In this deep dive, we unravel the complex tapestry of Clayton Oliver’s 2024 season, marked by off-field challenges and on-field brilliance. Join us as we explore how Oliver’s tumultuous offseason and undeniable talent converge, unexpectedly impacting your AFL Fantasy and SuperCoach strategies.
WHY IS HE RELEVANT?
Clayton Oliver’s status as one of the elite midfielders in the game is unassailable. His ranking in the top 10 for contested possessions, clearances, inside 50s, and tackles is a testament to his well-rounded gameplay. These stats aren’t just numbers; they paint a picture of a player who is at the heart of the action, consistently driving his team forward and dominating in key areas of the game.
In AFLFantasy, Oliver’s prowess is striking. He averaged 113.6, with an impressive 11 scores over 100, and six of these were above 120, including a season-high of 149. This scoring feat placed him fourth in terms of average, trailing only behind the likes of Marcus Bontempelli, Tim English, and Rowan Marshall. His performance clearly indicates his consistency and ability to score heavily in critical games.
In SuperCoach, Oliver’s average was an outstanding 120.6. He notched up 10 scores over 100, seven of which were above 120, and remarkably, he scored below 98 only once throughout the year. This exceptional scoring rate placed him among the top, surpassed only by Bontempelli and English. Entering 2024, he is one of just three players in SuperCoach with an average above 120, showcasing his elite status in the competition.
Oliver’s 2023 season was marked by a notable challenge – a hamstring injury that saw him play 13 games under duress. This was the first significant injury in his otherwise robust career, where he missed just one match in six seasons. However, his return post-injury was nothing short of remarkable. He scored 126 in AFLFantasy and 128 in SuperCoach against Carlton, demonstrating his resilience and ability to bounce back effectively.
Oliver’s performance in the 2023 AFL finals series further cemented his reputation as a fantasy football powerhouse. He averaged 123 in AFLFantasy and an astonishing 139 in SuperCoach, underscoring his ability to deliver when it matters most.
Clayton Oliver has been a standout player in both AFLFantasy and SuperCoach for years. His record of three consecutive seasonal averages above 120 in SuperCoach and three seasons with 110 or higher in AFLFantasy clearly indicates his enduring excellence. His ability to score heavily and his resilience in the face of injury make him a top-tier choice in fantasy football. Oliver’s consistency, scoring ability, and overall impact on the field make him a player that every fantasy manager should consider as a cornerstone of their team in the upcoming season.Embed from Getty Images
Clayton Oliver’s offseason can be aptly described as tumultuous. He was embroiled in trade rumours and internal club conflicts that, unfortunately, spilled into the public domain. Adding to this, Oliver experienced a medical episode that required hospitalization, and most recently, he left the club’s pre-Christmas training camp due to personal issues. Both the club and Oliver have requested privacy during this time, and we must respect this and avoid speculation or rumour-mongering.
If Oliver misses game time, it’s important to consider the implications for his teammates. Last season, when Oliver was sidelined, players like Tom Sparrow, Christian Petracca, and Angus Brayshaw stepped up, seeing a significant bump in midfield opportunities. This dynamic shift could again come into play, affecting the team’s on-field performance and fantasy football strategies.
The question of whether to start Clayton Oliver in your fantasy team is a complex one. Given the array of variables and challenges he’s facing, wisdom suggests that he might be better suited as an upgrade target rather than a starter. While you can start him, the uncertainties surrounding his situation make it risky.
Looking ahead at the Demons’ schedule, they play in the opening round and have an early bye in round 6. Following this, they face teams – Tigers, Cats, Blues, Eagles, Saints, Dockers, and Pies – which could provide favourable matchups for inside midfielders. This stretch of games post-bye presents an ideal opportunity to target Oliver as an upgrade. By then, there should be more clarity on his form and playing status, allowing fantasy coaches to make a more informed decision.Embed from Getty Images
Clayton Oliver presents a unique blend of risk and reward in your fantasy football draft. The key to drafting him lies in carefully monitoring the timing and news about his condition. While there’s a risk of limited preseason visibility, the upside is his potential to continue his impressive scoring streak of 110+ in AFLFantasy and 120+ in SuperCoach.
After the initial 4-5 draft rounds, Oliver becomes an increasingly attractive option. To balance the risk, it’s advisable to draft an additional midfielder or two early on, ensuring your team’s strength and depth. Ultimately, while drafting Oliver involves some uncertainty, his high-scoring ability and potential impact make him a worthwhile, strategic pick in the draft, especially if he’s available beyond the early rounds.
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