Players who can top score their position we’re not talking about
Every year there are players that get hyped up whether they are returning from injury, moved clubs or getting more mid time. While these guys get covered from pillar to post by newspapers and other sites, people are always looking for that fantasy gold nugget to get an edge on their league mates. I’m going to look at some players no-ones talking about that could top score their position.
Joe Daniher: We finally got to see the Joe Daniher unleashed in 2017 after the players returned from their drug ban. After battling in 2016 with a made-up team of replacements, Daniher’s fantasy scoring didn’t reflect on what he was capable of. Enter 2017 and with the A graders back, Daniher was the main target up forward.
With 6 tonnes in both SuperCoach and AFL Fantasy, Daniher also increased all of his stats from the previous year. With the Bombers adding Saad, Stinger and Devon ‘Lunchmeat’ Smith to the team, the Bombers have added some decent firepower to the midfield meaning if the Bombers are to improve again then he’ll be getting more of the ball kicked to him inside 50. We have also seen him move up the wing where his excellent ability to take a contested mark is put on display.
Daniher’s numbers stack up well on comparison to Buddy Franklins who was the highest non-midfield forward in both formats in 2017. We have seen Joe’s ability to score 100’s but yet to see the 140+ score from him. For Joe to be the top forward score in 2018 he needs to decrease his handballs by 1 and increase his kicks by 2 a game, then that will raise his scoring floor and his ceiling.
Heath Shaw: Discarded from our fantasy teams like a dirty tissue after his poor year, it seems that Heath Shaw is back in vogue after the injury to Zac Williams and the departure of Nathan Wilson.
Both Wilson and Williams were on kick in duties for the GWS, leaving Heath to push further up the ground and yell at people. With these 2 gone from the team and Haynes body about as trustworthy as a servo chicken roll, all signs point to Heater being the man to take the kick ins and kick ins means points, as Heater is the master of the kick to himself and play on.
Now don’t forget that this is the bloke who was the 10th overall scorer in SuperCoach in 2015 and 2016. The GWS play a pretty fantasy friendly game and I’m sure Heater can bounce back to be the top fantasy scorer in his position.
Sam Jacobs: I honestly can’t believe there is not more hype about this guy. This is a guy who has been consistent throughout his career hardly missing a game. He is in a team that is the sole ruck so the only thing preventing him from playing is injury. We saw in the grand final that the Crows game plan just didn’t hold up, which has gotten me to thinking that if the Crows are to go one step forward then a slight game plan change is on the cards.
If this is the case and the Crows slow the game down and create more contests it means Big Sauce is going to have more hitouts and more to advantage. Add to the fact if they do slow it down his possessions will go up as well.
Don’t forget that this is the guy that outscored Todd Goldstein to be the number 1 ruckman in the home and away season for total score in 2014, scoring 2538 to Goldy’s 2244. In that year Sauce averaged 34 hitouts and 16 possessions compared to his 2017 average of 39 hitouts and 14 possessions a game.
Michael Barlow: Barlow hasn’t had a good run at it of late with an AC joint and a broken leg ruining his last 2 seasons. But I believe the injuries are behind him and he is going to return to the fantasy scorer we know he can be.
With Ablett going back to Geelong, its left a hole in the Suns midfield. Enter Michael Barlow. The man is an accumulator and in fantasy terms that means points. Big points. Barlow does it all. He gets possessions, marks, tackles and clearances. The Suns are going to need a big body in that midfield and he is it.
In 2017 Barlow was averaging 25 possessions, 4 marks and 4 tackles as game. That was only 1 possession and 2 tackles less than when Barlow finished 4th overall in total scoring in AFL Fantasy in 2013. Listed as a forward, if he stays fit he will be the top scorer in his position.