WITH the blue dots finally gone from our AFL Fantasy teams, it’s time to gear up for the final sprint to the end of season 2019. Just five weeks of footy are left before most leagues start their finals and every point you can gain over the rest of the competition will be crucial. It’s at this pointy end of the season that coaches are chasing unique players, who aren’t running around many of the popular teams, with the right gamble at the right time potentially setting you up for a roaring finish.
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Mitch Duncan, MID, Cats
Stats: $795K, 112.6 average, 122 BE, 5.6% ownership
HE doesn’t come cheap, but Mitch Duncan is the definition of a unique player. Finally, this season more coaches have caught on to how well he has been performing and yet, he is still only in around 5% of sides. A lot of coaches jumped on the talented Cat after his bye and they should benefit from a fruitful run home. Don’t be surprised if Duncan is in the conversation as the highest scorer over the final two months of the fantasy season, with fantasy-friendly matchups in his next three games that could lead to BIG scores. If you have the funds, landing Duncan could be a stellar manoeuvre.
Robbie Gray, MID/FWD, Power
Stats: $584K, 83.5 average, 58 BE, 4.4% ownership
WE all know the highs and lows associated with Robbie Gray’s fantasy game. Having averaged north of 95 in multiple seasons in the past, Gray could push his numbers over 90 again this year, especially if he keeps getting heavy midfield minutes. We expected the return of Ollie Wines and Brad Ebert to eat into his touches and potential ceiling, but Gray responded with a 115 against Geelong. With three scores in triple figures over the last month, Gray is emerging as a sneaky top-6 FWD chance.
Image from portadelaidefc.com.au
Ricky Henderson, MID, Hawks
Stats: $748K, 107.8 average, 96 BE, 2.3% ownership
FORGET all your pre-conceived notions, Ricky Henderson can fantasy football. Despite never possessing much of a fantasy game Henderson is thriving in the bare Hawthorn midfield, averaging 20 points more this year that he has in any of his past 10 seasons. Not many players have a breakout campaign at 30, but Henderson has put enough points on the board to prove this is no fluke. There is only a tick over 3,000 coaches who are Ricky Henderson owners in Classic and he looks like the unique player for a final midfield slot.
Shannon Hurn, DEF, Eagles
Stats: $656K, 95.5 average, 140 BE, 10.43% ownership
HURN’S ownership has been boosted over the bye rounds thanks to his killer first half of the season. However, non-owners can rejoice in knowing a price drop is on the way for the kick-happy Eagle. Only five players have kicked the ball more than Hurn this season and after his 61 point outing on Saturday, we could see him dip closer to $600k and be ripe for the picking a week or two from now. If a defensive upgrade is in your sights then the man affectionately known as ‘Bunger’ is a great target.
Patrick Lipinski, MID/FWD, Bulldogs
Stats: $537K, 97.0 average, 36 BE, 5.8% ownership
IF you need to roll the dice and are looking for a stepping stone to greatness, Patrick Lipinski could be your man. With Liberatore going down, Lipinskanator has dropped a 129 and 100 with Luke Beveridge giving him ample midfield time. There’s certainly a risk associated with the Bulldogs pup, but it’s hard to ignore his numbers/production right now. He could quite easily make $100k before it’s time to upgrade him and provide owners with a cheaper alternative for production in the MID/FWD line.
Image from westernbulldogs.com.au
Rowan Marshall, FWD/RUC, Saints
Stats: $655K, 96.6 average, 76 BE, 9.1% ownership
THE dual-positioning that Rowan Marshall owns is worth its weight in gold. There’s a genuine chance that if he keeps scoring at this elite clip that he’ll be in the mix for one of the top forward slots. His status in the ruck group is a little cloudier, but if you aren’t rocking with the combination of Grundy and Gawn, then there’s nothing wrong with considering Marshall as a trade target. He doesn’t have as low an ownership as some may think with 9.1% of the competition already one step ahead of the rest of us.
Luke Parker, MID, Swans
Stats: $755K, 103.8 average, 80 BE, 2.1% ownership
LUKE Parker floated around as an option during the byes, but the majority of us missed our chance. Amid health concerns for fellow Swans midfield gun Josh Kennedy, Parker has taken his game up a notch, recording an average of 124.4 in his last five contests. During that time, Parker has tackled his way to some big scores, putting up over six ‘hugs’ a game and shooting his average back to a respectable number. Again, he’s potentially priced too high now, so we may have missed the boat, but if you’re chasing a left of field choice, Parker is doing everything right to warrant consideration.
Image from heraldsun.com.au
Mitch Robinson, MID/FWD, Lions
Stats: $623K, 91.9 average, 109 BE, 2.2% ownership
RECENT form would suggest that trading Mitch Robinson in right away isn’t a smart play. However, the Lions wrecking ball has had some noteworthy outings already this year, stringing some solid scores together in the middle of the season. It’s also worth pointing out he kicked a handful of goals in those games, but when he likely slides to under $600k in the next fortnight, there’s a chance you can get on ‘Red Bull Robbo’. If we see him feature closer to the middle of the ground then there’s a chance Robinson can flip the script and start topping 100-110 again.
Christian Salem, DEF, Demons
Stats: $629K, 94.4 average, 103 BE, 3.9% ownership
EVERY season there are some lesser named players who hardly put a foot wrong and still get ignored. In defense this year, Christian Salem fits the bill, owned by around 5,500 people. Not too many of them will be complaining about the Demon defenders’ numbers as he pushes for consideration as a top player in his position. Non-owners will probably want to see one or two more good outings before pouncing on him, however, with the Lions, Blues and Bulldogs in his sights, the time might be upon us to take a flier on Salem.
Lachie Whitfield, DEF/MID, Giants
Stats: $786K, 117.2 average, 138 BE, 16.5% ownership
I was stunned to find Whitfield still sitting in over 15% of teams and hopefully for those coaches he will return to the field ASAP. Once he does Lachie Whitfield is must have property, with two injury-affected scores tainting his numbers. In the seven games Whitfield has played without hurting himself this year, he has averaged 134 points, which doesn’t sound realistic. As soon as he returns he’ll be traded straight back in for a lot of people and if you can get a hold of Whitfield before other coaches you’ll have a handy leg up heading into finals.
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