WITH the season fast approaching, many Fantasy teams are starting to settle and their coaches are getting sweaty palms heading into the first round.
After the NAB Challenge our squads are now clearer than ever before, but some players have flown under the Fantasy radar.
The players listed here today have five per cent ownership or less and are well-justified selections. Some are forgotten premiums and others are cheap options for your team.
So be different. Be unique and don’t follow the crowd. Roll the dice with some of these guns.
Andrew Gaff (MID, $579,000) three per cent ownership: Talk about being disrespected! Gaff averaged a career-high 105 last year and Fantasy coaches must be under the impression he can’t back it up. He hasn’t missed a game in four seasons and scored over 100 in all but seven games last year.
Steele Sidebottom (MID, $565,000) four per cent ownership: Sidebottom averaged a career-high 108 in 2014 before injury slowed his scoring last year. He notched 119 and 103 during the NAB Challenge, attending 67 per cent of centre bounces to rank No.1 at the club. With Dane Swan going forward and Scott Pendlebury floating back, Steele will flourish, and at this stage, too few Fantasy coaches will enjoy it.
Lachie Neale (MID, $563,000) four per cent ownership: As far as Fantasy is concerned, Fremantle have the easiest draw over the first five rounds and I’m expecting Neale to cash in. He averaged 101 last year and should get off to a flyer in the opening rounds when he meets the Bulldogs, Gold Coast and West Coast, teams he averaged 113 against last year.
Mitch Robinson (FWD/MID, $504,000) four per cent ownership: In the last ten rounds of 2015, Robinson averaged 112. He scored 91 and 110 in his two pre-season games and will tackle his way above the average of 91 he sits at today. He’s a brilliant unique forward option for your team.
Mitch Duncan (MID, $442,000) four per cent ownership: Priced at an average of 80, Duncan has the potential to reach 95 like he did in 2014. He has had an amazing NAB Challenge, scoring at a very high rate per minutes played. He’ll avoid all tags and will bounce back to his best after an injury-interrupted 2015 season.
Tom Nicholls (RUC, $409,000) one per cent ownership: Averaging 81 when he wasn’t wearing the sub's vest last year, Nicholls is a set to improve on his season average of 74. The big Sun is very cheap based on his performance in the first week of the NAB Challenge that saw him clock-up 70 points from just 54 per cent time on ground.
Jack Steele (FWD/MID, $324,000) five per cent ownership: After attending a game-high 23 centre bounces on the weekend, is Jack Steele the new Adam Treloar? He racked up 26 disposals and 11 tackles against the Lions and could explode after a year that saw him manage just seven games that included two green vests.
Tom Cutler (DEF, $317,000) two per cent ownership: Cheap defenders are the flavour of Fantasy this year, so why not consider Cutler? In Fantasy, players tend to break out in their third year and Cutler approaches his coming off NAB Challenge scores of 83 and 89. The young Lion is a good unique option in your backline.
Dean Kent (FWD, $171,000) two per cent ownership: Over the NAB Challenge, Kent has played every game for the Demons for scores of 53, 35 and 78. He should be named round one and at 22 years old, he’s certainly AFL and Fantasy ready.
Marcus Adams (DEF/FWD, $155,000) five per cent ownership: After holding Travis Cloke to six possessions and two marks on the weekend, Adams should be rewarded with his first AFL game in round one. He averaged 76 in the WAFL last year and over the NAB Challenge he scored 18, 67 and 51 and looks to have cemented his spot in the Bulldog’s best-22.
Lincoln McCarthy (FWD, $125,000) five per cent ownership: Are you after a perfect bench option that many Fantasy coaches have overlooked? Then look no further than McCarthy. He’s a great chance to be named round one for the Cats after scores of 57, 30 and 59 over the NAB Challenge. He won’t set the scoreboard on fire, but he’ll make you some valuable cash early in the season.
Follow me on Twitter @CalvinDT for more Fantasy updates and be sure to join me again next week when I reveal my final Fantasy team on AFL.com.au.