Just like that we’ve arrived at the conclusion of Week 3 of the JLT Community Series.
The team at Fantasy Stars has summarized some of the best performances over the weekend, some of the surprises, injuries and players to watch going forward for SuperCoach and Dream Team.
The scoreboards across the board
Six games were played over the weekend with the Saints embarrassing the Blues in the Saturday afternoon game while all of the other games were pretty close and rather competitive.
Western Bulldogs 58 defeated by Brisbane Lions 66
The reigning premiers fought back from as many as six goals behind to keep things interesting late against the Brisbane Lions who were eventually able to hold off the Doggies.
Bulldogs coach Luke Beverage commented on the resolve of his playing group that was missing many key premiership players.
“You don’t anticipate that you are going to be that far down but I loved the way as a group they all fought back and made it close in the end. That was really encouraging,” Beveridge said.
“Brisbane looked pretty sharp with their pace and their pressure so it was good to claw our way back into the contest.”
There weren’t a lot of statistical highlights for the Bulldogs but fringe players Lin Jong, Jake Stringer, Matthew Suckling (yes he is a fringe player!) and Lukas Webb were all prominent.
Rookie ruck option from the Bulldogs Tim English (four hit-outs) battled hard against the more experienced Stefan Martin (31 hit-outs) but was certainly well beaten.
Luke Beveridge says only Tom Boyd and Tim English are fit from all his ruckman. Says English is in Round 1 mix. What a debut that would be
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) March 3, 2017
The win will be a confidence booster for the Lions who are widely tipped to have a very long season 2017.
Lions coach Chris Fagan;
“It’s good to come on the road, win a game of footy against a great opposition, a team that won the premiership last year, albeit we know they had a number of players out but you still have to do it. We’ll take a bit of confidence from that,” Fagan said.
Dayne Zorko ($593,000 SuperCoach) was the star of the show racking up 34 disposals, eight marks, 12 tackles and a goal for the Brisbane Lions.
Jake Barrett ($129,000) impressed for the Lions, while other popular bargain basement player Hugh McCluggage was well held and at 202k is losing a few admirers.
Young Lion Matthew Hammellmann looks a key defender of the future but given his body size and the position he plays looks a risky season-long fantasy option.
Greater Western Sydney Giants 42 defeated by Sydney Swans 54
The two Sydney teams and who Punting Stars believe to be the Premiership favorites played out a willing contest in awful conditions on Friday Night.
Buddy Franklin’s rampaging first quarter with 60+ SuperCoach points was the highlight of the night.
Swans Assistant coach Henry Playfair said this about Franklin;
“I thought his effort was really solid across the night, just his competing,” he said.
“He impacted the game strongly early and then we probably didn’t give him great supply after quarter-time, but he still kept cracking in and bringing the ball to the ground as a minimum.
“He played some solid game time and we knew he was ready for that, he’s trained with contact for a couple of weeks now.
“It was good preparation and we’ll monitor him going forward.”
Franklin layed a huge bump on Giants #2 draft pick Tim Taranto (below).
Taranto went on to kick a goal and look to settle right into the physicality of Footy at the highest level.
SuperCoach Swans rookies Oliver Florent, Will Hayward and Robbie Fox weren’t suited to the wet conditions with Florent ($166,800) the pick of the bunch.
Popular SC and DT pick Darcy Cameron had just the six possessions while premium midfielder Dan Hannebery was well held.
Key Giants Steve Johnson and Shane Mumford made their preseason debuts and coach Leon Cameron had this to say;
“They’ll go full bore again next week,” he said.
“There was some areas they needed to be better at, but there was also some pleasing things, so I look forward to them having a good hit-out on Friday night, and hopefully that prepares them for round one against the Crows.”
It was once again a case of sharing the load for the Giants in terms of fantasy production with the usual faces right at the top of the DT stats.
From the top; Ward, Shaw, Greene, Shiel, Kelly, Griffen, young Taranto and Coniglio.
No injuries to report.
Carlton Blues 30 defeated by St Kilda Saints 122
Most AFL judges were already very low on the Blues coming into the JLT Community Series and they’ve done nothing so far to change that school of thought.
The Saints utterly smashed them on Saturday winning all of the basic statistical areas comfortably.
The Blues are likely to churn through plenty of players this season and no doubt any rookie who’s remotely ready to playing AFL Football will get his chance.
We’ve gone cold on Marc Murphy given the lack of supporting cast around him.
Jack Steele, Jack Billings and Jack Stevens all had 20+ disposals for the Saints and looked in good touch but it was a forward not named Nick Riewoldt who stole the show.
Josh Bruce booted seven goals for the Saints in a dominant performance.
Stand-in Saints coach Aaron Hammil;
“He contributed well, and that was on the back of a lot of our defensive work,”
“He contributes in many ways for us and he’s a product of hard work, so it doesn’t surprise me that he gets those results.”
In a day lacking in obvious positives for the Blues, coach Brendan Bolton will also have to deal with the injuries to Buckley and Curnow.
“We’re not going to be locked away on wins and losses … but I will say we’ll challenge standards,” Bolton said.
“There’s some young kids who couldn’t hold on for more than a quarter and a half today, but we’ll challenge them to do that.
“For them to get better, we need to expose them to develop them. Within that, we will challenge (the things) they need to improve on.”
Of the new Carlton draftees, Harrison Macreadie was the pick of the bunch with 13 disposals while Jacob Weitering was persistent in a very bad side.
Fremantle Dockers 87 def Collingwood Magpies 85
Fremantle and Collingwood are two teams we expect to be battling for one of the final spots in the top 8 this season.
Fremantle scraped through on Sunday afternoon but probably should have won by more winning the inside 50 count easily and kicking eight more behinds than the Pies.
For the Dockers there were positives across the board.
Midfielder Lachie Neale (18 disposals) returned in good form while SuperCoach bargain Aaron Sandilands ($308,000) cemented himself as a popular ruck option with 20 hit-outs, 15 disposals and a goal.
Coach Ross Lyon;
“I thought you could see how important Aaron is to us, and Lachie Neale and our mids capitalised,”
“They were against pretty competitive ruckmen today. (Brodie) Grundy’s an enormous talent.
“So for (Sandilands’) first hit-out it was a credit to him. I thought with Jon Griffin that’s as strong as we’ve looked in combination for a while.”
Aaron Sandilands will make his a welcome return to the Fremantle side, his first for season 2017. https://t.co/uxhAHL8eth
— AFL on 7 (@7AFL) March 3, 2017
Stephen and Bradley Hill broke the lines for the Dockers and had 50 telling possessions between them.
Nat Fyfe had 19 solid disposals without setting the world on fire and Hayden Ballantyne was below his usual busy best.
For the Pies, Mason Cox at $322,000 looks to be too expensive to consider in SuperCoach but he did draw the attention of coach Nathan Buckley.
“(Cox) was off the pace early, his contest and work rate wasn’t where we needed it to be, but I thought that was a real step forward for him to be able to respond to that and to be a pretty significant forward target,” Pies coach Nathan Buckley said.
“He’s actually had a really strong pre-season … even if he’s not marking them he’s putting defenders under pressure.”
New Pies recruit Chris Mayne was once again disappointing while premium SuperCoach options Pendlebury, Treloar and Adams did enough to keep them high on fantasy boards.
Adelaide Crows 70 def Geelong Cats 64
The Crows went into their JLT Community Series game against the Cats with a weakened squad but still did enough to hold on for victory.
Matt Crouch relished the chance to thrive in the middle without Rory Sloane gathering 28 touches.
“It was pleasing to get a result, not that it’s all about the result,” Crows coach Don Pyke.
“I thought the guys worked pretty hard all day and there were some good signs.”
Adelaide’s top pick in last years draft, Jordan Galluci showed enough for SuperCoach players to consider him at $148,800.
— AFL (@AFL) March 5, 2017
Fringe Cats midfielder George Horlin-Smith pressed his claims for a round one berth with an impressive performance through the middle while Patrick Dangerfield played mostly forward and with limited gametime.
Big Lachie Henderson clunked 12 marks to go along with 23 disposals to top the Cats DT scoring list.
Zac Tuohy was once again very busy (27 disposals) for the Cats and looks to have locked in a back six spot.
$433,200 if you want to take a chance on the ex-Blue.
Brandon Parfitt again impressed with decision making and skills and looks to be a future star. Whether or not he is in the squad for Round 1 is another story.
“We looked to implement a few things and worked pretty well in the first half,” Cats assistant coach James Rahilly said.
“Our third quarter was pretty disappointing, but we got a bit out of it.
“We put players in different positions and tried a few things around the ball.”
Port Adelaide Power 51 defeated by Richmond Tigers 79
The final game of JLT Community Series Week 3 was played on Sunday afternoon in South Australia between the Power and the Tigers.
The Tigers had the measure of the Power from quarter time onwards doing so with their tackling pressure and intensity.
“We’re a different-looking outfit from a personnel point of view. The way we’re playing is a little bit different as well,” coach Hardwick said.
“Our defensive intensity has been very good, our tackle pressure, our pressure inside 50, we had 15 tackles.”
The SuperCoach rumblings around new ruck Toby Nankervis should continue despite being sometimes out bodied by Patty Ryder.
He did more than enough to remain in calculations for both DT and SC.
Brandon Ellis looks fit, bright and bubbly. As an outside midfielder with a big engine he should benefit from having hard nuts Prestia and Caddy in the team this season.
Star Tigers in Riewoldt, Cotchin and Martin all kept their preseasons ticking over nicely.
Alex Rance ($535,600) returned for the Tigers and showed no sign of the injury that has hampered his preseason.
— AFL (@AFL) March 5, 2017
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley struggled to find many positives from the Power’s defeat.
“We’re nowhere near where we want to be just yet, so we’ve just got to keep at it,” Hinkley said.
“We want to remain positive about what we’ve got to do and we’ve got to continue to track down at training what it is we’re trying to improve on, and for us, there’s some obvious things there.”
We’ve circled the two new Power midfielders in Powell-Pepper and Atley as SuperCoach targets and both were busy enough to stay firmly on the radar.
Ollie Wines once again played well for the Power and he looks set for a big season with the return of Ryder, Wingard up the ground and the youngsters helping out more around the midfield.