GREATER Western Sydney was a Fantasy favourite in its early years, with an abundance of cash cows. Now, reaching maturity, last season's runner-up is loved by coaches for its premium scorers.

Not many players pleased their owners in 2019 more than Tim Taranto (MID, $835,000).

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In his third season, he improved his average from an already impressive 90.9 to 112.5. This included seven scores of 130 or more to see him ranked as the fourth-highest-scoring player of the year.

Taranto was a bargain last season as was Zac Williams (DEF, $688,000). The defender finished $283k up on his starting price which was helped by the 106 he averaged in the final 10 games.

Josh Kelly (MID, $860,000) is the most expensive Giant. In the past three seasons he's averaged 112.9, 108.4 and 115.9 with some whopping scores posted. From round nine last season he scored 120, 135, 140, 128 and 148 in a beast-like performance up until the bye. Unfortunately, he has only managed to play 15 and 14 games in each of the past two seasons.

This is an ongoing issue for the Giants.

Only four players played all 22 games (Taranto, Heath Shaw, Sam Reid and Brent Daniels). Many of their top Fantasy performers missed multiple games which frustrated many coaches, especially Draft owners.

With some luck on the injury front, maybe they can knock off Collingwood as the best Fantasy team in the competition.

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Lock them in

There's some value in new captain Stephen Coniglio (MID, $769,000). Last year he was looking likely to improve on his 110.4 average from 2018 until he injured his knee in the opening minutes of the round 17 clash with Richmond. He didn't register a stat and therefore his 111 average up until that point was adjusted to 103.7, which places him under-priced considering his epic form in the lead-up. Coniglio has proven to be a captain option with his high ceiling. His top scores from last season were 192, 161 and 146.

Track their pre-season

Sam Jacobs (RUC, $514,000) has been a solid Fantasy performer throughout his career, regularly ranking as a top-five ruckman. Injury struck early last year and Reilly O'Brien took over from the 31-year-old as the preferred big man at the Crows. If he takes the reigns from Shane Mumford, Jacobs will be a popular mid-priced option as his discount has him priced at the equivalent of 69. If he can average more than 85, as he has done six times, then he is a steal.

Dual-position tempter

The top available defender on average last season, Lachie Whitfield (MID/FWD, $844,000), has a different dual-position status next to his name. The 6-6-6 starting positions saw him play as a half-forward and thus, gain FWD status. Whitfield was injured twice last season on scores of 39 and 74. Apart from those, his lowest return was 95, a game where he was tagged in round 19. The rest were all in triple figures including a monster 190 against the Blues.

Draft sleeper

Nick Haynes (DEF, $589,000) averaged a career-high 79.4 in 2019. He finished the home and away season averaging 91 for his final six games. High mark counts helped his output which continued into the finals, with a whopping 15 marks taken in the Grand Final for 119 points. He also scored 118 in the preliminary final in against the Magpies.

Bargain basement

Pick four in last year's draft was Lachie Ash (DEF/MID, $264,000). The NAB AFL Under-18 All Australian averaged 23 disposals as co-captain of the Vic Country team at the Under-18 Championships. He averaged 96 Fantasy points for the Murray Bushrangers in the NAB League. If Tom Green (MID, $252,000) gets a run, we can expect decent Fantasy numbers after averaging 105 in the NAB League. Keep an eye on Xavier O'Halloran (MID, $170,000), who may make his debut this year. He spent last season in the NEAFL where he averaged 74 after being picked up at selection No.22 in the 2017 draft.

Forgotten warrior

Up until last year, Callan Ward (MID, $539,000) had been an incredibly durable player. Since joining the Giants, he has missed just five games in seven years. An ACL injury sustained in the first quarter of his first 2019 game put the former captain on the sidelines for the rest of the season. Ward's Fantasy numbers in his time as a Giant have been consistent. He has returned averages of 97, 94, 99, 100, 96 and 97. Due to a hefty discount, he is priced at the equivalent of a 73 average which makes him cheaper than he's been for more than a decade.

00:38 Mins
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Sad scenes as tearful Ward injures knee

Callan Ward in tears on the bench with what appears to be a serious knee injury

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Buyer beware

It's pretty harsh to include Toby Greene (FWD, $730,000) here considering his incredible finish to the season. A role through the midfield saw him average 129 in his final six games. Prior to that he was averaging fewer than 80 points per game. The midfield time is the key to Greene's Fantasy scoring and with a fully fit engine room, he is unlikely to reach the heights of the second half of 2019.

GWS Fantasy prices for 2020

PLAYER

POSITION

2019

AVG

2019

GMS

2020

PRICE

Josh Kelly

MID

115.9

14

$860,000

Lachie Whitfield

MID/FWD

113.8

16

$844,000

Tim Taranto

MID

112.5

22

$835,000

Stephen Coniglio

MID

103.7

15

$769,000

Toby Greene

FWD

98.4

16

$730,000

Jacob Hopper

MID

93.6

19

$695,000

Zac Williams

DEF

92.7

20

$688,000

Jeremy Cameron

FWD

87.5

20

$649,000

Heath Shaw

DEF

82.5

22

$612,000

Nick Haynes

DEF

79.4

19

$589,000

Harry Perryman

MID

75.7

15

$562,000

Callan Ward

MID

3

1

$539,000

Jeremy Finlayson

FWD

70.8

19

$525,000

Matt de Boer

MID

69.9

15

$519,000

Sam Jacobs

RUC

80.4

5

$514,000

Phil Davis

DEF

67.6

19

$502,000

Shane Mumford

RUC

65.7

16

$488,000

Adam Kennedy

DEF

65.3

19

$485,000

Sam J. Reid

DEF

64.8

22

$481,000

Jackson Hately

MID

67.6

7

$456,000

Brent Daniels

FWD

60.6

22

$450,000

Harry Himmelberg

FWD

60.5

21

$449,000

Daniel Lloyd

FWD

56.9

14

$422,000

Tommy Sheridan

MID

2

1

$396,000

Matt Buntine

DEF/FWD

52.9

9

$381,000

Ian Hill

FWD

50.3

7

$340,000

Sam Taylor

DEF

42.9

18

$318,000

Lachlan Keeffe

DEF/FWD

43.8

9

$315,000

Isaac Cumming

DEF

49.8

5

$314,000

Jye Caldwell

MID

55

2

$310,000

Zac Langdon

FWD

44

3

$298,000

Jake Stein

DEF

46.4

5

$293,000

Aidan Corr

DEF

39.8

4

$265,000

Lachlan Ash

DEF/MID

0

0

$264,000

Tom Green

MID

0

0

$252,000

Connor Idun

DEF

33

1

$184,000

Zach Sproule

FWD

23

1

$170,000

Kieren Briggs

DEF/FWD

0

0

$170,000

Callum M. Brown

DEF

0

0

$170,000

Xavier O'Halloran

MID

0

0

$170,000

Nick Shipley

MID

0

0

$170,000

Matthew Flynn

RUC

0

0

$170,000

Jack Buckley

MID/FWD

0

0

$170,000

Jake Riccardi

FWD

0

0

$170,000

Tom Hutchesson

MID/FWD

0

0

$170,000


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