WITH just over a month until the AFL season officially gets underway, Fantasy coaches across the country are starting to sweat. All our well thought out pre-season plans are about to be put to the test with the JLT Community Series just around the corner and our will power is going to be tested. Dozens of players have fluctuated in and out of my side as I’ve been trying to find the perfect balance for 2019, so let me talk you through some of my thinking.
All numbers/stats provided are sourced from AFL Fantasy
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Before I breakdown and justify my picks, here’s how the Large Fry’s & Coke 2.0 look at the present, with seven changes to the 1.0 version.
D1: Rory Laird ($782K, 34.9% ownership)
D2: Jake Lloyd ($738K, 41.8% ownership)
D3: Alex Witherden ($639K, 25.6% ownership)
D4: Zac Williams ($421K, 34.8% ownership
D5: Sam Collins ($246K, 23.0% ownership)
D6: Marty Hore ($170K, 10.6% ownership)
B1: Hugh Goddard ($170K, 27.4% ownership)
B2: Christopher Burgess ($170K, 34.1% ownership)
RORY Laird has come into my side since last time and while he isn’t a lock, I’m giving some serious thought to starting with him. He is in just a shade over 35% of teams and if the Crows midfield can get healthy, then I hope it takes some of the tagging attention away from him. The other player I’m toying with using instead is Lachie Whitfield, who seems set to continue his triple-figure average.
My second, third and fourth defenders are pretty popular mainstream options, but I’m trying to find a way to squeeze Ryan Burton in. The new Power player could be in for stints on the wing and on the ball which would see him score much better than the 62 he is priced at. Sam Collins came in over the last few days after Wigg’s unfortunate ACL tear and the final three spots are rounded out by popular bench options.
M1: Patrick Cripps ($793K, 27.8% ownership)
M2: Josh Kelly ($787K, 17.3% ownership)
M3: Taylor Adams ($690K, 12.7% ownership)
M4: Dustin Martin ($674K, 21.4% ownership)
M5: Anthony Miles ($425K, 18.5% ownership)
M6: Sam Walsh ($270K, 41.3% ownership)
M7: Michael Gibbons ($170K, N/A ownership)
M8: Brett Bewley ($170K, 35.5% ownership)
M9: Charlie Constable ($170K, 31.2% ownership)
M10: Nick Hind ($170K, 29.7% ownership
I’VE taken Zach Merrett out for now and slotted Patrick Cripps in as my top midfielder, along with Josh Kelly who I think can challenge as the best fantasy player if he gets his body right. Merrett isn’t permanently out of calculations, I have some doubts over how everyone can feast in the Bombers midfield, even if Dylan Shiel doesn’t have the greatest fantasy pedigree. I’m sure when he drops 40 points in the first quarter of JLT action Merrett will find a way back into my side.
Image from afl.com.au
TAYLOR Adams and Dustin Martin are priced 10-15 points below what I expect from them to score this year, so I’ve chased a little value there, before opting to add Anthony Miles as my mid-pricer in the guts. I’ve toyed around with starting Dan Hannebery, Andrew Brayshaw and Tom Liberatore at times, but Miles won out, for now. I like his job security in that rabble of a Suns team and he averaged in the high 80’s when he was consistently getting games.
I’ve steered away from Brad Crouch, who could prove me wrong and priced at 72.2 he could very well go 100+. His continuous battle with injuries has held him out of my side at the minute though. Paying up for top rookies is something I don’t mind doing illustrated by Sam Walsh at M6, with the likes of Gibbons and Bewley earning spots on the field over Hind and Constable.
R1: Brodie Grundy ($871K, 52.3% ownership)
R2: Tim English ($446K, 5.4% ownership)
R3: Darcy Cameron ($170K, 38.9% ownership)
R4: Darcy Forte ($170K, 37.2% ownership)
THIS is where things get interesting. Tim English could either make or break me this season and opting to start the sub $450K youngster gives me the financial flexibility to add the likes of Laird, Cripps and Menegola to my other lines. I’m by no means am sold on leaving him there, with Stefan Martin and Todd Goldstein well and truly on my radar, but the value is too tempting for me to pass up at the moment.
MY thinking is that worst case scenario if English does spud it up or the Bulldogs opt to give him some ruck support then the bailout options of Zac Clarke and Shane Mumford (banned for the first two matches) can help me get out of a sticky situation. The Darcy duo seems set to dominate R3/R4 combinations around the globe and I can’t really point you in another direction right now.
Image from thewest.com.au
F1: Patrick Dangerfield ($771K, 58.6% ownership)
F2: Sam Menegola ($716K, 3.0% ownership)
F3: Isaac Heeney ($658K, 21.7% ownership)
F4: James Worpel ($480K, 10.9% ownership)
F5: Will Setterfield ($251K, 47.2% ownership)
F6: Joshua Corbett ($170K, 25.2% ownership)
F7: Ben Cavarra ($182K, 30.4% ownership)
F8: Shane McAdam ($170K, 19.0% ownership)
DANGER, Heeney, Setterfield and Worpel are all but locked in, barring anything crazy. When news surfaced over Chad Wingard’s calf complaint I immediately axed him and then James Worpel shining in the Hawks match sim contest gave me a perfect replacement.
One of the biggest changes I made to my previous team was adding Sam Menegola in at F2, curbing Josh Dunkley who may have to battle for midfield time this season. I could easily be swayed and The Wiz’s POD piece swung my vote in Menegola’s favour right now. The cheap rookies may change as well, but I think I join 80% of the country with my bench picks to date.
OF the 30 players in my side, I’d safely say that 18-20 of them are set in stone barring any crazy injuries or role changes. It’s important to not let one pre-season hitout deter your thinking, but at the same point, we can learn a lot from the JLT series. Feel free to hit me up with any questions you have throughout the Fantasy season through Twitter, Instagram or Facebook as we count down the 33 remaining sleeps until Round 1 lockout!
Banner from dreamteamtalk.com