The Buzz – Round 21 burning questions: Role changes, bargain buys & mailbag

It was almost a nightmare scenario for all coaches last week with the potential for up to 3 games being threatened to being cancelled, luckily thanks to the flexibility of the AFL we were able to have a 5-game super Sunday and play them all out without losing any players.


But we do need to be wary of scenarios like these happening in the future as we’ve had a couple of mini scares in the past few weeks.

It was still a good week for scoring especially for owners of Andrew Brayshaw, who dominated the Tigers and finished on a whopping 190 SC points which separated the pack a bit.

Today I’ll be discussing some players who have had a slight role change for the better or worse and whether it’s time to give them the flick or consider picking them up as a late season selection.

I’ll also be answering your questions on Facebook/Twitter and going over some bargain buys in each position.

Role Change Alert

This week we saw a few player’s names being thrown around the whiteboard into unknown roles with varying success. I’ll be going through some of the more relevant options today and see whether they’re worth a look in or will you potentially need to trade them on. 

Jack Silvagni (AF $537k SC $374k FWD)

Carlton’s ruckstocks are extremely thin now with Tom De Koning being sidelined in Friday night’s match with an unknown chest injury, he will need to pass a fitness test in order to play this week. But other ruck options like Pittonet, Casboult and Mirkov are also listed as injuries and are unlikely to be rushed back so soon.

The last few weeks Jack Silvagni has been thrown into the 2nd ruck role and when De Koning went down with that chest injury Silvangi stepped up in a big way. He’s seen a large improvement to his scoring output as he tends to get involved in the midfield a lot more racking up more disposals, getting tackles, a few hit-outs every now and again, but more importantly he’s winning clearances which means he’s getting first use from the stoppages which can’t be a bad thing.

While his opposing ruckman in Marshall absolutely dominated the ruck duel, Silvangi held his own with his ability to outwork the opposing ruckman. The Blues have Gold Coast, Port and the Giants in the last 3 matches, 2 of those teams (Gold Coast and GWS) aren’t exactly blessed with talented ruckmen. While he shouldn’t be a “lock” to trade in, if you need a point of difference or are running low on budget, he could be someone to look at especially given this role is giving a lot of upsides. 

Tim Taranto (AF $734k SC $425k MID)

So, in Round 19 Taranto has been essentially kicked out of the midfield group and instead must spend his time playing as a half forward for the Giants which is really killing his scoring, while he only generally spends half the game in the midfield his last 2 games have seen him spend a season low of 4 centre bounce appearances in those games combined.

It seems as if Brent Daniels has “swapped” roles with him in these weeks as he’s pretty much been the Giant’s 2nd most prominent midfielder in those games. However, the Giants are currently the walking wounded and their midfield department has taken a hit in Round 20 with Jacob Hopper (Concussion) and Tom Green (Hamstring) set to miss the next game at the very least. Could this mean that Taranto reclaims those midfield minutes or will Leon Cameron throw another role player into the midfield instead of Taranto.

I feel if you own in him AFL Fantasy you can trade him given your team is at full premium as there are some nice bargains out there but for supercoach owners with limited trades try to limit how many “non-forced” trades you have to make. For all we know he could get back to his form we saw in the midpoint in the year. 

Shai Bolton (AF $528k SC $396k MID/FWD)

When Dusty went down we were all excited for Bolton to save our season and be a nice cheap replacement especially with Rowan Marshall unavailable that week. But we had an absolute stinker from him and to be fair from the whole Richmond team in that week when the Cats destroyed them in all aspects.

Much optimism was made of his role however as he was thrown into that inside midfield role for that game ending up with 78% CBA appearances however this week against Freo that completely flipped with Prestia’s return as he took all those midfield minutes back. Bolton unfortunately couldn’t get much done that day and thus we have 2 “subpar” scores in a row. To be fair to Bolton he did have an alright statline but just couldn’t find the goals, so if were to have 3.0 rather than 0.3 he could have had like an 80+ score.

With the Tigers getting absolutely destroyed in the midfield by the duo of Brayshaw and Cerra, they could shake things up especially coming up against a North midfield who are very much inform. Like Taranto, if you can afford to “sideways trade” because your team is full premium and you’re playing in a format with infinite trades then go for it but again I would stick fat Bolton in your forward line given the potential for him to score well. Keep an eye on if you have any rookies on your bench playing however and see if it’s worth loopholing an underperforming player. 

Josh Dunkley (AF $766k SC $589k MID/FWD)

Unfortunately for Dunkley it’s a bit of deja vu, he starts the year absolutely on fire, gets a long-term injury and then loses his role in that bulldogs midfield. While Bailey Smith is absolutely flourishing this inside midfield gig scoring 4 tons on the trot, Dunkley score is suffering and for someone who carries that dpp status, it will hurt owners and potential future owners.

With news that Adam Treloar is set to return soon, it can’t be good news for him with another pea added to the already overflowing pod. What this does open up is an even cheaper Dunkley for the 2022 season however and he should get his MID/FWD status so that is a slight positive note. Do keep an eye on his role however, if any of the Dog’s key mids end up going down then we could see Dunkley re-enter the fray to be that ball magnet and tackling machine we all loved him to be in those first 6 games.

Not many people have him due to his expensive price and even if you do, you should probably get rid of him. But come Round 23 if he’s fallen cheap enough and you need that wildcard in your league final, do consider trading him in because he is very much a proven scorer. It’s just a matter of getting that role back, just monitor that over the next couple of weeks. 

Bargain Buys

Like always I’ll be discussing my opinions on players who are priced too cheap for their current output and who you could use to finish your teams off to help win your leagues. 

Adam Cerra (AF $663k SC $461k MID)

He initially was going to be on last week’s segment discussing midfielders who may step up in the absence of an injured superstar but I went with Brayshaw instead. But this week we saw both absolutely torch the Richmond midfield and end up with huge scores.

He has been thrown into an inside midfield role as of now and that has reaped a massive benefit as for most of the season he’s been played on the wing with stints in the guts. He’s coming off a few so-so scores of 98,82 and 75 before he really burst out with back-to-back 120+ games and that is thanks to the increased midfield role he was given. Since he is out of contract at the end of the year he will be playing for a few extra dollars so performances like these at the back end of the year won’t hurt.

Another great benefit for Cerra is that he’s not even likely to receive a tag. Both Brayshaw and Mundy are likely to have a defensive midfielder stuck on them first if they are being too impactful and thus leaves Cerra to rack up the pill plenty. Freo do play 2 very out of form teams in Brisbane and West Coast so they are games where Cerra could continue to score large. 

Chad Wingard (AF $590k SC $419k MID/FWD)

Since returning from injury, Wingard has been getting back to his All-Australian best playing as that high half forward role with a few bursts into the midfield. He already was doing this earlier in the year and he was scoring around 85 before he was struck down with injury. Why I like this selection is that he does a bit of everything on his stat sheet so that he isn’t reliant on just disposals or just goals to build his score, so even if he can’t find the pill that often he may pop up for a goal or two or put on the pressure in the forward line and end up with a good amount of tackles.

Wingard will be playing a leadership role for the Hawks in their upcoming rebuild so I’d expect him to show some of his best football especially given his last few seasons would be poor considering his standards. We all know what he is capable of as he was able to average nearly 100 points in supercoach in his 2nd and 4th year. Could he be a forward that finishes the year on fire? Potentially, have a look if you need a cheap forward, but then again playing in a bottom 4 club in a forward line isn’t equally a winning formula. 

Jeremy Howe (AF $578k SC $437k DEF)

I expect most teams to have their teams at full premium now and for the most part the defenders are very overpriced, but if you are looking at a defender who has the potential to score big and is playing a friendly role then I would consider Jeremy Howe. Howe started the year with a few decent scores before injuring his hamstring in Round 5 which saw him miss a huge chunk of games.

He made a surprise return last week in the Magpies thumping win over the Eagles and seemed to be playing that similar role of that +1 defender in the backline, intercept marking and distributing the ball from the back. We all know what Howe is capable of at his best because last year he was the number 1 defender before a shocking knee injury derailed his season and while i don’t think he will score as well as he did in 2020, paying 437k for a player who can potentially finish the year on 3 100+ scores aren’t such a bad thing. He has taken over the role of kick outs at Collingwood from Maynard so that is a bonus. Again, only if you need a defender this late in the season do consider him as a selection. 

Facebook and Twitter Questions 

How many rooks is too many to be cashing out??” – Daniel Rechichi

At this stage of the season, we shouldn’t be caring too much about cash generation, so I would be trading my way to remove as many rookies on the field as possible. If you already have a full premium team that you are happy with, as well as the batch of rookies have really good job security and provide consistent scoring like a 60 or so, then he can be good cover especially if we get a scenario where we have late outs like in the GWS-Sydney match where there was nothing, we could do to conduct a late trade.

Ideally, we want to be cashing out the rookies when they are at their maximum price as well and do consider we only have 2 trades per week so you can only cash in 2 every week. Most teams won’t be debuting new players either this late in the season so finding a rookie to replace them with may be difficult. 

“Taranto back to CBAs now Green and Hopper gone?” – Luke Randazzo

There is potential for this to happen, as mentioned above the injuries to the Giants mids have opened the door for Taranto to step back in but this is Leon Cameron we are dealing with here who played their best midfielder at half-forward for the first 4-5 weeks of the season before the realisation of a midfielder plays well in the midfield.

I would keep an eye on the team selections and see if they are bringing in any players who could possibly play in the midfield to fill that void. If we see a forward coming in to replace them then I would say that is very good news for Taranto on paper but who knows we could very well see Nick Haynes thrown into the guts before Taranto does. I’m hopeful he does return to his best role but unfortunately I don’t get to choose who plays where for an AFL club. 

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