Dangerfield returns to the captaincy fray but with do-or-die SuperCoach semi-finals at stake, it may be worth going down a different path with your captaincy options. In saying that, a lot of this chat will be based around the reigning Brownlow Medallist.
Here are the options jumping out at us this week:
Last 3 vs RICH: 101, 152, 99
Avg vs RICH: 100.6
We missed you dearly, mate. Danger is back from his one-week suspension and simply HAS to be a vice/captaincy option in my view. Plain and simple. However, his last game against the Tiges is a cause for concern, scoring 101 points in Round 21 last year. In saying that, I’m not really one to ignore a 150 point 5 round average… Duncan and Selwood are out of the Cats midfield, which means Dangerfield will be carrying the whole side this week. Doesn’t mind Simonds Stadium, either.
Last 3 vs GWS: 141, 112, 83
Avg vs GWS: 110.3
The Bont looks to be back after a reasonable down period during the middle of the year, amassing three 120+ totals in his past four matches. Admittedly, two of those were against cellar-dwellers Carlton and Brisbane, so it will be interesting to see how he fares against the Giants. He has a handy record against them though, averaging 110 points including a momentous 141 earlier in the year. The GWS defence has said they will be keeping a close eye on him while forward, but at his best, he is simply unstoppable. Nice VC option into Danger.
Last 3 vs SYD: 145, 109, 111
Avg vs SYD: 104.9
Like Bontempelli, Nathaniel Fyfe has seemingly been brought back to life after hitting just one ton from Rounds 6-15. Since then, Fyfe has averaged a monumental 126 points in his past five, including four 125+ scores. His last outing against the Swans in 2015 was significant, posting a scintillating 145. The trouble is the Swans vs Dockers match-up begins just 25 minutes before Danger’s game. A dicey SuperCoacher could chuck the ‘VC’ on Fyfe and see how he goes in the first 20 minutes, and make an early decision on whether to roll the dice on Fyfe. Might be a bit of a waste, though.
Last 3 vs GCS: 145, 109, 111
Avg vs GCS: 103.4
If you opt to VC Danger and he is travelling pretty average coming into three-quarter time, it may be worth giving Dayne Zorko the captaincy duties. Mind you, Danger is sort of player that is capable of 90 point final quarters, so tread carefully. As we know, Zork has a very high ceiling and is more than capable of a 140+ effort against a GAJ-less Gold Coast midfield. We also know he plays his best footy at the Gabba, a venue he has scored four 120+ totals at in his past six appearances. Could explode.
Last 3 vs GEEL: 97, 113, 111
Avg vs GEEL: 97.3
This is a difficult conundrum for those who have both Dustin Martin and Dangerfield: who do you choose? I would be going with Danger in this one – and this is coming from a Richmond supporter. Dusty will be target number one for Scooter Selwood, who has done a number on some of game’s best. I still expect him to reach a solid total, but I wouldn’t be going him over Danger.
Last 3 vs NTH: 178, 109, 91
Avg vs NTH: 109.3
Tommy Mitchell dipped under 100 for the first time since Round 4 a fortnight ago but followed it up last week with a typical 35 disposals, 128-point effort against the Tigers. Commonly known as ‘doing a Mitchell’. The bloke is a stats pig and I expect him to be rolling around in the clearance mud on Sunday afternoon against the Roos. His three games in Tazzy this season have yielded scores of 117, 135 and 130, so he is worth a crack if Danger fails. Lazy 178 against North last time he played them in Swans colours.
Last 3 vs ESS: 124, 141, 145
Avg vs ESS: 107.5
Now, this option is fraught with Danger (just had to work him into every player in this). This year has been a rollercoaster ride for his owners, with some Empire State Building highs and some bottom of the Grand Canyon lows. All this really depends on is whether Sloane gets tagged, which I’d say is fairly likely considering his recent record against the Dons (124, 141 and 145 in his past three). However, Essendon ignored the blindingly obvious decision to tag Bryce Gibbs on the weekend, so who knows. Don’t really have a recognised tagger in the side at the minute, so I’m willing to say he is worth the punt.
Josh J. Kennedy
Last 3 vs CARL: 145, 109, 111
Avg vs CARL: 104.9
If you are really looking to roll the dice in the event Danger comes up short, Josh J. Kennedy is worth a look-in. The sharp-shooter is back in town after his stint on the sidelines with injury, booting 17 sausage rolls over the past three weeks. The worry is he has only scored one ton in this period despite three 5+ goal hauls, but it is his previous form against the Blues that has him in here. Scored a monster 178 last time he faced the Blues at Domain Stadium, but he may have a tougher time of it up against Team of the Century full-back Liam Jones. Gotta risk it to get the biscuit, I guess.
Short of luck? Pick a ruck
This Sunday presents us with some very one-sided ruck duels. If Danger fails (big if) here are some other captaincy options.
Max Gawn vs Billy Longer/Tom Hickey
Gawn returned to his 2016-esque form with a whopping 160 points against Shane Mumford last week. 52 hitouts, 19 disposals, a goal and a number of towering contested marks from opposition around the ground. Against bean-poles Billy Longer and Tom Hickey, he should dominate.
Matthew Kreuzer vs Drew Petrie
Big POD considering he is owned by just 10% of the competition. The #1 SuperCoach ruck of 2017 towelled up Tom Bellchambers on his way to 131 points last week, and I expect a similar return against Drew Petrie this weekend.
Paddy Ryder vs Mason Cox
Ryder had his pants pulled down somewhat by big Sauce Jacobs last week who ended the match with the Showdown Medal around his neck. Has the perfect opportunity to redeem himself against Mason Cox on Sunday night, with Brodie Grundy on the sidelines with suspension. Posted 127 and 129 against Richmond and West Coast respectively who also have weak ruck stocks.