THEY say time flies when you are having fun. I can confirm that my fantasy season was far from ‘fun’, but with no one to blame but myself I will no doubt be back next year to make up for my mistakes. Time did fly for season 2018 though, with 23 whopping rounds of fantasy football now behind us. With a week’s break in the footy, what better time to hand out some silverware to some deserving winners.
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Rookie of the Year – Tim Kelly
Honourable Mentions:: Tom Doedee, Bayley Fritsch
BOTH Doedee and Fritsch deserve their honourable mentions for awesome rookie campaigns. Any other year they might have taken out the award, but in a talent-filled class, there was one clear winner. In his first season at the Cattery the mature ager in Tim Kelly averaged over 85 points and scored three tons during the Fantasy finals. He’s a serious option for 2019. Bravo.
Image from sen.com.au
All-Australian Fantasy 22
Honourable Mentions: David Mundy, Bryce Gibbs & Andrew Gaff
IT’S tough to determine who were the best 22 players from season 2018. Some people value a players’ averages, others think a high ceiling deserves more recognition. Personally, it’s hard to go past total points as a better indicator of how well a fantasy player performed. Taking all three and my own personal bias into account, here’s the SBF 2018 All-Australian Fantasy team.
DEFENCE: Elliot Yeo, Jake Lloyd, Angus Brayshaw, Lachie Whitfield, Rory Laird, Kade Simpson
MIDFIELD: Tom Mitchell, Jack Macrae, Patrick Cripps, Clayton Oliver, Stephen Coniglio, Dayne Beams, Seb Ross, Steele Sidebottom,
RUCK: Brodie Grundy, Max Gawn
FORWARD: Devon Smith, Justin Westhoff, Isaac Heeney, Patrick Dangerfield, Toby McLean, Sam Menegola
Most Improved – TIE Angus Brayshaw & Devon Smith
Honourable Mentions: Josh Dunkley & Max Gawn
CALL it a cop-out, both Angus Brayshaw and Devon Smith deserve acknowledgement for their huge growth from a season ago. Brayshaw managed to put injuries worries of the past behind him and play 14 more games than last year, scoring 27.9 more points a match. Devon Smith was equally as impressive in his first season as a Bomber. The former Giant qualified for FWD status this season and with a boost in midfield time, his scores skyrocketed. Smith finished as the clear No. 1 forward in a year of turbulence in front of the sticks boosting his average from 80 odd into an impressive 105+.
Fantasy LVP – Robbie Gray
Dishonourable Mentions: Michael Hibberd & Matthew Kreuzer
TECHNICALLY speaking there were a bunch of fantasy players who performed worse than Robbie Gray this season. With a large majority of the fantasy community invested in Gray following his Round 10 bye, his performances that followed saw him grad the ‘least valuable player’ award with one firm hand. His 101 average before the byes led everyone to fall into the trap as he pumped out four scores in the 60’s over his next five matches. The roller coaster scores came from then on with his concussion against Freo causing more headaches for coaches. It’s a tad harsh given the fact that he scored well for half the year, but Gray let the fantasy world down when we needed him most.
Fantasy Finals MVP – Jack Macrae
Honourable Mentions: Seb Ross & Patrick Dangerfield
IT happens every season. Out of left field, a player saves his best for last, scoring an absurd point total during fantasy Grand Final weekend. Last year it was Buddy (171), the year before Nick Riewoldt (200) made a double century, but this year, a very familiar face was on top of the Round 23 list. 43 touches, 14 marks and seven tackles fueled Jack Macrae’s ENORMOUS 190 on the weekend as he finished his injury-interrupted season on fire. The Dogs mid averaged 141 over the final month of the season with his GF heroics helping to separate him from the field for this award.
Image from odds.com.au
Fantasy MVP – Tom Mitchell
Honourable Mentions: Brodie Grundy & Jack Macrae
DUH. There isn’t a lot to say about this one with Tom Mitchell once again proving to be a gift from the gods for fantasy coaches. He showed flashes of mortality for a period of time, but his season still trumped everyone else by a long margin. Regardless of whether you traded him out for the grand final or not, Tom Mitchell is the clear, runaway MVP.
Never Again List – Michael Walters
Honourable Mentions: Luke Parker & Michael Hurley
IT’s unfair to blame players for being injured, it’s a natural part of the game. Role change? Also not their fault as coaches clearly control that. But if you flirt with success only to falter and disappoint those who invested in you more than once? That’s the type of behaviour that lands you on the never again list. Sorry, Micheal Walters, it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.
My Year in Review
I’M not going to make excuses for the disappointing season. A few early injuries and poor trades left me playing catchup all year finishing with my worst rank in recent memory. After starting the year with Josh Kelly and Zach Merrett I opted to bring Ablett (who tore his hammy on debut) and captained him for a 70. Also bringing Danger in instead of Jack Macrae in Round 6 set me off the pace, with the star Bulldog coming into my team just a week before injuring himself.
That being said, I did learn a lot this season and there are some tactics and strategies I will definitely be enforcing in 2019. I managed another new career high with 2,597 to close out the season over the weekend and I want to give a special shoutout to Lachie Neale, Jake Lloyd, Max Gawn, and Tom Mitchell who played all 22 this season for the Large Fry’s & Coke. They will be captaining the Mad Monday celebrations at as I try to remove the 2018 season from my memory.
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