AFL Round 16 stocks up, stocks down: 'The AFL's biggest frauds'

Footy's weird quirks we've accepted as normal (2:35)

After Geelong coach Chris Scott tripped over a fan, the ESPN Footy Podcast team discusses what 'footyisms' would seem strange to people watching for the first time. (2:35)

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: A move into the midfield has been amazing for Rory Laird, who continues to go from strength to strength for the Crows. He had 37 touches (16 contested), nine clearances and 459 metres gained this weekend. Memo to coaches: if you've got a half back you've been thinking about throwing into the middle -- like Darcy Parish or Laird -- do it.

Stocks down: Defender Nick Murray's five touches included two turnovers (and not a single mark). It's probably not enough for him to warrant keeping his spot in the side.


Stocks up: Is Zac Bailey the AFL's most improved player in 2021? He's had another blinder, this time against the Crows. Bailey kicked 3.1 from his 26 disposals, which included nine clearances and 491 metres gained. Just an outstanding talent.

Stocks down: No goals, no behinds and not much impact at all from his eight disposals - it's fair to say Eric Hipwood was blanketed beautifully by the Adelaide defence.


Stocks up: Two weeks in a row now, Paddy Dow has shown he's more than capable of playing AFL footy at a high level. The former pick No. 3 played his best game for the season (after a standout performance last start in Round 15), picking up 22 disposals (13 contested), eight clearances, and a goal. His first term in particular laid the foundation's for Carlton's hot start.

Stocks down: He was brought back in for structural reasons, but Levi Casboult was a liability for three and a half quarters against the Dockers. He had eight touches (two turnovers), flew for the same balls as Harry McKay and copped the bronx cheers from the crowd. To his credit, he took an important mark late in the piece, which led to Sam Walsh's sealer.


Stocks up: It's about fair to say that Taylor Adams has become Collingwood's best and most important midfielder this season. Scott Pendlebury -- while still influential -- is not the player he was five years ago, and Steele Sidebottom hasn't been as prolific this year as in prior seasons. Adams just needs to stay on the park consistently! Another 34 touches (17 contested) and six tackles from him on Sunday.

Stocks down: Collingwood's accuracy was deplorable and it was no surprise they fell behind quickly against the Saints at the MCG. A three-quarter time score line of 3.7 was never going to be good enough, even against the struggling Saints. They fought back well in the last term, kicking 5.6, but too little, too late.


Stocks up: We've queried whether his run of form could continue, but we witnessed another really impressive performance from Jake Stringer on Thursday night. He's having more influence up the ground and is still dangerous when he moves forward; he kicked 3.1, had 25 touches, and tallied eight clearances against the Cats.

Stocks down: He's had some wonderful performances in 2021, but Cale Hooker left GMHBA Stadium without a kick to his name. His five disposals were all handballs, and two of those were turnovers. Burn the tapes of that one, Cale!


Stocks up: His stock's been rising all year, but Sean Darcy was far and away the most influential player on the ground (and in a losing side, no less). The hulking ruckman dominated his younger, skinnier opponent Tom De Koning all night, wrestling to front position, taking possession, and giving Fremantle first use at the clearances (which they won +19). He finished with 20 touches and a goal, too. A star in the making.

Stocks down: It was a down day for all of Freo's forward, given they kicked 8.16 on the night, but Lachie Schultz and Travis Colyer had no impact on the contest. They had just four touches each and combined for 0.3 on the night. You can't carry these efforts if you want to play finals.


Stocks up: A big bag of six for Tom Hawkins who continues to show why he's one of the best key forwards in the game. As well as being a sharpshooter (6.1 on the night) he also had one direct goal assist in his 15 touches.

Stocks down: He's been under the pump in recent weeks, but it was another meagre outing for Luke Dahlhaus. Eight disposals (two turnovers) and just one behind from the former Dog, who played predominately in the front half of the ground. Does he stay in the team?

Gold Coast

Stocks up: Is there a busier midfielder in the game than Touk Miller? His 36 touches and nine clearances on Thursday night -- winning it in tight, in space, in defence and through the middle -- was something to marvel at. It's about time the Suns vice captain gets the due recognition he deserves and earns All-Australian honours in 2021. He was phenomenal!

Stocks down: There isn't much not to like about a bottom four contender's gutsy win on the road against the reigning premiers. But, if we had to choose one player to kick for goal after the siren, it probably wouldn't be Ben Ainsworth, who had a major case of the goal kicking yips (he kicked 1.4) in what was an otherwise strong performance from the 23-year-old.


Stocks up: We could sit here and boast about the stellar games of Tim Taranto and Josh Kelly or the skill and class of Lachie Whitfield, but it's hats off to Harry Perryman! With just over two minutes to go, the 22-year-old ran half the field, as Melbourne's Jayden Hunt was streaming inside 50, and made a lunging, match-saving tackle to all but seal the four points. What a chase down!

Stocks down: Jack Buckley's knee injury more than sours the win over the ladder leaders. The young defender had played every game for the Giants this season and now -- after falling innocuously in a marking contest -- his season is over.


Stocks up: It was an impressive third game for 23-year-old Lachie Bramble, who picked up 16 touches, seven marks and a goal assist in the loss to the Power. His first term in particular was a highlight - it's a shame his teammates couldn't convert their chances to keep pace in the contest.

Stocks down: A few Hawks failed to rise to the occasion of Shaun Burgoyne's 400th match, but what was Tom Mitchell thinking knocking over Connor Rozee while he was getting his mouthguard out of his sock? Just petulant, childish nonsense from an established player who should know better. This sort of crap needs to be stamped out of the game and it was rightly penalised. He should be made to reach into his pocket, too.


Stocks up: Forward Bayley Fritsch was holding the fort as the main focal point for the Demons up forward, but outside of his three goals and eight marks (including a Mark of the Year contender!) there was hardly a supporting act. With Max Gawn, Luke Jackson and Tom McDonald failing to damage the scoreboard, Fritsch looked the only likely match winner for the Dees.

Stocks down: Melbourne's match committee have many questions to answer. How can you acquire one of the game's premier full forwards in Ben Brown, and leave him squandering at state league level? Dees speedster Jayden Hunt -- one of few Demons taking the game on with dare on Saturday -- was caught holding the ball three times in a thrilling final stanza ... if only he had an obvious target to kick to!

North Melbourne

Stocks up: This man's stocks just keep rising! Two weeks in a row for Cam Zurhaar, who has kicked his second bag of four goals for the year. He seems laser-focused, fit and strong, and it's little wonder his footy is improving. Maybe he should get a second dog?

Stocks down: Hey, David Noble, here's a tip for you: don't tell a player he's going to make his debut if you can't guarantee he'll actually make his debut. Poor old Eddie Ford was presented a jumper in front of his family, only to remain benched the entire match as the medical sub. Poor look!

Port Adelaide

Stocks up: Could it be anyone other than Ollie Wines? He must surely be moving into Brownlow favouritism; he finished with 43 touches, 13 clearances and 616 metres gained (second only to Karl Amon). All of this from just 75% game time?! What a star - his influence on games is just breathtaking.

Stocks down: What's happened to Sam Powell-Pepper? He was going to be the next big thing three or four years ago, but has stagnated somewhat in 2021. He had 10 touches against the Hawks - his equal fifth-lowest disposal count of his career.


Stocks up: If it wasn't for Tom Lynch's ominous return -- kicking nearly half of Richmond's total score -- this loss could have been very ugly. It was the dual premiership Tiger and former Sun's 12th time booting five or more majors in a single game, and on Thursday night it seemed he was the only player wearing yellow and black who showed any real desire for the contest.

Stocks down: Was Richmond's quest for a three-peat quashed by the Gold Coast Suns? It's in serious jeopardy now, if it wasn't already...

St Kilda

Stocks up: Some maligned Saints stood up when it mattered against the Pies. Brad Hill was outstanding with his dash and delivery - collecting 30 touches and 689 metres gained), while Mason Wood was also busy with 21 disposals. Special mentions to Luke Dunstan, whose rich vein of form continues, and Paddy Ryder, who kicked a couple of goals and was lively throughout.

Stocks down: That last quarter sums up St Kilda's season really - underwhelming and, given prior form, disappointing. They turned a percentage-booster (which was much needed, given they're a mile off the pace compared to teams with the same number of wins), into a narrow victory. Still can't trust them, despite the four points.


Stocks up: What a fantastic whole-club performance. Going into a game against a side with the same number of wins as the Swans on the ladder, securing both the four points and a BIG percentage boost is almost the cliched 'eight-point result' for Sydney - it means the Eagles will need to win two games instead of possibly just the one to move past the Swans on the ladder.

Stocks down: If big Bud is going to reach the 1,000 goal mark this season, he can't be kicking 3.3 and be passing off genuine opportunities in an unselfish manner when the game is dead anyway! Lance, show some selfishness - have a go at the big sticks!

West Coast

Stocks up: If the entire market crashes, not many individual stocks go up, so to speak. Dom Sheed and maybe Elliot Yeo can hold their heads up somewhat high after a dismal team effort in Geelong, but even that's a stretch...

Stocks down: Let's not open that can of worms. The Eagles are the AFL's biggest frauds. See below.

Western Bulldogs

Stocks up: Step on up, Cody Weightman! The small forward was a terrier for the Bulldogs in their win over the Roos, kicking 4.1 in a performance that made you sit up and take note. He's got a clean pair of hands and doesn't mind throwing himself into contests - a real footballer's footballer.

Stocks down: Erm, Josh Bruce, just two goals against North Melbourne this time? He fell way short of expectations, given his track record against the Kangas!