Like the tag line suggests, this might be a week for smoky, outside the box VC/C picks with Grundy coming up against an established ruck and a North side desperate for their first win, a question mark over Gawn after a 63 and Jackson’s rising star ascendancy and one of Macrae or Bont copping Curnow. Gone for more discussion and analysis given the crop of options this week, but I think it’s worth a read with the rankings starting to tighten up; a captaincy blunder could be make or break this round.
MERRETT v Giants
- L3 v Giants: 119, 67, 88 (91 av.)
- L3 @ GS: 67, 89, 118 (91 av.)
Doesn’t have the greatest stats v Giants or down in Sydney, but looked really sharp until Curnow tightened the screws last week. No De Boer for the vice grip or Coniglio to play defensively, so Zerrett a shot to go 130 left alone.
STEELE v Suns
- L3 v Suns: 124, 115, 96 (112 av.)
- L3 @ MS: 111, 124, 87 (107 av.)
Spending the entire fourth quarter forward with the game iced accounted for his subton last week. Tends to score much better with both Ryder and RoMo in the side and should capitalize their ruck dominance for 120, even if some attention is sent his way by Greenwood.
GAWN v Swans
- L3 v Swans: 150, 119, 113 (127 av.)
- L3 @ MCG: 147, 172, 135 (151 av.)
With the Roos MIDs getting the drop on the Dees engine room early, an established ruck in Goldstein, increased ruck minutes for Jackson (CBAs: Jackson 13, Gawn 18) and then having to play FWD as McDonald dropped back to cover Tomlinson, Big Maxxy had a dog of a day. Think it can be safely chalked up as an anomaly, but if you’re worried you can just VC him or look elsewhere. Great record v Swans and killing it at the G this season, will bounce back with 125 this week…surely?
BOAK v Crows
- L3 v Crows: 112, 79, 87 (93 av.)
- L3 @ AO: 121, 84, 120 (108 av.)
Will come to the Showdown fresh, mended and hungry after a week on the sidelines. The Crows let 3 Giants get 30+ touches last week and another 3 get 25+. Expect Boak to come out hot for 130.
WALSH v Dogs
- L3 v Dogs: 92, 112, 50 (85 av.)
- L3 @ MRVL: 130, 89, 124 (114 av.)
The kid’s just insane. Solidly a Top 8 MID this year and replaced Cripps as the Blues’ #1 on baller. Even against the Dogs’ competition best midfield, Walsh is rocking 90%+ TOG a game, elite running and will fight to the death for 125.
FYFE v Lions
- L3 v Lions: 143, 126, 43 (104 av.)
- L3 @ G: 143, 81, 117 (114 av.)
Hampered last week by the Eagles surprisingly, and to my delight and FT’s demise, smashing the Dockers as well as attention from Nelson. Season over the Dockers if they don’t get their sh*t together against the Lions this week, whom Fyfe has a great record against. A lock to step up to the plate and push 130.
MACRAE v Blues
- L3 v Blues: 138, 150, 97 (128 av.)
- L3 @ MRVL: 146, 108, 137 (130 av.)
BONTEMPELLI v Blues
- L3 v Blues: 116, 112, 104 (111 av.)
- L3 @ MRVL: 133, 82, 145 (120 av.)
A double steer clear this week. Curnow will 100% be deployed as a tagger against the comp’s best midfield, but it’s hard to know who he’ll go to out of Macrae and Bont. Teague showed last week that he’ll clip a player accumulating too much (Zerrett after HT), so Macrae in elite form might get shut down early. On the flip side, Bont’s reputation as that high impact, game winning CP player often leads to him soaking up the tag. One of them cops it, just not worth the risk C’ing either – I, of course, own both lol.
GUTHRIE v Tigers
- L3 v Tigers: 110, 102, 99 (104 av.)
- L3 @ MCG: 105, 163, 142 (137 av.)
Out of nowhere Guthrie has taken his game to another level and sitting pretty as the #5 player OA and #2 MID in SC. If you’re among those who somehow started him or are rightfully jumping on, you’ve got to give him the VC week. His two biggest outings this year have been at the G, where he lines up again this week against a non-tagging Tigers side. Solid for 125 with a shot to go large and make for a deadly VC.
MARSHALL v Suns
- L3 v Suns: 143, 122 (133 av.)
- L3 @ MS: 105, 143, 76 (108 av.)
Suns announced they’re going to stick with their ruck set up of Burgess and Graham this week, who managed 13 HOs to Grundy and Cameron’s 50 the other day. Irrespective of how the game goes, Ryder and RoMo will just have a field day in the ruck contests. Marshall’s got a juicy albeit limited record v Suns, looked really limber and in sync with Ryder last week and will have those lucrative F50 HOs to feast on. Will go 120 at a minimum, with a chance to go large depending on the outcome of the game.
Usually pretty prescriptive with the verdict, but this week’s tricky. Nothing hard and fast. If you’ve got a safe VC/C lined up, go for it – but don’t be afraid to roll the dice. For me, I’m thinking Zerrett (although considered RoMo) as an early VC into Gawn and hope last week’s circumstances don’t rematerialize. If you’ve got someone not listed above in mind let me know in the comments and can I drum up their stats and some analysis for you.
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