Honestly, what happened with the Suns. Whoever their recruiting manager is, probably needs the move on. When looking at their side compared to the Giants who came into the competition just after they honestly have no real AFL jets and seem to building still since entering the competition. While the suns aren't relevant in terms of the big boys they do have some must have players and a few other mid price options to really consider this season.
Big Boys to Consider
As mentioned above, Gold Coast just don’t have many big boys and by that, I mean, they don’t have any. I can’t recommend any one of significant price tag to start 2021 let alone even consider slightly.
Ok, lets get into the business stuff! The man himself, the team himself, the only reason 99% of the competition gives a fuck about Gold Coast at all, Matt Rowel ($574 000 MID). Wow! what a bloody ripper he is! Priced at 75 there is a reason why he is the most selected player in AFL fantasy classic. I don’t think there has ever been a case where a player has gone into their second year being the best midfielder on the list. Rowell potentially gets attention from opposition this year but I cannot see a world where he doesn’t average 90+. His shoulder seems to have recovered and he is in exceptional condition. Gold Coast have been managing his workload to some extent over the pre-season but come the real deal he should be ready to go and I don’t think they will hold him back. At least 15 points under-priced, don’t get tricky and try to have a POD by not selecting him. This is not a player you want to employ that strategy with.
The next bloke is one who has been in my side multiple times in the 5 gazillion pre-season teams I've had. Prior to the news of Brayden Preuss being injured Jarrod Witts ($615 000 RUC) was one I was toying with as a POD generally because I didn't trust Preuss. With almost the whole competition looking for a ruck replacement I think Witts provides as a genuine option. Having averaged 92.3, 93.8, 104.4 in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, Witts had a year to forget in 2020. Corona ball must have had some sort of affect on Witts as we saw his average slide to an underwhelming 80 (adjusted) in 2020. There are not too many reasons why this was the case other than the fact that the shortened quarters along with hubs and other COVID related BS took its toll on him. Hoping 2021 brings somewhat of a normal season we should see Witts bounce back to some extent. There is no reason Witts can’t be 90-105 making him 10-25 points under-priced. If he looks good in the AAMI he could be a nice cashgrab from Gawn or O'brien with decent upside.
Players For The Watch List
In 2020 Rowell took all the spotlight at the suns. So much so I think many people forgot how good a debut year Noah Anderson ($562 000 MID) had. Averaging 73.7 adjusted in 2020 after playing all 17 games Anderson now has a terrific platform to improve off going into 2021. Everyone talks about how real the “3rd year breakout” is but I think the 2nd year breakout for midfielders is equally a thing (e.g. Clayton Oliver went from 68.9 in his 1st season to 101.6 in his 2nd). A high draft pick with good numbers as a junior, Noah is certainly going to improve in 2021, the question is how much? I think he can be around the high 80’s mark but who am I to put a cap on his potential. The inclusions of Brandon Ellis ($691 000 MID) and Rory Atkins ($510 000 MID) most likely negatively impact Anderson as they’re all similar players but there is upside in Anderson and is a big watch for me leading into the 2021 season. Noah had no CBA’s up until the half way point of the season but from there on his CBA’s increased the further we got into the year. Rumour is he is earmarked for more inside time so watch his role closely in the AAMI.
Another hyped up name throughout the pre-season is Will Brodie ($503 000 MID/FWD). A high draft pick with a lot of promise, he has just not quite been able to make it happen yet. After averaging 87.8 from 8 games in 2019 Brodie only managed the 1 game last year at an adjusted average of 56. It’s now Brodies 4th season on the list and with his contract coming to an end at the end of 2022 he really needs to put his foot down this season if he wants to secure his future at the club. So far it looks like he is doing that, shaving 30 seconds off his PB in a pre-season 2km time trial. It looks like Brodie really wants to make a spot in the side his in 2021. Priced at 65 and with FWD status providing he gets into the side with any significant role he is a big watch in 2021.
Jack Lukosius ($595 000 DEF) was one that was able to improve massively in 2020. After averaging 52.3 in 2019 off 21 games Jack managed to average 77.5 (adjusted) off all 17 games last year. Going into his 3rd season where we traditionally see the biggest improvement in a player’s career Jack could be a sneaky option in 2021. Last year we saw him take that fantasy friendly role down back that allowed him to take plenty of kick ins and intercept marks. I can’t see things changing as the number 2 draft pick is an important part of Gold Coast’s future and they’ll want to develop him in the role he clearly plays best in. We could see Lukosius take a big leap in 2021 and average around that 90 mark. He’s priced awkwardly, especially in a zone where there are plenty of value priced players about. He’s a risk but could pay off big if ballsy enough to select him from the get go.
Other players that could present value and therefore are a watch in 2021 include Darcy Macpherson ($457 000 FWD) and Oleg Markov ($370 000 DEF). D Mac had been discussed as a potential starting option last year after averaging 87 in 2019, he comes into 2021 priced at 60. A slight change in role along with the fact he was just generally poor last year has led to him to be priced 27 points under his 2019 average. Watch to see if there is a change of role as he has shown in the past he can score. Oleg Markov ($370 000 DEF) is an interesting one. Moving over from the Tigers in seek of opportunity, Markov is a wait and see type. We haven’t seen much from Markov yet but moving over to the Gold Coast could be what the defender needs to kick start his career and 2021 could potentially see him play a full season for the first time in his career leading to a career high season in fantasy. Priced at we will need to see a bit first before jumping on.
Players To Avoid
Whilst Touk Miller ($770 000 MID) has increased his average every year bar 1, I think priced at 100 he is pretty well capped in price. Maybe he improves to 105 but even that is not enough to warrant starting with him in 2020. Same goes for Hugh Greenwood ($737 000 MID). After having a huge season in 2020 serving all well who started with him (Priced at 78 went on to average 96 as a FWD) I just can’t make a case for him in 2021. After losing his FWD status and being priced at 96 I just don’t see much improvement in Greenwood and therefore you must avoid to start 2021. In general, anyone priced higher than Jarrod Witts ($615 000) you can probably file under this category to start in 2021.
Rookies To Look Out For
These are names that have been floating around pre-season and are in contention for a Rd1 spot. As usual track the remainder of their pre-season along with there performance in the AAMI series. Sam Flanders ($253 000 MID/FWD), Jeremy Sharp ($221 000 MID) and Jez McLennan ($170 000 DEF) could all see games early while Elijah Hollands ($258 000 MID/FWD) is one to look out for potentially later in the year.
As Always make sure to leave a comment letting me know of anyone I may have missed or someone you want an opinion on and I'll be sure to get back to you. Cheers legends.