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Get off the Bench: Round 15

Firstly some apologies this week then I will see if I can get some winners for you this week in the rabble that are the rookies!

Firstly sorry to those coaches that listened to me last week.  I made a few bad calls, particularly my concerns over I Smith.  Just to stick it to me he nearly caused me to lose my all important work league (aren’t they the worst if you lose a game, everyone gets stuck into you).  He had a belter of a game and as @MyNameIsJoel pointed out to me on Twitter, he will fly up my rankings this week.  The other one I got wrong (that also nearly cost me) was Heppell actually turned up and had a good game and Hibberd was bad.  They pretty much reversed their form of the last few weeks, surely you can’t blame me for that one!

Anyway, on to this week and I think we should be able to rely on a few more guys to bring us some scores and hopefully we don’t get any late withdrawals this week!  Hopefully you all didn’t get caught out by The Gu having the week off, luckily for me I had Ben Jacobs as cover, and sitting at a fairly cold AAMI Stadium Sunday night, I was cheering every posession he had to get me across the line for my league win.

Trust these guys, they will help you get the win

Andy Otten was a guy that a lot of people had at the start of the year and then they dumped him after his injury.  He has amassed 83, 96 and 52 since his return and given that 52 was at the cattery, I am prepared to let him off.  Just be careful though, he is playing the Swans this week, but I think he will be good for about 70.  Matthew Wright will also be in this game and is a far better bet.  He had 99 against the Cats and has been up and down a little, but his worst over the last 7 weeks is a 52 with only a 56 in that run being his only score under 64.  He has proven he can play and he kicks goals too so I would run with him.

Bewick has found himself some form after two red vests and a week off.  He has a 73 and a 70 in his lsat two and is back at home this week against a struggling Power side.  I would look to him to be scoring around that mark again.

Krakouer continues his good form with a fair 61 against the Swans.  Not as much as I thought he would get, but in a week of indifferent scores,  I think he did well enough to retain his position on your field.  He is back at the G this week which is by far his favourite ground and he also likes the big games and up against the Hawks, it doesn’t get much bigger.  These two will meet in the finals at some stage, just you watch.  Whilst on the Pies, a few have asked me about John McCarthy he had been scoring well in the 70’s and 80’s but copped a Green Vest last week and only returned 23.  With Didak now out (damn it) he may get a spot and a run up forward, if so and he plays a full game I think he could be back to those 80’s again.

Going by patterns in numbers, it is Hibberd’s turn to have a good game this week.  Over the last 3 weeks it has alternated between him and Heppell as to who would have a good game.  The last time they both played well was in round 11 against the Dee’s.  So I will back Hib this week.  Although, they are playing the Cats it is at the Dome which is a place Essendon usually like.  So if you have both, back Hibberd in this week but just to annoy us, they will break their pattern and their scores will go the opposite way to what you want.  Crameri has cooled off a bit of late and didn’t get a game last week.  Just be careful with him. 

With the 211 out again, Zac Clarke comes back into contention along with Griffin.  Clarke has been scoring ok with 76, 51 and 69 in his last three.  Nick Lower just keeps getting it done.  He may have leaked a little cash but he has still made you over $189k and is well worth a game.  He is solid in the 60 – 80 range and I can’t see that changing.  As Chook said, now you either get rid of him or keep him.  Personally I am keeping him.  The Gu hurt some teams (helped me) by pulling out last week, but I hear he is getting right back in there this week and should tear it up against the Suns.  His last two games have been in the 70’s and I would predict nothing less and probably a lot more from him this week.

I don’t normally have many Cats to talk about here but since they played their U18 team against Adelaide on Sunday we have one to look at.  Christensen played for the first time in 5 weeks and more than doubled his best score with a 109!  The other cheaper guys at the Cats got in the 50 – 65 range, but personally I don’t think these guys will do as well with the stars coming back in this week after their rest.

Up at Gold Coast Iles put hin his best game with a 92 after his previous best of 85 last week.  This guy is starting to get a feel for the game and is scoring well.  Stanley did what he does and got you a 79 which is about the average I would expect from him.  Swallow got his second ton and a NAB Rising Star nomination, the week off did him well as his previous 3 games were 62, 53 and 66 which were not what you would expect.  I think he will press on from here.  Zmith was back but didn’t do a lot, I think he should be better this week (and will be happier without Mr 211 to contend with).  Superboot2 McKenzie is back this week after a rest, so he should be fresh as and ready to sink the slipper into a heap of points.

If you have a Hawk Fringe guy that isn’t a ruckman… Play him!  Even though they are up against Collingwood, with all the injuries and suspensions the Hawks have, if these guys don’t get the ball, no one does!  So play Puopolo, I Smith, Savage or Breust.  And while you are at it trade a few in!

Stefan Martin showed us that even with Jamar back that he was still a viable fantasy option scoring a 99 so I would stick with this guy.  Dan Nicholson backed up his 90 with a 60.  not ideal, but certainly not terrible.  He avoided a vest for the second time (his first two games were green ones) and I think this goes well for his future. 

Pedersen has continued to reward those that kept him.  His 82 was his second 80 score in a row and he looks to be able to keep his place with North getting a few injuries during the game along with his good form.  In that game Ben Jacobs put out his best score and his second in the 90’s.  He will be the big winner from injuries with Pittard going down in the first quarter Jacobs had to pick up the slack and be the link man across half back and he picked up a lot of cheap marks and kicks when they switched direction.  He should continue to do this over the next few weeks I think and score in the 70+ range.  Ruckman Matthew Lobbe surprised with his recall and his 95.  I saw him a few weeks ago in the SANFL for West and he didn’t impress me a great deal to be honest, but his game on Sunday night showed me signs that he could be a very handy player.  Coupled with Brogan announcing his retirement and a price of $126k Lobbe may be worth picking up as a downgrade for Mr 211.

Vickery is another viable option to replace Sandi with a 79 to follow his 102 from the week before.  He is really developing into a very good player for the Tigers and scores in the 70+ range should be the norm now.    Our other ruck option is Nathan Vardy who a lot of coaches traded in the other week.  With Ottens also back, he could spend a lot of time kicking goals up foward.

Alex Johnson is back for the Swans, he has been scoring well of late so he could be worth a punt.

Ed Barlow from the Dogs is coming along nicely with a 110 against the gold coast this week.  He has an average of 85 from his 3 games and looks to be able to hold his spot in the team.  If you are one of the few coaches that have him, might as well play him!

These next guys are like Real Estate Agents… some you can trust, but most you can’t.

Someone asked in the comments last week why I had no love for Jake Batchelor and there was good reason, he had only played one game in the last 3 weeks which was a 59 and his previous score before that was a 43.  He has had some in the 80’s but more often than not they are followed by a rubbish score.  So I would steer clear until I see some regular consistency.

Nick Smith  and Sam Reid from Sydney are another pair that can have a great game, but they are prone to shockers also.  Reid is probably the better bet of the two even though his score was lower last week, his consistency is a touch better.  Smith has had two good ones but the before that had an unvested 47 and 27 to his name.

A favourite in opening squads was C Rich he came back last week after a massive rest of 8 weeks.  He had a 59 but I want to see how he scores after a few games in a row before I would trust him.  Harper had a green 20 after coming on in the last on Sunday.  Probably a good emergency for you but that is it.  Atley is another Roo that is frustrating.  He has had…  36, 60, 74, 50, red26 over the last 5… notice the consistency there.. if so, get your bloody eyes checked cause there is none, he is all over the place and a bit of a risk if you ask me.  ALL three of these guys are at the end of the Extended bench, so be careful, one, two or all of them may miss.

Strauss has been on the decline since his opening 83 and with Melbourne getting a few players back in the last couple of weeks I think this has really hurt him.  Don’t play him unless you have to.  Normally I don’t drop a guy to this half of the list if they have had one bad one, but Howe has sunk big time in his 4th game.  He has had 86, 75, 105 and a 39.  I am just a bit wary of this and hope it is a one off, but he has dipped in my rankings because of it.

Dion Prestia is  like Conca (but Conca was dropped this week), all over the shop with 43, 79, 28, 66 in the last few, be careful with this guy.  Matera comes back in this week for his first game in ages.  I reckon he is odds on getting the Green vest.  Jesse O’Brien came back this week and put in a respectable 61.  He may be worth the punt against the Power.

If you have Callinan I would maybe risk it, he had a tidy 89 first up and seemed to be the only Crow that actually wanted to get the ball the hard way from the bits I saw.

Simon Buckley is back but he is another on the extended bench and given he hasn’t played for a couple of weeks he may not be good to go or could get a vest.

So here are my rankings of the week.  I hope they help you, but at worst I hope they give you some options when considering your team line up this week.


  1. Lower
  2. Hibberd
  3. Heppell
  4. Puopolo
  5. Stanley
  6. Martin
  7. Jacobs
  8. Pedersen
  9. Otten
  10. Nicholson
  11. Strauss


  1. Savage
  2. Krakouer
  3. I Smith
  4. Mzungu
  5. Hibberd
  6. Heppell
  7. Swallow
  8. Bewick
  9. Jacobs
  10. Iles
  11. Crameri


  1. Krakouer
  2. I Smith
  3. Mzungu
  4. Breust
  5. A Johnson
  6. Prestia
  7. Callinan
  8. Howe
  9. O’Brien
  10. Dahlhaus
  11. C Rich

Good luck and hopefully we all get a win leading into the week off next week with the Multi bye.  See you all on Twitter @pkd73





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