As the countdown to the season proper reaches a month, updating my rolling 22 is the least I can do! So here you go to use as you please, whether that me be for a guide, entertaining reading or as a source of anger to get genuinely heated about, here it is.
Rory Laird, DEF
Genuine star, who should average around the same after taking into account the Crows improvement and the return of Brodie Smith.
Sydney Swans, DEF
An interrupted pre-season is the only thing stopping him from being my number one.
GWS Giants, DEF
Zac William’s return pushes Whitfield up to a wing where he dominated in the Finals. One of two tag candidates for the Giants without Shiel is a slight issue.
Will be the number one kick out guy for the Hawks and has reportedly played on at every opportunity during match simulation.
Brisbane Lions, DEF
In career best condition and will take his share of kick ins (knows what he needs to do to register +3 from there).
Following the loss of a few key defenders this pre season, old faithful returns. Will no doubt slog it out with minimal support again to average in the 90s.
In the mix: Nil.
Western Bulldogs, MID
Has had a ripper pre season and deserves to remain at the mantle.
Remains at number two despite an interrupted pre-season. There will be additional uncontested ball this year with the addition of Shiel.
They don’t just hand out AFLX Vice Captaincy willy nilly… Well, they probably do but Crippa is a jet and set for a career high.
Had an awesome pre-season following his injury interrupted double hammy silly salmon season.
Yes, the main source of my critics anger remains in the eight. Especially after Brodie Grundy confirmed all my thoughts on the Podcast.
GWS Giants, MID
I do have slight concerns about a regular tag without Shiel, however, he is still a gun.
Brisbane Lions, MID
First uninterrupted pre-season in a long time and he is playing in a midfield where snouts are born.
Flying under the radar and a safe pick to round out the eight in a full strength Crows midfield.
In the mix: Dayne Beams (Collingwood, MID), Stephen Coniglio (GWS Giants, MID), Seb Ross (St Kilda, MID), Clayton Oliver (Melbourne, MID).
The toe issue has knocked off two points from my projected average, that’s all, still easily number one.
A lot of talk about Gawn spending extended time forward… Thing is he has great hands and will kick a few. Still clearly top two.
In the mix: Justin Westhoff (Port Adelaide, RUC/FWD), Stefan Martin (Brisbane Lions, RUC), Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne, RUC).
Genuine star, easy option as the number one and set to return to 110+ average.
Western Bulldogs, MID/FWD
Should slot straight back into the role he dominated at the end of the season despite Libba’s return.
The security of role and tackling prowess should ensure he is in the mix for remain a top three forward.
Will play predominately through the midfield where he dominated the back end of the season. All class.
May get off to a slow start like last year after an interrupted pre season. Will likely finish the year in third spot however.
Port Adelaide, RUC/FWD
Mr Fix it will reportedly be given a green light to once again go where he likes. Fortunately for us, he likes going where the ball is.
In the mix: Toby McLean (Western Bulldogs, MID/FWD), Isaac Heeney (Sydney Swans, MID/FWD), Jack Billings (St Kilda, MID/FWD)
What do you think, has Roy got this right? What order would you have the players in? Post your thoughts in the comments.