Judging by the way Geelong have handled their off season, recruiting the likes of Isaac Smith, Jeremy Cameron and Shaun Higgins, it’s certainly clear that the Cats are taking an all in approach for a flag this year. With an aging list this may be there last chance to pinch one before they have to start running some younger guys. Last season saw Geelong rank as the number 1 side for total fantasy points and with their star studded lineup I expect the same in 2021.
Big Boys Worth Considering
Flashback 2 months to when Fantasy first opened up for the season and Patrick Dangerfield ($780 000 MID/FWD) was one of the first players picked for me. With the recruitment of key forward Jeremy Cameron along with the fact they might look to play Ratugolea the equation looked simple for Dangerfield. More midfield minutes! No doubt Dangerfield will still play forward at times as that seems the route in which the competition is taking with reduced interchange but I think his split will be more midfield dominant than in previous years. In my opinion, Dangerfield is the best midfielder in the game when he is firing and while he can be a sook the bloke has posted averages of 118 and 121 in the past when playing large midfield splits. While Danger is getting on in age the only thing Paddy hasn't achieved is winning a flag. The man would be hungry as ever to taste some of that team success and I can see Danger having a big season. Struggles with a groin injury have definitely hindered him this pre-season with Danger self admitting he is still a month or two behind where he would like to be. While Geelong likely play Danger from Rd 1 do we see a reduce in TOG to start the season? Do we see Danger play more forward? These are all red flags and potential limits to Dangers upside. Geelong aren't stupid and they know that to win a flag they need Danger there at the back end of the season. He most likely gets eased in and therefore would probably be a better pick going into the byes. Geelong do have a very nice draw to start the season though which could counteract these negatives. Had Danger had a healthy pre-season he would be a lock for me but for now I think you just have to wait and see, although I do think he will be the number 1 forward come years end.
The last couple seasons Tom Stewart ($736 000 DEF) has been a top tier defender and I can’t see any other way in season 2021. Having averaged 95 and 96 in his last two years I expect an average around the 100 mark seeing Stewart finish in the top 6 defenders. Stewarts role will be the same this season and playing in such a good side like Geelong there is always plenty of ball to go round. Stewart presents as a genuine starting option down back if you wanted to avoid the higher priced guys in Lloyd and Whitfield but still start with a top 6 guy who potentially won’t be far off. Stewart will be relatively unique (currently 8% as of writing this) to start the season if that’s what you’re looking for.
Jeremy Cameron ($488 000 FWD) is a name which has been highly spoken about this pre-season and for good reason. After leaving the Giants to join the Cats Jeremy looks to find himself in a super position playing as the lead up centre half forward player. I think with the Cats tendencies to vacate the forward 50 and leave Hawkins one out deep I think we could see Jezza getting up the ground as a link player and increasing his marks per game substantially. After averaging an adjusted 4.9 marks per game in 2020 I think we could see this as high as 7 in 2021. Geelong as a team also averaged the highest goals per game last season at 10.5 compared to the Giants ranked 11th at 8.5 indicating there could be more opportunity for Jezza to get some more goals on the board. 2020 was a poor year from a goal kicking standpoint (29 for the season) and I expect a return of 40+ in 2021 even with Hawkins in the side. Cameron has averaged 88 twice in his career and with a move to the Cats there doesn’t seem to be many negatives. Priced at 64 I can see Cameron being anywhere from 80-90 this season and with their wicked draw he could be one to start with. Only concern is he did suffer a minor hamstring hiccup which set him back 1-2 weeks but I don’t think should affect his preparation too much. Jezza is back in full training now and should look to line up in both practice matches.
Players For The Watch List
After a great first season playing 18 games at an average of 63 Jordan Clark ($422 000 DEF/MID) looked to have built a solid platform to leap into his second season. Unfortunately, this was not the case as a series of injuries and job security issues meant he was only able to manage the 3 games in 2020. I do think Geelong rate Clark though and this year providing he is fit and has a strong showing in the AAMI Geelong will look to use Clark off half back. Priced at 55 If Clark could manage to boost his average up to the mid 70’s he could be one to consider but I would watch in particular for a TOG boost along with certainty from the coach that Clark will be there to stay in 2021. If all lights seem to be green, he could work out being a good left field selection with dual position status.
Charlie Constable ($484 000 MID) is one you can look out for. While the man can definitely play the Geelong side runs very deep and with a premiership in sights I'm not sure Chris Scott gives Charlie a crack in the 22. Do we possibly see Constable move clubs at the end of the season similar to what Jackson Hately has done? Possibly. The kid can play as displayed in his first season where he managed to average 83. Priced at 63 there is definitely upside but with poor job security I would avoid starting with him if he's named. If he manages to pump out a big score jump on and ride the cash wave and get rid of him when that wave crashes.
Players to Avoid
Whilst Mitch Duncan ($809 000 MID) is an elite player with a PPM rate to match it with the best of the best Geelong's midfield runs deep and I can see Duncan playing predominantly outside in 2021. On top of the fact it's unlikely Mitch gets enough inside time he's also recently sustained a calf set back and by reports looks to miss the first couple rounds of the season. Someone to upgrade to but certainly avoid starting with.
The veteran that is Joel Selwood ($596 000 MID) just seems to keep on keeping on. Almost 33 years old with 310 games played Joel comes into season 2021 priced at 78 and whilst this does seem relatively cheap the man was this price to start the 2020 season also. I think it's safe to assume that Joel is past it now and whilst he's still a great leader and asset to the club I think his premium fantasy days are well and truly behind him.
For those who managed to snag Cam Guthrie ($810 000 MID) early last year kudos to you. The man was phenomenal after showing no fantasy relevance in his first 9 seasons an inside mid role saw Guthrie take his average from 77 to 106 seeing him finish just shy of the top echelon of mids in 2020. Whilst I expect Guthrie to still play midfield minutes with reduced rotations and the fact Geelong now have Higgins we could see Guthrie spend more time back potentially this year. I don't think it's reasonable to select a player priced over 800k who's previous best season was 84 before last year.
Rookies to Look Out For
Geelong have an extreme level of depth in their side and with a premiership a priority it's very unlikely we see many fresh faces this year. The only name that could be relevant is Nick Stevens ($178 000 DEF) but in general I'd look to clubs seeking development when it comes to rookies as they'll likely have way stronger job security and better roles.
As of writing this I currently have 0 Geelong players in my pre-season side although there are a couple I am monitoring and am willing to select if I feel the circumstances are right. Let me know which Geelong boys you'll be rolling with in 2021 and as always drop any other questions you have bellow. Cheers Legends.