The lads over at The Keeper League podcast have written a top article about the top fantasy scorers headed to the draft this year. Make sure YOU head to their website here and check out the fantastic #content.
In the lead up to the draft, we are going to take a look at some of the top draft prospects who produced good fantasy numbers at the 2019 Under 18 Championships. It is often hard to get a gauge of how potential draftees perform at state league level. This is due to some kids playing seniors in competitions such as the SANFL and WAFL, and some playing Under 18s in the NAB League. The Under 18 Championships provides us with a perspective on how players perform at a level playing field. In this article, we will take a look at the top 7 fantasy scorers from the U18 Champs.
1. Caleb Serong
Fwd/Mid | 178cm | 83kg
It will probably surprise many that Matthew Rowell’s name isn’t sitting at the top of this list. But this is no mistake. Serong had the highest average at the U18 Champs, going at 115 points per game. The highlight of his U18 Champs campaign came in round 4 versus South Australia, where he notched up 151 fantasy points. In this game, he had 22 kicks, 11 handballs, 9 marks and 9 tackles. His other performances of the competition included scores of 128, 89 and 90, scoring points through his tackle numbers (8.5 tackles per game). He’s been likened to Robbie Gray in the way he goes about it. Let’s hope he can spend more time in the midfield than up forward.
2. Deven Robertson
Mid | 182cm | 80kg
A lot of fantasy football fans are HOT on this guy. And for good reason. The Western Australian prospect had a great campaign, averaging 113 fantasy points across the competition. He only had one score under 100 in his four games and produced his top score of 125 points against South Australia in the second round. There are a few concerns though as he tends to favour the handball. He had a 0.7:1 kick-to-handball ratio, with 13 kicks and a whopping 17 handballs per game. But when he’s racking up big disposal numbers, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Hopefully, he continues to produce these sort of numbers at AFL level.
3. Matthew Rowell
Mid | 178cm | 75kg
Here’s the man you have all been waiting for. Mathew Rowell is locked and loaded to go at pick 1 to Gold Coast in a couple of weeks time. Whilst he wasn’t the top scorer of the competition, he still put up some handy numbers. Across the competition, Rowell averaged 102 fantasy points from his four games. His top score came in round 2 versus Vic Country, where he knocked up 116 points, with 10 kicks, 18 handballs, 8 marks, 5 tackles and a goal. If you haven’t seen the highlights yet, check out his performance from the NAB League Grand Final where he scored 176 fantasy points. To hear more about his NAB League performances, check out this article from The Keeper League Podcast. Getting drafted to Gold Coast means he’ll see plenty of game time next season. He’s a great all-rounder in terms of fantasy scoring, so Matthew Rowell could very well be the Sam Walsh of the 2020 season.
4. Harry Schoenberg
Mid | 182cm | 83kg
Harry Schoenberg was another solid fantasy contributor at the U18 Champs. The Woodville-West Torrens prospect was a late call up to the South Australian side, but we’re glad he was. Schoenberg averaged an even 100 points per game at the U18 Champs, which is a good showing for an inside midfielder of his calibre. He averaged 27 disposals, 5 marks and 5 tackles per game, but there are some concerns about Schoenberg’s speed and endurance. So he might take some time to develop to AFL standard. As a result, Schoenberg may not make a huge impact straight away but might be a good one to stash in keeper leagues.
5. Sam Flanders
Mid/Fwd | 182cm | 81kg
Sam Flanders is another player who flourished at the U18 Champs. This guy is probably better suited to a small forward role, but he had a decent run in the midfield throughout the competition. His fantasy scores reflected this averaging 98 fantasy points per game. He only scored under 100 once across his four games and that came in the first round versus Western Australia. He went at 105, 117 and 101 across the remaining games. Flanders is another player who puts up good tackle numbers playing, averaging 6 tackles per game at the Championships. He also averaged 12 kicks, 11 handballs and 5 marks per game. The obvious concern with Flanders is that he’s probably going to be used as a small forward in the early stages of his career. But look to him in a few years, as he could make a juicy DPP.
6. Finn Maginness
Mid | 187cm | 80kg
If you’re looking for consistency, Maginness is your man. He’s a hardworking, big-bodied midfielder who can win his own footy. He’s likely to go to Hawthorn as a father-son prospect, so I’m not sure how he works his way into their midfield. However, he averaged 89 at the U18 Champs with a top score of 113 (27 disposals, 3 marks, 9 tackles) and a low of 77 fantasy points (18 disposals, 4 marks, 5 tackles). Again, he’s probably not a player who’s going to make an impact straight away, but there’s definitely some potential there.
7. Luke Jackson
Ruc | 197cm | 93kg
Okay, we didn’t want to discriminate against tall people so we decided to include a ruckman in this list. All jokes aside, Luke Jackson was a reasonable fantasy scorer this year. He was the dominant ruckman of the competition, so it should come as no surprise that he had some large hitout numbers, averaging 37 per game. Jackson has the ability to play forward in his ‘wheel bag’, which means he’s good for a couple of goals here and there. He averaged 88 across the competition with scores of 87, 82, 94 and 98. Obviously, rucks take some time to develop. But there’s also the added concern of Melbourne being keen on taking him. This could be good in the long term as it means learning from one of the best in the game in Max Gawn. The negative is that we may not see him debut for some time, but that’s to be expected of young ruckmen. Either way, there’s potential here.
The Keeper League Podcast will be releasing all of the fantasy scores for every player who competed in the Under 18 Championships prior to the draft. They will also release the fantasy numbers of all players drafted from their respective state league competitions. Head to keeperleaguepod.com.au to gain access.