AFL Fantasy Expert Panel: McCluggage, Marshall, Moore – PODs for a late-season rankings rise

Most AFL Fantasy teams are practically ‘complete’ by now but those looking for an edge for the final five rounds for a rankings surge or head-to-head league finals may turn to a point of difference (POD).

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We’re not huge advocates for PODs, but late in the season, the risk of a disaster is smaller, given the number of games to be played is smaller. In essence, a POD can go one of two ways, but one of those ways is up, so if you’re off the pace what have you got to lose?

So we’ve called up our AFL Fantasy experts to offer their suggestions on a few PODs for the final sprint. Our experts are:

  • Max Phillips; currently ranked 892th in AFL Fantasy and finished 80th in 2022 AFLW Fantasy,
  • Tim Rosen, former AFL Fantasy 13th place finisher, currently ranked 1,184th,
  • Nick Millar; 2020 Fantasy fifth-placer,
  • Ben Lamont, 255th in 2021 AFL Fantasy, currently ranked 2,890th,

Max Phillips @MaxiPhillips

Hugh McCluggage (AF $924k MID, 2% owned) – The 24-year-old has raised his Fantasy game to new heights this year, clocking three scores over 120 following Brisbane’s bye including a season-best 142 against the Giants last round. McCluggage has a genuine ceiling and fills all the stat lines. He’s also improved his conversion in front of goal compared to previous seasons (8.21 in 2020, 15.22 in 2021) to bump up his Fantasy output. Gold Coast, Richmond and Carlton present decent matchups in his next three with only two trips outside of Queensland ahead.

Dylan Moore (AF $752k FWD, 4% owned) – A clear role change over the past fortnight for Moore who has relished more midfield responsibility at Hawthorn as Sam Mitchell seemingly plans for the future. The 22-year-old notched a 129 and 112 from his last two outings and now has seven tons for the season to prove his scoring prowess. Moore is reasonably priced and has a handy run home with North Melbourne, Gold Coast and Richmond still to come.

Tim Rosen @timrosen35

Rowan Marshall (AF $737k RUC/FWD, 10% owned) – Despite having a relatively quiet season in fantasy terms, due to a combination of soreness and sharing the ruck role with Paddy Ryder, Marshall has gone at 107 in his last four, and with Ryder out for the next 4-6 weeks, he will assume number one duties which will see his scoring increase dramatically. With rucks being a huge issue this season, he might be your best bet coming home. In his last four last season (also without Ryder), he had three scores of 117+. Expect him to be close to the number one scoring ruck from here on out.

Mason Redman (AF $791k DEF, 1% owned) – Redman is not just about the numbers for mine. Yes, he has averaged 108 in the last six games he has played, but it is about the role. Watching closely, he is the guy that they used every time on the switch last weekend. He positioned himself for that easy +6 every single time. He also had a desire to work hard to space to get the easy junk stats late in the game. Both are a recipe for good fantasy scoring. If you need to move on a defender due to injury, or just want to sideways an underperforming premium to create a super POD, he might be the guy. Risky, but could be highly rewarding.

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Nick Millar @time_millar

Firstly I’m anti-PODs as a philosophy, you’ll end up in more trouble than it’s worth. Punt a captain, take the flip side of a 50-50, hold a guy everyone’s trading, whatever but the PODs gonna burn ya.  Unless you’re really craply ranked. In which case shoot for the hills chump boy. Also 10% ownership is tough. And these guys above took the pick of the bunch. But hey I’ll give it a crack, after all I rate myself as a fantasy writer.

Keidean Coleman (AF $657k D/F, 7.67% owned) – A solid mid-pricer most of us punted during a byes. But he’s kept keeping on with scores of 94, 90, 105 and 102 and a sexy D/F dual position he’s a cut-price POD option with plenty of upside. He’s secure in the side now and has a solid role of half back and a great ball user. Could definitely do worse.

Braydon Preuss (AF $657k RUC, 6.96% owned) – Yeah, yeah, I know. Well, it is what it is. But trust me there’s “some” merit in it. Matt Flynn has been rubbish and Preuss killed it in the VFL plus his run home is actually not bad. With Max Gawn off the boil, Brodie Grundy being a question mark, Tim English sucking and Darcy Cameron being grundied the rucks are loose, so maybe now is the time to punt. Wait for selections though. Of course. I’m not an idiot.

Others to consider, Bailey Smith (AF $850k M/F) and Clayton Oliver (AF $957k MID).

Ben Lamont @LaMontStars

Rowan Marshall (AF $737k RUC/FWD, 10% owned) – Boasts a three-game average of 99.3 and reassuring break-even of 77. Injury creates opportunity… Probably the easiest and most popular choice of the week, Marshall appears in only 10% of teams currently, but is likely to see a big spike with Ryder out with a calf. Averages over 100 without Ryder this year and to highlight the point, scored basically half his total last week (44 points) in the last quarter when Ryder went off. With the underperforming ruck merry-go-round continuing, do not over think it, just lock and load Marshall for the rest of the year.

Hugh McCluggage (AF $924k MID, 2% owned) – Can you believe a guy who has gone 122 in his last 5, 105 for the season and is priced at over $900k, is only owned by 2% of the competition? The price is now high for the talented Lion, but he is finally producing the consistent scores we knew he was capable of. Coming off a whopping 142 with Suns, Tigers, Blues, Saints and Dees to come, Hugh could be exactly the guy you need to get the edge on the competition.

It is upgrade season and finding the right uniques is key to getting that gain in rank and winning those leagues. Also consider guys like; Luke Davies-Uniacke (AF $827k MID), Noah Anderson (AF $821k MID), Cam Guthrie (AF $887k MID) and Darcy Parish (AF $824k MID) (fitness pending). Good luck!

Become a HB subscriber for $4.95 per month or $9.95 for the AFL season. Exclusive content, CBA stats, Kick-in stats, Twitter chats, prize money in our Fantasy/SuperCoach groups. Register here. 

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