The Hawks shape up to have some decent options across all lines in all price ranges. New recruits and injuries look to provide plethora of opportunity and role changes which could see multiple Hawks worthy of selection in Fantasy classic this season.
Starting with the Big Boys
There is potentially not a bigger dog or should I say bigger pig in AFL Fantasy than the man himself Tom Mitchell ($823 000 MID). Oink comes in expensive in 2021 priced at an average of 107 but for a player who has gone at 127 and 129 in 2017 and 2018 respectively he is potentially close to 20 points under-priced. After missing all of 2019 with a broken leg it was clear Mitchell was a little bit rusty in his return to AFL going at an adjusted average of 100 over the first 9 rounds (Helped by big scores of 128 in Rd 6 and 134 in Rd 9). Getting back to Mitchell like ways he finished the second half of the season in pig like fashion going at a more respectable standard of 116. It emerged last year that Mitchell had been battling a shoulder injury for the most part of last season (Most likely why his tackle numbers were down compared to 2018 and 2019 numbers). Pre-season surgery has interrupted his pre-season and there is talk he isn’t going to be right for round 1. If by some chance we see Mitchell in the AAMI game providing he looks good I think you pick him. He is already potentially 20 points under priced based on what we know he can do so If he plays there isn’t much risk in picking him as it's likely he out performs his current average regardless.
This is somewhat of a statement but I think Tom Phillips ($602 000 MID/FWD) is close to a must have in 2021. After the departure of Isaac Smith in the offseason and the recent shock retirement of Tom Scully the Hawks are desperate for some outside runners. The recruitment of Phillips, a guy who is desperate to get back to his natural position in the midfield after being pushed forward by Collingwood last year seems like a perfect fit for what the Hawks need. After averaging 95.5 and 90.5 in 2018 and 2019 Phillips has shown he is capable of putting up some good averages and at an age of 24 it is arguable Phillips hasn’t even reached his peak as a footballer yet. There is the argument that Phillips averages are slightly inflated due to Collingwood’s high scoring nature but the role looks far to good to ignore at the Hawks and should offset this. I do prefer to avoid sole wingman and chase players who attend centre bounces but there are exceptions to this rule with players like Andrew Gaff proving consistent high scoring can be achieved as a winger. I don’t see why he can’t get back to a 95 average and Priced at 79, it is a watch in the AAMI just to confirm these thoughts but all signs point to lock and load at this stage.
Players For The Watch List
The departures of Isaac Smith and Tom Scully as mentioned above and no James Sicily due to an ACL injury leaves huge holes in the Hawthorn line up. Will Day ($569 000 DEF) was super impressive in his first year at AFL level. Posting an adjusted average of 75 over 11 games. I think if Day is able to snag one of these fantasy friendly positions (wing/interceptor quarterback type), on top of the fact he will naturally improve from exposure last year, we could see a sharp improvement that justifies the awkward price tag. For the same reasons mentioned for Day, I think Jack Scrimshaw ($557 000 DEF) presents as an option. Increasing his average each of his 3 seasons the 22-year-old early draft pick (pick 7) looks to put his first full season together and with roles available could explode to new heights this year. Day priced at 75 and Scrimshaw at 73 could both potentially see averages closer to 90 in 2021.
Big boy Ben McEvoy ($477 000 DEF/RUC) looks to be a unique and interesting option. Last year the Hawks opted to run with Jonathon Ceglar ($573 000 RUC) in the ruck forcing McEvoy into a switch that saw him play a key back position (super interesting). I’m not quite sure this setup really worked for the hawks, with Ceglar being somewhat below par and McEvoy lacking the agility to excel as a key back we could see some changes in the ruck department in 2021. The recruitment of Kyle Hartigan ($366 000 DEF) and the return of Michael Hartley ($363 000 DEF) to support Sam Frost ($377 000 DEF) down back potentially opens the door for McEvoy to make a move back up the ground. For a player who averaged 91, 86 and 83 in the 3 years prior while playing ruck currently priced at 62 if McEvoy is able to wrestle back the ruck role, we could see improvement back towards the 80 mark and having the flexibility of being a DEF/RUC could come in handy during the season. A sneaky one to keep the eyes peeled for.
Jarman Impey ($463 000 FWD) looks to be an interesting option. Having been used predominantly as a pressure forward it looks like Impey is set for a move to defence in a rebounding role. It looks like this could be a trend in 2021 with the new rule changes as teams look to exploit the man on the mark with leg speed to gain some extra distance. Impey has never been much of a Fantasy scorer but a role switch might be what is needed to tap into his potential. At 25 years old he hits the right age profile to be peaking and whilst I'm not expecting much a role switch could spark interest.
Players to Avoid
This one is plain and simple as mentioned many times previously throughout this article but Sic Dawg James Sicily ($663 000 DEF) will be taking a long term sicky and will miss most of if not all of this season due to an ACL injury, therefore he must be avoided at all costs.
Jonathon Patton ($191 000 FWD) whilst shaping up to be one of the easier rookie price selections this year has taken time away from the club to focus on mental health. Who knows how long this will go on for but he's not a starting option. Look to downgrade later in the year.
Rookies To Look Out For
Recent intra club footage has given us a bit of a look at who's looking in shape for an early call up. Connor Downie ($202 000 MID) starred for the "probable" side playing a wing role. It's looking likely he could debut round 1 and is one worth considering starting with. Justin Koschitzke ($170 000 FWD) looked comfortable playing as a key forward and looks in line for an early call up. Whilst it looks like he will get games his scoring ability will be poor and therefore he is worth avoiding unless we are desperate for cover. Other names worth mentioning although at inflated price tags include: Finn Maginness ($279 000 MID) and Denver Grainger-Barrass ($264 000 DEF).
As usual leave a comment below suggesting anyone I may have missed or someone you feel holds relevancy this season. I'll be sure to get back to you with my opinion and feedback.