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Zach Merrett
31 disposals, 12 clangers in defeat
MEssendon Bombers
August 29, 2021
Merrett registered 31 disposals, 12 clangers, nine tackles, four clearances, three marks and a single behind Sunday as Essendon fell to Western 85-36 in an elimination final at UTAS Stadium.
ANALYSIS
Merrett closed out Sunday's contest one of only two Bombers with 30+ disposals and having set a game-high for clangers. A season-best nine tackles also topped all players in the loss. Mettett wraps his 2021 campaign having averaged 31.5 disposals, 4.9 tackles, 4.2 marks and 3.2 clearances across 23 appearances and currently ranked the AFL's No. 8 in total fantasy score (2541 points).
Sam Draper
44 hitouts, 18 disposals v. Western
REssendon Bombers
August 29, 2021
Draper machined 18 disposals, five clearances and marks each, four tackles and two behinds to go along with 44 total hitouts Sunday as Essendon fell to Western 85-36 in an elimination final at UTAS Stadium.
ANALYSIS
Draper fashioned his best performance of the year on Sunday, notching personal-bests in each of the following categories: kicks (12), handballs (6), disposals, hitouts, inside 50s (5) and rebound 50s (5). That saw the 22 year-old ruck top 100 fantasy points for the first time in his career and finds him closing out 2021 currently ranked the AFL's No. 13 for hitouts per game (24.23).
Darcy Parish
Strong stats in loss to Western
MEssendon Bombers
August 29, 2021
Parish produced 35 disposals, 11 clearances, four tackles, three marks and a single goal, goal assist and behind each Sunday as Essendon fell to Western 85-36 in an elimination final at UTAS Stadium.
ANALYSIS
Parish tied Western's Thomas Liberatore as the match leader in disposals, topped all players with a game-high 11 clearances and collected his first goal in five appearances and goal assist of the year in Sunday's contest. Parrish closes out his 2021 campaign having averaged 30.5 disposals, 4.2 marks and 3.9 tackles across 23 showings and currently ranked first in the AFL for total centre clearances (87) and second in combined score involvements (175).
Harrison Jones
Out for season
FEssendon Bombers
Foot
August 24, 2021
Jones (foot) is out for the season after undergoing surgery on his foot.
ANALYSIS
Jones is expected to return by the time pre-season begins following this operation.
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
Back in contention
FEssendon Bombers
August 24, 2021
McDonald-Tipungwuti played in Sunday's scratch match against GWS and is available for selection in the elimination final against the Western Bulldogs.
ANALYSIS
McDonald-Tipungwuti only played once in August due to fitness and form concerns but could get his chance to play in an important return to the finals for the Bombers. With 33 goals in 19 games, McDonald-Tipungwuti has some potential if he puts out his best game against the Bulldogs.
Cale Hooker
Available for selection
FEssendon Bombers
August 24, 2021
Hooker will be available for selection in the elimination final against the Western Bulldogs after appearing in a scratch match.
ANALYSIS
Hooker hasn't played since July and though he's set to retire after the season, still has a little more life left in his footy game, should he get selected for Sunday's contest.
Kyle Langford
Listed as test
MEssendon Bombers
Hamstring
August 24, 2021
Langford (hamstring) is listed as a test for the opening finals match against the Western Bulldogs, according to Callum Twomey of AFL.com.
ANALYSIS
Langford hasn't played since Round 20 and will hope to return but nothing is guaranteed yet. With Jye Caldwell more likely to play, there's plenty of options for the Bombers if Langford is unavailable.
Jye Caldwell
Plays in scratch match
MEssendon Bombers
August 24, 2021
Caldwell (hamstring played in a scratch match on Sunday and will now be available for Sunday's elimination final against the Western Bulldogs.
ANALYSIS
Caldwell hasn't played since Round 2 due to a long-term hamstring injury but returns just in time for the opening game of the finals. With a 22-disposal and nine-mark effort in Round 1, Caldwell certainly has potential to be a high-value pickup if he's fully fit.
Peter Wright
Scores four in win
REssendon Bombers
August 22, 2021
Wright scored four goals and made eight marks during Sunday's 102-64 win over Collingwood in Round 23.
ANALYSIS
Wright has put up some massive games over the last few weeks of the season with at least three goals and as many as seven scored in three of his last five matches. While Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti isn't in the lineup, keep an eye out for what else Wright can do in the finals.
Devon Smith
Active in win
MEssendon Bombers
August 22, 2021
Smith scored two goal and two behinds to go with 23 disposals (14 kicks, nine handballs) and made seven marks during Sunday's 102-64 win over Collingwood in Round 23.
ANALYSIS
Smith has logged more than 20 disposals on just two occasions all season, and each time he was able to score over 110 points. This may be a more difficult task in the finals, as Smith and his teammates haven't been too consistent in possession through most of 2021.
Matt Guelfi
Extends contract by one season
MEssendon Bombers
August 17, 2021
Guelfi signed a contract extension with Essendon through the 2022 season.
ANALYSIS
Guelfi has played in 14 games this season, scoring five goals and averaging 12.9 disposals per start. As more of a versatile utility man, his fantasy value won't always be the highest.
Darcy Parish
Game-high 34 touches, seven marks
MEssendon Bombers
August 15, 2021
Parish compiled 34 disposals, seven marks, six clearances and a single behind and tackle each Sunday as Essendon defeated Gold Coast 98-30 at GHMBA Stadium.
ANALYSIS
Parish topped 30 disposals for the third time in five showings to finish the match leader in touches and fell just one mark short of teammate Nick Hind's game-high eight on Saturday. The 24 year-old midfielder also registered more than five clearances for a third-consecutive showing in the win. Parish is now averaging 96.3 fantasy points per game played in the month of August and currently finds himself ranked the AFL's No. 20 in AFL fantasy scoring per showing (107.43).
Jake Stringer
Five goals keep finals hopes alive
FEssendon Bombers
August 15, 2021
Stringer totaled 19 disposals, four marks, four clearances and a single behind and tackle each to go along with five majors Sunday as Essendon knocked off Gold Coast 98-30 at GMHBA Stadium.
ANALYSIS
Stringer set season-highs for both goals and rebound 50s (2) and finished with 90+ fantasy points for the third time in six showings on Saturday. The AFL's No. 13 in majors per appearance (2.2) prepares for a Round 23 match-up with Collingwood now sporting a 79.5 point-per-game average as the Bombers' No. 8 in fantasy scoring.
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti
Managed for Round 22
FEssendon Bombers
Coach's Decision
August 12, 2021
McDonald-Tipungwuti has been managed for Round 22 against Gold Coast.
ANALYSIS
McDonald-Tipungwuti is being put through a training regiment to recapture his best form for the end of the season after struggling over the past few weeks, and it's not clear just yet if he'll play again in 2021.
Andrew McGrath
In initial team
MEssendon Bombers
Knee
August 12, 2021
McGrath (knee) made the initial lineup for Round 22 against Gold Coast.
ANALYSIS
There still aren't any guarantees that McGrath will actually play, but at least he's recovered enough to make an extended interchange list. In 12 games played, McGrath has averaged 24.2 disposals per appearance this season.
Dyson Heppell
Back for Round 22
MEssendon Bombers
August 12, 2021
Heppell (thumb) is listed in the initial lineup for Round 22 against Gold Coast.
ANALYSIS
Heppell miss Round 21 with a broken thumb and it didn't take long for him to return to the lineup. Over his last five games, he's scored at least 100 points in three of them.
Zach Merrett
Logs 30 disposals in win
MEssendon Bombers
August 8, 2021
Merrett logged 30 disposals (14 kicks, 16 handballs) and made six marks during Sunday's 97-84 win over the Western Bulldogs.
ANALYSIS
Merrett returned to the lineup after missing one game and got back to his usual standard with a high number of touches in this game. Aside from two goals all season, Merrett has never scored less than 100 fantasy points.
Peter Wright
Bags seven in big win
REssendon Bombers
August 8, 2021
Wright scored seven goals, made nine marks and logged nine hitouts during Sunday's 97-84 win over the Western Bulldogs in Round 21.
ANALYSIS
Wright is good for the occasional masterclass and this game fell into that category as he commanded the attack all by himself. As his best performances all season have come when he's able to score multiple goals, figuring out when that could happen can yield extra value from this Bomber.
Dyson Heppell
Out with broken thumb
MEssendon Bombers
Thumb
August 3, 2021
Heppell reportedly played in Round 20 with a broken thumb and likely won't be available for Round 21 against the Western Bulldogs, according to GM Josh Mahoney.
ANALYSIS
Heppell averages an impressive 25.2 disposals and 7.1 marks per game, so his value will be lost if he can't play in the final weeks of the season. Fortunately, a protective glove should help him return sooner, though the remaining three games left don't offer many chances to play.
Kyle Langford
Suffers hamstring injury
MEssendon Bombers
Hamstring
August 3, 2021
Langford is expected to miss three weeks with a hamstring injury suffered in the Round 20 loss to Sydney, according to GM Josh Mahoney. "We're disappointed to be without him for a period of time, particularly given he had just returned from a similar strain after completing a thorough rehab program and performed very well yesterday,"
ANALYSIS
Langford just returned from a different hamstring injury and will now have a race to return before the end of the season. If he's unable to do that, there's still a small chance that Essendon make the finals and give him enough time to recover.
Jayden Laverde
Test for selection
DEssendon Bombers
Shoulder
August 3, 2021
Laverde (shoulder) is listed as a test for selection in Round 21 against the Western Bulldogs.
ANALYSIS
Laverde was pulled from Round 20 against Sydney with this injury and isn't fully fit just yet. At least he's avoided any serious issues, and should he able to help the Bombers fight for a place in the finals with three games left.
Zach Merrett
Lone Bomber w/ 100+ fantasy points
MEssendon Bombers
August 1, 2021
Merrett captured 35 disposals, seven marks, five tackles, four goal assists and a pair of goals Sunday as Essendon fell to Sydney 109-102 at MCG.
ANALYSIS
Season-highs in marks and goals and a career-best four goal assists highlighted a Round 20 performance that left Merrett the lone member of Essendon's roster to eclipse 100 fantasy points versus Sydney. The 25 year-old's 112.8 points per showing this year currently ranks sixth-best among all AFL midfielders and finds Merrett now one of only 15 players at his position with with 2000+ total points to his name.
Kyle Langford
Team-high three marks in close loss
MEssendon Bombers
August 1, 2021
Langford cleared 17 disposals, seven marks, three majors and tackles each and a lone goal assist Sunday as Essendon fell to Sydney 109-102 at MCG.
ANALYSIS
Despite spending portions of the match on an exercise bike, this according to AFL.com, Langford finished out Saturday's match Essendon's leader in majors and tied with Zachary Merrett and Jake Stringer as the team's top producer of marks and tackles, respectively. The 24 year-old put up his best fantasy scoring total in three games as a result of the performance and exits Round 20 currently ranked the Bombers' fifth-most productive scorer per game (86.59 points) for the year.
Jayden Laverde
Shoulder injury sidelines Laverde
DEssendon Bombers
Shoulder
August 1, 2021
Laverde was substituted out of Sunday's 109-102 loss to Sydney at MCG after suffering a shoulder injury, ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Laverde did an excellent job of limiting Sydney's Lance Franklin in Saturday's match, but ultimately gave way to Brayden Ham after injuring his shoulder late in the game's final term. No word yet if the Bombers defender, who is enjoying a breakout year, will be available for a Round 21 match-up with Western.
Cale Hooker
Round 20 matchup postponed
FEssendon Bombers
July 30, 2021
Hooker and Essendon won't play against Sydney on Saturday after the match was postponed, Mitch Cleary of the AFL's official site reports.
ANALYSIS
Saturday's contest was one of three AFL matchups that was postponed due to COVID-19 issues in Queensland. The teams are hopeful that they'll still be able to play this weekend, but it's not yet clear whether they'll be cleared to do so.
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