TEAM REVEAL: KEV
As a seasoned SuperCoacher and fantasy player, I thought I was pretty well versed in the challenges and general shithousery that building a squad of fantasy players can throw at you. Then in their infinite wisdom, the AFL changes the rules (again). Running backs start scoring like prime Gary Ablett and rookies look more scarce than four quarter performance from Mason Cox (can you tell I’m still sulky about the 2018 prelim?)
As Clarky said in his team reveal, rookies are an educated guess until confirmed teams are in. Although I have tried to make use of DPP rookies for greater flexibility. So without further ado, here is The Itchy Lot (I wanted Battling Seizure Robots, but the name was too long… dammit)
As I said in the intro, running backs will dominate early until opposition coaches work out a way to stop, or at least slow, them down. With Lloyd, Daniel, Stewart, and Short I reckon I’ve got 4 of the top 8 scoring defenders for the year. Lloyd’s lack of preseason is mildly concerning, but then again if Short can have 35 kicks in a game of footy then even The Bondi Seagull at 80% fit will be fine.
Speaking of Short, his influence will no doubt drop on the return of Houli but at 32 (33 in May) I think the baton is ready to be passed this year. Defensive rookies have been an absolute nightmare so far, and I just don’t see a reliable 60-70 scoring defender with decent job security.
Changkuoth Jiath was an unexpected positive to come from watching a Hawks v North game. He has a wonderful story and has been slowly drip-fed games for the past two seasons. While he won’t be playing North every week, but if he keeps his intercepting / rebounding role (10 of his 24 touches were from intercepts, 309 metres gained) he’s flashed a ceiling of 120. Jordan Clark has hopefully forced his way into Geelong’s 22 for round 1 and although he may feel the selection squeeze when Mitch Duncan is fit again, the versatility he showed against Essendon will hopefully help his cause.
The big call here is the omission of “Lock”-ie Neale. Although Brisbane say he’s fine his calves/hammies/general lower body are not in great knick. In a preseason where we’re needing to rely a bit harder on midpricers due to the lack of solid rookies, 721k is a fair chunk of the salary cap to part with. I’m hoping he takes a few weeks to warm into the Lachie Neale we know and love and in that time his price should take a fair hit.
On the other side of the coin, Nat Fyfe has actually had a preseason for once and my love for him and man-buns are well known. A luscious man-bun and Champion Data giving him points for breathing is also the reason Marcus Bontempelli has found his way into my team. Both will rest forward again this year but as they showed last year they can continue to be a threat inside the forward 50.
Zerrett in a contract year will be leaving nothing on the table, and I’ve taken advantage of Laird’s DPP status by slotting him into M5. The reasoning is two pronged: a) this gives me the chance to look at the many midfield midpricers this year (Rowell, Taranto, Green, Drew etc) to see if any are legit top 12 midfielders, and b) if Clark / Jiath do lose their spot I’ve got a “smash glass in case of emergency” ready to go.
Cast your mind back to those heady days when we had Zac Smith and Jono Giles as bargain basement rucks. Smith averaged 78 (20 games) in his first year as a Sun, Giles a massive 93 (20 games) in his first year as a Giant. Flynn and Meek arguably have the greatest job security out of any of our rookies, if there’s a bargain rook with solid js then you should bloody well pick ‘em! The 500k saved from not going with Brodie Grundy has been pretty handy too.
Without a doubt the hardest line to fill this year has been the forward line. I don’t trust Bevo as far as I can throw him, but I’m hoping the arrival of Stef means an end to Dunkley’s ruck role and he can play as the piggy midfielder he was born to be. Butters had some CBA’s against the Crows and might just see a few more with Powell-Pepper on personal leave. As a general rule I try to avoid all things Essendon (except for Patch) and I have doubts over his ceiling, but Jye Caldwell is very much in the midfield 4 at Essendon. I’ve had Tom Phillips in this spot for a long time and while Phillips had 15 CBA’s against North, Mitchell, O’Meara, and Worpel didn’t play that game and I can see Caldwell having a similar average for 50k cheaper.
As I like to remind the group chat, Richmond have won 3 premierships in 4 years. So why no Dusty? Much like me before my morning coffee, Dusty takes his time to warm up and is not at his best until the second half of the season. I’ll look at him post-bye.