THE WHEELS fell off last year for the 2019 Grand Finalists - missing the finals and most players' Fantasy numbers regressing in the COVID-hit season.
Of regular players, only two stand out as improving their average year-on-year. Nick Haynes (DEF, $675,000) took plenty of marks to take his prior average of 79 to 88 (adjusted) while Harry Perryman (MID, $670,000) increased the most of all Giants, going from 76 in 2019 to 88 (adjusted) last season.
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Fantasy coaches have been able to rely on Greater Western Sydney players to be among the top performers over the years. There's every chance they'll be back to their best in 2021 meaning there could be some value in their big gun midfielders.
Josh Kelly (MID, $809,000) is approximately $75,000 under-priced if he can regain his 2019 form. Stephen Coniglio (MID, $744,000) also went backwards.
One of the biggest differentials was Toby Greene (FWD, $627,000) who posted an average of 98 the season prior to come in at 82 (adjusted) last year.
With a few list changes, there are some potential bargains wearing the orange, charcoal and white.
Lock them in
A pre-season shoulder injury meant that Tim Taranto (MID, $718,000) missed a fair bit of footy and didn't hit the heights of his outstanding 2019 season. In that year, his third season, Taranto averaged 113 ranking him as the third-highest-scoring midfielder. 2020's average of 75 (94 adjusted) means he's priced almost 20 points cheaper than his best return. That's a $150k saving on a top-eight midfielder.
Track their pre-season
Isaac Cumming (DEF, $355,000) was a popular round one selection in Fantasy Classic last year based on his pre-season series scores of 83 and 101. He's only a touch more expensive in 2021 … can we go there again? The departure of Zac Williams and retirement of Heath Shaw should open up an opportunity to cement a place in the back six. Cumming was a late inclusion in round 18 and racked up 16 disposals and eight marks for 67 Fantasy points (84 adjusted).
Okay, so he's not dual-position … so let's call him a different position tempter. Lachie Whitfield (DEF, $820,000) isn't even a tempter, he's a Fantasy gun. In Draft, it's unlikely that the best-performing Giant from last season will make it past the first round with he and Sydney's Jake Lloyd in a tier of their own when it comes to defender rankings. As for Classic, the big decision is whether you start with Whitfield or see him as an upgrade target. If he starts the season in the way he finished 2020, his price will head north.
New stripes, right price?
Since the game opened last month, Braydon Preuss (RUC, $377,000) has been the first ruck picked by the majority of coaches. This time last season, we were bullish on Sam Jacobs' Fantasy stocks in his move to GWS but that didn't end up the way we had hoped as the veteran played just seven games with Shane Mumford the preferred No.1 ruck. While Mumford is still on the list, Preuss, at 25 years old, is the future and should be given every opportunity and with that, he has plenty of Fantasy upside.
Tanner Bruhn (MID, $248,000, pictured below) was the Giants' first selection in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft. The midfielder will be up against it to earn a spot in the 22, but he is versatile and could slot in defence or attack. Unfortunately, injury affected his 2019 season, playing just two games, but averaged a solid 75 points in the NAB League.
Keep an eye on Jacob Wehr (DEF, $170,000). The 22-year-old was a bolter on draft night after only making his SANFL debut last year. He averaged 62 Fantasy points for Woodville-West Torrens as a half-back who can push onto the wing. If opportunity presents, lock in the basement-priced defender.
Put simply, Jesse Hogan's (FWD, $459,000) time at Fremantle wasn't great for his Fantasy game. His two season averages - 66 and 49 (61 adjusted) - were well below the 74, 79, 71 and 89 he averaged in his first four years at the Demons. Watch the AAMI Community Series and hope that he shows as much as he did in his round 18 match against the Bulldogs where he finished with 13 disposals and six marks for 71 Fantasy points (89 adjusted). Slot him on your bench and use the key forward as a streaming option who will be looking to reboot his career at the Giants.
Custom stat star
For a guy who has been in the system since 2011, playing 68 games and having a career average of 44, you wouldn't think they'd make an article about Fantasy footy. Well, with the introduction of custom scoring in Fantasy Draft, maybe Lachlan Keeffe (DEF, $344,000) could finally be relevant. He was top 10 in the League for spoils last season and as that has been a popular advanced stat added by commissioners, he may become draftable. Just. Depending on how many points will be allocated (two points for a spoil has been floated by a few leagues), he could add a few bonus points for his 10 (adjusted) spoils per game he racks up.
Last year Shane Mumford (RUC, $466,000) shocked many by remaining as the club's favoured ruck. It's likely the 34-year-old will be considered as a depth player with Preuss being the main man attending ruck contests. Don't get tricked into grabbing Mumford in Draft … or picking him up during the season when he may come in for a game and score positively; he's capable of some stinkers.