Chris Masten's stocks may continue to rise in 2013
Stanton can be a scoring machine when on song and he also has a habit of starting the season particularly well
WITH TEAMS fielding more settled line-ups for round two of the NAB Cup, fantasy die-hards had more of a chance to scope out which players are going to make the cut in their teams for opening round of the season proper.
Here are some of the players who impressed in round two of the pre-season competition:
Harry Taylor - Geelong (DEF, $376,800)
Taylor was best on ground on Saturday by the length of Bass Strait. He took Crows forward Taylor Walker to the cleaners and racked up 31 possessions, nine marks and 124 fantasy points in the process. Taylor was all over the ground, hitting targets forward of centre and hauling in big pack marks. Relatively inexpensive for a player of his high calibre.
Jonathan Simpkin - Hawthorn (MID, $195,800)
Simpkin shapes as a very real chance of lining up against former club Geelong in round one. Following up his strong performances against Gold Coast and the Brisbane Lions in the NAB Cup opener, the midfielder chalked up 58 fantasy points against the Dogs on Friday night. He showed in Geelong's VFL team last year that he's dangerous around goal and can win a pile of the footy.
Jared Rivers - Melbourne (DEF, $299,800)
The former Melbourne defender looks right at home in the 'Matthew Scarlett' role at new club Geelong. Against Adelaide, Rivers dropped off his man at every opportunity and took several intercept marks. At under 300k, Rivers' 73 fantasy points should give fantasy coaches a strong idea of his fantasy potential this season.
Mark Blicavs - Geelong (MID, $108,500)
Blicavs has come from nowhere to be a real shot of debuting against Hawthorn in round one. The 21-year-old only joined Geelong in a full time capacity last July after spending most of the year attempting to make the 2012 London Olympics, but up against Sam Jacobs, Blicavs more than held his own on his way to 67 AFL Fantasy points and his first goal in the blue and white hoops. With a round one call-up looking likely, Blicavs could be a unique fantasy option.
Brett Goodes - Western Bulldogs (MID/DEF, $121,300)
The younger brother of Sydney Swans superstar Adam was consistently carving them up at VFL level for years before receiving his chance in last year's Rookie draft. So far in the NAB Cup that form doesn't look like changing and he looms as a fairly sure bet of featuring in the Dogs' round one side. Against the Hawks, he totaled 70 fantasy points and looked right at home at AFL level.
Kane Mitchell - Port Adelaide (MID, $119,300)
The 22-year-old has been a revelation for the Power so far this pre-season, and he is banging down the door to be elevated before round one. Mitchell gathered a game-high 26 disposals against Melbourne in Renmark on Sunday to go along with his century of fantasy points. His early form has drawn comparisons to Gold Coast's Kyal Horsley from last season.
Paul Seedsman - Collingwood (MID, $254,300)
Seedsman took his game to a new level against West Coast on Sunday night, finishing with 18 disposals, a 55m supergoal and 60 fantasy points. As such he has firmed for round one selection. He's a smooth mover and has the capacity to break the lines for the Pies. Keep your eye on him for the rest of the NAB Cup.
Chris Masten - West Coast (MID, $436,000)
Masten had his breakout year in 2012, but if his form in this year's NAB Cup is anything to go by then those targets might need to be reassessed. The Eagles midfielder scored 113 fantasy points to go along with his 25 possessions against Collingwood. His price is a little steep but he's yet another Eagle worth considering in a talent-laden midfield.
Arryn Siposs - St Kilda (FWD, $325,000)
Saints coach Scott Watters said the aim is to educate Siposs in a number of roles this pre-season. The youngster booted a brilliant goal from outside 50 to complement his 12 disposals and 45 fantasy points against the Swans. The Saints hierarchy knows that he can play forward but if he can cement himself in a different position it could be happy days for fantasy coaches.
Lance Franklin – Hawthorn (FWD, $521,300)
After a quiet hit-out in slippery conditions against Gold Coast and the Brisbane Lions in round one, Franklin offered a reminder of his supreme ability on Friday night against the Bulldogs. He had 17 touches, laid three tackles and booted five goals, including a huge supergoal, for a total of 99 points. He also sprayed two shots out on the full but don't let that stop you from picking the four-time All Australian in your AFL Fantasy team.
Jimmy Bartel – Geelong (FWD/MID, $492,700)
Bartel's average dipped slightly to around 95.5 last season dropping him out of the top echelon of midfielders. But his dual position status this year has him back on the radar. The 2007 Brownlow medalist collected 28 disposals, laid four tackles and booted two goals against Adelaide on Saturday, tallying 114 points. Not many AFL Fantasy forwards have better scoring potential.
Brent Stanton – Essendon (MID, $548,900)
Stanton can be a scoring machine when on song and he also has a habit of starting the season particularly well. The midfielder scored 108 points against Richmond in Wangaratta on Saturday, collecting 21 touches, laying six tackles and kicking two goals. You could do worse than have him in your team for round one.
Lewis Stevenson – Port Adelaide (DEF, $108,500)
The former Eagle didn't get a game in his last two seasons under John Worsfold but he looks like slotting nicely into the Power defence. He racked up 64 points against Melbourne on Sunday after scoring steadily in round one of the NAB Cup as well. Stevenson won't get huge scores but his price should rise dramatically. Grab him early and then cash him in when the time's right.
Danyle Pearce – Fremantle (DEF/MID, $376,900)
Fremantle was ordinary against Carlton on Saturday night but Pearce looked good, gathering 14 kicks and three handballs. Because he didn't lay a single tackle however, his total reached just 66 points. The former Port Adelaide player has dual position status and is likely to receive less attention from opposition taggers in Fremantle's stronger line-up, so he's one to keep an eye on.
Josh Caddy – Geelong (MID, $328,600)
Caddy has arrived at the Cattery amid plenty of hype and there's no doubt he'll be a handy long-term acquisition, but from a Fantasy standpoint it may be wise to pass on him this season. The 20-year-old averaged a tick under 64 in 2012, and on evidence so far it's hard to see that figure spiking dramatically (he had 57 points in Saturday's big win over the Crows). He's in that tricky mid-range price bracket too, which further reduces his appeal.
Lachie Whitfield – Greater Western Sydney (MID, $183,700)
The No.1 pick in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft showed on Saturday that he's ready for AFL footy, racking up 89 points against Brisbane to be the Giants' equal second-highest scorer. You'll have to pay a premium for Whitfield compared to his fellow untried youngsters due to his elevated draft position, but he could be worth the investment.
Jake Stringer – Western Bulldogs (FWD, $165,700)
If you've currently got Stringer in your line-up for round one you're advised to trade him out. He rolled his ankle against Hawthorn on Friday night meaning his NAB Cup is over. That said, keep a lookout for the strong-bodied teenager when he recovers, because based on his short time on display against the Hawks he looks capable of making an impact at some stage in 2013.
Nick Vlastuin – Richmond (DEF/MID, $147,700)
We highlighted him last week but we're going to give him another plug. Vlastuin looks a near-certainty for round one, and his dual position eligibility makes him a very appealing Fantasy pick-up. The No.9 draft pick had 57 points against Essendon and looks at home amongst the big boys.
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Ben Guthrie and Mark Macgugan are AFL.com.au reporters. Follow them on Twitter at @AFL_BenGuthrie and @AFL_MarkM