AFTER a long hiatus the Fantasy Fryday’s are BACK! I plan on making this a weekly feature throughout the year, covering a bunch of different sports, mainly for AFL, NFL and NBA fantasy. It’s never too early to start prepping your 2019 AFL watchlist and the other two fantasy competitions are in full swing, making every waiver wire move crucial.
All numbers/stats provided are based on ESPN fantasy leagues
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- WITH the AFL Fantasy season well and truly in a lull, the upcoming draft will capture most of our attention until the end of the year. A few sneaky cash cows could land in perfect scenario‘s once draft night unfolds and to familiarise yourself with some of the best prospects check out my first AFL mock draft from a fortnight ago. A new updated version will likely be posted in the next week or two.
- THE trade period saw 44 different players switch clubs, including some huge names like Dayne Beams, Jesse Hogan Lachie Neale and Dylan Shiel. It’s never to early to start thinking about the players you want to watch in preseason, with Tom Lynch, Dan Hannebery, Will Setterfield, Aaron Hall, Anthony Miles, Chad Wingard & Nic Newman a few names to monitor.
- PLENTY of rule changes in the offseason should see a slightly different brand of footy played next year, with one rule, in particular, relevant to fantasy coaches. No longer required to kick the ball to themselves after a point is scored, players can play on immediately and either kick or handpass back into play. We are still waiting on confirmation if that will be deemed as a disposal, but it seems like it will count, giving veterans like Shannon Hurn and Heath Shaw a bunch more upside.
- THE AFL released the 2019 fixture this week as well, with five consecutive Thursday night games over the first five weeks of the season. There will be plenty of opportunities to make the most of a loophole captain choice, but it also means we need to be switched on with our trades over the first month to avoid a bad start turning into a bad season.
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
ADD – THIS week I’ve got my eyes on a few guys who could be in for bigger fantasy roles following the trade deadline. Both Courtland Sutton (Broncos, WR, 59.4% ownership) and Aaron Jones (Packers, RB, 74.4%) are due for a bigger workload in the second half of the season after the Broncos and Packers moved others on throughout the week. Both of them have likely been snapped up, but if not you know what to do. A lesser known name still floating on waivers could be DeVante Parker (Dolphins, WR, 46.2%), who starred for Miami as their premier pass catcher a week ago.
DROP – IT was a bit of a long shot, but the Kenjon Barner (Patriots, RB, 22.3%) experiment probably didn’t pan out how coaches wanted. After seeing just 10% of the snap count you can go ahead and ditch the Patriots halfback, along with the injury-prone Geronimo Allison (Packers, WR, 32.4%). For now…
KEEP YOUR EYE ON – A pair of receivers who will probably be up for grabs in Keke Coutee (Texans, WR, 22.7%) and D.J. Moore (Panthers, WR, 40.7%) are worth watching in Week 9. Coutee was expected to take a lot of injured Will Fuller’s targets, but Houston trading for Demaryius Thomas might change that. If he can still leave the game with a healthy amount of targets/receptions/yards he could be worth stashing. The same can be said for Moore, who had the best game of his young career against Baltimore last Sunday. With at least three catches in four straight games, Moore seems set to play a bigger role in this Carolina offense moving forward.
WEEK 9 BYE TEAMS – Bengals, Jaguars, Eagles, Cardinals, Giants, Colts
- WILL Fuller (Texans, WR, 31.8%) is the most dropped player this week after news broke that the Texans wideout suffered a torn ACL. With his season over you can let him go along with the likes of Bilal Powell (Jets, RB, 15.5%) who’s playing career might be in the balance following surgery on a bulging disc in his neck
- IF one of the big trade deadline moves affected your fantasy line-up, I’d be tempted to wait one week on starting such players. An exception can be made for studs like Demaryius Thomas and Golden Tate, but Amari Cooper might just lay an egg against Tennessee. Tate’s arrival also impacts the likes of Nelson Agholor and Alshon Jeffery, so it’s not crazy to consider benching these players and seeing how their roles pan out.
Image from theeaglesfeast.com
WAIVER WIRE WATCH
ADD – WE are still very early into the new NBA fantasy season, but some trends have made a few players a must add. I was able to add Nemanja Bjelica (Kings, SF/PF, 44.8%) to one of my lineups and he has not disappointed averaging over 20 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.8 made triple’s in the last seven days. Another popular add, fresh off a 50-point game is former MVP Derrick Rose (T-Wolves, PG, 45.9%). I don’t have faith in his long-term prospects (I hate to be that guy, but injuries often impact D-Rose’s fantasy expectations), but he might be the hottest player in the league right now. Worth a punt with Jeff Teague on the sidelines.
DROP – OF course, it’s not all happy news with a few popular names struggling so far. I had a hunch that Tyreke Evans (Pacers, SG, 29.3%) landing in Indiana was going to be one of the underrated moves of the summer. Instead, the swingman is being ditched from fantasy lineups as he struggles to find consistency. Another guy struggling for consistency is Terry Rozier (Celtics, PG, 15.9%). With a loaded Boston team likely to keep his minutes down all season it’s time to look elsewhere for Scarry Terry owners.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON – TWO players from the same team are looming as good additions following an injury to their fellow forward. With Kevin Love going down (more from him soon) both Tristan Thompson (Cavs, C, 6.2%) and Larry Nance Jr (Cavs, PF, 9.6%) could benefit from a boost in minutes. While TT has seen the minutes boost go his way in the early going, it’s fair to say Nance is the better fantasy player. If Nance can get on the court more often he becomes an interesting fantasy prospect.
Image from chroniclet.com
- THE biggest injury story in fantasy is the scenario surrounding Anthony Davis (Pelicans, PF/C, 99.9%) and his mysterious elbow complaint. After sitting out games against Utah and Denver, AD came back an looked like himself against the Warriors on Tuesday racking up 41 minutes. However, he missed last night’s contest again with that same elbow worry. Fingers crossed this narrative doesn’t impact Davis’ season in the long term.
- A long absence for Dwight Howard (Wizards, C, 84.0%) today marks his first appearance as a Wizard. The former dominant journeyman is not the same player he once used to be and his ailing back will still wreak havoc during the season. In fact, Howard is still not at 100% health meaning an impressive performance or two might make him a good sell-high candidate.
- I already mentioned Kevin Love (Cavs, PF/C, 90.5%) has been sidelined for up to a month with a toe injury. He won’t be re-evaluated for the next few weeks and we could even see the 4x All-Star moved as Cleveland embrace the tank. Jeff Teague (T-Wolves, PG, 69.5%) is another popular name under an injury cloud with a knee injury seeing a few owners send him to the waiver wire. If I was you, I’d stop what you’re doing and add him if he’s there.
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