Preseason 2020

Way too early 2020 watchlist

The AFL Trade and Free agency period is well underway, and despite it being months before the prices and positions are revealed at The Coaches Panel we wanted to take a look at a player from each club that we have pencilled onto our 2020 watchlist.

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Adelaide Crows

Ned McHenry | Injuries have stalled any chance of a debut, but the positive means he’ll be basement price for us in 2020. He offers everything the Crows midfield unit lack. High pressure, work rate, skills and is a bundle of excitement.

Brisbane Lions

Alex Witherden | One mans trash is another’s treasure. Sadly Alex has had a drop of about 10 points per game and has burned plenty of fantasy coaches this year. With Luke Hodge hanging up the boots (again), then I think we need to seriously consider the potential value he presents. 

Carlton Blues

Charlie Curnow | I might be on my own here, but two seasons ago he was one of the most excited breakout candidates. This year he scored his lowest seasonal average since his debut. On top of this, he may be eligible for a possible small discount due to missing 11 games, and we could have a considerable value pick on our hands. The severity and impact of his basketball-related knee injury have on his preseason will determine whether or not he stays here for long.

Collingwood Magpies

Taylor Adams | Another frustrating season battling injury resulted in just ten games. The one positive for next year is he should get an injury discount of a minimum of 10%. Throw this on top of a low 90’s average, and he could be one of the best-underpriced premiums of 2020. 

Essendon Bombers

Devon Smith | It’s low hanging fruit in terms of how noticeable a candidate he is, but with many bombers having minimal fantasy footy relevance he is the one to highlight. Last season he played only seven games before injury which guarantees him to get some form of discount. Whether that’s higher than 10% will be determined by each formats creators. The bonus is he was already averaging 25 points below his 2018 season numbers, meaning the possible value could make him one of the most selected players in 2020 mainly if he retains forward eligibility which I believe he will.

Fremantle Dockers

Andrew Brayshaw | With Ed Langdon and Brad Hill both out the door in the trade period and David Mundy in the twilight of his career the time is right for Andy to emerge and take a key midfield role alongside Nat Fyfe. Priced at 70 in all formats he looms as a ripping breakout candidate if given the opportunity.  

Geelong Cats

Sam Menegola | Have you picked up on the theme yet that a lot of this ‘watchlist’ players are premiums from previous seasons but had injury impacted years? Sam’s one of those with injuries limiting him to just nine games, meaning he should qualify for a 10% discount. Added to this he also experienced some inconsistency in midfield minutes which forced his average to drop of 15-20 points. 

Gold Coast Suns

Jack Bowes | A broad view may look at his seasonal average around the mid-’70s this year and not think he offers much. Sometimes as a fantasy coach, we need to look a little deeper into the numbers to see the value. In the opening five games of the year, he was going at an average of 92 in AFLFantasy and  99.8 SuperCoach. To top it off with him playing 14 games it might just qualify for injury discount. Fingers crossed. 

GWS Giants

Stephen Coniglio | An inconsistent year for Cogs when it came to his body. After playing 22 games last year, he could manage just the 15 in 2019. He dropped 7 points per game in terms of average from the previous year, but coaches need to take the time to analyse for the scoring drop. One of the key reasons behind the fall was due to his round 17 game against the Tigers where he got injured on 0 points, causing chaos for the 20%+ of coaches that owned him. Without that game, his averages look much healthier of  111 in AFLFantasy and 108 in SuperCoach. Missing seven games might mean he misses getting an injury impacted discount on his starting price. The reality is we have one already due to that Richmond game. I’m very keen to start him in 2020, arguably priced 10 points under his scoring potential of 110. 

Hawthorn Hawks

Tom Mitchell | He missed 2019 with a broken leg and had he not got injured he would’ve been one of the most selected players in all forms of the game. He’s eligible for a sizeable discount, meaning for many he’s an instant starter. However, I’m more keen to see how he moves and looks through the preseason. With ‘Titch’ even with a hefty discount, he’ll still be among one of the most expensive players in the competition, that’s a lot of money invested in your starting squad, and you must get it right at that price tag. 

Melbourne Demons

Angus Brayshaw | Seven months ago the fantasy footy community was ablaze at his potential after storming home last season. He started 2019 and even ended it OK, but during the majority of the season due to a combination of role change and form, we saw his fantasy scores plummet. Gus dropped over 15 points per game avg across all formats and became a serious burn man for many coaches. The positive for us is as we enter into 2020 he will be priced next year in the mid-’80s.  His scoring potential can be further 20-25 points per game above pricing. The first step in his fantasy footy resurrection will be the Demons can land some wingman with skills and pace. If they do, it’s a piece of the puzzle that’ll see Angus moved back into the midfield role required to score well. 

North Melbourne Kangaroos

Luke Davies-Uniake |  If he gains FWD Status then I’m going to consider him. LDU  presents seriously huge third-year breakout potential, especially as he needs to start getting the midfield opportunities at Arden street. 

Port Adelaide Power

Ryan Burton | Injuries have plagued him over his career, but both at the hawks and now at Port, we’ve seen that a fit Burton holds plenty of fantasy relevance. During a four-week window post-bye, we saw his scoring potential. In SuperCoach he posted scores of 105, 96, 79 & 108 while in AFLFantasy it was 93, 110, 69 & 92. If he can stay fit, then he needs to be on your watchlist. 

Richmond Tigers

Dustin Martin | This all depends on if he gains forward eligibility or not. If He’s a MID/FWD, then I’ll find it very difficult to pass on him. His role in the AFL finals may determine whether or not he qualifies as forward eligible.  

St Kilda Saints

Dan Hannebery | A frustrating year for the former Swan who only managed to play in 5 games this year. The positive of this is two-fold, firstly he will receive an injury impacted discount due to the number of games he missed. Secondly, when he did play scored well with four of his five games seeing him score 90+ including two hundreds and an average in high 90’s across all formats
He may not present the same value as he did this year, but if Dan gets through the preseason unscathed, he is genuine underpriced premium.

Sydney Swans

Oli Florent | Place him as a breakout candidate, because as this year went on, he just got better and better. Florent possesses line-breaking speed, uses the ball well by foot and is one of the shining lights for the Swans both for now and the future. Three of his final four games in AFLFantasy he scored 91, 113 and 98, while in SuperCoach he scored 82, 102 and 106. He’ll be priced at his seasonal average of 69, but I have confidence that he could well be a stepping stone well worth considering.

West Coast Eagles

Nic Naitanui | Are you considering not starting with a set and forget ruck strategy next year? Then for SuperCoach, you need to consider NicNat seriously. Over the past 18 months, injuries have been cruel to NicNat, but we have seen that when he plays, even in the limited game given this year, he can score well. Last year he averaged low 90’s from just three games, meaning he will be discount eligible. In addition to this, his past three years averages are 96, 105, 103 so Nic could well provide excellent value as a stop-gap to a top tier ruck if you’re looking for a different approach.

Western Bulldogs

Josh Dunkley | After a slow start he was one of the most damaging forward options of the season, and with a likely loss of forward eligibility, his ownership numbers could plummet due to him being a midfielder only. However, with 14 of the last 16 games seeing him score 100+ and many of them captaincy capable scores he could be a sneaky point of difference in your starting side.

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