The battle of the two Sydney teams! All in all this was actually a pretty poor spectacle to watch as both teams ball movement looked below average compared to some of the other footy I had watched. Coming into this game the two things I was intent on seeing were the Giants midfield mix along with Sydney's young boys. It's safe to say there is a bit to cover here with both teams holding players who provide talking points.
Tim Taranto: I hadn't been Taranto's biggest fan this pre-season but I think he may have done enough now to get into my good books. Will split his time forward and mid with the amount of talent the Giants have but he does seem to be getting enough time inside to improve on his starting price. Has an inside and outside game which is super important this season and we should see Taranto average 105 minimum. He's not a lock for me but certainly in consideration.
Stephen Coniglio: *Insert Taranto comment here* Had a very poor year by his standard and will look to bounce back in 2021. Looks to be used predominantly in the midfield but will no doubt have stints forward at times like most midfielders this year. His PPM suggest he can get back to his best and I expect he'll average 105-110 this year. Due to a slightly cheaper price I would probably lean towards Taranto if I had to pick between the two but there is something about Cogs that makes him feel safer in my books. Both decent options in my opinion.
Josh Kelly: Didn't have the greatest game by his standard managing 89 from 85% TOG. I'm being harsh here as it was a lower scoring game out of the games been played so far. I think Kelly has a game that stacks up tremendously well for the current mould of footy we are seeing. Will spend his time between the wing and inside and should be able to do well in clearance and in link up play. He's already 10 points under priced on what he's done before and I think with a full pre-season under his belt we may not have seen the best from Josh yet. There is potential for him to average 120 this year so I don't mind the look of paying a bit extra to get him from the start.
Tom Green: Split his time forward and mid and was solid but not as impressive as the week before. He's a true inside midfielder though which looks to be a disadvantage this season with the speed of play and outside ball use. I was looking to see his TOG tick over 75% and was disappointed he only played 71% game time. He will improve naturally off last season and 71% is still an improvement of 5% on last year, he'll be a decent value pick. He's probably around 20 unders and depending on your structure I don't mind him as a selection.
Jack Buckley: In the opening minutes of the game one of the first things I asked myself was "who the fuck is number 44". I watched Buckley pretty intensely this game after that point and was very impressed with his overall game. Spent most of the game on the wing but was also used in the middle and at one point they even had him in the ruck. Looked to get involved in a lot of switches and took some good intercept marks. He's priced at 47 so I think he's definitely worth taking note of. Lachie Whitfield is still to return so that probably has some impact on his potential output.
Lachie Ash: Started on a wing and that's where he played most of the game. Looked really dynamic in the first quarter as the Giants looked to give him the ball on the hand ball receive often. As the game went on the more he drifted out of the game. The Giants didn't look to be as daring with their ball movement and as a result he suffered. There's others who have put a more forward case than him at the same price.
Kieran Briggs: Got a crack with Flynn sitting out with ankle soreness. Played in the ruck but spent time all over the ground as GWS rotated multiple names through the ruck throughout the game. Not sure he's best 22 if the Giants look to ruck Flynn. If he does make the side he's probably not of value if he's not spending time in the ruck but he does have defender status and rookie priced players with defender status are like gold. We may not have the luxury to pick and choose in that area this season.
Isaac Cumming: Seemed to take all of the kick ins which is always super positive for a defender but outside of that there wasn't to much to like with Cumming. Didn't quite get the role I expected him to get as he seemed to play more of a back pocket and therefore wasn't involved all to much coming out of defence. In all honesty with Phil Davis and Lachie Whitfield to come into the side we may not see Cumming even hold a spot and if he does get selected the possibility of a chop might be looming. I wouldn't select him even at the cheap price.
Connor Idun: Having heard that Idun wasn't going to be much of a scorer and that his job security wouldn't be great I wasn't expecting much from the bloke but to be fair he surprised me quite a bit. He was utilised a few times when moving the ball out of defence along with switching the ball. He took a really nice intercept mark and was reasonably sound from defensive aspects (while they don't matter for fantasy they help with job security). I'm planning to spend quite a bit of money in defence and plan to have no rookies on field in that area but if you're looking for one I think he's the man. At $221k he's probably not worth the extra $50k to have on the bench so I'd only get him if you needed someone to field.
Tanner Bruhn: The kid looked to have a bit of spunk about him. Clearly talented and looks to have ability in the middle and forward of centre. Unfortunately he finds himself at the Giants who have a star studded midfield and therefore if he is to get opportunity he'll be playing as a forward. His role in this game is what we can expect in the real deal. A half forward flanker who pushes up to influence contests but also gets back deep and tries to influence inside 50. Very Toby Greene like in a way. He managed to score 66 which is quite impressive but he needed 4 goals to get there. My concern is he won't kick 4 goals every week and therefore may not see enough of the pill to score well enough to warrant the $248k price tag as a MID only. Should play round 1 though.
Toby Greene: Toby Greene was Toby Greene. Went out there and racked up from half forward, kick a few goals and even managed to dish out a cheeky uppercut to some blokes head. Toby has proven in the past he can score well enough in this role and he comes in priced at 81. He's averaged over 90 on 5 occasions and I think he'll be 90-95 this year making him underpriced. With the lack of forward premium options he's someone that I don't love but I don't hate either.
Callum Mills: Started the game on fire and was busy in the contest winning a couple of clearances and laying some nice tackles in the opening minutes. He clearly has the midfield role this year and will be spending almost all his time inside. In any other year this would make him a lock but with the new man on the mark rule it's evident that teams are looking to exploit this with outside run and we've seen the top scorers needing to have this aspect in their game. Mills is super in tight but on the outside he doesn't have that ability to break lines and carry the ball so once it leaves the contest he's not that valuable. For this reason I think there are better premium options in defence.
Luke Parker: Let me start by saying he's not an option but... As the game went on he spent more time inside 50 playing out of the goal square. With Sydney looking to get experience into their younger blokes this could be encouraging in terms of Parker potentially getting DPP this year. If he gets forward status then he certainly enters the conversation of relevancy.
Sam Wicks: If I'm being honest I don't actually know what to make of him. The bloke was obviously outstanding as he scored 109 off the back of 8 marks and 9 tackles. He's always been a tackling beast and every time I saw him he was laying a tackle but I was so focussed on others that I didn't actually see his movement around the ground, the way he was positioned and a few other key things so it's hard to make a genuine case for or against him. Due to his efforts though I'll be keeping an eye for him early.
Chad Warner: Absolute standout for the Swans. Whilst he wasn't the highest scorer I certainly think he was the best rookie I saw all weekend. Looks to be used in a great role spending most the game on the wing with stints forward and even on ball. His ability in traffic and speed on the outside was eye catching and he is one I'll be starting on my field come round 1 as I'm assuming after that effort he gets named round 1.
Errol Gulden: Another rookie that looks to be very much in the picture for a round 1 debut. Looks to be restricted to a forward only role but still managed to push up the ground at times even taking a mark as far up as defensive 50. The kid has super foot skills and therefore it looked like the swans like the ball in his hands. Looks to be crafty at stoppages with good composure and his tenacity to lay a tackle looks top notch. I liked what I saw from this kid and despite the forward role I think he'll be a rookie I have on my field also.
Isaac Heeney: A bloke who was talked about earlier in the pre-season as being a discounted option. Was slow to get into the game but got better as the day went on. Looks to spend all his time forward and therefore he's not an option. Even if he was to get to his best he's only really got 10 points upside so it doesn't make much sense to pick him.
Nick Blakey: This kid can play and is an excitement machine. Played a wing role almost all game and it certainly looks a position he's well suited in. Was used as that handball receive player on multiple occasions and Sydney will look to exploit teams using his speed on the outside. He'll certainly improve this year again but I'm not sold he's enough of an accumulator and or doesn't fill the other stat lines consistently enough to score well enough to be of enough value. Wow that was a lot of enough. He's an exciting prospect but probably not an option in fantasy classic.
Braeden Campbell: Started slowly and up until half time I'd almost put a line through him suggesting in my notes that he wasn't worth the price and wasn't influential at all. This bloke must have done something at half time because he looked a different player in the second half and in particular the last quarter. Was getting further up the ground and was being fed the ball by hand on the outside enabling him to demonstrate how good his foot skills are. The Swans seem to like what he brings and his job security should be pretty solid even with Jake Lloyd to come into the side. He should be a decent scorer with pretty good job security so he's one I can somewhat justify paying the extra coin for but in general it's not a great rookie year and so I'm looking to minimise as many on field as possible. As a result I personally won't be paying up for him as I think I can find a cheaper guy with the same output.
Tom Hickey: His name was thrown into the ring of ruck mid priced options. He's not relevant don't even bother.
Logan McDonald: Came on mid way through the third term and made a huge statement. This kid is going to be one of the better key forwards in the game when he gets a few seasons under his belt. Great hands on the lead and in contested situations. While not taking field until mid way through the third I think he showed enough in one and a half quarters to get himself a game round 1. That's how good he was! He's obviously a young key forward priced at $266k so you can't possibly start with him but he'll be exciting to watch his development going forward.
That's a wrap for the GWS V Swans game. Wasn't a great game to watch in all honesty and I didn't like to much from either team if we are talking from a non fantasy perspective. The main takeaway for me from this game was the Sydney youngsters and how exciting they were. Sydney supporters have a lot to look forward to in the next few years with some of the developing talent they have. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope this is of value to you in helping who to avoid and who to select going into this year of AFL Fantasy. Best of luck legend.