Once again the Giants have lost a handful of quality players to raids from opposition list managers and yet have somehow still put together a team that should be capable of contending for the flag again – and full of players that are highly relevant for your fantasy teams across all the formats.
So for each coach, we pitched a few categories to see who we’re all keeping an eye on this preseason – a player to lock in now, an expected breakout contender, the best cash cow, an interesting left-field option, and a sneaky name to file away for a value draft pick.
These are the GWS Giants on each Panelist’s watchlist right now:
Jimmy: Stephen Coniglio was one of the highest averaging players in the comp last year and should achieve that mantle again.
MJ: Even with an impending move higher up the ground, and back to the wing, I don’t see how Lachie Whitfield isn’t in the conversation as one of the top defensive options this year.
Rids: Josh Kelly. No need to say why. Just lock him in.
Tim: Josh Kelly. When fully fit he’s a chance to be a top 3 mid.
Fox: Tobias Greene by no means a favourite but locked in for 2019, priced around 67 is a steal even if he does miss 2-3 for erratic behaviour
Jimmy: For something different, keep an eye on Jeremy Finlayson. Kid has wheels and a beautiful kick.
MJ: He landed at #45 in my 50 Most Relevant, but I love the potential of Jacob Hopper. He’s a bull at the contest and will elevate his game to the next level and make a spot inside the GWS midfield his own.
Rids: Jacob Hopper. Ready to explode in 2019. For those who have persisted in keeper leagues, time is now for him to become one of the top mids at the Giants.
Tim: Tim Taranto. Tossed up between him and Hopper but just love the way Taranto goes about it. Like Zach Merrett, he just looks like a footballer. With Shiel gone it wouldn’t surprise at all should he rise again.
Fox: Jacob Hopper definite 4th year breakout opportunity with a few Giants moved out
The Cash Cow
Jimmy: Jye Caldwell. The kid is all class and while he may not play round one, he will play at some point and you’ll want him in your team by the time he hits the bubble.
MJ: I’m a big fan of what Jye Caldwell has shown he can deliver. If the medical team can get his body right, this kid will be a fantasy beast.
Rids: Jackson Hately is ready for the seniors. Will play more fwd than mid in 2019. Comes with a premium but might still be worth the price tag.
Tim: Shane Mumford. Cheap ruck, has potential here.
Fox: Jackson Hately tall inside mid who played SANFL last year, should get a run of games at some stage
Jimmy: Heath Shaw is getting a ridiculously low amount of attention from the various fantasy communities this preseason. High risk, high reward.
MJ: While everyone agrees Tim Taranto is a future fantasy star still a small portion of the community are prepared to select him this year. He’ll be needed to fill the void left by Dylan Shiel which I expect he’ll excel in.
Rids: Jeremy Cameron. Giants and Cameron always were too top heavy in their fwd 50. Losing Lobb and with Patton’s injury it means the 50 should be all Camerons. His averages across the formats were not terrible in a poor 2018. I expect him to increase all by double figures in 2019.
Tim: Callan Ward. Hard to pick a rolled gold unique but Ward is usually pretty solid.
Fox: Jeremy Cameron potential 90 point forward, should be on the end of more ball movement in 2019
The Draft Smokey
Jimmy: Many coaches will be cautious about picking Brett Deledio after his past two seasons with injury concerns, however even last year he scored multiple 110+ scores (and higher in SC) from a handful of games. Don’t expect him to play every match but he’s a very handy type to pick as a depth midfielder with that ceiling.
MJ: The new kick in rules favour a guy like Heath Shaw. While the run for D1 will happen early in your league, you could land Heater many rounds later but still get a 90+ defender.
Rids: Zac Williams/Toby Greene. Keep an eye on both these guys. Both when in form could be close to d1 and/or f1 options in a season team. Beong able to grab them at d2/f2 is still a very very worthwhile exercise.
Tim: Matt de Boer. Was quite a good scorer in draft leagues last year and retains fwd status. Has had no hype and will surely slide in drafts, potentially quite late.
Fox: Tom Sheridan could have gone in the unique section as only a handful of astute fantasy coaches would/could/should recognise his potential. Jason McCartney has played down the coup, but this versatile running machine will be earmarked for wing and midfield roles, expect a .05 ownership and pick him up as one of your last draft picks