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Deck of Dream Team

Sam Walsh – Deck of DT 2024

How much should the round two bye influence the pick?

Player Sam Walsh
Club Carlton
Position MID
Price $854,000
Bye 2 & 14
2022 avg 94.6
2022 gms 22
Proj. avg 103-108
Draft range Round 2 or 3

Click here for 2024 Fantasy Classic prices.

Why should I pick him?

Sam Walsh has been a popular player amongst our fantasy teams since the moment this young gun entered the competition. Going at an average of 92 in his rookie season, Walsh would then go on to average a monster 109 in only his third season, before regressing a little in his fourth season going at 103. Playing a mixture of inside and out, Walsh has the ability to score in-line with some of the best midfielders in the competition when healthy.

At the back end of 2022, the injuries for Walsh began to hit. After missing the last game of 2022 with a back injury that required surgery in the off-season, Walsh would miss most of the following pre-season and the start of the 2023 season. This however did not affect his scoring to begin the season. From rounds 5-11, he would average 113 which included 6 tons. Here is where it gets interesting. The lack of pre-season seemed to catch up to him, ultimately culminating in a serious hamstring injury that would see him not crack another ton for the rest of the regular season. During Carlton’s finals series when the whips were cracking, he would go on to score 101 (low scoring game), 140 and 105. These scores are not included in his seasonal average and due to the drop off in form, we can pick him priced at 95. With evidence of scoring ability in prior seasons, if you believe Walsh has scope to return to his 105+ average of previous years we could potentially be buying a top 8-12 midfielder at an absolute bargain.

Sam Walsh's management in “no rush” to extend his Carlton contract

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

When Sam Walsh averaged 109 in 2021, the Carlton midfield was far thinner which forced him into playing a more predominant inside role. Fast forward 2 years and they are far less reliant on him with the additions of George Hewett, Adam Cerra and Sam Docherty making a move into the midfield. With more mouths to feed, Walsh often finds himself pushing into the midfield from the half forward line and taking less CBAs. This can still be a very fruitful fantasy role as Josh Dunkley has demonstrated in the past, but with less access to points through tackles, Walsh may find his ceiling capped with a heavy reliance on high disposal games, which may be less frequent now due to the talent running through the Carlton midfield.

Perhaps the main deterrent in picking Walsh is the fact he plays for Carlton and they have unfortunately have a bye in round 2. This means that you will only get one score from him on field before you are forced to replace him with a rookie in round 2. The community is torn on whether the value outweighs the points loss in round 2 and it will be interesting to see where it all lands come round 1.

Deck of DT Rating.


Perhaps an ace in years gone by, the deep Carlton midfield and the round 2 bye means that Walsh comes in at a King this season. At this stage I am leaning towards fading at round 1 and potentially picking him up after round 2 if the scoring is too hard to pass up. The great thing about Walsh is we will get a good look at him in a tough match up in Brisbane round 0 that will help us make a decision. With any luck, we will be able to find some players around the same price as Walsh with similar value that also avoid the early bye.


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2 x #AFLFantasy top 10 finisher. Car hunter. 🚗

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4 months ago

I think its a draw a line in the sand pick upon his rd 0 score. My line is 110

Winter is cumming
Winter is cumming
4 months ago

I agree with having a line but I don’t think 110 is enough. Let’s say that’s his avg going into round 2. His price isn’t going to be out of reach come round 3. I like Walsh but I personally think he needs at least 115-120 to even be considered a starter. One of the great discussions this pre season

The Chosen Won™®©
4 months ago

Say he has 115 do you hold during round 2 or waste 2 trades (out then in)?

I smashed da Minj 2019 2020 2021 2022™®©
Good Luck in 2023™®©

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