AFL Round 3 stocks up, stocks down: Easter eggs galore for key forwards

Are the new rules changing how wingers are used? (3:02)

This week on the ESPN Footy Podcast, Matt wonders if clubs should be switching their wingers to take advantage of the new stand rule. (3:02)

Welcome to ESPN's new weekly AFL column: 'Stocks up, stocks down'. Our footy experts cast their eye over the week's action to find out whose stocks are up -- whether it's a coaching masterstroke or a player having a blinder -- and whose are down. Every club features, so jump ahead to your team below (desktop only).

Crows | Lions | Blues | Magpies | Bombers | Dockers | Cats | Suns | Giants | Hawks | Demons | Roos | Power | Tigers | Saints | Swans | Eagles | Bulldogs


Stocks up: It was extremely tempting to have Tex feature here for the third straight week, but you have to give props to another leader - this time skipper Rory Sloane. Down three goals early, Sloane rallied by winning the ball at the coalface, and finished with 34 touches (19 contested), 11 clearances (5 centre clearances) and 10 score involvements.

Stocks down: Former Power player Billy Frampton might make way for Elliott Himmelberg or Darcy Fogarty after a very quiet performance. The 24-year-old had just five touches on Friday, after recording seven against Sydney in Round 2.


Stocks up: Zac Bailey's winner... You just can't script that! One week after being robbed of a free kick and a chance to win the game late for the Lions, the football Gods smiled on him when the ball was in the young midfielder's hands as the final siren sounded against the Pies.

Stocks down: Brisbane's gutsy win certainly wasn't on the back of ruck dominance. Connor Ballenden and Tom Fullarton were no match for Pies ace Brodie Grundy, and with Stefan Martin packing his bags in the offseason and Oscar McInerney injured, teams can exploit the Lions' lack of ruck depth.


Stocks up: Take a bow, Harry McKay! The Blues big man spearheaded a ruthless Carlton attack that flogged a depleted Dockers side on Easter Sunday. Seven goals from a total of 12 scoring shots and 10 marks is a crushing day at the office.

Stocks down: He was able to dazzle the fans with a trademark dribbler from a tight angle, but it was just the four touches for Eddie Betts in his 200th game as a Blue, despite spending over 100 minutes on the field for a side that kicked 16 goals from 64 forward 50 entries.


Stocks up: Young running back Isaac Quaynor picked up 24 disposals (23 effective) on Thursday night and more than held his own against electrifying forward Charlie Cameron. The Pies' NGA product continues to take strides in his development and is allowing counterpart Jack Crisp more midfield minutes.

Stocks down: After booting 42 goals in 2018, it was another lowly six disposals with no scoreboard impact for Pies forward Will Hoskin-Elliott, who's continuing to descend in a rapid fall from grace. A dropped uncontested mark in the last quarter and failure to impact a late contest leading to the Lions' winner are two moments he'd rather forget.


Stocks up: He cooled down in the second half, but boy was it good to see Jake Stringer back on the park! Four first half goals from 'the Package' propelled the Bombers to a HUGE win over the Saints.

Stocks down: So Matt Guelfi is still running with that haircut then? In such a well-rounded performance from the Bombers, it's hard to see many negatives, but Guelfi's bleached hair with the sides shaved off was a shining beacon - and an easy target! More power to him, we guess!


Stocks up: There wasn't a lot to like about Freo's Round 3 performance, but fans should still be excited by the prospects of young forward Michael Frederick, who seemed like the only Docker digging in until the final siren.

Stocks down: The versatile Brennan Cox had a solid first 49 games for the purple and white, but his 50th match at AFL level is one he'd rather forget. It was a tough ask filling a key hole left by an injury-ravaged defence, but Harry McKay ran riot at Marvel Stadium and the 195cm defender simply had no answers.


Stocks up: For all of the talk about Patrick Dangerfield's suspension and Geelong's trio of boom recruits, Cam Guthrie and Mitch Duncan have slipped under the radar. The pair combined for 80 disposals in the win over the Hawks. Brilliant stuff.

Stocks down: The Cats got the four points but the game style which they are currently playing could not be further from what the AFL had hoped to see in 2021. It's slow. It's stop start. It's ... boring.

Gold Coast

Stocks up: Could Nick Holman be the comp's first legitimate 'super sub'? He's been the sub in the Suns' first three games, and when called upon in the fourth quarter when Jarrod Witts went down, Holman was thrust forward and kicked two vitally important goals - majors which gave the Suns a sniff late in the contest.

Stocks down: He can tear games apart at times, but Alex Sexton had a night to forget for the Suns. He had just five touches and posted a solitary behind from a fairly decent 65 percent game time.


Should the AFL introduce a captain's challenge?

The ESPN Footy Podcast team debates the merits of a 'captain's challenge' in the AFL, following a howler which cost Brisbane the win.


Stocks up: Oh Toby Greene, where would they be without you? The star Giant kicked another bag of five on Sunday night - two of which coming in as many minutes early in the final stanza to single-handedly give GWS a winning chance.

Stocks down: It's one thing to begin the season 0-3, but the Giants' loss was further soured by injuries sustained to experienced trio Stephen Coniglio, Phil Davis and Matt de Boer. Next week's must-win clash against the Pies just became a little more difficult...


Stocks up: Jaeger O'Meara looks to be back to his damaging best. On Easter Monday the midfielder racked up 34 disposals and 13 clearances to basically keep the Hawks in the contest.

Stocks down: Yes, he's a youngster but Jacob Koschitzke simply CANNOT be dropping uncontested marks, basically in the goal square. He and forward partner Tyler Brockman had a very lean day at the office.


Stocks up: Kysaiah Pickett is one of the most watchable players in the AFL. There were plenty of big contributors in the Demons' 34-point win, but it was the electrifying 19-year-old's elite pressure, evasive skills and instinctive goal sense that stole the show, finishing with a classy four majors. His stocks rise for the second straight week.

Stocks down: Dees swingman Tom McDonald ended the night with eight disposals, failed to touch the footy in two quarters and impacted the scoreboard with just 0.1. With the imminent returns of Ben Brown and Sam Weideman, can T-Mac retain his place in the Demons lineup?

North Melbourne

Stocks up: Boy, was Ben Cunnington a sight for sore eyes for North fans. The midfield stalwart played his first game since Round 5 last year, and had 22 touches (18 contested), nine clearances (seven centre clearances) and six score involvements.

Stocks down: We said it last week, but geez, the Roos are in for a year of pain. What the club doesn't need, however, is fans jumping off the ship when it need them most, particularly when there's (yet unsubstantiated) talk of the introduction of a Tasmanian team, perhaps at the expense of an existing club.


Are the Swans the dark horse team of 2021?

Rohan Connolly makes his ESPN Footy Podcast debut for 2021, making his case that Sydney could be a surprise finalist this season.

Port Adelaide

Stocks up: Yikes, there wasn't much to get excited about for Power fans but seeing Todd Marshall boot three goals, from very limited supply, will be a welcomed sight. The young forward didn't manage it once in 2020.

Stocks down: Are we overrating Port's midfield? Against the quality Eagles outfit, the like of Ollie Wines, Travis Boak and Co. were well and truly beaten in just about every area of the stat sheet. The margin should really have been 60+ points.


Stocks up: Richmond lost Dion Prestia in the opening minutes against the Swans and went on to be absolutely belted. If ever it was worth highlighting the importance of a player, it's now, with Prestia.

Stocks down: The Tigers midfield was beyond poor in the loss to Sydney on Saturday. After losing Prestia, nobody stood up and some of their top liners finished with disappointing numbers; Kane Lambert (22), Dustin Martin (20), Trent Cotchin (17), Shane Edwards (16), Shai Bolton (7).

St Kilda

Stocks up: For the second week in succession the Saints were totally outworked, but Jack Steele can once again hold his head high. The skipper tallied a game-high 35 disposals, had six clearances and kicked a goal in the loss.

Stocks down: You've really got to feel for Jade Gresham. He had been playing some terrific footy in the early part of the season but is set for a long stint on the sidelines after suffering an Achillies injury. All in all, Saturday was a horror day for the Saints.


Stocks up: It was Errol Gulden in Round 1, Braeden Campbell in Round 2 and this week it was Sam Wicks. The youngster starred against the Tigers, finishing the day with three goals, a couple of goal assists, 21 disposals and 13 marks.

Stocks down: As great as the Swans have been in 2021, their start could have been even better with some more accuracy in front of goals. Prime movers Tom Papley (52 percent efficiency) and Isaac Heeney (54 percent efficiency) were the culprits against Richmond. But hey, they still dominated the game!


Should the AFL introduce a captain's challenge?

The ESPN Footy Podcast team debates the merits of a 'captain's challenge' in the AFL, following a howler which cost Brisbane the win.

West Coast

Stocks up: The contested marking of the Eagles is seriously impressive. Against Port, they had 21 of them, led by Oscar Allen (5) and Jeremy McGovern (4). They do it at both ends, too; it both relieves pressure and sets up so many scoring opportunities for Adam Simpson's side.

Stocks down: The umpire who made a clearly-injured Luke Shuey retake his kick as he was desperately trying to get off the ground might be told to show some compassion next week. The skipper tried hard to handball the ball off, but was told to take his kick while nursing a hamstring injury. Come on, ump.

Western Bulldogs

Stocks up: Could it be anyone other than Josh Bruce?! His career-best TEN goal haul against North was simply breathtaking.

Stocks down: Dashing half back Jason Johannisen hasn't been in Luke Beveridge's good books in the early part of 2021 and the 2016 Norm Smith medallist failed to fire in his return game, finishing up with just 15 touches. What's happened to JJ?