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The best Fantasy free agents for round five

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INJURIES, omissions and late withdrawals are challenges faced by all Fantasy coaches week to week. In Fantasy Draft, the effect of someone being out of your squad can be devastating if you don't have suitable cover.

The late withdrawal is the one that can sting the most.

Be sure to go into each round with cover for each position. Sometimes a floating spot on your bench to pick up the best free agent of the week can help you have form players for cover, or even a bargaining chip in a trade.

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Coaches like looking at recent scores when assessing trade options. If you see someone with a need, one of the available free agents could be just what they require, and if you snag that player, you could sell him to improve another position.

Let's look at some free agents who are potentially available in your league.

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Defenders

Jason Johannisen, DEF, Western Bulldogs (ADP 166, 49 per cent)
Players who don't start the season can often be thrown on the scrap heap as coaches a) need warm bodies in their team, or b) lose faith that their drafted player will return any time soon. Despite being on most rosters prior to round one, Johannisen appears in less than half of Fantasy Draft squads. A score of 105 on Friday night was an outstanding return. Playing his Fantasy-friendly half-back role, JJ may even hit the heights of the Dogs' premiership year in which he averaged 93.

Brandon Ellis, DEF, Richmond (ADP 191, 48 per cent)
The sole Tiger to top the ton in the thrilling win over the Power. Ellis played on a wing during the game, which saw him post his highest score since round 10, 2017.

Jasper Pittard, DEF, North Melbourne (ADP 240, 39 per cent)
North Melbourne enjoyed a win over Adelaide on Saturday night and Pittard was pretty happy to find the ball in his hands 21 times, with 14 of his disposals as a result of a mark. While he's not a reliable selection by any stretch of the imagination, scores of 107 and 106 in the last fortnight have bumped his average to 83.5 – a mumber that places him 23rd overall for averages of all defenders.

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Midfielders

Touk Miller, MID, Gold Coast (ADP 126, 61 per cent)
A whopping 149 would have pleased Miller's owners this week, even if many had him on the bench. A game-high 14 tackles helped him to his first score of triple-figures this year as he led the Suns in the engine room, gathering 31 disposals, of which 13 were contested.

Jarrod Berry, MID, Brisbane (ADP 203, 46 per cent)
The Lions had their first hiccup of the season against the Bombers, but Berry was a shining light. He is averaging 23 disposals this season scoring 88, 103, 72 and 97. In round three he had the job tagging Travis Boak and is often called on to run with players. Berry was a prolific ball-winner as a junior and should be a consistent performer when called on off your bench.

Jack Bowes, MID, Gold Coast (ADP Nil, 44 per cent)
It's funny that Bowes makes this column after his lowest score of the season. While his match-winning goal doesn't get him any bonus points, seeing the 87, 98, 98 and 80 points in the first four rounds next to his name has made him one of the undrafted players who will be a steal for anyone who grabbed him as a free agent.

Jack Bowes celebrates his match-winner against the Blues. Picture: Getty Images

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Rucks

Tim English, RUC, Western Bulldogs (ADP 218, 47 per cent)
Some Fantasy Draft coaches took a punt on English late and have been disappointed with his output in the first three rounds. Although he was beaten soundly by Brodie Grundy in the ruck (58 hit-outs to six), he was able to cover the ground to collect 17 disposals, take six marks and lay six tackles. Don't look at him as a long-term starter, especially if he gets some extra support from Jackson Trengove who may come into the Dogs' 22, but as someone to cover for your big man if he goes down … or is a dreaded late withdrawal.

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Forwards

Matt Taberner, FWD, Fremantle (ADP Nil, 52 per cent)
Taberner has surprised most in the opening four rounds. He is averaging 92.5 after a boost from his 115 in the Derby on Saturday night. He kicked two goals and could have finished with more if he made the most of his opportunities. Plug and play him when needed.

Darcy MacPherson, FWD, Gold Coast (ADP Nil, 33 per cent)
The 21-year-old's scoring so far this season has been sporadic but he is worth having on your list, especially if he can have a stat line that includes nine tackles (which he has achieved on two occasions this year). In the last two years MacPherson has averaged 124 and 126 in the NEAFL and looks well-entrenched in the Suns' 22.

Tom Lynch, FWD, Richmond (ADP 185, 33 per cent)
Plenty of coaches were bullish on Lynch on Draft Day. The former Sun averaged 85 or more from 2015-2017. It appears that plenty have dropped him to the player pool, and those that did will be seething they missed out on his 88. Although it took six goals to get there, we should start seeing a better Lynch than the 64 average next to his name when Riewoldt returns.

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