Every couple of days in the lead up to the AFL season, we will be releasing an article profiling a few key players from each team, and why they should or shouldn’t be considered during your drafts.
The number one AFL Fantasy team for the past two home and away seasons, Collingwood have a heap of options for your fantasy squad, many coming from their star-studded midfield. Can they all sustain a top line average? Time will tell, but erring on the side of caution may be the prudent move with so many mouths to feed.
GUN – BRODIE GRUNDY – RUCK
120 AFLF/130.4 SC
It’s pretty easy to peg the top SuperCoach and third highest AFL Fantasy averaging player from 2018 as the gun player for the team profiles, but hey, we’ve never shied away from the low hanging fruit at the Draft Doctors.
The Cox splits became a thing of the past in 2018 as Grundy went it solo in the ruck and the good times followed for fantasy coaches. He won’t be the same value in 2019, with early results on the Draft Doctors Mock Draft Simulator showing he’ll be a top 5 pick in basically every fantasy draft on the planet Earth.
The question is: does he repeat as the top ruck? Well, the history of the top scoring ruck repeating is non-existent following Dean Cox’s retirement, but there are some questions. The new rules, the willingness of teams to be upfront in saying two rucks will be returning, the addition of Dayne Beams to the Pies midfield. When we look at the fantasy landscape, the big scary one is the fact that Preuss moved to Melbourne to (allegedly) play alongside Gawn. If that situation doesn’t materialise and things move against Grundy, I could imagine he may not repeat as number one. Outside of that situation it would appear incredibly unlikely that Grundy doesn’t repeat as the best ruck.
As a late round ruck drafter, he’s not someone I’ll be looking to draft, but I’m not super against it as long as you’re okay with what happens in your draft after that. We’ve had people comment that when they’ve taken Grundy with pick one, their team is far less balanced than if they’ve drafted a ruck late. I’m much more on board with his selection in an 8 team or 3-4-1-3 setup league.
SLEEPER – BRAYDEN MAYNARD – DEFENDER
74.6 AFLF/74.9 SC
Going around pick 200 on the Mock Draft tool is the unspoken Brayden Maynard. A solid if unspectacular fantasy player, Maynard has averaged over 70 in the past two seasons and played 40 home and away games. His high score in 2018 was a bangin’ 144 DT/121 SC performance against Freo, showing a great ceiling. He’s heading into his fifth season and is one of the few Collingwood backmen with some run and carry ability, as well as a penetrating kick.
The main reason I’m interested in Maynard as a sleeper is – aside from natural development – the Collingwood kick-in situation. The main men for the Pies in 2018 were Lynden Dunn and Jeremy Howe. Dunn is recovering from an ACL injury and is Howe has been managing an injury. Maynard was certainly taking some kick-ins last year and is doing the same this year. It seems a really under the radar, totally cheap way to take a flyer on the new rules and whether it really gives defenders a big bump. Someone who is coming off a 74 average could easily move into the 85+ range, especially with less competition for those kicks.
RISKY BUSINESS – JORDAN DE GOEY – FORWARD
81.8 AFLF/87.7 SC
‘Benefit from the new rules’ has been a buzz phrase this preseason, and fair enough to be honest. One of the players associated with the phrase has been Jordan De Goey, who people liken to Dustin Martin for his ‘power-midfielder dominating the forward fifty’ style of play. And it’s a good point, but let’s take a look at De Goey’s ability to convert his play into fantasy value.
Of the twelve games in 2018 where De Goey kicked multiple goals (finals included), he turned in three fantasy tons. Three. Imagine your player kicking 6 goals in a match – must have gone off for fantasy, yeah? Not De Goey, who turned a 6 goal performance against St Kilda into 91. In fact, there were four games where De Goey kicked exactly four goals. One of those resulted in a 119, the other three resulted in fantasy scores below 80.
I find that really hard to accept as a fantasy owner, but that’s the way the scoring is set up. So we really need high volume marks or some midfield time to boost a player’s possession count to get some great fantasy scoring going. I have concerns about De Goey’s ability to attract enough mid time to do that this year with the recruitment of Dayne Beams to Collingwood, the development of Brayden Sier and De Goey’s effectiveness in front of goal.
As much as he has a good fantasy ceiling, it’s going to be hard for him to realise it without midfield time as he can have a great game up forward and still not be anything more than just okay. I think he’s a much better SuperCoach option, but when you consider players like Toby Greene and Travis Boak are going behind him according to ADP on the Mock Draft site, it screams a risky pick and one that may be poor value. Obviously not every draft is the same, so if he falls to the right spot, go ahead. I’m looking at rounds in the teens personally.
DON’T DRAFT – DANIEL WELLS – FORWARD
56.7 AFLF/62 SC
The training reports are shithouse, he can’t stay on the park and even if he could there’s so many more players to run through the midfield and demand the ball up forward. I admire his ability to still be getting money put into his bank account by a club. Good for you, Daniel. But I ain’t drafting you.