Gold Coast & Western Bulldogs did battle in the twilight game and for both sides, we got a good glimpse not only at some potential new game style and role adjustments. For the first time in the JLT Series we also got our first look at Brownlow Medalist Gary Ablett and recent premiership hero Marcus Bontempelli. Plenty to learn from a Fantasy Footy perspective, so let’s crack into it.
What we learnt?
Gary Ablett: Started the game deep inside Forward 50 and actually kicked 2 of the first 4 goals of the game. As the game progressed he worked his way up into the midfield and on several occasions had his shoulder tested out both in receiving and making tackles. Personally the only format I’d consider him is SuperCoach at this stage, but even then I’d rather upgrade to him after the bye
Touk Miller: With Isaac Heeney out for the start of the season plenty of coaches have turned to other opposition around a similar price range and while he certainly didn’t scream me with his game he certainly showed enough that he’s got the potential to push his average to the low 90’s range. One thing to be careful with him is though don’t expect those monster 130+ scores as he’s not playing exclusively midfield.
Jarrod Witts: Was the Number One ruck for the Suns and with Wright playing the relief role he looks to have stitched up the #1 ruck role. This is relevant especially in SuperCoach if your pairing him at R3 with a Sanidlands or Nankervis at R2.
David Swallow: 20 touches, a couple of tackles and a goal. He did enough for me to show that at his price he could be a nice little stepping stone to a premium. If you have him currently he’s given you no reason to change your plans seeing as he’s got through all 3 games unscathed.
While I couldn’t go there in a salary cap format both Michael Barlow and Aaron Hall had plenty of the ball and showed that in draft leagues they possess plenty of value. The tall timber of Tom Lynch and Peter Wright showed once again they’ll create plenty of headaches of opposition defenders in 2017, while the later also was used as a relief ruck. Kade Kolodjashnij was prolific across half back but considering it was a very ‘outside’ the contest game I’m not sure his preseason as a whole has me convinced he’s a must even if he does present value. Those in draft leagues that picked Jarryd Lyons hoping he’d regain forward status I wouldn’t have much confidence after that game, spent a lot of it in the guts and attended plenty of centre bounces. Will Brodie and Ben Ainsworth will be long term starts for the Suns but i’m not sure they’ll be the best cash cow options for us.
What we learnt?
Marcus Bontempelli: Showed pockets of class, won plenty of contested possession and the main thing is he got through the game unscathed. If you were on him this game certainly shouldn’t change your mind on that selection.
Jake Stringer: Enjoyed more time up the ground this game and reminded me at times of former Crows skipper Mark Ricciuto who was a dominant physical presence in the midfield. The inclusions of Travis Cloke and Stewart Crameri could see him spend a few extra rotations in the middle. Not for me in a salary cap format, but a sneaky late round draft pick up for sure.
Luke Dahlhaus: He looms as one of the safest scoring forward options around and this game just simply reinforced it. Wouldn’t surprise me if coaches start leaning towards starting him over teammate Jackson Macrae.
Matt Suckling spent most of the game playing forward and pushing up through the wings. He kicked 4 goals, but outside of a match day or draft format I’m not sure I could go there. Lachie Hunter picked up plenty of outside ball and reminded coaches of his coring potential while Liam Picken was prominent forward (2 goals, 3 behinds) and might be a smokie option for picking up DPP throughout the season in UltimateFooty of AFLFantasy.