This article is part of our DraftKings AFL series.
G'Day Footy Fans! The AFL is embarking on a whirlwind schedule starting with Round 8. Since Aussie Footy is fairly new on DraftKings, the fair dinkum competitions are fairly wide open and awfully darn fun. Our usual expert, Erik Siegrist, is on the DL this week, so you'll be getting the drongo version of our weekly advice from yours truly. If you're unfamiliar with my work, click here.
To save some time, I'll graciously borrow Erik's standard intro: "DK's format features a starting lineup of nine players – one ruck, two forwards, two defenders and four midfielders – and a scoring system that rewards points on the board (+6 for a goal, +1 for a behind) as well as possession and defensive stats (+4 for a tackle, +3 for a kick, +3 for a mark, +2 for a handball, +1 for a free kick, +1 for a hitout). Conceding a free kick gets a player docked -3 points as well. If you have no idea what rucks, behinds, and marks are, this is a good place to start, although note that the length of each quarter has been reduced to 16 minutes from 20 for the 2020 season. Also, check out some of our other tools to help you compile a lineup." I'll add if you're not sure which AFL team to cheer for, RotoWire HQ recommends the Collingwood Magpies, who feature Mason Cox, the only American currently playing in the AFL. Also, Steele Sidebottom plays for Pies – 'nuff said. (Get well, Erik!!!)
(Note: wagering lines below are a composite from four sources: DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM & PointsBet)
Daily Fantasy Tools
North Melbourne vs Carlton (-12.5 per DK) at The Gabba, o/u 112.5 (DK). It doesn't take a genius to notice the 17th place Roos have lost five in a row. To make matters worse, North captain Jack Ziebell is out again for roughly four weeks due to a recurring hamstring injury. The Kangaroos will also be without young gun midfielder Tarryn Thomas who is set for a season-ending operation on his injured left foot, which he hurt against Essendon in Round 6. Carlton, coming off a frustrating post-buzzer loss to Port, should be looking to work out their frustrations on the banged up Roos. Stack accordingly.
Hawthorn Hawks (-5.5) at Sydney Swans at SCG, o/u 113. That might be a generously high over-under when you consider the Hawks and Swans rank 15th and 16th, respectively, in average goals per game. Note this is a true home game for the Swans. The Hawks have been pretty disappointing the last few weeks, with terrible numbers in contested possessions and bad ruck play. Veteran Hawk forward Jack Gunston will be playing his 200th game on Saturday. The 16th ranked Swans have been backpedaling all season.
St. Kilda at Port Adelaide (-16.8) at the Adelaide Oval, o/u 127.5. This is the heavyweight battle of the day, with Port the big favorite playing at home in the Oval. I'm still relishing Robert Gray's post-buzzer game winner from last round. The Saints will be without midfielder Daniel Hannebery (hamstring) and defender Josh Battle (concussion). The Power surprisingly cut 33-year-old veteran Justin Westhoff this week. Prior to his release, the forward had seven goals in six games for Port Adelaide.
Callum Sinclair, Swans ($6,200): Todd Goldstein has been a stud week in, week out and thus has become a staple of many conservative lineups. I get that. But he's slowed down the past two weeks versus Richmond and the Dons. An early season knee injury has suppressed Callum Sinclair's value, but he's reportedly now healthy. Maybe more importantly, the Hawks have been terrible in the middle. Ben McEvoy and his midfielders looked awful versus the Demons last week, so I like Sinclair's chances for a season-best round. Goldstein is the safe "top option", but I like gambling a bit with Sinclair so I can spend elsewhere. Of course, if stud man-child Brodie Grundy was playing Saturday, I'd be blindly throwing salary at him.
Jack Martin, F/M, Blues ($6,400): Frankly, any forward facing the Kangaroos could be considered a "Top Option". With Carlton dealing with absences from Charlie Curnow (kneecap) and Jack Silvagni (personal), Martin will have every opportunity to step up. That all said, I might wind up playing Martin at midfielder.
Luke Parker, Swans ($7,900): Crikey, I know, that's a big salary. But as mentioned above, the Hawthorn midfielders are terrible. They seem to have lost their desire to muck it up for contested possessions. The Hawks rank 14th in fantasy points to opposing midfielders and one wonders if the insanity of 2020 has their veterans questioning the importance of this season. Parker has five games with 82+ DraftKings fantasy points this season and is poised for another quality outing.
Travis Boak, Power ($7,400): With the Power favored by 16.8 and the o/u math predicting roughly 72 points for Port, grabbing the Power's top priced mid is about as chalk as one can get. I'm saving salary at a lot of spots, so let's bask in the Boak, shall we? This nice home match up feels like the right time for Boak to return to the 24+ disposal form he showed earlier in the season.
Jake Lloyd, Swans ($7,300): Erik placed the veteran Lloyd at this spot last round, and for good reason. Lloyd is the only quality defender for Sydney. He's averaged 86 DK FP's over the past six rounds and is as safe as they come.
Peter Ladhams, Power ($6,000): Let's be honest, Sinclair isn't really a "Top Option" and Ladhams isn't really a "Value Play". I'm spending my Ruck salary in the middle of the road this round with frankly two coin-flip options. Scott Lycett (knee) is once again not in the starting lineup for the Power, which opened the door for Ladhams to play very well last round. Port would be wise to let Ladhams continue with his hot run. Opposing ruck Rowan Marshall is coming off four straight mediocre games for the Saints.
Jack Gunston, Hawks ($5,400): Maybe I'm just a sucker for the big milestone games – Gunston is notching game 200 on his belt this Saturday. But 1.6 goals per game speaks for itself.
Dean Kent, Saints ($4,400): The RotoWire Projection Machine (is "RoPro" a good nickname?) digs the kick-strong veteran Kent this week and I can't come up with a good reason to argue. I need to except that Saints-Power o/u of 127.5 and go with it. Plus, the salary is too low to search elsewhere, especially with Kent's 3.6 marks per game.
Tom Papley, Swans ($5,700): I'm not sure $5,700 counts as a value, but I'd be a real drongo to ignore the Coleman Medal standings. Something tells me Papley sees the standings, too. With Butler and Cameron facing tough opponents, this week's matchup gives Papley the opportunity to further his lead.
Jed Anderson, Kangaroos ($5,500): I have to pick a Roo sooner or later, right? Anderson's quad injury has suppressed his value. But he should be healthy after 20 days of rest. He's not that far removed from his 90 DK FP effort versus Hawthorn on June 28. The man-bunned mid is primed for a solid return. With Roo injuries mounting, Anderson should see plenty of minutes on the pitch.
Lewis Taylor, Swans ($4,200): This is simply a cheap salary that's hard to resist. Taylor missed the last three rounds and frankly time is running our for the former Lion to prove himself to the Swans. The Hawks weak midfield provides Taylor the opportunity he needs.
Matthew Ling Swans D ($2,500) - It's finally time for this 2017 first round pick to shine. Ling is back from a long absence due to big Achilles and toe injuries. All reports are he's been fantastic in practice and this debutante is long overdue. Plus let's face it, it's time for the Swans to let the kids play.
That's it from RotoWire HQ, footy fans! Grab a few stubbies and enjoy all the Round 8 action. Is it wrong to play Robbie Gray just based on last round heroics?