IN A season like no other, the mighty Crows walked away with the wooden spoon. It has been a long time since the golden era of the late 1990s where we saw back-to-back premierships and club legends like the great Tony Modra.

Despite only winning three games for the year, in terms of AFL Fantasy, the Crows produced some quality options, especially in Draft. Brodie Smith (DEF/MID, $652,000) and Rory Laird (DEF/MID, $763,000) proved to be popular defenders along with the Crouch brothers who were once again very popular selections on draft day.

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One of the big questions surrounding the Crows this year is how will the departure of Brad Crouch (MID, $708,000) affect the team structure? Will there be more opportunities and new roles for established players? Or will a young recruit from the Giants fill the void?

Lock them in

Reilly O'Brien (RUC, $828,000) is now a proven star. He averaged an impressive 87 (109 adjusted due to 16-minute quarters) in 2020, backing up his previous best season of 96. O'Brien is now knocking on the door of the two best rucks in the game, Grundy and Gawn. It's only a matter of time before he joins them.

Track their pre-season

Up until this year, skipper Rory Sloane (MID, $580,000) hasn't slipped under an average of 90 for eight consecutive seasons. The 'corona ball' season and injuries ruined his year as he managed to play just 12 games at an average of 61 (76 adjusted). He is potentially 20 points under-priced in 2021 and should be a name you write down and monitor this pre-season.

Dual-position tempter

From round 10 last year, Rory Laird (DEF/MID, $763,000) found himself with a new role. This move from the backline and into the middle saw him average 91 (114 adjusted) from the last eight games he played. Laird finished the season with an overall average of 80 (100 adjusted) and if this new role is here to stay, he will be a highly sought option for many Fantasy coaches.

Rory Laird in action against Richmond in round 18. Picture: AFL Photos

New stripes, right price?

Starved of opportunities at the Giants, Jackson Hately (MID, $486,000) finally finds himself a club that will give him a go after only playing 13 games across the last two seasons. The key here is, when he plays he scores, just like he did in the NEAFL in 2019 where he averaged 111.

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Bargain basement

James Rowe (FWD, $196,000) had a huge year in the SANFL where he averaged 70 with six scores over 90+. At the age of 22, Rowe is a ready-made player who could make an immediate impact and even sneak his way into the team as early as round one.

Draft sleeper

With only two games and an average of 52 (64 adjusted) next to his name in 2020, Wayne Milera (DEF, $446,000) will feature very low in some draft rankings. Foot surgery prematurely ended the defender's season after two seasons averaging 75+. Milera is also a viable option in Fantasy Classic due to his 24 per cent discount which come off his 2019 average of 77, now pricing him at 58.

Adelaide's Wayne Milera fires off a handball against Port Adelaide in round one. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Custom stat star

There are not many in the game who can accumulate the ball like Matt Crouch (MID, $844,000). He ranked in the top five last year for disposals per game. In Fantasy terms, he finished the year in style averaging 101 (126 adjusted) in his last eight games and with his brother Brad out of the way, there will be even more ball to go around.

Buyer beware

It is a little harsh, but Taylor Walker (FWD, $366,000) hasn't hit a Fantasy ton in his last 40 games. It is a tough ask from a key forward though. However, when Walker was in his prime in 2015, he did reach triple figures seven times. He is cheap in 2020 but Fantasy has never been a game for tall forwards.

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