Captaincy Candidates – Round 1

Written by Gunboat Diplomacy on March 18 2021

Afternoon, all. I’m back on the captaincy content this season, every Thursday at midday. Captaincy selections were literally the only things I got right last season, so we’ll be running things the same way this time around.

Each week I’ll lay out 3 vice-captaincy candidates, 3 captaincy candidates, an otherwise good option you should steer clear from this week and a smoky pick for those who live life on the edge. Will lay those options out alongside the candidate’s last 3 v opponent and last 3 @ the venue. I’ll also provide a little commentary and context around each candidate, a gut and statistically informed prediction and then a summative verdict.

My opinions are not inviolable, so of course give me your thoughts and VC/C combos for the round in the comments. During the course of the round we’ll have this article pinned to the top of the site, so feel free to air your captaincy dilemmas or successes over the weekend.

Vice-Captaincy Candidates

GRUNDY v Bulldogs

  • L3 v Bulldogs: 179, 174, 160 (171 av.)
  • L3 @ MCG: 151, 103, 115 (123 av.)

Grundy against the Dogs always a delicious VC prospect, but a few factors to note that may clip his ceiling: Dogs now running two rucks, Pies depleted engine room against the Big Dogs will see less HOs to adv. for Grundy and the game appears to be trending towards less stoppages and therefore HO contests. Again, will clip his ceiling, but still solid for 130+.


  • L3 v Pies: 103, 148, 110 (120 av.)
  • L3 @ MCG: 110, 127, 163 (133 av.)

A return to games in Melbourne and normal game duration will help Macrae recapture his accumulating best this season. With the Pies engine room depleted, expect Macrae to sail to 125 at a minimum.


  • L3 v Pies: 76, 109, 127 (104 av.)
  • L3 @ MCG: 127, 97, 106 (110 av.)

Continued to build into an premium SC midfielder last season, closing out 2020 on a 116 av. with some monster scores along the way. Pretty much low tons or goes large. Season opener against the Pies could see him pump out a 140. Dunkley also an option if you want to start your season with some spice.

Captaincy Candidates


  • L3 v Crows: 114, 83, 128
  • L3 @ AO: 114, 141, 126

Still building to full fitness, but looked limber in the pre-season game and loves to give it everything against his old side at AO. Cats will do the Crows dirty, Danger a lock for 125.


  • L3 v Hawks: 145, 138, 72 (118 av.)
  • L3 @ MRVL: 111, 116, 113 (113 av.)

Reportedly vibing much more with Rutten than Worsold, but irrespective Zerrett’s got a great record against the Hawks and is coming off a strong pre-season. Pencil him for 125 if your early VC option falls through.

GAWN v Freo

At the time of me writing this it doesn’t look like Darcy will get up for Round 1, leaving debutant Meek to “challenge” Big Maxxy. Gawn will dominate the HOs whether Darcy gets up or not, but of minor concerns are a) the aforementioned potential trend towards less stoppages and b) Gawn’s flagged time FWD increase. Should still be fine for 130+ though. Look at this record to settle your nerves lol.

  • L3 v Freo: 132, 151, 151 (145 av.)
  • L3 @ MCG: 141, 163, 119 (141 av.)

Steer Clear

NEALE v Swans

  • L3 v Swans: 55, 108, 110 (91 av.)
  • L3 @ G: 142, 151, 113 (135 av.)

Swans applied a hard tag to Neale last time they played and he’s coming off an interrupted pre-season. Likely to be restricted to a sub-ton, look elsewhere this week.

Smoky Pick


  • L3 v Freo: 140, 101, 138
  • L3 @ MCG: 111, 89, 83

Decreased in popularity after a quiet AAMI performance, but an underdone Satan and HO dominance from Gawn could give Petracca the space and service to go large. 130~ on the cards.


Came close to talking myself out of the rucks, but will hold strong with either Grundy or Macrae VC into Gawn. Yourselves?



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28 thoughts on “Captaincy Candidates – Round 1”

  1. Am doubting the ruck dominance will continue like prior years for the reasons you mentioned so I’m going Gawn VC into Merrett.


  2. Macrae into Gawn for me.

    Still haven’t got a dedicated loophole though so might be going a straight out captain yet! Yikes


  3. Love your work GD.

    Sean Darcy (Knee) “Trained extremely well” on Wednesday “There’s no doubt he’s available (Round 1)” Fremantle Assistant coach Josh Carr

    Does that news damping your optimism for a high score for Max?
    I am still VCing him.


    1. Nah, Gawn will still slap Darcy around. Just a matter of whether there are less stoppages and HO contests overall.


  4. Hi community would love your opinion on these two options. This will complete my team after 1001 drafts

    TU:. Danger, H.Clarke & Waterman

    TD : Phillips, Ridley/Stewart & dow


  5. Might be a dumb question but why can’t I select a captain or vice captain.
    No option coming up when I touch player names.


    1. Nice, Stewy!

      Didn’t name Dusty because I can never quite figure out when he’ll go 140+ or 70. Tigers have such a great system and so much depth, don’t need Dusty to pop off every single week.

      Anyway, nice work and good luck for the rest of the round.


  6. T/U: Harrison Jones
    T/D: Lachlan McNeil

    Not sure about job security for either or scoring potential, would like the 20k extra from choosing McNeil


  7. I’m considering going with a full 30 players this year, given a few rookies will, as usual, be getting dropped within a round or two as players start come back.

    Given Gawn’s first 3 weeks are all against rookie rucks I am thinking this might be the best opportunity to max the cash growth we have seen in a long time with minimal captaincy risk.


    1. Yep. That’s fair, HH.

      I’d considered the same thing until a) the new emergency system complicated things and b) the lack of DEF rookies. I.e. a rookie who’s been dropped could be a loop but recently dropped players are often emergencies as well.

      I’d just grab Fyfe 102k M/F at D8. There really aren’t any rookies there anyway (unless you have a deep DEF) and it gives you downgrading flexibility later. Suns also with a solid fixture for captains for the first month and a half.

      Good luck.

      Good luck.


      1. Waiting to see what they do with Downie and/or Highmore.

        If they don’t sub him I may hold. If they sub him I might trade out to Fyfe.

        Or Sharp.

        But at this stage likely a 30 player team with Sharp and Highmore, no Downie.


  8. I’m going Grundy into Gawn

    Can I please have some much needed advice ?

    Powell-pepper and rozee are out for a period. Does this make butters midfield role alot more appealing?

    Is Phillips going to be stuck out on the wing too much?

    TU: butters

    TD: phillips


  9. Well VC score from Macrae is not quite enough and Grundy not even close. It feels strange saying this but I’m concerned that Gawn may not be the best captain option now. The lower stoppage, faster ball movement game doesn’t seem as conducive to rucks being the biggest scorers.

    TU Gawn as captain – sound choice every week
    TD a running high possession player (like Merrett, Steele, Laird)

    No sheep stations at risk in Rd 1 but would be nice to make a good C choice for overall ranking

    What are other coaches thinking?


  10. Hi Sc’s,

    I have 6 playing defenders but Biggs (GWS) and Jones (PTA) benched and not playing. I have an option to trade one of them out to Fye and bank some cash. – Jones – $37k or Briggs – $22k.

    Comment: Biggs or Jones

    TU: Do it
    TD: Hold tight



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