Updated: Feb 24
This article will be short and sweet. Outside of the big 3 and the man notorious of ruining seasons there isn't much going on at Melbourne this year. Lets jump right into the talking points.
Big Boys Worth Considering
The Dee’s have some of the biggest dogs in the game. If we are talking big dogs there is none bigger than Max Gawn ($944 000 RUC) coming in as the top priced player (Priced at 124) after an absolute Bananas year in 2020. There is no doubt that the shorter quarters last year suited the big man resulting in an increase in TOG% from 86 to 93. As a result, he was able to increase his average by 12 on his previous career best of 111. While I think Gawn will be a top 3 Ruck this season I think an average of 115 is more realistic and therefore he is overpriced. Having not considered Gawn at all up until the Preuss injury he now creeps into calculations. While I can see why people would go the set and forget pathway, I still think he costs to much and in order to fund the upgrade from Preuss the rest of your team has to suffer greatly. With rolling lockouts impending fielding more rookies to find the extra cash could be a liability going forward.
Clayton Oliver ($875 000 MID) has proven to the fantasy community that he is a genuine fantasy weapon and there is no reason why he can’t be 115 again in 2021. With Corona ball we saw a decent number of premium players play extended TOG due to shorter quarters. As a result, many recorded career high TOG% stats and in my opinion may see regression in output this season due do having full quarters again. Oliver managed 83% TOG in 2020 which was the same as his previous seasons in 2019 and 2018 indicating that his improvement on his 2019 average is a bit more genuine. Oliver has everything in his game you want as a fantasy coach and is probably the largest factor in why he is so consistent. Oliver rarely puts in a bad game and therefore I don’t see his price fluctuating too much this year unless he gets injured (unlikely as he has played every game in the last 4 years). I do see Oliver as a starting option in 2021 as you will need captain options. He is one of the only premium players I can see at least maintaining his 2020 average and like always he’ll be unique to start if you can afford him.
After having waited what had seemed like an eternity Christian Petracca ($825 000 MID) finally broke out displaying what we all thought he was truly capable of. Petracca managed to increase his average by 30 points last season and while it was fantastic for coaches last year it means that this year he’s essentially fully priced and without forward status. Priced at 108, while many think Petracca won’t be able to replicate his 2020 season I see no reason why he can’t. I see Petracca averaging around the same mark and therefore in the conversation for a top mid spot come seasons end. You probably can’t start with him as there isn’t much value but he’s definitely one to look to pick up later in the year if he gets cheap as he’ll be a good unique for you.
Unfortunately, at this stage it looks like Melbourne don't really have any "bargain" priced players in 2021.
Players For The Watch List
Having increased his average every season up until last James Harmes ($474 000 DEF) comes into 2021 priced at 62 after recording averages of 94 and 83 in 2019 and 2018. 2020 Saw Harmes play predominantly back in a move which the club agreed didn't quite work out. The rumour is James is back training with the midfield group and I don't see a reason why he won't play there this season. With Petracca to go forward at times, Viney and Brayshaw can play forward or outside and it looks like Jayden Hunt will go back there should be cover down back and plenty of room in the engine room. At 25 coming into his 7th season Harmes fits the perfect profile and could be genuinely 25-30 points underpriced. Watch his role over the pre-season but if he's back in the middle he becomes very close to a must have.
While all the attention is on Gawn, Oliver and Petracca there are a couple names I will be looking out for in the AAMI. While I don’t think these guys have super upside there is still room for improvement and therefore ones to look out for. Jayden Hunt ($370 000 FWD) looks earmarked to take up a spot at half back and with his aggressive break the lines running I can see him doing quite well in this position with the new rule changes regarding the man on the mark. Hunt is at the right age now (25) to really take his career to another level and whilst never really showing he has a fantasy game a position switch may be what he needs to see increased scoring. He has averaged 72 before in his second season. Priced at 49 if he could get back to that level, he’s possibly one worth starting with.
Players To Avoid
When getting around to writing this article believe it or not this was the first player I thought of. Fantasy coaches who have played the game for a while will know exactly who’s name is about to come but for all you new comers to the game, I really want this to hit home so you can avoid fucking your season like a lot of us experienced coaches have in the past. DO NOT AT ANY POINT THIS YEAR SELECT ANGUS BRAYSHAW ($603 000 MID). Every year coaches get caught up on his magical anomaly of a season where he averaged 105. They see him priced at 79 like he is this year and they think bargain. WRONG! I don’t know what happened to this man but he’s not the player he was back in 2018. You can argue he doesn’t have the same role as he did back then but the reality is, he still attended 59% of CBA’s in 2020 and with Oliver, Petracca and Viney in the side this is about as good as it’s going to get for Brayshaw. This is a warning call to everyone to stay away from this man if you want to enjoy this year as much as possible. There will be points this year where Brayshaw looks the goods again but it’s a trap, don’t be fooled people.
On a side note, now that my little rant is over. Marty Hore ($331 000 DEF) was looking to be a good-looking value pick in our sides. Unfortunately for the man, he has gone and injured himself again and so for the second year in a row Marty will be spending all of the season on the sidelines.
Rookies To Look Out For
Like the rest of the side there isn’t much to look out for in the rookie department but two guys to keep an eye out for are: Jake Bowey ($230 000 MID/FWD) and Bailey Laurie ($228 000 DEF/FWD).
Make sure to drop a comment below expressing how much Brayshaw has fucked you in the past just to hammer home the point to the new comers. Like always if you want an opinion on a player drop it below and I'll make sure to get back to you. Cheers Legends.