AS EACH game commenced, Fantasy squads were locked in for season 2021. Even though there were plenty of pats on the back for good picks, there were numerous ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’ calls.

The biggest facepalm was in the ruck.

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In AAMI Community Series games, we saw the ruckmen weren’t scoring as well as they had in the past. While the hitouts were still there, all of the other stat categories were down. Max Gawn had the highest pre-round one asking price of $944k. He finished with 73 points, while Brodie Grundy, who has been dubbed the ruck-pig, finished on 85.

The traditional set-and-forget line-up in the ruck department doesn’t seem to the way go this year and some will look at rectifying that with their two trades this week.

04:54 Mins
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The 10: Round one's best moments

Watch all the best highlights from a brilliant opening round

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Fantasy Pig of the week

There have been calls over the years to award Jack Macrae Fantasy pig status due to the way he fills the stat sheet. Whether it is linking up for an easy +6 (mark/kick) or laying tackles, it was all on display in round one with 35 disposals, seven marks and seven tackles for 135 Fantasy points. While many coaches were put off by picking Bulldogs due to their stacked midfield, it doesn’t seem to be a worry and the best news, at least from what we saw in round one anyway, is that Macrae is playing inside rather than on the wing where points don’t flow as freely.

Honourable mentions

Only one per cent of the competition enjoyed having Andrew McGrath (141), who was the top scorer of the round. Dustin Martin (131) was doing Dusty things, but it was Jaidyn Stephenson (128) who offered some of the best mid-priced value of all available forwards. New midfield roles for Callum Mills (121) and Rory Laird (119) provided a fantastic first up scores for their owners, but the top available defender was Sun Jack Bowes (135) who took 14 marks.

Top scorers – R1

  1. Andrew McGrath (141)
  2. Dom Sheed (138)
  3. Jack Macrae (135)
  4. Jack Bowes (135)
  5. Dustin Martin (131)
  6. Bailey Smith (131)
  7. Shannon Hurn (129)
  8. Jaidyn Stephenson (128)
  9. Callum Mills (121)
  10. Rory Laird (119)

Cash cows of the round

It was a great start for arguably the most important players in our team, the cash cows. Rookies increasing in value each week, while scoring points, will help your team climb the rankings. The best player with a starting price under-$270k will be awarded the Michael Barlow Medal as the best cash cow of the year.

The votes for round one:

5 – Matthew Flynn, GWS, RUC – 99
He’s the most popular rookie ruck, but the 15 per cent of the competition who took the punt by playing Flynn at R2 were handsomely rewarded. Amazingly, the Giant was the top scoring ruckman of the round and only cost coaches $170k.

4 – Errol Gulden, Syd, MID – 108
Kicked three goals to go with 19 disposals and 10 marks.

3 – James Rowe, Adel, FWD – 84
Mature-aged recruit snagged two majors in an exciting debut.

2 – James Jordon, Melb, MID – 80
Great all-round game and should stay in the Dees’ midfield.

1 – Tom Powell, NM, MID – 68
31-points in the final-quarter boosted the No. 13 pick’s score.

Rage trades

A rage trade can be therapeutic. Cut an underperformer to send a message before reversing the move to pull a more tactical manoeuvre.

It doesn’t look like we can even entertain these this week!

Unfortunately for 51 per cent of the competition, Matt Rowell (16) looks to be a forced-trade. A knee injury ended his game in the first quarter and he looks set for stint on the sidelines. It was a sad sight with the second-year on crutches and in a knee brace considering his debut season was ended in round five last year after a promising start.

Patrick Dangerfield (96) is likely to be a forced trade for 42 per cent of teams as he has a date with the Tribunal. Even one week out is a must-trade in this day-and-age of attacking Fantasy footy with two trades per week.

The majority of moves used following round one will be ‘fix up’ trades, grabbing the best of the rookies or jumping on the mid-priced player who looks to be a must-have.

Plenty of coaches reassessing their ruck structure. Max Gawn (73), Brodie Grundy (85) and Reilly O’Brien (51) didn’t justify their starting price.

Premium midfielders Andrew Gaff (70), Adam Trelaor (59) and Taylor Adams (68) may face the axe from disappointed owners, but the worst one of all was the Fantasy pig, Tom Rockliff (27) who started as the medical substitute. But … keep an eye on his price bottoming out! We may have some cheap bacon very soon!

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