2017 Crystal Ball Predictions – Forwards

In this mini series we work our way through each line and ask the panel to complete the sentence. This is all done in isolation to every member of the panel and it’s very interesting to see what they come up with. Today we discuss the Forwards.


Fish: Brett Eddy. The only forward eligible player that appears in all of my teams. Probably won’t be on the ground, but a lock still.

Tim: Luke Dahlhaus – slightly underpriced due to his injury-affected game last year, usually plays most/all games, good role & likely one of the top scorers in all formats. Again.

Rids: Brett Eddy. Mature Aged bottom priced rookie. Coach has also confirmed he will debut round 1. Winning!

Scrads: Touk Miller. If he’s playing in the guts, he’ll be getting big scores. Love him at my F3 spot!

MJ: One of the great AFL fairytales, Jarryd Roughead! Since being diagnosed with cancer to just over 12 months later now back to full health and leading the club he loves. He has the perfect bye round (13)  meaning that at his price if he doesn’t average 90+ he’ll still make you enough money to upgrade to him at his bye round.

Jimmy: Jack Macrae. It’s awfully vanilla but we need at least one or two of those in the team, right Rids? It’s a no fuss, no stress selection for a guy who should average more or less 100 in the forward line. Easy.

Kane: Jack Macrae. In a year without many clear cut top six forwards I’ll back in a guy who had his lowest average for three seasons and only just dipped under 100 with an injury-affected game. Yes please!

Fox: Nick Riewoldt. It appears he has been given a licence to roam and that would makes things a hell of a lot more friendly and bruise free for Nick. 12 games out of his  first 16 at Etihad and 2 at Domain is a great way to put more points between him and the 2nd best forward, enough said imho.

Ben: Luke Dahlhaus. I just feel that this is one of the few guys on this line that’ll get the job done week in, week out. He recovered terrifically from that impact knee injury last season and over the prior three campaigns had missed just one game. No stress selection.

Tooler: Toby Greene. Should be first picked as he will average the same as the R11 premiums but has a R13 bye so lock and load.


Fish: Jack Billings. Playing on a wing. Has looked a fantasy beast in the making and this will be the year.

Tim: Isaac Heeney. Boring choice I know but he’s really the main breakout candidate for me in the forwards – if I had a better choice they’d have been in my teams instead (before his glandular fever) but they weren’t. Keep a R11 bye slot open to trade him in later if you’re keen on him.

Rids: Tom Phillips. He will start for me in AFL Fantasy. Love how this kid plays. Doesn’t stop running and should go 90+ this year with the right opportunities and roles.

Scrads: I won’t go the obvious ones so will instead go Josh Dunkley. Impressed in his first year, if he can get some good midfield minutes this year then I he’ll only get even better!

MJ: Everything points to Jack Steele being the real deal in 2017! This talented former Giant is thriving at St Kilda and has stitched up a midfield role. Along with another Jack (Billings) he should become a strong forward option.

Jimmy: Jade Gresham. Whether it’s this year or next I’ve got no doubt this kid will take a massive step soon. He is all class, has possibly the best little deft sidestep in the competition, and will see his midfield minutes start to increase in a developing St Kilda outfit. Jet.

Kane: Jack Steele. Finally looks to have secured the inside midfield role that eluded him at GWS and after a blistering JLT series should be posed to elevate himself to the next level.

Fox: I want to pick 6 or 7 Saints in my team this year and half of them go by the name Jack. The early bye blows that out of the water but my breakout  would be Jack Steeele who resembles a mixture of Conan and Tarzan in his present form, tough as nails and has the capability of half tonning without even touching the footy.

Ben: Angus Brayshaw. Will it happen? Who knows. But is he capable? Most certainly. Angus has struggled with his body over the formative years of his career but flies into the 2017 campaign off the back of a full preseason. The long term vision is to be placed within the midfield. As Jones, Vince and co., continue to gradually move out, the scene is set for Gus to move in. Good luck to anyone who takes him on!

Tooler: Jack Steele.  Started him last year and will start him again for the same reason.  This time he has a better role and better job security.


Fish: Luke Dahlhaus. Mr Consistent.

Tim: Nick Riewoldt. Same role as last year, lifelong fantasy football & real AFL stud, ultimate professional (i.e. rarely misses games) – what’s not to like?

Rids: Toby Greene. Just knows how to find the ball no matter what role he is playing.

Scrads: Josh Caddy. Can’t see how he doesn’t play predominantly in the midfield and reap the benefit of that with his scoring.

MJ: It’s not a flashy pick, but Lance Franklin will be a solid pick across all formats!

Jimmy: Devon Smith. The forgotten Giant is fit and firing, still has a role to play and is unquestionably best 22. Knows how to find the ball and knows how to find the big sticks. Should be right at the pointy end of the forward rankings by the end of the year.

Kane: Isaac Smith in DT. Dipped last year after consecutive seasons in the mid 90’s, I think he’ll be back to that mark in 2017.

Fox: Haven’t heard a lot about Lance Franklin this preseason, possibly because he shares the same bye as the Dogs and the Saints, he will be right up there at the end of the year.

Ben: Jack Gunston. With Roughead and Vickery alleviating him from the pressures of dealing with the number one key defender, the former Crow will find the going much easier in 2017. Jack is fit as a fiddle and will play extended minutes up the ground as the Hawks look to overcome the loss of Hill. Durable as they come, this Hawk will be a comfortable selection for the entire campaign.

Tooler: Luke Dahlhaus.  Is consistent and will average 90 plus and therefore is a lock for a top 10 finish.


Fish: Nick Riewoldt. Could easily be the topscoring forward again, but the initial price tag is putting me off. Monitor for me and hope it doesn’t come back to bite.

Tim: Harley Bennell – the complete opposite to Nick Riewoldt (my choice above). So many stories suggesting he’s the ultimate non-professional, gets injured constantly, off-field issues as times, not to mention that neither his exact role nor scoring within Freo’s team remains unknown as we’ve never seen him play a game there. Oh yeah, and only once ever in his history has he played more than 15 games in a season. Just not for me.

Rids: Isaac Smith. Owning guys I like to watch is a huge key for me in 2017. I hate this bloke. Especially that stupid smug look he has at times through the game. I just cannot cheer for a guy like Smith.

Scrads: Nick Riewoldt. He’ll be a top 5 forward for sure, but you won’t find me paying such a hefty price for him early. I’ll look to get him in at some stage if his price comes down.

MJ: He’s the highest priced forward from last year and as much as I want to start him I can’t begin with Nick Riewoldt at my side. The lack of cash cows and with options  that I believe  could get within 5 points per game on average, but under $100,000 less than him I have to pass on him in my starting side.

Jimmy: Shaun Higgins. There is plenty to like about his price, his role, his scoring potential and his bye round. I just can’t hit the ‘save team’ button and leave him there for more than about 20 seconds. Just doesn’t sit right for me.

Kane: Touk Miller. I was leading the parade late last year but with the Suns having the early bye and a healthy midfield, I’d prefer to wait and see how Miller fares before I think about trading him into my side.

Fox: Imagine the ride if you started Waite, Yeo, Mayne, Cloke, Vickery and Boekhorst, i just can’t go there in 2017.

Ben: Josh Caddy. The former Cat arrived at the Tigers with the intention of becoming a full time midfielder. After a full preseason, he still struts around with a key forwards body. Will he improve his average? Yes. Am I more comfortable with others around his price range? Yes. Given his durability record, I’m happy to look elsewhere. Very understandable selection for sides given his bye, but not for me.

Tooler: Jack Billings.  Too many R11 premiums ahead of him, can’t have them all.


Fish: Stack this line. The rookie cupboard is bare and it could prove a breakout bonus if you nail all of the potential smoky selections available in Steele, Billings, Roughy etc

Tim: The top teams will all have N Roo & the two top dogs in their teams by the end of the season; the other forward slots will be the difference-makers.

Rids: It appears the weakest line for 2017. Sometimes though the weakest line is where you need to have the best troops!

Scrads: Only 10 forwards will average 90+ in AF/DT (from at least a handful of games) including after any DPP additions.

MJ: Gary Ablett will not spend enough time forward to gain DPP in AFLFantasy & UltimateFooty to be awarded Forward status this season.

Jimmy: There will be three Bulldogs in the top ten forwards this year. Macrae, Dahlhaus and ………?

Kane: We haven’t given gifted our usual plethora of mid-forward options this year so if I’m looking for a line to back a mid-pricer in, it’s the forward line.

Fox: Which mids will end up DPP forwards in AF and UF by the half way point of the season ?

Tooler: Im eyeing off a set up with Roughy at F5, is a solid line for mid pricers.


  1. WeGotBigCox

    Tim is still on the Heeney train?
    Must be the only guy in the whole fantasy world not to trade him to Jack Steele

    1. 3rdM

      Better read it more carefully I think mate 😉

      “My breakout candidate is…” – Heeney still fits pretty nicely under this category I reckon, plus I didn’t want people to forget about him being a possible R11 forward trade-in so took the opportunity to run with it. Past tense is also clearly used, though as for who I’ve since traded him to, that’s another story 🙂

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