He’s been one of the most consistent forwards over the past few seasons. With limited options available, is he in your plans?

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Isaac Heeney
Age: 23
Club: Sydney Swans
Position: Midfield/Forward

2019 Highest Score: 
121 Vs Carlton (AFLFantasy)
137 Vs Carlton (SuperCoach)

2019 Average: 

89.7 (AFLFantasy)
94 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $510,700
AFLFantasy Price: 
$666,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$649,000

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

We all have our personal favourites when it comes to fantasy football — players we love to own as they bring you great joy. One of mine is Isaac Heeney. He is the complete footballing package and arguably a picture of the modern-day footballer. He’s damaging around the ball. Has the grunt to win it on the inside and the polish to finish on the outside. Additionally, when required to go forward, he’s an elite overhead mark and is a difficult matchup for even the most experienced defender.

Since 2017 he’s been a staple of the forward lines for many coaches. in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam during that time he’s averaged 92, 90 & 89, while in SuperCpach he’s averaged 97, 97 & 94. Already across the preseason coaches, have lamented at the loss of many of last years top-end forward scores. However, with Heeney retaining, we have the relatively consistent and durable scoring option to consider.

During the 2019 season, Isaac Heeney started slow and many coaches after the opening two rounds I know many who chose to move him on. In spite of that, he ended up averaging 89 last year consisting of nine AFLFantasy/DreamTeam hundreds, one of those he converted into a 20+ score and dipped below 70 in only five matches. For SuperCoach he averaged 94, reaching triple figures in nine games, three of them were above 130, and in only four games he failed to score over 70.

While many remember the slow start from him were he managed only three tons in the opening eleven matches his back half of the year is a more closely aligned to what he has done over his career. In the opening 11 games, he averaged 84 in AFLFantasy and 90 in SuperCoach, while in the later 11 games he averaged 94 in AFLFantasy and 97 in SuperCoach.

Currently, based on 2019 data of forewards still available to us, Heeney is ranked second for forwards on total points and fifth in terms of averages. Many would consider Lachie Whitfield and Dustin Martin as safe top-end forwards should they stay fit and healthy. Beyond that many struggles to have confidence in who will fill the remaining top positions. I believe Michael Walters will be one, and while someone will always fly up and dominate, I can see a world where Heeney is comfortably a top 10 forward.

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MY TAKE

Issac Heeney over the past few seasons has been one of the most consistent forward premiums available. And while he is consistent, he doesn’t often convert his scores into damaging hundreds. Consistency and ceiling are both equally essential variables in building a strong scoring side. However, with him, does he hurt you if you go against starting him and ‘take him on’?

For the past three to four seasons the football community has been awaiting a release of him into becoming a full-time midfielder. Will he ever get the bulk midfield time at Sydney? The Swans certainly need and want him in the midfield unit. However, they also need him inside the forward line.

How much midfield time he acquires is linked in part to the health of their marking talls. Sam Reid, Lance Franklin and Callum Sinclair of late don’t have the exceptional durability.

Heeney is an elite mark and is an incredibly difficult matchup for opposition defenders who will lose out to him either because of an aerial ability mismatch, or they cannot go with him at ground level.

Every person says they want to see Sydney release him into the midfield fully, and perhaps that will happen. However, he doesn’t require that to be a genuine premium and average in the mid to high 90’s.

Just in the past few days, the Isaac Heeney preseason injury curse occurred. This time he’s broken his thumb. He’s a certainty to miss the preseason matches and depending on his recovery he might miss the opening game of the season.

Whether you choose to start or upgrade to him, given the state of current premium forwards Isaac looms to be one of the safe forward premiums we can count on in 2020.

DRAFT DECISION

Regardless of the format you use to draft, given his high ranking, he should first forward selected for a coach. Once Dustin Martin and Lachie Whitfield go (likely inside the top 15 selections) it’ll be intriguing when coaches take the next bunch of forwards.

For me, I believe after you’ve locked away two selections, whether that be both midfielders or one mid and another line the third round is the place to target Heeney.

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