Will 2021 be the year these fuckers slow down... It's getting boring watching these blokes year in year out win the premiership. I'm hoping this season we can see some change and while their list looks below average when compared to the other "contenders" you just know they'll find a way. Regardless of how dominant the Tiges have been over the last 4 years this hasn't really correlated to strong fantasy output and therefore leaves us with limited to look at in terms of fantasy options in 2021.
Big Boys to Consider
Arguably the face of the AFL Dustin Martin ($713 000 MID/FWD) comes into 2021 priced at 94 (his second lowest in the last 8 years). Dusty is a freak of the game, the stuff this man can produce on the footy field is spectacular to watch and when this bloke is in beast mode there's no one better. This issue with Dusty is that over the years he's been able to assert such dominance up forward that he spends a lot of time there. Richmond don't seem to have that strong of a midfield but they seem to make it work and there will be no difference in Martins role this season. Surprisingly, Dusty attended 76% of CBA's last year. In most cases this is phenomenal but it's not really a true indication of Dusty's role as the Tigers will chuck him in the square then roll him forward straight away and as a result we have seen drops in marks and tackles on Dusty's career high seasons. With Edwards and Prestia looking to come back early both of which missed large portions of last season maybe Dusty even see's less time in the middle. Who knows what they will do with him but regardless where he plays he'll be good and therefore I can see him being around that mid 90's mark again in 2021. Probably scores high enough to be a top 6 forward again this season.
After a super year last year Jayden Short ($694 000 DEF) comes into 2021 priced at 91. At age 25, Short heads into his 6th season with 92 games under the belt and seems primed to peak. Short looks to be that quarterback sweeper for the Tigers whilst also having the nous to take the kick ins a super fantasy friendly role. With Houli injured early we could see Short get off to a flyer start which see's him average 100+. Super unique and risky pick but it could have some merit and saves almost 200k from Jake Lloyd.
Having 2 injury affected seasons in a row Toby Nankervis ($556 000 RUC) certainly comes with a risk factor. The big man has demonstrated that he has scoring potential putting up averages of 87 and 89 off 21 games in 2017 and 2018. Priced at 73 there is certainly a decent amount of upside with Nank and with Soldo being injured for the first half of the year you can assume Nank will take on a solo ruck role. It's always risky going with an injury prone player in the ruck as it's always hard to find the cash to get up to one of the top guys but I think you just have to look at the value and back in the fact he has had a solid pre-season and assume these worries are in the past. I think Nank can average 90 for the part of the season where Soldo is out of the side and he may not need to string many games together to generate enough to upgrade to Gawn/Grundy/O'brien. I think Nank is one of the better mid-price replacements for Preuss if you're chosing to go down this route in your ruck department.
Players For The Watch List
One I was a bit more bullish on earlier in the pre-season was Dion Prestia ($645 000 MID). The man is value priced at 85 as he realistically goes 95-100 if fully fit. The problem is he isn't. An interrupted pre-season means at the price there are better options you should be selecting. Prestia is a watch though as a pick up potentially during the season as there is some coin to be made here.
Shai Bolton ($625 000 MID/FWD) announced himself to the competition last year displaying how dangerous his agility and leg speed in the middle can be. Richmond saw this early and as a result Bolton became a main stay in the Richmond lineup averaging 80% CBA from Rd 6 to Rd17. Coincidentally, the midfield minutes only started to come once both Edwards and Prestia weren't present in the team from Rd 5 onwards. With Edwards likely to play and Prestia not far away do we see Bolton returning back to a half forward role? After last season and how damaging he was in the middle I think Richmond will still opt to give him decent minutes in that role but it's just something to be wary of. Bolton comes into his 5th season so realistically should be getting close to his peak and there is no reason why he can't improve off his 82 average from last season. Keep an eye on him in the pre-season as if he has the right role natural improvement could see him go 90+ in 2021.
Players to Avoid
Having provided a solid option down back in the past you simply have to avoid Bachar Houli ($764 000 DEF) this season. Priced at 100 Houli is overs for a guy who is coming on 33 (probably in his last season) and injury prone. A pre-season setback means Houli won't be available to start the season and even if he was right for Rd 1 you would be avoiding him anyway.
Rookies to Look Out For
Traditionally, the Tiges have been a tough side to crack into with reasonable depth across the board and strong showings year on end not many youngsters get a go. I think this year we see some names get a chance. It's hard to predict when that will be and pre-season showings will be an indication but you would think Thomson Dow ($192 000 MID) and Riley Collier-Dawkins ($170 000 MID) are close. The Tigers have been impressed with Samson Ryan ($192 000 RUC) and with no Soldo available we could possibly see him play back up to Nank. Another name to look out for is Hugo Ralphsmith ($170 000 MID/FWD).
All in all Richmond tend to be a team I avoid in fantasy football as their low possession team oriented game style doesn't tend to lead to big and or consistent fantasy scoring. Excluding rookies I currently have 1 player from Richmond in my starting squad. Let me know in the comments who you currently have and or looking at from the Tigers. Cheers Legends.