FOR MANY years, Fantasy coaches have been well-drilled to stay away from key-position forwards and focus on the ones who will spend more time up the ground, while hopefully attending their share of centre bounces.
Now I know it is only three weeks into the season, but it appears the big forwards may be relevant again. A couple of rule changes here, a shocking backline there and low and behold, the highest scorer in the game at this point isn't midfield gun Jack Macrae or Zach Merrett … it's 30-year-old Tex Walker, who some suggested should walk away from the game at the end of 2020.
Whether or not this trend will stay is hard to say, but if you look at the next two weeks for Tex, it will be hard to ignore him as a trade option given his form and the runs on the board vs his opponents.
After scoring 105, 120 and 136 from his first three games against quality defenders, which included bags of five, six and six goals respectively, this week he faces the Kangaroos, who allowed Josh Bruce to pump out 10 goals in a 152-point performance.
After that, it's Fremantle at Adelaide Oval – the same Dockers who gave Harry McKay 12 shots at goal for 137.
Let's face it, if a midfielder was having these numbers at that price, it would be a no-brainer! It will be very interesting to see how this one plays out.
TOP FIVE PRICE RISES
- Errol Gulden (MID, $414,000) +$67,000
- James Jordon (MID, $355,000) +$61,000
- Taylor Walker (FWD, $558,000) +$60,000
- Matt Flynn (RUC, $346,000) +$55,000
- Chad Warner (MID, $334,000) +$52,000
TOP FIVE PRICE FALLS
- Dan Butler (FWD, $466,000) -$61,000
- Shaun Higgins (MID, $615,000) -60,000
- Lachie Hunter (MID, $794,000) -$55,000
- Stephen Coniglio (MID, $670,000) -$55,000
- Lachie Neale (MID, $775,000) -$54,000
- Chad Warner (FWD, $334,000) – 23
- James Jordon (MID, $355,000) – 19
- Errol Gulden (MID, $414,000) – 18
- Deven Robertson (FWD/MID, $228,000) – 17
- Matt Flynn (RUC, $232,000) - 12
- Tom Rockliff (MID, $818,000) 185
- Lachie Hunter (MID, $794,000) 167
- Lachie Neale (MID, $775,000) 158
- Steele Sidebottom (FWD/MID, $782,000) 148
- Dylan Shiel (MID, $722,000) 148
Andrew Gaff (West Coast - MID, $754,000)
After a shocking first two weeks caused a price plummet for the hard-running Eagle, his teammates went out of their way to ensure he got his confidence back with 13 marks and 36 possessions. He is now under-priced and in form after scoring 154.
Tex Walker (Adelaide - FWD, $558,000)
By popular demand, I have to mention the big fella. Tex has turned back the clock after some favourable rule changes and his scoring has reflected that. He had another day out with six goals and 136 which gives him another negative breakeven leading into a mouth-watering match-up with the Roos.
Devon Robertson (Brisbane - MID/FWD, $228,000)
If you are in need of a downgrade option, the second-year Lion looks a great option. In his first game for the season, he had an outstanding all-round performance with 17 touches, seven marks and seven tackles for 93.
Also consider: Lachie Fogarty, Chad Warner, Tim Taranto.
Zak Butters (Port Adelaide - FWD, $618,000)
After a dominant performance last week where he had the ball on a string, the young star found it a bit tougher this week against the Eagles. He ended the game with 16 touches and just 58 points but he is better than that and will bounce back.
Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle - MID, $563,000)
The youngster has had an outstanding start to the season but had his first lapse on the weekend against the Blues. He finished the game with 19 touches and just 63 points which is well short of the high bar he has set. Give him another run at home to regain the faith.
Matthew Flynn (Greater Western Sydney - RUC, $346,000)
As much as we have all realised that the set-and-forget ruck strategy is alive and well, if you have Flynn carrying out the duties, he deserves to stay there. In a tough match-up with big Maxy, he held his own from a scoring stand point with 24 hitouts and 78 points.
Also consider: Clayton Oliver, Marcus Bontempelli, Zac Williams.
Paddy Dow (Carlton - FWD/MID, $344,000)
With key personnel missing and the Blues' first win of the season, this was the speedster's big chance to impress. Unfortunately, he still didn't manage to make an impact with just 11 touches and 33, yes 33 points.
Hayden Young (Fremantle – DEF, $369,000)
The talented Docker hasn't started the season the way his owners hoped and now his price is set to plummet following a thumping corkie and exiting the game on 24. It would be worth looking into an upgrade to Giant Isaac Cumming who continued his good form with 91.
Stephen Coniglio (Greater Western Sydney - MID, $670,000)
The luckless skipper will have ankle surgery on Thursday after suffering a syndesmosis injury in his side's loss to the Dees. He went down early in the game on just 26 and will need to be moved on this week.
Also consider: Jordan De Goey, Nick Haynes, Tom Green.