Jeppa’s Juniors – 2013 Midfielders

Our selection of rookies in NAB AFL Dream Team will be very different this year. Gone are the days of countless Gold Coast and GWS youngsters with overwhelmed job security, we now need to go that extra mile to find those rookies that will score well and earn you the big bucks fast.

Don’t let the rule changes sway how many rookies you start with this season. Yes, more trades give you more options but the objective is still to have 22 premium players in your side as quickly as possible. To achieve this, you are going to need a balance of the best rookies available.

Rookie midfielders are a plenty this season and thus strategy comes into play. How many rookie midfielders do I start? What’s their job security? To let you in on a little secret, I am starting 3 midfield rookies this season.

Here is my take on the best midfield rookie options for 2013…


omearaJaeger O’Meara

Price: $108,500

Predicted 2013 Average: 84

LOCK! No questions asked. This kid is going to be a jet if he isn’t one already. To paraphrase Guy McKenna’s comments on @6PRSportsToday last week ‘Jaeger is a terrific young footballer who would have played a fair chunk of senior footy last year if the rules allowed him to.’ O’Meara will have no problems finding the pill and he’s put in the work in the gym to be able to mix it with the big boys around the packs. The current favourite for the Rising Star award will be named on the wing for Round 1.


jackvineyJack Viney

Price: $102,700

Predicted Average: 79

Viney is another rookie who will play Round 1. He’s an inside midfielder who loves to tackle (I love a +4) and compete for the contested ball. He will fit straight in at Melbourne. Viney’s weakness is his disposal efficiency but he’ll still be given every opportunity to develop his game at senior level. Not only did Melbourne pick him up for a steal at pick 26, Dreamteam coaches get him for a mere $102,700!


winesOllie Wines

Price: $156,700

Predicted Average: 82

This man-child is set for numerous appearances for the Power this year. He’s a good size for a midfielder with great footy smarts and a strong work ethic. It is likely that Wines will be given a handful of games on a half forward flank before he’s thrown into the midfield. With so many cheaper midfield rookie options this year, Fantasy coaches will need to decide whether Wines’ higher price tag is justified. In my opinion, it is.


toumpasJimmy Toumpas

Price: $170,200

Predicted Average: 64

Toumpas is an outside, linking midfielder who only needs a handful of possessions to damage the opposition. His strengths are his accurate kick and big tank. Toumpas has had some hip trouble over the preseason and as a result has been nursed through training. I doubt he’ll be ready for Round 1 so he’ll be one to watch when he comes in later in the season.


lonerganJesse Lonergan

Price: $129,700

Predicted Average: 71

Lonergan is another big-bodied midfielder with a physique undoubtedly ready for AFL. He’s a great tackler and good clearance player. The boy from Launceston is highly rated at the Suns and he’ll slot straight into a midfield role. Count him in for the majority of games this season barring injury.


crouchBrad Crouch

Price: $108,500

Predicted Average: 73

Why were the Crows so willing to relinquish their first two picks in last year’s draft? Is it because they knew they already had a prized youngster in Brad Crouch? Maybe. This hard-nosed midfielder has had a season in the SANFL to prepare for 2013. He boasts a long kick and reminds me a bit like Andrew Embley. Crouch should get plenty of games this season but I’ll need to see him in the NAB before I am fully convinced.


mitchellTom Mitchell

Price: $108,500

Predicted Average: 80

Injuries got the better of Mitchell in 2012 but he began preseason training earlier than his teammates in the hope for a big season this year. This ball magnet loves the contest and is another rookie midfielder physically ready for the AFL. His ability to win the footy and gather countless possessions justifies fantasy selection but I can see him getting a green vest or 2 or 3! Watch him closely in the NAB cup and if he is able to stay fit, pencil him in for one of your midfield bench spots.


hrovatNathan Hrovat

Price: $107,200

Predicted Average: 70

At just 175cm, Hrovat won Vic Metro’s MVP and achieved All-Australian honours last year. What he lacks in size, he makes up with speed, ferocity, versatility and leadership. Hrovat is highly rated down at the Bulldogs and he’ll definitely get games this year. Just be mindful that he’ll probably score similar to other pint sized first year players like Dion Prestia and Devon Smith.


macraeJackson Macrae

Price: $161,200

Predicted Average: 65

This smooth mover was snapped up by the Bulldogs at pick 6 in last year’s draft after a dominate display in the national championships. He’s got a side step that will put Stevie J to shame and he reads the play really well. Something Macrae needs to work on is his kicking penetration, at the moment he kicks it as long as Chad Fletcher. When he does play senior footy this year, it will probably be from the half forward. His price tag does not warrant selection in my eyes but he will be given numerous opportunities at the Bulldogs this year and could prove to be a unique selection.


whitfieldLachie Whitfield

Price: $183,700

Predicted Average: 75

When you think of Whitfield, think of Andrew Gaff. Whitfield’s will be a 200+ game player, there is no doubt. His greatest assets are his clean disposal and his elite running ability. His likely role in his first year at the Giants will be as an outside midfielder. Personally, I don’t think he will dominate the world of dreamteam and his high price tag is too farfetched. If you wana be different then pick him but Whitfield won’t be in my initial side no matter how good his NAB cup campaign is.


orourkeJonathan O’Rourke

Price: $179,200

Predicted Average: 66

There is no doubt that this prolific ball winner is a star of the future. He’s another outside midfielder with great foot skills and he will be given games this year at GWS. Like Whitfield, O’Rourke’s high price tag does not reflect value for money. I’m not riding him off completely but if I was going to spend big, I’d probably go Whitfield ahead of JR.


kmitchellKane Mitchell

Price: $119,300

Predicted Average: 85

The raining Sandover Medallist found his way on to Port’s rookie list after a stellar 2012. Mitchell averaged 103 dream team points playing for Claremont last season and notably kicked 30 goals for the year. If you watched DT Talk’s Pre Season Episode No. 1, you’d know that Mitchell is being groomed for a defensive half forward role at Port. No doubt this will dent his scoring potential. Pay special attention to Mitchell when the NAB cup comes around but keep in mind that he is still a rookie listed player!


Other midfield rookies to watch closely in the NAB Cup include George Horlin-Smith, Elliott Kavanagh, Sebastian Ross, Tim Broomhead, Dylan Buckley, Josh Cowan, Tom Sheridan, Dean Towers, Lachlan Hunter, Mark Hutchings, Matt Jones and Dean Kent.

Look out for my post NAB cup analysis on midfield rookies who looked good, rookies who struggled and those who snuck in under the radar!

Catch you tomorrow at the same time for my spin on the best Ruck rookies.

Remember you can follow me @JeppaDT for all rookie relevant topics and more!

Defenders / Midfielders / Rucks / Forwards


  • Geez that picture of Mitchell looks dodgy :/

    • the pic of mcrae looks worse haha ya coul have some fkn with a bit of docktering of that one ….great write up

  • Good read Jeppa! Looking fwd to the next 3!

  • 3 Rookies in the starting mid or including bench?

  • 3 rookies in my staring 22 plus 2 on the bench

    • Ok thanks Jeppa. That is probably what i will stick with especially with the talented cheap rookie mids this year. They should become great cash cows!

  • Great stuff Jeppa, very helpfull.

  • good read jepp, cards are all on the table:)
    Hrovat looks like he just walked into a window.

  • Nice work Jeppa. With a little luck you could be right on the money.
    Just one note, the Kane Mitchell (aka The Pool Boy) is on the rookie list and the Power don’t have any space to elevate him. Will have to be a downgrade target sometime midseason.

    What are your thoughts on Sam Mayes? He’s one of… hmmm… well… bugger all FWD eligible rookies who could actually crack a spot in a 22 for Rnd 1!

    • Yeah i noted that he is still a rookie.

      Its a long time in footy terms till the start of the season so he may still be elevated before rd 1. We’ll need to wait and see.

  • Cracking read Jeppa – you would be doing Chook proud!

    Currently running with Lonergan, Viney, Jaegerbomb, Crouch and Hrovat. Would love to start with another rookie mid (4 on field) as there are so many tasty rookies but I was burnt last year using a similar strategy. Looking forward to the next article already!

  • Comparing Brad Crouch to Andrew Embley? Have you seen Crouch play? Tough inside midfielder with clean skills. Embley is a hard-running wingman. From all reports in Adel, Crouch is remarkably similar to Danger when the Crows drafted him 5 years ago and shown that in the way he played at Westies in the SANFL last year.

    • Eye eye, go the crows and from all the talk and hype around the kid, rumors are that he’s gonna be even better than Dangerfield! bring it on I say;)

  • I guessing as he didn’t get a mention Brett Goodes is nothing like his older brother?

  • Mitchell is well known to have excellent endurance, he’s got the muscle but in the WAFL couldn’t kick to save himself.
    From all accounts at the Port Adelaide pre-season he has been smashing it out. PA would be very aware of his kicking so extra time would be given to him to correct his kick.

  • Really want to start 5 (3 on the field and 2 on the bench) rookies but that means downgrading one of Embley or Ball, but I am so stuck on who to choose!!
    Please help!!
    Ball > Lonnergan OR Embley > Lonergan??

  • How bout this guy! Nick Kommer @ Essendon. May be a nice smokey. Barely a mention anywhere. Bombers followers should get excited this guy is a ball magnet. Check out his junior stats. Hes a kicking marking and tackling machine. Hopefully will get some game time on the Dons senior list

    • In my side at the moment. Apparently James Hird has big wraps on him. I guess we’ll see what the NAB cup dishes up, but he’s definitely one I’ll be watching.

  • Or even Marcus Davies @ Carlton and Mason Wood down @ Arden Street (Nth Melb).

  • Nice write up mate.

    Oh, and it’s ‘reigning’ (not raining) sorry, i’m a spelling Nazi.

  • Van unen from essendon, how’s he tracking for a game??

    League 795891 join in

  • Any up and coming DTers who are under 17, join 826342

  • hey guys quick plug. looking for players for my leagues in both DT and ELITE. DT code is 911055. ELITE code is 690458, league name is- The League (ELITE)
    Cheers guys

  • if anyones looking for a unique pick david zaharakis

  • jeppa, what do you think of Nick Vlastuin from Richmond?

  • Prob the only year ill have 3 GCS mids, with Ablett, O’meara and Lonergan but I’m happy with that ;)

  • cha ching $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • does anyone remember micheal evans and he is 108k

    • Yeah I remember him from 2 years ago, he was in my team cracked the ton too. I would also like know more about him

  • I like the Jaeger meister and Ollie not sure about Lachie but he was not number1 draft for no reason.

  • Marco Paperone, Troy Menzel or Ben Kennedy worth getting?

  • Good read Jepps, helping me out a lot here with rookies, much appreciated.