WEST Coast has talent but in AFL Fantasy it certainly had some popular players in 2021 that failed to produce.
It was a tough year for the 2018 Premiers as injuries took their toll with only four players managing to play all 22 games.
In 2022, the Eagles do have a great start to the season meeting the Gold Coast Suns, North Melbourne and Fremantle, three of the easiest teams from 2021 to score Fantasy points against.
New recruit Sam Petrevski-Seton (DEF, $514,000) has been looking sharp this pre-season with a new midfield/forward role on the cards. Petrevski-Seton would be hoping that his new team can help him find the form that saw him average 78 back in 2019.
Alex Witherden (DEF, $791,000) now enters his second year with his new team after making his way from the Brisbane Lions. Witherden averaged 89 from his nine games and 106 from his seven games in the WAFL. You’d expect Witherden to now become a permanent member in their defence and a great selection on Draft day.
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Lock them in
In AFL Fantasy Classic we are always looking for players who under-performed in the previous year to pick them up cheaply, hoping they can bounce back to their best.
Andrew Gaff (MID, $815,000) fits this category perfectly. Gaff has averaged 109, 111 and 111 leading into 2021 but couldn’t average triple figures. However, when the Eagles were winning so was Gaff. He averaged 111 in their ten wins last season, 26 points more than what he achieved in losses.
FANTASY POSITIONS Gun forwards lose status, No.1 defender wide open
With injury effected scores of 33 and 28, Tim Kelly (MID, $707,000) only managed to average 84, a significant drop from the 96 he averaged in 2020.
Both Gaff and Kelly are elite Fantasy players and provide some upside in the new season.
Track their pre-season
When fully fit Elliot Yeo (MID, $696,000) is an outright Fantasy scoring machine. Before injuries struck in 2020, Elliot was coming off season averages of 103 and 107.
Yeo only managed an average of 83 last season but found form late with scores of 103, 88 and 105 in his final three rounds. If Yeo can have a successful pre-season then he is a steal and potentially 20 points under-priced.
FANTASY PRICES Million-dollar men unveiled
With more midfield time, many expected Liam Duggan (DEF/MID, $658,000) to take his game to greater heights in 2021. After averaging 87 in 2020, Fantasy coaches held high hopes for Duggan hoping he could average 90-95, especially after he scored 124 in his final pre-season game. This wasn’t the case as Duggan only managed to average 79. However, he does present as a tempting option again.
We love a mature-aged recruit and the 24-year-old Greg Clark (MID, $190,000) is one ready to go. Clark was a Fantasy beast in the WAFL averaging 114 from 28 disposals and seven tackles. In the Grand Final he scored 153 (24 disposals, 14 tackles and two goals) and we haven’t been this excited about a mature-aged recruit since Michael Barlow debuted in 2010 to average 110.
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With an average of 80 next to his name, Luke Shuey (MID, $668,000) needs to be bumped up your Draft rankings. He managed just seven games last year but in that time he did produce some great scores of 127, 112 and 105.
Prior to 2021, Shuey had seasons averaging 87 and 101. He’s always been a 90-95 player and could easily get back to that in 2022.
Custom stat star
Only Max Gawn had more hit outs than Nic Naitanui (RUC, $713,000) in 2021. Naitanui averaged 31.2 a game which went a long way towards him having one of his best Fantasy seasons over his 12 year career. Amazingly, for the first time since 2010, Naitanui played all 22 games and has himself fit and firing once again.
Shannon Hurn (DEF, $736,000) has been a warrior for the last 16 years but over the last three seasons, injuries have taken their toll on the veteran. Hurn still averaged 88 from his 15 games, but his durability is now the main concern for his Fantasy coaches in all formats.