In this article MJ reviews all the player trades and free agency moves from a SuperCoach, AFLDreamTeam, Ultimate Footy and a AFLFantasy perspective. Once the trade period is complete keep an eye out across iTunes and SoundCloud for our trade review podcast with some of the panel chatting about every move and the impact it has on our fantasy footy plans for 2017.
TRADE – ST KILDA
This move from Koby Stevens puzzles me. He goes from one club where he is on the fringe of the best 22 due to the clubs midfield depth only to go to a St Kilda side that doesn’t lack midfielders at all, Jack Newnes, Seb Ross, David Armitage, Luke Dunstan, Jack Steven, Jack Billings, Blake Acres and then the likes of Jack Lonie or Leigh Montagna can also spend some time with midfield minutes. Personally I don’t think he’s any better chance of getting a game at the Saints, a move to Gold Coast might’ve been a better fit given the need for more inside midfielders at the Suns. Unless he can gain DPP I doubt he’ll be relevant in the salary cap formats of the game. With an average in the mid 80’s he’ll likely be a late round draft pick up.
TRADE – CARLTON
He’ll be a solid citizen for the club, but hasn’t really been fantasy relevant since his debut season at the Dockers where he averaged 87 across all the formats. Since then he hasn’t cracked an average over 80. Even as a forward in a draft league he’ll likely go undrafted unless it’s a super deep league where squads are closer to 40 players per side. Irrelevant player for fantasy footy coaches next year.
TRADE – CARLTON
Highly skilled small forward who has speed to burn, just 2 seasons ago he went pick 4 in the national draft. However injury prevented his chance at a debut at the Giants. Small forwards traditionally are as irrelevant as key defenders in most salary cap formats, the upside from a fantasy footy perspective is that Pickett walks straight into the Blues best 22 and due to him not playing at AFL level while a giant he’ll be basement priced. If we fail to get any decent forward options appearing through the preseason we’ll have Pickett to fall back too as a worse case scenario. Expect his scoring to mirror that of former Giant and now Blue’s scoring output of Liam Sumner from this year.
TRADE – CARLTON
Key position defenders are rarely fantasy footy relevant and Marchbank certainly isn’t an exception to that rule. Don’t go there. Could be a tall backline next year for the Blues with Marchbank, Plowman & Weitering all over 190cm. They’ll also have Rowe and Jaksch as back up so they are well stocked (probably over) in the key defensive posts.
TRADE – GWS GIANTS
Looking at last years top 6 they all lost key players from there starting 22. Not GWS, they only added! And what an addition it is, further speed and class and a player that can play forward, defense and roll through the midfield. Despite not having the greatest 2 seasons due to consistent niggly injuries Brett Deledio in my opinion is the missing link to the Giants side. In the past 6 seasons Lids hasn’t averaged below 91 in DreamTeam/AFLFantasy while in SuperCoach last season was his only year since 2007 that he hasn’t averaged over 100 (it was still a very good 95). As a forward and now in a team the bleeds quality upon every single line I expect Deledio to be one of the best fantasy footy forward of 2017 IF he can get his body right.
TRADE – HAWTHORN
Lock… Lock… Lock. If he’s fit this is the biggest no brain selection of the 2017 season. In his debut season (2013) he averaged 89 across every salary cap format, the following year (2014) he averaged 92 in DT/AF and 97 in SC. We aw in those 2 years that O’Meara was very likely going to become one of (if not the) best players in the game and a long time fantasy footy beast. Since then though, not one game. This year (depending on the format you play) he received a 20-30 points per game discount and without playing this season he should again be eligible for a further discount putting him dangerously close to a price around $200,000 range. If he’s fit he picks himself, he’ll be one of the highest owned players and could well become the perfect M8/M9 swingman. Like it said… Just lock it in!
This year I had him at #19 in my 50 most relevant list in the preseason, I’m just telling you now that he’ll certainly be higher than that this coming season.
TRADE – COLLINGWOOD
Key position defenders are rarely fantasy footy relevant and Dunn certainly isn’t an exception to that rule. Don’t go there.
TRADE – BRISBANE
Key position defenders are rarely fantasy footy relevant and Frost certainly isn’t an exception to that rule. Don’t go there.
TRADE – NORTH MELBOURNE
Back in 2015 Marley started to show some fantasy chops, that year he averaged 76 in DT/AF and 85 in SC. While not ‘premium’ scoring numbers they are certainly more than handy, especially in a draft league. This year he couldn’t get the same level, with multiple role changes (moving constantly between wing, half back and lock down defender) and him moving up and down from AFL – VFL level, he never really got going. He’ll be priced at an average in the mid 50’s next season across all formats, and while I’d be very hesitant to recommend him in a starting squad he could be a smokie late pick up in a draft league. The other interesting factor with Marley is what does his addition to the side mean for where they play Luke McDonald and Shaun Atley? Maybe his relevance could be in releasing those 2 up the ground, at this stage of the year it’s all guess work really.
TRADE – COLLINGWOOD
For a period of time I was convinced ‘The Hyphen’ was the next big thing in fantasy footy. Late in 2014 he began his fantasy breakout with a number of hundreds, however since then he’s only managed 13 games of footy at the elite level and has struggled to break into the Giants side. Now at Collingwood he’ll be given his full potential to deliver on his immense talent. What exact role he plays in the Collingwood side will determine how relevant he is.
I can’t see him playing many midfield minutes as the Pies have one of the deeper midfield units going around and that was before the addition of Daniel Wells to the team. For me, I’d love to see WHE play as a high half forward pushing up the ground and using his overhead marking and running to full effect. If he does, even though he’s not a high possession ball winner he’s certainly one to consider. This suggested role makes sense for me as I can see Chris Mayne playing the defensive forward role while Jamies Elliott the small forward. He’ll be priced in the high 40’s so there is certainly room to develop those scores, watch his preseason an assess from there
TRADED – GEELONG
Black got thrown a lifeline by the Cats late in the trade period, and with Shane Kersten Nathan Vardy already out the door and Mitch Clark expected to be delisted Aaron’s every chance of pushing for role inside the Cats forward line. Despite showing some promise in 2013 and 2014 a mixture of injuries plus the recruitment to the Kangaroos side of Ben Brown and Jarrad Waite plus the emergence of Mason Wood saw him slip down the pecking order. Key position players aren’t normally fantasy footy relevant but due to him being priced at an average of 35 in DT/AF and 42 in SC if he can gain an injury affected discount Black may actually get close to basement price. If he is, and he can recapture his 2013 scoring where he averaged over 70 across the formats then he might be worthwhile for a bench spot in a starting squad.
TRADE – ESSENDON
In 2016 he played just one game and scored 8 in SC and 15 in DT/AF, the year prior from 13 games he averaged just shy of 50 across all the formats now while hardly great, if he’s a basement price he could have some small relevance. However, I’m unsure if he’s best 22 at Essendon with Cale Hooker & Joe Daniher taking the 2 key forward roles will the Dons use Tom Bellchambers as a ruck/forward role with Matthew Leuenberger? If they do I can’t see a role for James. Put him towards the very back end of your rookie watchlist, but don’t hold your breath.
TRADE – WESTERN BULLDOGS
Can he recapture the 2011 or 2013 form years where he averaged mid 90’s and was a genuine premium forward option? If he can you’ll have a bargain on your hands considering he’ll be priced at 74 in DT/AF and 65 in SC. Personally, I don’t see it. For key forwards to consistently score well they need to kick bags of goals consistently, and sadly the words consistent and Travis Cloke seem to be very distant cousins at the moment. Despite moving to a new club I can’t see this happening and can’t see him being relevant in a salary cap format. In a draft league he’s likely to go very late and if you could land someone of his scoring ceiling as a bench option you’d be pretty happy.
TRADE – WEST COAST
For years Nathan Vardy has shown plenty of scoring promise, the one thing holding him back constantly has been his body. Since 2011 he’s only managed to play 21 of AFL. The best year Nathan’s had of late (body wise) was this season with him playing 15 at VFL level. The Eagles have recruited him to play a split RUCK/FORWARD role with Scott Lycett while NicNat recovers from his ACL. For me a fit Vardy goes right into the Eagles best 22 and the extra positive is he could be in line for an injury affected discount, which could see him priced around an average of 40. If that’s the case those who like to have a midprice/cheap ruck option at R2 you’ll need to have Nathan on your watchlist through the preseason.
TRADE – MELBOURNE
Who? That was the question nearly every footy fans asked when the trade went down. He’s a former Australian under 19 cricket captain and was pick #23 in the 2014 AFL draft. A handy enough forward, but not someone I’d expect to get much of a chance at AFL level next year given the depth they have including the addition of Jordan Lewis, Michael Hibberd and the previously banned Jake Melksham. He’ll be basement price, but not someone to seriously consider. The closest thing to fantasy footy relevance he has in 2017 in my opinion is he looks like Cam Guthrie😂 😂
TRADE – RICHMOND
‘Bull in an antique shop’ is how one friends described Josh Caddy to me, and that’s a fair description about how he plays. Thrives on the contest, loves to tackle and oozes intensity. At the Suns and also the Cats Josh showed plenty of fantasy promise, but has never really been able to fully deliver on it. As a midfield listed player the past 2 seasons he’s fallen just short of the premium territory with his highest season average coming in 2015 where he averaged 89 in DT/AF and 93 in SC. While as a midfield only option those numbers are good, they just aren’t enough to make him a salary cap option. However, I’m of the belief that Josh Caddy is a serious contender to regain his 2014 MID/FWD dual position status, and if he does he becomes a viable starting squad option. The Tigers will need his hardness around the midfield so i can see him and Dion Prestia starting right in the guts. If anything he may actually enable Richmond to play Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin more forward or to use their skills on the outside the contest, something the Tigers have needed to strengthen. If he’s a MID only, then his relevance stays in draft and matchday formats. However, if he’s a MID/FWD he becomes very relevant everywhere.
TRADE – GEELONG
Coming off his best season Zac’s moved down the highway and will now provide his trademark run and carry for the Cats. 2016 saw him average 73 in DT/AF and 81 in SC, while these numbers aren’t quite premium territory you can see natural development and growth in his scoring output over the past 3 seasons. He’s the type of player the Cats are crying out for who severely lack outside run and carry.They will likely look to him to push the ball up the wing and inside forward 50. Unless he has a breakout NAB Challenge I’d look to only grab him as a late pick as a bench option. The reason being his durability (hasn’t missed a game in the past 4 years) and that he does have the odd 100+ score in him, this is perfect depth cover in your squad.
TRADE – CARLTON
I like to be positive, and in moments I will but let me just say this. If Billie Smedts is in your sides best 22 then your list is in horrible shape. Now is Billie currently best 22 at Carlton? I’d suggest he’s a little too close to it for comfort. Despite being a promising junior player, over the past 3 seasons Smedts’ body has failed him on multiple occasions to the point where he’s played just 11 AFL games. Also at a VFL level he hasn’t played more than 8 games a year from 2014-2016. He’s been used forward, back and through the middle but due to these injuries he’s never been able to develop into the sort of Player Geelong at first, and now Carlton will be hoping he can. Priced at an average of 57 across all fantasy formats that unless he receives a discount to the point it makes him priced under $200,000 you can safely move him off your radar.
TRADE – GOLD COAST
One of the bargains of the trade period, the Suns have got a beauty here. A creative midfield/forward who uses the ball well and has some skills and speed on the outside, the Crows made a mistake in letting this guy go. This year was his fantasy footy breakout after being priced at 44 across the formats he broke into the Crows team at round 3 and didn’t leave for the rest of the season where averaged 89 in DT/AF and 90 in SC. As a MID/FWD option this year that put him right on the fringe of premium status, and if he can retain it into 2017 I expect him to take the next scoring step with the Suns desperate for his skills set in there midfield group. If he’s a MID/FWD again then he’ll push for being top 10 forward option across all formats.
TRADE – NORTH MELBOURNE
A highly talented player with plenty of fantasy footy chops. Hrovat will be straight into the Kangaroos side and will provide plenty of talent in the North midfield. Despite being under 180cm Nathan’s got the ability to win the ball inside the contest while also showing some outside skills. He’ll be priced at 76 in DT/AF and 69 in SC next year which makes him smack in that awkward midprice range where you’d require him to push his average up a minimum of 10-15 points per game to make his selection worth while as he won’t be a mid-price selection that generates significant cash. Nathan will be listed as a forward as he’s spent plenty of time inside 50 at the Dogs. For me the real relevance he’ll have is in draft leagues, you should be able to snag him late in a draft and as a forward I’m confident you’d get an average of 85 out of him, maybe even slightly more with some luck.
TRADE – GOLD COAST SUNS
The Suns have recruited another ruck, but it’s hardly a need for the club. Already Tom Nicholls, Keegan Brooksby and Dan Currie are on the clubs books and now they add Jarrod. He’s irrelevant in fantasy footy from a salary cap format, and likely will be someone you’d only consider handcuffing in a draft league if you own Tom Nicholls. Outside of that you shouldn’t even think about him.
TRADE – RICHMOND
The second deal in the day for the Tigers sees them increase the ruck stocks of the club. He’ll add some great flexibility to the club with his ability to play forward, play in the ruck while also being pretty mobile for a big man. This is evident by the fact he averages 5 tackles per game from his 11 games at the top level. From a fantasy footy perspective he’ll be awkwardly priced, (68 in DT/AF and 74 in SC) meaning that in a salary cap format you’d be picking him because you believe he’d push premium status. To be honest though you’d be doing that through hope at this stage as he’s currently never scored over 90 in any format. In a draft league however he’s worth some consideration especially if your strategy is to load up on the other lines and pick up a ruckman late in the draft. At very least he’s handy bench cover.
TRADE – RICHMOND
Finally, the Tigers got there man, and for fantasy footy coaches Dion’s certainly got some relevance. In 2014 he played all 22 games for the Suns and averaged 100 in DT/AF including 11 tons and 4 of them over 120. While in SuperCoach that same year he averaged 106 and scored over 100 on 12 occasions. Of those 12 tons 9 were over 120. In the past 2 years (like a number of Gold Coast midfielders) he’s struggled to get his body right, and the most consecutive games he’s played is 11. The slight positive for coaches is that IF he can get his body right, he’s priced around 10 points per game under his career best season, and if he can get back to those numbers he’ll be a high end mid-price selection that would likely become a premium in your salary cap side.
With Dustin Martin having a breakout season and Trent Cotchin always looming as dangerous I can’t see any club choosing to sit on Dion ahead of those 2. This again is great news for fantasy footy coaches. Dion’s got a great tank, got some decent wheels about him and can play inside and outside midfield roles and doesn’t mind a tackle and goal. He’s a great addition to the Tigers midfield and is certainly one to consider starting next year if your confident his body allows him too. If he’s fully fit he’ll safely average 100+ next year in my book and is certainly one to consider in your starting squad.
TRADE – MELBOURNE
The Melbourne Football Club’s strong off-season period continued with the landing of half back flanker Michael Hibberd. Prior to his year long suspension ‘Hibbo’ had put 3 relatively consistent fantasy footy seasons together. During those years he’s been quite durable (missing only 5 games) and is a consistent scorer. But Hibbo’s strength can also be viewed as his weakness. Between 2013-2015 the most AFLFantasy/AFLDreamTeam hundreds he’s scored in a single season is 4 which he achieved in 2013 and 2015. For SuperCoach the numbers are slightly stronger where in 2013 he went into the triple figures on 7 separate occasions.
You can view his scoring patters from 2 perspectives. One, his consistent scoring inside 75-95 range enables me to build a backline around him and not have to worry as much about the hills and valleys which other defenders can produce. Or the reverse view is that due to his limited ceiling choosing not to start with him (or have him at all) won’t hurt me because he doesn’t deliver knock out scores that can damage my ranking. Why spend a further $300,000+ on a guy who’ll potentially average early on only 10-15 more points per game than the best defensive rookie. All these things must be factored in during the preseason.
At Melbourne I expect him to play a similar role for Melbourne like he did at Essendon and could likely average similar numbers. The 2 key questions i have regarding Michael Hibberd is, what (if any) impact will 12 months away from the game have on his early season form? Could he potentially be a safer upgrade target? Secondly, do the suspended Bombers receive any ‘discounts’ for missing the 2016 season? While my initial response is ‘no’,if the makers of the game are extra kind to us he could move quickly into starting squad calculations.
TRADE – FREMANTLE
Had a stunning finals series, but lock down key position defenders are irrelevant in fantasy footy.Don’t ever bother considering him.
TRADE – MELBOURNE
2 weeks ago if you’d told me that Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis would’ve been traded ahead of Travis Cloke I would’ve laughed you out of the room… Yet here we are, it happened. In the past 3 seasons Jordan has gone from fantasy wilderness to becoming super relevant, especially in AFLFantasy & RealDreamTeam. His fantasy footy breakout season of 2014 he averaged 110 in RDT/AF and posted 16 tons and 109 in 14 hundreds in SuperCoach. In 2015 he averaged 110 in RDT/AF with 15 tons and an average of 103 11 hundreds. This season after a slow start (compared to the previous 2 years) he still managed to finish the year averaging 103 in DT/AF and registered 18 hundreds and average 99 in SuperCoach which included 14 tons. He’s durable, he’s consistent and now he’s a Demon.
The key of if Jordan is fantasy relevant next season hangs on 2 key questions. Firstly, what game style adjustments will new coach Simon Goodwin make for the Demons in 2017. Secondly, what role will he play within that game style? More inside midfield and wing like at the Hawks? Or will he be used more like earlier in his career with midfield rotations split between some time inside forward 50? Nobody knows the answers to those questions, so for me as relevant as Jordan has been (especially in DT/AF) in the past 3 seasons it’d certainly be a bold move to start with him in 2017 at this stage. He’s a potential upgrade target. If you own him in a keeper style league I’d be half tempted to ship him off (one because of the questions raised above and two, especially if an opposition coach in your league is a Dees fan). Try and cash in why his value is likely at it’s peak. If you can get in the likes of a gun like Brad Crouch, Josh Kelly or Seb Ross then you’d be pretty happy.
His departure (along with Mitchell’s) opens up the door for Liam Shiels to emerge into the premium midfield status for fantasy footy, a sneaky smokie for 2017 perhaps.
TRADE – GOLD COAST
The Suns finally get to attract a much needed player to the club, however I’m not so convinced he’s the type of player the Suns need. When you look through the Suns list they lack considerably in the ‘inside’ midfield category with Gary Ablett, Touk Miller, David Swallow & Michael Rischitelli the main options. However, when it comes to outside speed with run & carry the Suns have a plethora of options including Jarrod Harbrow, Jack Martin, Aaron Hall, Callum Ah Chee, Jarrod Garlett, Matt Rosa, Adam Saad, Kade Kolodjashnij and you can now also add Pearce’s name to that group. At his best Hanley can be damaging with the ball by foot and will certainly add to the inside 50 delivery for the Suns, however, as stated earlier it’s not a skills mix the Suns lack.
2014 was by far his most impressive fantasy footy season, he averaged 99 in DreamTeam/AFLFantasy with 8 hundreds and a personal best score of 182. That same year in SuperCoach he averaged 104 and registered 9 tons with a PB of 191. However, outside of that year he’s never averaged over 90 in DT/AF and over 96 in SC. From a fantasy footy perspective Hanley as a midfield only option is largely irrelevant outside of draft leagues and match-day formats, but if he was to regain defensive eligibility (circa 2011-2014) then the conversation changes. I’d avoid him in salary cap formats as a MID only option.
TRADE – NORTH MELBOURNE
Ahern was a member of the Under 18 All-Australian team in 2014 and collected 26 disposals and a goal in that year’s TAC Cup Grand Final. After 16 games in the NEAFL last year he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament in February this year and again in September. While he’ll be rookie priced across the formats next season I wouldn’t plan for him as it takes normally 12 months to recover from an ACL, and the Roos will be extremely conservative with him given he had the surgery twice in under 8 months. AS such i don’t expect him to play in 2017, rather look to 2018 where as a basement price cash cow Paul Ahern looks a certain squad starter if his body allow.
FREE AGENT – ST KILDA
I’m gonna make this quick. No… Just no! Seriously don’t ever consider him in a fantasy footy context.
TRADE – HAWTHORN
This one excites me (sorry Swans fans.) For many a season on a number of podcasts we’ve commented on about John Longmire’s use of ‘Titch’ in some confusing roles within the Swans side. Despite averaging good numbers the past 2 seasons 106 & 105 in DT/AF and 103 in SC he’s averaged enough to be considered a ‘premium’ but his games of 60’s-70’s where he’s played predominantly forward for games have always brought his average down on what he’s shown potential of averaging. The addition into the Hawks unit (who have a plethora of pressure forward) and the trade of Sam Mitchell sees Tom becoming a primary cog in the new look Hawk midfield. While his disposal efficiency for SuperCoach isn’t his scoring strength it does get balanced out with how many contested possessions he wins. I started with Titch in DT and AF this season and he’ll certainly be in strong consideration for me in those formats again in 2017. Most drafts of all formats saw Tom go in the opening 2-3 rounds and I expect those ranges to be accurate for next year.
Side note, with Tom’s departure from Sydney that makes Isaac Heeney a massive lock for me in 2017, relatively cheap mid price FWD who’ll likely play as a midfielder in 2017 and take Mitchell’s midfield minutes. Lock Heeney in my friends, what he did in the finals is just an entree to the possibilities.
TRADE – WEST COAST EAGLES
The surprise of the trade period by a long way, and for basically a pick in the 80’s the Eagles get the best player for the Hawks from 2016. Sam’s fantasy footy resume is as long and as good as anyone’s. In SuperCoach since 2005 he’s only failed to average 100 twice in 11 seasons and both of those were in the 90’s. Similarly in RealDreamTeam/AFLFantasy it’s been 11 straight seasons of him averaging 90+. Added to this is his durability with only 2014 & 2010 the only seasons in 10 years he hasn’t played 20 home and way games or more.
His addition to the Eagles midfield makes Matthew Priddis’ job a level easier and also adds greater depth and support for the likes of Dom Sheed, Luke Shuey, Eliott Yeo, Chris Masten etc. While I can’t see his averages increasing on previous years at his new home he for the past 4-5 years sits around the level of just under the big scoring midfield premiums. Certainly in AFLFantasy if the Eagles have a handy fixture run or even in a starting squad due to the multiple trades a week he could be worth a sneaky look. Remember after round 5 this year in AFLFantasy he was averaging 126 and his ownership was crazy unique. Moves like that (if they work) can really set up your season. He’ll be selected in 100% of drafts this year once again and despite being 34 he certainly doesn’t look like slowing his scoring rate at all.
TRADE – ST KILDA
The addition adds greater depth and flexibility into the St Kilda midfield, he along with Jack Newnes, Seb Ross, David Armitage, Luke Dunstan, Jack Steven, Jack Billings and every other ‘Jack’ build a strong midfield group. As a junior and also at NEAFL level he’s certainly shown plenty of fantasy footy chops. During his under 18 championships he averaged 151 Champion Data ranking points, he ranked elite in kicking and marking throughout that championship while also averaging 20 possessions per game and has produced similar numbers at the NEAFL level the past 2 seasons. While he hasn’t delivered those sort of numbers at the AFL level and the grades below he’s certainly showed massive fantasy footy potential.
Of his 17 games at GWS he’s had 7 games where he’s scored 80 or more in DreamTeam & AFLFantasy while it’s slightly less in SuperCoach it’s just the 4 scores over 80. While he’s yet to break the ton in any format he’s shown enough promise that if he can be based more primarily in the St Kilda midfield than as a forward with midfield rotations he’ll push the average certainly into the mid to high 80’s at the very least. I suspect he’ll keep his MID/FWD DPP as well, so depending on which forwards we gain or retain in 2017. Certainly on my watchlist but he’ll be priced at an average of 72 in DT/AF and 64 in SC which is a little high for a cash making selection. For me if you are to pick him you’d need to be confident he’ll push right to the limit of being a premium forward and someone you’d plan to retain for the season.
TRADE – FREMANTLE
Again one of the moves that months ago was mooted, but Brad gets to Fremantle and can now play footy with his brother Stephen Hill. A key feature in the Hawthorn premiership era, but from a fantasy footy perspective he’s not shown he’s really an option. In his past 88 games of footy he’s only scored 7 tons in DreamTeam/AFLFantasy and 10 in SuperCoach. He’s still yet to average overt 80 for a season in any format. Even in a draft league you’ll find better options sitting in the waiver wire and unless he can add either an inside component to his game or gain DPP in the future I’m confident that he should always stay on the waiver wire. Should he stay at Hawthorn (he’s been linked to the Lions) Billy Hartung should take his place in the side and could become a smokie option especially in draft leagues.
FREE AGENT – COLLINGWOOD
The man many believe is Sideshow Bob has made his way to Collingwood and his addition to the team certainly has split fans. For some they see him as a great addition to the forward line where especially his defensive pressure will enable the Pies to create more scoring opportunities. While others believe that they are paying $500,000 a season for someone who is an elite tackler and not much else. Either way from a fantasy footy perspective he’s certainly an interesting proposition to look at. His career best season came in 2013 where he average 86 in DreamTeam/AFLFantasy and 91.9 in SuperCoach, while these numbers aren’t quite the premium numbers from someone you’d consider in your salary cap side they are more than handy in a draft league. Since then his averages have floated around the high 70’s – low 80’s. I expect Mayne to play a high half forward role and average very similar numbers at Collingwood as he did at Fremantle. In a salary cap format I’d not consider at all in a starting squad, but in a draft league he’s certainly worth a spot, especially if he can become a bench or emergency option.
TRADE – FREMANTLE
Finally, after almost a decade of trying the Dockers get the key position forward to help Pavlich… OH… Scratch that, replace Pavlich. Cam McCarthy certainly showed some promise back in 2015, but loads has changed since then. While you don’t lose talent, by not being in the AFL system this past 12 months his developed certainly won’t have been on the same growth curve. He’ll provide a target and be a serviceable Docker for the next decade but from a fantasy footy perspective I couldn’t touch him. UNLESS. The creators of the salary cap games deem his 12 months out of the game and apply an ‘injury’ discount to his starting price that place him close enough to basement price. That being said I can’t see his average pushing much beyond (if at all) his 2015 average in the low 50’s across the formats. He’ll provide a forward 50 target for the Dockers and will give the likes of Michael Walters and potentially Hayden Ballantyne some more crumbing possibilities, but Cam’s addition doesn’t significantly boost there relevance either. IF he is under $200,000 and IF we have no cheap options in the forward then I’d consider, but if neither of those things happen I will certainly be passing on him in 2017. A ‘no’ for me in draft leagues, both single season and keeper leagues.
FREE AGENT – COLLINGWOOD
Like most free agents clubs have to pay ‘overs’ from a salary cap perspective, but the Pies probably have overpaid most in terms of length of contract. That being said, when fit Daniel Wells is still one of the best users of the ball in the league. Countless times in the first half of the season he was influential in games for the Kangaroos and almost single handed was the difference in the game. From a fantasy footy perspective THIS was the year he had the most relevance of his recent career, both with his starting price and also MID/FWD DPP status. Despite averaging over 100 in SuperCoach & 87 in DreamTeam/AFLFantasy last year I wouldn’t be paying ‘top price’ and considering him a starting squad option in 2017. He will be a midfielder only, and even though in SC he’d be considered a ‘premium’ based on his numbers I think we’ve got safer options from both an injury history perspective and also a known role quantity. For me in a salary cap format he’d be an upgrade at best, from a drafting perspective he’ll still hold some currency but not much. He’ll get drafted in almost every single league, but just don’t expect 2016 to be repeated. He hasn’t averaged this well since 2011. His addition to the Magpies on first glimpse doesn’t seem to make any other Magpies that are ‘premiums’ more or less relevant, so I guess we wait and see where Bucks uses him.
FREE AGENT – HAWTHORN
No real surprise that Ty was the first official move of the period, he’s been linked to the Hawks for months now. From a fantasy footy perspective historically he’s had some brilliant games but also plenty where he’s had no fantasy impact whatsoever. Although last season he failed to score above 90 in any format a look at his 2014-2015 scores for SuperCoach suggest it’s certainly the scoring format he’s more likely to succeed in. Why? In part due to the points scoring for things like contested marks and hitouts to advantage. During those 2 seasons he scored 6 SC hundreds, including a monster 143. He’ll play the David Hale style role at the club, which may help Jack Gunston’s relevance especially if Jarryd Roughead return in 2017. While I’d hesitate to suggest him as a viable starting squad option in the salary cap formats he could be worth handcuffing as a bench option to Ben McEvoy in a draft league.
You can keep in touch with all the news for the trade period + discuss all the moves from a fantasy footy perspective with me on Twitter @mjwant as well as @coachespanel. Of course you can always join the conversation via FaceBook.