Amid the canings and controversies at Melbourne, midfield recruit James Magner ($85,800) has made a blistering start to his AFL, and Dream Team, career. Two hundreds from two outings has him rarefied company, but please don’t call him the new Michael Barlow. Firstly, not taking anything away from Magner, but when Barlow got started in 2010, he did so with a couple of 120s, not straight centuries. Secondly, the last player to win comparisons to Barlow – Carlton midfielder Ed Curnow after a fast start last year – then sustained a long-term injury that saw him dumped from all our teams. Let’s not put that on the Magnet. He’s shown us his immense scoring potential and he’s got rock-solid job security so, quite simply, if you haven’t got him yet then don’t be stubborn and do it now. You won’t see a better breakeven this year than his -153.
Rub of the Greene
Most respectable coaches will already have Magner chained to their midfield six, but far fewer are lucky enough to have Greater Western Sydney midfielder Toby Greene ($134,700). His 103-point average over the first two games has got coaches scrambling to get him in before a likely pay day of about $40k-$60k this weekend, with the most popular moves seemingly a straight midfield swap for as-yet-underperforming teammate Stephen Coniglio ($175,200), which also yields about $40k change, or utilising a dual-position link in the midfield to ship Western Bulldogs forward Tory Dickson ($98,700). Either trade looks appealing, but should be treated cautiously, with fantasy heavyweight Warnie having questioned whether Greene can maintain a higher average than Cogs over the long-term, and GWS expert RL Griffin signalling that his job security could be doubtful as the Giants look to make room for the likes of Brogan, McDonald, O’Hailpin and others. Personally, I feel like I’ve got too many injury/form/positional concerns in other areas of my team to make the “luxury” trade of bringing in Greene, although I’ll certainly consider it if Mumford and Duffield get the all clear.
The rest of the two gamers
St Kilda forward Terry Milera ($115,800) is attracting plenty of attention, especially from those who have already got GWS mid-fwd Adam Kennedy ($104,200) or those that are sick of the sight of Aaron Hall ($98,700) or Dickson’s sub-affected or just-plain-crappy scores. An 85 against the Gold Coast on Sunday bumped Milera’s average up to 79.5, placing him seventh behind Magner, the GWS quartet of Greene, James McDonald, Kennedy and Jon Giles, and Saints teammate and fellow forward Rhys Stanley ($164,200). He could continue that average for the remainder of the season, but it’s not very likely, given the defensive frailties of the two sides he’s played thus far in Port Adelaide and the Suns, and the fact that he might be squeezed out by the likes of Adam Schneider and Jason Gram in the coming weeks. I won’t mention GWS pair Giles ($117,800, ruck) or Tommy Bugg ($104,200, defender) as everyone already has them, making the next most fantasy relevant player Western Bulldogs midfielder Clay Smith ($107,700). The excitement around Smith died down this week after he failed to back up his scintillating debut. He wasn’t terrible – far from it – but was certainly a lot quieter in round two, notching 53 points before donning his second red vest of the season in the Bulldogs’ Saturday night loss to Adelaide. Listed as needing a test for an ankle injury this week, Smith will struggle to win over those coaches now eyeing off Greene, but could well finish the season as the better buy.
After being a late withdrawal from St Kilda’s round-one loss, Saints midfielder Tom Ledger ($163,200) started as the sub against the Gold Coast and chalked up 33 points. Not a great return so far if you took a punt on him from the start, although he could yet prove to be a solid scorer once he dumps the vest. Fellow Saints mid Jack Newnes ($98,700) played his first match of the year in the round-two thumping of the Suns, but doesn’t look fantasy relevant at this stage with just 36 points. The round’s other first gamer was North Melbourne defender Cameron Delaney ($104,200), who scored 58 on debut, but will want to improve his kick-to-handball ratio if he’s going to tempt DT coaches, with just six of his 19 touches against GWS by foot.
Who have you got your eye on in this all-important first week of price changes? Dumping any underperforming rooks? Let everyone know in the comments, or on twitter @ChookDT.