AFTER months of waiting, the time has finally arrived and selecting a Classic team within days of AFL Fantasy opening is always a challenge. The excitement of clicking on your favourite player or the player you wished you had last year is a feeling like no other.
Here at Traders HQ, we have had our first attempt at putting a team together.
At this early stage, our strategy was to select a well-balanced team of premiums, bargains and rookies.
Starting with the Fantasy Pig himself, Tom Rockliff (MID, $704,000) was our first player selected, followed by Max Gawn (RUC, $642,000). From that point and after many arguments, we searched for players of value and consistency.
After missing the entire 2016 season, we found several players who have been discounted and are therefore worthy selections. Injuries ruled out defenders Jackson Thurlow (DEF, $282,000) and Matthew Scharenberg (DEF, $234,000) last year, and with the banned Bombers returning, Warnie made sure Dyson Heppell (MID, $548,000) and David Myers (MID, $197,000) featured at their reduced price.
Although we are trying to avoid the "mid-price mayhem" trap that seems to lure and deceive even the best coaches each year, some players are just so tempting at this early stage.
Marc Murphy (MID, $482,000) and Jaeger O’Meara (MID, $364,000) certainly fit this category. With their low price tags and their potential to average 100+, sometimes rules are meant to be broken. In this case, we've given Murphy the nod, given O'Meara is unlikely to play in the season opener.
Jack Macrae (MID/FWD, $596,000) and Taylor Adams (DEF/MID, $622,000) were high on the list of priorities. Both players could be the No.1 ranked players in their respective positions by the end of the season, and their dual-position status will make them very popular selections amongst coaches.
Until we get some insight during the JLT Community Series, rookies that fill our bench are just disposable names. As harsh as that may seem, we can’t become attached to these guys until we see who will actually play, and what their role may be.
We're hoping that the new year brings with it more opportunities for the second year ball-magnet Kieran Lovell (MID/FWD, $195,000). He only managed two games last year but his Fantasy numbers as a junior were phenomenal.
Isaac Heeney (FWD, $442,000) will be a popular choice and rightfully so. He averaged 91 over the finals series last year and looms as a huge break-out contender as he enters his third season.
Between now and the first lock-out, prepare yourself for the journey ahead. You’ll make thousands of trades and go back to drawing board more often than you'd like. But importantly, come first lock-out, you will have made yourself a super team ready for premiership glory.