AFL Fantasy Expert Panel: Cogs, Doc, Walsh, Zerrett, Owens – Top R13 trade-in picks coming off the bye

One bye round done, two to come and the trading plans should get easier from here, with options galore of players coming off their bye. We’ve assembled a team of experts to select the pick of the bunch.


Our expert panelists are;

  • Luke Strudwick @Strudy23, two-time AFL Fantasy top 100 finisher,
  • Tim Rosen @timrosen35, former AFL Fantasy 13th place finisher, currently ranked 1,508th,
  • Ben Lamont @LaMontstars, 255th in 2021 AFL Fantasy, currently ranked 1,072nd,
  • Karl Moellner @kmoel89, currently ranked 54th in AFL Fantasy,
  • Hamish Hennessy @Hamishennessy, currently ranked 546th in AFL Fantasy.

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HB: Thanks everyone for offering their two cents. The big question is which players should we target in Round 13, coming off their Round 12 bye?

Luke Strudwick: Josh Kelly (AF $908k MID, BE 100) is averaging 106 for the year but 120 in the last five. With the new coach and Taranto and Lachie Whitfield under injury clouds, he’s bound to keep this good scoring up. Only thing that will stop him being a top eight midfielder is injury. But he’s someone I’m strongly targeting this week against North.

Zach Merrett (AF $790k MID, BE 112) looks to be a very popular trade in target this week and it’s for good reason. He is tremendous value for a player who can be a top five midfielder in the competition and you are getting him for under $800k. He’s only averaging 98 for the season but I’m tipping he will bump that up to 108-115 in the second half of the year.

With the rookies looking thin, Mitch Owens (AF $266k MID, BE -9) looks like one of the best rookie options under $300k. He’s coming off 95 in Round 11 but the most impressive thing was that he laid 10 tackles. While he won’t do that every week I’d be backing him in for a 60-70 average.

Tim Rosen: For mine there are two types of targets coming off the first bye round. The underpriced premium who you think can average 10 points more than they are priced at for the rest of the season, or the uber premium that is guaranteed to finish in your best 22. With many good forwards on their bye this week, I’m focussing on fixing up that last midfield/defender spot this week.

Zach Merrett is currently averaging 98.8 and priced at $790k. If you take out that one stinker against Sydney where none of the Bombers turned up, he hasn’t gone below 92. We know he has a decent ceiling from previous seasons, and he is coming off 103/105. His second half of the season has always been stronger than the first, so I think it’s worth taking a punt that he can average 105+ from here on in. You’ll be saving $100k when comparing it to the other midfield options this week such as Sam Walsh, Josh Kelly and Darcy Parish. Let’s not forget he has averaged 108+ in five of his past six seasons (adjusted 2020 for shorter quarters).

Sam Docherty: I know a fair few teams will already have Doc, but I don’t. I didn’t take the punt at the start of the season because I simply couldn’t fathom how quickly he has recovered from such a serious illness. But he hasn’t missed a beat. He is clearly back to the form that saw him average 109 across a two-year period in 2016/17. Carlton use him at almost all kick-ins (either as the guy kicking in or the first option once exiting), and again whenever they switch the ball. Only two scores below 95 and they weren’t dreadful either. Five scores 114+ shows he has a ceiling too. Absolute no brainer this week if you don’t already have him.

Those that already have Doc could look at Jack Sinclair as the alternative. His role as the set-up guy for St Kilda means that he will be racking up plus-sixes no matter if he plays across half back or in the midfield.

Ben Lamont: Josh Kelly is owned by 7.9% of the comp. Jelly is worth picking on form alone with 120, 124 and 134 in his last three, but with news that Tim Taranto is still not ready and North Melbourne this week, he could not be riper. In the run home also he has Collingwood, Hawthorn, and Essendon, as well as some of his favourite teams in Brisbane (104 avg) and Carton (111 avg). The new coaching set-up seems to be agreeing with him, as good as a must-have for the rest of the year.

Sam Walsh is only owned by 7.8% of the comp, and has a career average against his remaining opposition of 102.09 (which includes his rookie year). Lowest scores this year of 89, 95 and 97, he is a model of consistency and with a last-three average of 114.3, he is really hitting his straps. Cannot see him averaging under 110+ for the rest of the year.

Karl Moellner: Stephen Coniglio is one I will be looking at bringing back into my side this week after dumping him a while back. With Mark McVeigh confirming they will be using him as predominately a midfielder as well as Tim Taranto being confirmed as most likely still being a few weeks away. He has a low BE this week and a soft match-up against North so I think you will be looking at an instant reward if you aren’t already holding him.

As far as rookies for the week, I think Mitch Owens if named will be highly traded in and rightfully so. His price point makes him slightly more unattractive than other $190k options however with best 18 scoring taking place and most teams having to field a few rookies, based on the little we have seen so far I think he has the highest scoring potential out of any rookies at his price or lower.

Being a Carlton supporter I also will be having a big watch on Will Hayes if named, as I can potentially see them bringing him in to play a wing role. He has been putting up great VFL numbers so while his job security may not be great, his scoring potential is higher than other options around his price point.

Hamish Hennessy: Stephen Coniglio (AF $704k M/F) is an absolute bargain in a value-priced premium midfielder. Role looks much better under new coach, and scores also reflect he is back to his pig-like ways. Must-have.

The other one is Sam Docherty (AF $862k DEF), who is averaging 106 and with just 12% ownership, is a must-have defender. Tonned up on seven of 11 occasions and scored mostly 90s if he misses the triple figures. Will boost your rank.

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