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Premiums to Start With

The best premiums to start with, as ranked by Cal.

I’m looking at $800,000+ guns. If you are spending that amount of coin, you will need some reassurance that they will come out firing and not traded in anger within the first few rounds.

I’ve found my top six and ranked them accordingly. I even found room to squeeze in a little pig at the end.

No. 1 – Zach Merrett

Price: MID, $884,000   2020 Avg. 115
Predicted average after 5gms: 122
First round prediction: 129

If you are paying up for Zach then I am here to tick it off for you.

He will start the year on fire and let’s not forget, this guy has averaged over 115 twice before he did it last year. Therefore, with three averages of over 115 next to his name, he is fairly priced. After the season that was, they are not many uber-premiums who sit in that “fairly-priced” bracket. Zach does, and he sits comfortably!

Last year, the Hawks were one of the easiest teams to play and Zach hits them in the opening round. He scored 153 against them last year which isn’t a fluke as he has had 99 and 134 on them prior to that. He then plays the Power (121), Saints (106) and then Sydney (135). He could be electric.

Merrett even ended the year in style averaging 133 in the last six rounds but really got it going from round 8 where he averaged 126. So why can’t he hit the ground running and do that all again? The answer is: He should and will.

No. 2 Max Gawn

Price: RUC, $944,000   2020 Avg. 123
Predicted average after 5gms: 121
First round prediction: 127

Max Gawn will get off to a flying start. First off, he plays Fremantle, a team he has scored 120, 129 and 124 against in his last three games. As I have said many times this pre-season, he has good run early meeting teams (in the first six rounds) he dominated last year, highlighted by GWS (129 – could now be easier), Hawthorn (145) and Richmond (164). If he scores like he did last year against them, then Max will be averaging 131 after six weeks.

With so much uncertainty in the rucks, Max Gawn is your rock,a  rock next to Grundy who can be your VC as he plays Friday, Thurs and Thurs in his first three games. Enter Max: Max mainly offers you a wicked fall-back option as a captain. This means, you will have a free hit with a vice captain on Thursday or Friday night, knowing that Max can save the day if needed. You just have to pay for it but it will be worth it.

No. 3 Andrew Gaff

Price: MID, $831,000   2020 Avg. 108
Predicted average after 5gms: 112
First round prediction: 130

After averaging 111 and 111…Gaff is under-priced (slightly). Like I said for Merrett, Gaff is also very “fairly-priced” based on what he has done and can do.

Let’s have a looking at Gaff first few games where he plays the Suns (123 against them last year), WBD (44 – tagged by McLean), Port (116), St Kilda (138), Collingwood (158) and then Geelong (64). Such a mixed bag of numbers (avg. out to be 107).

Another reason I like Gaff is because he plays his first five games at home and Marvel, where he averaged 114 (OS) in the last two years and 115 at Marvel. Gaff at home is something special. If you have never experienced this then you are missing out. From his last 28 games at Optus Stadium… he has hit 100 in 26. WOW!

Gaff is elite. He will occasionally cop a tag and have a low score like the 44 he had on the Dogs and the 64 he had on Geelong, but it all averages out. If he manages to avoid those, then we could see him at a whole new level. I’m tipping we won’t, but he is one of the safest 110 averaging guys going around.

No. 4 Jake Lloyd

Price: DEF, $873,000   2020 Avg. 114
Predicted average after 5gms: 112
First round prediction: 119

You need Lloyd. You don’t have Whitfield… you need Lloyd. With the new kick-in rule… you need Lloyd. Do you get frustrated when players run a muck and you don’t’ have them… then you need Lloyd. Get him!

With that dribble said, Lloyd’s first few opponents are labelled as “tough” based on what they did to defenders last year. However, Lloyd didn’t struggle that much. In the first round he plays Bris (115), Adelaide (69), Rich (108), Ess (139), GWS (135), Suns (96) and Geelong (123) to average 112 over those rounds. The 69 in the Crows game was from round one. He got off to a slow start and didn’t cop a tag that day, in which was his only day for the year where he didn’t collect 20+ touches. Anyone wanna bet on that happening again? I wouldn’t be.

We take that score out… he could be averaging 119. And yeah, I’m allowed to take that score out.

No. 5 Marcus Bontempelli

Price: $801,000   2020 Avg. 104
Predicted average after 5gms: 111
First round prediction: 106

Only 3 per cent of coaches are on the Bont-Train and personally, can you see him dropping under his average of 104? I certainly do not. Plus, he’s so much cheaper than many of the others here.

From round 6 last year, Bont averaged 115. That is elite. Add to that, he averaged 130 in his last six games. These numbers are nuts. He is not averaging under 104 this year.

Bont averaged 105 prior to last year and I don’t for one second want people to think that’s the bracket he is in now. He is a 110+ guy. Just look at how he ended the 2020 season. I know, with Treloar coming he could spend more time forward. I get that, but I don’t think it will matter a great deal. When he sits forward, he still scores.

He plays Collingwood (Friday), Eagles (Saturday) and North (Friday) int he opening three rounds meaning you get a free vice captain hit with him for two of those. Oh and did I mention Bont has a ceiling… remember when he scored 181 and 155 last year, imagine those as VC scores.

No. 6 Tom Rockliff

Price: $873,000   2020 Avg. 114
Predicted average after 5gms: 118
First round prediction: 136

OINK! OINK! Ok… Who is brave? Who wants to run the gauntlet early here with a guy who usually smashes out big round one scores. In round one last year Rocky opened his account with 114 and do you remember 2019 when he scored 166 in the first round to have everyone trying to work out how to get the little pig into their teams. This could happen again!

Last year against North he smashed them for 153. When he played the Bombers… he scored 153. Those two teams right there, are Rocky’s first two opponents.

We all know what this man is capable of and the exciting ride he can produce. Lets not forget how this man ended the 2020 season averaging 131 in his last five and 145 in his last three. Smell that bacon?

Do you need a Captain? Then Calvin will help you out. Don't want a Captain? Calvin will tell you anyway. The man who digs deep into stats will help you pick a great captain and give you plenty of Fantasy advice. Follow him on Twitter: @CalvinDT

41 Comments

41 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Scott

    March 2, 2021 at 5:53 pm

    Since when are Friday night games considered vice-captaincy loophole options?

    • Aluniesheis

      Aluniesheis

      March 2, 2021 at 6:46 pm

      This is because of the potential for the rolling lockout. This makes Grundy a VC option in week 1 for example.

    • Calvin

      Calvin

      March 2, 2021 at 7:15 pm

      Since when do people leave uneducated aggressive comments? Answer: Most of the time.

      How about next time you go – “Thanks Cal for whipping this up for the people interested in the premiums they have on their radar. However,can you please explain how Friday night games can be a loop hole option?”. Thanks for reading, but maybe be a little more respectful to others instead of trying to find negatives all the time.

      Regards, the People’s Prince – fixing the internet one piece at a time

      • Avatar

        Rhoda

        March 2, 2021 at 7:25 pm

        Love this reply Cal! Soooo much negative and smart a**e floating around everywhere!

        Love the article, but Rocky scares me. Not currently running with him. But I may be swayed..

      • Avatar

        Bill

        March 2, 2021 at 7:35 pm

        Well said Cal
        I’m currently running with the top 5
        Makes me feel better about my team

      • Avatar

        Patmacrack

        March 3, 2021 at 1:21 am

        Don’t worry v8 this knob tried to tell last years winner how 2 play fantasy! Keep up the good work.

        • Avatar

          Scott

          March 3, 2021 at 3:06 pm

          Oh yeah where did I do that you spanner?

      • Warnie

        Warnie

        March 3, 2021 at 6:45 am

        😂 old mate Scott won’t like you now either, Cal. Bahaha.

      • Avatar

        Stephen Parker

        March 3, 2021 at 11:23 am

        Well played Cal 👏👏👏 THANK YOU for your time, effort and sense of humour. Legend 💪

      • Avatar

        Scott

        March 3, 2021 at 3:06 pm

        Firstly, I find it kinda funny that you’ve had more of an attack on me here than I ever did on you, yet you’re the only one sulking about it.

        Secondly, I find you calling my QUESTION uneducated to be ignorant and hilariously arrogant. I’ll tell you why it’s not uneducated:

        a) There is yet to be any official statement confirming a rolling lockout since there is also yet to be any official statement confirming rolling team announcements

        b) Flynn basically being a certain starter for round 1 and a fair part of the season means that the vice captaincy loophole will basically be redundant for anyone not rolling with Flynn at R2, for a decent chunk of the start of the season.

        Finally, let’s compare what my question and what I’ve just said to someone who states a feeling as fact and try to guess who the uneducated one is.

        • Avatar

          The Chosen Won

          March 3, 2021 at 3:48 pm

          Its a No from me.

          Good Luck 2021™®©

      • Avatar

        James

        March 3, 2021 at 6:29 pm

        I think you took it the wrong way. Pretty innocent question.

        Perfectly reasonable for the comments section to fill up with questions.

      • Avatar

        Tom

        March 3, 2021 at 10:46 pm

        I didn’t see this as an aggressive comment towards you at all? You’ve gone and been more aggressive to retaliate? Cmon, you’re better than that.

      • Avatar

        3-Peat Street Prowler

        March 13, 2021 at 8:54 pm

        LOL Told him Cal! Mind you, didn’t have to be taken as aggressive. Then you look at the profile picture!

    • Avatar

      The Chosen Won

      March 3, 2021 at 6:55 am

      Good Luck in 2022

  2. Avatar

    Loopy

    March 2, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    I have been considering Rocky as my top Midfielder

  3. Avatar

    Euman

    March 2, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    Zerret and gawn for me

  4. Avatar

    Dan

    March 2, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    Mills and Gaff
    V
    Duggan and Zerrett?

    • Avatar

      Dukx

      March 15, 2021 at 1:59 pm

      I like Dugga and Merrett. I can’t trust Longmire

  5. Avatar

    Daniel

    March 2, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Yeesh, Gaff and Mills

    • Avatar

      Dan

      March 2, 2021 at 7:52 pm

      Thanks Cal for whipping this up for the people interested in the premiums they have on their radar. However, can we really trust Bont to provide with if Treloar is fit rd 1? And can we trust Bevo not to swing him forward sporadically?
      Kind regards,
      Daniel

      • Avatar

        Daniel

        March 3, 2021 at 4:09 pm

        Haha, always good to talk to another Daniel. Although Bont has extreme if Treloar isn’t injured, the fact of the matter is that he’ll recover, and then the Bont will become a running half back playing on small defenders

    • Avatar

      Brown Stain

      March 2, 2021 at 10:30 pm

      Mills never gets good scores. I wasted time with him the past 2 seasons

      • Avatar

        Mighty Puds

        March 2, 2021 at 10:38 pm

        Averaged over 90 last year…

  6. Avatar

    Daniel

    March 2, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    Excuse me Mr Calvin Sir, thanks for this great read, but where would you rank Grundy? Is he seven or even further down the list?

    • Avatar

      Vinny

      March 2, 2021 at 10:02 pm

      Lol. Sorry if I may an educated lol.

  7. Avatar

    BlueBaggers

    March 2, 2021 at 9:02 pm

    I’ve selected Oliver, Grundy and ROB.

  8. Avatar

    Brown Stain

    March 2, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Gaff is a jaw breaking nutter.

    • Avatar

      Matt Roberts

      March 3, 2021 at 12:03 am

      You think? Gaff is about as scary as a cloudy day. I know we’ve be asked to keep it positive etc but I don’t mind calling out dick comments. I wouldn’t mind betting Gaff isn’t the nutter here.

  9. Avatar

    Marron

    March 3, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Succinct and well said.

  10. Avatar

    pendles4brownlow

    March 3, 2021 at 12:37 am

    Another great article to provide food for thought. BUT. I would love to start with the first five, but that’s a third of the salary cap gone on 5 players. It would be great in the old days when a guns and rookies approach was the only way. This year, I think it will be the under-priced premos and future stars that will be necessary and little reliance on rooks, as I can’t see too many rookies with any JS. We are going to be swinging them around every week to get the ones who are selected. I can’t squeeze any of them into my team at the moment, as I only have three rooks on the field. Will get Zerrett if I can swing it.

    • Avatar

      JMD567

      March 3, 2021 at 6:52 am

      I would have to agree with you, under priced sun premo/breakouts is the logistical way of having a well balanced team to start,
      Wondering if everyone can give me opinions on 3 players

      Patrick Cripps versus Andrew Brayshaw? Who would be better this year?
      And any chance Witts gets back to his prior form?

      • Avatar

        Charlie's Angels

        March 3, 2021 at 1:33 pm

        Cripps by far better than Brayshaw as a player, definitely outscores in Fantasy with less attention from opposition with Walsh and even Williams in rotation.
        Witts likely to improve on last year, definitely underpriced.

      • Avatar

        pendles4brownlow

        March 3, 2021 at 10:36 pm

        Agree that Cripps is a far better option than Brayshaw, but be prepared to upgrade him halfway through the season, as he tends to get worse once the pressure of carrying the Blues finally gets to him.

        Witts will improve, but by how much? He is still a risk, so I am going with Grundy/ROB.

        • Avatar

          JMD567

          March 3, 2021 at 11:16 pm

          Thankyou guys. Most appreciated and quite incitefull
          In that case another question now.
          1) Hately and Tom Green or
          2) Cripps and <217k Mid or Fwd Rookie (possibly Bosenavulugi)

  11. Avatar

    Taylor

    March 3, 2021 at 6:15 pm

    gaff and cripps or pendles and walsh? what do we reckon?

    • Avatar

      Caleb Mader

      March 3, 2021 at 6:47 pm

      Gaff and Crippa for me

  12. Avatar

    CM

    March 3, 2021 at 6:46 pm

    Walsh and T. Green vs Serong and Sloane? Struggling w this one

    • Avatar

      Daniel

      March 4, 2021 at 12:55 pm

      Walsh and Green

  13. Avatar

    Ando the brain dead barfly

    March 3, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    IMO Walsh & Green.. just

  14. Avatar

    Cody O'Brien

    March 4, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    sloane or serong?
    have the money for either

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