Dockers fans had plenty to be excited about in their first outing where they completely rolled their cross-town rivals. It got so bad that they even mid-game shorted the final quarter… For Eagles fans, the only highlight came in the form of Schofield’s commentary. In particular his constant reference to a players ‘Fantasy friendly role’, and his vocal fist-bump to Harry Edwards’ top-10 finish.
The most exciting thing about the Dockers was the way they moved the ball. That lucrative keepies-off style. The outside footballer’s wet dream. I think it’s safe to say there’ll be some games this year where we see some large 130+ scores due to multiple players racking up 10+ marks. It’s definitely made me want to think more about some certain Freo players… BUT, I’m taking this with a major grain of salt. The Eagles were witches hats tonight.
It was a VERY unsettled midfield group from the blue & gold. I was shocked to see Petruccelle walk himself up to the opening three center bounces, only to be unsighted again until the dying minutes. Early injuries to Yeo and Sheed threw a few spanners into the rotation works and it resulted the Eagles in fielding an opening CBA with Williams tapping down to Jones, Gaff & O’Neill. Reading that sentence back, I think I’ll leave the West Coast commentary to Schofield… Really not much Fantasy relevance to look into for the Eagles, but here are the CBA’s;
Now this is where it gets a little more interesting… Fremantle had a very clear midfield group. In fact they only used the 4 midfielders for the entirety of their CBA’s. Brayshaw didn’t miss a CBA until halfway through the 2nd! Whilst Serong only missed 3 of a possible 16 to the half. There are some big midfield names to return to this mix in Mundy and Fyfe (whom the coach as identified as a ‘midfielder’), but I suspect based on these statistics it’ll be Brodie and Crowden that see a recession in CBA’s.
Notable absentees: Liam Ryan, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Oscar Allen, Luke Shuey, Liam Duggan, Jamie Cripps, Tom Cole
Campbell Chesser ($264k Def / Mid)
Devastating! Was having an amazing first preseason. Locked into my D5/6. The door was wide open for a debut in a team who’s midfield has been ravaged by injury. Looked good in the opening minutes. And in one marking contest that all came crashing down. Looked real proppy walking off the ground and couldn’t put any weight on his ankle. Early commentary speculation was it looked like a 3-4 week injury, but we’ve seen much much longer for ankles, so sadly takes him our of round 1 contention. Similarly for Greg Clark ($190k Mid), imagine how much of a lock that guy would have been as our M8 right now with all these injuries!?
Dom Sheed ($766k Mid)
Wasn’t a Fantasy consideration this year, but like Chesser, his day was cut down in the opening minutes with an ankle concern.
Elliot Yeo ($696k Mid)
One of the more popular preseason names. Started the game well. Had a few strong tackling contests, some resulting in a FF holding the ball and was just ticking over the legs after a modified preseason. Attended all CBA’s bar one whilst he was on field, but was seen walking the boundary with ice just above the achilles early in the second quarter. Will have to wait and see with this one. No doubt they would’ve taken a 0 risk approach. Becoming increasingly hard to start Yeo considering who else is around that price range, one of them played in this game on the other team.
Willie Rioli ($293k Fwd)
Rioli was one of the Eagles I was most keen on seeing today. First and foremost as a fan, but also as an ‘expensive rookie’ type with decent job security and the potential to go 64 (as he did in 2019). Definitely not a score to get excited about, but still 30 points above his price. Did nothing to justify the extra spend unfortunately. Had a really nice trademark highlight reel banana in the 2nd, but he was unsighted for the rest of the game. Honestly couldn’t tell if he was on the field or not. It’s a pass.
Hugh Dixon (SSP Hopeful – Likely $190k Fwd)
Had a moment or two today. Far from the worst player on the field for the Eagles. Especially as he was sitting deep forward in a game where there was maybe one forward entry a quarter. With Darling out indefinitely and the mounting injury toll, there’s potentially a spot for him. But tall forwards aren’t scorers, as we know so it’s a pass. Got a chance in the ruck late, but that was when NicNat had his feet up.
Alex Witherden ($791k Def)
Shared kick-in duties with Hurn and McGovern but ended with the majority. I’m beginning to cool on Witherden, I’m not sure why, but for someone with an ‘elite kick’ he makes a lot of unforced errors. It’s a pass again this year. Not with the options around his price, and not with Hurn still one of the main designated kickers.
Notable absentees: Sean Darcy, Nat Fyfe, Michael Walters, James Aish, Luke Ryan, Darcy Tucker, Joel Hamling, Jye Amiss, Neil Erasmus
Andrew Brayshaw ($875k Mid)
Okay, I was interested before. Now you have my attention. In a possibly best-on-ground performance Brayshaw ticked every box for me.
-He really only had 2 notable breaks on the interchange, not including coming off the ground in the dying minutes in an already dead game, which is a huge tick. Fremantle have played a super conservative approach to the TOG of their young guns, but there has been an upward trend for years now with Brayshaw. There’s still growth in his scoring based on this alone. There was a point in the second quarter when he hadn’t missed a CBA to that point and I was thinking he actually might not go off for the entire game.
– He’s got that perfect mix of inside and outside that you need to reach the elite scores. Refer back to the notes on the Fremantle game style. You love to see an inside mid who loves a tackle, floating back to collect a few +6’s when the balls just being chipped around.
– He has a big uptick in scores in wins. Which should come more than they did last year.
Only hesitation is the ability to break a tag and how low he scores when they’ve come in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 110 average next to his name this year though.
Caleb Serong ($691k Mid)
The player you’ve all come to read about… I’ll cut to the chase. He looked awesome tonight. If you had him locked before, you’re locking him now. He’s a hard one to fully get a read on without proper stats as you feel he just does so much inside work without you seeing it. But any of that would just be a bonus as he looked great on the outside too. Same deal as Brayshaw above, in that TOG has been a huge hinderance to his scoring ability. This match definitely alleviated some of that concern. However Serong is still a couple years younger than Brayshaw so maybe his TOG will be comparable to Brayshaw’s 2021.. And Brayshaw went on to go at an 104 av.
Will Brodie ($387k Mid / Fwd)
Was best on ground in the opening quarter. Laid some big tackles, was collecting uncontested marks. Was part of the main midfield brigade. Looked really good, honestly. And at that price, could be hard to pass on. I just have a few reservations: the returning Mundy and Fyfe thing and what that means for his CBA’s and the fact he did this last preseason only to flop in a big way.
2021 preseason v H&A:
Tom Phillips 141 (73)
Jordon Clark 135 (56)
Will Brodie 105 (51)
Harry Morrison 109 (67)
Dom Tyson 106 (52)
Jack Higgins 107 (69)
Zac Fisher 102 (58)
Josh Caddy 125 (76)
Dan Houston 154 (80)
Riley Bonner 120 (73)
Pat Lipinski 100 (65)
Lachie Weller 118 (80)
— Moreira’s Magic (@MoreirasMagic) February 23, 2022
Liam Henry ($317k Fwd)
Another Docker that looked really good. That wing role is real and he was collecting uncontested possessions across the entire ground. He was used a lot as that final kick inside 50 with great effect, which does his role security wonders. Did some really nice things and has that wing position locked up. Again, they were against witches hats, but if Freo continue to play that mark-kick game across the wings and half back then I could see a decent bump to scoring here. You’d probably want a 70+ score from him at this price but it’s not completely out of the question!
Jordan Clark ($552k Mid)
*Shudders*… Oh man. That pre-opening bounce last minute swap of Cumming to Clark last year still haunts me. It’s a shame he’s listed as a Mid only as he could have tempted as an alternative to a Hewett or Sicily. Very hard to start at this price as a mid… But he did look really good. Another preseason cup specialist. The Freo gameplay suits how he wants to play perfectly. He was everywhere. Even banged home a goal from outside 50. Still, I don’t think you can do it. A lock to gain DPP in round 6 and a big time draft sleeper.
Nathan O’Driscoll ($190k Def / Mid)
Lock. Didn’t set the world alight, but he had some great moments and looked neat with the ball. He played off a half-back flank, and looked tough at the contest. There’s a few to come back into that backline in Aish, Ryan, Hamling and possibly Tucker which makes me a little nervous, but he did his chances no harm. At $190k you just do it for now.