Here we are: the last Captaincy Candidates for 2022. I just wanted to say thank you to those who check in each Thursday at midday. Always get great traffic in this space and the comments affirm selections, generate alternatives and keep us all sharp – thank you. As I did at last year, here are my captains from Rounds 1 – 22:
- Round 1: Miller (137)
- Round 2: Macrae (142)
- Round 3: Miller (76)
- Round 4: Macrae (158)
- Round 5: Macrae (153)
- Round 6: Neale (108)
- Round 7: Miller (160)
- Round 8: Neale (123)
- Round 9: Neale (115)
- Round 10: Satan (178)
- Round 11: Satan (113)
- Round 12: Miller (167)
- Round 13: Coniglio (174)
- Round 14: Mills (138)
- Round 15: Macrae (123)
- Round 16: Satan (176)
- Round 17: Sicily (92)
- Round 18: Gawn (50)
- Round 19: Satan (96)
- Round 20: Miller (153)
- Round 21: Satan (152)
- Round 22: Satan (126)
*did/do NOT own Laird
*Round 13: An Abs and GD special! Boom! Never forget!
*Round 17 – 19: 92, 50, 96…f*ck me!
A little bit of a different format this week given the re-emeregence, and an effective re-emergence at that, of tagging. I’ve put Neale, Satan, Brayshaw and Laird all under the steer clear just as a way to flag that they’ll potentially be running into tags this week: the Dees went to Neale with Harmes when they took the Lions to town in Round 15, the Lions have experimented with Mathieson defensively recently, the Giants have run more hard tags than anyone this season including Perryman to Zerrett and Liberatore over the last fortnight and, finally, Drew reprised his role tagger small-medium frame MIDs last week against Zerrett and looks a shoe in to go to Laird.
Now, there’s the possibility that they effectively fight through a tag or it doesn’t materialize at all. In terms of shirking the tag and powering through, Satan and Neale are probably the best equipped to do that, probably Laird to a degree given the occasion but definitely not Brayshaw – hasn’t yet developed that capacity to respond to defensive attention and play off his opponent.
That said, on paper, form and match ups, the four of these otherwise top tier captaincy candidates have incoming tags and the key to captains is going after the largest unencumbered ceiling on match up and form. Tags equal clipped ceilings and potential low-tons. Steer clear or, at most, VC only.
NEALE v Dees
- L3 v Dees: 111, 84, 152 (116 av.)
- L3 @ G: 138, 123, 89 (117 av.)
SATAN v Lions
- L3 v Lions: 140, 94, 177 (137 av.)
- L3 @ G: 87, 137, 105 (110 av.)
BRAYSHAW v Giants
- L3 v Giants: 95, 132, 115 (114 av.)
- L3 @ MO: N/A (N/A)
LAIRD v Port
- L3 v Port: 93, 119, 125 (112 av.)
- L3 @ AO: 97, 144, 154 (132 av.)
PETRACCA v Lions
- L3 v Dees: 97, 130, 141 (123 av.)
- L3 @ G: 114, 125, 99 (113 av.)
By no means a straight line between one MID being tagged and another MID popping off, in fact it usually hurts them, but the Petracca call is purely a bet on his love for the big occasion games. As intangible as it sounds, Racca randomly has large ones when his DE isn’t ass and there’s a full house. A chance for 125+ if that’s the case.
MILLER v Roos
- L3 v Roos: 167, 123, 131 (140 av.)
- L3 @ MRVL: 110, 107, 148 (122 av.)
Easily the pick of the week. In form, playing like Atlas, has the Roos and is deadly at Marvel. Very comfortable for 140.
STEWART v Eagles
- L3 v Eagles: 95, 109, 145 (116 av.)
- L3 @ GMHBA: 48, 112, 174 (111 av.)
Late owners of Stewart have been incredibly unlucky over the last fortnight with two consecutive tags for a 48 and 98. Rough. Should be back to business at home against the Eagles though; we’ve tended to tag OB if at all and not disrupt our back six. Solid for 130.
BONTEMPELLI v Hawks
- L3 v Hawks: 136, 114, 161 (137 av.)
- L3 @ UTAS: 114 (114 av.)
Dogs will need to win and then count on Carlton losing, so back them to leave nothing to chance and come in hot. Hard to read which Dog pops off, with Macrae on a diminished CBA load and Maginess actively being used a tagger. Given Bont’s on the highest CBA load, didn’t look that proppy last week and capable of having an Atlas performance, we’ve got him as a candidate this week for 120. Don’t mind Dunks or Macrae either but much more of a dice roll.
CRIPPS v Pies
- L3 v Pies: 114, 82, 81 (92 av.)
- L3 @ MCG: 117, 84, 79 (93 av.)
It’ll then be on the Blues to answer – and they’d be remiss and almost negligent not to play finals after the season they’ve had. Cripps, whose had a decent month, to fire on ALL CYLINDERS against a Pies side the concedes CBs and clearance. Cripps on for 130, Walsh a similar proposition.
MILLS v Saints
- L3 v Saints: 86, 100, 83 (89 av.)
- L3 @ MRVL: 106, 102, 70 (93 av.)
A 4th string and often single digit CBA load would spell disaster for most MIDs, however Mills just gets it done with a strong body of tackling, CP and MG work. In fact, given the Saints have been targeting MIDs with Windhager, Mills flexible role probably absolves him of attention this week. A lock for 120.
To offset the quartet of tagged premo MIDs, I’ve cooked up two rucks who can sail to 140s contingent on their opposition’s #1 rucks not getting up.
DARCY v Giants
- L3 v Giants: 71, 91, 54 (72 av.)
- L3 @ MO: N/A (N/A)
After we gave it everything to send off Kennedy the round prior, the Eagles, particularly Nic Nat, were gassed last week and no one took greater advantage of that than one S Darcy – finally! 56 HOs, 15 kicks, 6 tackles and a goal. Delicious. Comes into consideration this week if, and pretty much only if, Preuss doesn’t come in for the Giants. If so, Darcy solid for 140.
WITTS v Roos
- L3 v Roos: 117, 115, 116 (116 av.)
- L3 @ MRVL: 78, 88, 119 (95 av.)
Would find it very hard to go past Miller but if Goldy is out with that ankle issue and you feel like spicing it up, Witts could cap off a stellar SC season with a 140.
Miller in Bont on my end, which I’m pretty confident in. Finally getting a reprieve from the punishment of not owning Laird will also be nice.
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