THE WESTERN Bulldogs' start to 2019 was very frustrating for Fantasy coaches with Luke Beveridge playing a couple of his stars out of position. But the gun Dogs returned to their favoured roles in the second half of the year and no one benefited more than Josh Dunkley who was able to flourish with some truly dominant performances.

The bonus of the bad start is that we now have multiple Bulldog premiums who are well underpriced and prime candidates for our starting squads.

Lock them in

Jack Macrae (MID, $858,000) has proven to be in the top handful of elite premium midfielders for the last couple of season and is one of the few players with the ability to consistently have their hat in the ring for captaincy. In the last two years he has had averages of 123 and 116 respectively and provides some value despite the hefty price tag given he was out of sorts between rounds six and 11 where managed just one ton in that time.

Jack Macrae (left) is a guaranteed Fantasy star. Picture: AFL Photos

Track their pre-season

Josh Dunkley (MID, $824,000) went full beast mode last year when he was finally injected into the midfield in round seven and he made the most of the opportunity with a lazy 145. He didn't look back after that point with only two scores under triple figures and three scores over 150 for the remainder of the season. Now he is only available as a mid, we need to track his pre-season to ensure he won’t be starting forward again where he had a top score of 85 in the first six rounds of 2019. 

Dual-position tempter

Patrick Lipinski (FWD/MID, $634,000) turned it up a notch from round 21 with an average of 95 between then and the end of the year. During that time he averaged 23 disposals and five tackles while attending the fourth most centre bounces. If that midfield time continues, he has to come into strong consideration for selection. I also like the fact he can go big with two scores of 129 from his 13 games. 

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Bargain basement

Cody Weightman (FWD, $242,000) could be a worth bench selection if he is in the mix for early games as a small forward. He was Vic Country’s leading goal kicker at the Under 18 National Championships and his good leap and strong hands will ensure he is in the conversation if he has a good pre-season. A likely downgrade option during the year.

Draft sleeper

Toby McLean (FWD, $506,000) had a significant role change, moving to a more permanent forward instead of spending extended time in the midfield. His numbers took a huge hit as a result, dropping from an impressive average of 95 in 2018 to just 68 last year. When rounding out your forward line, you might as well do it with a guy who has shown elite qualities in the past. 

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McLean brilliance lets the dogs unleash

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Forgotten warrior

Newly crowned skipper and superstar Marcus Bontempelli (MID, $777,000) is often forgotten about due to the firepower around him in Macrae and Dunkley. He is however, an option in his own right and if his form in the last five rounds was anything to go by where he averaged 117. He is arguably 12 points underpriced.

Buyer beware

Tom Liberatore (MID, $564,000) started last year like a house on fire with a four-game average of 105 which included a top score of 119. Unfortunately his season fell away after that, managing just one more triple figure score for the year before eventually averaging 76. His days of averaging in the high 90s are over so don't chase what may appear to be a value selection.  

Western Bulldogs prices for 2020

PLAYER

POSITION

2019

AVG

2019

GMS

2020

PRICE

Jack Macrae

MID

115.6

22

$858,000

Josh Dunkley

MID

111.1

22

$824,000

Marcus Bontempelli

MID

104.7

22

$777,000

Lachie Hunter

MID

98.6

22

$732,000

Caleb Daniel

DEF

93.8

17

$696,000

Patrick Lipinski

MID/FWD

85.5

13

$634,000

Matthew Suckling

DEF

84.7

18

$629,000

Jason Johannisen

DEF

82.1

19

$609,000

Mitch Wallis

MID/FWD

79.3

10

$588,000

Sam Lloyd

FWD

77.8

22

$577,000

Bailey Williams

DEF

62

9

$575,000

Tim English

RUC

77.1

19

$572,000

Taylor Duryea

DEF

76.7

13

$569,000

Tom Liberatore

MID

76

15

$564,000

Hayden Crozier

DEF

71.6

21

$531,000

Bailey Smith

MID/FWD

69.2

22

$513,000

Toby McLean

FWD

68.2

18

$506,000

Bailey Dale

FWD

69.4

9

$500,000

Alex Keath

DEF

67.1

18

$498,000

Will Hayes

MID

69.4

8

$484,000

Aaron Naughton

FWD

64

22

$475,000

Josh Bruce

FWD

58.4

22

$433,000

Tory Dickson

FWD

57.6

17

$427,000

Jackson Trengove

DEF

56.9

16

$422,000

Josh Schache

FWD

55

13

$408,000

Ed Richards

MID/FWD

50.9

19

$378,000

Easton Wood

DEF

46.7

22

$347,000

Roarke Smith

MID/FWD

52.2

5

$329,000

Billy Gowers

FWD

43.7

10

$324,000

Lewis Young

DEF

52.3

4

$318,000

Lachlan Young

DEF

47.2

6

$308,000

Lin Jong

MID

0

0

$307,000

Rhylee West

FWD

53.5

2

$302,000

Zaine Cordy

DEF

40.5

22

$301,000

Fergus Greene

FWD

0

0

$266,000

Cody Weightman

FWD

0

0

$242,000

Brad Lynch

DEF

0

0

$230,000

Ryan Gardner

FWD

29

2

$170,000

Buku Khamis

DEF

0

0

$170,000

Callum Porter

MID

0

0

$170,000

Louis Butler

DEF/MID

0

0

$170,000

Riley Garcia

MID

0

0

$170,000

Laitham Vandermeer

MID/FWD

0

0

$170,000

Ben Cavarra

FWD

0

0

$170,000

Jordon Sweet

RUC

0

0

$170,000

 

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