The Hawks sent a very young side up to Morton Bay to take on the Brisbane Lions in hot conditions. For fantasy coaches, we learnt plenty from this match.

Embed from Getty Images

Hawthorn

James Cousins

With Liam Shiels, Jaeger O’Meara and Isaac Smith missing he (along with Worpel) Cousins was one of the more ‘experienced’ of the Hawks midfield. He picked up 29 touches, the majority of which were uncontested at 79% efficiency. As a slightly inflated cash cow, he does present value and should be someone we watch his scoring and role when the midfield leaders return this week.

James Sicily

Whether it be because they lacked forward options with no Jack Gunston or Jarryd Roughead or Clarko was experimenting we saw James Sicily spend considerable time forward during the game. He was also given time in the midfield and even time in his usual role down back.

Don’t read too much into this just yet; instead, it only causes for concern if in next weeks match with the experienced players he plays multiple roles only then should you consider not starting with him.

James Worpel

Listed with forward eligibility but playing predominantly midfield ‘Worpedo’ gave current owners enough confidence to suggest he’s capable of scoring well as a stepping stone candidate. Like Cousins wait to see his exact role once clear best 22 midfielders return this week, but so far it’s a promising sign for his fantasy relevance.

Jack Scrimshaw

Started slowly but worked his way into the game nicely across half back. His teammates loved getting the ball into his hands especially rebounding from defensive 50. With no Grant Birchall early in the season, he should be given some early opportunities and be a worthy defensive cash cow to consider.

Embed from Getty Images

Brisbane Lions

Lachie Neale

If you were big on Neale before today, then nothing in today’s match should have dinted that confidence in him. Neale was the dominant midfielder in the game, and given the inexperience of the Hawks midfield, he needed to. Earlier in the preseason, I wrote about Lachie Neale, and nothing in the game changed my view that he’s a top 10 midfielder in SuperCoach, but won’t be in AFLFantasy.

Hugh McCluaggage

In time this kid is going to be something special! As a junior, he often was compared to Collingwood Captain Scott Pendlebury, and we saw moments of that evident in this game. Damaging inside the contest and precise on the out ‘Suitcase’ rounds out the Lions midfield perfectly. I’m not sure I could go there in salary cap formats, but it drafts and daily fantasy he’ll present great value early in the season.

Alex Witherden

He’s one of the most hyped defensive premiums of the preseason, and if you were big on him before the JLT, then we saw nothing that should dampen that enthusiasm. Played the same role from his previous seasons and looks set to push into the top 6 averaging defenders of 2019. I wrote about Alex earlier in the preseason here.

Cam Rayner

Noticeably bigger and a full preseason has shown the benefits in his fitness base. We saw him get some limited midfield opportunities, but it was inside 50 he created multiple headaches for the Hawthorn defenders. He’s going to win the Lions 2-3 games this year of his brilliance and certainly bumps his seasonal average up. Whether it’s enough to make him fantasy relevant time will tell.

Archie Smith

Was given the first opportunity to lead the Lions ruck division and ended up being the leading ruckman on the ground in terms of hitouts (25). While the combination of Pittonet/Ceglar isn’t the most dominant to come up against Archie more than held his own, for those looking for a cheap R3 he’s certainly one to keep an eye on if he can keep holding Stefan Martin at bay.