Fantasy Analysis of the Relevant Players for 2014
First things first, remember and I can’t stress this enough, this is the most irrelevant week of football you will see this season. High scores from an odd ball doesn’t mean he will average 100 in your side. Nonetheless there are always the odd gold nuggets if you know how to find it. I’ve attempted to find it where I can. Enjoy!
Pendlebury- moving as smoothly as ever and looked in sublime touch. Really not an awful lot to be said, he’s had a fantastic preseason and he showed it tonight. You can’t go wrong with Scott in your team.
Cloke- looks to be in very good form early days. The new rule will suit him to a tee, as we saw in his first quarter goal opposed to Taylor. Can absolutely see him destroying many opponents one on one this season. Given Travis had his most productive season when Dawes broke out in 2011, White may be able to give a similar foil this time out.
Beams- just lock and load, he’s already showing it all at this stage and looks to be a picture of fitness. Slotted a super supergoal in the 3rd. Make the first positive decision of your side and select him, he’ll be a top 8 midfielder in all competitions with ease.
Sidebottom- was everywhere early days, but slowed as Pendles got out of the vest. Steele seems to have a similar role to last season, playing in that high half forward role. Although he has provided uber-type scoring in the past, that high half forward role isn't suited to such scoring. Nonetheless he has obviously had a quality preseason, showing his endurance has not diminished at all.
Lumumba- Was running up and down that wing all day much to the delight of fantasy followers. He looked very fit, speedy and determined. Could be a real option this time around, as a misclassified premium defender, so certainly don’t cross him off your list.
Adams- grew as the game developed and showed exactly why the Pies let Shaw move on. He won’t collect 31 touches every week, but what he has shown is the ability to produce these types of figures. Taylor looked very fit, but he still has a couple of years in the gym to develop the body he’ll need, to deal with the knocks endured from week in, week out competitive football.
Armstrong- off the half back flank, Tony showed exactly what he is good at. He’s got very good disposal when given time and space, but looked incapable of dealing with the Cats pressure at times. Given the injuries to the half back flankers, he may earn a Round 1 selection, and although he has a fantasy relevant role, he will have to do more to hold his spot.
Young- was well off the pace, but don’t let that dishearten you too much. He looked to have his body in stellar shape, and was running particularly strongly (although that has never been an issue). Clinton is designed for outside ball and in a rather strange game for a NAB R1, there wasn't much to be had. He also seemed to lack minutes, possibly gearing him up for more in the latter stages of the preseason comp. See how he performs in the latter stages before writing him off.
Yagmoor- still looks far too small physically for the rigours of an AFL season. Used the ball reasonably well, but given the strength of the side he will have to improve his performance to receive regular games. Keep on the radar given the rookie price tag.
Freeman- looked fantastic early days. Is very strongly built and has a burst of pace which will prove a major weapon in years to come. Unfortunately he pulled his hamstring and will likely spend three to four weeks on the sidelines. May be the perfect sub option, but keep him on the radar nonetheless.
SJ- Slowly worked his way into the game, but showed he is in superb nick even at this early stage of the season. Classy even during shanks, something only Johnson can pull off.
Bartel- Played predominantly in a half forward role, as Scott suggested in a recent twitter post. Moved up and down the ground well and looked to be very fit, having completed a solid preseason. Expect much of the same in 2014.
Enright- it was the perfect game for a man of Enright’s quality. Sat on the half back flank and racked them up all night. Will play a similar role to last season, and if you need a reasonably risk free pick, you could do far worse than this triple premiership player.
Caddy- performed strongly in a mostly midfield role. He looked in ripping nick and has the body to win contested balls all day long. Mackie referred to him as 'The Beast'. Forward eligible this season, Josh will need to play a midfield role to be a viable option this time out. With a couple of older players being fostered out, midfield spots should be there for the taking.
Hawkins- showed exactly what fantasy coaches were hoping for, he is moving confidently and strongly. He is an absolute beast and given his cut price, he’s an undoubted option (especially in Supercoach). Selwood said he’ll “always have to manage the issue”, but I suspect less midweek training will be a worthwhile remedy. Don’t discount.
Guthrie- showed some serious potential in this game, moving as smoothly as the man who wore the #29 before him. He looks to have finally developed a body that can manage the knocks of senior AFL football. Issue is will he remain in a full time midfield role? Keep a keen eye on him, given his defender classification he could be a steal.
Kersten- apparently he has picked up a knee injury, according to Selwood. Given the depth Geelong currently have up and running in that 2nd tall forward role, Shane may be hard pressed to receive games early days.