This week I am beginning a new series labelled ‘Triple Threat’ for Inside Feed. The weekly article will analyse the best trade in options for each position in AFL Fantasy, identifying the best premium and rookie selections, as well as those unique or undervalued players that often combine huge upside with big risk.
*Rookie options in the ruck won’t be discussed due to lack of options.
My team ‘POKs Pies’ is currently ranked 24th overall so I’m going fairly well. In saying that, I’ve now put the mockers on myself and this series will probably coincide with a slide in ranking moving forward.
Anyway, here’s this week’s piece.
The Rookie – Andrew McPherson
Although Hawthorn’s Will Day has clearly been the best performing rookie down back, he’s now made $70k from his $246k starting price two weeks ago. There’s not much money to be made if you’re looking to downgrade from the likes of Brandon Starcevic, or if you held on to Hayden Young due to other priorities. Subsequently, Adelaide’s Andrew McPherson provides the best value at 222K. His scoring seems limited but he’s the best of an average bunch and should retain a consistent role in the Crows’ 22.
Unique/Undervalued – Shannon Hurn
Although the Eagles veteran has offered some terrible scores on his way to an average of 62.1 through seven games, he’s now averaged 90 across two games at Optus Stadium. With the majority if not all of West Coast’s games to be played in WA, Hurn provides huge upside at just $559k. The condensed fixture over the next four weeks may hamper an ageing Hurn, although West Coast do have a bye in round 10 which in itself is a downside. Still a worthy selection alongside Adelaide’s stand-in skipper Tom Doedee who still presents value despite skyrocketing in price the last fortnight.
The Premium – Jake Lloyd
The Swans’ half back has been one of the most consistent fantasy scorers over recent seasons, both in average and total scoring. The combination of great scoring with low injury risk makes Lloyd even greater value entering the 20-day footy bonanza! Is a prime selection having dropped over $40k throughout the season despite an excellent average.
The Rookie – Sam Simpson
Although he didn’t reach the heights from his heroic round six performance, Simpson managed to fight his way to a more than respectable 62 against the Pies back on Thursday night. Although he’s risen $135k in the past fortnight, he remains the best midfield rookie despite the inflated price tag of $305k. We’re really bereft of options under $300k so if looking for a cash grab, best keep an eye on potential debutants in the midfield this week. Otherwise outside of Simpson, better downgrade targets exist in other positions.
Unique/Undervalued – Stephen Coniglio
Although the Giants captain isn’t unique, he provides enormous upside for coaches as an undervalued premium. Coniglio’s form has been wayward and disappointing this season, evident by the failure to reach triple figures in any of his seven games. His average of nearly 85 in the last three weeks though demonstrates he’s starting to get somewhere near his best. Now is the perfect time to jump on as it’s unlikely Cogs will fall below his current $682k price tag. Brisbane skipper Dayne Zorko provides tremendous value after an injury-affected price plummet, however the condensed fixture works against this unique selection with the Achilles an ongoing concern.
The Premium – Jack Macrae
Macrae exploded in the second half of 2019 and looks ripe for the picking now if you believe he can replicate anything like that. His form through seven rounds has been solid if unspectacular, causing a season price drop of $83k. Adam Treloar may be a better pick but again, the condensed fixture concerns me for a player with multiple soft tissue injuries already this year. Lachie Neale has been the gun midfielder of the competition this season, however it may be premature to jump on with his price set to fall significantly in the next fortnight.
Unique/Undervalued – Peter Ladhams
Ladhams was very impressive against a popular fantasy ruck in Marc Pittonet on Sunday, gathering 21 disposals and 16 hit-outs for an excellent score of 85. With Scott Lycett expected to miss at least one more week, does the $441k ruck/forward become an option? Perhaps as a short-term rental for cash generation although he’s awkwardly priced. Is an enormous risk but will certainly be unique if you’re willing to take the punt.
The Premium – Brodie Grundy
You need to have Grundy or Max Gawn in your team, preferably both. Although Gawn has been in slightly better form to this point, you’d think both will be hard to split moving forward. At $50k cheaper, Grundy should be the top pick on affordability alone.
The Rookie – Izak Rankine
Another case of a player being the best available rookie despite two prices rises. At $266k it’s not too late to get on the Suns excitement machine and on current form, leave him at F6 for a while longer. Outside of him, Freo’s Minairo Frederick looks the likely option if you’re looking for someone cheaper. At $185k the scoring looks limited but he’s likely to receive further opportunities in a developing Fremantle side.
Unique/Undervalued – Bailey Smith
Again, not a unique option but certainly undervalued for those that don’t own him. His concussion-affected score of 1 now exits the three-game window that impacts price change. Now sitting at $557k, the Dogs’ young gun presents as one of the easiest trade in options this season.
The Premium – Lachie Whitfield
If you failed to pick up the hard-running Giant at his cheapest the past fortnight, don’t do yourself a disservice and ignore him any longer. Still sits beautifully priced at $720k despite a hefty four-game average of 95.25. It’s hard to argue against him being the top ranking forward for the remainder of the season, a must have in every team!
My best advice to fantasy coaches is to try and remain positive throughout each round of footy. One terrible or injury-affected score doesn’t ruin your entire 22 and we all go through similar emotions and frustrations. In round three I captained Lachie Whitfield for his concussion-affected 10, as well as dealt with injuries to the likes of Howe, Naismith and Ward in other weeks. In round six I had Young (2) and Taylor (10) on my field, whilst last weekend I had Selwood (6) and Hamill (18). The point is that no one is immune to the boundless bad luck and carnage we all face, just try to push onwards and upwards!
Want to chat AFL Fantasy? Hit me up on hit on Twitter @POK252!