Out all all the games I managed to watch this was probably the most painful. Weather conditions were shit and especially after half time both teams were slopping and didn't quite look up the par with some of the other sides I had seen play over the weekend. Whilst the game wasn't great there were lots of relevant players running around out there so lets get into it.
Tom Green: One who has been in my side all pre-season and after that performance I'd say there would be a few more coaches getting on board. The bloke was probably best on ground for GWS and I'd say their most consistent midfielder over the 4 quarters. Looks to cement a spot in the midfield this year and we could see Green follow that 2nd year midfielder breakout trend we've seen with other star mids in the past.
Josh Kelly: Looked smooth as always playing a mixture of both inside mid and outside mid in what would seem to be a role we're accustomed seeing Kelly play. The key with Josh is fitness and staying on the park but at this point he looked in superb knick whilst only managing the half a game. This is no concern and we should see his numbers increase to normal this weekend. Underpriced based on what he can do and you can argue that he hasn't even reached his max capacity yet.
Tim Taranto: Looked to be amongst the CBA's and whilst everyone seems to be full steam ahead with Taranto I'm not sure I liked what I saw. Tim seemed to spend quite a lot of time forward throughout the game which isn't a positive sign and I think out of all the giants midfielders he's most likely to spend the most time forward in the real season. CBA's look good on paper but I'm less bullish on Taranto than I was at the start of the pre-season.
Stephen Coniglio: Had moments where he got busy but for large periods of the game was quite quiet. Will spend some time forward but for the most part looks to be playing predominantly mid so I think we will see a bounce back year from Cogs. Whether he gets all the way back to his best or better I'm unsure yet.
Isaac Cumming: Looks like he's a shoe in in the 22 now after taking almost all of the Giants kick ins on the weekend. Along with that he was more than capable around the ground and looks to shape as a great cash generator this season.
Lachie Ash: This kid looks to have a big future. With the new rule changes and the way the game is progressing Ash fits the perfect mould for someone who can present huge danger to opposition teams. Whilst he's more of an impact playing the more confident he gets and the more experience under his belt the more the Giants will look for him. I can see Ash improving a decent amount this year but I'm not sure it's enough to warrant selection especially when Cumming is 70k cheaper and will have roughly the same output.
Connor Idun: Looks to be shaping as a potential debutant and whilst he showed some promising signs I can't see him being much of a scorer so at the inflated price I'd be happy to leave him unless there are no other options down back.
Mathew Flynn: Lock and load at R3. Whilst Hickey did have the slight edge over him Flynn showed more than enough signs to prove he can hold is own at AFL level. I can't see a world where GWS choose to ruck Shane Mumford over him at least to start the season.
Callan Ward: Actually looked pretty good out there and surprised me a bit. While I won't be taking a punt on him due to his age, awkward price and midfield only status Ward has found himself a new home down back and is priced super cheap for what he's done before. Not one who peaks my interest yet but if he starts the season well I could be tempted.
Notable Absentees: Lachie Whitfield, Jesse Hogan and Brayden Preuss.
Sydney Swans Takeaways
Callum Mills: This is possibly the biggest take away from the match but it finally looks like Mills is set for a fulltime midfield role in 2021. It feels like we've been saying this every pre-season for 2 or 3 years now but I think the time has finally come. Having averaged 91 last year with very limited inside time a role change like this could see Mills bump his average to 100-105 and be a top 5 defender come seasons end.
Ollie Florent and James Rowbottom: Both were serviceable and showed some good signs here and there but not enough to suggest they are going to improve enough to be a worthy pick in fantasy classic. Especially now it looks like the Swans are set on using Mills as a midfielder it probably slightly stunts the growth of these two.
Nick Blakey: Was super impressive in an outside role and looks to make the wing his home in 2021. This bloke is a talent and brings an excitement to the game with his burst of speed, agility and good footy smarts. He's cheap and will improve but I'm not convinced he's enough of an accumulator yet for him to consistently score well enough.
Tom Hickey: Was the better of the two rucks as expected when coming up against Mathew Flynn. His around the ground work was quite good but I can't see him being able to compete with the more dominant rucks in the game. He's super cheap and will make you some coin but can you really be giving up that many points to the big 3 (Gawn/Grundy/O'brien).
Isaac Heeney: Looks set to play almost purely as a forward. With injury history and his time out of the game along with a forward role I'm happy to pass on Heeney as there are better options around the same price.
Braeden Campbell: Looked to do some nice things. Great boot on him and good under pressure when working out of defence. Looks to have pretty solid job security although you do have to pay up for him at 262k and his scoring potential doesn't look super. Could be cheaper options with similar scoring output.
Logan McDonald: Young key forward for the swans says it all. I'd be avoiding Logan although he looks a good player in the making.
Errol Gulden: Probably the pick of the Swans youngsters. Looked very classy and skillful and looks highly likely for round 1. One I would have on your bench at bare minimum.
Chad Warner: I must admit I actually didn't see this bloke as he just slipped completely through my sieve. Word was he was pretty decent after coming on in the second quarter. Had a few CBA's so he'll be one to watch next week in the AAMI providing he plays.
Notable Absentees: Lance Franklin, Sam Naismith, Dane Rampe and Harry Cunningham
In conclusion I don't tend to jump at shadows in the pre-season but Mills is one who has gone from off my radar to in my team. I think going forward the GWS midfield mix and CBA split is something that needs to be monitored closely. As always leave a comment if you have a question or get at me on twitter @AFLFantasyFreak.