Collingwood: Big Boys, Bargains, Rookies and More...

It’s no secret that while a shit club the Pies certainly pack a punch when it comes to AFL fantasy. Year in year out Collingwood are able to produce the most points and as a result provide lots to talk about from a fantasy perspective. With the departure of Treloar, Phillips and Stephenson the midfield/wings seem to be where the better value may be found. This may be a longer one legends so strap yourselves in.

Big Boys to Consider

It’s no secret that while a shit club the Pies certainly pack a punch when it comes to AFL fantasy. Year in year out Collingwood are able to produce the most points as a side and as a result provide lots to talk about from a fantasy perspective. Brodie Grundy ($867 000 RUC) comes into this season priced at 114, down on his 122 and 120 averages in seasons prior. It’s clear that Grundy struggled last year. If that was down to Corona ball hubs, carrying injuries or both Grundy seemed like a shadow of the man we have become accustomed to. Unlike most players Grundy’s TOG dropped to 84% last year compared to previous years of 89% and 88% where he was able to post career high figures. 2021 should see Grundy get back to his best in a season that hopefully looks a bit more like normal. Grundy is under-priced, provides a safe captain option and will be a top ruck come years end Grundy ticks plenty of boxes so while carrying a high price tag I think he is one worth paying up for.

It’s well documented that with Treloar out of the side Taylor Adams ($875 000 MID) numbers are greater. Treloar now out of the side for good, Adams will be the Pies number 1 mid this season. A career high TOG of 80% last year is not much to worry about as previous years he has always been mid to high 70’s anyway. I think this year we can see Adams achieve an average close to 115 again. Adams has had injury issues in the past and in a year where value is important as ever, you might only be able to select very few of these top priced guys. This is something to take into account when comparing a guy like Adams to Oliver who will likely average the same but hasn’t missed a game in 4 years. Nevertheless, Adams will be a top 8 midfielder again in 2021 just not one you can start with after recent pre-season setback.

After a rollercoaster year last year Jack Crisp ($726 000 DEF) managed to put together another respectable season which saw him finish the year with a 95 average. The move last year in hindsight would have been to leave Crisp and pick him up at the halfway point of the season. Crisp managed an 86 average in the first half but rectified that with 105 in the second half and 129 in his last 5. Crisp is a bloke who has incredible scoring potential as a defender and I just don’t see how he will be less than 95 again in 2021. Crisp is super reliable having played every game for the past 6 years and if you’re looking to save some coin, while he won’t be as high scorer as guys like Lloyd or Whitfield, he could be a worthy replacement if you can use the cash to fix other areas of your team. I would like to see the dynamic of the Collingwood backline with Howe back along with the improvements expected to come from Quaynor and Noble before I jump on Crisp. Crisp has been used through the middle at times so with no Treloar does he possibly spend more time in there? There are not many negatives with Crisp, he provides a safe option who will be a top 6 defender or very close come seasons end and therefore is one to consider in 2021.

Bargain Buys

Having been a fringe player for most of his career 2021 could be the year we see Brayden Sier ($402 000 MID) burst into the 22 on a consistent basis. Similar to Daicos, Sier has only managed the 17 games in his first 3 seasons. Going into his 4th year and with midfield opportunities available we could see Sier generate some good cash for us if he is named in the side. Sier is limited to playing inside which is great as his CBA numbers are quite good. On the flip side, if he plays poorly, he gets dropped due to his lack of versatility causing job security issues for fantasy coaches. Averaging 75 from 8 games in his first season I certainly think an average around this mark or even higher is achievable this year. With spots up for grabs, priced at 53, Sier presents 20 points of upside and if he performs strongly in the AAMI game, providing he is named Rd 1 he should be someone you highly consider starting with.

Players For The Watch List

Adam Treloar’s departure opens a big hole in the Pies midfield and therefore opens up plenty of opportunity for others to increase there CBA numbers on their 2020 season. Josh Daicos ($664 000 MID) is one who I’m highly interested in. 2020 saw Josh breakout increasing his average from 63 to 87. Prior to last year Josh had received limited opportunity only managing the 17 games in 3 years. 16 games in 2020 would have helped greatly in fast tracking his development and at 22 years old Josh is ready to make an even bigger impact in 2021. Having spent all pre-season training with the midfield group it looks like Josh is set to take a fair chuck of the CBA’s left by Treloar. Recent news from an intraclub match stated that Daicos played as an onballer and starred as one of the Pies best. Having had 0 CBA’s in 2020 depending on how many we see in 2021 could be the factor in how much improvement we see from Daicos. I think this season an average of 100 is well and truly on the cards and is one to definitely watch out for. Priced similar to guys like Serong, Cerra and Setterfield, AAMI numbers will decide which of these guys if any you end up going with.

Jeremy Howe ($669 000 DEF) provides an interesting option again in 2021. Growing some big balls, Howe was one I took the punt on and started with after looking like it was clear he was going to play as an intercept general down back in 2020. Howe was amazing averaging 107 adjusted but unfortunately the good news story was cut short when Howe fucked his knee in round 4. Howe comes into his 11th season priced at 88 which has him priced the 2nd most expensive he’s been after his year in 2017 where he averaged 90. The argument here is that based off what we saw in early 2020 Howe might have more left in the tank. If he gets the same role in 2021 can he average 100? A 100+ average is a big ask and was something only managed by 2 other defenders in 2020. Can Howe be at this level? History says no. An average of 107 last year demonstrated he can score when given the right role but it’s a very small sample size of 4 games and at the increased price tag this year I don’t think there is enough value there to start him. One to watch in the early rounds and if he looks to continue where he left off jump on board.

Last season we saw Collingwood surprise us by throwing Jamie Elliot ($545 000 MID/FWD) into the middle. Typically, Elliot has been a dynamic forward for the most part of his career but last year Collingwood decided that some of his explosiveness could be valuable around stoppages. Elliot averaged 45% of Collingwood’s CBA’s in the opening half of last year where he was able to produce an average of 61. The second half however, with the injury to Treloar, Elliot was able to further boost these averages to 72% and an average of 85. Standout figures coming in his last 5 games of 77% CBA and 91 average. With Treloar gone for good, do we see these numbers produced at the back end become a regular thing for Elliot? I think Collingwood could struggle a bit more to kick a score this year and so I see Elliot being valuable up forward for the pies. Sneaky one to watch out for as he is priced at 71.

Players to Avoid

There is no doubting their ability but both Steele Sidebottom ($841 000 MID/FWD) and Scott Pendlebury ($805 000 MID) come in priced at 111 and 106 respectively and it’s quite frankly too much. Steele will be in the top forwards come season end but he is priced higher than he has ever been in his 12-season career. This is a huge red flag and there should be opportunities to pick him up cheaper throughout the year.

Pendles on the other hand is an absolute machine. Having posted averages of 100+ for 11 straight seasons is the reason why Pendles is one of the all-time greats of the game. Priced at 105 and at age 33 the likelihood Pendles improves on this is very minimal and therefore looks to be someone to avoid early on. Hopefully we see a role change later in the year to half back as I would love to own Pendles again at some point this season.

My final player to avoid in 2021 is Jordan De Goey ($605 000 FWD). Jordan is a guy who has been hyped up to make a shift to the midfield where he is supposedly going to play majority of his time on ball in 2021. I don’t doubt De Goey can play midfield, I just don’t think his game stacks up to a level where he can produce big enough fantasy scores on a consistent basis. De Goey for mine is more of an impact player and in a side, who don’t seem to have many serious goal avenues, I think for Collingwood to win games De Goey will have to be used up forward to kick winning scores. A pre-season abdominal strain has interrupted his pre-season and further reconciled my original thoughts about starting with him. That being said, maybe this midfield move does work out and we do see an increase in scoring. I’m open to watching De Goey over the pre-season but I think I might need to see a couple games in the real season before being convinced he is the real deal and not just a poor man’s Dusty. Pass for now.

Rookies To Look Out For

With the departures of Adam Treloar, Tom Phillips and Jaiden Stephenson we could see some openings and potential showings early from some young blokes. Finlay Macrae ($234 000 MID/FWD) looks to be shaping as a likely Rd 1 prospect after starring in training and match practice. Looks set for a wing position and with dual position status is a no brainer who can be played on field if selected. Other names to look out for include Trent Bianco ($182 000 DEF/MID), Max Lynch ($172 000 RUC/FWD), Will Kelly ($172 000 FWD), Jay Rantall ($170 000 MID) and Jack Ginnivan ($170 000 MID/FWD).

As always, Collingwood provide for plenty from a fantasy perspective and with opportunities beckoning the AAMI series will give us a clearer indication on who looks to take these. If you've made it this far I appreciate the time you've taken to read this article as it is a bit of a longer one. Drop a comment below regarding who from the Pies you're looking at starting along with any other questions. Cheers Legends.

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