Opening Round Review

Written by Dane on March 11 2024

Sydney (12.14.86) defeated Melbourne (9.10.64)

  1. Isaac Heeney (144). Highest score of opening round went to Heeney who was tremendous in the middle, collecting 26 touches (18 contested) plus 13 clearances, 7 tackles, 1 goal and a team best 619 metres gained.
  2. Brodie Grundy (139). All but locked himself into most round 1 teams with a dominant display of 23 disposals, 9 clearances and 33 hitouts.
  3. Jack Viney (138). So good and so under the radar, Viney led the game with 625 metres gained from his 30 touches, while slotting an important 2 goals plus having 7 tackles/clearances.
  4. Tom Papley (120). Important as the game wore on, Papley found 20 touches and slotted 1 major.
  5. Chad Warner (118). Similar to Papley, Warner just chugged through the game and finished with 26 touches, 1 goal and 588 metres gained.

Other 100+ scores: Nick Blakey (117), Steven May (115), Christian Petracca (108)

Disappointment: Fully aware it doesn’t count, but I ponder how much Gawns ownership drops after a 72. Errol Gulden (77) not up to his usual standards.

Rookies: Windsor is highly picked and priced but didn’t do much wrong, finishing with 13 touches and 58 points on debut. Howes was great with 91 from 17 touches in just 74% game time. Roberts had 76 from 19 touches and warrants selection with that role and price. Schache only had 4 touches and 27 points while Laurie was subbed off on 20. For the sake of covering, popular mid price picks Jordon and Billing’s played, but with Billing’s taking the sub vest, Jordon appeared as a much better option, finishing on 81 as opposed to Billing’s 11.

Injuries: Amartey was subbed off after having little to no impact, but Bowey took a solid hit and had a shoulder listed on the injury report.

Brisbane (12.13.85) defeated by Carlton (13.8.86)

  1. Harry McKay (130). Kicked the sealer which boosted his points but played an important role all night, finding 13 disposals and 7 marks to go with 3 majors.
  2. Harris Andrews (118). Unsure if he was opposed to McKay or Curnow, but the Brisbane co-captain was solid for 15 touches and 7 marks while running at 86% DE.
  3. Lachie Neale (112). Not a two time Brownlow medal winner for nothing, Neale overcame a sore shoulder early to finish with 25 touches (13 contested) with importantly just 1 clanger.
  4. Jarryd Lyons/George Hewett (106). I didn’t realise how cheap Lyons was. 19 touches and 9 tackles tied him with Hewett who had 27 touches (13 contested) plus 5 clearances.
  5. Dayne Zorko (105). Rounded out the top 5 with a 2 goal, 19 touch, 7 mark, 6 tackle effort.

Other 100+ scores: Josh Dunkley/Blake Cares (101)

Disappointment: Can’t really hand one out here, irrelevant scores technically, moving on.

Rookies: Two pretty senior sides here with no rookies running around that have been really talked about this pre-season. Lohmann is at 150K but was the sub for just 33 points, while Darcy Gardiner finished on 57 and is priced at 187K. Jack Carroll was great after being subbed on for 10 touches and 1 goal, resulting in 65 points. Just needs to shed that sub vest to really be considered. Zac Williams (73) found 19 touches and will likely have a an increased role after injuries took their toll in this game. Fantasia is also cheap but we’ll need to see a lot more than 11 touches and 35 points.

Injuries: Just really unfortunate news out of Friday with both Sam Docherty and Keidean Coleman suffering season ending ACL injuries. SuperCoach aside, sad we won’t be seeing these two on the park until 2025.


Gold Coast (14.15.99) defeated Richmond (9.6.60)

  1. Matt Rowell (137). 33 touches, 26 contested possessions but incredibly 20 clearances, the 2nd most in recorded history. Prime start to the year.
  2. Jayden Short (130). Back at half back, Short was great with a game high 643 metres gained from his 23 touches in the preferred half back distributor role.
  3. Sam Flanders (124). Any pre-season questions were shut down, but the Suns did dominate so make of their scores what you will. Flanders had 26 touches but importantly started in the midfield.
  4. Will Powell (123). Does this from time to time, using elite ball use to boost his score. 28 touches, 9 marks, 555 metres gained and just 2 clangers was a great return. Can he become a premium in 2024?
  5. Noah Anderson (122). 25 touches (13 contested) plus 8 clearances and 9 marks, Anderson showed his class all day.

Other 100+ scores: Nick Vlastuin (118), Touk Miller (116), Jarrod Witts (110), Ben King (107), Sam Collins (102), Brayden Fiorini (101)

Disappointment: Once again irrelevant scores but just 15 touches and 49 points didn’t help Taranto’s case as a POD.

Rookies: Lets start with rookie ruck Naismith (well rookie priced). He went up against Witts and held his own, finishing with 11 touches (9 contested) plus 7 clearances and 25 hitouts, looking set to make some quick cash after a 93. Gibcus (76) is super popular and a nice pick, while on debut Campbell was good for 2 goals from 9 touches and 4 tackles for 70 points. For the Suns, Uwland and Berry didn’t see a bunch of it but scored 41 and 62. The interest in Sexton proved about right as he found 21 touches and 8 marks off half back for 73 points.

Injuries: No one on the injury report, just Ellis and Ryan being subbed out.


GWS (18.6.114) defeated Collingwood (11.16.82)

  1. Darcy Cameron (133). A monster game for Cameron to start the year. 20 touches, 5 tackles, 30 hitouts and 2 goals. Would be highly picked if he still had DPP status.
  2. Tom Green (132). You could probably guess his stat line. 30 touches (11 contested), 9 clearances, 6 tackles, 1 goal.
  3. Nick Daicos/Lachy Ash (131). Daicos led all players with 34 touches (16 contested) plus 10 clearances, 1 goal and a team high 663 metres gained. Ash had 25 disposals, 7 marks, 507 metres gained and importantly just 1 clanger.
  4. Jesse Hogan (113). Slight ankle concern very late in the game but Hogan slotted 4 goals from 12 touches and 7 marks up until that point.
  5. Stephen Congilio (111). Scooted his way around, finding 28 disposals (11 contested) in a pretty dominant Giants midfield.

Other 100+ scores: Kieran Briggs/Josh Daicos (109), Lachie Whitfield (108), Callum Brown (103), Harry Himmelberg (101)

Disappointment: 21 touches but just 43 points for De Goey wasn’t the best start to 2024.

Rookies: Cadman (55) has had some interest and might be a slow burn but at least he’ll play, 2 goals and 10 touches for him. Harvey Thomas made his debut with 9 touches and 40 points, while despite being around for a while, Wehr is rookie priced and scored 48 from 11 disposals. McMullin was subbed on for 11 touches and 32 points, while Charlie Dean’s long awaited debut was solid, 55 points from 9 touches, 3 marks and 88% DE.

Injuries: Ward was subbed off early with a shoulder injury, while Mitchell was subbed off for the Pies, tactically.


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