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Pre-Christmas track burners and other news

The latest news from the pre-season with a Fantasy spin.

Players are back at training and the AFL news cycle doesn’t stop. We’re constantly hearing about who is burning up the track, training the house down, setting PBs and – our personal favourite – which players are going to get more midfield time in the new season. This post will be updated regularly with any tidbits that may or may not be Fantasy relevant as we head towards the Christmas break.

LAST UPDATE: 5 December 2019

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23/11Chayce Jones and Ned McHenry finished first and second in the Crows’ 2km time trial. Jones played 8 games mostly as a forward this year for an average of 45.6 (a 6% discount doesn’t knock much off his average). But the benefit for Fantasy coaches could come from the Tasmanian who averaged 116 per 120 mins at the 2018 U18 Championships if he gets the extra midfield time. “I definitely want to push myself to get in the (midfield) so it’s all about putting your foot forward in the pre-season.” McHenry is yet to debut so will be basement priced in 2020. He averaged 103 in the U18 Championships.  [source]

18/11Tom Doedee is targeting round one as he returns from a knee reconstruction. He’ll build up to contact training after Christmas. A 27% discount applied to his 2018 average of 72.5 will price him at 53. In five of his last nine games in 2018 he scored 80 or more. [source]

17/11Ned McHenry (back), Andrew McPherson (hamstrings) and Shane McAdam (calf/hamstrings) are on modified programs. [source]

14/11 – A half-back role could be on offer for Bryce Gibbs in 2020. New coach Matthew Nicks says that they need to play him in a role that will allow Gibbs to play his best footy. “Whether that was in and around the footy as much as we could get him in there, but he also knows that a half-back position is somewhere that may suit him where he’s actually at with his game at the moment. He’s a super player. It’s a matter of us helping him in that space and where he can play his best footy. I have no doubt he will have a strong season for us.” Gibbs’ scoring has been mixed when playing in the backline. A bit will need to be seen for the 30-year-old who will be priced at 81, the lowest since his debut season. [source]

13/11Billy Frampton believes he has the tools to be a regular AFL player for the Crows. The 23-year-old will be priced like a high-end rookie but has averaged more than 80 across the last three years in the SANFL.  [source]

13/11 –  Taylor Walker is eyeing a move to the wing ala Matthew Richardson. This role saw Richo produce his best Fantasy numbers… however, Tex’s numbers to date are a long way from Richo’s.  [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 4 November, full squad Monday 18 November.

25/11 – The Lions don’t expect Grant Birchall to train hard until well after Christmas. [source]

17/11Marcus Adams has a cleanout of his knee and was the only Lion to require post-season surgery. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 18 November, full squad Monday 2 December.

26/11 – Sam Walsh has talked up Will Setterfield to be one of Carlton’s big improvers next year. The 21-year-old averaged 67 from 18 games and has gained some size in the off-season. [source]

23/11 – Director of High Performance, Andrew Russell, says Sam Docherty is in excellent physical condition. “‘Doc’ has come back and is training: he’s probably doing about 80 per cent of our training drills. He has dropped a bit of weight and has been unbelievably professional in his rehab. He is feeling great about his footy.” [source]

22/11Harry McKay is struggling with a groin problem and will be on a modified training program until Christmas. [source]

21/11Charlie Curnow is in danger of missing round one after fracturing his knee cap. He injured it twice during the season and dislocated it playing basketball in the off-season. Curnow is unlikely to be available for pre-season games in February/March. [source]

13/11Sam Docherty‘s program is set for him to return in round one. He has spent time in the US and is a lot leaner than last year. “I probably won’t train fully until mid-January, but I’ll be in and out of certain things from day one. We’re taking as much risk out as we can before I need to put my body and knee at risk before playing practice games and getting ready for the season.” [source]

4/11Sam Docherty is fit and easing back into training but will ramp up his contact towards Christmas. [source]

1/11Jack Newnes signed with Carlton as a delisted free agent. Newnes will be priced at under 70 and worth a look in 2020 following averages of 82, 85, 88, 88 between 2014-17 if he retains FWD status. The 26-year-old has missed just two games since 2014. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 4 November, full squad Monday 18 November.

2/12 – New draftee Jay Rantall won the Magpies’ 2km time trial ahead of Tom Phillips as the full squad returned to training. [source]

18/11Dayne Beams returned to training ahead of schedule completing a running session. He had hip and shoulder surgeries as well as ongoing mental health issues. Beams only averaged 88.6 this year after 7 of the last 9 years were 100+. As he played nine games, he qualifies for a discount but this 3% is applied to his 105.8 average from 2018 which doesn’t really make him great value. [source]

17/11Levi Greenwood had his ACL repaired in preliminary final week, while Tim Broomhead had the rod in his healed leg removed lat in the season. Jordan De Goey should be right to train fully after his hamstring injury as should Mason Cox who was given the all-clear to begin light contact work in September after tearing the retina in his left eye. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 18 November, full squad Monday 2 December.

5/12Jacob Townsend has officially joined the Bombers. Adrian Dodoro said: “Jacob has the ability to apply pressure in our forward line, but we are also confident that he can play inside as a big-bodied midfielder.” [source]

19/11 – Former Tiger Jacob Townsend is set to join the Dons as a delisted free agent and may, you guessed it, have more midfield time. As he only played one game this year, his 27% discount will price him at 35 which is less than the top end rookies. Don’t get too tricked into his higher average seasons (95 in 2017 and 82 in 2015), they came from 2 and 1 game seasons. [source]

17/11Orazio Fantasia won’t join main training until January after post-season hip surgery. [source]

14/11Sam Draper made his return to the training track as he recovers from an ACL. Don’t expect him to be an option early in the season as he expects to just play a half of footy come round one. [source]

13/11 Tom Cutler is set to play a wing/half-back role. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 11 November, full squad Monday 25 November.

24/11Jesse Hogan was involved in a car accident and taken to hospital. [source]

20/11 – Under new coach Justin Longmuir, the Dockers look set to speed their game up. “We’re going to play fast football, really face up and open the ground up and get the ball moving. Give it to our users. The way the game’s going – the demands on the game – everyone is starting to play that sort of brand. We’re going to try to open the game up and get the ball moving and get it into our forwards, and it will give us our best chance to score.” [source]

17/11Nat Fyfe (shoulder) will be kept out of contact drills until after Christmas. Alex Pearce (ankle) and Jesse Hogan (foot) are on modified programs are are a chance to play in the season opener. Matt Taberner (foot) is in the rehab group. [source]

11/11Adam Cerra has added six kilograms since being drafted in 2017. “I’ll be training with the midfield (group) to have a crack at earning a role playing there next year”. [source]

4/11Andrew Brayshaw said that he put on weight in order to push into Fremantle’s midfield this year. “Inside mid is my goal, I’d like to be starting in there. Touch wood with no injuries, hopefully me and Adam Cerra can be in there. I’ve put on a bit of weight. I’m about 85kg and I was 80kg when I first started. Physically I think I can work inside with the big boys.” [source]

4/11Jesse Hogan won’t return to full training with the Dockers until at least after the Christmas break. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 4 November, full squad Monday 18 November.

26/11Joel Selwood will return to pre-season training in January after undergoing hamstring surgery. Selwood is set to be an interesting Fantasy option in 2020 as the 31-year-old will be the cheapest he has ever been (apart from his debut season where he went on to average 85.5). He will be priced at 78.7 which is well below his career average of 99.1. Selwood has averaged more than 100 in more than 100 in eight of his 13 seasons. [source]

22/11 – With the delisted Ryan Abbott heading to the Saints (despite the promise of being drafted as a rookie) and Zac Smith leaving during the trade period, the Cats’ ruck stocks are thin with Rhys Stanley the No.1 man getting support from Darcy Fort and pinch hitters Esava Ratugolea and Josh Jenkins also on the list. [source]

19/11Jack Steven, Patrick Dangerfield and Mitch Duncan returned for the Cats ahead of schedule. Esava Ratugolea expects to play more time in the ruck with the addition of Josh Jenkins. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Tuesday 19 November, full squad Monday 2 December.

4/11Josh Schoenfeld won the two-kilometre time trail on day one, followed by Jacob Dawson, Jesse Joyce, Jack Bowes, Connor Budarick, Charlie Ballard and Ben Ainsworth. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 4 November, full squad Monday 18 November.

17/11Stephen Coniglio (knee) should return to training after narrowly missing the GF. Callan Ward (ACL) resumed running as the 2019 season drew to a close. Matt Flynn (ACL) did his knee in jury, but is already back training doing gym work and running on the Alter-G treadmill. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 18 November, full squad Monday 2 December.

11/11James Worpel says that he “Might have to spend a bit more time forward with Tommy (Mitchell) coming back”. Maybe he’ll play enough forward to regain FWD status. Worpel’s 96.7 average from this year is probably a little high to be considering in Classic while Draft coaches are going to have to monitor his pre-season to see whether he’ll have enough forward time to gain FWD status again… however, will that negatively affect his scoring too much? [source]

10/11Tom Mitchell says he is no certainty to play in round one. “I’d love to play Round 1 and that’s what I’m hopeful of doing. But I know better than anyone … anything can happen.” The 26-year-old isn’t into full training as yet after breaking his leg in January. “The next step will be to incorporate more agility into my program, touching the footy more, kicking more and getting into training drills more. When you’re out for so long it’s quite difficult at times. But I feel quite motivated now after such an extended break and hopefully that can help me attack this pre-season.” [source]

8/11Michael Hartley has been delisted by the Bombers and is set to join the Hawks. While he isn’t a Fantasy option, it is another positive for those keen on James Sicily with the addition of Sam Frost. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 4 November, full squad Monday 18 November.

3/12Mitch Brown has signed with the Demons as a SSP. Harley Bennell has started training with the club in a hope that he is also picked up. Bennell is going to be super cheap as outlined below. [source]

28/11 – Simon Goodwin said Harley Bennell completed a successful first training run, however his troublesome calves might leave him sidelines for the start of next season. It was his first run following surgery on both calves. [source]

19/11Adam Tomlinson strained his calf muscle last week participating in a running session away from the club. [source]

18/11Ed Langdon is set to play on the wing with fellow new recruit Adam Tomlinson. Tomlinson and Charlie Spargo missed the 3km time trial. [source]

17/11Sam Weideman will have a delayed start to the pre-season after having a hop cleanout. [source]

13/11Brayden Preuss has trimmed down, dropping 9kg. [source]

4/11Harley Bennell has been invited to train with the Demons during the pre-season. He will begin training in December and is eligible t play in practice and pre-season games. Bennell can then be selected in the supplementary selection period. The former Docker and Sun is likely to be priced at around 30 (approx. $220k) after showing a lot of Fantasy game about him in his time at the Suns averaging 84.9, 85.4, 85.4 and 92 between 2012 and 2015. [source]

3/11 – The Demons are keen on Sam Murray who will be eligible to play from February 17 following his drug ban. He can start training with an AFL club from November 17. Murray will attract a 30% discount on his 2018 average of 74.3 which would price the defender at 52. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 4 November, full squad Monday 18 November.

4/12Ben Jacobs is on a odified training schedule as he recovers from his concussion-like symptoms. He’ll receive a 30% discount which will price him at 54.4. [source]

21/11Ed Vickers-Willis (knee) will have a very hampered pre-season as he won’t be starting running until after Christmas and a modified program will follow. [source]

17/11Ben Jacobs has missed 69 of the past 82 games with a mystery illness will be put on a modified program, although he appears to be tracking OK. Will Walker (knee) will start on a modified program while Kyron Hayden (Achilles) will miss the first chunk of the 2020 season. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 4 November, full squad Monday 18 December.

25/11Willem Drew had surgery on a stress fracture in his foot. He will return to training in the new year and will be available for the Marsh Series. [source]

25/11Brad Ebert said he will most likely fin himself forward a fair bit but still contribute a little in the midfield. Ebert added FWD status at round six last year. [source]

18/11Kane Farrell, Tobin Cox and Boyd Woodcock are among the players vying for Sam Gray’s small forward spot next year. Woodcock is set to be priced at 40 while Cox and Woodcock would be basement priced. Robbie Gray and the yet-to-debut Sam Hayes managed knee injuries last year. The club expects Hayes, who was taken at pick 46 a couple of years ago to push Lycett, along with Ladhams, for the ruck position. Hamish Hartlett, Xavier Duursma and Dan Houston ran laps at training as they managed minor ailments. [source]

17/11 – Post-season shoulder surgery for Travis Boak, Tom Rockliff and Zak Butters will see modified programs for the trio with Rockliff’s the worst. He underwent a third left shoulder reconstruction — a complex procedure called Latarjet-Bristow where a piece of bone was taken from one part of his shoulder and attached to the front of his shoulder socket – and will be kept in cotton wool until the new year. Hamish Hartlett had a knee arthroscopy and won’t be training properly until the new year. [source]

11/11Wylie Buzza likely to be back up to Charlie Dixon, but thinks they can complement each other. “I’m happy to play a supporting role to Charlie if that’s what the team needs, I think what Charlie brings is when he’s at his best, he’s one of the best key forwards (in the competition), so it’d be great to learn off him.” [source]

8/11Dan Houston said that in his exit meeting, the message was “to build the fitness back up so I can play in the midfield again (in 2020)”. The 22-year-old scored 104, 123, 103, 97 and 89 in the last five rounds playing as a pure midfielder and will be priced at 80.3 next year. [source]

4/11Conor Rozee is keen to move into the midfield. “Hopefully as the year progresses I can push into the midfield a little bit more,” Rozee told reporters on Monday. “Endurance is probably the main thing I want to improve, especially if I’m looking to move into the midfield. Hopefully keep building that and maybe put on a few more kilos as well will help me move into the midfield.” Rozee played all 22 games for an average of 72.5 (avg. 15d, 3m, 4t while kicking 29 for the season). [source]

1/11Wylie Buzza has signed with the Power as a delisted free agent. The former Cat averaged 81, 71, 71 over the last three seasons in the VFL and is likely to have FWD status and priced under $200k. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 4 November, full squad Monday 18 November.

2/12Sydney Stack (funeral) and Jack Higgins (part-time program) were the only Tigers not on the track as the premiers hit Punt Road. On a light program included Bachar Houli, Dylan Grimes, Dion Prestia, Jack Graham and Toby Nankervis. Also easing back into trainingwas Nick Vlastuin, Shai Bolton, Jake Aarts and Luke English. [source]

25/11 – Neil Balme said that Jack Higgins will up his training after Christmas and should feature heavily in 2020. [source]

17/11Alex Rance (knee) had an arthroscope on the right knee that ruined his 2019 season which will keep him off his legs for about 10 days, although he won’t miss more than a few days of pre-season. Toby Nankervis (groin) had post-season surgery and will have to see how his body responds in January as to whether he is good to go in round one. The ruckman is expected to have the slowest start to the pre-season. Jack Graham and Shai Bolton had shoulder reconstructions and will join contest work after the Christmas break. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 18 November, full squad Monday 2 December.

22/11Ryan Abbott has signed with the Saints as a delisted free agent despite being told he’d be drafted by the Cats as a rookie. The 28-year-old is basically ruck depth behind Marshall and Ryder but he does have the ability to perform at AFL level with the ability to go forward. Abbott isn’t going to be cheap as his discount for playing one game (27%) will be applied to his 92.6 average from 2018. Abbott  [source]

21/11Dylan Roberton expects to be available for round one after the better part of two seasons on the sidelines with a heart condition. After averaging a career high 90.2 in 2017 where he was the club’s runner up in the B&F, he played four games in 2018 at 63, meaning he’ll be a bargain with his 30% discount being applied to that average. Roberton will be priced at 44 and with a full pre-season, look at locking him in as a cheap defender. [source]

18/11Dan Hannebery will build his running over the Christmas break and targets the Marsh Series. Jarryn Geary and Dylan Roberton completed their own training session before the time trial which was won Ed Phillips ahead of Doulton Langlands. New recruits Zak Jones, Paddy Ryder and Brad Hill completed their own individual running. Jack Steele (knee), Matthew Parker, Jake Carlisle and Jack Billings were among others training away from the time trial participants. [source]

17/11Dan Hannebery (broken foot) will miss the first few weeks of pre-season. Nick Coffield (shoulder) will avoid contact work until after Christmas. Paddy McCartin (concussion) is off the list. Max King and Jack Bytel who didn’t play a senior game due to injury last year are humming and expected to play early in 2020. [source]

8/11 – Brett Ratten told SportsDay that Zac Jones can “play around the square, so whether he plays inside mid, outside, forward or even at halfback – it’s a great advantage for us”.  [source]

7/11Rowan Marshall is “stoked” to be working with Paddy Ryder next year. Marshall is happy to go forward as he shares ruck time with Ryder. After averaging 99.2 this year and ranking as the fourth best ruckman this year, Marshall’s stocks are set to plummet however we may see him gain FWD status at some point of 2020. [source]

6/11Dougal Howard will play in defence. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 4 November, full squad Monday 18 November.

18/11 – Sydney expects Lance Franklin to be back to full training next month as he participated in some skill drills and some running. Priced at 70.5, Buddy hasn’t been this cheap since his third year. Over his career he’s averaged 85.8 with his time at Sydney returning averages of 95, 82, 94, 96, 92 until this year’s 71.  [source]

17/11Callum Sinclair had his shoulder reconstructed in the off-season after dislocating it twice and is expected to be eased back into training as is Sam Reid and Luke Parker who both had procedures done on their knees. [source]

4/11Lance Franklin was training on day one, ahead of schedule, participating in some light training. Jordan Dawson won the two-kilometre time trail [source]

1/11Sam Gray and Kaiden Brand have signed with the Swans as delisted free agents. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 4 November, full squad Monday 18 November.

5/12Tom Barrass will be fit for round one despite undergoing foot surgery. He is expected to be sidelined for eight weeks. [source]

2/12 – Adam Simpson revealed that Josh Kennedy hasn’t had a full pre-season for three years. The last two seasons the 32-year-old has returned averages of 65 and 54, a long way from the 86, 78, 85, 89 and 82 of the five years prior. [source]

26/11Jeremy McGovern will be on a modifield program after going under the knife to fix a heel complain. This procedure shouldn’t keep him out of the side at the start of next season. Oscar Allen (knee), Jarrod Brander (hamstring) and Brayden Ainsworth (hamstring) all had surgery in the off-season but are on the track while Jarrod Cameron (groin) is runnig in the rehab group and should join in full training in the new year. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 18 November, full squad Monday 2 December.

17/11Tom Liberatore (knee) will be in full training after Christmas while Mitch Wallis (stress fracture in ankle) will be on a modified program. Lachie Hunter had a shoulder reconstruction. [source]

11/11Aaron Naughton will return to full training after Christmas. [source]

TRAINING: First-to-fourth-year return Monday 7 November, full squad Monday 18 November.

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