Club By Club 2020 Fantasy Football Review

The 2020 Fantasy football season is done. Here’s MJ’s year end report for your AFL side.

MVP: Simple, the ruck beast Reilly O’Brien is the clear club MVP. In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he finished the season ranked #10 for total points scored in the game and was the form ruckman over the final stretch of the year. While in SuperCoach, he’s ranked 20th overall for total points. ‘ROB’ is the clear total points leader for the Crows across all formats. In addition to his fantasy football display, he’s now become a genuine alternative to Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn in 2021.

Rookie of the Year: The club gave plenty of youngsters a chance to prove themselves in 2020. You could build a case that Lachlan Sholl is the one, and while his last two matches have been great, there is another Crow who I think is ahead of him. The pick of the bunch in my eyes was Shane McAdam. An average of 52 in AFLDreamTeam/AFLFantasy and a price rise of $337k in AF and $348 in DT was topped off with a score of 93 in round 16 against the Giants. In SuperCoach he averaged 66, increased his price by $263k and delivered his first SuperCoach tons against GWS.

Draft Standout: The big winner here is Ben Keays. With an average draft position (ADP) of 332, he was only drafted in 8% of teams. Additionally, an average of 63.8 has him ranked as the 24th best forward this year—a significant return on investment for owners.

2021 Watchlist: He only managed two games this season before injury ruined his year, but keep an eye on creative defender Wayne Milera. Before this season he’s had back to back seasons averaging in the mid-’70s and with a discount on his starting price he looks a nice stepping stone.

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MVP: Really? You’re not sure who? There could only be one. Lachie Neale. #1 ranked player for total points in all formats of the game. No other Lion was even a chance.

Rookie of the Year: The lions didn’t give us tons of options to choose from for most of the season. However, Brandon Starcevich was highly owned in our starting squads. His dual-position status proved to be helpful on plenty of occasions. Despite giving coaches plenty of ’30’s’ over the year, he was able to provide us with multiple 60+ scores to aid in his cash generation.

Draft Standout: You could build a case for a few lions here. Big Oscar Mcinerney had an ADP of 275, and his R/F status proved to be highly valuable throughout the season. Coaches also got a great return on investment on the picks of Hugh McCluggage, Cam Rayner and even Jarrod Berry. However, in my eyes, Jarryd Lyons should win. With an ADP in UltimateFooty of 77, he returned as the 14th highest points scorer across the season. You can’t beat that return.

2021 Watchlist: Does Dayne Zorko gain forward status? That’s one of the big discussion points around fantasy footy circles. If he does, he needs to be considered as a potential top tier forward next season.

MVP: It wasn’t his most demanding season, but Sam Walsh from a season totality was probably the most influential fantasy Blue. Especially if you start to consider his end of season run where he averaged 121 in SuperCoach and 94 AFLFantasy over the final five rounds of the season. Walsh was also the only Blue to finish the year with a SuperCoach average over 100 and joint highest yearly average with Ed Curnow.

Rookie of the Year: It wasn’t until later in the season but Tom DeKoning should the Blues long term ruck stocks are in good shape with TDK. For those who traded him in, he became a reliable R3 cover option. A round 16 score of 67 (BCV 84) in AFLFantasy and 109 for SuperCoach highlighted his scoring potential.

Draft Standout: With an ADP of just over 300, Michael Gibbons finished the season ranked inside the top 50 forwards for total points and average. A Nice return for the 15% of coaches that drafted him, while for those who snagged him off the player pool it’s a high return pick.

2021 Watchlist: All eyes will be on the likely move of free agent Zac Williams to Carlton and the role he could play. If it’s in the midfield, then that’s a tantalising option for coaches. In 2019, when he had an extended run in the GWS midfield his scoring thrived. In the final 11 games of the year while getting midfield minutes., 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.

MVP: Over the past few seasons, Brayden Maynard has always been a valuable defender in drafts. Whether that be filling out an onfield or depth role in drafts, in 2020, he took his fantasy game to a new level and returned tremendous value for coaches that drafted him with an ADP of 164. The excellent news is Maynard, wasn’t just draft relevant this year, but one of the best backs across all formats of the game. He ended the year ranked 7th for averages and 5th for total points of all backs in AFLFantasy and DreamTeam. For SuperCoach he ranked fourth for total points and sixth for averages amongst all defenders.

Rookie of the Year: Foundational member of many starting squads was father son selection Tyler Brown. He had a few decent scores in the opening month but faded as the season went on.

Draft Standout: It’s been a long time since Taylor Adams didn’t miss a game during the home and away season. You’ve got to go back to 2017 for the last time it happened. With an ADP of 70, coaches knew they were drafting a potential top scorer and he delivered. He ranked fourth for points scored this year. While they knew his potential, to deliver that and not miss a game is a huge result for owners.

2021 Watchlist: He only played eight games (approx. 50%) of games in 2020, meaning that Adam Treloar should receive a discount, even if it is only 10%. This season he averaged 88 (BCV of 110) in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 109 in SuperCoach, both below what he delivered in 2018. Any discount we can get on a potential top tier mid means he has to be considered, even with an increasingly concerning injury history.

MVP: It was a tight battle between midfielder Zach Merrett and defender Jordan Ridley, but I had to award it to the latter. For many Jordan was the stepping stone that started well, that performed so well that he became a premium option to keep in your side. For SuperCoach he ended the season ranked fifth for total points and seventh for averages, not bad for a guy who’s starting price was just over $300k. In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he was ranked fourth fort total points behind Rory Laird, Jake Lloyd and Jack Crisp.

Rookie of the Year: An easy choice here. Popular R3 option Sam Draper. He frustrated us at times needing a rest every few weeks but showed that the Bombers long term ruck stocks are in decent shape.

Draft Standout: Andrew McGrath started to showcase his fantasy football potential before succumbing to a season-ending injury. With four scores 90+ including a season-high 118 against the Crows. He delivered for owners an average of 76.8, which is a BCV 96. Given he’s ranked inside the top 40 midfielders and had an ADP of 161, it’s a pretty handy return given coaches drafted him likely in the mid-teen rounds of the draft.

2021 Watchlist: A slow start, but Zach Merrett stormed home in 2020 reminding coaches just how dynamic a fantasy footballer he is. He ended the AFLFantasy/DreamTeam season as a third-highest ranked scorer and sixteenth in SuperCoach. A genuine top tier midfielder in all formats of the game and potentially a unique in starting squads.

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MVP: It loomed all preseason long that we’d get the breakout season of Andrew Brayshaw, and the MID/FWD certainly delivered. He ended the season ranked fourth for total points and averages and in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and fifth for averages and total points in SuperCoach among all forwards. What a season from Brayshaw, and in 2021 he’ll just be a midfielder.

Rookie of the Year: Arguably the best cash cow of the year. Hands down, the winner for the Dockers is Caleb Serong.

Draft Standout: Serong and Brayshaw weren’t the only young Dockers that stood up in 2020. Adam Cerra (D/M) was one of the best picks of the year. With an ADP of 202, he returned with a ranking inside the top 30 for averages and was 15th for total points. A significant return on investment for draft owners.

2021 Watchlist: He showed some glimpses, but I like what I saw from Hayden Young. His scoring popped against the Suns in round four where he scored 77 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 109 in SuperCoach. Playing just the five games, injury ruined his year. As a result, we should a discount on his price from the SuperCoach average of 52 and 41 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam.

MVP: The new All Australian captain was unlucky here in Patrick Dangerfield, but Cam Guthrie’s season needs to be given high praise! Of all Cats, he’s ranked first for averages and total points in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and finished 12th among all midfielders for total points scored. In SuperCoach he did have three cats outscore him (Danger, Menegola and Hawkins) but a season-ending rank of 30th overall it’s a fine all-round fantasy season.

Rookie of the Year: You can build a case for either of Brad Close or Sam Simpson given the nod. While both didn’t play an enormous amount of games, they debuted at a critical time of the year when we needed fresh cash cows. Given that Simpson ended up generating more cash than Close, I’d have to give the award to Simmo.

Draft Standout: What a year in UltimateFooty from Sam Menegola. He ranked inside the top 20 for total points for all midfielders and 26th for averages. While that might not feel crazy impressive, that’d rank him on the field for many coaches as an M3. Then factor in that his ADP was 149 (on average 14th round of the draft) and that’d make him likely most coaches best value selection on draft day.

2021 Watchlist: If Patrick Dangerfield picks back up MID/FWD status again, then he’s bound to be one of the most popular buys of 2021.

MVP: The thing that leans things into the favour of Hugh Greenwood to win this, was the fact that he was forward eligible this season. He ended the year ranked third in SuperCoach for both total points and averages and finished the season with nine tons and only three scores below 90. What a gun! In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he ranked third in the forward line by average and total points.

Rookie of the Year: After the opening month of the year nobody would have thought anyone other than Matt Rowell was going to win this award. That said, he was still mighty close given the cash he generated for us in those opening games of the year. Connor Budarick was also unlucky. His durability and scoring consistency over the opening few months of the season meant that you could bank on a score around 50 from him every week. However, neither of them get this award. For me, Noah Anderson gets the nod from me. He generated almost $240k in SuperCoach, averaged 76.6 and most importantly didn’t miss a game. That meant that coaches that held him as season-long cover got some reward. Especially late when his final six scores of the year were: 126, 35, 116, 90, 110 & 88. In AFLFantasy, his priced increased by $275k and his season-ending average of 58.8 is the BCV equivalent of 73.5. A very healthy debut season from the #2 draft pick.

Draft Standout: Future club captain Touk Miller deserves to be recognised. He ended the season as the highest-ranked Gold Coast player by averages and total points and was drafted on average at 122. Touk was drafted in 94% of leagues

2021 Watchlist: It might be more favoured a selection in SuperCoach, but Jack Lukosious is looking primed for a third-year breakout. He’ll be defensive eligible and given his four tons in 2020 and an average of 80 it’s believable that he lifts that average over 90 next year.

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MVP: After a slow few weeks to kick off the year including a concussion affected round three scores, Lachie Whitfield delivered for his owners in 2020. Across all formats, he was the clear top scoring players by both total points and also averages. In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he ended the year averaging 86.4, that helped him to the highest seasonal average for all forward eligible players. He also finished 2020 ranked second for total points. In SuperCoach, he ended the season ranked fourth both by averages and total points.

Rookie of the Year: The Giants gave a few kids opportunities in 2020 including Lachie Ash, Isaac Cumming and even Jack Buckley among others. However, none of them had the fantasy relevance that could match it with Jake Riccardi. His round 13 debut against the Eagles and he posted an 87 In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 82 in SuperCoach. For the new next few weeks, he became not just a valuable downgrade option but was genuinely an option on the field.

Draft Standout: The preseason inclusion of Harry Perryman to our backlines in UltimateFooty meant that he’d likely move from a super late depth midfielder to a valuable contributor on the field. With an ADP of 170, Perryman owners would be thrilled with his performance. He finished the season ranked inside the top 25 backs for averages and total points and outperformed several other big names that were picked 50+ spots ahead of him. These included: Brodie Smith ( ADP 56), Dan Houston (59), Tom Stewart (46), Shannon Hurn (67), and Kade Simpson (112.)

2021 Watchlist: There has been some talk that Tim Taranto is a sneaky chance at gaining MID/FWD DPP, but regardless I’m still a fan of ‘TT’ in 2021. Off the back of the last seasons, career-high 112 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 102 in SuperCoach the Giants best and fairest winner failed to get going. Priced at an average of 84 in SuperCoach and 75 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam (BCV 93) he’s priced around 20 points beneath last year. Add on the fact he played only 11 games and potential he’s a chance to get a 10% discount. I’m all aboard The Taranto train next season.

The other is Isaac Cumming. No Heath Shaw or Zac Williams off the half back for GWS, hello Isaac!!!

MVP: He never quite got back to the lofty heights of his Brownlow Medal season, but Tom Mitchell was the best Hawk in 2020. He finished the SuperCoach season as the 10th ranked midfielder for averages and 7th for total points. While for AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he ranked 16th for averages and 10th for all midfield eligible options. What’s scary is that even with these strong returns, it’s considered a ‘sub-par season’ from Titch.

Rookie of the Year: The Hawks have a long term beauty in Will Day. After breaking into the Hawthorn line up in round six, Day made himself a permanent part of the backline and played 11 games across 2020. In those games, he showed poise, class and elite kicking skills on both sides of the body. He’s become a highly desired prospect in keeper/dynasty leagues moving forward. However, for salary cap players in 2020, he was the only Hawk cash cow worth owning.

Draft Standout: This was honestly a tough call. But I felt the closest ‘standout’ performer based on where they were selected was Chad Wingard. Even though he scored just four times over 80 across the season, he still finished the season as the twelfth highest-scoring forward across the season. With an ADP of 92, he returned scoring of an F2 but likely in the selection position of an F3.

2021 Watchlist: One of my first picked in 2021 is going to be Tom Mitchell. To deliver the season, he did coming off a broken leg is spectacular. Another full preseason if KM’s and strengthing into that leg should see him activate back into beast mode next year.

MVP: What a season from Christian Petracca. The fantasy football breakout finally happened! He ended the season in SuperCoach as the top-scoring by almost 200 points ahead of second place. Additionally, it was nearly 100 points gap between CP and the second place forward. To put his season into full context, he ranked sixth overall for total points in all of AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and seventh in SuperCoach. A massive season from the newly crowned All Australian.

Rookie of the Year: It was an interrupted season, but Trent Rivers was a clear leader here for the Demons. After playing rounds 2-5 the DEF/MID spent the next six games on the pine. However, once he returned in round 11, he proved to be a strong bench cover in either line. In round 17 he scored 76 for AFLFantasy and 107 in SuperCoach and might have been used as a loophole option on the field for some coaches.

Draft Standout: If I told you the player that was drafted on average at 90 on draft day would end up finishing as the clear #1 forward and sixth overall for total points he’d be the draft standout wouldn’t he? The answer is, of course, yes, and that’s why Christian Petracca gets a double win here!

2021 Watchlist: Even though he’s going to be among the top priced players across any format of the game. It’s going to be a hard sell not to want to start with Max Gawn in your side. He showed once again in 2020 that at his best he’s arguably the best fantasy footballer through the ruck line.

MVP: At the halfway point of the season this looked like a tightly fought battle between Jy Simpkin and Todd Goldstein. As the season went on, Goldy’s scoring specifically in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam fell away quite drastically. For that reason, I gave the accolade to Simpkin. He ended the year ranked seventh for total points in SuperCoach and sixth in AFLFantasty/DreamTeam among all forwards. Coaches forgave his quieter end to the year, especially after scoring a 144 (SuperCoach) and 100 (AFLFantasy) in the final round of the year.

Rookie of the Year: Foundational to our starting squads was Curtis Taylor. Along with many other forward cash cows this year, he offered us relatively strong job security and showcased a reasonable scoring ceiling.

Draft Standout: It simply has to be Luke McDonald. He was drafted in just 14% of teams, and of those that selected him, his ADP was 287. After having just one score 70 in the opening seven rounds of the year, he ended the year in blistering form. From round eight on he scored: 77, 118, 63, 123, 88, 121, 86, 56, 70 & 80 at an average of 88.2 which is a BCV equivalent of 110.

2021 Watchlist: The Kangaroos have already delisted 1/4 of the current list and seem set to move on numerous others during the AFL trade window. That said if Luke McDonald‘s role change continues into 2021 than coaches need to consider him seriously.

MVP: It was a sensational season from former Power skipper Travis Boak. He was clearly the premier Power fantasy footballer this year. He ranked 14th for total points in SuperCoach and 9th for all midfielders. His average of 109.1 was a career high. In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he was 150 points ahead of the next best power performer (Tom Rockliff) and ranked inside the top 30 for averages and top 20 for total points.

Rookie of the Year: A good friend of the Panel is Boyd Woodcock, and the Power forward was a revelation in the back half of the season for owners. And as handy as he was, it’s near impossible to not award it to Mitch Georgiades. A round one score of 60 in AFLFantasy and 78 in SuperCoach coaches who selected in their starting squads felt they were on a winner. However, it took until round seven for him to earn his way back into the lineup. Between rounds eight to thirteen, he generated plenty of cash for owners, including a few 50+ scores.

Draft Standout: All the preseason hype was around Connor Rozee having a second-year breakout. In 2020, that wasn’t to be for him but for Zac Butters he certainly delivered a substantial return in drafts. After being drafted in just 13% of leagues, he was picked on average at #277 on draft day. After the year he ranked 32nd for averages among all forwards and 36th for total points.

2021 Watchlist: The ‘breakout’ of Connor Rozee in fantasy footy is only just a matter of time. With less hype, likely lower ownership and a full preseason under his belt, I think the former first round pick is a genuine watchlist candidate in the forward line.

MVP: AS a whole the Tigers are one of the least relevant fantasy football sides in the competition. That isn’t because they are a poor side (seriously check the recent premierships). But the style of play, doesn’t lend itself to many high volume scorers like the Magpies, Giants or even Demons. For me, the winner of the Richmond MVP is Dustin Martin. As a MID/FWD this season he ended the year ranked eighth for total points and fifth for averages among AFLFantasy/DreamTeam. In SuperCoach, he ranked sixth for total points and averages. To be fair it wasn’t his most dominant year, but chances are if you owned Dusty you’d have been content with his season.

Rookie of the Year: The 2019 Grand Final star Marlion Pickett was always going to be among the most popular picks of 2020. While it’s hard to be disappointed at his performance given his basement price, owners lamented a few times across the season his either low scoring or that he found himself getting left out of the Tigers squad.

Draft Standout: The moment Bachar Houli chose not to head up immediately to the Queensland hub, the scoring stocks of Jayden Short skyrocketed. With an ADP of 155, he ended the 2020 season with the eleventh highest average of all backs and sixth for total points. This is a tremendous return on investment, given he was likely an ‘early teen rounds’ pick in the draft.

2021 Watchlist: Injuries are never good. However, for fantasy football it does create value picks for the following year. In 2020 Dion Prestia played just five games and averaged 75.6 (BCV 94.5) in AFLFantasy and 92.4 in SuperCoach. A Likely minimum of 10% off means he’ll present some decent value given in 2019 he ended up averaging 99 in AFLFantasy & 101 in SuperCoach.

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MVP: Hands down in 2020 Jack Steele was the Saints best player and a deserving inclusion in the All Australian squad. From a SuperCoach perspective, he ranked second for overall total points and had the third-highest average with only Max Gawn and Lachie Neale with better numbers. In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he ranked 7th for total points, 10th for averages and ranked 5th among midfielders for total points scored.

Rookie of the Year: The most important thing for our cash cows in availability. Who cares if they have a high scoring ceiling if they can’t play consistently and generate the much-needed funds. Max King was a foundational squad member for the majority of coaches this year. And while he rarely posted big numbers his ability to score in the range of 50 points consistently made him a safe on-field option while we improved our sides.

Draft Standout: I don’t know anyone that saw the season from Dan Butler coming! In his 42 games as a Tiger, he had just two scores over 90. His career-best averages where his debut year with 56 in UltimateFooty. Since becoming a Saint, he’s picked up some midfield minutes and is scoring like a beast. An average of 76 over the first few months of the year and Butler was ranked ninth for total points for all forwards. Come to the end of the year; he was ranked 18th for total points and given he was drafted in just 9% of teams with an ADP of 276 it’s a massive win for his owners.

2021 Watchlist: If Rowan Marshall gains RUC/FWD status, he’ll become someone coaches must consider as a genuine top tier forward. That’s regardless of how much footy Paddy Ryder plays next year.

MVP: Let’s make this one quick. Jake Lloyd is the hands-down winner. He’s the clear #1 defender in all formats of the game, and as good as Rory Laird, Jack Crisp or even Luke Ryan were this season, they were still hundreds of points short of Lloyd.

Rookie of the Year: The highly touted first-round pick Dylan Stephens didn’t disappoint this year. Since his debut in round six, the South Australian native made himself a permanent fixture in the Sydney midfield. His price leapt well clear over $120k+ across formats and ended the season with a SuperCoach average of 53 and AFLFantasy/DreamTeam of 57.

Draft Standout: We finally got the beginnings of the fantasy footy breakout year from Callum Mills. He ended the season ranked 18th for all backs for total points, 8th for averages and given an ADP of 145 that’s a fantastic return on selection point.

2021 Watchlist: If, and it’s a big if. But if Lance Franklin has an injury-free preseason then he’ll be in almost every single team. Every chance he’s under $300k in a few of the formats to start the year.

MVP: Every year Andrew Gaff finds a way to score points at will. The consistent and durable wingman didn’t miss a game and ended the season ranked as the top Eagle for both overall points across all formats. In SuperCoach he was just outside the top 30 for total points and averages, but in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam it was sixteenth for averages and eleventh for total points. Yet another brilliant season for Gaff.

Rookie of the Year: They didn’t give a ton of options that played multiple games, but Jarrod Brander is the one. As a DEF/FWD he was a critical part of our initial squad and played the first four games of the year. By the time he got back into the Eagles side in round 12, he was long gone from many squads but still provided a few helps scores across the season for those unable to trade him out.

Draft Standout: Across the entire season owners of Nic Naitanui were continually waiting for him to be rested from multiple matches. Thankfully for owners, the All Australian ruckman ended up missing just one game. Unless you spent a relatively early pick of either Gawn, Grundy, Goldy or O’Brien, you were entering into the reason with a late-round ruck, and hoping for the best. With NIcNat his ADP was 154 and ended the year ranked seventh for rucks by averages and total points. An excellent return for coaches who picked him.

2021 Watchlist: Value for money is always the name of the game, and in 2021 we could have a considerable bargain in Elliot Yeo. Playing just ten games and returning an average of 71 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 89.9 is well below last years returns. Given that he missed almost half of the season, he should also get a starting price discount for 2021.

MVP: Another stunning season from Jack Macrae. He finished the season in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam ranked as the ninth for total points scored and sixth for midfielders. For SuperCoach, he ranked fifth for total points and sixth by averages across all lines. In addition to his consistent performances across the year, he once again proved a popular VC/C option and a safe 100 nearly every week.

Rookie of the Year: To be honest, Laitham Vandermeer, didn’t end up in as many squads as he should in hindsight. The primary reason is coaches were apprehensive about trading him in as it was perceived he had low job security. However, for those that traded in the MID/FWD they were rewarded with strong scoring consistency between round two-nine and he generated plenty of cash.

Draft Standout: So many of my draft standouts are awarded to late pickups that give huge returns on selection. That trend continues with Bailey Smith getting the nod. However, to be fair fellow ‘Bailey’ in Williams should also get his recognition. An ADP of 240 and ranked 25th for total points is a considerable return. But back to Smith. He was drafted on average at 163 and ended the season as the ninth-ranked forward for total points and twelfth for averages. On the draft day he’s likely selected as an F 3/4 but probably ended up for most coaches as their best forward drafted. What a great result!

2021 Watchlist: For multiple reasons it has to be Josh Dunkley. Firstly, because he’s a MID/FWD DPP candidate, second, because he missed a third of the season through injury and he’d be in contention for a small (10%) discount as a result, if one or both of these take place, he’ll be hard to ignore. Remember in 2019 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam DT over the final sixteen matches, he scores 14 tons, 9 of them were above 120, and 4 over 140 and an average of 123 after the move. It was an even more substantial return in SuperCoach. From the final 16 matches after the midfield move he posted 14 tons, eight were over 120 and four over 150. 

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