Tim Taranto had another breakout season in 2019. Has he got the ability to take it to the elite level this season?
Name: Tim Taranto
Club: GWS Giants
2019 Highest Score:
156 Vs North Melbourne (AFLFantasy)
144 Vs Carlton (SuperCoach)
SuperCoach Price: $555,900
AFLFantasy Price: $835,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: $813,600
WHY IS HE RELEVANT?
Tim Taranto was already devloping to be a superstar of the competition heading into 2019, coming off the back of an elite second year he averaged 91 in AFLFantasy for the season. It featured seven scores over the hundred marks including four over 110. While for SuperCoach he averaged 89 and posted 7 tons including three over 110.
The injury to season-long injury to Callan Ward forced him to step up into a mainstay in that midfield. And while Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly also failed to play every game, Taranto becomes the centrepiece of the midfield.
Averaging over 28 possessions a game he rates elite in the league for Tackles, clearances, contested possessions, uncontested possessions and inside ’50s. Not bad for someone who only ticked over 50 games during last year.
From an AFLFantasy/DreamTeam perspective last year he increased his averages by 22 points per game from his 2018 numbers. Finished as the fourth-highest total points scorer of the season behind Brodie Grundy, Adam Treloar and Jackson Macrae. Of midfielders, only Jackson Macrae, Adam Treloar and teammate Josh Kelly had a higher seasonal average. From 22 games he had fifteen scores over 100, 7 of these were over 130 and
During the finals series, he scored 113, 66, 122 and 117. In addition to his frequency of hundreds and high ceiling, he had only five scores below 93 all year, nothing below 75.
In SuperCoach he increased his average by 14 points per game from his 2018 average. Taranto finished as the 22nd best points scorer of the season and an average 102 He scored a 100 in 59% of matches (13), and four of these were captaincy good numbers of 130 or higher. In the AFL Finals series, he further enhanced his reputation with SuperCoach scores of 124, 68, 109 and a massive 143 on Grand Final day.Embed from Getty Images
Beyond winning the premiership, everything went right for Tim Taranto last year. While as fantasy coaches we would never wish injuries on anybody, it did force Leon Cameron to adjust his plans. Including in the moves, the need became to find a replacement for Callan Ward after suffering a season-ending knee injury.
What we don’t know, and it’s relevant heading into this season is what impact does the inclusion of his former skipper have on the sharing of fantasy points for Tim and the other midfielders? Would it have made any difference last year or not to his scoring? We can throw out hypothesis and scenarios, but the answer it short is we will never know.
The question marks around the points share of the GWS midfield will mean many will be scared to use him in their starting squads. The key will be to watch the roles, rotations and game style of the Giants during the preseason matches. Also, factor in who (if any) of the stars are missing from that midfield as it could skew your perspective of reality.
For AFLFantasy/DreamTeam scoring, while I hear the concern, I’m unconvinced that he will be impacted substantially. I see him as a perfect unique candidate. He’s coming off the back of 112 in his third season of AFL. Already in this format, he’s among the elite premiums. If his ownership is super low, I could be tempted to adjust my starting squad an include him.
Taranto finds himself in the positively rare position in that he will never get tagged from the opposition. With Lachie Whitfield, Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly in the side you cannot choose to try and negate his influence om the contest and let those three roam free. Yet another positive for those keen on picking him.
In SuperCoach he will likely be an upgrade target with players like his new skipper Stephen Coniglio priced lower who will probably average higher in 2020.
Double T is one of my favourite players in the league and wouldn’t surprise me if for the third season in a row we saw a drastic point-scoring spike.
Ranked last year in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam by averages as a top-four midfielder it’s crazy to think that Tim Taranto might slide beyond the first round. If he replicates his 2019 form, he’ll be a top tier midfielder for the season. If I have a selection late in the first round, I’d be seriously considering him. Surely he’s off all draft boards by the time each coach has made a second selection.
In SuperCoach formats he’ll be selected later given his scoring wasn’t as prolific. That said he’ll start to fly off the draft boards in a similar time to Tim Kelly, Matt Crouch and potentially even a sliding Elliot Yeo. Ranked by average as the 25th midfielder coaches will start to consider him as their M2 if they go look to lock away another line early. Coaches might aim for him as an M3 for those who like drafting midfielders early. I expect between rounds 4-5 he starts appearing as a candidate to be selected.
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