Every season after I conclude the 50 Most Relevant, we love to look back at some of the unlucky players to miss the countdown. Here are 10 Players Who Missed The 50 Most RelevantEmbed from Getty Images
A dislocated shoulder ruined the season of Scott Lycett, but the one positive of it now is he’s received a discount on his starting price. What happens in the ruck division and how people structure up in 2023 is one of the most interesting for coaches structurally.
Tim English and Darcy Cameron have had multiple little niggles in the preseason. At the same time, there is understandable concern about how previous premiums Brodie Grundy, Max Gawn and Sean Darcy will all function with new ruck teammates. For many in the fantasy community, it’s why Lycett has skyrocketed into consideration. He has multiple seasons averaging over 80 in AFLFantasty/DreamTeam and has been a safe 90+ average in SuperCoach in his previous three seasons at the pear.
There does appear to be some competition for spots, alongside some interruptions to his preseason. Still, a fully fit and fully engaged Scott should be beating out all other ruck avenues at Port Adelaide. If we can get those two things, then getting some value at R2 with him could be a viable play.Embed from Getty Images
Geelong was adamant in the offseason that Jack Bowes wasn’t the steak knives in the deal to secure pick seven. Multiple recruiting and coaching staff members have gone out of their way to ensure that. But does Jack have a home inside the Cats best 22? And if he does, where does he get opportunities on the field? As a junior, his class was seen through the midfield, but more recently, his former side used him across halfback. Nevertheless, the versatility of Bowes should see him right in the mix for round one. Geelong has often preached that mantra; after all, it’s worked with them winning the most recent premiership.
Just because he moved clubs isn’t enough reason to be in or miss the fifty most relevant. One of the most important factors in our starting squad structures is where and how many strong cash cows we have. After some early days concerns, we’ll have a bounty of cheaper options in the backline. However, as a suitable defensive option at his price point, he could still pop up higher into relevance should some of them fail to take their chances during the practice game and AAMI community series.
You knew it was coming, didn’t you? I couldn’t get through the preseason without speaking about one of my favourite players of all time. Josh Kelly has all the skills, smarts, and pedigree to be a premium across the formats.
In 2021 from round seven until the season ended in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam, he averaged 111 and scored twelve tons with just three over 120, but they included a 152 and a 141. From these final 15 games, he just had one score below 96. Similarly, in SuperCoach, from round seven onwards, he scored 12 tons, six of them over 120 and averaged 113. It included a run of ten consecutive hundreds from rounds 7-17. Those scores are reflective of his scoring shown back in 2017 & 2019.
However, there’s only so long you can refer to seasons of four or six seasons ago before you need to reconsider that someone is unable to get back to this scoring territory again. Throw in the uncertainty of the GWS midfield mix and style under new coach Adam Kingsley, and it becomes a fascinating preseason watch.
If he gets back into a primary role as a centre-bounce midfielder, then the days of 110+ won’t just be a memory, but they’ll be a reality even in a more ‘Richmond’ game style. Kelly can and does score fantasy points in every column imaginable except hitouts.Embed from Getty Images
When Darcy Wilmot made his debut during the 2022 AFL finals series, fantasy coaches across the country opened up their little black book and put his name in. The Brisbane speedster looked right at home at the elite level with scores of 51, 62 & 52 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 52, 61 & 73 for SuperCoach. It’s not monster scoring, but it’s more than enough for a basement-level defender cash cow.
The arrival of Conor McKenna has added some more complexity and has thrown his spot inside the best 22 into some uncertainty. But if Darcy is named round one, many coaches will happily select him.
I’ve long been a fan of Isaac Cumming. To me, he’s the perfect modern-day defender. He’s got the perfect combination of skills, speed, aerial ability and defensive smarts. Over the past two seasons, he’s averaged north of 90 across the formats and has shown a strong scoring ceiling.
The only consideration worth flagging is that Isaac has the majority of the kick-in responsibilities. Last year he had 129 kick in’s and played 90% of the time. The next best was Harry Himmelberg with 56. If he has to split this or loses this role, his scoring will nose-dive drastically.Embed from Getty Images
Darcy Parish broke out for us in 2021. From the final 17 games of the season, he scored eleven tons, seven of them over 120 and two over the monster mark of 150. While for SuperCoach, it’s thirteen tons, eight over 120, four over 150, including a personal best 190.
In 2022 before his calf injury midway through the season, he scored at a similar rate to what we saw over 2/3 of the year prior. Between rounds 1-11, he averaged 108.4 in AFLFantasty/DreamTeam, including eight tons and two over 130. While in SuperCoach, he was going at 118.3, which consisted of nine tons, five over 120 and nothing below 97.
The scoring power isn’t the question; I believe there’s a larger, more pertinent question. Is that how the Essendon midfield manifests in 2023 under new coach Brad Scott? What’s the structure? They might not be the strongest options, but they have plenty of options. Alongside Parish, Zach Merrett, Dylan Shiel & Jye Caldwell have been on regular rotations. Throw in the next generation of options like Ben Hobbs, Archie Perkins and the yet-to-debut Elijah Tsatas, who should all see increased opportunities. And lastly, guys like Andrew McGrath, Nick Martin, Jake Stringer, and Andrew McGrath have all historically had moments and matches in the midfield.
Alongside the structure is the style questions. Thankfully as the pre-season continues, clarity will eventuate. For me, he’s right in the mix in some formats if the role and style of the game align at Essendon.Embed from Getty Images
Only a few players have been as hyped up in fantasy footy circles as the level that we’ve seen around Matt Rowell. Sadly injuries have played a significant part in stunting his ability to play up to this expectation. Thankfully this offseason two, things have happened for Matt. Firstly, and probably most importantly, he’s been able to have his first full uninterrupted preseason at the AFL level. Second, the club have focussed on building his outside game.
If the Gold Coast Suns are going to break the finals drought finally, it will need to come off the back of these talented youngsters delivering on their high-end talent. This could be very exciting if Matt combines his inside game with a developed outside game. Only a few midprice picks come off, but with Matt, we know he can do it at the elite level. If I start to see some of that outside game translating into some serious fantasy numbers, then he’s genuinely got to be a consideration for those looking for a player in this price range.Become a Patron! Embed from Getty Images
Ryan Clarke isn’t on this list because of his fantasy output. He’s here because of what he does to others. In the back third of the season, the Swans started using Ryan as a tagger, specifically on the opposition team’s best-rebounding defender. He was devastating by the impact he had on our premiums.
For example, in round fifteen, he held Jack Sinclair to a 72 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 79 in SuperCoach. That’s approximately 30 points shy of his average. Two weeks later, he shut down Bailey Dale. He only managed a 57 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam & 76 for SuperCoach. He stalled the rebound of Brodie Smith in round 19 to under 70 across the formats, and in round 20, he spent half the game tagging Isaac Cumming and then flipped to Harry Himmelberg. Again, both fell well behind their regular averages. While in round 22, he keeps Nick Daicos to scores of 65 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam & 62 in SuperCoach.
In summary, he’s a premium killer. If the Swans look to deploy a similar tactic in 2023, keep an eye on the matchups of your premium defenders. The Swans first six rounds are against Gold Coast, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Port Adelaide, Richmond & Geelong.Embed from Getty Images
Will Day broke onto the fantasy scene in 2020 with multiple scores over 80 across the formats. He followed it up in round one of 2021, scoring a 103 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam & 122 in SuperCoach. However, since then, the only thing that has been a constant is his body letting him down with injuries.
Touch wood; he’s turned a corner this preseason and seems to be getting some continuity with his body. Further upside could be that he’s been training through the midfield and has been one of the clubs standouts.
One of the bigger pain points for teams structurally is what they do between D3-D5. Day could be the perfect stepping stone option that ensures you the right balance of premiums and cash cows on the field. If we don’t get the volume of cows we need, especially in the backline, he might pop as not just a possibility to a probability.Embed from Getty Images
This is a late preseason mover, but Charlie Constable needs to be on your preseason radar for several reasons. Firstly, he’s got himself as strong and fit as he’s been across his limited AFL career. He was getting deployed as a half-back late last season in the VFL. That role has continued this preseason. Defensive coach Tate Kaesler said recently, “his composure with the ball and the way he can slice opposition teams apart is something I value, but what he’s been working on big time is his defensive craft. We’ve exposed him to being that third tall so that he can play in different layers in that defensive part of the game.”
With primary ball movers Will Powell and Lachie Weller coming back from some injuries, there’s an opportunity in the Suns defensive group for Charlie. In DreamTeam & SuperCoach, he’s priced as a cash cow, while he’s marginally above that range in AFLFantasy. However, if he has the role of a distributor in the practice matches and the AAMI community series, he must be seriously considered.