Picked up where he left off last week, which as you may recall is where he left off in the back half of last season. Becoming less and less unique by the day.
Played a great tagging role on Lachie Neale once Harmes went down and won plenty of the ball himself in doing so while curbing Neale’s influence significantly in the second half. Sixteen tackles (not a typo) a highlight of his game especially in JLT when many are not generous with their cuddles. One to watch in draft formats, Vandenberg is listed as a forward but capable of big numbers when given a job to do in the midfield and will go undrafted in many leagues.
Ran around as the solo ruck for Melbourne and reminded us all why he shouldn’t be overlooked as your R2 or even R1 if you’re not confident on Grundy maintaining his figures. Sadly for Preuss but lucky for us coaches, Preuss was demoted to the VFL and copped a groin injury while there.
Is this finally the year that he becomes the superstar we know he could be? A mix of roles through the midfield and forward line today, and if you were keen on him going into the game you’d be feeling very comfortable leaving him in your team afterwards.
Did his round one selection chances no harm but a timely reminder that all rookies, especially those playing key posts, are prone to scores in the 30’s and 40’s. Job security is the key for rookies early and on face value, it looks fairly safe.
Possibly the biggest story from this game in an AFL Fantasy sense. Was dominated by Gawn in the ruck but picked up enough of the ball essentially playing as an extra midfielder in those stoppages to put together some very solid numbers. Those hitouts will be higher against any ruckman whose surname doesn’t start with G. Even if sharing those ruck minutes with McInerney or Smith (who was sent to hospital after copping a hit to the throat), Stefan still looks like being in the top bracket of ruckmen this year.
Was on fire early but had his influence quelled by Vandenberg in the second half. Worked through the tag and still did some nice things in the right type of midfield role. I wouldn’t suggest cutting him on the basis of one tag, as this outcome is nothing new for Neale and you know the ceiling he can produce on his day. The key thing today is that he played and played well, so your stance on his selection in your teams shouldn’t change.
Had a solid game and took some kickouts. At risk of sounding like a broken record, his performance would have vindicated your decision either way. McCluggage, Berry & Raynor My word this midfield trio is going to cause some havoc over the next ten years. All three had slightly reduced minutes to ease into the season proper and any of the three could potentially have a huge breakout year ahead. It’s a matter of when, not if.
Looks to have played himself into the round one team and performed well in that small forward/flank role despite not hitting the scoreboard. An interesting draft option in latter rounds but maybe a touch too expensive in salary formats at around the $240k mark.