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Get Off The Bench: Round 19

Feast to famine, that is what we face this week with getting our Power players back and losing our Swans, Lions and Tigers. The form was all over the place last week, which made picking these guys tough. All I can do is pick myself up and have another crack this week!

Firstly an apology to those that chose to follow me with Puopolo last week.  I thought the stars had aligned for him to have a blinder by playing Melbourne and with Suckling out, but no, he stunk it up and couldn’t even get to the half century.  However, he wasn’t alone with a bad score!  Isaac Smith copped a green vest, Ed Curnow struggled again, Duigan had a shocker, Lower crashed back to earth and Shane Savage who has been gold could only get to 26 before being bumped and getting a red vest.  So the weekend was littered with bad scores from our fringe players, no wonder I didn’t have much success in my picks last week, but given the scores I have seen, having all our premiums playing meant you didn’t need my rubbish help!

So we are back to the last (thank god) of these bloody multi bye rounds, and if you are like me and no chance to win the car, you probably don’t care too much this week about your score, it is all about round 20 and getting that top 4 position in your league.  With this being a multi bye round, we are also going to probably be at our limit with our teams too and having to use all of our bench no matter who they are.  Throw in the missing Volt from the forward line that probably already has Goodes and maybe O’Keefe as well and it could spell carnage and donuts.

If you have a choice, pick these guys first

Danny Stanley has fast become a permanent 7th back in most teams, over the last 4 weeks he hasn’t dropped below 90pts with his very nice 110 on Sat night when he apparently wasn’t going to play.  With GCS playing STK this week I expect another ton.  Whilst at GCS, Swallow haskept his steady form going too.  Certainly well worth a pick if you are running short in the midfield.  Big Zmith is just cruising along, not hitting the heights consistently like early in the year, but a serviceable 67 on the weekend was ok, however, with Jolly out I did expect bigger things and up against Big Boy McEvoy this week he should do ok and I would see a score in the 70’s as par for him.  Prestia and McKenzie also played well with a 67 and 72 respectively.  They seem to have found their groove at the Suns and are a safeish bet most weeks now as cover.  Iles is another guy that is now finding his tru potential.  His 81 continued his string of good scores of late however, note that he is OUT with a hip injury.

Chook mentioned his love (and it got a bit wierd there) for Stefan Martin on Wednesday in his Rooks article and I agree with him (not about the love though) that Martin is a good scorer at the moment.  He has cracked the ton in his last two outings but faces a big test at the Cattery on Saturday.  I expect a good score, but not a miracle, so 80 would be a pass mark for him this week.

Simon Buckley had a good game and has now had two 90’s in his last 3 outings, but his job security and chance of a vest worries me a touch.  However, his scores don’t lie and I would be playing him if I had him.  My best bet of last week was Andrew Krakouer and he didn’t disappoint with a 90 against the Suns.  His form seems to be on the improve of late and back at his favourite ground, the MCG this week against a flailing Bomber outfit he should score well.  Their opponents have one shining light, Heppell, but I am ever fearful that he will be a late withdrawal as he really looks like he needs a rest, his scoring has been droping over the past 3 weeks and I am a little worried that it may continue that way if he isn’t allowed to freshen up.  However, he did crack the ton against the Pies on ANZAC day so here’s hoping that he can do that again!  Crameri seems to have picked up where Hibberd left off, he is consistent in the 80 – 90 range so I can’t see any reason (apart from playing against Collingwood) that this should change this week.  He ripped out 112 in the corresponding game earlier this year, so things look up for him on Sunday.

Last week I was worried about the effect of the Derby on scoring.  Mzungu surprised me a bit with his 83, he got a touch more than I had hoped for and with that is rewarded with another game for the Destroyers this week (not that I have much choice).  Teammate Lower was widely lauded to have another belting score after his 130 from the previous week, but if I have taught you guys only one thing this year it is that these blokes are nothing if not inconsistent!  His 66 showed us that, I was a little surprised at the 66 actually as every time I checked the game I kept seeing him near the ball!  He will bounce back though and should do ok this week.

One bloke that has snuck under a few radars is this weeks rising star winner, Allen Christensen.  He was priced at $97k at the start of the year and copped 4 green vests in his first 5 games, then had a spell of 4 weeks before coming back and scoring 109, 56, 73, 120 and 113.  His 56 came in that loss to the Eagles in Perth but he wasn’t alone for the Cats that night.  This kid is really good and is taking advantage of some “injuries” or resting in the Cats midfield of late.  He has cemented his spot in the side as far as I am concerned.  Back at Skilled on Saturday against Melbourne he should have a great score, he averages 67 there, but a few of those would be green vested efforts.

Luke Breust has been solid with a 70 last week, Hale has also been good with a 77 last week and a few 80’s and 70’s in the preceeding 4 weeks.  I wouldn’t jump off Savage, I Smith or Puopolo just yet.  Firstly because like I said, with 3 byes we may not have the choice, but I think they will all come back this week and perform admirably.  Just note that Savage is OUT this week.

Cam Pedersen has really taken his chance in the last few weeks with back to back 80’s.  I think he has really solidified his place in this team and is paying back those owners that kept him when he couldn’t get a game.  Teammate Harper also is playing ok at the moment, he has 65 and 77 in the last two and should hold his spot.  I really think these two guys should do ok against the Blues on Friday night.

The only Crow in contention for this column that really performed on Friday night was Andy Otten who put together 66 and has been fairly consistent since his return from injury a few weeks ago.  He has averaged 73 since then, so I would stick with him.

Still in need of a player, give these guys a run, but don’t say I didn’t warn you…

Luke Dahlhaus can consider himself unlucky not to be in the top section this week.  His 73 and 64 in the last two tell me he should, but the concern I have with him this week is that they are playing the Eagles, and I don’t think he will get the freedom he has had of late.  Libba came in as a late replacement last week, so be wary of him, but his 66 with a Green Vest is encouraging, although he was on fairly early.

Andrew Gaff needs one more good score to be a contender, he had a 58 in the Derby to follow that ton that came out of the blue.  He is showing why they drafted him so high and why I picked him in my team, just glad he is getting a game and not making me look like a complete idiot for selecting him!  I think the sub rule has really hurt this kid’s scoring potential after getting 5 greens in his first 6 games.  His mate Jack Darling is a guy that has disappointed over the last few weeks, but he did eke out a 63 before being thrown the red vest on Sunday night.  But with none of his last 6 games over 70 pts, he is now a massive risk to be keeping and still playing.

Melbourne Trio Howe, Nicholson and Strauss have shrugged off early good form to languish in the doldrums of late.  Only Howe’s 83 last week is of any note for these guys, and I wouldn’t be trusting him just yet, his last good score of 105 was followed by a 39.  The other two guys have been sitting between 30 and 60 in their last 4 games each.

Tom Lynch continues to be the bone of my contention with another rubbish score after a promising start to the game.  After a pair of 90’s in his first two, a lot of us jumped on him and rightly so, but he must be the winner of the Beau Muston award for this year as in his following 8 appearances he has only gotten over 50 on 2 occasions.

Nick Duigan has really struggled of late, I know he had an injury but he hasn’t come back well.  65, 50 and 31 in his last 3 have not inspired me at all and I hope, for his sake, that he can turn this around.  However, I wouldn’t risk him at the moment if you have other options.

At the Crows, Dan Talia really struggled with 27 and Matt Wright with 50 didn’t inspire either, however, they had plenty of mates that struggled too!

And that brings us to the end, and now on to the hard part, putting these guys in some sort of order!  I have had a crack at it, but feel free to debate it amongst yourselves in the comments!  As always keep your ear to the ground throughout Friday and follow all the big guns from @DTTalk on Twitter to get any latest info that might save yourself from picking someone that pulls out just before lockout.

Twitter me @pkd73


  1. Stanley
  2. Heppell
  3. Martin
  4. Lower
  5. Pedersen
  6. Puopolo
  7. Otten
  8. Buckley
  9. Duigan


  1. Christensen
  2. Swallow
  3. Heppell
  4. Krakouer
  5. Crameri
  6. Mzungu
  7. I Smith
  8. Prestia
  9. McKenzie
  10. Buckley


  1. Hale
  2. Lobbe
  3. Zmith
  4. ZClarke
  5. Bailey


  1. Krakouer
  2. Mzungu
  3. Breust
  4. Hale
  5. Lobbe
  6. Harper
  7. Prestia
  8. I Smith
  9. Dahlhaus
  10. Howe
  11. Darling





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