With each AFL Fantasy team price reveal, Peter from aflratings.com.au takes a look at five potential targets from each club. Click here to read Warnie’s look at the Dogs over on AFL.com.au.
Marcus Bontempelli MID $511K
In only his 2nd year of AFL Bontempelli averaged 92.9pts, he exceeded 100pts or more in 5 games with 3 going over 120pts or more. More importantly Bontempelli only fell short of 80pts in 4 games, it appears that he is going to be a safe option over his career still accumulating points on the not so good days. Bontempelli increased his average disposals from 15.9 in 2014 to 21.1 last season, there should be a fair bit more scope to increase his average in 2016. Based on what we have seen so far in Bontempelli, he has elite skills and ability to find the ball in confined spaces similar to Scott Pendlebury. There are not many questions relating to Bontempelli, there was no drop off in form or fitness in the back end of his second season which provides assuredness that he can be a long term sustainable option in 2016.
Jack Macrae MID $579K
Despite missing some early season games in 2015 Macrae responded in his last 14 games averaging 109.1pts upon his return to the team , this included an 8 games streak in which he scored over 100pts or more. Macare has averaged over 100pts in his last 2 seasons, considering he is only entering his 4th season of AFL it would appear that he will continue to be a strong player in AFL Fantasy for quite a long time to come. If you select Macrae in your 2016 line-up, take comfort in the fact he has scored 100pts or more in 22 of his last 41 games with 9 of those games exceeding 120pts or more. Macrae should be one to be considered amongst your premium options this season.
Tom Liberatore MID $443K
Unfortunately Liberatore suffered a knee injury ending his 2015 campaign around this time last year, coming off back to back seasons in which he averaged just under 100pts we should have had a solid understanding of his capacity to score under new Coach Luke Beveridge if not for the injury. There is no doubt Liberatore will be a big part of the Bulldogs midfield and a popular AFL Fantasy player to start the 2016 season but expectations probably need to be tempered in the short term. Players returning from serious knee injuries do often take time in the first few games back on the ground if not all of a season to return to their previous output, additionally under the previous McCartney regime Liberatore was one of the players that thrived in a contested game plan due to inside game style. Knowing all the risks Liberatore is still a solid choice if his pre-season form is good, there is likely more upside than the negative in selecting him.
Lukas Webb DEF $258K
If you are looking for value selections in your backline then Webb could be the guy for you, absolutely there are no guarantees in game time at this point and yes a must watch in pre-season games to confirm any heightened interest but considering what most coaches spent on Defenders in 2015 with little return he could be part of a different strategy next season. Looking at Webb in 2015 he had a little opportunity to show us what could be possible, 6 of his 10 games exceed 10 Disposals or more but given an opportunity for consistent game time this season most games would range between 12-17 Disposals which would no doubt help to improve on his 46.6 AFL Fantasy average of 2015. Webb caught the eye in the U18’s Championships to be a future talent and from what was witnessed last year he could be a player than can generate some good coin in your AFL Fantasy team in 2016, if his game time and numbers are solid in the pre-season then seriously consider taking him with the knowledge he comes at a price that poses little risk.
Liam Picken MID $559K
From Fantasy obscurity to a genuine option last year Picken should actually be a unique pick considering his status in 2016, last year he averaged over 100pts for the first time in his career which was a remarkable turnaround considering his highest single season previously was 75.9 back in 2012. Picken thrived losing his tagging duties under 1st year head coach Luke Beveridge accumulating points with ease in 2015, between Rounds 4-17 he averaged 116.3pts which placed his average among the elite in AFL Fantasy. Don’t hesitate in making Picken one of your premium target options to start the 2016 season, he had 10 games that hit 100pts or more last season with 6 going for 120pts or more which was the most totalled at the Western Bulldogs in 2015.
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