It’s the penultimate round of the fantasy season, Prelim Final week! It’s do or die, and the gems you’re looking for off the waiver wire only have to perform well for you this week (and then if you’re lucky enough to advance, again next week in the big one). This week’s list includes a Cat who may be ready to step out from his older brother’s shadow, a young Hawk who has had a significant role change, plus an often injured and forgotten Saint who was a fantasy jet back in the day.

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BACK:

Zach Guthrie – Geelong
% owned – 55%
2021 average – 60.4

This is Guthrie’s 5th year on the list but only the first season he has reached 10 games with his previous best being 9 games in his debut year 2017. With older brother, Cam, becoming one of Geelong’s most important midfielders in recent years, the younger Guthrie has struggled to hold down a regular spot in the 22. As an outsider looking in, it’d be fair to suggest a delisting was on the cards especially with the Cats contending seemingly every year.
But after 9 weeks out of the senior squad, Guthrie was a late inclusion the week before last against North Melbourne and safe to say, he took the opportunity with both hands. 28 touches and 13 marks later, Guthrie had put in a career best performance scoring 128, forming a defensive wall with Tom Stewart and repelling attack after attack.
He backed it up last weekend with a solid 75 in the surprise loss to GWS and with the injury to Zach Tuohy, we are unlikely to see Guthrie in the VFL again anytime soon.

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CENTRE:

Dan Hannebery – St.Kilda
% owned – 35%
2021 average – Yet to play

You couldn’t could you? You absolutely could, but should you? Probably not, but he deserves a mention!
It’s been a torrid time for the former Swan since he arrived at St.Kilda in the 2018 trade period. He has only managed 13 games for his new club due to ongoing soft tissue injuries. A calf injury sustained in January this year has plagued his 2021 campaign and has meant he hasn’t been seen at senior level all year. He has now gotten through a couple of VFL matches unscathed and is a chance to be named this week for the big clash with St.Kilda.
In the 5 games he managed in 2019, he averaged a respectable 98.6 but in his 6 home and away games last year, averaged just 71.6.
If you’re in the market for bench cover, you could do worse than grabbing Hannebery for your midfield bench this week, and if he looks decent, hopefully he can get a gig for you in a grand final next week.

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FWD:

Conor Nash – Hawthorn
% owned – 47%
2021 average – 59.2

Nash debuted for the Hawks late in the 2018 season and in just his second game, scored an impressive 99, before playing in Hawthorn’s finals series in just his 4th and 5th career games. As much as he impressed the Hawthorn coaching team, fantasy coaches would not have looked at him twice since.
After the 99 score in his second game, Nash wouldn’t come close to replicating that sort of score for years. In fact, he didn’t score above 63 for his next 23 career games, until just recently thanks to a noticeable role change.
Perhaps it was the Sam Mitchell effect because once it was announced that Alistair Clarkson wouldn’t be coaching next year, Nash was brought into the senior side and thrust into an inside midfield role, away from his previous role in the forward line. The fantasy impact was immediate as Nash collected a career high 23 touches in the upset win over Brisbane and then backed it up with another 20 in the win over Collingwood last weekend.
The role looks solid, and he is averaging 93.5 in the last two games thanks to averages of 21.5 disposals and 7 tackles. Get him in!