He ended 2018 on fire and starts this year ranked as a top 5 forward. The question is, do others go past him?

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Sam Menegola
Age: 26
Club: Geelong Cats
Position: Midfield/Forward

2018 Highest Score: 
126 Vs Hawthorn (AFLFantasy)
144 Vs Richmond (SuperCoach)

2018 Average: 

98.6 (AFLFantasy)
100 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $543,100
AFLFantasy Price:
$716,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$705,500

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

As a player, he compliments the Geelong side perfectly as he’s ferocious tackler who isn’t afraid to get into the think of it and win the contested ball. Menegola is also one of the club’s elite runner has shown across his time at the Cats he can even sneak forward to impact the scoreboard. 

It was a slow start to 2018 for Sam Menegola with scores of 69 & 50 for AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 74 & 57 in SuperCoach opening up his fantasy campaign. At that point, many coaches traded him out of their side fearing that his second season where he averaged 95 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam & 99 for SuperCoach was just a flash in the pan. For those that did move him on they’d have been incredibly frustrated and have learnt the lesson that sometimes it pays to be patient with premiums as the following three matches, he scored 120, 118 & 103 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam & 128, 129 & 121 for SuperCoach.

Across all of 2018, he averaged 98.6 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam scored 12 tons with 5 of those over 120. While for SuperCoach he averaged 100 with 13 tons and 6 scores over 120. These numbers are undoubtedly substantial. However, astute fantasy owners will take of particular note to his final six games of the year. After having games where he’d be midfield only and others barely getting rotations and being based as a forward pocket, the Cats got his mix right, and it delivered in spades. Over the last six matches, he scored 115, 97, 112, 126, 98 & 103 at an average of 108 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam while for SuperCoach he scored 114, 100, 144, 119, 112 & 112 at an average of 116.

These end of year numbers echo how he ended the 2017 season with five consecutive tons and an average of 119 for AFLFantasy/DreamTeam. While in SuperCoach he averaged 117 and posted four scores over 110 in his final five games.

MY TAKE

Everything looks posied that he should once again be a top 6-10 forward in 2019, but one of the big question marks is around whether others cheaper than him can outperform him? Forwards like Josh Dunkley and even a Jack Billings are both more affordable and with the right roles don’t just match but have the potential to outscore him if used in a fantasy-friendly role.

The recruitment of former Bulldog Luke Dahlhaus should only benefit him as he’s stronger suited to a more defensive minded forward role which should all Menegola when he does spend time inside the 50 to have an attacking mindset. Yes, it’s another player with the potential of taking midfield rotations, but given the success, Geelong has had with how they’ve used him for the past two years with a 70% midfield 30% forward split I doubt the Geelong coaching staff would adjust that too much.

I’m looking to target him as one of my first upgrade targets in the forward line, that said he is a worthy starting option and I do still see another 95+ average and a top 10 forward finish to the year.

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DRAFT DECISIONS

He’s one of the few forwards who looks capable of averaging 100 as such he’ll be one of the first forwards off the board. Depending on how coaches in your league like to draft he could be off the board as early as the second round, but indeed will be gone inside the first 4-5 rounds.

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