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THE NAB AFL Fantasy season is well underway. We’re kicking off our new series of Fantasy Face-offs, pitting two similar players against each other to see which one should force their way into your squad.

Today, we pit two of the competition’s serious heavy-hitters around goal – the new Crows captain and the Suns’ gun centre half-forward.

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Fantasy positionForwardForward
2015 starting price$415,000$426,000
Price change from start of 2014+$132,100+118,400
2014 average73.375.2
2014 high score122112
Currently owned by (% of coaches)6.15%1.25%
Key Fantasy stat
There’s a reason Phil Walsh had ‘man conversations’ with his list and installed 'Tex' as skipper this year. Walker averaged  24 Champion Data ranking points more in wins compared to losses, the second-highest differential of any Adelaide player. When Tex fires, the Crows win. Lynch averaged a remarkable eight   contested possessions a game last year, more than any other key forward in the League. Despite his slightly goofy demeanour, he’s a true hard nut with a voracious appetite for the contest.
Value for money
Solid, with Tex enjoying the benefit of a discount for clocking up only 15 games last year after his knee reconstruction. For a key target target and as skipper of a potential finalist, he looks well-priced.Strong, given his outstanding 2014   season. A 15-point jump in his Fantasy average still sees Lynch in mid-priced territory and extremely affordable.
Job security

Even safer than Patrick Dangerfield’s, apparently! The Crows will want nothing less than 50 goals from Tex this year and he’ll be on the park every week.
Excellent. Lynch is clearly the Suns’ top forward target. Charlie Dixon’s annual pre-season injury means more workload for Lynch with Sam Day likely to join him as the other twin tower. 
Where he'll play
Tex ranked fourth in the AFL for inside-50 targets last year and that’s where he’ll find himself stationed. He’s not much of a roamer (or ‘Tex as Ranger’, if you will); it’s all about goals for the big man.Lynch will be safely ensconced at centre half-forward, and he does have the tank to occasionally run his opponent up to the wing.
Injury concerns
The Crows, and Tex himself, must be commended for his recovery from the most serious of knee injuries. They got the right amount of game time in his legs and he did well to play 15 games – clearly well enough to convince Phil Walsh to anoint him as the club’s leader.None to speak of. He rebounded strongly from injury in 2013 to play all 22 games last year, something usually beyond most 22-year-olds playing football’s most physically demanding position.
The case for
Tex ticks most boxes for a serious breakout year up forward. He’s obviously the Crows’ top target, now their skipper, and he brings teammates into the game as well. You can see some big numbers coming from Walker if the Crows make the most of their home ground advantage this year.Lynch didn’t miss a beat last year, even when elite provider Gary Ablett went down. He’s being talked about as a potential captaincy successor to Ablett and an 85-point Fantasy average is something he can seriously build on with strong service from the Suns’ gold-plated midfield.
The case against
Tex doesn’t have a great formline in Fantasy. His best average was 87 from 19 games in 2012 but he hasn’t topped an average of 73 outside that. He kicks goals and takes a big mark, but if the Crows are again a middling team, it’s likely Walker’s numbers will be similarly sporadic.There are few negatives of note for Lynch – other than the fact that not many tall players of his age are having similar success up forward. His goalkicking can be curtailed by sharp defending but he finds a way to get to numerous contests where further Fantasy points can be found.
The verdictTom Lynch: Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s only the midfield where the rising Suns live. Lynch is ready to take the competition by storm and is a safe pick for your Fantasy forward line. Tex is similarly primed but he just hasn’t put the Fantasy numbers on the board yet. Stick with Tom Lynch and make sure it’s not the ginger-haired Crows forward of the same name.