A relatively decent quality game which fell away towards the end. Gold Coast started slowly and as a result got punished pretty hard. There were some interesting takeaways particularly from the midfields of both sides.
Lachie Neale: Was everywhere to be expected and spent all his time in the middle. He's obviously going to be a beast this year it just comes down to how good can he be. Coming into the year I thought we could see Neale rotate forward to give some of the younger blokes a crack in the middle but it doesn't seem this will be the case. His TOG% most likely drops from last year which will indicate he probably can't match last years output and therefore he's not a starting option for mine. Although, he might be slightly better than what I originally thought.
Dayne Zorko: Zorks seemed to spend most of the game up forward which is not super great from a fantasy perspective. Managed the 46% CBA's last year so I can only see this decreasing in 2021 as he gets older and younger players need rotations. Not an option and the current price.
Cam Rayner: Dropped a couple chest marks early which was a sign of how slippery and humid it was out there. Played significant minutes in the midfield and is one the Lions have said to use regularly in there. Watch his CBA's going forward but he's more of an impact player for mine so I'm not sure he can improve enough to be value at the price of $515k.
Zac Bailey: Last year Bailey showed that he had a decent fantasy game about him but wasn't able to stay consistent enough due to moving position constantly. One position he didn't play at all last year was inside mid which is where he spent a decent amount of time over the weekend. If Bailey can keep this role going forward he could be one I could be interested in as there aren't many premium options in the forward line and a role inside potentially see's him go 90+.
Lincoln McCarthy: Was used on the ball a little bit and did some nice things. Gives them a different look inside and is one I can see the Lions using in there at times. His CBA usage probably won't be high enough to warrant selection in fantasy classic although he's one to monitor.
Joe Daniher: Looked to be a different player out there. Signs of injury look a thing of the past as Joe was taking marks and kicking goals left right and centre. He also took some of the ruck work in the forward 50 which could be an extra 5 points a game. Personally, I'm not touching him unless he explodes in the early part of the year as I'm not fond of his injury history and the fact he's a key forward. He's priced at 57 for a bloke who could easily go 75-80 I don't dislike the move, it's just not one I'm willing to make just yet.
Ely Smith: Played predominantly out on a wing for the Lions and looked to be pretty comfortable out there. Brissy have a strong lineup and are looking to be major contenders this season so whether Ely cracks the side is 50/50 at this stage. If he's selected he should take a spot somewhere in your fantasy side as his scoring potential is greater than a lot of the other rookies in contention for games.
Oscar McInerney: Split the ruck duties with Tom Fullarton which is a concern if you were looking at the Big O as a mid-priced option in the ruck. Having played as a back up most of his career the Lions may be looking the go into this year with the dual ruck setup. Interesting to see and although I think Big O goes solo it's something to keep an eye on.
Tom Fullarton: Seems that the Lions quite like this kid and as a 170k with dual position FWD/RUC he could be an option in classic especially if he spends as much time in the ruck as he did in this game. Only concern is Brissy have Daniher and Hipwood up forward so they probably don't need another tall down there.
Hugh McGluggage: Played a decent amount inside with 11 of he 26 CBA's. Probably not as much as I wanted to see from him to suggest he can get to an elite level in fantasy this year. Brisbane looked to rotate a stack of players through the middle and we all know how good Hugh can be outside and forward of centre so I think a role where he plays predominantly inside might be off the cards.
Gold Coast Takeaways:
Matt Rowell: Only played the half game as expected but showed signs he is going to be a beast this year. Whilst he did fumble the ball a bit and miss a few targets the bloke hasn't played under match pressure like that in bloody ages and he'll take a lot from the hit out. Will be be the number 1 Suns mid in 2021 and the shoulder looked to hold up fine as he bashed and crashed his way through packs. Not to much to dislike with the Rowell pick apart from the fact Gold Coast may look to nurse him so who knows what that does to his TOG etc... I can see a world where I could start without him but it's probably not likely that I will.
Noah Anderson: Seemed to spend more time inside but to my eye played a little bit everywhere. The kid is a jet and off the basis of his first season you can expect sharp improvement this year. One I need to see more of first the get a better gauge on as he's risky at the price and really needs to go 90+ to be worth the pick. Especially when there are safer options at the same price who could do that.
Jarrad Witts: Didn't seem to overly impress although it was slippery conditions and not ideal for a ruckman. Took some nice marks around the ground and looked to be moving in good order which is a positive sign. Could be an option in classic if you wanted to save some coin from the big boys but It's not something I'm considering overly hard.
Jack Lukosius: Got run down and wasn't great at the start of the match but grew into the game progressively. Looks like he's found a new home on the wing as they want his lethal foot delivering inside 50 more often. I can see Jack taking another step in fantasy but he's probably not one I'm willing to start with off the rip.
Oleg Markov: He's cheap but he's also unproven and never showed a fantasy game at AFL level. Looks to be settling into a role in defence which could be good for his fantasy output but he's not one I'm overly considering until I see him produce decent numbers consistently. One I prefer to watch but not with much conviction.
Sam Flanders: Great numbers as a junior who can play mid or forward. Looks to be settling into a pressure forward role at the Suns and looks like he could get a call up for round 1. While his role wasn't too great his junior numbers suggest he can play so at the inflated price he's one worth considering. Will be monitoring going forward.
Will Brodie: Attended 50% of the centre bounces and bobbed up with a couple of goals. Has averaged 88 off 8 games in 2019 so he is one who peaks my interest priced at 66. Looks to have done a lot over the pre-season to get himself right again and with a contract year looming he needs to put his foot down to secure a spot on the list going forward. 5th year in the system suggests he should be ready to put together a big year and if he continues to get inside midfield time he's one who could prove to be great value.
Darcy Macpherson: After derailing a few coaches last season who jumped on the pre-season hype train Darcy had a poor year last year taking his average from 87 down to 60. He was tracking in a positive direction in all 4 seasons prior and the fact he attended 9 of 26 centre bounces makes me think he could be on for a rebound year. Far from sold but if he gets midfield minutes there's no reason why he can't get back to previous figures as he's young and theoretically hasn't even reached his prime yet.
In summary Brisbane seemed to roll a lot of numbers through the midfield and it looks like there could be a stack of guys who get time in there. This isn't great from a fantasy perspective as the volume of points required to significantly boost 1 or 2 players won't be there and instead we may see 5 or 6 guys increase their averages slightly but not enough to worth selection. Gold Coast look to have a couple of interesting prospects but in particular I'm quite keen to see what Will Brodie can do this year. As always, cheers for reading guys. I hope this information was helpful in building your pre-season knowledge and good luck with your teams over the AAMI series this weekend. Remember stay strong and don't get to reactionary.