A NEW coach and going into the new season off the back of one of the club’s worst finishes for a long time, things are on the up for Collingwood.
Fantasy coaches will be watching how Craig McRae’s game plan may change things for the club that has spent most of the last five years ranked in the top three teams for most Fantasy points scored. In 2021, they ranked 16th overall.
All eyes will be on father-son recruit Nick Daicos (MID, $284,000). The No.4 selection in the 2021 NAB AFL Draft is tipped to be one of the best cash cows in the upcoming Fantasy Classic season and with good reason.
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Daicos is a ball-magnet, averaging 36 disposals and 136 Fantasy points in his five NAB League games. He’s set for a role off half-back with a likely run in the midfield but most importantly, the confident first year player has his eyes on round one which can only mean good things for price rises over the opening rounds.
Lock them in
Brodie Grundy (RUC, $893,000) was inducted as a Fantasy Pig following his back-to-back 120-plus seasons as the No.1 ruck in the competition. In 2020 he averaged 114, ranking behind Max Gawn. A drop to an average of 107 prices Grundy at this lowest point for four years. The 27-year-old is keen to dethrone Gawn as the No. 1 ruck in the competition and let’s hope the Fantasy points are a by-product of his hunger.
Track their pre-season
We’ve already seen some impressive photos of Taylor Adams (MID, $846,000) this pre-season as he hit the training track early. Twice he’s averaged 114 in his time at Collingwood; both coming from the only times he’s played every game of the season. A knee injury interrupted his 2021 campaign. When Adams returned after the bye, the Fantasy jet averaged 108 making his price under what he’s capable of producing. A definite watch for a second- or third-round Draft steal if you can trust his body.
Jordan De Goey (MID/FWD, $707,000) was a popular starting selection in 2021 but his numbers early on put his owners on the back foot. Scores of 61, 90, 66, 44 and 3, due to an early concussion, saw his price plummet as he averaged just 67 points to the bye. Late season form is a metric Fantasy coaches like to refer to when looking at prospective options. De Goey went at 110 points per game post-bye with an increased midfield role. He attended 75 per cent of centre bounce attendances in the final five rounds. If De Goey is used in the engine room rotation, he’ll be a great option.
Father-son recruit Will Kelly (DEF/FWD, $191,000) has played just three games since being drafted in 2018. Injury has been an issue for the 21-year-old key position player. He was called up in round 17 against the Tigers but suffered a quad injury in the first half. Kelly has dual-position status and could be a perfect utility option for your bench if he’s in the mix in round one.
Turning his back on free agency, Brayden Maynard (DEF $683,000) signed a three-year extension to stay at the Pies and Fantasy coaches will be hoping for a return to his epic performance in 2020. Maynard averaged 94 points in his career-best year, but backed it up with an average of 81 last season. His flexibility can be a detriment to his Fantasy game as he can play varied roles. Watch how Maynard is progressing this pre-season as training reports suggest he may get some midfield time in 2022 and become better than the likely range he-s drafted at.
Custom stat star
You can always rely on Jack Crisp (DEF/MID, $854,000) in Fantasy Draft. Durability is a key attribute and he hasn’t missed a game since 2015 after joining the Pies from the Lions. Crisp ranked 12th overall last season for uncontested possessions by average and the No.1 of available Fantasy defenders. If you’re adding any points for the Fantasy friendly uncontested possessions, you’ll want to have Crisp. He is also top 25 for effective disposals making him a great option if you customise your Fantasy Draft settings.
One of the quirks to the pricing structure is a player is discounted based on the higher average of the last two seasons. Jeremy Howe (DEF, $843,000) was off to a flyer last season, averaging an impressive 107. He played eight games and qualified for a six per cent discount. He is therefore priced at the equivalent of having a 101 average last season. Howe should be faded as a starting option, but when his price drops and he starts looking like he may hit that early 2020 form, jump on!