Best 22: Luke Parker

The loss of dual position status can sometimes mean a loss of fantasy relevance, with Parker all that does is he make him more unique.  So one could argue that makes him more relevant.

Name: Luke Parker

Club: Sydney Swans
Age: 22
Season 2014 Average: 103.23
Season 2014 Highest Score: 133 Vs North Melbourne
Personal Best Score: 133 Vs North Melbourne, Preliminary Final, ’14
Personal Best Season Average: 103.23 (2014)

Selectable Position: Midfield
Starting Price: $585,000 (AFLFantasy) $582,700(RealDreamTeam)

Bye Round: 12

Why’s He’s in the Best 22?

When a player losses DPP they can really fall away from relevancy in fantasy footy, that is far from the case with Luke Parker. He was a legend of a forward last season, but when you look at his 2014, and the inevitable development and growth still left in him, you’ll agree he’s a safe bet in this best 22.

Last year Luke played all 22 games, while sometimes that can  feel like a ‘who cares’  what that means is with his consistency (this is the second season he’s played every game by the way) it means your not having to play a rookie on the field in a premos place. Last season he scored 13 times 100 or more including 4 that were 120 or more.  What I love about him even more than that is that he only went under the 90 mark on 4 separate occasions. Compare that with other fellow midfield premiums in J. Selwood and Sloane (7), Cotchin (6), Beams and Heppell (5),  Priddis and Lewis (3), Pendlebury and Rockliff (2).

So good was his 2014 he won the Swans best & fairest, averaged nearly 26 possessions, six tackles and 4.8 clearances per match, and also booted 25 goals for year.

From round 19 right through to the Preliminary Final victory against the Roos Parker scored 7 consecutive 100’s between the range of 106-133 at an average of 118. We’ve got a few players that are currently priced between 98-108 but not many of those have the ability to join the uber ranks of Ablett and Rockliff (going around or above 120) , for mine Parker is a clear favourite that can do it.

Starting Squad or Upgrade?

If the Swans bye was on any other round, or if he’d retained dual position status he’d be smack in a ton of starting squads. However it appears the round 12 ‘chaos’ round is scaring people away.  Round 12 looms for those not prepared as a disaster round with midfield popular premiums in Ablett, Pendlebury, Barlow all off that round. Then throw in the next level of midfielders like: Fyfe, Mundy, Prestia, Stanton, Heppell, Steven, Jack, Kennedy, McGlynn  and Sidebottom just to name a few. But let’s not just think midfield, we need to look at squad not just line, round 12 will also have Malceski, Newnes, Hibberd all out in defence + Adams, Swan, Goddard all absent from the forward line.

Many teams I’ve seen posted around on the CP Facebook page + other fantasy sites have many teams starting with half their premiums from this round. A starting midfield of Ablett, Pendlebury, Barlow and Parker although amazing the first 11 rounds will bring you plenty of on field rookies in round 12. I’m not saying compromise your team for the sake of 3 weeks, rather I’m saying build your team aware of those weeks.

As we’ve already discussed his final 5 weeks were stunning and that continued through into the finals where he scored a 119 and 133 prior to their Grand final appearance. That’s 7 tons in 7 games against teams that made the final in Port Adelaide, Fremantle, North Melbourne and Essendon.

Priced at 103 he’s got potential to add a further 10 points per game on that average. So you could begin with him and then upgrade to proven guys like Pendls, Barlow or even Ablett. If your a more conservative type coach then Parker is an upgrade, but if you like to find a sneak piece of value in your premos + you’d like a nice point of difference in your side then starting Parker is a handy option.

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