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Fantasy forwards: Big-time bargains, breakout contenders and more

The Traders pick Fantasy's best forwards Calvin, Roy and Warnie find the value picks the forwards.

THE SEASON is just around the corner and the Fantasy forwards are the last position going under the microscope.

So who are the best options in 2019 and who should we be monitoring this pre-season?

DEFENDERS Who should you consider?
MIDFIELDERS Who should you consider?
RUCKS Who should you consider?

After his first season with Essendon, Devon Smith (MID/FWD, $774,000) had a year to remember after boosting his average by 25 points to 107. However, the club's best and fairest received a recent setback after suffering "a partial disruption" from a significant knock to his bicep.

While 99 per cent of the football community have no idea what this actually means, it's not the news you like to hear when you're paying top price for the most expensive forward.

It's very hard to look past Patrick Dangerfield (MID/FWD, $771,000) though for multiple reasons.

Priced at his 2018 average of 106, Dangerfield is cheap based on his past two seasons where he averaged 121 and 118. He even ended 2018 in red-hot form, averaging 132 in his last four games.

Jamie Elliott (FWD, $385,000) is showing positive signs in his return to football after sitting out the entire 2018 season. In Collingwood's recent match simulation, Elliott kicked three goals and will tempt many Fantasy coaches if he's named for round one after he receives a discount on his price, which now places him at an average of 53.

After averaging over 80 for the past three years and a career-high 89 in 2016, Josh J. Kennedy (FWD, $473,000) certainly is a value pick.

He was restricted to just 11 games last year at an average of 65. He dominated the AFL finals series though with 76, 96 and 120, scores that do not contribute to his overall average that he is priced at.

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Since debuting in 2016, Christian Petracca (MID/FWD, $585,000) has been slowly increasing his average. During this time, he has moved his average from 68 to 81, and many believe that this is the year he can take his game to a new level.

With Tom Mitchell on the sidelines, expect James Worpel (MID/FWD, $480,000) to step up in his absence. It took him a while, but Worpel eventually became a regular in the Hawks' best 22 in round 18 last year and averaged 83 in the remaining six games. What's more impressive was the fact that during this time he accumulated the third-most disposals at the Hawks behind Mitchell and Liam Shiels.

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Fantasy coaches have been rather stubborn in the forward line, by sticking to their guns and not making any changes. With premium options like Dangerfield, Josh Dunkley (MID/FWD, $695,000) and Isaac Heeney (MID/FWD, $658,000) all sitting in over 20 per cent of teams in their own right, some forgotten guns are being overlooked.

Toby McLean (MID/FWD, $686,000) started 2018 on fire. However, he is currently in just five per cent of teams with many coaches favouring his Dogs teammate.

With Gary Ablett spending more time forward this year, why is it only three per cent of Fantasy coaches have Sam Menegola (MID/FWD, $716,000) in their teams? He's arguably under-priced after averaging 103 in his past 10 games, and after seasons of 99 and 102, it's only a matter of time until his ownership figure increases.

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Come Draft Day, there are a few forwards who might slip under the radar and therefore you should consider adjusting their rankings.

Just like Worpel, expect Chad Wingard (MID/FWD, $598,000) to spend more minutes in the Hawthorn midfield. During his time at Port Adelaide, Wingard was at his best with this role. He averaged 82 last season and if the JLT Community Series indicates that he'll play as a midfielder, expect his average to increase by a minimum of 10 points. Injuries have hampered his pre-season though, so monitor him closely.

After three seasons of averaging 81, 75 and 82, Taylor Walker (FWD, $449,000) struggled last season to average just 62. Injuries and the overall form of the Crows didn't help Walker as he had his worst Fantasy season in five years. Bump him up your Draft order and expect a better return this year.

Although he's not quite a rookie, Will Setterfield (MID/FWD, $251,000) has two AFL games next to his name and finds himself in nearly half the teams that have already been created. 

Gold Coast's Josh Corbett (FWD, $170,000) has also been a popular pick as he appears all but certain to debut in his first game against St Kilda.

Mature-aged recruit Matthew Parker (FWD, $178,000) is another who is shaping up as a solid round-one prospect. From his 20 games in the WAFL last year, Parker kicked 27 goals at an average of 68.

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