Fremantle will take advantage of a favourable draw after this weekend's bye and finish in the top four for the second year in a row, according to former Western Bulldogs ruckman Luke Darcy.

The Dockers are 5-4 after a challenging run in their opening nine rounds.

In the next two months, they face the Western Bulldogs (away), Adelaide (home), Richmond (away), Brisbane (home), West Coast, Melbourne (away), Greater Western Sydney (home), St Kilda (away) and Carlton (home) before tackling Geelong (away) again in round 20.

Darcy, host of 7mate's Talking Footy, said Fremantle could win most of those games.

"In every other one of those games (from round 11-19), I would have them favourites," Darcy said. "And their record against Geelong is extraordinary so you would give them a massive chance down there.

"Glancing ahead, it's a great position for them to be in.

"It doesn't always equate to 10 wins in a row, but I would think the majority of those they will certainly get their nose in front."

Darcy said Fremantle were less liable to drop games they should win because of coach Ross Lyon's influence.

"He has been able to get great consistency of effort out of his sides," Darcy said.

"The really good sides, and I put Fremantle in that category, even when they are not playing well are good enough to win."

Darcy said the Dockers would have gone into the bye feeling good about their prospects as they try to go one step better than last season.

"If you asked me at the start, you would have thought they would have been better than 5-4, but I think given their draw and just starting to get good players back, Fremantle are in great shape to make the top four," he said.

Darcy said the loss of Michael Walters to a serious ankle injury had been underestimated in the Dockers' underwhelming start.

Darcy was at Patersons Stadium last Saturday night and liked what he saw in their emphatic win over the Cats.

"The pressure that they put sides under and then force Geelong into mistakes they wouldn't normally make, and then what I loved was that they were able to score freely themselves," he said.

"They moved the ball better and it's exactly what I imagine Ross wants them to do - defend well, pressure well, but score a bit more freely, and for me that's why I still rate them a massive contender this year."

Fremantle's changing fortunes have been reflected in premiership betting. They were $3.60 flag favourites with the TAB after thrashing Collingwood in round one, blew out to $6 after losing to Port Adelaide in round eight and were slashed to $4.80 after beating Geelong.

"… I think given their draw … I still rate them a massive contender this year." " *Luke Darcy *

The West Australian

Popular videos

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West