I was impressed with the way in which both teams went about it. Traditionally Richmond have never really been super Fantasy relevant and Melbourne the same outside of their top end players. I was dealt a little bit of surprise as their were names from both side I hadn't considered too much until now. Lets jump into the Tigers first.
Dustin Martin: Started the game on fire and was everywhere early. Played a typical role we have become accustomed to seeing from Dusty as he starts in the bounce and drifts forward. I think the last few years in this role is an indication of what we'll see again in 2021 and therefore he's priced relative to his expected output. A solid premium who will be amongst the top forwards again but has limited upside and therefore looks to be more of an upgrade target for mine.
Jayden Short: Was super busy in the first half but got a little bit quieter in the second. Took a lot of kick ins and looks to be the main man coming out of defence. I can see short having a big year and whilst it's risky and ballsy especially early with no Houli in the side he could go bang. The risk vs reward proposition isn't great but I think he improves again and there is no reason he can't average 95 this year.
Liam Baker: Much like Short he was everywhere in the first half and quieter as the game went on. Played as a rebounding half back and was very solid. Can see improvement but he's priced at 550k which makes in super hard to fit him in. Probably a pass at the price and based off the fact Richmond isn't the greatest scoring fantasy side but he does present a unique option.
Toby Nankervis: Took a couple marks around the ground and was able to get the ball around the contest but in the ruck itself he was dominated. As expected when rucking against Max Gawn he looked to have lost majority of the hitouts and even once Melbourne threw Luke Jackson into the ruck he still wasn't fairing too well. I was open to starting Nank but the more I think about it the more the set and forget rucks seem the way to go.
Shai Bolton: Was impressive at times but looked like he's set to spend more time forward. Attended 8 of 30 centre bounces (27%) which can't be great for his scoring output considering the amount of time he spent in the guts last year and the lofty heights he achieved after a huge breakout year. Will be good again this year but not a starting option I don't think.
Hugo Ralphsmith: Very impressive. Liked the way this kid went about it and looked very composed under pressure and moving the ball off half back. Not sure about his job security once Houli is ready to go but for now I think he plays round 1 and is one to highly consider. I actually have him on field in my forward line currently.
Will Martyn: Had a solid game and managed to get into the midfield rotation attending 2 of 30 CBA's (6%). Hard to see him getting games early though
Thomson Dow: One I had been keen on as a bench midfield option but I'm not sure he's best 22 from round 1. Certainly in the mix this year at some point and while he played limited game time was used solely through the middle which is a good sign. Did look good in there so definitely one to watch next week and hopefully we see increased minutes.
Notable Absentees: Daniel Rioli, Dion Prestia, Kane Lambert, Bachar Houli and Riley Collier-Dawkins.
Max Gawn: Going into this game I'll admit that Nankervis held my ruck 2 position. Not anymore. Watching Max run around winning marks down back, up forward, on the wing, kicking goals whatever he wanted, essentially proved to me that gee wiz is this bloke something else. His price tag is mental and you think that there's no possible way he maintains that but then you see his opponents to start the year and you can't help but think he pulls out a couple of 150's early. Captain option and set and forget. I was hugely against paying the coin for him earlier in the pre-season but it's getting more and more tempting now.
Christian Petracca and Clayton Oliver: Both very good and played the same role as last season. Expect similar fantasy numbers again from the pair in 2021. Oliver I could see as a starting midfield option if you were to go with an uber premium guy although Trac is probably an upgrade target.
James Harmes: Lived up to the hype in terms of playing a midfield role. Attended 13 of 30 centre bounces (43%) and whilst he didn't set the world on fire he was solid enough. Will be interesting to see what these numbers look like with Viney and Brayshaw back but I don't think they will affect him to much. Excluding Max, Harmes had the 3rd highest CBA's for the Dees which shows their intent. We've seen what he can do as a midfielder so at this time he shapes as a great mid priced candidate down back.
Jayden Hunt: I must admit Hunt is one I've never bought into the hype with this pre-season. He's definitely cheap priced at 370k (49 points) and looks set for the half back switch that had been talked about. Looks good in that position and the Dees look to get the ball in his hands as he has elite speed and can take the game on. I've always seen hunt as an impact player and not someone who can get a stack of it but the role is friendly and he's been 70+ before so he's certainly one to keep an eye on.
James Jordon: Burst into round 1 calculations after his performance on the weekend. Actually managed a crack in the middle attending 8 of 30 centre bounces albeit earlier in the match. Not to certain on his scoring ability but he's 170k basement priced rook who looks to play early so you can't complain.
Notable Absentees: Jake Melksham, Michael Hibbered, Jack Viney, Angus Brayshaw, Ben Brown, Sam Weideman, Kysaiah Pickett.
Due to Richmond's game style having a relatively low fantasy output I'm probably going to steer clear of Tigers players to start the year. Jayden Short is one I like as a premium option this year although he's hard to start with. Both sides have some decent rookies that look to get games early along with Melbourne in particular having some mid pricers to keep a close eye on. I'd like to get your guys opinion on James Harmes and what you think his output can be this year. He currently sits in my side.