ROOKIE selections are one of the toughest things to pin down each season and to be honest the ones in your side will fluctuate right up until the first bounce of 2019. Below I’ve made some picks for my on-field and bench cash cows with high hopes as some players in the mix won’t likely be named to start the year. Either way, starting with eight players under the $270K price bracket, it’s important to nail these picks and set yourself up for success early in the fantasy season.
BE sure to check out my DT Talk Rookie Guide this weekend on their site and read all my articles on the rookie/cash cow picks this season!
All numbers/stats provided are sourced from AFL Fantasy
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IN MY TEAM
Sam Collins, Gold Coast Suns, $246K
Jordan Clark, Geelong Cats, $242K
BENCH: Christopher Burgess, Gold Coast Suns, $170K
BENCH: Marty Hore, Melbourne Demons, $170K
PAYING up for on-field defensive rookies seems like the popular play this season. Sam Collins and Jordan Clark are the two dudes who I’m opting to start with over the likes of other mid 200K options this year. Clark’s place is less established over Collins due to Zach Tuohy’s pending return, however, the WA born product should be in line for a Round 1 debut.
COLLINS seems set to be a staple of the Suns’ lineup this year, with his intercept marking ability helping him land a spot on Gold Coast’s roster this past offseason. Never a fan of spending a ton of money on the bench two 170K popular picks in Chris Burgess and Marty Hore round out my backline, with Burgess’ DPP a huge bonus.
IN THE MIX
I could be tempted to play Xavier Duursma ($236K + MID) over Clark in my final on-field defensive post, but I think that Clark can do enough to warrant keeping his spot even when Tuohy makes a return to Geelong’s lineup. Young Hawk Harrison Jones ($170K) has been sitting on my bench for most of the preseason and even after playing two JLT games his spot in the Hawthorn side for Round 1 isn’t set in stone. Francis Watson ($170K) is another player who spent some time on my bench, but it’s highly unlikely that he’ll feature in regular games for the reigning premier West Coast Eagles.
Best of the rest: Jack Scrimshaw ($203K), Connor Rozee ($262K + FWD), Isaac Quaynor ($246K)
IN MY TEAM
Sam Walsh, Carlton Blues, $270K
Charlie Constable, Geelong Cats, $170K
Willem Drew, Port Adelaide Power, $170K + FWD
BENCH: Will Hayes, Western Bulldogs, $170K
BENCH: Tom Atkins, Geelong Cats, $170K
I’M going very cheap with some of my final on-field rookies and hopefully, I’ll take a gamble on the right guys. I think it’s fairly obvious why Sam Walsh is the most selected player in the game behind Dangerfield right now, with 56.8% of coaches starting with the top overall pick. Nearly in 40% of teams is my next midfielder Charlie Constable, who should see regular games this season after failing to break through and make his debut during year one on an AFL list in 2018.
WILLEM Drew is an interesting one with some coaches sceptical over his job security when Ollie Wines is fit and firing. At this stage, his JLT form has been impressive enough for him to warrant a spot in my team with his 81 last week definitely a highlight. I’m a fan of having a DPP link with my forward line and starting Drew helps me tick that box. My final bench picks are almost ones I’m trying to talk into existence. If Will Hayes and/or Tom Atkins aren’t named to start the season you can guarantee they’ll be relevant guys at some point throughout 2019.
Image from geelongcats.com.au
IN THE MIX
I’VE gone a bit against the grain and ditched more popular picks like Nick Hind ($170K), Brett Bewley ($170K) and Michael Gibbons ($170K)…for now. I’m sure Thursday team announcements will throw my plans into flux, but those three are the likely others who will reside in a lot of coaches bench slots. Bailey Scott ($174K) from the Kangaroos is a fast riser to keep an eye on with his 84 last week from 58% time on ground raising a lot of eyebrows.
I can’t justify paying up for the likes of Zak Butters ($248K), Luke Davies-Uniacke ($266K), Bailey Smith ($258K) or Jackson Hately ($244K) in my sides, but they could all prove to be top-10 cash cows for this upcoming season. The higher draftees always come at a cost, but with an influx of mature agers thanks to the SSP (supplement selection period) I think the value up for grabs is too good to pass up.
Best of the rest: Chayce Jones ($254K), Liam Stocker ($234K), Jye Caldwell ($250K)
IN MY TEAM
None on field
BENCH: Darcy Fort, Geelong Cats, $170K
BENCH: Matthew Flynn, GWS Giants, $170K
THE ruck department isn’t going to be the feature of rookie selections, much like in year’s past. However, there are a few more bench choices than usual this year. I’m opting to start Darcy Fort and Matthew Flynn on the pine at the moment, with both seeing some minutes in the JLT this preseason.
IN THE MIX
THE most popular rookie ruck at the moment is Zac Clarke ($270K) who some coaches are flirting with taking a punt on in the second on-field ruck spot. His 104 in the first preseason game against Carlton was something to get excited about but I do wonder if he can put numbers on the board regularly with Tom Bellchambers in the mix. Too risky for me. Archie Smith ($217) from the Lions appears set to play some games alongside Stefan Martin and while I don’t have the extra money, he could be someone who generates cash for you fro your bench. Finally, with a high ownership percentage than Max Gawn, Darcy Cameron ($170K) has been a bench ruck staple for years and should anything happen to Callum Sinclair it’s likely he’ll see more game time.
Best of the rest: Jordan Sweet ($170K), Sam Draper ($170K)
IN MY TEAM
Will Setterfield, Carlton Blues, $251K
Matthew Parker, St Kilda Saints, $178K
BENCH: Jarrod Brander, West Coast Eagles, $170K
BENCH: Gyran Miers, Geelong Cats, $170K
WILL Setterfield has barely put a foot wrong at Carlton so far, etching himself into over 50% of teams. With an average of 76 in his two preseason hitouts he shapes as a lock for our forward lines, similar to his teammate Sam Walsh in the midfield. Matthew Parker as my last on-field selection is the best of a bad bunch, with rookies in the forward line becoming a problem for starting sides. That being said, the newest Saints recruit should have locked away a Round 1 debut with some solid JLT games, although his fantasy scores of 56 and 33 don’t inspire a lot of hope.
FOR F7/F8 similar to the midfield I’ve put the two guys in my side right now who I think could be the best cash cows for the entire season. Should Jarron Brandor and Gyran Miers not be named to start the year I’ll obviously have to change my thinking, but for now the two basement forward hold down my final bench spots in my team.
IN THE MIX
WITH Ben Cavarra ($182K) suffering a quad injury and Josh Corbett ($170) injury his knee, we’ll most likely have to wait at least a fortnight for both those guys to get back to full strength. When they do they loom as cash cows to keep an eye on this season, but until them you can’t justify having them in your team when Thursday’s partial lockout rolls around.
NOAH Balta ($170K) and Jack Petruccelle ($170K) are the two players taking up residency in most coaches forward bench positions and should they be named to start the year over some of my picks, they could come into the side. Some of the more expensive draftees in Jack Lukosius ($268K) and Nick Blakely ($252K) aren’t really on my radar given their hefty price tag, while a 6-8 week hamstring injury has put a line through Izak Rankine ($266) as well.
Best of the rest: Shane McAdam ($170K), Mitchell Lewis ($170K), Ned McHenry ($240K)