The Buzz: Top R19 VC/C picks, falling premos & with/without theory for Duncan/Stewart, Cameron/Grundy etc

With five weeks to go there’s a lot of hype around Rowan Marshall with the news that Paddy Ryder is basically now done for the year but are there other players in similar boats.


Indeed, there are players that are currently benefitting from another’s absence, who become obvious targets.

Furthermore, with your final trades (running thin in SuperCoach) are there premiums to keep on your watchlist?

And finally who are the best picks to captain and risk a vice captaincy on this week. 

Become a HB subscriber for $4.95 for the AFL season. Access to all articles & content, CBA stats, Kick-in stats, Twitter chats, prize money in our Fantasy/SuperCoach groups. Register here. 

With/Without theory

While the biggest talking point of this week has been Rowan Marshall (AF $737k SC $461k R/F) and the potential that his scoring will increase massively with Ryder having a season-ending injury it got me thinking. What other players will or are currently benefitting from absences and are they worth a look into?

Jayden Short (AF $773k SC $474k D/M)

Without Dusty: 109.66/103.7 (AF/SC)

With Dusty: 89.87/98.14

This one has actually gone under the radar a bit but with Short moving into the midfield permanently it seems, his average has stagnated but it’s not all doom and gloom. When Dusty was out of the team, Short was averaging 109.66/103.7 which is something we expected him to do however with Dusty in, his scoring has dropped a bit to a sub 100. While his role is still the same regardless of when Dusty is in the team or not, it’s interesting to see that when Dusty isn’t present he gets more of the ball it seems, so with Dusty definitely missing this week and still a question mark over next week. It could be worth holding onto Short for the time being.

Mitch Duncan (AF $828k SC $511k D/M)

Without Tom Stewart: 111.75/104.2

With Tom Stewart: 88.5/82.4

Mitch Duncan has had a great resurgence in the back half of the year and that has potentially been due to the recent absence of Tom Stewart, having been Geelong’s lead kick-in taker throughout the three games of his suspension so far, taking 11 in the past three games. Duncan has been a fantastic seagull out of the back half with his last three games showcasing this by having around 28 disposals and 10 marks per game. Now while Stewart is set to come back next week, teams are more likely to give Stewart more attention just like recent taggers have done with Bailey Dale and Jordan Dawson. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect Duncan to average 105+ for the rest of the year but he could be a nice POD to have in the run home. 

Shannon Hurn (AF $759k SC $563k DEF)

Without Jeremy McGovern: 94/101.5

With Jeremy McGovern: 86.5/100.8

I was going to put Tom Barrass here because technically he benefits the most from Jeremy McGovern’s absence however Hurn should get some more credit given that he’s averaging the sixth/seventh (AF/SC) highest score for defenders in the past five games. That average of 90.3/101.5 may not look too great on paper however since the bye he’s been averaging 98/111.1 and those are all games in which McGovern was absent – going down early against Geelong. It’s always a massive risk jumping on a 34-year-old given that it’s probably his final year and he could pull a soft tissue injury any time soon. His upside will be seen from the Eagles struggling their way through the back half of the season and will be able to rack up plenty of touches when the ball gets sent into the forward 50 at pace. He’s already got a near monopoly on the kick-ins and that shouldn’t change unless he’s injured and not playing. 

Darcy Cameron (AF $780k SC $515k R/F)

With Brodie Grundy: 47.8/46.6

Without Brodie Grundy: 102.2/104.6

This one isn’t a recommendation to bring in but rather a warning for coaches like myself that own him. From weeks two to six when Grundy and Cameron were in the team, he averaged 47.8/46.6 which is no good. We know since then that Cameron has thrived in the number one ruck role by averaging 102.2/104.6 which has been either a top forward or ruck. But with the news that Grundy is ready this week, it does throw Cameron’s role in the air and potentially you might choose to move him onto a Marshall this week. There have been hints from Magpies coach Craig McRae that Grundy was spending time with the forward’s coach so it could still be alright for Cameron but, for sure, it’s a wait and see. I don’t blame you for jumping off him this week. 

Falling premiums

I know at this stage we want to be bringing in some premium players who are in form so why am I suggesting some players who are out of form. Well, there’s quite a few players who are still coming off one or two poor performances and should bottom out in price, even though we don’t know if they’ll bounce back its worth keeping an eye on them as there’s potential that they’ll bounce back to their previous form and with one of your final few trades you could pick them up at a discounted price.

Max Gawn (AF $778k SC $552k RUC, BE 135/174)

Since returning from injury Gawn has had two stinkers in a row and that has seen him drop $67k/$63k (AF/SC). Many coaches didn’t keep him and for good reason too. He’s dropping in cash which will make him very gettable for anyone who’s missing a ruckman for the run home. While he has been attending slightly less ruck contests, he didn’t need to and rather it was the quality of his hit-outs and disposals which saw him score big earlier this year. On the weekend he had his lowest SC score of the year and that came from him just having less influence on the game despite having 16 disposals. With Oliver back in the side next week I’d fully expect Gawn to power through the rest of the year. He will almost bottom out at $750k/$500k, so keep a big eye on that.

Tim English (AF $837k SC $541k R/F)

Another one that has had a slow return from injury, his last match against the Saints was his lowest for the year and with good reason because he just didn’t get any influence with his around-the-ground work. While they didn’t exactly need him last week I’m sure coaches will be hoping he bounces back. His role is still very much the same but it just seems that Marcus Bontempelliand the rest of the Bulldogs midfield just outshone him. Don’t be disheartened he’ll return from this form as like Gawn, it’s only his second game back from a concussion so I’m sure he’ll return to form soon. Remember after his lengthy injury layoff he managed to score a 160 in his first game back. 

Alex Witherden (AF $770k SC $496k D/M)

Believe it or not but Witherden is currently the eighth/10th (AF/SC) highest averaging defender this year but he’s been in-and-out of the team of recent and only made it back into the best 22 last week with Elliot Yeo’s recent injury. It’s very rare to pick someone who’s been out of favour but by choice the Eagles kind of have to play him and when he plays he can seagull like no other as he’s already had five/seven (AF/SC) tons in 11 games this year with a 97 in both formats. Of all the defenders in SC currently averaging 100+ he is the second cheapest behind Short and we all know Short’s current form.  

Captaincy Picks

Vice Captains

Andrew Brayshaw (AF $921k SC $591k MID)

Brayshaw may have only scored a 78/96 but he is primed to demolish a Richmond side – in the first game of the round – who are missing a few of their better midfielders. If you look back to last year when he played the Tigers he managed to score a 156/190 in a monstrous effort. In the last few games the Tigers have conceded a decent amount of high scores with Touk Miller, Noah Anderson and Tim Kelly all going large. While Brayshaw’s only game at the MCG this year saw him score a 94/100 against the Dees he has his good record against the Tigers and considering the Tigers are not going to be a side that tag out a player he should rack up disposals with ease. 

Rory Laird (AF $1030k SC $677k MID)

Laird currently has the top five-round average in AFL Fantasy (137) and the second highest five-round average behind Oliver in SuperCoach (135.8) and should keep that form going against the Swans in an early Saturday afternoon clash. What makes him such a reliable option is that all he does is rack up contested possessions and loves to tackle as evident from his last four weeks where he’s averaging double digit tackles as well as 30+ touches. However, the concerning thing for owners is that Sydney don’t concede a lot of high scores to midfielders in SC, in the last three weeks only Zac Merrett has managed to score over the 120 barrier. 

Jeremy Cameron (AF $737k SC $499k D/M)

If you’re looking for a massive gamble in SC then Jeremy Cameron might be your man, the in-form key forward of the competition could be on for a big bag as his last three games against the Power have seen him score 114, 151 and 119. While in recent weeks he hasn’t had the biggest of scores, the Power have conceded big bags to forwards when they aren’t playing a bottom eight side as Kosi Pickett and Rory Lobb have had bags of six and five respectively in the last three weeks. 


Christian Petracca (AF $829k SC $601k MID)

This one comes with a bit of a risk but Petracca’s last two games against the Dogs has seen him score 142/163 and 139/160 which are very good numbers. His last three weeks have seen him back to his best with a 141/189, 96/97 and 100/141 in his last three. However with Oliver back in the team he could see a slight decrease in his scoring output. While Oliver is likely to be the safer pick his track record against the Dogs should be taken into account especially with Oliver coming off an injury. 

Lachie Neale (AF $854k SC $605k MID)/Jackson Macrae (AF $868k SC $597k MID)

If in doubt you can always slap the C on these guys, both reliable to bang out a 110/120 at least. Not much else to say, Macrae has an insane record against the Dees with 130+ in his last three against them while Neale’s last five against the Suns if you take out his season where he was half injured has scored 108, 64, 151, 85 and 141 in SC. So it’s a mixed bag but again he’s one of the most reliable options this year

Zach Merrett (AF $890k SC $616k MID)

Essendon face Collingwood this round and currently the Pies are conceding the most points to opposition midfielders and Zerrett is a man in form right now especially with Darcy Parish out of the team. His last three have seen him score 128/140, 127/147 and 131/136 to be the second highest three-round average. In the last three weeks the Pies have conceded 5×130+ scores to inside midfielders such as Miller, Jed and Noah Anderson, LDU and most recently Laird. They are currently a gold mine for your midfield brigade so expect a massive score from them. 

Become a HB subscriber for $4.95 for the AFL season. Access to all articles & content, CBA stats, Kick-in stats, Twitter chats, prize money in our Fantasy/SuperCoach groups. Register here. 


Leave a Reply