Four games were decided by a combined margin of 7 points. The team running second-last knocked off the ladder leaders, on their home turf no less. There were high grabs and big hits. I had less hair and shorter fingernails by the end of it….but Round 14 was a celebration of sport that won’t be quickly forgotten. How good’s footy?
So we pause to catch our breath, and then we look ahead. Here are the most popular trade ins, as of 12pm AEST, Tuesday June 27:
1. Alex Witherden (BRL, mid/def, $117 300)
+ Has been knocking on the NEAFL door for a while now, and finally bust that thing down in Rd 14. Didn’t disappoint with 20 touches at 75% and 76 points, including a memorable diving smother to deny Stevie J a goal.
+ Taken at pick 23 in the 2016 draft, the Lions had high hopes for Witherden. His composure across halfback under Giant pressure was especially impressive on his debut.
+ He has that handy DPP status, meaning you can switch him around with the likes of Adams and Lloyd if need be.
– Has only played one game, so you’re tempting fate by bringing him in straight away.
– It follows that job security will be an issue. He wouldn’t be the first rookie this year to play well first-up and then struggle from there on.
2. Marcus Bontempelli (WBD, mid, $518 200)
+ After battling through the bye rounds, the Bont was back to his blazing best against the Roos. 28 typically incisive possessions landed Bontempelli his first ton since Rd 7.
+ Those bye round blues have lumped Bont with a budget price tag, almost $70K cheaper than his starting value. With his BE at 75, this is probably the best time for him to finish your midfield.
+ The contested nature of his game, sublime skills, and ability to drift forward and kick goals, all lend themselves to potential for elite scoring.
– Prior to last weekend, it was five straight weeks without a ton. Is he really back?
– The Dogs scraped a win last week, but are still battling for form. Have opposition teams worked out how to stop Bont and friends?
3. Zach Merrett (ESS, mid, $595 300)
+ Rejected by the large majority of coaches in the pre-season after losing his DPP status, Zerrett has continued on his merry way in 2017, owning the 5th highest scoring average this year.
+ Belted out a season-high 141 against Sydney last Friday, with a 3 round average of 131.3 ppg. Still a star, even in a full-strength Bombers midfield.
+ Incredible value at less than $600K and only 10% ownership – quite possibly the POD of the year! Very nice run of games coming up for Essendon too.
– He’s such a gun, it’s easy to forget he’s still only 21, and hasn’t quite got the consistency of a more mature player just yet.
– Opportunity cost. Getting Zach means one less spot for all those other midfield monsters you wish you had…
4. Matthew White (PTA, fwd/mid, $198 400)
+ The Power speed machine returned to the field in Rd 14, with his best game in years against the Pies. White compiled 21 touches on the wing, tallying 99 points.
+ With a discounted price tag and DPP status, the experienced White shapes as a good mature-age rookie option. He has the potential to nail down that M9/F7 swing role, and provide bench cover on two lines.
+ On the bubble with a break-even of -46, White scored 63 in Rd 4 against the Giants in his only other game this year so far.
– A maddening combination of injuries, vests, and poor form mean he has really struggled for game time throughout his career. White is a 12 year veteran, with a best season average of only 76 ppg back in 2014.
– Will struggle to hold his spot when first-choice wingman Polec is over a hammy niggle.
5. Callum Brown (COL, fwd/mid, $117 300)
+ 43 points in his second game puts Brown on the bubble, with a break-even of -26.
+ Bagged his first league goal last week, and continued to provide the forward pressure that is his trademark.
+ DPP rookies are Supercoach gold at finals time, even more so if they can keep themselves in their club’s 22.
– Playing in the forward pocket, Brown just isn’t going to get much of the footy at this stage of his career.
– May well be dropped when injured first-stringers Travis Varcoe and Jamie Elliott return in a week or two.
#6 – 10: Jake Lloyd (SYD), Brennan Cox (FRE), Max Gawn (MEL), Toby Greene (GWS), Dustin Martin (RIC)
Most traded OUT players this week: Dayne Beams (BRL), Tom Stewart (GEE), Jake Barrett (BRL), Jack Steele (STK), Tim Taranto (GWS), Nat Fyfe (FRE), Toby Nankervis (RIC), Scott Selwood (GEE), Aaron Sandilands (FRE), Andy Otten (ADE)
Most popular trades so far this week:
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