WITH every team having played two JLT Community Series games, we're getting down to the pointy end of the pre-season. Some players are emerging as genuine contenders while others who impressed early might need a bit more time on the watch list before graduated to Fantasy coaches' 30-man squads. Here's a look at the notable performers from JLT week three.
Dayne Zorko (MID, $640,000) was the standout player of the round and has certainly thrown his hat in the ring with another impressive performance consisting of 34 touches and 12 tackles in a whopping score of 160. He looks well suited to the Lions' new game plan and he is one to watch as a slider in Draft.
Dayne Beams (MID, $519,000) confirmed many coaches' thoughts that he is a lock for round one. In his first game since being named skipper, 'Beamer' looks set for a huge season, collecting 24 possessions for a score of 87 from just 64 per cent game time. The way Beams played reinforced my confidence that he will average triple figures with ease.
Callum Mills (MID, $441,000) continues to tick all the boxes and appears set to avoid any case of the second-year blues. Once again he spent some time through the midfield and flourished in the trying conditions, taking a game-high seven marks to go with 20 possessions while scoring 84.
Zach Tuohy (DEF, $442,000) backed up his impressive Cat debut with another outstanding performance and he looks set to shine, with a career-best season on the cards. Once again he found plenty of the ball across half-back as the Cats look to take full advantage of the drive he provides. Tuohy collected 27 possessions, seven marks and a goal for 97.
Toby Nankervis (FWD/RUC, $365,000) looks a great option in the second ruck position after again impressing in Tiger colours, embracing the added opportunity and expectation after a strong first-up performance. He was the game's high scorer against Port Adelaide with 94 points, which included 15 touches, five marks, five tackles, 22 hit-outs and a goal.
Jack Steele (FWD/MID, $432,000) was outstanding and is another player making the most of the opportunities that have arisen at his new club. He mixed up his time between the midfield and the forward line, finishing the game as the overall top scorer of 120 from 25 possessions, six marks, eight tackles and two goals. If those numbers are anything to go by, a breakout is certainly on the horizon.
Rookies (under $250K)
Caleb Marchbank (DEF, $205,000) put in another impressive game for the Blues, all but confirming initial thoughts that he is a walk-up starter in the best 22. He had 17 touches and five marks on his way to 59 and he looks to be one of the safer cash cows in the back line.
Sam Powell-Pepper (MID, $216,000) is building quite a reputation as a ready-made contributor for the Power and his game-high eight tackles did nothing to deter prospective owners. Powell-Pepper played just 67 per cent game time but scored a solid 56.
Jake Barrett (MID, $150,000) is doing everything he can to be elevated off the rookie list for the Lions. He had a massive first half with 67 points and eventually finished on 82 from just 66 per cent time on ground.
Tom Stewart (DEF, $172,000) did enough to stay in many coaches' plans, playing a whopping 91 per cent game time for his 15 touches and seven marks for a score of 57. He certainly looks to be fitting in well with the new-look Cats back line.
Dan Hannebery (MID, $655,000) had another quiet game, collecting just 16 possessions and failing to take a mark for just 57 points. Despite his low scoring JLT games, Hanners is in great nick and you should not hesitate to pick him in Classic or high in Draft.
Robbie Gray (MID, $590,000) hit the ground purely to roll the legs over so don’t be turned off by his eight possessions and 23 points in a little over half a game. Keep an eye on Gray sliding in Draft in case he spends enough time forward to receive DPP status throughout the year.
Stephen Hill (MID, $548,000) was the top scorer in his game after collecting 29 touches and laying six tackles, going on to score an impressive 122. Although he looked great and scored well, he can be quite inconsistent so don't feel the need to reshuffle your team to get him in.
For more, follow me on Twitter: @RoyDT