In 2023, Jordan Dawson went from being a handy premium defender to one of the best players in the AFL, let alone in AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach. But with a loss of defensive status and now being available solely as a midfielder, is it the end of his relevance? Or is the Crows skipper just warming up?
WHY IS HE RELEVANT?
Jordan Dawson’s ascension to the role of Adelaide Crows’ captain before the 2023 season was a testament to his leadership qualities and his immense talent on the field. His inaugural year as skipper was nothing short of spectacular, highlighted by winning the Malcolm Blight Medal for the club’s best and fairest, a fitting accolade for his standout performances throughout the season.
Dawson’s 2023 campaign marked a significant turning point in his career as he transitioned into a more permanent midfield role, showcasing his versatility and ability to impact the game significantly from the centre of the field.
This strategic shift in his playing position allowed Dawson to elevate his game to new heights, averaging 27 disposals, three clearances, and six tackles per game, underlining his work rate, ball-winning capability, and defensive tenacity. Such was the impact of his performances that Dawson earned All-Australian honours for the first time, recognizing him as one of the premier midfielders in the competition.
His blend of precise kicking, vision, and ability to execute under pressure has made him an integral part of Adelaide’s strategy, driving the team forward and setting the standard for excellence both as a player and a leader on the field. Dawson’s career-best season not only solidified his status as a key player for the Crows but also marked him as one of the standout talents in the AFL, capable of influencing the outcome of games through his skilful play and strategic thinking.
Jordan Dawson’s fantasy football performance in the 2023 season was nothing short of remarkable, with his statistics in both AFLFantasy and SuperCoach reflecting his substantial contribution on the field. In AFLFantasy, Dawson achieved an impressive average of 113.4, with 16 scores hitting the century mark, including nine scores over 120 and five surpassing 130, culminating in a personal best of 172. Remarkably, he maintained a high scoring floor with just two scores falling below 90 and none under 81, ranking him 5th overall by average and 4th for total points.
Similarly, in SuperCoach, Dawson’s average rose to 115.8, with 16 hundred-plus scores, eight of which were over 120, and four exceptional performances over 145, including a peak score of 173. Despite a generally high scoring consistency, there was just one instance where his score dipped below 80, a testament to his reliability as a fantasy option. Dawson’s rankings in SuperCoach were equally impressive, placing 9th overall for averages and 4th for total points.
The significant uplift in Dawson’s scoring can largely be attributed to his increased ball possession, averaging a career-high of 27 disposals, marking an increase of 2.5 per game from the previous year. While his marks per game saw a slight regression, Dawson’s defensive efforts significantly intensified, with his tackles per game jumping from an average of three in 2022 to 6.7 in 2023, placing him 12th in the league for tackles per game. This shift solidified his scoring floor and added a considerable ceiling to his fantasy output.
Dawson’s fantasy pricing heading into the season suggests there are about two points per game of potential value based on the scoring from Round 3 onwards, when his role adjustment fully took effect. Moreover, Dawson’s durability has been a key asset; since joining the Adelaide Crows, he has not missed a single game, underscoring his reliability and importance to both his real-life and fantasy teams.
In summary, Jordan Dawson’s 2023 season was a masterclass in how a role change and personal improvement can elevate a player’s fantasy football standing. By bolstering his tackle numbers and maintaining high possession counts, Dawson sustained his scoring floor and introduced a new scoring ceiling, making him a top-tier fantasy option. His durability and consistent high performance further cement his status as a desirable choice for fantasy coaches looking for stability and high upside in their lineup.Embed from Getty Images
Jordan Dawson’s fantasy outlook for the upcoming season is framed beautifully by several strategic considerations, beginning with an ideal bye structure. Dawson and the Adelaide Crows enjoy uninterrupted play until Round 15, facing a mix of opponents from the Suns to Essendon, with the 2023 data suggesting neither distinctly favourable nor challenging matchups. This stability in the fixture presents a solid foundation for Dawson’s consistent scoring potential throughout most of the fantasy season.
The Adelaide Crows’ midfield dynamics, particularly the integration of Matt Crouch, pose intriguing questions about Dawson’s role and, by extension, his fantasy output. The final six games of last season, which saw Dawson and Crouch play together, offer a glimpse into this relationship. In SuperCoach, Dawson notched five scores above 110 and an 89, while in AFLFantasy, he achieved two tons and four scores in the 90s.
Notably, one of these hundreds was a commanding 134 against Port Adelaide, prompting analysis on whether Crouch’s presence is a direct influence or merely coincidental to Dawson’s performance. The matchups during this period, categorized from neutral to moderately easy based on DFS Australia’s rankings for inside mids, did not significantly alter Dawson’s scoring from stoppages but impacted his across-the-ground contributions.
Three scenarios emerge regarding the Crows’ midfield composition and its impact on Dawson’s fantasy relevance. Firstly, if Crouch solidifies his spot alongside Laird and Dawson as the primary midfield trio without significantly affecting Dawson’s role, concerns may arise about Dawson blending into the midfield without distinguishing his scoring.
However, this blends into the second scenario where if Crouch’s inclusion leads to Dawson or Laird rotating through half-back, Dawson’s fantasy prospects become even more compelling, albeit this is considered an unlikely permanent shift.
The third scenario, marked by Crouch’s absence from the midfield mix, could signal a reliance on emerging talents like Luke Pedlar, Jack Soligo, and Josh Rachele to step up, potentially enhancing Dawson’s importance and fantasy appeal. Dawson’s temporary versatility to temporarily fill defensive roles underscores his value, although a permanent shift back is deemed improbable.
Dawson’s fantasy appeal is underscored by his high scoring ceiling and robust floor, making him a pivotal figure in fantasy discussions. Whether as a starting selection or a strategic upgrade, Dawson’s presence in a completed fantasy side represents an optimal outcome, with his role within the Crows’ midfield mix being a critical determinant of his fantasy impact. Navigating these strategic considerations will be key for fantasy coaches aiming to maximize Dawson’s potential in their lineups.Embed from Getty Images
Jordan Dawson’s fantastic performance and flexible position within the Adelaide Crows make him a top candidate to be an M1 in delusion drafts, reflecting his high value and effect capacity. Given his staggering stats and the strategic importance of his midfield function, Dawson may be noticeably well-liked, probably being picked inside the overdue first to early second spherical of drafts.
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