50 Most Relevant, Preseason 2021

#37 Most Relevant | Marcus Bontempelli

The Bont was one of the most dominant scoring players to end the 2020 season. The question is, will that continue into a new season or was it just a hot streak?

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Marcus Bontempelli
Age: 25
Club: Western Bulldogs
Position: Midfield

2020 Highest Score: 
145 Vs Adelaide (AFLFantasy)
199 Vs Adelaide (SuperCoach)

Career Highest Score: 
145 Vs Adelaide | AFLFantasy (2020)
199 Vs Adelaide | SuperCoach (2020)

2020 Average: 
83.8 (AFLFantasy) | 104.75 (Adjusted Average)
116.1 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $623,900
AFLFantasy Price: 
$801,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$774,500

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

Without question, Marcus Botempelli is among the best players in the AFL. Built like an old school key position forward ‘Bont’ has the rare ability to change the course of a game with just a handful of touches.

Last year we saw the Premiership Bulldog at some of his personal best. In the AFL he ranked 2nd for centre clearances, 6th inside ’50s, 9th for tackles & 18th for score involvements. Impressively he isn’t just an attacking midfielder. Bont is prepared to do the tough defence work. Despite the shorter quarters, he still averaged the same amount of tackles in 2020 that he did from 2019.

During the 2020 season in AFLFantasy, he posted 3 tons, 2 of these were over 120 in a season high 145 against the Crows. Additionally, he posted 8 more scores over 80. In fact, across the whole season, he had just two scores below 80 all year. He finished the season on fire as one of the most prolific scorers. He averaged 99 (adjusted average 124) from round 10 to seasons end.

By the conclusion of 2020, Marcus was yet again among the top scoring tier of midfielders. He ranked 5th among all mids for both total points and averages. He scored 11 tons, 6 of these were over 120, while a monster 3 went over 160 including his personal best 199. To top the season off, he ended 2020 with 8 consecutive tons to average 135 over the season’s final 8 matches.

Across the 2019 season in SuperCoach he ended the season ranked sixth overall for total points and tenth in terms of averages. He had thirteen scores of 100, nine of those tons were above 12, and an insane five went 140+.

AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he ranked thirteenth for overall points scored. He averaged 104, had thirteen scores over 100, and six of those were above 120. Just like in SuperCoach, his AFLFantasy/DreamTeam ceiling is matched with his consistently strong scoring basement. Only twice all season did he scoring drop below 80.

His 2019 and 2020 seasons, while built differently are almost identical averages over past two seasons. That should give confidence to coaches to think that he’ll safely deliver a 115 in SuperCoach and a 105 in AFLFantasy. Those are averages put him right in the conversation for a top 10 midfielder.

The Bont doesn’t miss much footy either. Over the previous two seasons, he’s played every game, While in the past five seasons he’s missed just three home and away games. If your playing fantasy footy bingo then Marcus could net you the win. Durability, consistency and ceiling!

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MY TAKE

Will the real fantasy football Bontempelli please stand up? I’m genuinely perplexed whether the front half of 2020 or the back half of 2020 is the more likely scoring result for this new year.

His 2020 seasons was a tale of two Bont’s Between round 1-9 he averaged 99 in SuperCoach and 70 (adjusted 88) in AFLFantasy. Not bad, but certainly not premium midfielder numbers. Over the final 8 weeks, he averaged 135 in SuperCoach and 99 (124 adjusted) in AFLFantasy.

If Bont starts 2021 the way he ended last year, then he’ll become the dominant ‘must-have’ midfielder in the game. Conversely, if he has a reciprocated slow first half, he’ll be putting a slow nail in your season rankings coffin.

It’s all about timing your run with Bont, Over his career just like last year he has these stretches where he becomes the most damaging player. Can you afford to pass on him in your starting squad? Or is it better to wait and time the run and upgrade to him?

One thing is certain; he performs better in wins rather than losses. A trait that isn’t exclusive, but is far from uncommon with our topline scorers. Last year in SuperCoach he averaged 13.8 points more per game in wins, while it was 17.3 points per game higher scoring in AFLFantasy. The season prior was an increase of 10 points per game in wins for AFLFantasy while he averaged 12 points more in SuperCoach. Then back in 2018, he scored 27 points higher in wins for AFLFantasy and 26.5 better in SuperCoach whenever the doggies won.

In the Adam Treloar podcast episode fellow panellist Rids & I pondered about how this new Bulldogs midfield will take shape. You can listen to it here. Ultimately, unless you have a crystal ball nobody can know the exact impact Treloar’s inclusion will have on the midfield rotations and the scoring ability of each player. However, it’s safe to assume that the inclusion of Treloar will hurt some Bulldogs scoring.

But what role will Marcus Bontempelli play in this bulldogs side? Will he split his time between midfield and forward more evenly, or will he still play a more midfield dominant role? Where is Bont at his most dangerous?

For some among the fantasy footy community, these role queries and midfield mix questions are reasons enough to pass on him in starting squad. It’s something I certainly understand, but for me the reason he’s an upgrade target isn’t exclusively linked to this.

A round six date with tagger Matt DeBoer is likely, and with a round 13 bye round make it awkward to feel confident of a faultless start. However from round 14 onwards he has a sold fixture.

Matches against Geelong, West Coast, North Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Adelaide, Melbourne, Essendon, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide. Beyond Elliot Yeo, I don’t feel any team has an opponent capable of stopping him in the midfield, let alone if he was to play forward.

Bont is an upgrade target for me, and hopefully for you when you choose to jump on that he flies. in my opinion he’ll yet again be a top 10 averaging midfielder in SuperCoach and just shy in AFLFantasy.

DRAFT DECISION

Each format of the draft games will require a different ranking position for Marcus Bontempelli. In SuperCoach, he’s a solid M1 and will be off the draft board in either the second or very early third rounds. AFLFantasy scoring I’d be targetting him at M2 making him a third or fourth round selection.

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