As much as I love my boys and it's only pre-season signs do look concerning and I'm not to sure we are in for a great year. West Coast had plenty of names not playing where Freo had close to a full strength side and looked quite impressive out there. In terms of fantasy relevancy there's only one team who present much interest here but we'll jump in and cover West Coast quickly.
West Coast Takeaways
Liam Duggan: Seemed to rotate between centre bounces, wing and defence. Managed to attend 38% of the centre bounces and looks to play a midfield role temporarily while Yeo is out. While the role seems all but confirmed I can't recommend starting with him as who knows how long it will last and when paying that price for someone you'd Ideally like them to improve enough to keep them for majority of the season. If Duggan loses the role in the opening few rounds it could mean your stuck with a mid 80's player.
Luke Shuey: Comes in somewhat under priced at 85 considering he did average a tick over 100 the year before. Did what he had to do and got through unscathed. Only played half a game but that's expected for a man like him at this time of year. Potential upside but I've been burnt a few times in the past and he is super injury prone.
Andrew Gaff: Potentially the only genuinely relevant West Coast player at this current time. Looked his usual self racking up plenty but did appear to play a large amount inside as well as outside (54% CBA's). Gaff played a bit inside last year also so it shouldn't mean much difference in scoring and I expect him to be around the 110 mark again in 2021.
Alex Witherden: Seemed to be on rotation with Shannon Hurn for kick in duties which was a positive. It's unclear at this point how strong Witho's job security is and he did turn the footy over quite a lot on the weekend which doesn't pose a great case for him. While he managed to find a bit of it there's better options out there at the price.
Notable Absentees: Nic Naitanui, Elliot Yeo, Tim Kelly and Josh Kennedy
Caleb Serong: I'll admit I'm a bit of a Serong fan boy and coming into this game he was one I was keen to see on the park. The kid didn't disappoint and was pretty busy most of the game. He did only attend the 50% of centre bounces which is slightly less than I was expecting or wanted to see but he's still firmly in my round 1 fantasy squad calculations. Looks set to take a big step again in 2021.
Andrew Brayshaw: Wow! Brayshaw was best on ground for mine and was incredible throughout the whole game. Attended a huge 88% centre bounces and looks to be the mainstay in the Freo midfield. Going into his 4th season, added to the leadership group, team should improve around him the list goes on with positives and I can't see how Brayshaw doesn't explode again in 2021. A 110 average might be ambitious but I'm not putting it past him.
Nat Fyfe: Coming into this season I was a firm believer that Nat Fyfe would play predominantly forward in something like a 70/30 split. Fyfe was awesome on the weekend, while he did catch me slightly off guard when deployed in a strict midfield role in the half he was out there. Word is, that he is going to play forward at times but it'll be on a basis of how Fyfe is feeling or who they are playing and so there might not be a definitive role for him and we may see him bounce from full midfield to full forward splits on a week by week basis. He's not one to have in classic but it is interesting as it will effect how many minutes some of the more relevant guys may get.
Adam Cerra: Had a good game until being subbed out at half time with a precautionary calf issue. Seems right to return this weekend in the AAMI series so we'll be able to get another look at him although it does seem like Brayshaw and Serong are ahead of him in the pecking order. Should improve again but I'm not sure he can get to 100+ just yet.
Luke Ryan: Came off with a back injury and went to get a scan straight away with medicos worried about a potential break. Scans came back all clear and so Ryan should be right to go round this weekend. With a number of key position players back for Freo I can see Ryan freed up down back and will rack up plenty of the pill. Very much fantasy relevant this year and could be a unique premium option.
Michael Walters: Walters played almost solely forward as predicted in my Fremantle Pre-season Preview. I can't see Walters getting enough mid time especially early when they have a healthy list. Walters is one I would be avoiding.
Hayden Young: Lock and load. Looked comfortable at half back pushing up the ground and setting up plays with his weapon boot. Freo looked to him in the back half and he also took a few kick ins. At the price you have to have him.
Lloyd Meek: Competed well all game in the ruck against Vardy. Many are of the opinion that Freo will lineup with Lobb in the ruck come round 1 but I like Meek's chances. If he does play it will be short lived though with Sean Darcy's return on the horizon.
Josh Treacy: Was quite impressive and did a few nice things highlighted by his run down tackle. Hard to tell if he's best 22 with Taberner not in the side. If he lines up this weekend with Tabs in the side I like his round 1 chances although there should be other options available with higher potential.
Heath Chapman: Came on in the second half and was just plain. Doesn't look in line for round 1 but will get games throughout the year at some point in which he should make a solid downgrade target.
Notable Absentees: Matt Taberner and Sean Darcy
All in all I can't see myself starting this year with any West Coast boys. Freo on the other hand seem to have plenty of options who present decent amount of upside. It's hard not to be impressed with the young midfield brigade of Freo and I can see a world where I potentially start with more than 1 of those boys. As always thanks for reading and stay tuned for more fantasy classic insights.