The Buzz: Cogs, Butters, Brodie & Daicos, keepers or stepping stones? Role changes & R9 captaincy picks

The current talk of the town is that some of our value selections at the start of the year are now under-performing or are hitting their cash ceiling but is there an argument for them being a genuine keeper for the rest of the year.

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Let’s look at their current role and find out if it’s worth moving them on sooner rather than later. 

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Stephen Coniglio (AF $719k SC $452k M/F)

Last week was the second week we’ve seen a genuine worry with Coniglio’s role and how he scores. In Rounds 1 and 2 he was playing as a 50/50 mid/forward split attending at least half of the centre bounces but has been swiftly pushed out to be a genuine high half-forward which has had some mixed results with his scoring. For example, his best scores this year had come when he was not playing as an inside midfielder where he had 30 touches and five tackles against the Suns as well as a 20-disposal, three-goal effort against the Crows in Round 7. But when you have the good, you’ll have the bad and these are the performances that coaches are frustratingly trying to work out if he stays or goes.

While a week ago he was a 90+/100+ (AF/SC) averaging forward, that was probably an unrealistic expectation from him as he doesn’t exactly have his inside midfield role that we have seen in the past. He has been a great cash cow for us so far and currently, he sits as a top 10 scoring forward. But that will slide by the end of the year. He will be one of the last forwards we will upgrade but certainly, there is no need to shift him on now especially when he plays West Coast and North in two of his next four games which he can stat pad.

Zak Butters (AF $636k SC $422k M/F)

Butters has the inconsistency of a key forward in a fantasy sense as he’s currently scored twice over 100 in Fantasy and, in SuperCoach, three scores over 110 and four scores under 60. So, there’s absolutely no in-between with him to get an understanding of what his true scoring potential is. All throughout the pre-season, we were hyped that Butters was going to be used more in the midfield and that hasn’t changed really as he’s attending around 50% of all centres bounces this season but it fluctuates.

While I can give him a pass for a few of his underperforming games as against the Eagles he was sick all week and against the Demons he suffered friendly fire from a teammate, the performances against the Dogs and Crows were completely unexplainable. Did we set too high expectations for him based on the preseason? That is probably the case, but does he need to be traded right now. I would say no and that is just purely on the basis that there are other priorities to fix up first before upgrading Butters. 

Nick Daicos (AF $638k SC $381k D/M)

The most selected rookie across both formats has started to reach his price ceiling but his recent addition to being a defender gives him the potential to become a potential late keeper for our teams. Currently only averaging 86/83 (AF/SC).

He has shown early in the year he has no trouble finding the footy and at times has been thrown into the midfield mix because of his excellent decision making. But his last four games have been a bit tamer so the question becomes can we keep him for our D6 position or should we be starting to think about upgrading him now with all the nice rookies available to us. You could hold onto him throughout the byes because he’s one of the premium rookie scores but it’s hard to see him push through that 95+ barrier for a defensive keeper especially as a first-year player once the fatigue starts to wear in.

Nic Martin (AF $602k SC $384k M/F)

Currently, the likely front runner for the rising star Martin is playing like he’s a 200-game player with stat lines of 20 disposals and two goals per game he’s playing absolutely lights out for the Bombers and our fantasy teams. He does play a genuine wing role in the Bombers team but he’s got such good use and is always in the right place at the right time, so he’ll pop up for goals and the Bombers do want it in his hands when possible. From the current eight-game sample size, we can see what his ceiling would be with an insane five-goal effort against the Cats in Round 1. It’s just a question of what his floor will be and whether that brings his average below that 90-95 needed to be a keeper. But for sure like Daicos, he will be one of your final upgrades. 

Will Brodie (AF $677k SC $467k M/F)

Another saviour for our forward lines. Brodie has shown how great of a midfielder he is when he’s given a chance at his role and not dropped every 2nd match or played out of position like at the Suns. Currently the sixth and seventh highest scoring forward in SuperCoach and AFL Fantasy respectively. There is a genuine case for him to be a keeper all year long but there is one question mark and that is what will his scoring look like when Nat Fyfe is back in the team. Does he keep the same midfield role and Fyfe is pushed forward or is Brodie forced to play different positions because of Fyfe’s return? It is one to keep an eye on but for the time being there is no reason to trade out a current top 10 performing forward. 

Interesting role changes to take note of

In the last few weeks, some of the head coaches have started to experiment or flip the magnets with some of the players, so I’ve pointed out a few that have had a role change in the last few weeks and what relevant scoring that has had for them and whether there are other players that also may benefit from this. 

Jayden Short (AF $878k SC $561k DEF)

Damien Hardwick must have been inspired by the Rory Laird move into the midfield because the past two weeks have seen Short become an inside midfielder after we all know him for his ability to run and carry the ball from the back half. While his scoring hasn’t changed that much it is another string to his bow and can unleash other Richmond half-back flankers likeNickVlastuin, Daniel Rioli and Nathan Broad to improve their scoring. While we haven’t really seen everyone play all together in these new roles as Vlastuin was out due to H&S protocols last week. One thing to note for Short owners is that he’s no longer on kick-in duties so those easy cheap points are no longer there if this role is his but at the cost of an inside midfield role, I don’t think we’ll mind.

David Swallow (AF $568k SC $368k D/M)

He hasn’t been a fantasy-relevant option since 2014 but there might be some value in him currently. So far, his scores have been absolutely dreadful up to Round 5 he scored no higher than 72 points in either format. However, in round 6 he was moved onto a proper on-ball role taking up 72% of the centre bounces which majorly improved his scoring to 84/96. Round 7 saw him sent back to half-back but again last week against the Swans he was an in and under midfielder after Noah Anderson was a late withdrawal scoring a season-high 120/123. While I’m not convinced of his current role being permanent yet as the Suns will want to continue to develop their young kids. In the games he is playing as a permanent midfielder, he can average around 95-105 points. Like I mentioned before, it’s probably not worth it to pick him up now but one to keep on your radar if he is given midfield minutes, he is more suited for your bargain draft buys if he’s a free agent or on the waiver wire.  

Literally the whole GWS team

So, the recent news that Leon Cameron is stepping down from coaching the Giants, we must keep faith in the Giants players that were being thrown around in different positions on a week-to-week basis. Mainly guys like Lachie Ash, Lachie Whitfield, Coniglio, Josh Kelly and a few others but the ones we mostly focus on are Whitfield, Coniglio and Kelly as these three either are played in a role that is weaker for their scoring or in Whitfield’s case, the magnet gets thrown around and wherever it lands is the position he plays.

I’m sure in the last two weeks we have seen Whitfield play every position across the ground and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets chucked into the ruck this week in Cameron’s farewell match. Similarly,Kelly and Coniglio two of their best midfielders are stuck either on a wing or at half-forward at times and that has happened in their scoring in the past or currently. So, in the coming weeks when Mark McVeigh takes over the reign of coaching, keep an eye on any new role changes or ones that favour these players mentioned above. 

Captaincy choices

Your most popular captaincy choices this week will almost definitely be one of the likes of Max Gawn, Christian Petracca or Clayton Oliver who play the depleted Eagles so it’s almost inevitable that one of them scores a big one on Sunday. In recent games, goal-kicking midfielders have destroyed the Eagles with the likes of Hugh McCluggage, Shai Bolton and Connor Rozee having huge games so it wouldn’t be a surprise ifPetracca or Oliver push the 200 marks as your captain on Sunday. Ruckmen haven’t fared that well against the Eagles with the last ruckman to ton up against them being Peter Ladhams scoring 112/117 in Round 5 so there might be some risk in going with Gawn. 

As mentioned previously inside midfielders score the most against the likes of Hawthorn and with Tom Mitchell absent from the team. However, the mids that play against the Hawks this week are far and few between as they play the Tigers, but one option who you might loophole as they play early Saturday afternoon could be Jayden Short. While we can’t read much history-wise as he’s playing a new position, the Hawks gave up extremely high scores to the likes of Callum Mills, Petracca, and Darcy Parish in the last few weeks so. He could be a fantasy option for you to leave the VC on as a risk. 

Jackson Macrae or Josh Dunkley are still going to be a great option and a VC since they play on a Friday night. While both don’t have a great track record against the Pies in recent times, the Pies have also given up a lot of big scores with the likes of Parish, Touk Miller and Noah Anderson scoring 130+. Almost worthwhile VC’ing one of the Dogs mids if you are going to play it safe this week. One of them will hit a 130+ score as they have alternated this pattern across the whole season.

Someone else that I haven’t seen been given a lot of love as a captaincy pick is Patrick Cripps, while in the past he has been shut down by Matt De Boer. This year he has scored over 130 in five of the seven games he has played. So, you could almost make a case that he would be one of the safest captaincy choices this week. However, with Harry McKay being out and again facing one of the teams that will tag a player, he could be forced to play as a permanent full-forward depending on who Carlton decides to name in their finalised 22. One to keep an eye on where he starts and who goes to him if he is at the first centre bounce.  

Someone who is completely left field to a normal premium would be Braydon Preuss. While I don’t recommend anyone captaining him, he is going up against the combination of their backup ruckman in Tom De Koning and Jack Silvagni. His only matchup against the Blues saw him score a 140 back in 2019 and that was against a stronger ruckman in Matthew Kreuzer. Still yet to drop under 100 in SuperCoach he could absolutely monster each ruck contest and score big especially when the Giants are going to put everything on the line for Leon Cameron in his farewell game (or at least you hope). 

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