Priddis the first on next season’s Fantasy lists

AFL Fantasy fans who included West Coast midfielder Matt Priddis in their squads this season won’t need reminding of just how talented the Eagles star is, but anyone in any doubt was proved wrong as the 29-year-old was named the Brownlow Medal winner. Despite missing out on All-Australian selection this season, Priddis’ contribution to the Eagles this season was made clear as the West Coast star picked up the AFL’s greatest individual accolade.

350095-tlsnewsportraitPriddis’ previous best fantasy season came in 2011 when he averaged 105.4 points from his 22 appearances, but the midfielder’s form this season saw him finish the year with a career-high average of 107.6 points per game from 22 appearances this season. Priddis’ figures were even more impressive when considering West Coast failed to make it into the Finals after finishing in that agonising ninth place in the AFL ladder despite their talisman performing miracles.

Priddis being named the Brownlow Medal winner sees him become the first Eagle to win the award since Ben Cousins in 2005. While Gold Coast’s Gary Ablett had looked a dead cert to wrap up the race up until Round 16, Priddis climbed ahead of his rival on the leaderboard after being named best on ground in round 20. Priddis finished the season with a strong showing against the Suns to move one vote clear of the suspended Nat Fyfe.

The ineligible Fremantle star had threatened to follow in the footsteps of Corey McKernan and Chris Grant by finishing on top of the Brownlow Medal count despite being suspended. Despite missing four games through suspension, Fyfe was still a great pick for fantasy managers throughout the season, finishing the year with a career-high average of 102.3 points per game, including an incredible 125 points in Round 15.

Gold Coast’s Ablett and Sydney Swans’ Lance Franklin tied for second place in the vote with 22 votes each while Joel Selwood, who had been the favourite with AFL bets placed in Australia with bet365 finished tied with Patrick Dangerfield, Travis Boak and Josh Kennedy for fourth on 21 votes. But the spectre of Fyfe remained throughout the ceremony as AFL chiefs began to sweat over what would have been an awkward outcome.

While Preddis was good value for his triumph, Ablett will have every right to feel slightly aggrieved by what could have been in 2014. The midfielder had looked to be cruising towards to Brownlow Medal at one point this year only for his hopes to be smashed when Collingwood forward Brent Macaffer crunched Ablett and brought a premature end to the 30-year old’s season.

Ablett had equalled Robert Harvey’s record for the most three-vote games in round six, in a round where the Suns’ man recorded a monstrous 146 fantasy points, and then claimed it outright when he was named best on ground in round nine. Averaging well over 100 points a game after that, Ablett’s final fantasy average of 119.1 points may well have been even more eye-catching if he hadn’t missed so many games through injury.

In partnership with Bet365.

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