This week, the Demons made a monster statement and Carlton's patchwork defence gets its rightful plaudits, but St Kilda's horror run of form goes from bad to worse and a star Cat may have just made 2022's biggest blunder. Here's whose stocks are up and down after Round 15.
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).
Stocks up: The key forward pairing of Taylor Walker and Darcy Fogarty put on a clinic in Tasmania on Sunday afternoon. The pair combined for 10 of Adelaide's 17 goals, but also managed 32 disposals, 15 marks (6 contested) and 10 inside 50s between them. Having two genuine marking threats inside attacking 50 made it easier for the likes of Rory Laird and Ben Keays in the midfield, who too had a day out as the Crows returned to winning ways.
Stocks down: Another concussion for young Will Hamill, who was subbed out in the second half after a relatively quiet game to that point. You've got to feel for him.
Stocks up: Not much good came out of Thursday night's smashing at the hands of Melbourne. The Lions were the ladder-leaders heading into the match and barely gave a yelp after the first 20 minutes. One positive, though? That old Fitzroy jumper -- out on the MCG -- still slaps.
Stocks down: A few key outs, sure, but the Lions were in the contest at quarter time, and the match against the Dees looked like living up to the hype. What happened after the first break? Grim. The Lions finished -67 in disposals, -19 in inside 50s, -11 in clearances (including -14 around the ground), and +14 in turnovers. Outclassed and outworked, Brisbane were often unable to break free from their half back line, racking up back-half turnovers that allowed Melbourne to pepper the goals and have 37 shots in total.
Stocks up: Lewis Young, Brodie Kemp, Jordan Boyd, Lachie Plowman ... if you were told in preseason that Carlton's defence would feature those names -- with Jacob Weitering, Mitch McGovern, Caleb Marchbank, Oscar McDonald (and midseason recruit Sam Durdin) missing -- you would probably think top-four fancies Freo would get the better of the Blues. But on Saturday, Carlton's patchwork defence was outstanding, keeping the Dockers to just seven goals as the Blues posted a 31-point win. Impressive resilience.
Stocks down: Stocks are falling for 'Geelong have the better De Koning' after Tom had an incredibly influential outing against the Dockers. When the Blues were challenged in the third term, De Koning stood up on the ruck, serving the footy on a platter to Carlton's mids as Sean Darcy and Rory Lobb struggled to exert an influence. While Darcy had more hitouts, De Konings work around the ground, and his hitouts to advantage were excellent as Carlton's clearance game became the difference.
Stocks up: Where does Darcy Cameron sit in the most improved player in the competition discussion? Right at the top. The way the big Pie has shouldered the responsibility in the ruck left by the fallen Brodie Grundy has been admirable, and it's even rewarded him a new three-year contract which was announced directly following Collingwood's win over GWS. Cameron had another 23-hitout, two-goal, 17-disposal and eight-mark performance in the wet and has been an integral part of the Magpies' recent run of form.
Stocks down: Collingwood's habit of surrendering big leads in games this year hasn't cost them too drastically -- perhaps barring their Round 3 loss to the Cats in which they blew a 37-point buffer nearing three-quarter time -- but it's not the trait Craig McRae would be too gratified by in the last patch of the season and, now that it's a reality, potentially September. The Pies, desperate for percentage, led by as much as 37 points on Sunday afternoon, and only just hung on to a thrilling 11-point victory to put hearts in the mouths of the MCG crowd.
Stocks up: In all the disappointment of losing to the bottom team, it must be said Peter Wright played a killer of a first half. The Essendon spearhead made it look like it was men against boys whenever the ball went inside 50, clearly having Tom Barrass' measure in the contest and using his aerial dominance to pick up eight touches and six marks. If it wasn't for his accuracy (he kicked 3.4 heading into the main break), the former Sun could have been in for a career night out west.
Stocks down: One step forward, two steps back. How is this the same team which strangled St Kilda last week? It seems what worked against the Saints wasn't employed against the Eagles, and what can you put that down to? Ben Rutten not having confidence in his side? Not showing enough respect to their opposition? Poor preparation? Whatever the answer, holy moly the Bombers were disappointing.
Stocks up: Just when someone like Tyson Stengle or George Hewett puts their hand up to declare themselves as recruit of the year, Will Brodie steps it up a notch. He was magnificent in the middle for the Dockers, picking up 36 hard-fought touches, six tackles, and five clearances as he did his best to counter the clearance beasts the Blues had on the park.
Stocks down: He's going to need time to build into his season, but Nat Fyfe was ineffectual against the Blues with just 11 touches, and will come under some scrutiny for his -- what seemed to be -- inadvertent push of an umpire during a scuffle at three-quarter time.
Stocks up: Geelong's dynamic forward line deserves a fair bit of credit in this one; 200-gamer Jeremy Cameron stood up when he needed to and finished with three goals and eight marks in his milestone match, recruit of the year candidate Tyson Stengle was at his exciting, crafty best and also finished with three goals next to his name, while swingman Jack Henry took an unreal mark and followed it up with poise and nerves of steel to carry the Cats over the line.
Stocks down: Tom Stewart's bump that left Tigers midfielder Dion Prestia concussed and in a dazed state is one of the worst we've seen in a long, long time... It was late, looks intentional and is everything we're trying to stamp out of the game - what on earth was he thinking!? It was an outstanding performance otherwise from the star rebounder but, rightly, he now looks set for a lengthy stint on the sidelines.
Stocks up: He may have only had 12 touches but what a dynamic performance by Izak Rankine. The young Sun booted three goals, had seven score involvements, aid four tackles and was a menace in the attacking half, constantly piling the pressure on Port Adelaide's back six. A special shoutout to forward line partner Ben Ainsworth, who also starred at Adelaide Oval. He finished up with 22 disposals, 11 score involvements, two contested marks and a goal.
Stocks down: It wasn't a memorable outing for Jy Farrar. Just four disposals for the game and three of them were ineffective.
Stocks up: It's fair to say Stephen Coniglio is loving life under Mark McVeigh. The former GWS skipper looked lost under Leon Cameron but has found his top form since the coaching change took place. Against the Magpies on Sunday, Coniglio racked up 31 disposals, four clearances, six inside 50s and kicked a goal. Since Round 10 he's averaging 31 disposals and over a goal per game.
Stocks down: The Nick Haynes as a forward experiment did not work. We're all for trying new things but Haynes is a defender and should stay at that end of the ground. He had a couple of opportunities to hit the scoreboard against Collingwood, but fluffed his lines.
Stocks up: It's time we really start giving Mitch Lewis the credit he deserves. The young Hawthorn key forward has been playing some exceptional footy this year, in a team which has had its fair share of struggles. Another four goal performance from Lewis on Friday night against the Bulldogs takes his season major tally to 31. It's also worth remembering he's only played 10 games this year!
Stocks down: Is it time to stick a fork in Liam Shiels? He's been a great asset for the Hawks over the journey and a key member of the 2013-15 three-peat but the 31-year-old really isn't providing much for the new-look side under Sam Mitchell. Another 10 disposal, no impact game from Shiels will surely have him under the selection microscope ahead of Round 16's match against GWS.
Stocks up: Tough as nails and always willing to put his head over the footy, Jack Viney was Melbourne's best against the Lions. He finished with 34 disposals (19 contested), but, crucially, tallied 10 inside 50s and had eight score involvements. Just a mammoth effort in a clash between 1st and 2nd on the ladder.
Stocks down: After three consecutive losses, Melbourne's stocks couldn't have been any lower, so this win has done them absolute wonders!
Stocks up: We're just not buoyed by anything the Kangas are producing at the moment, but Aaron Hall's 38 touches and 1,169 metres gained was pretty cool to see! Shame he doesn't get the help he needs...
Stocks down: It's time for Tarryn Thomas to have a spell in the twos. His work rate, attitude and output was abysmal on Sunday afternoon - managing a game-low three disposals and just the one tackle as the Kangaroos were thumped yet again. For someone who was showing real promise in the back half of 2021, his career regression this season is wildly concerning.
Stocks up: Whether Karl Amon stays at the Power or is moved on, his value is on the rise. The out-of-favour Port winger played his best game of the year against the Suns, tallying 26 disposals. But it was his willingness to get it done on the defensive end which will have pleased Ken Hinkley most. Amon laid 10 tackles for the game and led his side in pressure acts.
Stocks down: Xavier Duursma's end of game state line doesn't read too badly - 16 disposals, three tackles and a goal. But dig a little deeper and you'll find that the Port youngster had a game-high nine clangers! That's a mistake every second time he touched the ball. Not good.
The Suns almost snatched the victory but the Power held on to keep their finals hopes alive ⚡️— AFL (@AFL) June 26, 2022
Watch the Last Two Minutes now, thanks to Kennedy. pic.twitter.com/MgFy8UCaki
Stocks up: When is it that we admit Shai Bolton has taken over the mantle of Richmond's main match-winner? Understandable that with Dusty still around it's a little outlandish, but this guy just continues to dazzle. Bolton ended up with three majors (and two gettable misses), 14 touches and seven score involvements on Saturday afternoon, and his high-leap ability and class around the contest was yet again evident, with the 23-year-old causing the Cats a headache whenever the ball is in his presence. A real turnstile turner.
Stocks down: Fair to say Daniel Rioli had a last quarter to forget in Round 15. The rebounding defender looked nervous with ball in hand, turning the ball over by foot in the dying stages and dishing off multiple errant hand passes under pressure when the game was on the line. He's one Tiger who'd certainly want his time again.
Stocks up: It's easy to forget about a player when they spend over a month on the sidelines but Saints skipper Jack Steele slotted back in seamlessly on Saturday night. He tallied 29 disposals, laid 10 tackles and won eight clearances in what was a very ordinary night for St Kilda. If only a few more of his mates showed up at the SCG...
Stocks down: Yep, we're calling it - St Kilda's finals chances are over. Two horrific performances in back-to-back weeks has seen Brett Ratten's team fall outside the top eight. The Saints aren't exactly blessed with a soft draw, either. They face Carlton next week before Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs.
Stocks up: When it comes to barometers, there's few in the AFL quite like Nick Blakey. The hard-running, often unpredictable Swan generates exceptional drive off half-back and can create chances out of absolutely nothing in the space of a few seconds. On Saturday night against the Saints, he may have played his career best game. 'Lizard' accumulated a career-high 31 disposals (19 kicks), and notched game-highs in metres gained (560m) and score involvements (8). A real weapon for John Longmire.
Stocks down: It's tough to find a loser after such a dominant performance but we'll shine the spotlight on young Logan McDonald. Most Swans youngsters stepped up on Saturday night, but McDonald was left goalless (for the sixth time this year). We'd really love to see him start taking his chances and having more of an impact on games. Take advantage of playing in the same forward line as Buddy Franklin, who commands the vast majority of defensive attention.
Stocks up: Wasn't it interesting to see West Coast's forward line looking potent again. Five goals to Josh Kennedy, three each to Willie Rioli (who was magnificent with four clearances and four tackles) and Jamie Cripps, and two to Jack Darling and Liam Ryan ensured that while Essendon posted 97 points -- a winning score a majority of the time -- against an undermanned defence, the Eagles had enough breathing space to secure win number two for 2022. Kudos!
Stocks down: It seems that Jack Petrucelle just can't string together complete or consistent performances. Just five disposals against the Bombers, and just four goals from his five games this season. Remember, he has a bag of eight to his name!
Stocks up: When the Dogs needed a big win to shoot back into finals contention, it was a whole-team effort which laid the foundations for a seven-goal win over the Hawks. Whether it was Rhylee West's three-goal effort, Josh Dunkley's 27 and two majors, Tom Liberatore's dominance across the ground (30 touches, 11 clearances, and a goal), or Josh Schache or Jason Johannisen, Luke Beveridge must be thrilled with the contributions across the ground.
Stocks down: Good teams will punish the Dogs if they continue allowing four-goal head starts, and there certainly were concerning signs in the first term against the Hawks. The Dogs allowed the Hawks to launch scoring chains from their back half, and Hawthorn had posted 20 inside 50s by just the third minute of the second term. Thankfully for Dogs fans, Bevo's side was able to tighten the screws, arrest control of the match and kick 18 majors after quarter time.