FOR THE final AFL Fantasy price reveal, we’re taking a look at the reigning premiers.
The Western Bulldogs were impressive over the last seven games of 2016, winning six games and the all-important Grand Final.
Although the team exceeded everyone’s expectations, so did some of the players in Fantasy.
Lachie Hunter (MID, $625,000) boosted his average from 78 to 103, and after a stellar season, he now sits as the most expensive Bulldog.
Defender Jason Johannisen (DEF, $563,000) dominated and even captain Robert Murphy ($DEF, 486,000) was flying at an average of 102 before a knee injury prematurely ended his season.
They even had some surprise packets who shot onto the scene such as Josh Dunkley (FWD/MID, $486,000) who finished the season averaging 81, and Caleb Daniel (FWD, $479,000) who improved his average by 26.
The bandwagon is full but there are plenty of Bulldogs who have much more to offer in the new season ahead.
Did you know that in the first six games of last season Marcus Bontempelli’s (MID, $595,000) top score was just 80?
After a slow start, 'The Bont' picked up the pace, and from round seven onwards he averaged 109. The banning of the third man up rule will hurt him, as it assisted him to an extra 65 points across the season. However, he's priced at an average of 99 and has plenty of upside in 2017.
I never thought I’d say this, but Tom Boyd (RUC/FWD, $347,000) must be on your radar and currently sits in my forward line. But the million dollar question is: Can he continue what he started?
Over the finals, Boyd averaged 79 with a game-changing 97 in the Grand Final. Priced at an average of 57, he offers a nice link to the ruckman with his dual-position status and is one to watch closely over the JLT Community Series.
A tempter? No … Jack Macrae (FWD/MID, $596,000) is a lock!
I’m not sure who listed him as a forward, whether it was the statisticians at Champion Data, Warnie or Santa himself - and to be honest, I don’t care.
Macrae averaged 99 last season before having back-to-back years at 104. He is destined to be the No. 1 ranked forward by the end of the season and is a must have from the start or a potential top five pick in Fantasy Draft for any serious coach.
What can I say … but Travis Cloke (FWD, $450,000). I have no one else.
The big man is now a Bulldog after playing just 13 games with Collingwood last season.
Cloke has averaged as high as 96 way back in 2011, and did average 82 from his seven games in the VFL last year.
They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but I’m not that confident.
With only eight players under $200,000, the pickings here are slim.
On the back of Joel Hamling’s departure, maybe Kieran Collins (DEF, $150,000) gets an opportunity.
He averaged 65 in the VFL last year and was selected at No.26 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft. Collins played one senior game last year and might get the opportunity for a couple more in 2017.
How can you not love Clay Smith (FWD/MID, $392,000)?
Although he's awkwardly priced, Smith is much better than the 65 he's listed at, and he proved his worth over the finals scoring 85, 93 and 84.
Smith was injured after scoring just five points in round 19, and if we disregard that score, he would be priced at 75.
Just another name to scratch into your little Fantasy pre-season black book.
After raising his average by a massive 25 points last season, there isn’t much upside to Lachie Hunter (MID, $625,000) this year.
Selecting players after a break-out season and expecting them to do the same is an incredibly tough ask.
Hunter averaged just 78 across three games in the finals and should only be looked at as an upgrade target during the season or a late pick-up on draft day.
Western Bulldogs positions and prices for 2017