In 2019 he was one of the most popular midprice selections that turned out to be a season-long keeper. Is Zac Williams a good selection in 2020?

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Zac Williams
Age: 25
Club: GWS Giants
Position: Defender

2019 Highest Score: 
142 Vs Sydney (AFLFantasy)
143 Vs North Melbourne (SuperCoach)

2019 Average: 

92.7 (AFLFantasy)
101.6 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $551,700
AFLFantasy Price: 
To Be announced
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$670,00

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

Last year Zac Williams was one of the most popular midpriced players of 2019. In the 50 Most Relevant last year, I spoke about him being a candidate for becoming a SuperCoach keeper for the year. He certainly delivered on that!

Zac delivered a personal best year in SuperCoach averaging 101, posting eleven tons and only scored below 80 in three matches. It was also a career-high year for him in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam averaging 92.7 and reaching triple figures in nine games.

As strong as he was across the year, several coaches decided to upgrade him once he injured his hamstring in round nine against Carlton. It appeared to be the correct decision. He was averaging 94 in SuperCoach, 84 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and made enough money to sideways him to a fallen premium.

It was upon his return in round twelve that Zac’s scoring got moving. 

In the final 11 games of the year, he posted an average of 103 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and scored seven tons including three over 120. While for SuperCoach he averaged 107 and posted 8 tons including a season-high 143 against the Kangaroos. In terms of scoring differential for pre and post-injury that’s +19 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and +13 in SuperCoach.

Zac wasn’t the only injury that struck the Giants midfield in 2019. At one time or another, they were missing Callan Ward, Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio and tagger Matt de Boer. When now current captain Coniglio got injured Zac’s role moved from the halfback to playing through the midfield.

The role carried through the AFL Finals, during which he averaged 91in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 101 in SuperCoach.

He’s currently training with the midfield group through the preseason and the now #4 ranked SuperCoach and #8 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam defender still present potential value if he can retain the scoring that saw him fly through the last few months of the year.

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MY TAKE

Hindsight says it was the correct decisions to start and hold Zac Williams throughout the 2019 season. However, alot went right for him that meant he scored in the ways that he did. Does he maintain that midfield role in 2020?

He currently is training with the midfield group across the preseason, and when he did play that role last year, he added another dimension to what is already a potent midfield unit.

The departure of Adam Tomlinson could open up a way to help him retain his midfield time even with the return of injured stars Callan Ward and Stephen Coniglio. Coach Leon Cameron loved the work he brought in the midfield when injured stars were absent. However, he’ll face competition from second-year players Jye Caldwell, and Jackson Hately will also be pushing hard in the preseason for this role.

Even if he doesn’t retain midfield minutes, I don’t have a concern of a significant score fall away. Between rounds 12-17 he averaged 97 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 117 in SuperCoach from his half-back role. The reason for his ‘slower’ start was the fact that he’d only played two games of AFL in about 18 months.

With a round fourteen multi bye round he’s a prime candidate to start with as you get thirteen consecutive weeks of football from him. The only other premium defenders that can match that is James Sicily and Rory Laird.

I started researching the preseason and wrongly made this conclusion. That Williams was only Fantasy relevant because of the role change. This is a false conclusion. For AFLFantasy/DreamTeam it did give him a small bump, but not an astronomical one. Zac was and did score enough to be a genuine premium and worth selecting at his price point even if he plays from the halfback.

Watch his preseason role, but regardless he needs to be seriously factored in as an option this year. He might even prove to be one of the best defenders we get.

DRAFT DECISION

Zac Willaims is not a first-round selection, but he’ll be drafted as someone’s first defender. If you want to own him, then you’ll likely be a selection in your first few rounds. By the time round 5 comes around regardless of the format, Zac will be well off the board. 

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