A lot is made about unique players in AFL Fantasy circles with the right POD (point/player of difference) the potential key to vault your squad up the rankings. With a quarter of the fantasy season in the books, coaches are looking to invest in the right rare players to prompt that surge towards a coveted hat. Most fantasy teams will boast the likes of George Hewett and Lachie Neale, but these eight players with an ownership under 10% are the trade targets to consider if you want to think outside the box.
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Tom Liberatore, MID/FWD, $745K, Bulldogs, 6.7% OWN
We all know the Western Bulldogs are a fantasy factory and Libba has been the latest midfielder to cash in. He’s been used heavily as a forward throughout the season, although against the Crows, Liberatore recorded a season-high number of CBA’s and as a result, gathered 33 disposals and laid 10 tackles. That stat line resulted in 127 points for the rugged Bulldog and with their season in the balance, we could see more of Liberatore in the engine room.
Tom Mitchell, MID, $839K, Hawks, 8.0% OWN
The majority of coaches who picked Tom Mitchell to start the season will be bummed with his output so far, but the prolific ball-winner is starting to find his mojo. A season-best 109 last weekend was fuelled by a high number of marks and tackles and regardless of if he’s getting heavy midfield minutes, Mitchell is still a player that every coach wants by season’s end. You could wait to see if the Hawks gun becomes cheaper before investing, but if you’ve got the spare cash, there’s nothing wrong with adding him ASAP.
Justin McInerney, DEF/MID, $627K, Swans, 2.4% OWN
As a coach who started with Justin McInerney and then gave him the flick, it pains me to see him balling out now. Since his two-game absence, the winger has lived up to his preseason hype and averaged 25.3 disposals with 96.7 points in three consecutive Sydney wins. It’s worth noting that those W’s came against Hawthorn, West Coast and North Melbourne, but it’s clear that the Swans want the ball in McInerney’s hands on a regular basis.
Image from afl.com.au
Travis Boak, MID, $919K, Power, 3.1% OWN
The unique of all uniques, Travis Boak has been excelling from a fantasy standpoint despite Port Adelaide’s early struggles. The veteran midfielder is amongst the league leaders for total disposals (3rd) and total clearances (2nd) and doesn’t seem to be slowing down as he approaches his 34th birthday. He comes at a hefty price, but Boak is proving that he’s worth every penny and needs to be in serious consideration when you’re chasing a MID upgrade.
Patrick Naish, MID/FWD, $563K, Eagles, 5.3% OWN
Born again Eagle Patrick Naish is making the most of his AFL lifeline, becoming one of West Coast’s most important players through six rounds. With his career at the crossroads, the former Tiger was signed by the WA club just days before the season commenced and hasn’t looked back since, averaging 78.3 fantasy points and 21.7 touches a game. Having made nearly $250k from his starting price, most coaches missed the boat on Naish, however, his consistent performances still make him one to consider at the trade table.
Sam Walsh, MID, $875K, Blues, 6.2% OWN
Originally, I had Sam Walsh slotted in at M1 before the talented Blue fell victim to the dreaded syndesmosis injury. Walshy made an impressive recovery though, missing just one round of the fantasy season before making his triumphant return. Three scores of 110+ in his five contests this season are a good sign, and I won’t be shocked if the Carlton star erupts for a big score soon and as a result becomes a much more popular option for coaches.
Image from novonite.com
Sam Docherty, DEF, $855K, Blues, 7.8% OWN
There were understandable concerns surrounding Sam Docherty entering this fantasy season, but Doc has been one of the best defensive performers in the game during 2022. The Blues co-captain has only been outscored by Jayden Short as a backman, currently posting the 13th most points of all players on the season. He’s only failed to top 95 points once and if you can afford to swing Docherty into your team, it’s a wise move.
Jarrod Witts, RUC, $653K, Suns, 9.5% OWN
Max Gawn and Tim English have received plenty of shine in the early portion of the season, but Jarrod Witts has been chugging along nicely for those who opted to commence the fantasy season with him. I was surprised to learn that Witts is first in the AFL for total hitouts and currently second for ruck contests attended, registering scores of 97, 74 and 97 in his past three matches. A heavy number of hitouts are the key to big scores for Witts and there’s no reason why he can’t keep pacing the AFL in that department and become a handy addition for fantasy faithful.