It appeared to be a normal Friday morning with pre-season back in full swing, but on the 11th of January news filtered through that Tom Mitchell had suffered a significant leg injury & will likely miss the entire 2019 season.
All fantasy coaches are no doubt hoping for a full recovery & best wishes for Tom Mitchell, as the news sinks in the attention will turn to a change in strategy for the upcoming fantasy season.
Initially the projected high ownership for Mitchell will be diluted towards other premium options, other coaches may opt for a completely different structure as a result of the Mitchell injury.
Options at Hawthorn have also opened up for the 2019 season, information & a pre-season focus is highly recommended for any potential opportunities.
2019 Potential Targets:
Liam Shiels MID $704K
Despite some inconsistency last season Shiels recorded a fair share of ceiling games, he scored 100pts or more in 47.8% of games & 120pts or more in 21.7% of games in 2018.
Shiels averaged a career season high 23.1 Disposals last season, he also averaged 6.5 Tackles (Hawthorn Rank: 1).
Despite the increase in opportunity for Shiels this season he will likely be lowly owned at Round 1, the Hawks could also regress as a result of the Mitchell injury which may limit the ceiling for Shiels in 2019.
Jaeger O’Meara MID $695K
O’Meara has been in the Hawks system for 2 years now, he increased his games played from 6 to 21 last season after missing a significant period with knee issues at Gold Coast.
O’Meara averaged a career season high 94.7pts last season, he scored 100pts or more in 33.3% of games & 120pts or more in 14.3% of games.
For those looking at a short term point of difference O’Meara could be a target early in the 2019 season, he has the contested game that could easily produce decent scores with the absence of Mitchell.
James Worpel MID/FWD $480K
Worpel is likely impacted the most by the long term injury to Mitchell, he emerged late in the 2018 season averaging 20.0 Disposals from his last 8 games which included a career high 32 Disposals in Round 18 against Carlton.
The Hawks could rely heavily on Worpel entering just his second season and just 11 games, his numbers could be volatile but if given a majority of midfield usage his upside might be tough to ignore.
Take a keen interest in the JLT Series not only for the Hawks but in particular Worpel, if his numbers start to spike then he could slot nicely into your Forward line.