Round 8 was not a difficult one for many coaches on the captaincy front, with many popular options performing well and posting respectable captaincy scores.
Jack Macrae (144 vs Port Adelaide) led the Bulldogs’ midfield in the absence of skipper Marcus Bontempelli, Clayton Oliver (135 vs St Kilda) had a good outing while Touk Miller (122 vs Sydney), and Lachie Neale (123 vs West Coast) had reasonable scores.
Well done to those who took the punt on Patrick Cripps (151 vs Adelaide) at the end of the round, who would have netted you just over 300 points as he racked up another three Brownlow votes.
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This guy seriously does not age. At 33 years of age he sits third for total SC points scored across the league to this point and he gets what looks like a soft kill against North Melbourne this week.
His record against the Kangas is outstanding, the only question is, is it worth the risk of bypassing Macrae as VC against Collingwood?
Last 3 vs NM: 160, 149, 129
Travels to his home state this week to face the Crows and this looks like a great set up for Neale. Adelaide have dropped(!) their first-choice ruckman, so I expect the Lions to have full control around the stoppages which is great news for Brisbane premiums. Expecting a 125+ score from Neale to continue his great run of form.
Last 3 vs ADEL: 147, 148, 110
Fremantle have managed to blanket midfielders pretty well this year (they rank 3rd for SC points conceded to midfielders), but Touk should be able to buck that trend.
Struggled early on against the Swans but produced a dominant second half to score his fourth 120+ score of the season. There are probably other more appealing candidates this week, but one for owners to consider.
Last 3 vs FREM: 127, 111, 90
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His recent record against GWS isn’t great, but this isn’t the Patrick Cripps we’ve seen over the last couple of years.
At this stage I reckon he’s got six BOGs and likely 15-18 Brownlow votes becoming the ultimate goal-kicking midfielder that he has promised to evolve into in previous seasons. The one concern is whether his role may change slightly with McKay going down with a knee injury.
Last 3 vs GWS: 71, 57, 95
Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca
I may as well talk about these two together given they’re both playing West Coast this week. My only concern is that given they are playing such poor opposition whether there will be more points shared between the lower-scoring players for Melbourne.
We saw this last week with Brisbane where Hugh McCluggage was the only player to score more than 130 SC points. If the margin is blown out by half time, hopefully both of these guys have 70-80 points to their names so they can get scaled up in the second half.
Oliver’s Last 3 vs WC: 98, 99, 115 Petracca’s Last 3 vs WC: 111, 105, 76