Start or Bench

Start or Sit – Round 2

Start or Sit is back for season 2018, bringing you a weekly view on the top options to field in each position, and who to leave on the bench for the round. Left-field options are often the match-winners and this weekly article does the research for you, to get your team over the line.

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DEFENDERS

Start: Adam Tomlinson

Tomlinson is a handy defensive backup as a general rule, however there have always been glimpses of fantasy gold in him. At NEAFL level he is a dominant force on the wing, consistently posting 130+ scores. Since returning to AFL level, however, he has settled as a key defender. Against a Bulldogs forward line lacking in height, Tomlinson was freed of his defensive duties and took up a spot on the wing, finishing with 20 disposals, eight marks and 89 fantasy points. Collingwood is another team that doesn’t possess a particularly tall forward line, meaning Davis can cover the key defensive duties nearly by himself. I’m fully expecting Tomlinson to roam freely all over the ground again and post an 85+ score, which is well worth a start.

Sit: Jack Crisp

It was a slow start to the season for Crisp, who collected most of his ball deep in defence. He didn’t quite look the same player who picked up eight fantasy tons in 2017, as he appeared to play a slightly more defensive role against the Hawks. We want Crisp either playing across half back or as a tackling machine in the middle, however with both roles stacked against a firing GWS team, Crisp could be relegated to tagging duties. Crisp is also a notoriously slow starter – his last seven scores in either Round 1 or Round 2 of a season are 64, 47, 72, 64, 66, 63 and 63. You can afford to leave him on your bench for this week.

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MIDFIELDERS

Start: Michael Rischitelli

It’s been a little while since Rischitelli has been a strong fantasy option, but it is his current role that has piqued my interest. The 32-year-old spent time behind the ball in the JLT Series, and against the Blues, he played out of defence and along the wing. With Matt Rosa being the one left out with Aaron Hall returning, the Suns clearly see Rischitelli as an important leader within the team. Carlton is a great match-up for the veteran, who averages 81 over his career against the Blues and 77 at Etihad Stadium. Rischitelli should rack up plenty of kicks in his current role given how open Carlton appears to be playing at the moment.

Sit: Isaac Smith

Despite two big games against the Cats last season, Isaac Smith still has his struggles in this huge rivalry match. He averages 81 in 11 regular season matches against Geelong, who were able to restrict Melbourne’s outside players last week. Smith has averaged over 89 in each of his past four seasons and has generally been a reliable performer in Ultimate Footy, but this matchup against his bogey team may be a cause for concern.

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RUCKS

Start: Callum Sinclair

Paddy Ryder’s injury opens up the door to start Sinclair with full confidence in Ultimate Footy, given his ability to find the ball around the ground as well as win the ruck contests. He’ll seemingly be facing the rotating trio of Dougal Howard, Justin Westhoff and Charlie Dixon, all of whom aren’t natural ruckmen. where he has the advantage in ruck experience and fitness. Sinclair could post 100+ easily on Sunday.

Sit: Ben McEvoy

2017 was a big breakout season for McEvoy, who enjoyed having the number one ruck spot to himself. He posted a season average of 95, which is elite for fantasy players in his position, and looked really fit. The one thing that stands out as a negative for McEvoy is his overall record against Geelong, which sits at around 70 fantasy points. Zac Smith is a lot taller than McEvoy, which limits the Hawk’s ability to win the one-on-one ruck contests, while Smith also has McEvoy covered in fitness. He can be faded in this week’s Ultimate Footy contests.

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FORWARDS

Start: Josh Dunkley

For those who own Dunkley, this is a great move in Round 2. Tom Liberatore’s unfortunate injury has opened up a spot for a tackling, inside midfielder, which will see Dunkley’s midfield minutes increase significantly. While he won’t play a majority of the game in the midfield as he did against the Giants, his style of play allows him to rack up some serious points in short periods of time. Dunkley can hit the 100-point mark against a West Coast midfield that is slower than most others.

Sit: David Mundy

The veteran is a club legend at Fremantle but he’s slowly being phased out of the important midfield rotation. In Round 1, he managed to collect 21 disposals which resulted in just 71 fantasy points, due to the outside nature of his possessions. A role on the wing and across half-forward puts a low ceiling on his scoring ability in general, making him a less-than-premium option. His overall record against the Bombers sees him average 72.7 points per game and with them being a stronger team in 2018, it’ll be tough for Mundy to get into the game from outside the contest.

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