Bandit’s skippers: Round 23 captains to target and avoid

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


Last week was a pretty tricky one for captain options, with lots of popular players failing to reach the heights of the last few weeks.

The one saving grace as has often been the case in 2023 was the form of Tim English (143), who bucked the trend of Hawthorn giving up low points to rucks this season. Zak Butters (139), Clayton Oliver (128), Luke Davies-Uniacke (125) and Rory Laird (121) were also prominent through the round.

There were a host of players that went sub-110 however, which led to a lower-scoring round overall.

We’re into preliminary final week of head-to-head leagues, so nailing your captaincy picks, particularly if that player is a unique in your match up, is key. Your loopholing will also need to be on point with some of the common bench rookies playing early in the round.

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Josh Dunkley

It’s been a quiet couple of weeks for Dunkley, who’s posted his two lowest scores of the year in that time. Surely this week he bounces back and posts a good score in a game that Brisbane need to win if they want any chance of finishing in the top two. Not the worst early VC option in my eyes.

Last 3 v COLL: 84, 118, 113

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Lachie Neale

Three sub-100 scores in a row for Neale, I’m not convinced he’s a great pick this week. If I had to pick one of him or Dunkley as a VC, I’d be going Dunkley.

Last 3 v COLL: 102, 117, 89

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Zach Merrett

Was well held last week against North Melbourne, I wouldn’t be surprised if GWS look to put some time into him in a must-win game. Decent VC option this week regardless.

Last 3 v GWS: 111, 71, 131

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Rowan Marshall

Geelong’s ruck stocks have taken a hit with Blicavs out and Stanley and Ceglar both listed as tests for this week. Very keen given on Marshall as a VC given that news, just make sure you have a definite loophole option who is playing after the St Kilda game.

Last 3 v GEEL: 96, 82, 43

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Rory Laird

He’s been flying under the radar a bit recently but his five-round average is up at 122.2. Meets the Swans at Adelaide Oval this week which looks like a very good match up on paper.

Last 3 v SYD: 140, 121, 88

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Errol Gulden

I think playing in Adelaide will really suit him and provide lots of space for him to work into through the middle of the ground. Fingers crossed he has another one of those big-score games.

Last 2 v ADEL: 78, 136

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Tim English

Looks like the best captaincy option of the week against West Coast who give up points like no one else to rucks. Maybe a slight sub risk if the Dogs win comfortably, but I’m not super concerned about that.

Last 3 v WC: 160, 108, 57

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Marcus Bontempelli

Second best option for the week in my mind, particularly with Libba out with concussion. Has dominated the Eagles in recent times.

Last 3 v WC: 96, 156, 145

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Clayton Oliver

Finally returned last week and duly pumped out a 128 as if he’d not missed a game. If you’re lucky enough to be an owner, he’s a mega POD this week provided he doesn’t get tagged.

Last 3 v HAW: 119, 119, 115

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Max Gawn

Hard to understate just how good Max is when he plays Hawthorn. Tough call to make if you own Oliver and Gawn as to who you captain.

Last 3 v HAW: 94, 172, 172

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James Sicily

His record against Melbourne is excellent, I’m a touch wary of what Melbourne might do in terms of a defensive forward though. Must-win game for Melbourne to keep their top-two chances alive, so they’ll be pulling out all the stops.

Last 3 v MELB: 134, 116, 149

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VC: Marshall / Laird

C: English / Bontempelli

Best PODs: Oliver / Sicily

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