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Deck of Dream Team

Lachie Neale – Deck of DT 2022

Why does over a third of the competition own this Lion?

Name: Lachie Neale
Team: Brisbane
Position: MID
Price: $792,000
Bye round: 14
2021 average: 94.5
2021 games played: 15
Predicted average: 105
Draft range: Second round

Click here for 2022 Fantasy prices.

Why should I pick him?

It’s simple math that’s got Lachie Neale owned by 35.3% of the competition:

98.0 x 1.25 = a lot

Or 122.5 to be exact.

That was his adjusted average in 2020 when he won the Brownlow medal, the Leigh Matthews trophy, the AFLCA champion player of the year and (most importantly) the Dane Swan medal for scoring the most AFL fantasy points.

But 2021 didn’t go as smoothly. Neale suffered from a variety of issues throughout the season including a back injury, ankle surgery, a calf complaint, a shoulder problem and even missed a game due to illness. He only averaged 94.5 fantasy points for the year – his lowest since 2014.

That’s what’s got so many coaches interested, however, since Neale could be almost 30 points underpriced. That’s obviously a stretch, but even his second best average of 111.1 in 2016 means he’s underpriced by 16.6 points or $143k.

It’s also promising that Neale has recovered from the injuries that plagued his 2021 season. Queensland-based AFL reporter Michael Whiting posted in December: “Couple of observations from
@brisbanelions training today. Lachie Neale is SUPER fit. Body seems in great order after a disrupted 2021 season.”

And it’s easy to forget that Neale is only 28 years old. He’s in the prime of his career, Brisbane are in a premiership window and he’ll be a leader in the midfield for years to come.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

In the words of Forrest Gump: “Life is like a box of Lach-olates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

If you bite into a choccie, you might get Turkish delight (ew). And if you pick Lachie, you might get the version that averaged under 105 every season except 2020 and 2016 and was happy easing his way to a ton but nothing more.

It’s also important to point out that 2020 is an anomaly and there’s no way Neale will go 120+ again. He excelled with the 16-minute quarters with massive time on ground and flew under the radar with very few tags. His time on ground has dropped back to pre-pandemic levels and he now cops a lot more attention from the opposition since he’s a superstar and Dayne Zorko is no longer Brisbane’s #1 tag target.

Another red flag is the fact that Neale requested a trade back to Fremantle last year. He ended up staying to honour his contract and he’s a professional who’ll still give 110% but his family struggled with the hard WA border and 2022 is shaping up as another difficult year.

Deck of DT Rating


Lachie Neale will average 100 to 110 so he’s about 10 points underpriced if he splits the difference and pumps out a 105 this season.

That’s a safe bet in classic but I want to see his preseason game to make sure he’s completely injury free and to check his teammates don’t go full Richmond v Houli and refuse to pass him the ball.

In draft I’d leave him to the eager coach who goes way too early and thinks Neale will hit 120 again.

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Benjy is a Swannies supporter whose love of fantasy footy far exceeds his skill. Is a sixth year breakout on the cards? Follow on Twitter: @benjylat



  1. Squid

    January 29, 2022 at 7:36 am

    Thanks Ben, very helpful, I like Turkish delight so he’s a yes for me.

  2. TheJaman

    January 29, 2022 at 8:27 am

    Think you’re reading a bit much into the trade rumors from the off-season. He never requested a trade and the group is too desperate to win a premiership to really put much weight into letting that rumor impact their playing style.

    Simple fact is since the Lions have been good, their inside mids have feasted with points.

    There is no reason to suggest he won’t average the same or close to the same as what Jarryd Lyons did last year. He is the better inside mid, in a team that priorities contested ball. To average 95 while injured, and still pump out patches of 120 av shows he isn’t the “happy to reach 100” guy still, and an injury free season should be 110-130 average.

    • BzG

      January 29, 2022 at 9:15 am

      Nicely said. If there is any doubt about his ceiling, it lies with how many rotations Lions use. Even then, Neale & Lyons hunt their own ball hard and should not be impacted. He’s a “yes” for me.

    • Beady Eye

      January 29, 2022 at 2:00 pm

      This seems like an overly optimistic take. It was pretty clear from reporting at the time that a trade was explored, but all parties concluded it was too difficult and in everyone’s best interests not to proceed. To dismiss it as simply a rumour and claim it never happened is naive.

      That said, Neale is a professional and I don’t think it will impact too much on his output – potentially a game missed here or there due to family issues, borders, etc. If he’s fully over the injuries, something above his Freo averages (105) and below his Coronaball average (122) seems probable, which would have him in the ballpark as a top 8 mid.

      It’ll be interesting to see how the likes of Rayner, Bailey, Cockatoo and Robertson push into the midfield rotations and what impact that has on Neale’s role. Potentially more time resting forward?

      He’s in my team but not sure if he’s a keeper.

    • Blake

      January 29, 2022 at 4:09 pm

      The reason he can’t average the same as Lyons is because as soon as someone shows him any attention he crumbles. Lyons gets no attention

      • Wet Blanket

        January 29, 2022 at 4:31 pm

        Lyons does get attention on occasions and when he does get attention, he more than crumbles and becomes totally useless

        • Blake

          January 29, 2022 at 10:43 pm

          Tell me one game last season Lyons got attention

  3. Blake

    January 29, 2022 at 4:11 pm

    10 points underpriced, Max. I’d rather shoot for the stars at someone who is potentially 20 points unders instead. Serong, Crouch, Yeo etc. Good read though, thank you!

  4. The Chosen Won™®©

    January 30, 2022 at 8:27 am

    He come 3rd yesterday in his local golf comp, Hopefully he can bring that good form to Fantasy.

    Good Luck in 2022™®©

  5. Tom

    March 14, 2022 at 11:11 am

    Him or Serong

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