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Fantasy price reveal: North Melbourne

Will you take the punt on Mitchell Hibberd? - AFL,Fantasy,North Melbourne Kangaroos
Will you take the punt on Mitchell Hibberd?

RANKING a lowly 17th for Fantasy points scored in 2017 isn't a great sign for coaches hoping for big points from the Kangaroos.

Shaun Higgins (MID, $665,000) rewarded coaches who were happy to remove him from their 'never again list' with a 20-point increase on his previous season average. The bonus was that he was listed as a forward, but those points came from his permanent midfield role and subsequently, he is now MID only for Fantasy.

Of the currently listed Roos, 11 made their debut last season and a few managed only a handful of games, which has kept their price down.

This time last year coaches were keen on Mitchell Hibberd (DEF, $235,000) who is again priced below a number of draftees. He could be worth a look again if his early pre-season form continues. Ed Vickers-Willis (DEF, $324,000), Cameron Zurhaar (FWD, $234,000), Ben McKay (DEF/FWD, $201,000) and Nick Larkey (FWD, $170,000) had a taste of senior action, however their prices for 2018 are still relatively low.

It could be the draftees and those priced at the lower end of the scale that may tickle Fantasy coaches' fancy. All eyes will be on the kids during the JLT Community Series to see who may take their opportunity in the regular season.

Kyron Hayden (MID, $170,000) is unlikely to start the season after undergoing shoulder surgery last week, but keep his name in your little black book as a potential downgrade target mid-season.

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Lock them in … now

Traded to the Roos in the 2016 NAB AFL Trade Period, Paul Ahern (MID/FWD, $170,000) is yet to debut at AFL level. He underwent two right knee reconstructions in 2016 – in February and September – and has not played any football for two seasons.

Taken at pick No.7 by the Giants in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft, Ahern played 16 NEAFL games in 2015 averaging 23 disposals, four marks and 78 Fantasy points. Put him on your bench when the game opens up and hope that he is knocking down the door for round one.

Track their pre-season (yes, even the JLT Community Series)

At this stage Ryan Clarke (DEF, $484,000) looks to be a big improver.

Training at half-back this pre-season, if Clarke carries his big finish from 2017 into next year then he could be a great starting pick. Scores of 81, 101, 85, 78 and 104 in the final five rounds were the 20-year-old’s best of the season.

As a junior, Clarke averaged 121 Fantasy points at TAC Cup level.

If his pre-season games mirror his end-of-season form, don't hesitate in hopping on this Roo.

Dual-position tempter

If you selected Luke McDonald (DEF/MID, $603,000) at the start of last season, you would have enjoyed his almost 30-point improvement on last year.

Returning five Fantasy tons and playing all 22 games, McDonald is likely to be one of North’s best Fantasy performers in 2018. The defender, who also plays on the wing, averaged 93 points in his final nine games.

New stripes, right price

Outside midfielder Billy Hartung (MID, $563,000) enjoyed his best Fantasy return this year before being let go by the Hawks. The running machine should get the opportunity he craves at his second club. As a midfielder, he would significantly have to improve on his 80-point average to be in calculation at that price in Fantasy Classic and is unlikely to be selecting in Draft leagues.

First-year bargain

Touted as the potential No.1 pick in this year's NAB AFL Draft, Luke Davies-Uniacke (MID, $264,000) could find himself in North Melbourne's best 22 early in the season. He ranked seventh in terms of Fantasy points at this year's NAB AFL Under-18 Championships, averaging 109 points per 120 minutes.

Although having a premium price given to him as the fourth pick in the draft, LDU may be worth paying the extra dollars if there are slim picking when it comes to bargain basement players in round one.

Forgotten warrior

Receiving a 30 per cent discount due to missing all of 2017, Sam Wright (DEF, $303,000) attracts a price tag that puts him in the picture as a potential cash cow. Battling foot and ankle issues for the past two seasons, Wright could be under consideration if he cements his spot in the senior side and returns to the form that saw him average his personal best of 71.2 from 2015.

Don't even think about it

Just two seasons ago Todd Goldstein (RUC, $610,000) was at the top of his game.

He and Lion Stefan Martin were the two highest-averaging Fantasy players in the competition, pumping out a staggering 114 points per game for the 2015 season. Usually you’d look at his 27-point per game decrease and think there is plenty of value in the 29-year-old ruckman following a down year.

Braydon Preuss (RUC, $445,000) played eight games and significantly affected Goldy's scoring. The duo played in tandem against the Hawks in round 21 in Launceston. The Roos were the winners of the ruck battle with Preuss racking up 25 hit-outs and Goldstein 22, but the Fantasy numbers saw a greater discrepancy. The veteran finished with just 32 Fantasy points while the understudy collected 87. With Goldstein getting older and North looking at getting more games into Preuss, it would be wise to avoid even at a tempting price.

Click here to check out all of North Melbourne's Fantasy prices and positions

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