Ultimate Footy | Free Agency Pick Ups | Round 8

Plenty to look at this week including a forgotten Blue on the injury comeback trail and two players in their first seasons at new clubs. Plus, two midfielders who have been around a while and both recorded career high disposals on the weekend.

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Aliir Aliir – Port Adelaide
% owned – 70%
2021 average – 72.4

Aliir has not missed a beat since joining the Power in the 2020 trade period, slotting seamlessly into the back 6 as a tall interceptor. Tall defenders don’t typically score too well in the fantasy world, but this season has seen those who read the play well take plenty of marks. Aliir is averaging 7 marks a game (3 intercept marks) and a career high 17 disposals making him worthy of a spot in your side.

Nic Newman – Carlton
% owned – 69%
2021 average – yet to play

Newman has had a tough run with injuries in the last 18 months, playing only two senior games since 2019. In that season, which was his first at the Blues, he averaged 93 and looked every bit the ball magnet we thought he was in his first two seasons at the level as a Swan. After another long setback on the eve of this season, Newman made a successful return in the VFL on the weekend and will be close to AFL selection. Grab him now before anyone else does!

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James Cousins – Hawthorn
% owned – 54%
2021 average – 81

For various reasons, Cousins has been unable to cement his position in Hawthorn’s best 22, playing just 25 games since his debut in 2017. Originally listed as a rookie, Cousins has looked very capable at the level but has too often been squeezed out by the likes of Mitchell, O’Meara and Worpel. He was made to wait for his opportunity this season with his first look being as an unused sub in round 5 but he has now played the last two rounds and looked good. He was particularly impressive in the big loss to St.Kilda recording a career high 27 disposals and attending 18 of 32 centre bounces. His job security is shaky but his scoring potential is strong.

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Jack Higgins – St.Kilda
% owned – 66%
2021 average – 63.1

A prolific midfielder in his junior years, Higgins has been required closer to goals more often than many thought this season, as a spike in midfield minutes had been expected at his new club, St.Kilda. His fantasy scoring has been dependant on hitting the scoreboard with his two best scores of 86 and 90 coming from 4 and 3 goal hauls respectively. Another clear pattern that has emerged is Higgins’ scoring in wins versus losses as his average score in the Saints’ 3 wins is 74 and his average score in losses is 55. It’s not a huge discrepancy but it adds some insight to your decision making. If you think St. Kilda will turn their season around from here, grab him!

Kayne Turner
% owned – 2%
2021 average – 62.4

At the time of writing, Turner was only in 2% of teams which speaks volumes of his fantasy relevance in recent years, but his DPP status as a forward makes him someone to at least keep an eye on. Tasked with some tagging roles this year has seen his midfield time increase and whilst his scoring hasn’t spiked considerably, his performance on the weekend grabbed my attention. A career high 27 disposals along with 6 tackles and a team high 25 centre bounce attendances (up from 8 the week before) makes Turner an interesting watch from here.