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Get Off The Bench: Round 23

With all the carnage this week does anyone even have a choice as to who they will play on the field? If you do, well done! Hopefully everyone has kept a few trades up their sleves so that they can get out of this mess. Read on to see if we can help you squeeze that last few points out of your team and get you into the Grand Final!

Prelim final week.  Should be a happy time and we all have our teams set for the end of the year… no, of course it can’t be that easy!  We already knew we would have to combat the bye and of course our best mate General Soreness who usually pokes his ugly head in at this time of year.  Now we have that old favourite “the stupid footballer” who goes and gets himself injured or suspended just when we need him most.  I know one of these is on Warnie’s never again list and that is Colin Sylvia.  On top of that we have Matthew Pavlich who is now gone for the year and with that we are also missing our Carlton Premiums.  So we have a number of large holes in our teams that we need to plug.  If you have the luxury of a trade or two I would suggest using them to make sure you get through to the GF, otherwise you need to sift through the dregs of your bench to find yourself some chocolate topping for your donuts!

Play em, they are the best of the bunch

I am going to through in a new name first up this week…. Jack Gunston from the Crows has had 4 good games from his last 5 with his only fail coming against the Cats.  He has two 70’s and a 104 from his last 4.  He sneaks forward and kicks a goal or two occasionally as well.  For the 4005 that have him… well done, he will provide nice cover.  Team mates Dan Talia and Andy Otten have been good value also with solid scores in the 60’s and 80’s.  Both of them should score well against Richmond this week.  Matthew Wright scored a red vest last week, I am not sure why, but it limited his great run of scoring.  I think he should come back with a decent one this week.

Sam Sheldon from Brisbane has a good run of scores going with 79 73 and 85 over the last few.  With a home game against the West Coast I hope he can come through again.

Rising Star nominee Alex Fasolo has been on a good run of late with his lowest being a 50 out of his last 5 which have all been unvested.  On the Playground this week I am sure he will find himself in plenty of open space as will Andrew Krakouer who has dropped off in his scoring and was a late withdrawal last week.

Dyson Heppell continues to prove me wrong, just when I think he is struggling he plucks another great score and well done to him for not missing a game (apart from bye’s) all year.  A credit to him and as he is up against my Power this week, unfortunately for me, he should rip out a big score like the rest of his teammates.

Zac Clarke has maintained his scoring even with Sandi back.  His 129 on the weekend was his best for the year and his first ton (not getting into debate on spelling grammar or anything else like Chook had to!).  If you are a bit thin in the ruck then playing him may be a good option.   Tendai Mzungu has been a saviour for most of us lately and I know a few people have been playing him in front of some of their premiums!  I predict a score of 90+ again for him this week and he should be your first picked Off the Bench.

Allen Christensen has been a find for the Cats and back at Skilled this week he should be able to demonstrate his value yet again!  His form has been great and I reckon he should deliver another score of 80+.

Our Gold Coast Suns are finding out what the rigours of AFL footy are.  However, many would be questioning why their second bye was in round 9!  Our regular guys from the Gold Coast should be our regulars still with Danny Stanley, Dion Prestia and David Swallow all able to score well.  However, as predicted here last week, David Swallow wore the green with pride on Saturday to give him a bit of a rest so he can get through the season.  I think all these guys should be fairly safe bets against Melbourne as they all get their first game at the MCG.

Isaac Smith continued to show us why he should be almost a certainty for our sides each week with a 75 and teammate David Hale showed his worth with a 71.  These two should have a day out against the Dogs.  I think that Puopolo will recover from his 46 with a good score against the Dogs.  He scored 99 against them earlier this year and I think he should be able to replicate that this week as the Dogs are playing for pride and the Hawks to keep their spot in 3rd rather than drop to 4th and have to play Collingwood.

Stefan Martin has maintained his consistency, however, it isn’t in the 90’s where it was earlier in the year but is in the 60’s now and against the Gold Coast this week I would expect 65 as a minimum for him.

Cam Pedersen finds himself on the bench but he should get a full game and he would be a very safe bet with 114 and I expect him to get a big job down back on either Rooey or Kosi.  He should see a fair bit of the ball with these two guys leading him to it.

Matt Lobbe will again benefit from Brogan still out.  He scored a nice 93 last week.  Fellow ruckman Vickery has also come along in the last few weeks with an 83 in his last.  Either of these two boys should do you well if you need to play them.

Keep the faith with Andrew Gaff I think he still has some good scores left in him.  He struggled again last week with 57, but I think that he should do well this week against the Lions.  With Kerr out, it may mean some more midfield time for Gaff which should elevate his scoring nicely.


Things are desperate if you need these guys to help you out!

For those that picked up Karnezis on my recommendations, sorry, but his scoring of late has been very poor.  He followed his green vest in rd21 with a red one and 8 pts in round 22.

I hate to do it but Nick Lower can’t be trusted at the moment, with a 96, then 11 and then a week off who knows how he will rebound this week!  Unfortunately I think there will be quite a few of us that have no choice but to play him!

Zac Smith is back this week, but given his recent form he is a very questionable proposition.  Personally I wouldn’t rely on him unless I really needed to.  I think the long season has caught up with him and it has showed in his scoring.

Luke Breust has gone back to his vested ways in the last two which worries me a bit that he may be running out of legs .  Shane Savage returns this week, but I wouldn’t run the risk and I expect him to get the green vest in this first game back.

Jeremy Howe has been a popular pick this year, but after 2 points and a red vest on the weekend, don’t be surprised if he swaps his red for green this week.  Don’t play him.

Keiren Harper is a risk if you ask me, so I wouldn’t play him unless you need to.  he did have a 79 last week, but I don’t see a great deal of consistency in his scoring.

Tom Liberatore came good last week against the Power following up his previous 71 with a 97.  I don’t expect him to be as free flowing this week but he should still be ok for a reasonable but not brilliant score.


Good luck to you all this week if you are still in your leagues, even if you are playing in the Tit-Ed Cup.  Be wary about your selections as we may see some of our big guns who are a bit tired getting a vest if they are worn out. Catch you all this weekend on Twitter @pkd73


  1. Heppell
  2. Stanley
  3. Martin
  4. Pedersen
  5. Puopolo
  6. Talia
  7. Lower


  1. Heppell
  2. Christensen
  3. I Smith
  4. Mzungu
  5. Krakouer
  6. Swallow
  7. Prestia
  8. Gaff
  9. Fasolo
  10. Sheldon
  11. Liberatore


  1. Hale
  2. Lobbe
  3. Clarke
  4. Vickery


  1. I Smith
  2. Mzungu
  3. Hale
  4. Prestia
  5. Krakouer
  6. Breust
  7. Gunston
  8. Lobbe
  9. Harper
  10. Talia





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