Everyone loves a breakout candidate, and one of the most anticipated is that of Connor Rozee. Will 2021 be his year?

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Connor Rozee
Age: 20
Club: Port Adelaide
Position: Forward

2020 Highest Score: 
85 Vs Gold Coast (AFLFantasy)
145 Vs Adelaide (SuperCoach)

Career Highest Score: 
121 Vs Brisbane | AFLFantasy (2019)
145 Vs Adelaide | SuperCoach (2020)

2020 Average: 
54.2 (AFLFantasy) | 67.75 (Adjusted Average)
68.7 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $377,200
AFLFantasy Price: 
$518,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$500,600

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

Maybe it’s dangerous to quote Kane Cornes in an article, but he’s adamant that Port Adelaide ‘won the 2018 draft’ when they selected Connor Rozee with pick five.

I believe he’s among the top three players at Port Adelaide already. That’s not a slide at Port’s list, rather an indicator at how quickly this 20-year-old is starting to be a dominant force in the AFL. Rozee is quick, athletic, a terrific mark, clean with the ball and isn’t afraid to apply defensive pressure too.

With only limited midfield opportunities, Connor has shown the ability to some big fantasy footy numbers. Rozee played almost exclusively forward in his debut season, and in SuperCoach he averaged 78, posted five tons and an additional four scores above 80. While for AFLFantasy it was two tons, and four more scores above 80.

Entering into 2020 the preseason hype for Connor Rozee, many believed he could be among the rare few players who breakout in their second season. And those who started with him were instantly rewarded. He scored a 105 & 145 in SuperCoach and a 85 & 76 (adjusted 106 & 95).

From then until the final few games of the season Rozee struggled to score. That was largely due to a nagging heel injury that impacted him across the middle portion of the season. He even missed three matches because of it.

However, in round 16 & 17 we saw more of his potential with a 74 & 78 in AFLFantasy and 109 & 95 in SuperCoach, Throw in his preliminary final performance of 81 in AFLFantasy and 96 SuperCoach.

Injuries are never great, but it’s clear from his performances in 2020 that he’s a fantasy performer when he’s fit. Then benefit of these injury impacted games for potential owners in 2021 is that he has some natural value built into his pricing.

It’s evident to all that Connor is moments away from not just dominating the fantasy footy world, but the AFL in general. The question is when will it happen not if.

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MY TAKE

Ultimately, Port Adelaide have a franchise player in Rozee and should be looking to build the list around him. The question will be are the building with him in mind as a long-term midfielder? Or a midfield/forward? The role he plays long term will ultimately determine his scoring potential both this season and future years.

Securing Orazio Fantasia from Essendon could be a huge benefit not just for what he can do, but the way he releases others. If Fantasia can stay on the park, given his XFactor ability inside forward 50 the necessity for Rozee to play forward minimises.

Additionally, as Robbie Gray is in the twilight of his career he should spend even greater time forward. These two moves will allow Connor Rozee more midfield rotations and an increased scoring projection.

Truth be told the midfield increase could just as easily go to Zac Butters, but there is also a world where I can see both he and Connor take key midfield roles in 2021 and beyond. It’s certainly not a ‘one or the other’ approach.

The heel injury that impacted his 2020 season seems to not to be impacting him this preseason. Recently on the club’s website, he’s ‘good to go‘ and ready to play more time further up the field.

Over the past few articles, we’ve looked at several midprice and stepping stone forwards. The same ‘dilemma’ for them is identical for Rozee. Can he reach near enough to our peak forwards to make his selection worthwhile? Ultimately, your confidence level at answering that question will determine whether or not he’s a good selection in your starting squad.

There are enough question marks on Connor Rozee to put a line through in starting squads. However, In SuperCoach I’m bullish on Connor being a breakout performer, and I believe he’s good enough to push near the top 10 forwards by seasons end.

AFLFantasy he could be a nice stepping stone option over the first few weeks if you think he can fire. For DreamTeam I don’t think he’ll be a season long keeper, so for that reason, it’s a pass.

DRAFT DECISION

By the end of the 2021 AFL season, Connor Rozee will finish ranked clearly inside the top 20 forwards across all formats. However, to snag him on draft day, you likely won’t have to shell out an F2 selection.

If there was a format you’d ‘reach’ early to own him, it would be SuperCoach and is certainly worth a pick before the end of the 10th round. However, in AFLFantasy scoring leagues that is too high in my books.

SuperCoach scoring he’ll be taken as an F3 by someone at the latest. Even though he’s ranked currently as the 52nd best forward, someone will happily pay F3 positioning for him. While in AFLFantasy scoring it’s more likely an F4-F5 pick at the latest.

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