Hayes clocked up 95.4 points per game in his final season, and only fellow veterans Leigh Montagna and Nick Riewoldt could join him in breaking 90.
So where does the value lie for Fantasy coaches in 2015 from this St Kilda list?
Click here for every St Kilda player’s starting Fantasy price and position
For a start, it’s really only Riewoldt who you could count as a premium – he finished 13th among all forwards in 2014. Back in All Australian form, his 2015 starting price of $516,000 is reasonable, although it’s still a fair chunk of your salary cap.
Jack Newnes’ dual-position status (DEF/MID) and tasty starting price of $464,000, along with the fact that he clocked up 22 games in 2014, make him worthy of consideration.
Jack Steven [MID $491,000] and the super-talented Luke Dunstan [MID $422,000] are two of the under-$500,000 brigade who should be considered but you’d have to think Montagna [MID $518,000] is due for a drop in Fantasy numbers.
Time to get on board the Paddy wagon?
No.1 draft picks don’t come cheap anymore in AFL Fantasy and Paddy McCartin’s price tag of $303,000 is likely to scare off most coaches.
The case for McCartin comes in Alan Richardson’s willingness to give his youngsters plenty of game time, and the fact that Riewoldt needs a tall forward partner post haste.
But $303,000 is a fair chunk of change, and McCartin’s under-18 Fantasy numbers weren’t all that spectacular. Better to throw the cash at Tim Membrey [FWD $165,000], seeking another chance after crossing from the Swans, or even the luckless Daniel Markworth [FWD, $120,000], who the Saints have shown great faith in, despite a knee reconstruction and serious hamstring problems.
Nick Riewoldt [FWD, $516,000]: The skipper was back to his All Australian best in 2014 and by season’s end was one of the few truly reliable Fantasy forwards. With a new contract under his belt, and McCartin giving him the chance to keep fresh, there’s no reason to think Riewoldt’s average will drop much below 85.
Jarryn Geary [DEF, $333,000]: We’ve banged the drum for Geary as a breakout candidate before but if he gets some pre-season game time under his belt, $333,000 looks a steal for a player with such elite endurance. He’s already monstered the field in the club’s 2km time trial and we know the St Kilda backline can expect to see plenty of the footy. Expect Geary to progress well beyond the shut-down roles he’s been limited to previously.
Sam Fisher [DEF, $414,000]: Fisher has won two best and fairest with the Saints and still managed to put up 84 points/game in the seven he played in 2014. But he’s been under an injury cloud continually for the past two years and there are far more reliable scorers in that position. Jack Newnes, with dual-position status, is a better pick at just $50,000 more.
Wednesday: we reveal Melbourne’s Fantasy prices and positions for 2015