Ultimate Footy | Draft Day Wins

You rarely will ‘win the draft’ in the opening handful of rounds. Rather, it’s the mid to late draft day selections that can really take your team from good to great. So here’s a look at some of the late draft day selections that have been winning selections for their owners.

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Ben Keays | AVG: 108.9 | ADP: 206

18 months ago, Ben Keays wasn’t even on an AFL list, let alone a genuine top tier performing fantasy midfielder. With the loss of Matt Crouch through injury and his brother Brad Crouch at the trade table, the Crows needed someone to stand up and support ‘the Rory’s.’

Keays has been a picture of consistency this year. With his scoring ranging between 91-156 across this season, he dropped beneath 100 in only six of his fifteen matches and nothing under 90. To put his season into contrast, he’s currently scored the same amount of points as Christian Petracca. CP5 had an ADP of 27; that’s almost 180 spots on draft day, the difference between the two.

Jack Ziebell | AVG: 106.6 | ADP: 121

Jack Ziebell is not in the unfamiliar territory of delivering premium scores for us. For a better part of a decade, he was a bankable 90’s centre and even had a season where he was a top tier forward. This year his move into the backline has seen him pop to become one of the best backs or forwards (his DPP allows both) of the season.

Across the season, he’s only dipped his scoring under 82 once, had four scores between 90-99 plus seven scores over 100, including a 139, 140 & 170. The question over Jack was never scoring potential (OK, nobody thought this big) but rather over durability. He’s seemingly put that doubt now to bed too.

We did write about Ziebell in our preseason 50 most relevant series here.

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Karl Amon | AVG: 94.7 | ADP: 199

When Port Adelaide get on top of their opponent, more often than not, Karl Amon is enjoying plenty of freedom and space outside the contest. As a result, the Power wingman has delivered a ton in nearly 50% of the games played this season. That might not sound like much, but to get a 90+ centre that’s capable of delivering multiple tons is huge at any point of the draft. Let alone at an ADP where you’re picking a bloke as a bench option at best.

Touk Miller | AVG: 120.2 | ADP: 81

It’s earlier than everyone else on the list. In fact, he’s the only player drafted inside the top 100 that finds a home. But Touk Miller deserves his spot on. While this is a draft selection on average in the 8th-9th round, he’s delivering at an M1 level, not the likely M3 or M4 that he was selected.

Miller is currently the highest ranked player in the game by averages and ranked 8th by total points. He’s scored 11 tons from his 14 games and has only one score under 88 for the season. Well done if you drafted Touk in 2021.

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Aaron Hall | AVG: 103.5 | ADP: 167

Much like his teammate above, Aaron Hall is no stranger to delivering top tier seasons. In 2016 & 2017, at his former club Gold Coast, he delivered seasonal averages of 105 & 98. But it’s been a long time since he’d scored like that. The 89% of coaches that drafted him were all hopeful of a scoring boost, but with him missing round one and a subbed in a score of 11 in round 1, things didn’t look good.

Since that point, Aaron has been superb, scoring eight tons, with all except one being over 120. Bravo if you drafted him, even better if you snagged him from the player pool. Pickups like that make your UltimateFooty season.

Paul Seedsman | AVG: 94.6 | ADP: 262

The last time Paul Seedsman was draft relevant was several seasons ago when he was eligible as a back. There he delivered his regular mid to high 70’s season. Before 2021, ‘The Seed’ had never averaged over 80. Enter this season; he’s become an unstoppable running force for the Crows. He’s ranked 5th in the AFL for inside ’50s ahead of big name players like Dayne Zorko, Clayton Oliver, Jackson Macrae and Dustin Martin.

With his 70 tons for the season and 5 additional 80+ scores, he’s been a huge win for the 52% of coaches who drafted him. He’s gone from being a bench option to a genuine M5, if not higher.

David Mundy | AVG: 94.3 | ADP: 222

David Mundy isn’t the only player on this list to use the keys to the time machine. You’ve got to go back to 2015 for the last time, averaged over 90. His five tons have certainly elevated his average to respectable levels, but given that he was potentially someones last pick on draft day, it’s a huge bonus!

Mundy is yet to hit his early season scoring form, but given the fact he hasn’t dipped below 72 all season, he’s certainly overachieved for the 73% of coaches who drafted him.

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Sean Darcy | AVG: 94.7 | ADP: 223

If you play in a keeper league, then you’ll be familiar with Sean Darcy. He’s long showed promise of his scoring. However, before this season, he couldn’t seemingly sting more than a handful of games together. Thankfully for 63% of coaches that drafted him, he’s been exceptional this season.

He’s scored six tons plus an additional five scores between 80-99. He’s ranked third amongst the rucks but points and averages. Not a bad return for his owners that likely selected him with either the final on field spot or as a bench option for someone they picked earlier.

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Isaac Cumming | AVG: 87.4 | ADP: 241

Have you ever jumped on a player 12 months too early? I know I have and did with Isaac Cumming. He’s taken the opportunity to cement himself inside the Giants with the departure of Zac Williams. Just a mere 42% of coaches picked him on draft day, but he’s delivered massive dividends to owners.

Of his 15 games, he’s only dipped his scoring beneath 70 in just three matches, had six scores between 80-99 and pumped out four tons. Bravo if you picked up Isaac this year either in the draft or off the player pool. He’s been immense this season.

Bailey Dale | AVG: 82.9 | ADP: 249

Where the heck did this come from? Yet again, ‘Bevo’ strikes again with redeploying the bits and pieces forward into a prime ball move across halfback. Bailey Dale is currently ranked 16th for total points among all backs. While he hasn’t had the frequency of big tons as others on this list, he’s become a perfect reliable option for his owners. From his 15 games, he’s had just 3 scores under 77. Not bad for a bloke drafted in only 8% of leagues.

Nick Hind | AVG: 85.1 | ADP: 209

Following on the ‘where the heck’ is Essendon recruit Nick Hind. His addition to the side has made everyone forget that Adam Saad was among the top 3 best players (according to their B&F) last season. Hind has been electric this year also for coaches who drafted him. Over the opening 10 rounds of the season, he scored three tons, three additional scores over 90 and didn’t drop his scoring below 70. In fact, he’s dipped below that marker just once across the entire season.

While his scoring may have slowed over the last five weeks with zero scores over 80, the benefits have far outway and decline in recent scoring. Well played to the 51% of coaches who drafted him.

Taylor Walker | AVG: 79.9 | ADP: 210

We’ve had some surprises on this list so far, but I don’t think anyone believed Taylor Walker could wind back the clock and deliver his strong 2021 season. Instead, his season opened up with 105, 120, 136 & 99 leaving him as the #2 forward behind Josh Dunkley at the time. Not a bad return for the 5% of coaches that picked him on draft day.

Over the previous 3 months, we’ve had some patchy low scores, a bunch of ’80s and ’90s, plus last weeks game where he was subbed out of the game. Regardless, it’s been a massive success for his owners if you look at his season as a totality.

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Tom McDonald | AVG: 77.9 | ADP: 273

The latest pick of all players picked on my list with an average draft selection of 273. In fact, on the draft day, only 43% of leagues drafted him. Yet now, by averages, he’s ranked 25th for the season. Of course, like all key forwards, his scoring fluctuates, but with 9 scores over 80, he’s been a more than help addition for his coaches.

Jarman Impey | AVG: 85.7| ADP: 240

A season ending injury a few weeks back has certainly soured the celebrations. But those who picked up Jarman Impey were given a flying start to the 2021 season. As a reference point, before this year, he’d never averaged over 72.

However, from his 13 matches, he delivered four tons, three more scores between 94-98, plus an additional three scores of 74+. Throw in the fact he’s been forward eligible, and just 35% of coaches drafted him. It’s a steal in a line that’s lacked genuine, reliable performances.

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Darcy Parish | AVG: 113 | ADP: 145

Four scores over 80, including a 117, is hardly a poor start to the season for someone you likely drafted in the vicinity of round 14. However, injuries create opportunities, and when Dylan Shiel went down, the Bombers were forced to permanently release Darcy Parish into the midfield. Since round six, he’s scored 9 tons from 10 games, including four over 140.

This sort of performance is the kind you dream about getting from a mid-range draft pick. For those lucky coaches who struck across this scoring goldmine, they’re laughing to the bank with his performances every single week.

Chris Mayne | AVG: 94.1 | ADP: 210

This is clearly Chris Mayne’s best season in UltimateFooty. Before this season, his best year was back in 2013, where at Fremantle, he averaged 86. Unfortunately, not many have improved their scoring at Collingwood this season, with Steele Sidebottom, Jordan DeGoey, Scott Pendlebury and Braydan Maynard all regressing. But, promisingly for his owners, Mayne has! Since round 8, Chris has scored five tons and has the lowest score of 97.

Ranked 13th for average amongst all backs, those held onto him after an indifferent start has reaped massive rewards over the last few months.