North Melbourne completely overhauled their midfield over summer and finally landed some
big / quality / reasonable / different names with that warchest. Whether they got the outside run they were deliberately targeting or just whoever was willing to come to Arden Street is a debate for another day, but in any case it certainly makes assessing their collective fantasy credentials a little more interesting.
So for each coach, we pitched a few categories to see who we’re all keeping an eye on this preseason – a player to lock in now, an expected breakout contender, the best cash cow, an interesting left-field option, and a sneaky name to file away for a value draft pick.
These are the North Melbourne players on each Panelist’s watchlist right now:
Jimmy: The closest I can find to a potential lock is Aaron Hall. If you believe that North recruited him to play the outside game in which he thrived for a period on the Gold Coast, he is a genuine option to become a top ten midfielder in DreamTeam and Fantasy.
MJ: With the news out over the past few days that confirm Melbourne will be looking to play two rucks it opens up the discussion point for Todd Goldstein as SuperCoach option.
Rids: Jack Ziebell. Not many to choose from but Ziebell has done well previously with the right role. Keep an eye on him as it might only take one mid injury for Ziebell to end up back in the mix.C
Tim: No premium locks for North at all in my book.
Fox: Todd Goldstein is looking fitter with a loss of 5 plus kilos over the break and came home strongly last year with 12 of his last 14 games being Super Coach tons
Jimmy: Jasper Pittard has shown before that he can average around the 90pt mark for extended periods. Look to see how North use him during the JLT in the transition from defence.
MJ: It feels unfair to place him here given Aaron Hall has averaged 90+ in SuperCoach and 100 in AFLFantasy, but given his price point he deserves to be here. If he’s allowed to play attacking and unaccountable footy, he’ll bounce back towards his personal best numbers.
Rids: Jy Simpkin. I have no doubt Simpkin increases all output in 2019 and will spend longer stints in the midfield. Not really fantasy relevant though.
Tim: Luke Davies-Uniacke. This is a pure guess, on the assumption he finds his under 18s form and break out.
Fox: Shaun Atley. We’ve waited for 8 years now, surely he’s due to smash out an average of 70 plus in his 9th.
The Cash Cow
Jimmy: Luke Davies-Uniake was highly rated as a junior and now has a couple of preseasons under his belt. Surely makes at least a little cash from his starting price point.
MJ: The Crows were keen on him and forced the Roos to pay more than they’d hoped at the draft, but Tarryn Thomas will be a modern-day utility and add significant flexibility to a side that’s traditionally very one dimensional.
Rids: Tarryn Thomas. Kid is an absolute stud. Mid only with premium price tag however are the downers. Not sure North will be a decent breeding paddock for cows in 2019.
Tim: Tarryn Thomas. Well he’s their top 10 pick and they clearly like him and have said he could play anywhere (mid, back or fwd) so seems a good chance to get games. Sees himself as ball winner.
Fox: Tarryn Thomas is as good as any prospective kanga cash cow
Jimmy: Shaun Higgins averaged about 105 in SuperCoach last season and now has some reasonable midfield support around him. Just a thought.
MJ: Pretty much any Kangaroos player you want. Barely anyone is selecting players from this team.
Rids: Todd Goldstein. Proven old dinosaur that will benefit from no more Preuss pressure. Could easily become a top 2 ruck again in 2019.
Tim: Todd Goldstein. I’m really not sure who North’s backup ruckman is for 2019. Aka Goldy will play every game as a solo ruckman.
Fox: Aaron Hall picked a good team and should be happy to be on the outside of guys like Cunnington, Higgins and Jacobs, averaged 105 DT in 2016 down to 71 in 2018, huge upside
The Draft Smokey
Jimmy: We’ve been saying all preseason that it looks like the new rules will assist key lead-up forwards with decent endurance, strong marking, and reasonable supply. Ben Brown would appear to tick all of those boxes.
MJ: A few years ago Luke McDonald was all the rage in drafts but a less than flattering 2018 has seen him drift out of many people’s mindsets. As a late round crack he could just be the smokey that lands you a big league victory.
Rids: Dom Tyson. Really solid pick up by the Roos. I reckon Tyson will go 90+ in 2019. Will be there very late in most drafts.
Tim: Aaron Hall. In the right team and role he has proven the ability to score consistently big. Unsure whether North will allow him that but hey, he has big upside if so.
Fox: Jack Ziebell after a very average year he might get on the end of some decent delivery with the likes of Hall, Bev (Polec) and Higgins, surely becomes a 90+ forward in 2019