Last week saw minimal free agent action, but this week has more than made up for it. Some huge scores from unexpected sources were recorded across Round 19, with other relevant players backing up recent efforts with solid enough outings to suggest they could be short term solutions to any holes you have in your side. With just one match up remaining before Ultimate Footy finals, hopefully the player you require to help you get across the line this week can be found below:
BACK OF THE WEEK: Luke Ryan
Playing off half back, Ryan linked up well with team mates and intercepted errant GWS kicks to finish with 19 kicks, six handballs, 14 marks and six tackles for a whopping 138 points. The mature-age recruit had been building towards a game like this, but missed last week after breaking team rules. At 21 years of age, the first-year Docker has the composure and ability to be a long-term senior player, and is averaging 76 points per game since breaking into the side in Round 11. This includes a couple of scores below 50, but Ryan looks to have found his spot and fantasy-relevant form in recent weeks. He’s available as a free agent in 70% of leagues, so jump on board.
Best of the rest:
After a slow first few games, Matt Scharenberg has hit his straps, and scored 98 points from 12 kicks, 12 handballs and 11 marks in the draw against Fremantle. The injury-prone Pie is fit and firing, with a three-game average of 84. He’s available in 62% of leagues.
In the same match, Docker Cameron Sutcliffe (78% availability) collected 16 kicks, five handballs, eight marks and five tackles for 99 points. He’s been in and out of the side to average 65 for the year, but is worth monitoring.
Ignore the 100 points that helmeted Cat Tom Stewart put up from his 24 disposals, eight marks and four tackles in the flogging of Carlton. While a promising defender, Stewart (available in 91% of leagues) has only scored above 70 three times in 2017. Same goes for Dane Rampe‘s 92 points against Hawthorn; the high-leaping Swan (50%) can go big but is more likely to put up a score closer to 50.
Keep an eye on rebounding Lion three-gamer Cedric Cox (92% availability) who scored 82 points for the second week in a row, this time from 16 disposals, five marks and six tackles. Also watch Port defender Darcy Byrne-Jones closely; he scored 86 in the comeback win over the Saints and is now averaging 66 for the season. The second-year Power 21 year old (63%) has put up a number of relevant scores, spaced out by fifties and forties, but could be worth considering as a rookie keeper if you’re out of finals contention.
CENTRE OF THE WEEK: Anthony Miles
The in and under Tiger is back in the senior side after a second VFL stint, and has been typically solid upon his return. He worked hard to win seven kicks, 16 handballs, five marks and eight tackles for 95 points against the Suns on Saturday night, backing up the 93 he scored in Round 17. Miles averaged in the high eighties from seasons 2014-2016, and there is no reason he can’t continue along that line for the rest of this season. His work around stoppages means that he averages four tackles a game to bulk out his scoring. If you need a midfielder, bring Miles (42% availability) in now and confidently place him on your field.
Best of the rest:
Previous highlighted midfielders Luke Dunstan and Ryan Bastinac had huge games on the weekend. Dunstan, last week’s nominated midfielder, racked up 18 kicks, nine handballs, four marks, eight tackles and a goal against the Power for 116 points. The inside mid can still be found on the waiver in 35% of leagues, generous availability for an in-form player averaging 81 points per game. Bastinac scored 120 after collecting 13 kicks, 15 handballs, six marks, seven tackles and a goal in the big loss to West Coast. The former Roo (38%) is flourishing, with a five-round average of 86 and season average of 79 points per game.
Veteran Kangaroos’ midfielder Andrew Swallow scored a solid 111 points after a quiet game last week, with his impressive stat line consisting of ten kicks, 17 handballs, seven tackles, four frees for and a goal. He’s a solid waiver option worth fielding and is a free agent in 30% of leagues. Dual position back/centre Pearce Hanley is still a free agent in 28% of leagues, and scored 96 from 31 disposals and five marks against Richmond. He’s only going at 67 points per game, but is capable of scoring tons and if you’re among the 29% of leagues where he’s a free agent, look at bringing him in as a backup midfielder or defender.
First year Blue Sam Petrevski-Seton scored his maiden ton, with his 105 consisting of 20 disposals, three marks, ten tackles and four free kicks! If you’re playing in a keeper league, he is a must have rookie who will improve on his average of 69 easily next season. He’s still available in 41% of leagues. Another young midfielder, Fremantle’s Darcy Tucker (82% availability), scored 107 points from a match highlighted by 16 kicks, seven handballs, 11 marks and a goal. He’s been up and down form-wise to average 63, but is another rookie worth considering stashing away for next season.
David Mackay (66% availability) found the football 22 times and took six marks in the Crows’ draw on Sunday for 88 points, and how has a five-round average of 76. His team mate, the speedy Paul Seedsman, played his first game of 2017 and scored 80 from 16 disposals, five marks, four tackles and a goal. If you’re a gambler, the former Magpie (76% availability) could be worth punting on.
Keep an eye on Liam Duggan. The young Eagle, available in 57% of all leagues, scored 81 on the weekend brining his four-round average to 90. He’s growing in confidence, and with veterans Sam Mitchell and Matt Priddis retiring at season’s end, his scoring rate should improve next year.
RUCK OF THE WEEK: Dawson Simpson
From Daw to Dawson; who could have predicted this? The former Geelong big man has been dominating in the NEAFL for the past two seasons and finally played his first game as a Giant on Saturday. If you were desperate for a ruckman and backed Simpson in, he didn’t disappoint, scoring a respectable 98 points from his nine disposals, four marks, five tackles and 44 hit outs. The GWS big man crisis meant Simpson was first ruck, and he performed well on Docker rookie Sean Darcy. Bear in mind that GWS play the Max Gawn-led Melbourne next weekend if you’re considering this speculative suggestion, but Simpson (82% availability) should be good for 75 points a week if you need a backup ruckman to cover your bases.
Best of the rest:
It was a relatively fruitful week for free agent ruckmen, with GWS ruck/forward Rory Lobb also scoring well. Lobb has infinite potential, but has battled this season to clunk the marks and exert the influence we all know he is capable of. Lobb scored 97 points from a match consisting of 11 disposals, seven marks, six tackles, 14 hit outs and two goals. The big fella is available in 48% of leagues, but I’d suggest selecting him as a developing keeper player only.
Former highlighted tall Jordan Roughead (37% availability) played a strong all-round game opposed to Tom Bellchambers, collecting 19 disposals, five marks, 22 hit outs and a goal for his score of 104 points. Dual position forward/ruck Levi Casboult performed well in the Blues’ big loss to the Cats on Saturday night, scoring 87 from 11 disposals, five marks, five tackles, eight hit outs and three goals. He’s available in 55% of leagues.
FORWARD OF THE WEEK: Jordan Murdoch
The crafty left-footer had a night out as the Cats feasted on a depleted Carlton side on Saturday, racking up 15 kicks, seven handballs, 12 marks, four tackles and booting 3.2 off a wing for a huge total of 138 points. The 25 year old has found himself in and out of a strong Geelong side across his career, but has cemented his position this season with a run of consistent performances. He has scored under 60 just once, and over 70 on 11 occasions for an average of 74 from his 17 games, kicking nine handy goals along the way. If you require a consistent forward, Murdoch could be your man. The much-improved dual position centre/forward is still currently available in 52% of all leagues.
Best of the rest:
Tom Hawkins booted a season-high six goals from a career-high 27 disposals to score a mammoth 158 points against Carlton. Tomahawk also had a dozen marks, three tackles and three hit outs in a strong return to form. The big Cat is going at 76 points per game and is available in 31% of all leagues.
Break out Saint Jack Sinclair scored 102 points after helping himself to 13 kicks, eight handballs five marks, six tackles and a goal in the narrow loss to Port Adelaide on Saturday night. The DPP mid/forward has been a big improver this season and is averaging an impressive 78 points per game, with only four scores below 70. Ideal to field now or as a keeper forward, former highlighted player Sinclair is a free agent in 26% of leagues.
Many other forwards likely to be free agents scored between 80 and 100 this week, but the ones mentioned will be the consistent scorers worth bringing in.
Key forwards Ben Brown and Drew Petrie scored 93 and 89 points in their respective matches on the weekend. Brown, last week’s highlighted forward, booted a match-winning four goals from 14 disposals and eight marks in his home state of Tasmania on Saturday. The young Roo is averaging 73 points for the season, with a five-round average of 88! He’s a priority, whether it be to field or keep for 2018, and if you’re among the 43% of leagues where he’s available, lock him down. At the other end of his career, veteran Petrie (36%) has been surprisingly good since returning from a hand injury. He’s averaging 77, and had 13 disposals, eight marks and 25 hit outs as first ruck on the weekend.
George Hewett (28% availability) scored 80 against Hawthorn from 18 disposals, five marks and two goals. The DPP mid/forward is going at 75 points per game this season. Another mid/forward, the previously highlighted Ryan Lester (44%) managed a score of 85 against the dominant Eagles, and despite a couple of recent scores in the thirties, is averaging 74 for the season. Adelaide tall Riley Knight (74%) has flown under the radar of late, with four of his last five scores being over 68 points. He’s risky, but is worth considering if desperate in a deeper league.