Captain’s Corner: Round 18, skippers to target and avoid

The SC Bandit runs the rule over the best AFL SuperCoach captaincy and vice-captaincy options to consider.


With the news that Melbourne star Clayton Oliver will miss this week with a thumb injury, this week’s captaincy selections just became a lot more diverse and could have real impacts on where you sit in overall ranking or in a league match up.

If you’re sitting at the pointy end looking to climb even higher, this could be a week to test a left-field VC, or even roll the dice on a captain that not many others would consider.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the best options for Round 18.

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Josh Dunkley

Of all the Bulldogs players this week, Dunkley’s recent record against the Saints stands out as the best. He’s coming off a season-low disposal game against the Swans, which was a shame because the rest of his game in terms of clearances and contested possessions remained solid. I can see him bouncing back here and he’d be a good VC option to roll into a more mainstream captain.

Last 3 vs STK: 131, 127, 132

Marcus Bontempelli

We haven’t seen a genuine monster game from the Bont so far in 2022 – his highest score of the year has been a pair of 136s. That’s been largely due to injury and also a change of role being used more as a forward. But surely with the Bulldogs season on the line this week, Luke Beveridge throws him into the guts to try and win this game. Had a huge game against the Saints in 2021.

Last 3 vs STK: 159, 94, 70

If Bont or Dunkley don’t take your fancy, you can play it safe with Macrae who gets back to one of his favourite venues in Marvel Stadium.

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Jack Steele

Steele is three weeks returned from that shoulder injury that side-lined him for a while, so he should be back to almost 100% match fitness now. He’s strung three low tons together since returning and should be ready for a big game now. He’ll need to bring one for the Saints to keep their finals hopes alive.

Last 3 vs WBD: 99, 137, 79

Rory Laird

If the Friday night fixture doesn’t interest you in terms of a captaincy pick, then you should absolutely be putting the VC on Laird if you’re an owner. Has a great recent record against the Pies and I can’t see any reason why that won’t continue on Saturday.

Last 3 vs COLL: 144, 185, 77

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Lachie Neale

It’s not often we say this about Neale, but he had his colours lowered last week by Jye Caldwell which was vital to Essendon beating a COVID-ravaged Brisbane outfit. I reckon there would have been some stern feedback given the Lions’ midfield on the back of that loss and I expect Neale to respond against GWS this week. The fact that the Adelaide game starts at the same time as the Brisbane game means that you’ll have to pick between the two if you own both.

Last 3 vs GWS: 164, 87, 151

Andrew Brayshaw

This guy is airborne at the moment – two scores in a row of 130+ and a five-round average of 120.2 means he’s one of the most in-form midfielders in SuperCoach. The Swans have deployed Ryan Clarke as a tagger in recent weeks, but he’s usually gone to a half-back rebounder rather than an inside mid. If there’s no tag, he should score well again.

Last 3 vs SYD: 109, 122, 116

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Christian Petracca

With no Oliver this week, Petracca is Melbourne’s main A-grader in the midfield so it will be interesting to see if Simon Goodwin uses him more around the ball, rather than in a forward line that has proven to be less than effective in recent weeks. Needs to lift his side to a win here, regardless of where he’s playing.

Last 3 vs PORT: 85, 173, 99

Max Gawn

If you’re still an owner, Gawn looks like he could be a really sound captaincy choice this week. Will likely come up against a Port Adelaide line up lacking a genuine ruckman (Charlie Dixon was named in the ruck last week) and Melbourne have two in Gawn and Jackson. I think they can do a number on the Power if they don’t bring in a recognised ruck.

Last 3 vs PORT: 160, 102, 87

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Touk Miller

Has been in stunning form in the last few weeks with a five-round average north of 130 PPG and he gets a good opportunity to continue that this week against Essendon. The only knock on him this week is the possibility of Essendon deploying Caldwell in that tagging role which was so effective on Neale last week. Touk does get on his bike a bit more than Neale though, so I’m hoping that won’t be an issue.

Last 3 vs ESS: 103, 65, 134


VC: One of Dunkley or Macrae (Friday night) or Laird or Neale (Saturday afternoon)

C: Laird (if choosing a Friday VC) or Miller

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