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Get Off The Bench: Round 13

Wow, what a tough week this is, with Collingwood kicking back we were in trouble, but now with Selwood, Mundy, D Swallow and Z Smith all missing it is gonna be a tough round to field a full squad!

Well we all knew this round was going to be another tough one with us all missing guys like Swanny, Pendles, Daisy, Krakouer and Heater.  But add on to that the other guys that managed to find their way out of having to play this week like Mundy, Joel “I didn’t see his head there” Selwood, David Swallow and Zac Smith and our benches are going to be even further tested this week!  To make matters worse, some of our “go to” guys put in very average performances last week which make our decisions even harder than they should have been!

These guys are your best bets….

Ed Curnow is back to his pre injury form, however, since his return he has played Port and Brisbane.  This week they have the Swans, so his scoring may not be up around the high 90’s but it should be in the 70’s – 80’s.  Nick Duigan has just continued to have a great season, however, last time they played in the wet as the SCG he racked up a measly 43.  Perhaps it was the conditions, but it is something to be wary of.  Personally I think that he will be fine under the warm dome of Etihad.

Stewy Crameri has been a bit up and down with his form of late and this mirrors the form of the Bombers!  He has had two games in the 40’s in his last 3 but there was an 82 in that loss to Melbourne.  I would still play him against the Roos though.  Dyson Heppell worried me a bit on the weekend, he just went missing.  He had his lowest score on the weekend in Perth, but hell, the whole team was crap so we might let him off as he has enough credit in the bank.  Michael Hibberd on the other hand put up another solid score with a 70.  He is averaging in the mid 70’s now and assuming Hirdy doesn’t try and drop him again he should be a safe play for your team this week.

Nick Lower is another that has continued a great season and I will have no hesitation leaving him on my field this week against the Dee’s, he should carve them up across half back.  Tendai Mzungu is now playing exactly how we all expected him to and with all the outs in the Mids this week I think he will be in a lot of team’s best 22 this week.  His 79 was his second best score and after his first quarter I thought he might get his first ton, but he did slow up a bit.  He is only going to get better and better.

Danny Stanley has really played well this year and he will continue to score you in the 60 – 90 range every week from what I can see (he has only had 2 games lower than that).  David Swallow has started to show signs of fatigue or is it now that GAJ is firing he is getting less of the ball.  He is scoring in the 50’s and 60’s since their second bye and I am concerned about him (so much that I have dumped him).  However, he is out with an Ankle injury this week so I would be trading him if you can.   One Sun that has been firing and mostly with a bloody big left leg is Trent McKenzie.  His scoring has been bloody consistent in the 60 – 85 range with one ton thrown in there for good measure.  Most importantly, this kid hasn’t been thrown a vest yet either! 

Puopolo has been solid but has started to dip in scoring of late but he will still be good for around 65ish.  Shane Savage is doing well of late with scores in the 60’s and 70’s to follow up his 144 a few weeks ago.  Jeremy Howe is a rook that you may want to jump on and play if you are downgrading this week.  He has an 86 and a 75 to his name and with the way Melbourne are playing, they may as well get some game time into their kids because their older boys just aren’t getting it done.  Whilst at Melbourne you may need to play Max Gawn this week with no Z Smith playing.  His scores are in the mid 50’s so not fantastic, but they are servicable.  However, with Jamar back, he may see less minutes.  Stefan Martin has also been good in ruck for the Dee’s and once again if Jamar is back and plays a full game then I think Martin’s scoring will suffer.

Our other Ruck option is Nathan Vardy I like this guy, he has scored well with 70, 77 and 58 in his 3 full games (he had a red vested 29 in his first).  I think he will be a talent so if you need to put him out there, he will be up against big boy McEvoy if he is in the middle.

Alex Johnson is still scoring well for the Swans.  He has been sitting in the 60 – 85 range for his last 6 apart from one 35 which came against Port at the SCG which is a bit strange so we will discount that as a statistical anomoly.  Sam Reid is another Swan that has been solid of late.  His scores are in the 60’s and I think you can expect that from him pretty much most weeks.

Jack Darling burnt a lot of teams last week, but I am going to let him off with that rubbish 27.  He was playing the Crows at AAMI and just couldn’t get into the game.  I would still play him and against Port at Pattersons he should well and truly get his touch back as there will be plenty of ball coming to him up forward.  With Lynch and Kennedy getting the bigger bodies of Carlisle and Chaplin, he may find himself with Pettigrew on him who he should be able to outmuscle.  This is his last chance though.  If he stuffs it again he is going way down the list!

Tom Liberatore had a 26 and then got dropped a couple of weeks ago.  Last week he had a 65.  I think he should get back to his better scores this week, but mainly because they are playing the Crows at Etihad. 

Michael Evans has been someone that a lot of people have picked up and he has repayed them with 112, 58 and 83, but he copped the green vest last week and only returned a 24.  Hopefully this doesn’t become a trend for him, if not, he will score well.  Just be careful, he is on the extended bench.

If you are struggling then give these blokes a run….

Nick Smith is a guy that has played well in patches thoughout the season but he seems to be in a bit of a slump at the moment with a 47 and 27 in his last two.  I would steer clear if you have options and down back you should have better options.

Reece Conca is a guy I have talked up a bit this year, but he is in a slump as well.  29’s in his last two just ain’t gonna cut it.  I would put him on the pine if you have the option to do so.  His BE is up to 145 too so I would look at ditching him if you get the chance.  He leaked $20k last week and is set to do the same again this week. 

Our lone Power player Ben Jacobs is back this week and I think he will do well over at Pattersons.  He seems to have a reasonable tank on him and his scores have been good and should return you a number around about 60.  With his DPP ability you may need to play him in the Mids.  As usual he is on the extended bench, so be careful.

Cameron Pedersen has had two games in a row now so is probably due for General Soreness but his scores have been ok.  I have him in this category only because of his inconsistent run of games.  If he gets a full game and plays well he will be up in our top section next week.  Teammate Shaun Atley is an interesting case.  He has had a 74 and 60 in their last two, but before that had 3 scores in the 30’s.  I still don’t know if I can trust him.  His two good scores have come against Adelaide and Gold Coast.  If he can put up a good score against Essendon this week I will rethink my position on him.

Dion Prestia is finally getting some games, he has had 3 in a row, but the first two were Green Vested.  His only full game was a 79.  If he gets another full game and scores like that I will start to trust him.  Daniel Harris has started to regain a bit of form, but I am still a bit wary of him.  He should score in the 50 – 70 range, but just be careful at the moment, and with them playing at Aurora I just don’t know how he will go.

Tom Lynch looks like he is in line for the prestigious Beau Muston award for this year.  His first 3 scores of 95, 92 and 66 have been followed up by sh*t scores of 31 and a red vested 18!  I must say this guy is really annoying me, I was one of those sucked in to picking him up as a downgrade that I could trust to be a good sub on my bench but now, he has been rubbish!  Sam Iles is another guy that is just plugging along in the 50’s and 60’s.  He has great talent but just isn’t showing it at the moment with his scoring.

Luke Breust will certainly go into the record books!   His first 5 games of AFL have ALL resulted in Green Vests!  The poor kid has started every game in the tracksuit.  However, given the Hawks run of injuries he has come on early in most and is averaging just on 50.  I think he will get a full game this week and should score in the 70’s.

All of the Crows fringe guys Otten, Sellar, L Thompson, Wright and McKernan have been good options at one stage or another but with the form of them and their team I just don’t trust them.  Otten had a good first game back with an 83, but history shows he can follow that up with a 50 or a 40.  Wright has probably been the most consistent of the group and if I had to play one I would play him.  And before you all have a go at me saying who would have those guys, I have seen these guys in more than a few teams that both mine and my son’s teams have come up against recently.

There you have it, that is the run down on those guys that are trying to get a game in your team this week.  Would I trust all of them, no way, but we are going to be forced to play some guys and hope like hell they perform with so many of our stars out this week.

I hope you don’t have any donuts and all your last few picks on the field come up good for you!  Hit me up on Twitter @pkd73 for any last minute help or suggestions for guys you want mentioned in this column.


  1. Lower
  2. Duigan
  3. Stanley
  4. Puopolo
  5. Heppell
  6. A Johnson
  7. Hibberd
  8. Martin
  9. Pedersen
  10. Reid
  11. Jacobs


  1. Curnow
  2. McKenzie
  3. Heppell
  4. Mzungu
  5. Savage
  6. Crameri
  7. Hibberd
  8. Harris
  9. Atley
  10. Jacobs
  11. Libba
  12. Evans


  1. Vardy
  2. Bailey
  3. Gawn


  1. Darling
  2. Mzungu
  3. A Johnson
  4. Howe
  5. Prestia
  6. Breust
  7. Lynch
  8. McKernan





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