For most leagues, the regular season is over, and as a result, so is trading. That gives me very little to give my average advice about, so I thought that this week I’d turn my attention to the year that was and look at Boom and Bust picks; those picks that made your season, and picks that ruined it and possibly lead to a dreaded wooden spoon. It’s a long list, so buckle up. Hopefully, looking at where players were drafted will help us find similar gems (or avoid some banana peels) next season.

Boom! First let’s take a look at those picks that shaped the regular season for your leagues’ finalists. These are the players that represented great value as either early, mid draft or late picks.

Rory Laird – ADP 18

What a year Laird has had. His ADP was 18, making him a late second round selection. That means if you got him, you may well have picked an M2 and finished with a captain averaging 121, a great pick in anyone’s language. In his last 8 weeks he has a low score of 119, and a ceiling of 163, a number he achieved without taking a mark! Crazy! Laird has also shown the highest floor of any player this year, with a low score of 90 in round 3. Super consistent, super scorer, super pick and at this stage, the Undisputed Number 1 pick for 2023.

Andrew Brayshaw – ADP 25

If you missed out on Laird, your third pick might have gone to Andrew Brayshaw, with an ADP of 25. At the time, picking hypeshaw this early was probably viewed as highly speculative. Sometimes however, speculation leads to striking gold…which this Brayshaw pick has certainly been with an average of 114 and a ceiling of 181. With Rory Laird the likely Number 1 pick in drafts next season, the better Brayshaw has mounted a huge case to be the number 1 pick if you are starting a keeper league in 2023.

Stephen Coniglio – ADP 37

There were a few names I could have included here. Tim English has a fantastic average but missed too often to be considered a real boom pick. Others like the Bont picked up forward status mid-year or like Luke Parker, had poor patches in their seasons. Someone who has come back from the dead a little, is Captain Cogs. Feared fantasy irrelevant after averages of 78 and 59 affected by injury and role in the last two years, plenty of people put faith in him rebounding with an ADP of 37. An F1 for a lot of coaches, he delivered where others (I’m looking at you Tarryn) failed miserably to live up to their pre-season hype. While he probably hasn’t single handedly delivered you a minor premiership, an average of 97.9 is defiantly the kind of return we’d hoped for.

Sam Docherty – ADP 42

In most leagues, Jake Lloyd, Lachie Whitfield, Aaron Hall and Jayden short were the first defenders off the board. Other than maybe Jayden Short (who gets a pass mark), none of their seasons have reached the heights that we’d hope for from a pick in the first four rounds. Doch slipped down draft boards across the country, and has delivered a vintage performance, not missing a beat on his way to an average of 108.1. He has 12 tons for the year, with 9 of them over 110. He’s a freak and with an ADP of 42, a boom recruit for anyone who was brave enough to pick him.

Tom Liberatore – ADP 100

Libba was heading towards a consistent, although not surprising season, averaging in the low 90s. That made him a solid pick with an ADP of 100, although not a massive bargain. Then came along his positional change in round 6 and he quickly became a top forward and one of the best value picks in the whole draft.

Will Brodie – ADP 126

A player so on the outer that he was even picked behind Brayden Fiorini last year, Will Brodie has always had fantasy potential, but really needed the change in scenery to realise it. This year he’s been a permanent fixture in the Fremantle midfield and has really made his time in the centre count, averaging 95. That makes him the game’s 9th averaging forward and he had an average draft position of 126. What a bargain!

Jack Sinclair – ADP 155

After a 2021 where he delivered an average of 79.3, coaches who drafted Jack Sinclair as a D3-D5 would have been happy enough with their selection and an average of 96.25 after 8 weeks. I don’t think anyone was expecting however, that he would explode and average 111.5 in the last 10 weeks, with two games of 140+. He has probably been the bargain of the draft and is the exact definition of a boom pick!

Jeremy Cameron – ADP 183

Jezza had a shocker last year which burnt a lot of coaches. People expected him to bounce back from 2020’s Corona ball to be an 80+ averaging forward. Unfortunately, he didn’t come close to delivering, with injury restricting him to an average of 65. This season however, he bounced back to what we would generally expect… some up and down games and an average of 82.7. The fact that he was drafted at F5 or later, makes him ridiculous value for the season.

Dylan Moore – ADP 190

Dylan Moore was ridiculed last year when Champion Data (possibly prematurely) labelled him as elite. No one is laughing this season, as he’s racked up disposals across the ground, averaging 93 as the 10th forward in the game. His ADP was 190, which incredibly means Dylan was drafted to the bench for most sides, if he was even drafted at all! Maybe next season we should take note of Champion Data’s more outlandish ratings?

Angus Brayshaw – ADP 234

Gussy Brayshaw’s descent into fantasy obscurity had been dramatic before this year. He went from placing near the pointy end of the Brownlow count in 2018 and averaging a healthy 105, to becoming completely irrelevant with an average of 66 last season. With John Lennon and Paul McCartney (Oliver and Petracca) receiving all the plaudits for creating hit after hit for Melbourne, Brayshaw was showing himself to be the Ringo Star of the group. This year however, a switch to the backline completely changed his fortunes, becoming a 97 averaging defender who in most leagues went completely undrafted and provided an early waiver boost for coaches who are now likely to be featuring in finals. If you drafted him, well done! Safe to say you might just be able to call him the George Harrison of the Fab 4. (sorry Luke Dunstan you might just be the Ringo now)

Bust! Those picks that flopped or at the very least, negatively affected the structure of your team. These players may well feature on your never again list, having left a black whole where some decent scores should have been.

Jarryd Lyons – ADP 9

Lyons has had some decent games and scraped to an OK average of 92.3, but when you drafted him with expectations of his 2021 average of 117 and hoped he’d be a week-to-week captain option, this has been an incredibly disappointing season. Hopefully for owners he won’t tank in the finals, but he’s sure to be pushed waaay down draft boards prior to next season as younger players take over the Brisbane engine room.

Lachie Whitfield – ADP 15

Lachie Whitfield was another player who went early, even flying off the rack in the first round in a lot of leagues. This was a player who was building his case to one day be inducted into the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame alongside gun fantasy defenders Joel Bowden and Corey Enright. Unfortunately, he has shown little of his undoubted upside this season, averaging 89.6 and it might be time to put an asterisk next to his name. Injuries have played a part, as has his lack of a defined and consistent role (Leon Cameron had him in the forward pocket for a while in the middle of the season). It will be really interesting to see where he goes in drafts next year, with an average over 100 not out of the question. Unfortunately, so is an average of 85.

Taylor Adams – ADP 43

As someone who had a lot of shares in Tay Tay, this season has been really disappointing to say the least. He has a great role as the number 1 banana in the Pies midfield, but it seems that at Collingwood this season, points are only really flowing to defenders. As a result, Adams has crawled to an average of 83.9 and for a lot of coaches, has been bench for the likes of Seb Ross or Jai Newcombe. Like Scott Morrison he has gone from the number one banana to sitting and doing nothing on the backbenches. Approach with caution in 2023

Tarryn Thomas – 55

Here comes easily one of the biggest busts for the year. TT was drafted as early as an F1, with coaches gearing up for a massive breakout on the back of a banger end to 2021. Unfortunately, the Tarryn train never really left the station. In fact, it derailed and fell off a cliff as soon as passengers boarded, with twin 49s to start the year. It never really got much better, as Tarryn is currently averaging 53.6 and not playing. Fingers crossed next year is better for owners who’ve held on in keeper leagues.

Chad Wingard – ADP 56

I could really copy and paste the previous paragraph, which is interesting given that their respective ADPs were one after the other. Both TT and The Chad (sounds like a terrible buddy cop movie) have played 10 games this year, both had massive ends to 2021, both average in the mid 50s, and both have left gaping wounds in our forward lines. It’s going to be really hard to draft him again with confidence!

Jaidyn Stephenson – ADP 76

Flying off a balcony in a part trick gone wrong wasn’t the pre season prospective owners were hoping for. Luckily, Jaidyn recovered, and so did our faith in his scoring ability, with him being drafted as an F2-F3 for most teams. Unfortunately, poor form, a move out of the midfield and a team that has struggled to be competitive have lead to an average of 67. If you drafted both him and Thomas or Wingard, your season was probably over before it started!

Was there anyone I’ve missed who’s proven to be great value on draft day, or who you had high hopes for but has confined you to the bottom half of the ladder? Let me know in the comments or on socials!