Niko’s binoculars: Keeping an eye on trade targets and possible tags

2021 runner-up Steven Nikolovski analyses the players he's most interested in, but also keeps a close eye on any potential tags that might occur this week


A score of 2005 for me in round 1 which was above par and in the top 17% of the competition, but points were left behind. 

My captain Rory Laird showed a floor of 50 with an opposition team tag, which I still cannot believe, and I’ve also diagnosed him with heat stroke to justify that poor performance.  I’m expecting a diagnosis of leather poisoning next week against the Tigers who do not tag, and he’ll be my VC. 

Hopefully I make up those lost points! 

Liam Jones on field with his 5 hurt but I was definitely not alone on that one.  I’ll be looking to hold and loop Cowan/Wilmot at this early stage in the week. 

Tanner Bruhn is a concerning starting pick with his time on ground (TOG) of 64%. 

These are the guys not in my team that I’m interested in, in order of price.

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Who I’m Watching

Patrick Cripps (MID $611,900) – 121SC from 84DT, I love seeing that.  He also went at 68% d/e and didn’t kick a goal so there’s clear upside.  He may go as well, if not better, than last year.  Might be my play if Laird fails again and he’s looking like dropping serious money.

Luke Davies-Uniake (MID $557,400) – 143sc from 32 touches at 78% d/e and a goal.  Monster game.  I just don’t trust him doing it most weeks, and he did play West Coast who have won 2 games in like 2 years.

Chad Warner (MID $532,700) – 114sc points from 30 possessions at 56% d/e and 3 behinds.  Serious upside and I’m watching closely, especially if tags start heading elsewhere.

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The $500k defenders – They all popped off!  Nick Daicos, Daniel Rioli, every Fremantle defender.  It pains me to say I had Young D1 and Daicos D2 for most of the pre-season.  Fortunately, I do have Ridley who went well but I’m watching the others in that price bracket.  Nick Daicos won’t be allowed the time and space he was given on Friday night, buyer beware.

Errol Gulden (MID/FWD $472,000) – I had him in my team up until Will Phillips wasn’t best 22 for North Melbourne.  It meant I brought in Bruhn and Callaghan instead so I had a decent M8 on field.  It kind of worked out okay with Callaghan tonning up, but this move still scares me.  Errol went at 54% disposal efficiency (d/e) for his 115.  He could’ve gone MASSIVE and probably will this week against the Hawks, unless he gets the Maginness tag.

Jordan De Goey (MID $468,700) – Our forward line might be complete if he had FWD status, even with intruders.  Looks like he may have turned the corner and is starting to deliver on his potential.  I’m not going anywhere near him just yet but definitely watching closely.

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Jack Ziebell (FWD $356,400) – 102 in his defensive role.  Obviously not as cheap as he was when we went there in 2021 but he could be just as good.  Might be my Tanner Bruhn bail out.

Jason Horne-Francis (MID/FWD $348,800) – Boy did he have a game, ending with 136.  Obviously a happy chappy being in SA again and it’s starting to show in performances.  Want to see him back it up.  Once again, another Bruhn bail out option.

Josh Rachele (FWD $287,100) – Great role playing middle and forward.  Looked unreal and scored 116.  Won’t kick 3 goals every week but if he does something similar again next week he may be too tempting to pass up.

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Tom Cole (DEF $182,300) – 78sc from 90% d/e.  Don’t think he will have games like this consistently but I’m watching.

Bodhi Uwland (DEF/MID $123,900) – May be a sideways move if Constable is dropped.  This guy looked great on the wing.

Charlie Comben (FWD $123,900) – Took control of the ruck when Xerri went down but will play second fiddle to Goldy next week.  I think this 83 will be his highest score of the season.  I hope I’m wrong and we have a great cash cow in waiting.

Kade Chandler (FWD $123,900) – Same with Comben above, may be his best game with 93sc so I’m watching him go around again.  I’ve been burnt going early on rookies like this so I’m keen not to make that same mistake again.

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Tag Watch

Chad Warner / Errol Gulden – I think Finn Maginness from Hawthorn will go to one of these two on the weekend, and he’s usually very good at limiting opponents scores.

Tom Liberatore / Bailey Smith – I’m not sure who Marcus Windhager will go to but I’m pretty sure it won’t be Bont. I’m hoping it won’t be Bont. Please don’t be Bont…

James Sicily – Check the team sheet for Sydney’s Ryan Clark, he could possibly do a job on Sic like he did in the grand final with Stewart.

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Nick Daicos – Port would be crazy not to send Willem Drew to him.  You just cannot let him float around the ground and let him do as he pleases. 

Andrew Brayshaw / Caleb Serong – Clarkson may opt to send Kayne Turner or Curtis Taylor to one of these guys to limit their influence.

Luke Davies-Uniake – Small chance James Aish does a cooling job on him.

If you’re considering bringing in or captaining either of these options above perhaps look around for something safer.  We don’t want another 50-captaincy score.

Good luck for round 2 everyone.

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