COLLINGWOOD has always been one of the top clubs for finding AFL Fantasy players. Led by Scott Pendlebury (MID, $805,000), who carries a career average of 102 across 15 seasons, the Magpies have so many options.

On top of their premium midfielders, forwards and even their ruck, the Pies possess three of the top eight defenders, including Jack Crisp (DEF, $726,000) and Brayden Maynard (DEF, $716,000). They managed to play every game in 2020, with Maynard reaching his best-ever Fantasy average of 75 (94 adjusted due to the 16-minute quarters).

However, at the end of the day the question remains, how many Collingwood players can you really have?

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Lock them in

Taylor Adams (MID, $873,000) had an amazing 2020 season. With Adam Treloar gone, Adams could be even better than the 114 he averaged last year, which just fell short of his career-best average of 115 from 2017. Over the past three years, Adams has averaged 99 when he has played with Treloar and 112 with Treloar out. The writing is on the wall for Adams to have another standout season.

Track their pre-season

A wise man once said, "Crisis creates opportunity", and with Tom Phillips and Adam Treloar moving clubs, the door has been left open for Brayden Sier (MID, $402,000). Sier has been knocking on the door for three years and may get the opportunity he has been looking for. Coincidently, he was used to replace Treloar when he injured his hamstrings back in 2018 and went on to average 76 from eight games. So he might be used to fill the void again.

Before getting injured last year, Jeremy Howe (DEF, $669,000) was up there with the best defenders in the game, averaging an adjusted 107. As he only played four games, he receives a hefty discount which now sees his price reduced by approximately $147,000. Monitor his pre-season to see how he comes back from the knee injury that ended his season prematurely.

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Dual-position tempter

The most expensive forward to select this year is Steele Sidebottom (MID/FWD, $841,000), who comes in $61,000 more than the next highest Patrick Dangerfield (MID/FWD, $780,000). Sidebottom has been Fantasy royalty for many years, averaging more than 100 eight times, including his career-high adjusted average of 114 last year. Before 2020, Sidebottom had only missed three games over the past four years and at some point this year, he will need to be in your team.

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Wow, that's one stunning check-Sidey

Steele Sidebottom marks his return with a mesmerising checkside shot at goal

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Bargain basement

Highly regarded within the club, Will Kelly (FWD, $172,000) debuted last year in style kicking a goal with his first possession. However, unfortunately he dislocated his elbow late in the game which ruled him out for the remainder of the year. Kelly has speed and athleticism and if all goes to plan, he could be named in round one.

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Son of a gun gets Pies off to dream start

Will Kelly kicks his first goal with his first kick in the AFL

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Draft sleeper

Ok, he's definitely not a sleeper but after two years of averaging 122 and 120, Brodie Grundy (RUC, $867,000) used to be the walk-up No.1 selection on Draft Day. But where does rank now? The Ruck Pig averaged 113.5 last year and will now be potentially drafted behind Max Gawn after his season that saw him average 124. However, with the premium defenders and forwards available such as Lloyd, Whitfield, Dangerfield and Sidebottom, is Grundy still a top-three draft option?

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Custom stat star

Many believe that in Draft, the statistical category of 'spoils' has been neglected for years. In our Bacon Cup draft, and to the disgust of Warnie, we will be rewarding spoils with five points. After averaging 6.6 a game in 2020, Darcy Moore's (DEF, $495,000) average will now be boosted from 65 to 98 making him a sought-after option in defence.

Buyer beware

The big American Mason Cox (FWD, $381,000) has now averaged 39 (50 adjusted) and 52 across the past two seasons. As he learns the game, his Fantasy scores will grow. But until then, we must pass on key forwards and spend our money in other areas.

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