One of the most remarkable in-season fantasy football turnarounds came from Connor Rozee. From being in the dog house to winning the club’s best & fairest, the move into the midfield was sensational for both his confidence and his fantasy football output. The benefit of the slow scoring start is we have a forward premium with some inbuilt value. Are you on board in 2023?
Name: Connor Rozee
Club: Port Adelaide Power
2022 Highest Score:
144 Vs Adelaide (AFLFantasy)
162 Vs Adelaide (SuperCoach)
Career Highest Score:
144 Vs Adelaide | AFLFantasy (2022)
162 Vs Adelaide | SuperCoach (2022)
SuperCoach Price: $513,800
AFLFantasy Price: $780,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: $799,700
WHY IS HE RELEVANT?
It could have been a better start for Port Adelaide or Connor Rozee. Over the opening month, they had yet to win a game, and many called for Port to drop Connor as he struggled to impact the games by playing deep inside the Power forward lines. However, by the end of the season, he’d have turned it around that he was named in the 2022 All-Australian squad, won the club B&F and picked up 14 Brownlow Medal votes.
The club significantly changed from round five by throwing Rozee into the midfield. The move happened more out of necessity, with Ollie Wines missing the clash against the Carlton. But from then on, he was sensational. His speed, class and poise were on full display, adding a new dimension to the Power midfield.
In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam, he averaged 88 across the season, which places him as the sixth-highest-ranked forward available to us. He scored nine tons, including 125 and 144, in the season’s final round. He delivered nine scores under 80, but four of them were his opening month of the year.
For SuperCoach, he averaged 93.3 across the year and posted nine tons, and all three of his scores over 120 were monsters! A 153, 154 & 162! His scoring dipped below 80 in nine matches, but like in AFLFantasy, four were before his role changed.
The real story is what happened after the role change. From round five onwards, he scored nine tons across the formats and averaged 97.7 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 102.6 in SuperCoach. As a reference point, ranking that eighteen-week average compared to the other top forwards, he’d be ranked as the third forward in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and second in SuperCoach.
As strong as that data trend is, there’s more upside. In the final eleven games after the bye, he averaged 101.5 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 106.8 in SuperCoach. And in the last seven matches of the year, he averaged 110 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 112 in SuperCoach.
He’s shown glimpses of his fantasy pedigree over the three previous seasons, with multiple tons and good stretches of games going 80+. But 2022 was different; he did this as a midfielder more than as a crafty forward who occasionally pushes up the flanks.
The primary attraction behind selecting Rozee is that he’s shown the capacity to score at the top end of the forwards but to do so at a haircut of the same price point. Anytime we get some value and save some coin without compromising on our scoring potential is always a win. It allows us to reinvest that cash into some other players and improve our scoring in the totality of our squad.Embed from Getty Images
Everything about Connor Rozee lends itself to the narrative that he’s clearly on an upward trajectory to becoming a premium forward selection for us this season. The combination of value + upside is why so many coaches are starting him this year. At the time of writing, he’s in 36% of SuperCoach, 41% of DreamTeam and 42% of AFLFantasy sides. Those are staggeringly high numbers. I get the appeal, but that is your level for a make-or-break guy in your starting squad. I’m not convinced fading Connor from your starting squad will ruin your season.
Have you been listening to these accompanying podcasts? Over the past few days, Rids has made some valid points on several players that can take a season away from you. However, as good as Rozee could and should be, I’m not sold he has yet shown the ability to take a season away from you. So, are you choosing to get him for value and skimping coin on investing in either Stephen Coniglio, Tim Taranto or Josh Dunkley? Or Can he be at their level?
We can only start so many forward premiums, and we need to create space for variable change should some big names appear to pick up DPP. So to start Rozee, the belief is that you believe he’ll be close enough; if not, score himself enough to become a topline forward option this year.
What should provide coaches with some additional confidence in selecting him isn’t just the fact he’s been having an elite preseason through the midfield. But Port Adelaide has invested seriously in the forward line in the offseason. The addition of Junior Rioli brings a smart, crafty forward into the mix with a dynamic trio of tall forwards. With Junior coming in alongside Orazio Fantasia & Sam Powell-Pepper, it adds some depth immediately. Throw in some more forward rotations from Travis Boak and a developing youngster in Jason Horne-Francis, and it starts to fill out nicely without Connor. This means that Port can now choose to place Connor there when desired, not out of necessity—freeing him up to take up some more slack through the midfield.
Sometimes, we weaponise statistics and data to suit our narrative in the fantasy community. And in this case, the statistics indicate the potential to be a topline premium. However, they also show a four-week average of 44 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 51 in SuperCoach. These aren’t injured games; they happened. And while on the probability scale, he’s more likely to be a premium and a bust, there is a world where he holds and potentially marginally regresses. That could be due to a role split more 50/50 in MID/FWD, or it could be due to the tag. Unlikely doesn’t mean impossible.
Coaches starting with Connor can easily feel justified that he’ll be a strong starting selection. At the same time, those without him will monitor his start to the season and the DPP additions heading into round six. Either way, Connor is relevant and worthy of serious conversations and considerations this preseason.
The top five forwards off draft boards have a consensus about them amongst the community. Josh Dunkley, Tim Taranto and Stephen Coniglio are many people’s clear top three. However, once these guys are off the draft board, the attention will quickly turn to a forward like Connor Rozee. He’ll be an F1, but he’s someone you could get in the third round of your draft, maybe even fourth if you’re lucky. I know the top-end forwards fall off quickly, but I couldn’t jump onto Rozee with a second-round selection.
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