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Essendon finished the 2018 season going 10-4 from their last 14 games, but due to their poor start they still missed the finals. In 2019 they are again expected to push for a finals berth after solid additions in the off season.


Essendon 2018 Scores


Essendon had a major addition during the off season acquiring Dylan Shiel from Greater Western Sydney. Shiel will slot right into the Dons midfield rotation as an inside player and it will be worth considering whether his inclusion will result in any decline of other players. Shiel averaged 25.9 touches in 2018.

It is worth noting that Brendon Goddard also retired after the 2018 season. This will open up an opportunity for an outside role across the half back flank where Goddard averaged 22 disposals in his last season.


The first pick in the 2016 draft, Andrew McGrath, looks set to break out in his third year as he projects to get more midfield time this season. In 2018 he averaged just 71.4 fantasy points playing primarily off the half back flank, as a result he should be priced well for a player with his talent being moved into the midfield. In Essendon’s two JLT games he averaged 84 points from 76% game time while playing that midfield role we are looking for.

Kyle Langford is another player who looks set to improve on last season. He broke out to a degree last year averaging 80 fantasy points from 16 games, but this year he looks set to be a more permanent fixture in the midfield. Through two games in JLT he averaged 61 fantasy points from just just 65% game time.

The final sneaky value option early in the season is Adam Saad. He is a player who is likely to benefit from the new kick out rules as a result of his dynamic pace. Saad averaged just 59 fantasy points in 2018 indicating he should be priced cheap and he is likely to pick up extra points purely from his kick in duties. He also looked lively through JLT averaging 75 fantasy points and topping 20 disposals in both contests.


Essendon have not been a team to employ taggers, only using such a strategy once in 2018 where they gave Devon Smith the role of tagging Steele Sidebottom on ANZAC day.

On the Bombers side Zach Merrett is the most commonly targeted player having been run with four times in 2018. In these four games he averaged just 80.5 fantasy points, which is just under 20 points below his 2018 season average. With Dylan Shiel now on the team he might take some attention away from Merrett, however it is still worth being wary of opponents with dedicated taggers in the lineup.


Essendon were not a team to target in 2018 where they conceded the 5th lowest fantasy points per game to opponents. This was even more evident late in the season where they gave up the least amount of points across the last five games.

Points Against

Essendon were stingy across all positions, however midfield was an absolute no go zone vs the Dons who gave up the least points in the league to the position in 2018.

Points Against - Centres


In AFL players scores are highly correlated to each other, which can be crucial to building winning sides in the daily fantasy format. We can look how each player's scores correlate with their teammates to identify which players you should/shouldn't look to play together in the same lineups.

The below table highlights all the player correlations from 2018. A score of 1 means two players have a perfect POSITIVE correlation, meaning players will score HIGH and LOW together. A score of zero suggests no correlation between the two players. A score of -1 suggests a perfect NEGATIVE correlation, meaning when one player scores HIGH, the other scores LOW, and vice versa. Generally a correlation begins to be significant above 0.3 (or inversely below -0.3), at which point they should be considered in lineup building.

We remove injury affected scores to avoid skewing of the data, and a minimum of 6 games played is required for a correlation to be displayed.

Essendon 2018 Correlations

Somewhat surprisingly three of Essendon’s highest scoring midfielders in Zach Merrett, Dyson Heppell and David Zaharakis do not correlate well together despite all collecting a plenty of ball on the outside. As a result I would be wary about including all three in your Bombers game stacks. Alternatively linking Dyson Heppell with Michael Hurley was a strong play in 2018 with the two possessing a correlation of 0.5.


DFR Dragon's Picks

The Daily Fantasy Rankings "Dragon" has scoured the Australian sports betting markets and found some great value picks for these games. Check out his picks for the day below and click on the links to follow his betting plays!

Dragon's Picks Odds Sportsbook
Most Fantasy Points - Small Forwards - Orazio Fantasia $5.50 Bet now at BetEasy!
2019 AFL Top 8 - Essendon $1.70 Bet now at Neds!
Most Brownlow Votes Essendon - Zach Merrett $3.25 Bet now at Sportsbet!
Essendon Most Fantasy Points - Zach Merrett $2.60 Bet now at Pointsbet!



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