52 Pick-Up 2014 – Forwards


I don’t know about you, but nailing the forwards in 2014 seems like the hardest position. Dangerfield and Dusty are locks, and Gary Rohan should be in 100% of teams. As for R3-R6, it’s a toss up. There’s plenty of value out there – let’s have a look at some that should be on your radar.

Just a quick one this week – time is of the essence! Don’t forget to check out Anthony Smith’s fantastic mid-priced Forwards article – some gems in there!


Nick Riewoldt (StK)

Position: Forward
2013 Average: 103.1
Price: AFL Fantasy – $559,000; AFL Dream Team – $563,400

In every 52 Pick Up article I have done this year, the most expensive player from each line has been analysed. And I dare suggest, all 4 (McVeigh, Stevie J, Cox and NRoo) would be considered PODs this year. Nick Riewoldt was the only forward to average greater than 100 points per game in 2013. In simply an astounding season, NRoo increased his average by nearly 20 points on 2012, and for only the 2nd time in his career, he averaged more than 100 points for the season. In 2009 (when the saints won 20 games), he averaged 106.5 for the year. In 2013, when the saints won 5, he averaged 103.1. It just goes to show, that regardless of how well the saints are tracking, NRoo will score. Which is a good thing – because they will struggle in 2014! Since 2003, he has averaged at least 82.7 points per game. In 7 of those 11 seasons, he has averaged more than 90. High scores of 153 and 152 in 2013, he still has the ceiling, and with the exception of a 48 against Geelong (he missed much of the 2nd half with a knee sprain), he did not score below 80 points. Dangerfield, on the flip side, failed to reach 80 on 5 occasions.

Final Word: A star, and one hell of a dream teamer. Might be a bit pricey, but you will be reqarded handsomely.


Tom Mitchell (SYD)

Position: Forward, Midfield
2013 Average: 90.2
Price: AFL Fantasy – $488,700; AFL Dream Team – $492,600

Tom Mitchell was an out & out star after debuting for the Swans in Round 10 last year, when he scored 98 points. He backed this up with an astounding 144 in Round 11. For those who jumped on the week before he was on the bubble – well done. If you were like me, and missed that sensational 2nd score by the son of a gun, you were kicking yourself. He ended with an average of just over 90, although that included an average of just 66.75 in his final 4 games. This year, he is blessed with forward eligibility. Will he go backwards ALA Dayne Zorko this year, or take it up another level, considering he has cemented himself in one of the best midfields in the competition?

Final Word: Potential to average 100+ but beware the second (playing) year blues!


Jack Gunston (HAW)

Position: Forward
2013 Average: 76.7
Price: AFL Fantasy – $415,400; AFL Dream Team – $418,700

The hawks struck gold when they traded for Gunston with the crows at the end of 2011. Now entering his 5th year and he is sure to be more of a focal point considering the Hawks lost, well – you know who they lost. He reads the play amazingly well, pushes up the ground to collect +6’s, has a great pair of hands, and is a dead-eye in front of goals. He increased his average by 15 points per game between 2012 and 2013, and I think he can take it up another level this year. He will still play second fiddle up forward for the hawks (Roughy will get most of the attention), and Gunston is a sneaky Coleman Medal chance this year.

Final Word: Cheap as chips, considering I think he is a huge chance to average 90+ in 2014.


Devon Smith (GWS)

Position: Forward, Midfield
2013 Average: 73.9
Price: AFL Fantasy – $400,500; AFL Dream Team – $403,600

I’m not a firm believer in the 3rd year breakout rule – but this guy might be the exception. He’s played in 38 of the Giants 44 total games, and has averaged a healthy, 67.9 and 73.9 in his two seasons to date. I think he is a barometer for the Giants – as long as the team keeps improving, so will Devon Smith. Had 4 x 100’s last year, to go with 3 from the year before – although it’s the consistency that has hurt him – 6 scores of 60 or less in 2013. If he is able to stay involved in more games for longer, you are looking at an 80+ forward here, especially if the Giants improve in 2014.

Final Word: Huge draft smoky, hard to fit him in you Fantasy or DT forward line, but it may just pay off!


If you missed Anthony’s midpricers article yesterday, he looked at the forwards and it’s worth a read to go with this one.


Finally – 1 more AFL Fantasy League and 1 more Real Dream Team League! PLEASE DO NOT JOIN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY JOINED OTHERS. First in best dressed.

AFL Fantasy: DTTalk 52 Pick Up – JTDUTT7D

Real Dream Team: DTTalk 52 Pick Up – 351823


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  • definitely on board the norm gunston train

    • I too am on board Gunston, at least for Round 1. Should smash the Lions.

    • look everyone is saying gunston will be a gun and one guy even said he will win the goal kicking sorry until the guy gets a gun defender on him and beats him I will shut up like he will get Enright or harry taylor on him sorry that game he be lucky score over 50

      • Don’t just look at his goal kicking ability. He reads the play better than most, and pushes up the ground. Between Roughy/Hale up forward, Gunston can play a lead up role and be involved in more 1-on-1’s. He’s an 85 average this year, guaranteed.

        • I guess with Hale rotating forward a bit more we can expect some relief of attention too. But is he a better pick than Walters? Sonson averaged 90 before picking up the PCL.

      • Bloody hell I strongly dislike people like you. Gunston has had gun defenders on him before, but as others have said, he reads the play well and get’s plenty of +6’s and is extremely reliable when it comes to converting +12’s. It’s extremely hard to play on him because he’s both tall and athletic so he tires out large defenders and they can’t keep up and he outmarks the smaller, more athletic defenders, and Roughy is going to attract the best defender. He’s one of my biggest forward locks.

  • am torn between mithell and parker. mitchell was awesome last year but did only play 11 games as where parker played every game and his average has risen every year he has played. could mitchell suffer the second year blues. HELP PLEASE

  • great read crutton. just a quick questionshould i go parker, mitchell or gunston as my fwd 3??

    • Thanks Jack,

      I’d probably rate them Parker, Mitchell, Gunston. But all will be pretty similar come the end of the year. Perhaps the cash saving in Gunston is the kicker? I like Gunston very much this week against the Lions…. #FreeHit

  • Good stuff Crutton.
    Any thoughts on Chappy?

    • Chapman had a Deck of DT article written on him I think, which is why he hasn’t been included here.

      If you new this and just wanted to ask Crutton, please feel free to ignore this :)

    • Thanks Sammy J.

      I have plenty of thoughts on Chappy. He has tormented me and my beloved hawks for 6 years, and now he’s at the bombers. But i digress…

      I think he’ll play 15 games this year. Possible red-vest chance, and i just cant trust a 32/33 year old coming off injuries he had in 2013. Not for me.

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  • And have loved these articles this preseason. Posted on the mad Monday post how good everything has been this year but how good is it with all the stuff since, especial today. Looking forward to the boys on afl.com.au tonight

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