O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain, My Captain – Round 7

VICE-CAPTAIN

Rory Sloane

Opponent: North Melbourne
Average v NM: 119.8

It’s always hard to overlook the highest-scoring player in the competition, and with Rory Sloane assuming that mantle, for the time being at least, he looms as a reliable option for anyone looking to play it safe over the weekend. Sloane isn’t even owned by 10% of the SuperCoach population but has averaged a whopping 132.3 SuperCoach points over the first six weeks of the season, and if you remove his rather disappointing Round 1 score of 77, his average would stand at over 140. Considering he is expected to score something similar to that against the Kangaroos on Saturday afternoon, he shapes as a terrific vice-captain choice, with the view of looking to loophole his score. His career-high in SuperCoach came against North, accruing a whopping 180 points against them in 2013.

Scott Pendlebury

Opponent: Carlton
Average v Carl: 125.3

There’s nothing like a player who always turns it on against the arch enemy, and that’s exactly what Pendles does against the Navy Blues every year. After a disappointing last few weeks, the Magpies skipper bounced back against Geelong with a score of 149 – his highest tally for the season. It was a bitter blow for those looking to target him as a fallen premium in future weeks, but a godsend for those who had kept the faith in him. He hasn’t dipped below 129 in his FIVE encounters against the Blues (averaging 144.4 against them since 2014), and it wouldn’t surprise us in the slightest if he were to comfortably surpass that figure once again. Another safe loophole option.

VICE-CAPTAIN OR CAPTAIN

Marcus Bontempelli

Opponent: Richmond
Average v Rich: 141

Marcus Bontempelli has only played Richmond twice, but he’s making up for the lack of recent Bulldogs-Tigers clashes, scoring 140 and 142 in his only two clashes against them. He’s also ranked second in the competition for points, having scored below 100 just once in his first six games, which is a polar opposite of his early-2016 form, when he scored above 100 just once in his first six games. His 141 last week was his highest score for the year as well. He does play on a Saturday night this week though, so he might have to be your captain option unless you’ve got some juicy Sunday choices up your sleeve.

Gary Ablett

Opponent: Geelong
Average v Geel: 121.4

210. That’s all we need to really say about last week. 210 points. So much for the G.O.A.T being done and dusted at AFL level. As a result of his heroic feats last week, he has become one of the most traded in players this week. Whilst the Golden Rule of chasing last week’s points mustn’t be forgotten (the rule being don’t do it), Gaz has still been averaging over 116 points this season – not a bad return from someone who has been under as much pressure as Ablett, and hasn’t been playing nearly as badly as what some people have been making out. Don’t bring him in expecting too many more scores around the 200-mark, but he looms as a potential captaincy option following last week’s effort, and he has a very good track record against his old side, having averaged over 120 points against them in five appearances.

CAPTAIN

Tom Rockliff

Opponent: Sydney
Average v Syd: 103.7

Rockliff had an absolute shocker last week, scoring just 53 points. He wasn’t alone though, as most of Brisbane’s prime midfielders turned in some rather mediocre performances. But the very best rarely play a bad game, and almost never dish up two stinker’s in a row, so expect him to come out breathing fire on Sunday. His record against Sydney leaves a little to be desired, especially as captaincy material, but Rockliff has spent most of his career in a struggling Lion’s side, whilst the Swans have been flying high in the top 4. But the playing field has evened out now, and there’s serious potential for not only a Lion’s victory but a massive score from Rockliff as well. Certainly, one to consider.

Nat Fyfe

Opponent: Essendon
Average v Ess: 113

It wasn’t a great week for the premiums last week, with a multitude of great players underperforming, and Fyfe was one of them, finishing the Western Derby with a miserly score of just 62.  But just like Rockliff, you can fully expect that Fyfe will bounce back this week, and he has a terrific opportunity to do just that, as the resurgent Dockers tackle the travelling Essendon at Domain Stadium. Fyfe’s record against the Bombers isn’t the greatest, but last week’s score was the first time all season he dropped below 100, so he is a player that you can rely upon to score well if your vice-captain lets you down. Surprisingly, Fyfe has only played Essendon three times in his eight-season career.

LEFT OF CENTRE

Last week’s winner of the weekly SuperCoach prize for the top-scoring team went to a team that loop-holed Dylan Roberton’s score of 149. That’s right, Dylan Roberton! Normally the decision to bestow vice-captaincy honours upon a player like Roberton would be questionable at best, but it won The Pilchards a tidy $1000, so who are we to judge? If you’re a believer in lightning striking twice in the same place, then Sam Docherty is a player that you might want to consider placing the VC tag on. Docherty – the highest scoring defender in the game so far this year – is coming off a season-high 149 in last week’s win against the Swans, and is a chance of seeing plenty of the ball, with his rebound off half-back likely to be a feature in a fierce contest against Collingwood. If you want to look outside the midfield and take a Roberton-like punt (or rather, Hail Mary) on a left-field vice-captain, then Docherty is the way to go.

Follow Matthew Donald on Twitter

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