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The best Fantasy free agents for round nine

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THERE can be a lot of movement in Fantasy Draft leagues at this time of the year. Our league, The Bacon Cup, usually sees a dozen or so movements once the Restricted Free Agent (RFA) period finishes, while plenty of players are taken once teams are announced on Thursday night.

One of the keys to having a successful season is hunting the player pool during the week. Picking up players who can fill in for injuries that we see at this point of the season is important but finding someone who could hold down a position on-field is where the game can be won.

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Check out who has been dropped and monitor their performance over the weekend. If it is good, consider putting your bid in to bring them into your side on Monday.

Defenders

Lachie Weller, DEF/MID, Gold Coast (ADP 155, 38 per cent)

Many coaches have dropped Weller to the free agents after missing the last month with injury. He returned with a cracking score of 102 to go with the 85 and 91 he scored before injury. Weller should score well enough to be a D3 or D4 in your Draft squad.

Blake Hardwick, DEF, Hawthorn (ADP Nil, 23 per cent)

While he won't bust out huge scores, back-to-back 90s means Hardwick should definitely appear in more than a quarter of teams. We always love a defender who takes double-figure marks … and refuses to handball. On Sunday he finished with 19 disposals – all kicks.

Jarrod Lienert, DEF, Port Adelaide (ADP 251, 13 per cent)

Taking a game-high 10 marks in the Showdown, Lienert finished with 26 disposals and 113 Fantasy points. Coming back into the side in round six, his returns of 68 and 70 in his first two matches were solid enough to have him on field in deeper leagues. As the Power have the Suns on Sunday, you could safely play Lienert this week.

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Midfielders

James Harmes, MID, Melbourne (ADP 152, 59 per cent)

Harmes finished last year in cracking form, averaging 107 in his final seven matches. This was due to more midfield time, which sadly lost him his FWD status. A lot of coaches weren't keen on him early this season, but 117 and 112 in the last two weeks has put him back on the radar. The Demons won those games and if you think their luck has changed, Harmes should be worth your first RFA bid. At worst, he is great bench cover if available in your league.

Hugh Greenwood, MID, Adelaide (ADP 143, 36 per cent)

Looking ahead to the round 12 dual-position player additions, we could see Greenwood add FWD status to increase his Fantasy Draft relevance. His season average of 80.5 from four games is modest, but that number – as well as his potential – would see him as a walk-up start in most forward lines.

Sam Lloyd, MID, Western Bulldogs (ADP Nil, 8 per cent)

Playing in a deep league? Lloyd is a sure thing to gain FWD status in three weeks, so stash him away on your bench. If you need him to fill in, just remember that he scored 102 and 107 in the last fortnight.

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Rucks

Rory Lobb, RUC/FWD, Fremantle (ADP 180, 60 per cent)

Chances are that Lobb has already been snapped up in your league, but if he's available then the RUC/FWD swingman should be a member of your squad. His score of 125 was boosted by Toby Nankervis' injury on Sunday evening, but he's likely to be the No.1 man for the time being at the Dockers and should have decent numbers against the Dons in round nine.

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Forwards

Darcy MacPherson, FWD, Gold Coast (ADP Nil, 45 per cent)

We've seen some huge NEAFL Fantasy numbers from MacPherson over the last couple of years, returning averages of 124 and 126. He's enjoying a solid season thus far with a couple of tons to his name; the highest being on Saturday against the Demons with 117. MacPherson is averaging 89 in his last five games.

Jake Melksham, FWD, Melbourne (ADP 279, 30 per cent)

Melksham has been a bit of a Fantasy tease over the years and while the Demons don't have the easiest run of games to the bye (Eagles, Giants, Crows and Magpies), their final 10 games is packed with opponents against whom he should score higher than his 81 average suggests.

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