The Buzz: Martin, Cogs or Daicos – who to trade first, Saints’ Steele beneficiaries & bargain premos

Well, it’s no secret out there that one of our best fantasy midfielders is out for 6-8 weeks which means it will most definitely be a forced trade but who are some of the best options to trade him to.

Ethan Lee

A lot of people are doing the obvious pick of moving him to one of the other uber premiums like Rory Laird, Callum Mills, Christian Petracca or Touk Miller. But are any of the Saints players who could benefit from his absence worth a look into? Let’s take a look.

Brad Crouch (AF $833k SC $490k MID)
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree here. Crouch is set to be one of the biggest winners from Steele’s injuries. While in previous years Crouch hasn’t been a reliable fantasy option having only a career-high average of 107.9 in AFL Fantasy and 98.4 in SuperCoach.

He’s so far averaging career-high numbers in Supercoach and on track for a 105+ season in AFL fantasy. Interestingly enough if you take out the low score of 49 where he had 11 clangers, he would be currently averaging 110, which is more than enough for a look into being a top 10-15 midfielder. With the current workload now being put on him, he could very well become a sneaky point of difference for your midfield.

A ball-winning, tackling machine fits the profile of Steele’s replacement well, it’s just a matter of can he elevates himself to now hit the scoreboard and be elite by his disposal because in the past that has been a crux of his game. Furthermore, queries about his ability to stay healthy and fit on the park have been questioned too as he’s only played 1 full season in his career, so history depicts that at some point he’s probably missing a game or two. Overall if you need some cash I would back this pick as it can allow you to get 2 premos this week.

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Jack Sinclair (AF $767k SC $521k D/M)
The role of Sinclair has been a little bit of an enigma as from weeks 1-4 he was used as one of their inside midfielders while also having minutes rotating off half-back. But after round 4 he seemingly went back permanently to that half-back role with a small cameo in Round 8 being the only time he saw additional midfield time. Now that the Saints have lost their best midfielder, he could very well see some more midfield minutes from this week going forward but will it make a difference to his scoring.

Probably not as his only poor scores this year had come when it was unfavourable conditions in Darwin and when they got destroyed by the Dees. But in all the other games regardless of midfield or half-back, he’s still scoring tons. So, pick him up definitely but not because of the role but because he’s currently the cheapest he’ll be for a little bit. He screams of fallen premium. 

Jade Gresham (AF $675k SC $432k M/F)
Gresham is probably going to be the biggest beneficiary with Steele’s absence as he’s only a part-time midfielder in the Saints midfield rotation. This year, his midfield minutes have been up and down as there have been games where he’s been the number 1 or 2 option in the centre bounces, but in the past 2 weeks, he’s been pushed up in the half-forward line bit more.

He’s got that ability to provide that bit of X-factor in the midfield with his pace and good decision making to score well in the supercoach format at the very least with 5 scores over 100 this season.  He’s close to being in that top 10 forward level but he’s probably one that doesn’t need to be locked in compared to Sinclair or Crouch.

Seb Ross (AF $728k SC $529k MID)
Another Saints midfielder that should see more midfield time, not that he wasn’t getting it in the first place. But the last six weeks have seen Ross score tons five times. For those who didn’t know Ross was a post-bye specialist and he would finish the season on fire post-bye averaging 110+ in 2018 and 2019. However, in recent years and Jack Steele’s emergences, we are yet to see the best of Seb Ross until now.

The past few weeks he’s turned it on and scored like his old self to show that he could be of some value. But it would be extremely risky to punt on him especially when someone like Crouch is similarly priced and likely will average more. But one to consider if he’s hanging around in the waiver wire in your draft leagues or you just want to be different.

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The downgrade dilemma – Nic Martin vs Nick Daicos vs Stephen Coniglio

It’s no secret that people are looking to trade one of Martin, Daicos or Coniglio (unless you’re an owner of Lachie Whitfield as he’s been ruled out due to injury and now have an excuse to trade him). But what are the pros and cons to trading each of them and which one should go first?  

Stephen Coniglio (AF $684k SC $430k M/F)
Pros: The biggest pro to Coniglio is that he has the best role and proven scoring history in the past, if he’s given an on-ball role by new coach Marc McVeigh, he can score extremely well as seen in prior years. On the team sheet he’s currently been named on the ball (but that does not necessarily mean he will be there at the starting centre bounce, nor will it mean he’s the main inside midfielder for the whole match but it’s a positive nevertheless). A smaller pro to take away is that they are playing the Eagles this week so expect some big scores for the Giants this week, but whether they come for Coniglio or not is a different question but in the past goalkicking midfielders do dominate the Eagles as seen with the likes of Petracca, Rozee and Bolton in the last few weeks. 

Cons: An absolutely chonky break-even does mean that another stinker means he will drop a hefty amount of cash and will make it harder for us to upgrade him to a premium. As mentioned in some of the pros there is no guarantee that with a new coach, he will benefit in an improved role but we still will give him the benefit of the doubt because we know his proven history however it is going to hurt seeing his value tank a bit.

Nic Martin (AF $621k SC $396k M/F)
Pros: Generally, a consistent scorer if you took out last week’s result where pretty much every Bomber got outplayed, he was averaging 90 odd which is what you would expect from a guy getting 20 touches and having a scoreboard every game. It’s a bit too early to know if that was just a one-off poor game or if this is the beginning of the end because he’s played seven very good games before that one off last week. We can give him time to re-evaluate if there are any changes to the Bombers’ game plan. Indeed, his role shouldn’t change as he’s dominating the wing for them.

Cons: The only reason I can think of is that he will have a high BE for the next two weeks which will stagnate his price. Other than that, it’s a lot of if buts and maybe’s but most certainly he’s one to see if he can bounce back. 

Nick Daicos (AF $621k SC $382k D/M)
Pros: Probably has the highest floor of all the players listed above, even though he has scored twice under 70 in comparison to Martin who has only done it once he plays a role which is very favourable to getting easy touches and like I mentioned in the past. The Pies rate his decision making and ball use so it’s easy to see why he’s only gone under 20 touches once this year which has led to some solid scores. He’s also got the lowest break-even out of all the players listed and will likely hold his value. 

Cons: Unfortunately, a lot of that scoring is uncontested and that’s what limits his ceiling from being an 80 odd average to pushing it higher. So really his current price might be his maximum price unless we see something change from his game. 

Overall, if you had to trade one, it would be Daicos then Martin and then Coniglio in that order, there are still too many question marks I would like to have answered with Coniglio especially before moving him on. But if you end up holding all three, this answer may be completely different come next week with another bit of data under our belt. 

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Premiums to add to your watchlist

Over the last week, we had some premiums who did end up dropping a poor score or who have had a slight role change over the last few weeks so I wanted you guys to keep track of which falling premiums you should have your eyes on during the upcoming bye period where its crunch time to get all your final premiums set.

Zach Merrett (AF $840k SC $560k MID) BE: 158/164 (AF/SC)
Merrett has been an extremely consistent premium for the longest time averaging over 100 for the past 7 seasons with a career-high of 115 in the last 2 years. He was very during in this time as well only missing 2 games. Unfortunately, that streak came to an end when he missed a small chunk of footy with what seemed like a serious ankle injury, but he miraculously recovered in half the time he was initially ruled out for. When he came back, he didn’t seem out of touch scoring a few tons and high 90s.

He was completely missing in the game against the Swans and was pushed out of the centre bounces attending a season-low 26% of them in comparison to his current season average of 66%. Whether this trend continues is a different question, but his poor score will mean he will fall in value at a rapid rate but will be ripe for the picking post his bye assuming he gets his role back. I couldn’t answer as to why he was out of the midfield but it’s something to keep an eye on if that trend continues as we saw something similar in 2020 where the first block of games he was out on a wing before being put back into the midfield and ended up dominating. 

Travis Boak (AF $821k SC $555k MID) BE: 153/141 (AF/SC)
Another player who has slowly transitioned back as a forward with the likes of Butters and Rozee moving into a permanent midfield role. After starting the year like a house on fire, as he’s done in the past few years his last 3 weeks have been an absolute roller coaster with a score of 87, 149 and 36.

Even though they were playing North he just couldn’t get near the footy but is that just a one-off? Likely the like Zerrettwill fall in price fast, but not only will he become cheap but he’s also in the mix to receive forward status which would make him an easy top 10 forward selection if he’s playing like this. Keep him on the watchlist for the added DPP, I don’t believe less midfield time will hamper him too much as he’s already shown he can score well in that mid-fwd role. 

Tom Mitchell (AF $803k SC $527k MID) BE: 158/164 (AF/SC)
It was a bit of a false dawn for coaches who decided to start/trade him Titchell after his amazing performance against the Cats and in the first half against the swans but since then he’s gone missing and was interestingly rested last week which puzzled some coaches about whether it was related to his “groin awareness” he had in the pre-season or a genuine rest after picking up one too many knocks. Regardless, Titchell has been a staple of our fantasy midfielders for the longest time, and he’s set to become the cheapest he’s been for the longest time probably back in the days when John Longmire refused to pick him after averaging 50 disposals in the NEAFL.

There’s going to be an opportunity for him to bounce back but whether he’s limited by this groin injury or not is very much unknown as we’ll have to wait and see if he can push through because looking at his inside midfield role it’s very similar to other years if anything its slightly less than normal, but he’s still involved in half of the centre bounces. Sam Mitchell in one of his press conferences already mentioned that he’s happy to play Titchell anywhere because “he can find the football regardless of what position he plays” so that could be a worrying sign if you already have him. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t end up with a 105+ average by the end of the year, however, but stranger things have happened before. 

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