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Jeppa’s Juniors – 2017 Midfielders

In a time of need, Jep brings us his best rookie midfielders from the slim pickings available. If you’re serious about your AFL Fantasy then this is a must read!

  • Jeppa

Very thin midfield rookie options have given me sleepless nights, so much so, I can only provide you with a Top 8 list not a Top 10. As far as team structure goes, I would NOT have more than one rookie priced midfielder in your starting 22. There are a few youngsters around the mark but hardly any are ‘locked’ for Round 1. Considering role, job security and scoring ability, here are my best midfield rooks (not in order) TO START WITH this season


1. Jake Barrett

AFL Fantasy Price: $150,000

AFL Dreamteam Price: $134,800

Predicted Average: 70

In his short time at Brisbane, Barrett has impressed the right people (source). New coach Chris Fagan stated last week that he’s very pleased with Barrett’s efforts thus far and if he continues to play well then it’s looking great for Round 1. Hallelujah! Barrett is a very tough midfielder that can play forward and have an impact. He featured in JLT Week 3 amassing 17 possessions (94% efficiency), 6 marks, 5 tackles, 1 goal and 86 Fantasy points from just 66% time on ground. Note that Barrett is rookie listed but there is room for him on the Lions senior list so no panic there. If he’s named for Round 1, he’s a must have!


2. Will Brodie

AFL Fantasy Price: $234,000

AFL Dreamteam Price: $183,800

Predicted Average: 66

The Suns have found a hard and honest midfielder in Will Brodie. He’s strong, excellent in tight and knows where to go to win the footy. In JLT Week 2, Brodie put his name in the frame for Round 1 after racking up 18 touches, 1 mark, 4 tackles, 2 goals and 77 Fantasy points from 75% time on ground. He only played a few minutes last night against the Dogs, which isn’t a great sign and it looks like he’ll just miss Round 1 selection (source). Brodie will play a fair chunk of senior footy this year though it’s just a question of when he gets his first opportunity. He’s not for me unless an injury curse strikes the Suns.


3. Joe Atley

AFL Fantasy Price: $188,000

AFL Dreamteam Price: $125,300

Predicted Average: 64

Hard working, winner and leader…these are some of the terms associated with Joe Atley. The former Bendigo Pioneers captain is an inside mid that has a real thirst for the contested ball. He is also decent overhead and has an impact when resting forward. After being used sparingly in the Power’s first JLT Series match, Atley was one of the better Port players in their second JLT hitout racking up 14 touches, 3 marks, 3 tackles, 1 goal and 64 Fantasy points form 60% time on ground. With the likes of Gray, Wines, Boak, Ebert, I doubt Ately will get a look in early in the season but we can hope. Put him on your watchlist!


4. Robbie Fox

AFL Fantasy Price: $150,000

AFL Dreamteam Price: $109,300

Predicted Average: 63

Last year it was Papley, this year it could be Robbie Fox. Sydney are looking toward another successful mature age recruit in the form of an inside mid. The 23 year old Tasmanian had a dominant season for Coburg in the VFL last year averaging 22 possessions, 1 mark, 7 tackles and 76 Fantasy points before injury ended his season early. Clearly the Swans saw something they liked and after a strong summer and some Swan injury woes, Fox is in the mix for Round 1. With a cheap option in Fox, it’s almost impossible to ignore him and I’ll definitely be picking him as bench back up if he’s named for the season opener.


5. Declan Mountford

AFL Fantasy Price: $150,000

AFL Dreamteam Price: $132,400

Predicted Average: 60

With North Melbourne on a rebuild and looking to youth, Mountford is a slight chance to feature early this season. He didn’t play in the Kangas dress rehearsal for Round 1 last night but he has been prominent this summer. In JLT Week 1, the young athletic mid had 8 touches, 1 mark, a whopping 7 tackles, 1 goal and 61 Fantasy points in only 33% time on ground which is a massive effort. In JLT Week 2 however, he could only manage 10 touches and 24 Fantasy points from 69% TOG suggesting he’s bench cover at best. I know I’m scraping the barrel here but I reckon Mountford is worthy for your watchlist.


6. George Horlin-Smith

AFL Fantasy Price: $240,000

AFL Dreamteam Price: $201,700

Predicted Average: 72

He’s been around for a while now but maybe this is the year that Horlin-Smith has a break out season. 40 games in 5 seasons isn’t great output and his job security amongst Geelong’s start studded midfield should be perceived as a big risk in 2017. Horlin-Smith forced us to pay attention after racking up 23 possessions, 6 marks, 3 tackles, 1 goal and 98 Fantasy points against the Crows in JLT Week 3. This all from only 57% time on ground! GHS’s hefty price tag is enough to deter many but his scoring potential sits around 75 and he might be worth the risk for those that don’t mind a punt. Not for me.


7. Harrison Wigg

AFL Fantasy Price: $150,000

AFL Dreamteam Price: $132,400

Predicted Average: 67

They say that if you can’t kick then you can’t play footy. Well I reckon Wigg could teach the hacks how to kick…he’s that good. Now 20 years old, Wigg is ready to make a name for himself at Adelaide. He was named emergency a handful of times last season and after plenty of improvement over the summer, it’s time for him to mix it with the big boys. I suspect he’ll play between the wing and half back when he does get his opportunity and after scoring 87 Fantasy points in JLT Week 2, there’s definitely a Fantasy game about him. A cheap gem we’ll all own if he is named to play in Round 1.


8. Sam Powell-Pepper

AFL Fantasy Price: $216,000

AFL Dreamteam Price: $143,300

Predicted Average: 65

I saw this young Sandgroper in the flesh at the U18 All Star game last year and trust me he’s AFL ready. Not only is he a physical specimen for a youngster (doesn’t mind a Dusty fend off), he can also roost the ball 60+ meters. SPP’s preseason to date has been above and beyond expectations. In JLT Week 3, the young beast racked up 8 tackles (a team high by 3) to go with 2 kicks, 11 handballs and 56 Fantasy points from 67% time on ground (watch his highlights here). SPP is a lock for Port in Round 1 and even though he’s a little pricey for Fantasy and handball happy, we’re probably forced to pick him cause of the slim midfield rook options available.


Injuries to rookie priced David Myers, Sam Petrevski-Seton and Nathan Freeman rule them out for Round 1. Myers especially would have been a lock for every Fantasy coach but we’ll just have to wait for him during the season proper.

Other rookie priced mids that could come into Fantasy and Dreamteam contention this season include Dylan Clarke, Will Setterfield, Jordan Foote, Zac Fisher, Jack Graham, Dean Gore, Daniel Lloyd, Dallas Willsmore and Josh Clayton.

Look out for my post JLT Series analysis on the midfield rookies that performed well, those that struggled and maybe one or two that snuck under the radar! Remember rooks are classified as players under $250,000 in either Fantasy or Dreamteam.



  1. Avatar


    March 11, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    thanks jep. been struggling to find a M8

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      March 11, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      are you lonely?

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        Kirk Mackintosh

        March 11, 2017 at 2:55 pm

        At the moment mine is Barett and SPP

      • Avatar


        March 11, 2017 at 6:25 pm


    • Jeppa


      March 11, 2017 at 4:29 pm

      Safe M8 is SPP
      A good M8 is Barrett if he can do enough to be named for R1
      Robbie Fox intruiges me a lot and I’ll be watching him closely tomorrow

      • Avatar


        March 11, 2017 at 6:15 pm

        Involved with Robbie in U/15’s & U/17’s at Burnie Dockers together with Mav Weller & Luke Russell. Obviously Mav & Luke made the grade and we were very surprised Robbie didnt get picked up as well. Talent wise he wasnt far behind the other 2 boys. Another that was involved with us at the same time was Brody Mihocek who won Port Melbourne’s B&F last season. Of all the players I cant believe he hasnt made the big time – a very very talented player – maybe next season.

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    March 11, 2017 at 2:04 pm


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    March 11, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Another great article Jep. I’m hoping Barrett and Atley have a big finish to the JLT. Let’s see if the haters can find something to bag you on now.

    • Jeppa


      March 11, 2017 at 4:27 pm

      Cheers mate

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    March 11, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Guys, how many mid Rookies should we start on the ground as I am starting only Barrett, is that a wise choice?

    • Jeppa


      March 11, 2017 at 4:26 pm

      Read my intro Marcus

    • Euman


      March 12, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Same there not much available and thus my mids run deep

  5. Avatar


    March 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    OK sorry a

  6. Avatar


    March 11, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    Thanks Jeppa

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    Brad Hogg

    March 11, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Things are looking so dire in the midfield that I’ll probably be throwing a DPP rook in there. I had SPP, Brodie, Wigg and Barrett in there, but with Brodie not seeming as safe as first thought, it’s either go with someone like Taranto/Hibberd – or take a punt on Fox.

  8. Avatar


    March 11, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Jeppa – would it be a good idea to go mostly guns in mid, maybe SPP as mid8 given the lack of rookie mids this year? Then have a few more rookies as forwards and defenders?

    • Avatar

      Attention Paid

      March 11, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Read the intro mate. No one reads anything anymore.

      • Euman


        March 12, 2017 at 8:29 am

        Great avatar name dude – I’m so broke I can’t even pay attention

  9. Avatar


    March 11, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    harrison wigg would be unlikely to play rd one for the crows i think. was at the rd 3 jlt game today and i don’t believe he was out there at all

  10. Avatar


    March 11, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Anyone have any idea when rookies will get there photo uploaded to the site?

  11. Avatar


    March 11, 2017 at 11:09 pm

    It seems the rookies this year have so little interest that the camera man couldn’t be bothered lol. All jokes aside there are a few gems & I for one have stacked the midfield only Fielding 1 rook in the mid,2 in defence & 2 in the fwd line with 5 or 6 mid prices across all lines. God help me.

  12. Euman


    March 12, 2017 at 8:30 am

    What about Miles from Hawks -? Any chance didn’t Hodge say he will play

    • Avatar

      Jasper Pittard

      March 12, 2017 at 9:54 am

      He has forward DPP, so would generally be listed in forwards in these types of articles. I’ll probably have him on my forward bench if named.

      • Euman


        March 12, 2017 at 11:05 am

        Cheers makes sense

      • Avatar


        March 12, 2017 at 8:46 pm

        If you had mid/forwards in the forwards would you put him on your mid bench?

        • Avatar

          Jasper Pittard

          March 12, 2017 at 11:08 pm

          If named I think a Pickett-Miles link looks good.

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    March 12, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Thanks for including RDT info in your articles Jeppa. Unfortunately most of the other writers don’t anymore (I assume it’s because of their roles with the AFL).

  14. Avatar

    Jasper Pittard

    March 12, 2017 at 9:52 am

    Thanks Jeppa, love your work!!

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    March 12, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Who’s a good replacement for Powell-Pepper/MID and A.McGrath/DEF?

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    March 12, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Im going to need to downgrade one of the following down to Fyfe for a bit of cash. Who do you think I should downgrade?

    Danger, Rocky, Treloar, Titch or Steven?

    • Avatar

      Grovers Guns

      March 14, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Steven – Rocky in order depending on cash required

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    March 12, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Rocky due to huge price and mediocre form otherwise Titch (think he’ll be pretty solid though).

    In RDT
    Gaff to Swallow
    Grundy to Ryder
    Marchbank to McCarthy (swap around some DPP)
    Titch to Fyfe

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    March 12, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    What’s wring with having SPP or Brodie and Barrett as M7-8?

    • Avatar


      March 12, 2017 at 10:16 pm

      Just need some reliable benches (especially in RDT with 3 on bench).

      IMO need at least SPP as emergency as will get games, but I doubt he’ll score well.

      My M8/9 but Swallow moves them around every few days

      • Avatar


        March 12, 2017 at 10:52 pm

        SPP lost 24 points today because of FA. He would’ve scored 72. Agree he won’t set the world on fire but he’s better then Bench option?

  19. Avatar


    March 12, 2017 at 9:40 pm


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    Lachie Neale

    March 12, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    GHS is going to get heaps of love.

    His limited minutes are a little concerning though.

  21. Avatar


    March 12, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    This is off topic but has anyone found Nathan Vardy in AFL fantasy? I thought he might be a good R4 but can’t see him listed.

  22. Avatar


    March 13, 2017 at 3:07 am

    Can i grab some feedback guys ,

    Def: adams, shaw, j.lloyd, z.tuohy,c.marchbank, c.hampton (otten, l.ryan)

    Mids : s.mitchell, n.fyfe, m.barlow, d.heppell, d.beams, m.murphy, g.horlin smith (j.barrett, m.hibberd)

    Rucks : s.martim, t.nankervis (l.pierce, b.preuss

    Fwd : l.dahlhaus, j.kennedy, j.steele, j.roughead, w.hoskin elliot, c.mccarthy (j.pickett, b.eddy)

    17k left over ,

    Thinking of downgrading tuohy -s.wellingham

    M.murphy – j.watson or keep extra cash in the kitty to upgrade players round 3ish

    • Avatar


      March 13, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Def swap murphy to omeara and prob s mitch or heppal to a reliable captain option eg danger or treloar

    • Avatar


      March 13, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      Just curious as to why you would post this in “Jeppa’s Juniors” thread rather than the one that is specifically designed for it – “my team 2017”?

  23. Avatar


    March 13, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Everyone seems to be bitching about the lack of great rook choices.
    We were ridiculously spoilt over the last 3 years with Gold Coast, then GWS and the Essendon bonanza last year all offering a plethora of rooks. This year, we are back to normal and need to accept that most of this year’s crop will be more in the 60 range rather than averaging 80. Brings about a change in strategy whereby a pure G&N philosophy doesn’t look as great as past years.
    Of the 8 you highlighted here Jep, the only ones I would be really confident of being selected in round 1 would be SPP, Barrett and Horlin-Smith.
    Looking from a RDT perspective, I am looking at all rookies being below $150K (except Hampton)hence Horlin-Smith therefore is out of consideration even though his JLT games have been impressive. If he does the same in rounds 1 & 2 I can bring him in then.
    Parfitt is the only other rookie option I would consider for the midfield that you did not mention and Pickett could be used as a mid or forward.
    As always, a great informative article Jep.

  24. Avatar


    March 13, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    We can play PP as M7 and Barrett as M8 and then have Pickett and or Miles as M9 being emergency? As I think both should have good JS.
    What’s the thoughts on that.

  25. Avatar


    March 14, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    The backline rookies are a worry, currently have Marchbank D4 in SC and RDT. May not be deep enough in all forms.

  26. Avatar


    March 15, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    Classic league code for anyone interested in joining a semi serious league. Best of luck.


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