In Round 1 of the 2022 AFL season we saw just about everything. From game-saving spoils, to match-winning efforts, and bags of goals galore, it was a round of footy to remember ... unless you're an Essendon fan.
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: We knew this already, but Josh Rachele is going to be a star - just perhaps sooner than we think. The forward livewire with a glorious mane of hair was a major spark for the Crows despite their heartbreaking loss to the Dockers; he kicked five majors from 14 touches, and laid three tackles in a debut that -- crazily! -- may still get pipped for a Rising Star nod!
Stocks down: This is a big year for Elliott Himmelberg, and the big man just couldn't put together an almost game against Freo. He finished the match with just six touches and was held scoreless.
Stocks up: In what was otherwise a dour start to the season with a Round 1 loss on home turf beckoning, it can't be anything other than the Lions' fourth-quarter surge. A match-winning five-goal-to-one final stanza after booting just six to the last change of ends ensured the blowtorch stays away from Chris Fagan and his premiership-fancied side, for now...
Stocks down: Lesson to all key forwards: when you're the main source of goals for your team and you take a mark 15m out from goal directly in front, go back and do what you're paid to do. Joe Daniher's bizarre and unnecessary handball to a teammate which was beaten by the half time siren meant the home side went into the main break four points down. Luckily it was a brain fade that didn't have four-point consequences.
Joey flies high for a huge grab but hands it off as the siren sounds 😲#AFLLionsPort pic.twitter.com/nrgOiVWAxI— AFL (@AFL) March 19, 2022
Stocks up: A big, big tick for the entire Carlton Football Club. From new coach Michael Voss, who has instilled a new belief in the side, to Sam Docherty, who overcame cancer to play in Round 1. There's the new recruits of Adam Cerra and George Hewett, a reinvigorated Patrick Cripps and a man to return by the name of Sam Walsh. This could be a really, really good year for the old, dark navy Blues.
Stocks down: The Blues obviously won, so the blowtorch won't turn to this man, but Lochie O'Brien really looks lost at AFL level. On paper, 13 disposals and a goal looks respectable, but the 22-year-old made a mistake just about every time he went near the ball. From fumbles to turnover, having his kick smothered and missing tackles, looks like he could be back in the VFL given some of the names still to come into this side.
Stocks up: Many magpies can hold their heads high after stunning the Saints on Friday night, but if you're not buying stocks in Nick Daicos, you probably don't watch enough footy. The highly-rated son of Peter and brother of Josh entered the league with monumental expectations, but he didn't look out of place in his first senior match and acquitted himself seamlessly across half-back, picking up 27 disposals, six rebound 50s and 419 metres gained. Yep, the Pies have got a beauty.
Stocks down: We're not sure if nine disposals (three effective) and three marks without a goal for Mason Cox is going to cut it. He may be a role player and crucial for Craig McRae's structure, sure, but with Darcy Cameron and Nathan Kreuger waiting in the wings, the 211cm American will be keen on a big Round 2.
Stocks up: Have a debut, Nic Martin! It was a pretty dirty day for the Dons, who were smashed by the Cats in just about every area, but 27 disposals and five goals in your first game is worth celebrating. Martin put himself in good spots, ran hard all day (in oppressive conditions) and reaped the rewards. Now, to back it up..!
Stocks down: From early in the first term, it looked dire for the Bombers, and their poor showing was typified by how uncompetitive the centre bounce midfield was. Despite winning the hitouts (45-33), the Dons were smashed in both centre clearances (20-8) and clearances around the ground (31-19). Darcy Parish, the league's best centre. clearance mid in 2021, had just four clearances (two centre clearances). In contrast, Patrick Dangerfield and Brandon Parfitt had 19 (11) between them - eclipsing the entire Essendon side.
Stocks up: Take a bow, Heath Chapman. And when you're done - take another! It's not often a one-percenter literally wins you a game, but Chapman's spoil from the last line of defence back into play where a teammate was waiting could be the smartest, and most game-aware play we see all year. With the Crows needing any score to draw level, and Chapman duelling with Nick Murray on the goal line, the Dockers' defender managed to get a fist to the ball hurtling towards the goal, protecting the one-point lead. Not only that, he sprang right back onto his feet and received a handball as Freo cleared from defence in the last seconds. Unreal!
Heath Chapman, take a bow 👏He spoils it on the line to save the game for the Dockers!#AFLCrowsFreo pic.twitter.com/HDpZS4dVhG— AFL (@AFL) March 20, 2022
Stocks down: It was an issue last season, and it's an issue once again early in 2022; the Dockers' accuracy in front of the big sticks will haunt them against better opposition. Seventeen behinds simply isn't good enough in what were lovely (if warm) conditions for footy.
Stocks up: It looks like Tyson Stengle is making the most of his second chance with the Cats. The former Crow, under he tutelage of Eddie Betts at Geelong, marked his club debut with four goals (and three behinds!), 20 disposals and 466 metres gained. Keep your eyes on him!
Stocks down: If you're going to live by the 'wearing sleeves' mantra, you can't just ditch them when the sun comes out! Brad Close, it was hard to recognise you in the sleeveless guernsey. Bring back the sleeves!
Stocks up: What a confidence-building game that was for Izak Rankine. Now in his third year in the AFL system, the lively forward has been the talk of some circles as a potential target for other clubs, especially considering his form at the Suns probably hasn't lived up to the hype just yet. But against the Eagles he booted four majors (albeit one was after the siren!) and had a game-high 11 score involvements, including a crucial handpass and follow-up to help Alex Davies seal the match.
Stocks down: He's long been lauded as one of the Suns' -- if not the competition's -- best kicks, but Jack Lukosius will probably want to avoid watching too much of the tape from Sunday's win over the Eagles. Playing a front half role, the usually pinpoint kick booted one goal and five behinds in the win, and even his one major only just snuck through the big sticks. It's nothing to worry about yet -- after all, it's only Round 1 -- but against better opposition, an outing like that could prove costly.
Stocks up: In a match that ultimately ended disappointingly for the Giants, veteran defenderPhil Daviscan hold his head high after keeping Lance Franklin to just one goal - and four away from the magical 1,000 mark. Close checking, body-on-body defence was the flavour of the day, as well as funneling Franklin to undesirable parts of the forward line. Maybe Davis has found he secret: defenders simply need to play like their opponent is just a couple of goals away from kicking 1000...
Stocks down: It's not every day a player's stocks fall after a 28-possession, seven-tackle and five-clearance performance, but 50% efficiency is nowhere near good enough for a player of Tim Taranto's quality.
Stocks up: How good was it seeing Jack Gunston back in the brown and gold? The 30-year-old has fought back and other injuries over he past 12 months, but made a welcome return to the fold, providing a veteran presence up forward. He kicked three goals (and, unusually for him, four behinds) from 18 disposals, and took three contested marks as well. Speaking of returns, James Sicily did his stocks no harm at all in his return from an ACL, picking up 27 disposals and 538 metres gained from defence.
Stocks down: It was a shame seeing Max Lynch subbed out of his Hawthorn debut with concussion given the wraps on the 23-year-old after crossing over from Collingwood. Hopefully he's back up and about soon.
Stocks up: Having Christian Petracca in this slot is like watch Apple or Tesla stocks just go up, and up, and up - but he's picked up in 2022 where he left off in last year's Grand Final. Then? He has 39 disposals and kicked two majors in a Norm Smith-winning performance. On Wednesday night? 38 touches, two majors. Next step, Brownlow?
Stocks down: After what really was a breakout year in 2021, to see Christian Salem limp off with a lower leg injury in the first term was really disappointing for Melbourne fans. An important cog in the Dees' midfield rotations, Salem averaged 25 disposals and six rebound 50s last season.
Stocks up: After winning North's best and fairest last year, Jy Simpkin has started 2022 as he finished in 2021. He posted two majors, 29 disposals and four clearances, and was clearly North's best player in their loss to Hawthorn.
Stocks down: He's a mercurial player, but Cam Zurhaar might need to work on being involved in the play more consistently. One behind from eight touches and just one mark for the big bull isn't a great day out.
Stocks up: What a performance it was from Port defender Dan Houston! A career-best 36 touches, 10 score involvements, 12 marks, two goals and 775 metres gained could almost be enough to send the three Brownlow votes his way despite the defeat.
Stocks down: A trio of injuries to Xavier Duursma (collarbone), Trent McKenzie (knee) and Aliir Aliir (foot) really rubs salt into the wounds of Port Adelaide who were outhunted and overrun late on Saturday night. As crucial cogs to the way Ken Hinkley wants his side to operate and in a season where it seems luck will play big part in teams' fortunes, fingers crossed it's all not as bad as initially feared.
Stocks up: It wasn't the opener the Tigers were looking for but fans would have to be pleased with what the saw from Shai Bolton. Three goals from 16 disposals and some breathtaking, darting runs through the midfield was what we have become accustomed to from Bolton and he looks sharp from the get-go in 2022.
Stocks down: The Tigers' fitness department has got a few questions to answer after a fourth quarter capitulation to the Blues on Thursday night. Leading by 20 points early in the final term, Richmond would concede seven goals to zero -- five of them coming in a seven minute period -- as Carlton ran over the top to record a 25-point win.
Stocks up: A mere month ago, Jack Hayes was a SANFL player and part-time concreter. He's now an AFL cult hero after kicking three goals and proving to be one of St Kilda's best in their loss to Collingwood on Friday night. Hayes was clean with the footy, measured, and composed, and was a shining light on an otherwise grim evening. Oh, and he wears his socks up, and his jumper tucked in. Big tick!
Stocks down: From one Jack to another, it was an 'almost' game for Jack Higgins, who finished Friday night with zero goals and four behinds to his name. Props to him though, he tried all night and had two direct goal assists!
Stocks up: What a luxury it is for John Longmire to have Luke Parker available as an almost permanent forward. In addition to kicking five goals -- including three in a row to rip the contest away from the Giants, the 29-year-old picked up 21 touches at 81% efficiency. In contrast to previous years, 87% of those disposals was in the front half, and 11 were involved in a score.
Stocks down: He's only young, but Logan McDonald didn't have a great night. The emerging key forward had just five touches (at 20% efficiency) and four pressure acts. Given Lance Franklin and McDonald were well blanketed by the Giants defence, they'll be happy they were bailed our by some fine efforts from Parker, Isaac Heeney, and Ollie Florent.
Stocks up: Could 2022 be the year for Jamaine Jones? Coming across from the Cats ahead of 2020, Jones played 15 games for the Eagles last season, but none as impactful as against the Suns. Using his speed through the middle of the ground, he picked up 21 disposals (eight contested) and kicked two majors in the loss, and was the Eagles' highest rated player on the ground by AFL Player Ratings points.
Stocks down: The Eagles had a golden opportunity to start the season with four points, but were overwhelmed at the contest in the fourth term. West Coast finished the evening -34 in contested possessions, and in the fourth term allowed five Suns goals from five Suns centre clearances.
Stocks up: Is it fair to say Aaron Naughton is one of the best key forward in the game? The Astronaught kicked four goals for the Dogs, mostly against a star defender in Steven May. He looked assured when flying through the air, showcased a lovely set shot, and routinely brought the ball to ground in 50/50 contests. His willingness to work up to the back flank and offer himself as a 'get out' kick from kickouts, too, was notable.
Stocks down: Can it really be anyone other than Luke Beveridge? Putting journalist Tom Morris' awful audio leaks to one side, for Beveridge to mercilessly attack a reporter for ... reporting team selection news ahead of a home-and-away season match? It's no bueno. To play the 'players' mental health needs to be respected' card and then abuse a member of the media? Again, no bueno, especially given the directive from the AFL to players about being demonstrative or abusive to umpires. Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected at their work place, even if their job is to report news clubs don't want reported.