The Buzz: Hewett replacements, taggers to be mindful of & which premos need to be dumped

It’s crunch time but the fantasy gods have struck us down with the news that George Hewett will be unavailable this week and thus we could be forced to trade him but who are some options that are obvious and not so obvious to take.

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Are the out-of-form players in our teams worth binning? And finally, the taggers are back, which players are potentially going to get shut down in the next few weeks?

George Hewett replacements

The latest news to come out of the Carlton camp is that George Hewett (AF $776k SC $537k D/M) is set to miss this week’s clash with a back issue. However why am I suggesting trading out one of the best defenders?

Well, if you look back to last year, Hewett was hampered with similar back problems which kept him from playing at all and from my perspective especially with finals around the corner, Carlton will be attempting to play it cautiously based off his medical history.

So, an already two-week injury could very well be three or four. Or if he comes back too early he may not perform to the high standards we regard him to. Thus, who are some picks to slide him over to considering his high price. 

Tom Stewart (AF $815k SC $563k DEF)

If you have $49k/$26k in the bank to spare, this is 100% the most obvious trade to make. This year Tom Stewartis clearly the number one ranked SC defender – and fifth in AFL Fantasy – but what makes him an even more attractive target is that he has three of his four last games at GMHBA Stadium. This year his scores at home have gone 187, 122 and 174 in SC. While he probably doesn’t keep up his 161 averages for the rest of the year there’s no other player that comes close to having numbers like these and for a small upgrade. It’s clear to see why this is the most popular trade option already this week.

Nick Vlastuin (AF $764k SC $547k DEF)

Vlastuin is kind of like the budget Stewart, he plays a very similar style as that third tall intercepting defender setting up from the backline, getting lots of possessions from marks and kicks. Only that Vlastuin is much more injury prone compared to Stewart, but he’s certainly a man in form with the Tigers having some shaky form as he’s averaging 100/118.2 in his last five, which is only bettered by Tom Stewart in SC. Again, you’ll need a bit of cash to make this trade but not as much, plus he’s a POD for the backline.

Tom Barrass (AF $575k SC $496k DEF)

This may confuse you, but Barrass currently has the third highest three-round average for defenders in SC with 116.7 and that includes a 69 in that rotation as well. The key defender is excelling with Jeremy McGovern out of the team with a SC average of 104.8 since his injury in Round 14. With the Eagles still struggling, the ball will live in the back 50 which should see plenty of marks, kicks and contested disposals for Barrass who is essentially the leader for that back 50. While this is a massive risk, there is a good amount of upside and a great POD option if you’re looking to get a little bit of cash for a 2nd trade.  

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Is it time to dump these out of form players

If you’re fortunate enough to have trades up your sleeve, is it worth culling these premiums who are letting your team down at the crunch time of the season, but why exactly is this happening? Let’s have a look at three popular premiums that have had a dip in form lately.

Josh Dunkley (AF $796k SC $464k M/F)

You might not have noticed but Dunkley has scored sub-100 in SC three weeks running with two sub-100 scores in his last three in Fantasy and that has seen his price tank to $796k/$464k which is concerning considering that we are in crunch time of the season. Dunkley’s role as a midfielder has always been up in the air with a super stacked Dogs’ midfield thus why he’s got the mid/fwd status year on year. Funnily enough he’s been getting more CBAs in the last three weeks in comparison to the rest of the year but rather its partially his ball use and just not getting his hands on the footy enough. There was an interesting stat that Dunkley was a king of junk time accumulating the most points in the fourth quarter which could be concerning if he hasn’t gotten enough points in the first three. Stat wise he’s just had a few off games but his score this week was hampered by not touching it in clutch time as seen in the difference between his AFL fantasy and SC scores.

Darcy Cameron (AF $736k SC $489k R/F)

Last week there was major alarm bells ringing when murmurs spread around that Brodie Grundy was going to come back into the team, however they were expelled on Thursday night. But on Sunday afternoon, we saw Mason Cox take the majority of the ruck contests and Cameron spend 47% of his time up forward which was his highest since Grundy was out of the team. This is a big red flag for owners as Grundy is expected to be back in the team very soon, but whether that means that Cameron is a permanent forward or Cox gets dropped or even the third option where Cameron gets rested/dropped, it’s not a good look. Absolutely jump ship here, Max Gawn is only $50k more in both formats or Rowan Marshall who was sick all week still managed to pull out a handy 108/88.

Christian Petracca (AF $811k SC $584k MID)

You wouldn’t really believe it, but Petracca has been a massive yo-yo especially in the second half of the year. After Round 10 where he had an off day, he’s averaged 102.6 in SC, however what makes it worse is that he’s had no consistency and that in that time frame he’s only had two tons. Now those two tons were of exceptional quality where he was by far BOG scoring a 189 and a 141 however one of those was when Oliver was injured and the other was against Adelaide who conceded a heap to opposing midfielders. It seems that when Melbourne convincingly win, Petracca will score very well but on other occasions where they get beaten or are challenged, he has much less impact which hurts owners. Coming into the final few games, it doesn’t get any easier with Freo, Collingwood, Carlton and Brisbane to play. Honestly if you have trades to spare, Jack Steele is a quick sideways trade from him otherwise it could be a very grim last four weeks for owners. 

Taggers and who could they be targeting

It’s no trade secret that in the last few weeks, taggers have become more prevalent and that hurts a lot of fantasy relevant players out there as the ones that are targeted are the ones who are the most effective in game. So, who are the names you should be looking out for and who could their potential victims be in the last four weeks of the season.

Finn Maginness (AF $421k SC $252k M/F)

Maginness has been used as a tagger in only four out of his 12 games he’s played this year with a clear negating role against Ed Langdon (8 disposals), Tim Kelly (21 disposals), Jordan Dawson (15 disposals) and Jy Simpkin (14 disposals). All of these players were severely down on their usual fantasy output as well with Kelly and Dawson only registering a somewhat respectable score of 80-odd.

So with the Hawks future fixtures they are set to play against the Saints, Suns, Tigers and Dogs. Looking at the types of players Maginness has tagged already he’s played against a good variety of roles as Langdon (pure winger), Kelly (explosive inside midfielder), Dawson (half-back flanker) and Simpkin (ball winning midfielder). The clear candidates for him to tag though are going to be Jack Steele/Jack Sinclair in Round 20, Touk Miller in Round 21, Jayden Short/Dion Prestia in Round 22 and any one of the Dogs midfielders in Round 23 or even Bailey Dale. A lot of fantasy owners are not going to be impressed because he’s potentially on track to ruin a lot of our final few games.

Ryan Clarke (AF $446k SC $318k D/M)

Clarke made a name for himself as a tagger ever since he moved to Sydney but has been in and out of the team. After being included in the team in Round 15 he’s blanketed Jack Sinclair (17 disposals), Bailey Dale (16 disposals) and most recently Jordan Dawson (20 disposals)/Brodie Smith (20 disposals). Now unlike Maginness, it seems that with Clarke there is a clear trend that he is a defensive forward in that he will take the most dangerous half-back flanker and shut him down. So, Sydney have GWS, North, Collingwood and St Kilda to finish the year off. I’d say that will not be good news for Cumming or even Himmelberg owners, Aaron Hall, Nick Daicos and once again Sinclair.

Marcus Windhager (AF $397k SC $246k D/M)

This one is a recent addition to the tagger pool, but it is such an impressive effort to keep Tim Kelly to just 4 disposals, especially when it’s your second game as a tagger and you’ve collected 23 yourself. He also tagged half-back flanker Sam Docherty in Round 16, keeping him to 22 touches, along with Touk Miller earlier in the year. This one you probably could pay a bit less attention to since he isn’t a widely known tagger but assuming he will keep doing jobs on inside midfielders then owners of: Tom Mitchell, Cam Guthrie, Patrick Dangerfield, Lachie Neale, Luke Parker or Callum Mills. You may see that lock symbol next to your player when you check your fantasy scores on Fanfooty and don’t be surprised if they have a slightly worse score than their projected.

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