IT'S ALWAYS very important to nail your premiums to lead your team into round one and beyond, but it's nearly just as crucial to put time and effort into your cash cows.
While the big guns keep the elite scores ticking over, the cows are busy generating vital cash for your team to ensure it continues to evolve towards the ultimate goal of having a team full of stars.
It is basically like the stock market where a buy low, sell high mentality sets you up for success and allows you to continually upgrade your squad by utilising your two trades per week.
Below is a list of names of some likely candidates who are not only in the mix for games, but have the ability to instantly contribute to their teams and generate cash for your team.
Lachie Jones (DEF, $240,000) - Port Adelaide
When the term 'ready-made' is used, coach's ears rightfully prick up. And that is what we have on our hands with the Power youngster who has proven he can match it with the big boys in the SANFL. He is a capable rebounder from the back half and showed his worth averaging 17 touches and five marks throughout the finals last year.
SANFL Av: 50
Tom Highmore (DEF, $182,000) - St Kilda
Did I say 'ready-made' makes the ears prick up? If that’s the case, a 'mature-ager' is whole new level, especially when there is an injury crisis in their position at the club. Crisis has created opportunities in the Saints' back six with the unfortunate injuries to Ben Paton and Jarryn Geary. Highmore is firming for a round one start and has the ability to generate some serious cash.
State League Av: 73
Will Gould (DEF, $170,000) - Sydney Swans
Not often do we celebrate a highly touted rookie being held back in their first year but after failing to make his debut last year, the 20-year-old Swan is basement price and seemingly ripe for the picking. From all reports he has had a great pre-season and is in the mix.NEAFL Av: 73
Isaac Chugg (DEF/FWD, $170,000) - Collingwood
The 19-year-old Tassie legend showed his worth for the Launceston Footy Club last year offering plenty of class and dash off the wing and half-back. His great attitude ensured he instantly turned heads at the Pies after being selected at 28 in the rookie draft. Keep an eye out for the teenager throughout the season if he can't break into the side round one.
TSL Av: 46
OTHERS TO WATCH: Heath Chapman, Jacob Wehr, Denver Grainger-Barrass, Nik Cox, Trent Bianco
Will Phillips (MID, $266,000) - North Melbourne
The third pick in the NAB AFL Draft may come at a cost but he is also the most likely to provide job security and some consistent scoring. He is a ready-made ball magnet who has the ability to play on both the inside and outside. If you don’t have the cash to grab him, find it.
NAB League Av: 77
Tom Powell (MID, $246,000) - North Melbourne
The No.13 pick in the NAB AFL Draft is also a ball magnet, as we saw in the SANFL under 18s where he averaged 35 touches a game. Now although that is super exciting and we will own him at some stage, his lack of size is one reason he currently sits behind Phillips for a game. Watch closely and launch accordingly.
SANFL Under 18 Av: 119
Connor Downie (MID, $202,000) - Hawthorn
An impressive pre-season, the retirement of Tom Scully and a great performance on the wing against the Dogs in Wednesday’s practice match and we officially have a hat in the ring. The 18-year-old has the bonus of versatility on his side with the ability of playing at both ends of the ground which can only strengthen his chances of getting a game.
NAB League Av: 59
Riley Collier-Dawkins (MID, $170,000) - Richmond
Coaches had every expectation the 2018 draftee would have been selected for his first senior game last year and despite the Tigers impressive wraps on him, he didn’t appear. This is of course great news for us as the 21-year-old is knocking on the door and basement priced.
State League Av: 67
OTHER TO WATCH: Jackson Mead, Sam Berry, Luke Valente, Cooper Stephens, Errol Gulden, Luke Pedlar, Thomson Dow, James Jordon.
Matthew Flynn (RUC, $170,000) - GWS Giants
After being drafted at pick No.41 in 2015, the big man looks finally set to play this year after a serious shoulder injury to Braydon Preuss. During his last two seasons in the NEAFL, the 23-year-old has averaged a respectable 15 possessions, five marks and 24 hitouts.
NEAFL Av: 81
Tom Fullarton (RUC/FWD, $170,00) - Brisbane Lions
Who doesn't love a basketball background? And he ticks all the stereotypical boxes of an ex-baller with an impressive skill set for a big man. The Lions like playing two rucks and big Stef is now at the kennel, so watch closely.
AFL Av: 28
OTHERS TO WATCH: Riley Thilthorpe, Josh Treacy, Lloyd Meek, Samson Ryan, Sam Hayes
James Rowe (FWD, $196,000) - Adelaide
It seems the talented goalkicker and Ken Farmer medallist has ticked all boxes this pre-season and looks a ready-made lock for our sides. He is mature age and has the skillset to have an instant impact at the top level.
SANFL Av: 70
Braeden Campbell (MID/FWD, $262,000) - Sydney Swans
The 19-year-old talent has played himself straight into contention and it will come as no surprise to coaches who have followed the versatile speedsters junior career. Proof of his versatility is demonstrated by his forward and midfielder status, while he is every chance to start his career off half-back utilising his elite kicking ability.
NEAFL Av: 65
Finlay Macrae (MID/FWD, $234,000) - Collingwood
The Pies prized young gun has given supporters something to be excited about following a shaky Trade Period. He is a talented midfielder that we have the luxury of selecting in our forward line. Given the circumstances and his skillset, he is a chance to play in round one.
NAB League Av: 68
Harrison Jones (FWD, $170,000) - Essendon
The 20-year-old has done his chances to play in round one no harm after an impressive performance playing a high half-forward role in this week's scratch match against the Blues where he managed to kick two goals. He won’t be the greatest scorer but is a good cash cow option for the bench.
State League Av: 56
OTHERS TO WATCH: Miles Bergman, Ned Cahill, Ely Smith, Matthew McLeod-Allison, Nakia Cockatoo, Phoenix Spicer, Corey Durdin, Archie Perkins, Deven Robertson,