Possible DPP’s | Round Eighteen

Before rounds 6, 12 and 18, the gang at Champion Data add some new DPP into the game. After the round, the first list of names and positions will be released. Historically, players need at least 35% to be considered for a new position allocation and at least four games played. So let’s see which players are locked, close or have no chance of getting DPP.

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Jayden Short

Have no fear. Jayden Short’s DPP is here! Heading into the Friday night clash against Brisbane, he was tracking at 50% of the time in defence, according to Champion Data. His night ended early in the second quarter with a hamstring injury. He’ll likely miss the following three weeks as a minimum. The injury does have a silver lining. Given he’s already played enough games to be eligible for DPP, it means he can’t see a data change, so lock Jayden in as a backline buy.

Even though you can’t buy him when injured, he’s a genuine play upon his return. I mentioned the Tigers upcoming fixture last week when looking at some upgrade targets. Assuming he’s back in round 19, he’d come up against Hawthorn, Melbourne & Western Bulldogs. That’s a nice run of opponents, and Jayden is likely to have the highest three-round average of all defenders during this stretch.

Luke Shuey

Even if Luke Shuey gets DPP, trading into him will only be for some. It may not be for anyone, but the possible positional allocation could be in play. Despite the challenges of the Eagles availability, when Shuey has been playing, he’s spent more time playing off the ball and across the backline. This has been primarily to provide some support, experience and leadership to what, at times, has been an incredibly young and inexperienced defensive group.

Having to be injected back into the centre bounces last week to cover the absence of Tim Kelly might mean that the Eagles premiership hero might see a dint in his defensive half %. But to the naked eye, he’s a consideration to get a change of status. The only reason you are jumping on him should the DEF status arrive is that you believe he and the Eagles will try to stay in games longer by denying the opposition the ball by playing a more possession-heavy football game. If that happens, then there’s a world I could see some coaches chasing the pack of leaders and trading into him. It’s an AFLFantasy style trade where he’s priced under $700k but is coming off the back of two consecutive 100s.

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Jack Sinclair

Traditionally, players gaining MID status are some of the least relevant gains because they need to create a pathway to a higher scoring avenue within your 22. However, what the addition of midfield status does is create versatility and flexibility across your classic and draft sides. Over the past six weeks, we’ve used Jack in various roles, and it is linked to two key variables. First, the opposition matchup. Second, Jack Steele’s capacity to get around the ground and impact.

Over the past five weeks, we’ve seen Sinclair go from 0% attendance at a centre bounce and play exclusively half back to 70% CBA’s and everything in between. It will come down to his role and time in the position this week against Melbourne. Plenty will log in Sunday on DFS to see the Saints CBA data.

Nick Daicos

I’ll get to the DPP stuff in a second, but over a week ago, I attended the MCG to watch my Crows play the Magpies. Putting the result aside (sigh), I walked away from that game amazed at what Nick Daicos does, not just with the ball, but without. Have you ever wondered, ‘How does he get that much space?’ Or dared to utter that he’s just an ‘outside junk ball user.’ Then you have to get to a game to watch him play. His workrate off the ball, combined with his elite footy IQ and his teammates desire to include their best ball user, combines for the reasons why he gets so much footy the way and where he does.

Since round eleven, there’s been a clear shift to play Nick higher up the ground. In the ten games prior, he’d only attended two games over 40%; since then, he hasn’t attended under 40% and has a season-high 81% against the Crows at the G. Like all players in the mix gaining MID, it shouldn’t add to your scoring profile. Still, it might save you a trade-in classic or a player delisting in your draft squad later in the year.

Dan Houston

How good was that kick after the siren?! Amazing. OK, not that I have officially annoyed the entire Essendon fan base; let’s discuss Dan Houston. The Port Adelaide halfback flanker and his drive and daring use of the ball are one of the keys behind their season form. Dan’s still seeing plenty of time across the back half, but Port and trying to get his elite ball use higher up the ground.

Looking at CBA data will tell you nothing, as Houston is being used more along the wing than at centre bounces. Between 2021-2022 Dan averaged just three inside ’50s, but in 2023 it’s up to five per game. He’s not certain to gain it, but it could provide some helpful squad versatility for his owners in classic and draft over the coming months.

Sam Docherty

Nobody should be surprised to see Sam Docherty‘s name in the DPP conversation. As the season has progressed, the reliable Blues defender has gradually seen an increase in his midfield presence. According to champion data, he’s currently spending 42% of his time in the midfield, and barring a heavy game this weekend against Freo, I expect him to be a DEF/MID within the week. 

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Sam Walsh

Lock this one up and throw away the key. That was my statement regarding Sam Walsh at his FWD status addition heading into round 12. Sadly, in the critical round 11 matchup, Michael Voss played him 57% as a centre bounce midfielder and the remainder as a wingman, effectively killing the fantasy footy community’s dream of him as a MID/FWD. However, he didn’t attend over 40% of CBAs in the next two weeks. He would’ve gained MID/FWD if that had happened in round eleven. All of a sudden, I got a small glimpse at the heartbreak following Carlton has created its supporters.

Heading into his round 16 matchups, Champion Data had him allocated as playing 36.8% FWD. Post Hawthorn match, it moved to 35%; that’s right on the cutoff line. Safe to say his DPP hopes will all be linked to how he plays Sunday afternoon against Fremantle.

Max Gawn

The possible gain of forward status from either Max Gawn or Brodie Grundy was telegraphed all preseason due to the Demons two headed ruck monsters. To date, Max has become the one that Melbourne has used more forward, with Brodie taking the lead ruck role. Currently, the Demons skipper is sitting right on the 34% threshold. If Gawn can tip this percentage every so marginally for one more week will get Gawn as an RUC/FWD. Dear Simon Goodwin, you play St Kilda this week; you must stretch the defence and let Big Max do this.

This DPP could take on additional significance in round 16; Darcy Cameron was unpredictably given a weird role, resulting in his season-low score. With many trusting in ‘DC’ to get them through the year for coverage and squad depth, Max’s DPP gain looms as a potential ‘upgrade’ on those using a cover RUC/FWD DPP strategy.

Deven Robertson

Over the past month on our podcasts, fellow co-founder Rids has been one of the few voices in the community championing the importance of bench hygiene over the year’s final months. In a rush to ‘complete’ your teams, many teams have done it at the cost of the bench depth, both in playable options and cash generation. Why am I mentioning it here? Because Deven Robertson is highly likely to gain FWD status and create not just a handy loop between MID/FWD but a stronger bench coverage in the forward line.

The Lions youngster is fighting the fight to get more midfield time, but at the moment is plying his trade, creating pressure and presence floating between the midfield and forward lines. The likely addition of Dev means coaches currently running with the likes of Lohmann, Roberts, Drury, Davey etc., will finally get some small reprieve.