The Buzz – R15’s burning questions: The PODs to target for the run home

This week I am fully dedicating this week’s article to discussing PODs and further trying to explain why you should consider some of them in the run home and finally answering your Twitter questions.


Bit of a shorter segment this week given we have Thursday games back, so it is a bit of a rush to get everything out. 

Point of differences (PODs)

PODs, we all see it, hear it on popular podcasts and fantasy related articles but what are they? Well, I will do a quick explanation and then point out some nice PODs that you can choose for your teams. A point of difference is essentially a unique selection that carries an ownership level of less than 10%.

But why should we be caring about PODs at this time of year? Shouldn’t it be all about getting the proven players? Yes and no.

At the back end of the season, you should only be focused on bringing in players who will score the most points from Round 15 to Round 23. Why? Well high ownership players like Dustin Martin, Jack Ziebell, Rory Laird and Jake Lloyd are still all guns, but they are not going to separate you from the competition whether it’s for ranking or for league, and you have to question if there is someone who can match their output for the rest of the year or potentially do better.

Therefore, we are going to be looking at some players who carry a low ownership and are showing the potential to score better than some of the more commonly owned premium selections. 


Mark Blicavs (AF $587k SC $470k D/M)

The most versatile player in the league, Blicavs has literally been deployed almost everywhere on the field. Maybe not as a key forward but I would not put it past him to play there, as a key defender his scoring is not superhot with a few tons in supercoach here and there but where he really excels is when he is deployed within the midfield or as the primary ruck role.

From Round 8 onward he is found himself playing a unique role as the team’s primary ruckman but also then swung onto a wing as well as going head-to-head with Marcus Bontempelli in the middle. What I love about this is he has got such a variety of ways that he earns his points with hit-outs, disposals, marks and now that he is getting involved with the ruck contest his contest possessions are spiking up too.

Currently he is only averaging 76 (AF)/ 84(SC) for the year but again in his last 5 games his average has increased from this better role to averaging 91.2 (AF)/100.2 (SC). An 100 average would put him amongst the top 10 defenders which is in the bracket we would be looking towards and at a 3% ownership in both formats he provides a very nice POD for your backline.

Other alternatives, to consider as a point of difference would be the Shannon Hurn (AF $606k SC $453k DEF) or even Brayden Maynard (AF $616k SC $482k DEF).


Joel Selwood (AF $652k SC $528k Def/Mid)

There are a ridiculous number of players who have a low ownership and have been flying under the radar this season. If I had to choose one it would be the controversial Selwood, as much as his name has been in the media throughout the week his scoring has been very much underrated throughout the season and has gone abouts averaging a steady 107 for the year.

Take out a 66 from his match in Round 8 against the Saints, which would be a slight anomaly in his scoring, he is generally averaging a touch over 110 for SuperCoach which would be very much close to that elite bracket for a midfielder. At an ownership of 5.3% and with other gun midfielders set to be tagged ahead of him it could be a genius move to pick him up at his price 

Unfortunately, his scoring profile isn’t so prolific in AFL Fantasy as he’s only producing a 90.8 average and he’s produced 4 scores of 80 or under so some alternatives I would consider for your format would be Brad Crouch (AF $744k SC $530k MID) and Jye Simpkin (AF $700k SC $525k MID). Both started the year a bit slow, however they have started to find some form and thankfully find some of the pill lately. At 3% and 1% ownership respectively, they will be very handy players to have in your midfield in the run home.


I will not bother discussing rucks because there’s still such a big gap between Gawndy and the rest of the ruckman, and the ones that are considered PODs I won’t be considering at the very least. 


Tarryn Thomas (AF $548k SC $437k M/F)

This one may surprise you all, but I like the direction that North are travelling in and they’re throwing this very talented kid into their midfield mix a lot more now. It’s his last 5 weeks that have been the most impressive with an average of 94.8 (SC) in that period but he has also increased his centre bounce attendances in that time frame as well from 30% to close to up to 60% in his last 3 games.

Given how bare our forward options are this year, I don’t think a 95 averaging forward is the worst in the world given he’s got a very good role in the team. If we compare that to Kyle Langford, he could very well be pushed out when Dylan Shiel returns to the midfield mix and we saw on the weekend that Stringer already had taken some of his midfield responsibility.

With Thomas, given that North will want to play the kids and accelerate their rebuild as much as possible, I can see him being given every opportunity to thrive in that midfield and since he’s third fiddle behind Simpkin and Cunnington. I would be aware; however, Jed Anderson is set to return in 2-3 weeks’ time and could have some effect on his midfield minutes. 

If you are looking for an alternative then Lachie Hunter (AF $662k SC $518k M/F) could provide that (sorry SuperCoach players, but he’s available as M/F in AF), since Treloar and Dunkley have gone down Hunter has had to step up into a consistent wingman. Now his price has taken a massive dip since the start of the year but that is mainly due to him being wildly overpriced, he’s hit the vertex of his price and has started to climb back up with a nice 4 round average of 99.25 which comfortably puts him in your top 6 forwards, at 9% ownership he just fits in that POD bracket and could be handy over popular selections likeBolton, Dusty and Dangerfield.

Mailbag – Twitter Questions

As always, we run a segment where we answer your questions on Twitter regarding your current team scenario and in general fantasy related questions.

“Who goes first in AFL Fantasy, Poulter or Phillips?” @BriersSpencer

Now I am not sure if you are talking about Will or Tom Phillips as they were both popular options in AFL Fantasy at some point this year, so I will discuss both. Together they have been someone of a letdown and have not fulfilled their potential that we so hoped they would. Will Phillips (AF $279k SC $195k MID) hasn’t been a part of the North side since Round 8 where he was the sub that day but did put in a solid shift in the 2s with a 30 disposal that included 9 clearances and 7 tackles. So, he may be in line for a recall.

Tom Phillips (AF $524k SC $363k M/F) unfortunately has not returned to his 2018 and 2019 form where he was a very solid wingman for the Pies averaging 95.5 and 90.5 in those years so coming into the year under-priced and with DPP status it seemed like a bargain. He has not set the world on fire and there are not any indications that he will return to that premium scoring with a high score of 87 in Round 1 his best score for the year.

Now since Caleb Poulter (AF $486k SC $313k M/F) debuted in the team he’s made the wing role his own as he has become a solid contributor scoring a mix of 60s thrown in with 2 tons. He has still got some cash to make but I would not expect him to continue averaging 74.6 from now on but certainly his high job security mixed in with his potential for high scores should make him a solid rookie option for the next few weeks at least. 

Now onto who to dump, my order would be Will Phillips then Tom Phillips and then Poulter. Poulter should remain in your team for at least the next few weeks since he has cash to make, while it is tempting to bin him because he’s made a lot of cash for us, I would only trade if you are bringing in a top premium for him, there aren’t many rookies out here to pick up this week (I’ll be discussing them in the next question).

Will Phillips is not exactly guaranteed to return to the side soon which is why he would be the first to go in my opinion and even when he plays his role doesn’t exactly get him mega points (maybe in a few years’ time he’ll become an elite scorer). Tom Phillips is one of those where you might just ride through the pain barrier and that is cause he’s still dishing out 80 odd scores at best, while this is mediocre scoring unless you’ve got no rookies to upgrade, trading him would be more of a premium upgrade, remember we want no rookies on our field, Phillips probably will be scoring slightly better than most rookies so we can worry about it later.

“Who is the best rookie to get?” @BigV2011WCE

Honestly, there are very few rookies to jump on this week and probably the best one in my opinion is Joel Amartey (AF $261k SC $195k R/F). Currently filling in the second ruck/forward role that Sam Reid or Hayden Mclean would fill, he’s done very solidly averaging 83 (AF) / 68 (SC) and also carries the DPP which will come in handy for owners of Callum Coleman-Jones.

The likes of Luke Foley, Luke Edwards and Kieren Briggs are also decent selections but I would worry about their job security with Foley and Edwards being pressured from returning Eagles stars and Briggs is currently only a placeholder for when Shane Mumford is not able to play. Another option is Lachie Bramble (AF $183k SC $102k MID)who made his debut on the weekend and scored a solid 54. Given he is a mature body he didn’t look out of place and did some nice things, however job security would still be questionable so you could easily wait a week (especially if you are a SuperCoach player). 

“Do you believe there are too many trades in #AFLFantasy? Sportsdeck still going with Real AFL Fantasy” @mc_grath6

Each game format has its pros and cons, AFL Fantasy is probably good for players who are relatively new to the Fantasy landscape with its easy-to-follow scoring algorithm and essentially no limit to trades.

I personally have not played too much Sportsdeck but from what I see, it’s a combination of SuperCoach’s trade rules and AFL Fantasy’s scoring format. What I like about having 30 trades for the whole year is that there is more strategy involved as you must make every single one of your 30 trades count.

There is no right or wrong answer here because if AFL Fantasy went to limited trades it would basically become the same as Sportsdeck, so I do like there’s variety between the game modes. All in all, AFL Fantasy is great for those who want to get into this aspect of the game, Sportsdeck is AFL Fantasy but with more strategy involved while SuperCoach is similar to Sportsdeck but just utilises a whole different format which is supposed to reward players impacting the game rather than stat padding. 

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