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AFL Fantasy prices and positions: Essendon

AFL Fantasy: The Traders are back Warnie, Roy and Calvin return with Christmas cheer and a few price leaks from the 2016 Fantasy roster
Craig Bird and Michael Hibberd are worthy of Fantasy consideration - ${keywords}
Craig Bird and Michael Hibberd are worthy of Fantasy consideration

DESPITE missing the finals, 2015 was a successful year for the Bombers in AFL Fantasy.

The team from Tullamarine was the equal fifth team for Fantasy points scored and boasted the sixth highest scoring player, Brent Stanton (MID, $591,000). The durable midfielder produced his best Fantasy season of his 12-year career, pleasing his many coaches.

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Dyson Heppell (MID, $564,000) produced another stellar season, proving he will be a Fantasy star for many years to come.

Brendon Goddard (MID, $552,000) and David Zaharakis (MID, $415,000) have lost their forward status, leaving Zach Merrett (FWD/MID, $501,000) as a premium holding dual position. Merrett was a breakout player in 2015, averaging 90.4 in just his second season.

A couple of blasts from the past should be on your watch-list leading up to the first lockout. Nick Kommer (FWD, $125,000) hasn't played since 2013 and by all reports, has been looking impressive this pre-season.

Mitch Brown (DEF/FWD, $194,000) is priced nicely to consider as your fifth or sixth defender. As a replacement player in the 2015 NAB Challenge, he knocked up a Fantasy ton in the first game for the depleted Bombers.

With plenty of changes at Bomberland, it will be an interesting season for Fantasy. Will the team’s Fantasy game continue to flourish under their new coach John Worsfold? If so, there is plenty of gold to be uncovered.

Click here for every Essendon player's starting Fantasy price and position 

A walk-up start in the back six of each and every one of my Fantasy teams, Michael Hibberd (DEF, $440,000) experienced a disappointing year, averaging 79.5. As quite a few of last season’s premium defenders are now MID-only, Hibberd will hopefully return to his previous best, having averaged 87 and 89.3 in 2013 and 2014.

We are lucky enough to be able to select Jobe Watson (MID, $492,000) in our Fantasy Classic squads at his cheapest price since 2008. The captain's season, which included four scores under 65 in his last five games, ended early due to a shoulder injury. Monitor Watson’s pre-season, and if he's good to go he is a steal at under $500K.

Winding up at the Bombers as a restricted free agent, Matthew Leuenberger (RUC/FWD, $301,000) is keen to assume the role as the No.1 ruck at his new club. In a career that has seen him hit plenty of Fantasy highs, 2015 was a disappointment as the big man spent a lot of time forward for the Lions, with Stefan Martin the go-to guy. The bonus is that the 27-year-old is named with both ruck and forward eligibility and is looking to lead the ruck department at a bargain price.

Sydney Swans premiership player Craig Bird (FWD/MID, $321,000) switched to Essendon during the NAB AFL Trade Period. At the Swans, the 26-year-old's role varied. He was often used as a tagger and only managed six games last season. Bird has been earmarked to play as a ball-winning midfielder and looks likely to make a significant amount of Fantasy cash in the red and black.

In a shake-up of how first-year players are priced in Fantasy Classic, Darcy Parish (MID, $260,000) is the most expensive draftee – and for good reason. Taken at pick five, the midfielder has a natural Fantasy game, averaging almost 100 points in the TAC Cup, and will be worth selecting when he debuts.

In his eight-year career David Myers (MID, $266,000) hasn't been in too many Fantasy teams, but every man has his price. Both of his games were affected by injury in 2015, including the round-one match in which he had just one kick before donning the red vest. Myers is under-priced and could be a cash cow for your midfield this season.

Despite making a sound contribution in 2015, Shaun McKernan (RUC, $441,000) is priced awkwardly for someone who is possibly a depth player. There is currently a line through his name at Warne Dawg Park.

TUESDAY: The Traders are back to reveal St Kilda's Fantasy prices and positions.