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Backline Options – ESPN

With all the backline carnage for Rd. 22, Calvin checks out the best options for you heading into the run home. Thanks to our friends at ESPN, Calvin has ranked the top 5 options (captain style). So get in there and voice your opinion.

espnfootyWith all the backline carnage going on at the moment, I thought it was very important we take a look at my top 5 options for you to bring into your backline the remainder of the season for your team or your Dream Team in general.

If you have Hartlett, Henderson, Heppell, Hanley or any other injured or suspended defender then pay close attention to these guys.

#5 – Grant Birchall (Hawthorn)

Certainly doesn’t top my list but he does scrap into the top 5 options for you. He had 76 in his last game this year and plays the Kangaroos who he had 80 and 86 on in his last 2 games against them and the Swans (81 & 67 in his last 2 games) in the last round of the year. Can be massive on his day, but also struggle big time.

#4 – Harry O’Brien (Collingwood)

Firstly, I’m not the biggest Harry O fan going around but he has averaged 100 in his last 2 games this year to be the best averaging defender over those games from my list. He’s scored over 90+ in 50% of his last 10 games but plays West Coast this week who he scored 51 and 48 against in his last 2 and the Roos (100 and 41) in the last round of the season. Solid option, but he’s only #4 on my radar.

#3 – Robert Murphy (Bulldogs)

Averaging 86 in his last 2 this year, Murphy has also cracked the 90+ mark in half of his last 10 games as well. He also carries good form against his last 2 opponents too. He plays Brisbane (84 and 107) this week and the easy Demons (94 and 80) in the final round. Certainly a roughie to get on if you want to be a little different.

#2 – Heath Scotland (Carlton)

Often looked over and he shouldn’t be. He is averaging 107 in his last 4 games this year (avg. 87 in his last 2). He plays the Bombers (76 and 85) and the Power (74 and 85) in his run home and has the form to back in his selection here. The old man still has points to offer and his role seems to have changed over the last month. Get on!

#1 – Paul Duffield (Fremantle)duff

My old favourite man, Duffman! He has been in smoking form over the last 2 weeks with scores of 97 and 90. He’s run home is pretty nice as well as he comes up against Port who he has scored 88 and 114 on in his last 2 runs against them and meets them at Patersons where he has averaged 86 this year compared to the average of just 74 when he plays away from home. In the last round he meets the Saints (82 and 71) and should be the best bet in my opinion to patch up your damaged backline for the run home.

Thanks again to our friends at ESPN

For more details on this matter check out our podcast which covers all these issues and more.


From the 5 listed above, who do you think think is the best option to cover our backline carnage?

  • Paul Duffield (29%, 317 Votes)
  • Heath Scotland (16%, 178 Votes)
  • Robert Murphy (21%, 226 Votes)
  • Harry O'Brien (23%, 253 Votes)
  • Grant Birchall (11%, 116 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,090

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  1. Burger


    August 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks Calvin for your time in doing the form and providing the stats. I was thinking Bob Murphy, Duffman or Harry O. I like the way Murphy and his team are playing at present plus some good recent stats there against his remaining opponents, so might go with him.

    • Simon

      August 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm

      +1… the others have all left a sour taste at some point or other. Old man Bob it is. Scary prospect as I’m looking at bringing in Montagna for Fyfe as GC don’t really tag. They’re both the wrong side of 30 though, so it seems pretty risky really.

  2. Brak


    August 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Ellis VS GWS doesn’t make the 5? Are the assuming we all have him already?

    • Hook

      August 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Ellis would be in my top 5 but there is still a slight risk to consider.

      Carlton where the first team to really tag him after quarter time (armfield I think?) and he didn’t handle it at all. GWS who also like employing multiple taggers may have seen that and decided to stop him and the tigers outside run. It definitely slowed the tigers down after quarter time.

  3. shagsadam

    August 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Cheers Calvin. I thought Hibberd might make the cut too though…

    • Warnie


      August 20, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Calvin hates Hibbo… because I have him.

    • Hook

      August 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Im worried about Hibbo vs carlton this week. Tagged by armfield for a 55 last time and it worked well. Guessing they will do the same thing again

    • Simon

      August 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Is that a photo of Jim Jess?

  4. Adam

    August 20, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Harry O is averaging 87 this year compared to 62 last year and the 2 years prior to that…he is a lot more relevant fantasy wise this year and should be good for 85+ in the remaining 2 games in my opinion…Harry O and duffman will most likely be my 2 inclusions since i have heppell, hartlett and henderson

    • Simon

      August 20, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      Every time I jump on someone who’s been playing well they go sh!t. When I don’t jump on them because I think they’re gonna go sh!t (ala Jelwood) they flat out star. So be prepared for some massive scores if you get in Harry O, as I’m not going near him!

  5. Gerryboy

    August 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Can’t believe people are looking at Duff ahead of Pearce, he has had scores of 96,94 and 124 in his last 3, seems a better bet to me unless out.

    • Warnie


      August 20, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      I think I’ll be looking at Pearce too if HepD/Hanley are out. Those numbers are great… and the draw, like his team mate in Duffield, is pretty sweet.

      • Hook

        August 20, 2013 at 4:12 pm

        Not sure if port at home is a great fixture for him. True his numbers are good and he should definitely be considered but if any team knows how to shut him down it will Port.

        After watching him struggle for a couple of years under attention from opposition Port might just be inclined to man him up, knowing that he cant handle it.

        • Gerryboy

          August 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm

          Good point Hook,need to take that into consideration. Just hard to look past those numbers compared to Duff and the others.

  6. Modern Marvels

    Modern Marvels

    August 20, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    No love for Jed Adcock? I may be biased as I have him. But hes only scored under 71 (66), once in his last 18 games. Doesn’t have the ceiling of the others, but will give you 80-90 most weeks.

    • Simon

      August 20, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Quietly considering him… but hated my team earlier in the year when it was stocked full of Lions (Zorko, Karnezis, etc.). But a sneaky pick for sure.

      • Modern Marvels

        Modern Marvels

        August 20, 2013 at 5:20 pm

        He sees to have a good history when Browns out and he’s captain too. No doubt there are probably better picks, but you could do a whole lot worse.

  7. Mundy Mundy

    August 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    This article has confused me even more. Was thinking of swaping Staker/Hendo, trading Hendo for a gun forward. Also Heppel to Hibberd. Dont know anymore

  8. Brany

    August 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Thanks Calvin!

    A few more guys to look at for this week.

  9. Ryan

    August 20, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I was stuck on Harry O, Rob Murphy, Corey Enright before this was posted. I went enright but he isn’t in calvins top 5? I have been looking at bob murphy for a while but haven’t had the guts to get him. Who and what should i do

    • Ryan

      August 20, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      Also already have (Geelong) Jelwood,Bartel,Stokes. (Collingwood) Swan,Pendles,Beams. Dunno if its good to get alot of players from one team. And if i win this week i wanna get rid of jjkennedy for stevie j so if i went enright then i would have 5 cats players.

      • Dane

        August 20, 2013 at 7:06 pm


  10. bennythejet

    August 20, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Dixon & Stanley vs StK & GWS are interesting PODs…

  11. discomute

    August 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Really not happy with any of them…

  12. brett

    August 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    went duff man before I seen this now its locked in.

  13. Dane

    August 20, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Im thinking Duffield or Harry O but i don’t have Hibberd. Should i get hibberd instead?
    Plz help!!

    • Hook

      August 20, 2013 at 7:40 pm

      I wouldnt get hibberd this round, blues tag him. I’m thinking of benching him

      • Dane

        August 20, 2013 at 9:22 pm


  14. Ryan

    August 20, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Duffield or Rob Murphy

  15. toad

    August 20, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I have heppel, hartlett, ibbotson, Henderson, and Hanley. May have blee playing for me in a prelim. Over $300k tho and my other defenders are Goddard, Gibbs. Any tips or sympathy? Ha

    • Simon

      August 21, 2013 at 8:23 am

      You probably held Ibbo and Hendo too long… only have yourself to blame really.

  16. dannyk71

    August 21, 2013 at 6:03 am

    bachar houli gws and essendon had 92 on essendon this year and will rack up uncontested marks and kicks against gws last 5 round average of 83 including freo, swans and hawks in that run owned by 2% gonna get him in

  17. Tyler

    August 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    what are everyone’s thoughts on danny stanley

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