Oh Gather Round, I'll miss you! The round featured some incredible moments, such as Tom Green's stunning tackle on Josh Ward (Suspended 1 round). Oh! And Zach Merrett's beautiful cuddle on Tom Sparrow (Suspended 1 round). I'd also be remiss to not mention Taylor Adams' not at all egregious or nasty tackle on Seb Ross (Suspended 1 round). I mean give me a break! In the words of the great Oprah Winfrey... "You get a dangerous tackle!... and you get a dangerous tackle!" and so on. But no, at the risk of upsetting an entire state (we all know which one) the Gather Round seemed like a great success! Footy converging into one location for a week in a celebration that everyone who attended had a mutual interest in. It's almost poetic!
But now the Victorians celebrate Gather Round being left behind until next year, and we as a fantasy massive move on to round 6 without Tom Green, Zach Merrett and.... Taylor Adams?... GameDay Squad is a little bit different to your more traditional AFL Fantasy and AFL Supercoach platforms. Some features that make it a little bit of a different experience are:
There are no weekly trade restrictions, this means that you can take your MRO frustrations out stress free.
In GDS the cards you use to play are virtual player cards which you can collect from player card packs, with that, there is a fully functioning peer-to-peer transfer market which you can trade, auction and sell player cards that you own. Yes this means that you can not only rage trade but rage sell all of your Rory Laird cards!
It’s also essential to keep in mind that GameDay Squad is a dynasty fantasy football platform and that will be heavily taken into consideration in this article.
Port Adelaide Power - Forward (FWD)
It's been the usual Zak Butters story so far in 2023 hasn't it? Coming into the season a little underdone after battling various injuries in the offseason/preseason, and then being expected to score well facing his first ball at the crease is a tough ask for anyone is tough for even the cream of the crop to do. However, now that he has some mile's in the legs Butters is starting to work his way to a level that saw him push as a top six forward in GameDay Squad Aussie Rules last season. Below are some numbers outlining the discrepancy in his first three rounds compared to his last two rounds now that he has some health and fitness under his belt and his opportunity and production has mirrored just that: Centre-bounce-attendances:
First three rounds - 28%
Last two rounds - 66%
First three rounds - 81 GDS fantasy points per game
Last two rounds - 118 GDS fantasy points per game
First three rounds - 75%
Last two rounds - 76.5%
Those TOG percentages are important. Butters ranks 20th amongst all Port Adelaide players for time spent on the ground so far this season, a figure which we can only assume climbs as his season builds. With even luck, Butters is trending in a direction that could put him in the Jeremy Cameron, Harry Sheezel, Tim Taranto conversations. We know what his injury history is like, so there is always that risk of owning and starting him. However, with more opportunity to produce, fitness and scoring all trending in the right direction, I'd trade for him or snap him up on the transfer market while some coaches are still stuck in the first three rounds!
West Coast Eagles - Midfielder (MID)
Tom Green - Suspended for round 6
Zach Merrett - Suspended for round 6
Andy Brayshaw - What the hell is even going on?
Rory Laird - What the hell is even going on?
Jack Macrae - Still getting unfairly Bevo'ed
LDU - What the hell is even going on?
Enter Tim Kelly? It's a little difficult to fathom that not only a West Coast midfielder, but Tim Kelly is a genuine option in 2023, but hey ho, here we are! While the ascension of the likes of Caleb Serong, Brad Crouch, and Tom Liberatore have been well documented, Tim Kelly's scoring has fallen somewhat under the radar. And I get it... West Coast... ewww, bleh! I know but his scoring is becoming incredibly hard to ignore! Through the first five rounds, Kelly is averaging a very healthy 122 GDS fantasy points per game, with numbers like 29 disposals, 4.4 marks, 4.6 tackles and almost a goal a game getting him there. Since entering the league the 28-year-old has always been a talent, but now with the weight of the club just about weighing on his shoulders, we should expect his role to be rock solid. So with a bunch of premiums either suspended, becoming untrustworthy or getting Bevo'ed, it might be time to sneak Tim Kelly into your sides as a top 10 midfielder yet, point-of-difference option that can potentially get you over the line!
Melbourne Demons - Defender (DEF)
I've seen enough of Gus Brayshaw now to stick him on the never again list for 2023. I say 2023, because reports will come out this next preseason stating that Gus is in line for some more midfield work and i'll be sucked straight back in. But until then... I'm off him! I don't actually know how he's failed so significantly and consistently, it's as if Michael Hibbered is out there playing with a helmet on! I myself projected Gus to finish as a top three defender come the end of the season and the way we're going, I might have to question my entire fantasy coaching career. I made that call off the back of the way Brayshaw finished the 2022 season, essentially playing as a midfielder, to this point of the season, I couldn't have been more wrong:
Last 6 games of 2022 - 62%
First 5 games of 2023 - 3%
It's just mind-boggling to see with the role he's playing off the half-back line for the Dee's often leaves him in no mans land watching the ball sail over his head both ways. Brayshaw still has a big name in the game, if you can get some penny's or use him as trade bait I would do it and walk away with my tail between my legs.
For AFL Fantasy and AFL supercoach coaches, I know it's hard to trade defenders at the moment with a bunch of injuries and suspensions blowing up the position, but if you still have Gus in your team's for some reason... It's never too early to start preparing and scouting for 2024!
Adam Cerra (And probably Ed Curnow, Matt Kennedy, George Hewett)
Carlton Blues - Midfielder (MID)
So... Sam Walsh is back. He's not even really back back yet, but he is back, do you know what I mean? Walsh only demanded a 39% chunk of Carlton's centre-bounce-attendances in his first game back last week, a figure we should see rise significantly in coming rounds. The fallout has already begun however, even in Walsh's first game back we saw Adam Cerra's CBA percentage fall from 59% through the first four rounds, to just 39% in round five. To add to the opportunity carnage, Carlton are forced to make even more changes after injuries to star defenders Sam Docherty and Adam Saad causing more headaches for Vossy, which should now see George Hewett return to the defensive line for the Blues. We have even seen league superstar Patty Cripps struggle to score well early this season, only averaging 104 GDS fantasy points per game through the first 5 rounds. All this to say that Carlton's midfield scoring despite added opportunity with Walsh being out of the starting team, has been horrendous. Cerra himself had arguably the best chance to really hold down a position in the midfield for the Blues but never really took it. Averaging only 23 disposals, 3 tackles and 3 marks for 98 GDS points per game really isn't anywhere near what we thought the 23-year-old would produce for those who started him enticed by the extra opportunity. Walsh will be back back soon, to full fitness and full game time which could spell the worst for Cerra.
Outside of Clayton Oliver leading all midfielders for GDS fantasy scoring to this point in the season, the rest of the consensus has been relatively disappointing! We're talking the likes of Rory Laird, Andrew Brayshaw, Jack Macrae, Jack Steele, Lachie Neale, Touk Miller and Bailey Smith. Now, the inconsistencies in scoring for these lot obviously vary depending on the player, we have had injuries, role-changes, Bevo'ings, tags and perhaps just a slow start to the season. All of the guys listed have shown glimpses of why they are considered premium options at the midfield position but have yet to actually string a good amount of games together in the high 120+ GDS scoring mark we would expect from these guys. My advice for the struggling premo mids, is if you own them, hold them. Don't lose patience with the likes of Andy Brayshaw and Rory Laird especially, we know how good they are, and when the penny drops, you do not want to regret selling or trading them at basement price based on a slow start to the 2023 season. Which might seem obvious! But, I'm seeing a suspicious amount of Touk Miller's, Jack Steele's and Bailey Smith's on the GDS transfer market recently... stop it... or dont...
For AFL Fantasy or AFL Supercoach coaches, some of these guys might actually be more of a hindrance than in GDS. Laird, Neale and Smith more specifically are just leaking price for the fun on it right now, so you've got to get rid of the latter two at least (probably don't get rid of Laird). But keep an eye out on the turn, once these guys do string some games together, you're looking at some great value at prices we never would have thought.
Geelong Cats - Defender (DEF)
Mitch Duncan was a mass buy last week as the transfer market dried up of Duncan cards and he pretty much selected himself. Most who own his player card, stuck him straight into their backlines... It's hard to blame them as he has a great scoring history and this was off the back of a season debut score of 150 GDS fantasy points in round 4, which then quickly turned into a gross 63 point outing last week against the Eagles in the Gather Round. Now everyone is on his backside and calling for his head, and I think we just need to hit the pause button for a second. While I myself was disappointed in his score (I'd expect everyone who started him to be disappointed by his score) I still won't be dropping him any time soon. It's easy to forget that Duncan scored an eye-watering 150 GDS fantasy points in his first game of the season just two games ago, and for a guy who finished as the second overall ranked forward in GDS Aussie Rules last year, he deserves a little patience and respect. It's worth noting as well that Duncan and Geelong return to GHMBA Stadium where he averages ... GDS fantasy points per game, with an average like that he's undroppable for this week anyway. Do not be tempted by any trades!
For AFL Fantasy or AFL Supercoach coaches, unless you have dodged all the injury and suspension bullets and you have a million in the bank, I find it hard to believe it's feasible to move on from Duncan. It's such a small sample size anyway, do not overreact here.
The information contained in the article is not intended and should not be understood or construed as financial advice. As always please do your own research, my placing history suggests you should absolutely do your own research!