THE WESTERN Bulldogs are always Fantasy relevant, boasting some of the best scorers in the game.
They include Lachie Hunter (MID, $882,000) and Jack Macrae (MID, $860,000), who are coming off massive years, averaging 95 and 90 (116 and 113 adjusted) respectively.
The most interesting move in the Trade Period was, of course, the Dogs' acquisition of another Fantasy stud Adam Treloar (MID, $812,000), who will certainly shake things up given the number of elite midfielders at the kennel and the limited minutes available to play in there.
Foreseeing who will be the winners and losers of such a significant move could be the key to getting your team off to a flying start.
>> See all the Western Bulldogs prices and positions by registering now for AFL Fantasy
Lock them in
Dogs skipper Marcus Bontempelli (MID, $801,000) had an uncustomary slow start to the year, taking until round 11 to really get going and he didn't look back from there. The beauty of the slow start is that it brings his price down to an adjusted 105 which isn't close to a reflection of how he finished the year with an average of 129 in his last seven games. In that time, he showed he can score with the best, highlighted by a 33-possession, six-mark, nine-tackle and two-goal performance for 145, which would be adjusted to 181. It remains to be seen how much time he will spend forward but the worst-case scenario in that is he would receive forward status.
Track their pre-season
Jack Macrae (MID, $860,000) has been in the uber elite category for a long time, highlighted by averages of 123 and 116 leading into last season. Now, usually I tick off paying the big bucks for the star ball-magnet but I am concerned that he takes one of the biggest hits to create time for Treloar in the midfield. The Dogs rate his ability as a wing and anyone who has owned Macrae in the past know exactly what happens on the wing … and it's not good.
Josh Dunkley (FWD/MID, $741,000): The young star had a turbulent off-season, requesting a trade to the Bombers only for his plans to fall through. Such an awkward situation would usually have me steering clear of a player, but such is my respect for this man, that I think he is set for a big year. It's no breaking news that Dunks had been frustrated with his role and us Fantasy coaches understand why after he had proven himself to be an elite midfielder in 2019 when he moved into the middle in round seven and dropped under triple figures on just two occasions after that. In that time, he scored 150+ on three occasions, including 189 against the Dees with 39 touches, 15 tackles and two goals. So, another side effect of this off-season is the Dogs hopefully got the wake-up call they needed to keep him at the club long-term and play him in the middle.
New stripes, right price?
Adam Treloar (MID, $812,000) comes to the Dogs as one of the most highly credentialed players in the game. His numbers speak for themselves with averages of 112, 108, 108 and 114 leading up to last season where he was below his best and still averaged an adjusted 110 from his eight games. It's certainly an interesting situation given he didn't want to leave the Pies, but if you are ever going to walk into an environment to succeed from a Fantasy perspective, this is it.
Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (FWD, $270,000): The No.1 pick in the NAB AFL Draft won't be the highest-scoring rookie of the crop but he is still worth a look at his inflated price, given the likelihood of racking up games and serving as a slow-burn cash cow. He is an exciting talent who possesses great athleticism and has a taste for goals, as we saw with the Oakleigh Chargers when he kicked 24 goals from nine games.
Caleb Daniel (DEF, $676,000): The accumulating defender had another strong year, backing up his fine form in 2019 where he averaged 94 by finishing 2020 with an adjusted 89. What caught my eye, however, was his form after the bye where he averaged an adjusted 120. With all the focus on the likes of Lachie Whitfield, Jake Lloyd and Zac Williams down back, Daniel may be available at a pick later than his ability suggests.
Custom stat star
If your league is going to place extra weight on effective possessions, maybe the fear of Jack Macrae spending time on the wing will be outweighed by the fact he had the third in that category last year with 338, falling behind only Jake Lloyd and Lachie Neale.
Tim English (RUC, $698,000) had a great season, finishing the year with an adjusted average of 91. Although he ticks plenty of boxes, the acquisition of former Lion Stef Martin (RUC, $570,000) may slow the youngster's scoring as they share ruck duties.