Ummm... I'd like to first apologise to North as earlier in the week I took the piss out of them for being the worst team in the AFL. I think after this performance it's clear Adelaide have done fuck all this pre-season because they honestly looked worse than last year and they almost didn't win a game last year. It's hard to really take anything out of a game when only one team rocks up but it looks like anyone playing the Crows is going to have a field day by the looks of it. How do you let a team take 190 marks in a game of footy? A better question would be how come you're tackle numbers were lower but you've lost the game by 71 points? Sloane then comes out in the post game interview and said he was pleased with some of the things he saw. This club is a fucking joke and I'll be looking to captain guys playing them early just like last year.
Rory Laird: Is set for a year in the midfield and was Adelaide's best in this game. The team managed 38 tackles for the game and 10 of them came from this bloke. He managed to score 97 with 0 marks which can only be a positive and he's managed to score this well while his side got absolutely hammered. Laird looks good as a midfielder but playing for Adelaide is certainly a negative. The reason why he had 0 marks is because they never had the ball to give it to him unless he'd win it himself. He should be slightly better than his price and he'll be a super popular option. He'll be a top 6 defender and he's a safe consistent scorer. I think priced at 100 the max he goes is 110 so you've got 0-10 points worth of improvement. I don't think Laird is a straight up lock if you can use that coin elsewhere to better you're team. Especially with all the value options available down back.
Rory Sloane: Once a fantasy beast but no more. One of the most over rated names talked about this pre-season in the community. He was shit last year and he's not going to be much better this year. He's over 30 so straight away that is a cross. He's shown to become injury prone late in his career and he plays for the worst team in the competition. He plays purely inside mid and has always relied on tackle numbers to get his scores but it looks like that aspect of the game isn't going to be as strong this year. Sloane isn't one to consider in my opinion.
Brodie Smith: Looks to fit the perfect type to benefit from the new rule changes and as a result scored the 3rd most points from his side. He probably avoids the tag due to his side being so poor but at the same time there will be less outside ball going around for him to get his hands on. Hard to recommend anyone who plays for Adelaide but he is one of the better looks and should be good again this year. He's priced at 85 and he'll probably be around that mark again this year.
Matt Crouch: I liked Matt Crouch early in the piece before the emergence of the hip surgery news came out. This was the first look we got of him and he looked like he needed the hit out. Certainly not up to his best and at his price tag you certainly wouldn't want to start with him. Should be a good premium option although the rules look to not suit him as much as others so he may not be as good as I originally thought. He's a potential upgrade target.
Lachie Sholl: Certainly will improve this year. I like the look of Sholl and have always rated his ability. He's a great outside player and while he didn't get a great start on the weekend he worked nicely into the game as it went on. He has DEF/MID status which is handy but at $422k there seem to be others putting their hand up and it's hard making a case for an Adelaide player who relies on his team feeding him the ball. Pass for me at this stage.
Riley O'brien: Whilst he only scored 64 I still don't mind Riley as an option due to him being cheaper than Gawn and Grundy. Then again he only took the 1 mark and it looks like teams are going long down the line to a pack situation less because they can clear that area from the kick in. Rucks are certainly an interesting topic this year and I'll have some more content coming out later this week but Riley is great at what he does so he'll still be up there as one of the best. It's hard to say if there is any value here or not though.
James Rowe: This bloke was a highlight for the crows in what would be a gloomy day for them. Managed to create opportunity forward for himself and the team and whenever he had ball in hands he felt dangerous. He missed a few easy goals but the pressure on his spot isn't great considering Adelaide don't have much going for them. He should have good job security based on his efforts and while he is a small forward who won't get as much opportunity in a weak side he's one I'll still be selecting for a bench spot most likely.
Harry Schoenberg: Well and truly got his opportunity and didn't deliver. Spent 74% TOG which is what was to be expected from him and he also attended a fair share of centre bounces. He looked good around the contest at times but seemed to go missed for extended periods which is not a great sign. At $370k there are certainly better options.
Dan Houston: Had looked good all pre-season from what I had saw of him and fortunately for his sake they played Adelaide and he got to do as he pleased. The new rule change looks to favour him nicely and his ability to work into space to get a cheap plus 6 or a switch kick is fantastic. He's also great overhead for a medium sized defender so he's also capable of taking intercept marks. Obviously won't get this sort of luxury every week but I do think he'll be great in 2021. Should at bare minimum maintain his average from last year but I think he has the ability to bump it up slightly and therefore he could be a premium option. Low ownership makes him a riskier prospect than others though.
Ollie Wines: Wines is a fantastic player and I personally love the way he goes about it. I made a bold claim earlier in the pre-season that Wines could average 110 this year which for a guy who has average around the 100 mark consistently for 7 years doesn't make much sense but I just think Wines has more to give. He's had a monster pre-season and with Boak looking to spend more time forward and Rockliff also getting on Wines will be the number 1 guy in that midfield. My only qualm with Ollie is his inability to win ball on the outside and whilst it was a practice match against Adelaide you can't knock the fact that he took 10 marks and looked to utilise space and move well to get these marks. He looks fit and in for a big year. I don't think I have the balls to pick him but he's in the conversation with your Taranto's and Walsh priced guys.
Zac Butters: Going into this game Butters was in my side and now finds himself outside of it. The kid looked fantastic but I what I was looking for was midfield minutes and to my surprise didn't see it. Butters was used as a half forward for almost the entirety of the game in what Port stated was a good look at what their 22 would look like. Last year Butters managed to average 78 in this exact role so you can assume going into his 3rd year natural improvement takes him further. His TOG was elite up at 88% which is a 4% increase on his average from last year. Butters is a super player but with the news that Rozee will be going in for surgery it just further increases the likelihood that Butters plays forward to start the year. He'll certainly get midfield time at some point so I think I might wait for injuries or when they stay resting some of their midfield guys before jumping on.
Connor Rozee: Very unlikely we see him used in the midfield this year due to the fact he is so lethal up forward combined with Port's depth in the midfield. Still has the raw talent to score well in this position and gets up the field enough to get involved in the link up chains. Unfortunately Port have sent him in for surgery so it looks like he'll be missing the first few rounds.
Ryan Burton: A little bit of a forgotten name in fantasy and after an injury riddle year last season it looks like Burton is fit and back to his best. Having seen Burton explode in his second season where he averaged 84 we haven't quite seen him be able to carry on with this since switching clubs. With a full pre-season Burton comes into his 6th year in the system which is usually the sweet spot where players should be peaking. He plays for Port who are a great side and will no doubt have control of the footy more often than not and while they did play Adelaide who let them do as they pleased they still looked to want to control the footy which could lead to higher marks than most sides (which is great for defenders). I think this is the year we see Burton stamp his name in Port's 22 and priced at 64 he's already 20 unders based on what he's done before in his career which I don't even think is the best we are going to see from him. A true breakout could see Burton get closer to a 90 average. While I'm not saying this will happen I just think Burton has a game that stacks up for a defender. Could certainly be a sneaky one who slips through the radar early so keep an eye on him.
Willem Drew: Interesting one here with Drew. Absolute animal in the contest and tackles like no other. Can always rely on him to get 5 or 6 tackles minimum which is a great base to build off as a midfielder in fantasy. I wasn't sure he was best 22 but he seemed to play a full game and got plenty of time inside. Powell-Pepper is still to come back which is concerning for Drew's spot but I think he has a game which can allow him to score well if given the opportunity. Having not played last year he comes into this year priced at 47 which is already 20 under what he average in his first season. Now going into his 3rd year you'd think he averages 70 minimum if he's allowed to play. Job security not the greatest being from such a strong side but he's one that will go under the radar and could be a great cash generator for you.
Aliir Aliir: This man was arguably best on ground. Moving clubs has allowed Aliir more freedom in the back half and we saw that on display with the man taking intercept after intercept mark. With teams looking to drive the ball inside 50 and try and lock it in there intercepting players may be of higher value than they ever have before and Aliir is elite at this part of the game. I won't be starting with him but there is certainly potential here and he's cheap enough to warrant selection if he looks to be the real deal in this role early days.
Miles Bergman: Should be getting a game round 1 and should be in everyone's team. Played half back and looked comfortable all game. He's a good enough scorer to go on field. Not much else to say.
Orazio Fantasia: A little bit bummed he played as well as he did because I was heavily interested in Fantasia for multiple reasons. The first being he's obviously cheap priced at 47 but secondly the guy has averaged over 70 multiple times as a small forward before meaning he's 23 under priced as it is. Factor in he was averaging these numbers while at the Bombers who have not been anywhere near as good as what Port are now over that time period. Fantasia will get more opportunity to kick goals this year, he looks in fantastic knick, he's pushing up the ground and getting involved in the link up play as well as providing an option inside 50 both as a marking target and a small. He's back in his home state and hits the prime age bracket to be at his best. Everything points to a strong showing from Fantasia this year and I can't see a reason why he won't be 70+ again this year. The added flexibility of DEF/FWD status almost seals the deal for me.
Travis Boak: Boak is a super player but with him getting on in age partnered with the fact Port has so much special youth coming through it looks primed to spend more time forward. We saw this in this game where Boak played a role similar to that that saw him gain FWD status a few years back. He's not an option to start with as I see Boak regressing in 2021 but he could be one to grab when he gets DPP if he gets DPP.
Peter Ladhams: As someone who is looking to spend little money in my ruck department this year I'm looking for value ruck options. Ladhams will play second fiddle to Lycett and therefore won't see much ruck time. He's shown he has scoring potential in the past when given the ruck role but he's more than capable up forward and should be valuable to port as someone who plays back up but also provides a good target inside 50. It's not the ideal situation for fantasy consistency and therefore he probably can't be selected.
Jake Mead: Jake has been a rookie who has been on my watch list for a couple of years now. The kid can play but once again being Port Adelaide the likelihood he gets games to start the season are low. Certainly one to get on when he gets an opportunity though.
Lachie Jones: This 18 year old is not 18. He cheated the system. The kid is massive and ready built for AFL. Didn't come on until the 3rd quarter but made an immediate impact in the side when he did and finished the game with 43 points off 41% TOG. At 240k with defender status he's one to look at. The fact he didn't come on until the second half is a slight concern for his job security maybe. I thought he was locked in the side until this so I'm not sure, maybe they were just managing his minutes.
Wow! There we have it. In summary there isn't really anyone from Adelaide that is worth owning other than Rowe and maybe Laird. Port look to be serious contenders in 2021 and therefore should see them be a high scoring side this year with plenty of relevancy. It's hard to get a true judgement on where players are at when they were literally the only side out there playing. For that reason I'm treating Port players in general with a grain of salt early until I see them against some more credible opposition. They have North in round 1 so that's not much better... Anyway, thanks for reading this. Drop a comment or reach out if you have any questions or want some help with your side. Cheers Legend.