.  I can see both of these boys doing fairly well against the Suns this week and would expect both of them back in the 70’s.  Brisbane uncovered another dude covered in Tatts this week (what the hell is going on up there, is it a tattoo led financial recovery?) in Bryce Retzlaff.  He did ok in his first outing scoring a 46 and getting forward on occasions.  He is a Fwd / Def and is only owned by 2,588 people of whom I would suggest some were autopick teams and others were Bris supporters.  However, keep an eye on him, he may become useful down the track as a cheap downgrade.

Hibberd missed out on a game last week, but don’t write this guy off.  If he makes the team this week he will be a good bet with his 68 in his first game.  Nick Lower has been very good but did only get a 55 in his outing against the Tigers.  However, given the derby is on this week I would expect a tight game so there could be some chipping around in the back lines and he could pick up some cheap possessions. 

Nathan Krakouer made a comeback to the Suns side last week and scored a few goals which boosted his score up to 105, however, his only other two games this year saw him subbed out with scores under 30.  Teammate Danny Stanley he has been very steady this year with scores in the 60’s and 70’s.  I can’t see this changing in the near future as he is playing more off of a half forward flank and the better the Suns get the more he will see of the ball. 

Paul Puopolo made his debut for the Hawks and scored a tidy 62.  He was much better in the first half and slowed in the second, however, I think that was more due to the Hawks gaining control in the second half and him seeing less of the ball.  He certainly didn’t look out of place and should be a good bet going forward.  Jake Batchelor pulled out a big one against Freo with an 83, but his form before that was a little inconsistent as he had a 31 the week before.  So I don’t know how safe he is to play each week.  Dylan Grimes has had a solid run in the 40’s and 50’s.  Good scores, but there are better choices.

Jamie Cripps played his second game and had his second score in the 30’s.  Better options exist.  Nick Smith from Sydney sunk me in a league game last week since I underestimated him, but he had a nice 87, that was his 3rd score in the 80’s.  I have certainly started to take notice of this guy and he is a good option.  Mark Niscoski has put in back to back 90’s now and with the form the Eagles are in, he certainly wouldn’t be the worst choice!  Lastly, Lukas Markovic has come back to earth after his 62 with a 31 and this is about the range of scoring that I would expect to see from him.


Matthew Wright from the Crows has been very good in his two non-vested games.  He has scored a 60 and a 54 and looks a player.  I think that with the injuries and poor form that the Crows have at the moment then I think his job security is quite good.  Andrew Krakouer made a fool of us with his 113 in his last outing after turning in some crap scores over the previous 3 games.  I just don’t know what to make of him, I don’t know if I would trust him.  He has the ability, but he may not have the consistency.

Stewart Crameri continued on his merry way with another 89 points this week.  This was his 4th best score after 3 tons.  Play this boy!  Daniel Harris is OUT so don’t put him on the ground.  Sam Iles played his third and had a 65 after his best of 74.  He is going to be a star of the future, he is a good player and seems to have locked up a place in this lineup.  Trent McKenzie has popped up with some great scores, he has scores between 58 and a pair of 82’s.  He has a great leg on him and penetrates deep into the 50 so look for him to kick some long goals.  David Swallow rounds out the Suns Mid’s.  He has stalled in his improvement but is still doing a great job for a youngster in his first season.  He has settled in the upper 70’s and low 80’s over the last few weeks.  A very safe bet to keep his spot for a while and will score in the 80’s going forward I think.

Isaac Smith made his debut against the Power and found some form in the second half which included slotting the sherrin through the big sticks.  That will always get some nice points, and he did that to get an 89.  He has DPP to allow him to play up forward as well. 

Well stuff me, I reckon Gysberts must read this article since he went out and got a tidy 90 points to show how inconsistent he is!  However, it was against a Crows team who was a bit of a rabble on Sunday so I wouldn’t read too much into it.  In a similar vein to Swallow, Shaun Atley has been sitting in the 60’s and low 70’s.  Two more like this are Reece Conca and Jasper Pittard.  These guys all are fairly safe bets and are a bit of a toss of the coin to see who you would put on the ground. 

Andrew Gaff has been named this week and Woosha has promised that he will play the full game this week after a full game in the twos last week.  So I am eager to see how he will go as I rate this kid.

Thomas Liberatore and Mitch Wallis have both shown they know how to get the ball yet Mitch hasn’t scored as well with a Non Vested 39 in his last outing.  Both of these guys have been named on the extended bench so check on Friday after final teams to see which one makes the side.


The guy that is looking like he will drop out of this analysis shortly will be Jack Darling.  He has been on fire all season and I can’t see him slowing down in a hurry.  This guy is now one of the players that I will be keeping as my last forward for the rest of the year.  He is averaging 77 and that is acceptable for that last position on the ground.

Shaun McKernan didn’t suffer as much as his Crows teammates as he kept a steady 44 last week which matches his average scores in the 40’s and 50’s.  Until I see something different from the Crows I can’t see his score fluctuating wildly.  Someone that has fluctuated from their opening games is Jesse O’Brien, he suffered at the hand of the Green Vest last week and scored only 15 points.  I just don’t trust this bloke at the moment, he isn’t consistent enough.  Speaking of consistent though, Kyle Hardingham continues his trend  He scored a season high 88 last week which backed up his previous best of 76 the week before.  This guy was priced at $205k at the start of the season and would have been a better pick up than Jack Watts who I am sure a large number of people went with.

Jayden Pitt continues to disappoint me, his 37 last week in a full game is just not good enough.  Particularly when he has had a 76 and 87 this season.  His BE is now fairly high and as a result I think some teams will be looking to trade him out.  Daniel Menzel is an interesting one, I didn’t pay much attention to him earlier in the year but he has had 38, 89, 72, 28, greenvested 46 and a 64 so far this year.  For a guy in the Cats lineup that has so many stars in it, that isn’t a bad effort.  If you have him, well done and certainly consider him for a spot on the ground.

On to the Gold Coast Suns and our first name here is Thomas Lynch, he made his debut last week and scored a very handy 95!  He looked a player too, certainly not lost like one certain teammate of his.  If he has a game like that against Adelaide this week, I think he will be a downgrade target for sure with a  price of $120k.  Brandon Matera hasn’t reached the high that he did against the Power, but he has been serviceable and handed in a nice 59 last week to keep his price rising.  He seems to be tracking along ok and won’t hurt your scores if you play him.  Personally he will be my forward line sub this week I think.  Liam Patrick is another guy I didn’t know too much about, but he has scored a 79 last week after a greenvested 21 the week before, this kid also looked good out on the field and should only get better so if you are one of the 3,195 coaches that have him, he may be worth the punt this week.

Speaking of guys worth a punt, Isaac Smith was on the list of many a coach at the start of the year but when he wasn’t in the Hawks 22 in Rd 1 he was dropped off and kept on the downgrade target radar.  Well that radar pulsed 89 times on Friday night and I think he can continue that form going forward!  Play this guy if you need to.  Luke Tapscott had a nice game against Adelaide with a 72, this was his best score since his opening pair of 80’s.  The Dees play the Roos this week and I think that he should have another tidy game!

Keiren Harper was brought in by a few teams as he had a tidy 61 first up and then he has had a 40 in his second outing, so I am not sure how this kid will go this week.  However, with that 40 at the Cattery, we can cut him a bit of slack.  Drew Petrie had another great score with 91.  He has earnt his coaches $61,700 now, so he is doing very nicely for those that picked him as a cash cow.  Up against the Dees I think he will pull another nice score.  For the Doggies we have Lukas Markovic and Brennan Stack.  Both of these guys have been handy over the last week or so with Stack getting a 96 last week and Markovic struggling to a 31, but the week before he had 62.   

So on to the rankings for this week.  Last week I had people wonder why I ranked some in certain orders, I have a look at how they did last week and who they are playing this week, but in some cases it has been a bit of a toss of the coin.  And before you all ask, I have rated Krakouer low because I just don’t trust his consistency.


  1. Stanley
  2. B Smith
  3. Puopolo
  4. Nicoski
  5. Lower
  6. L Thompson
  7. N Smith
  8. Batchelor


  1. Crameri
  2. I Smith
  3. Swallow
  4. McKenzie
  5. Iles
  6. Krakouer
  7. Libba
  8. Wallis


  1. Darling
  2. Hardingham
  3. Petrie
  4. I Smith
  5. Tapscott
  6. Krakouer
  7. Matera
  8. T Lynch
  9. Menzel


So let’s see how we go this week with these choices.  I had @jarradandshahn hit me up on Twitter this week at @pkd73 and ask a couple of questions so to answer them I would go Swallow over Libba and Krakouer because of consistency with Harris out and I would go Stanley over Thompson and Lower once again purely because of consistency.  If you have some questions please tweet me and I will see if I can answer your problems.  Catch ya next week!





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