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Colby McKercher – Deck of DT 2024

Everyone should have Colby McKercher to start the AFL Fantasy season. If you don’t agree, Fry will change your mind.

Player Colby McKercher
Club North Melbourne Kangaroos
Position MID
Price $297,000
Bye 0 and 12
2023 avg 111.7 in the Coates Talent League; 117.3 in the 4 U-18 championships
2023 gms 13
Proj. avg 68
Draft range M6-M8

Click here for 2024 Fantasy Classic prices.

Why should I pick him?

As I type this, Colby McKercher boasts the second highest ownership of any player in AFL Fantasy Classic – leaving me to wonder why there are 45% of teams who don’t have the gun youngster in their team.

Possessing all the tools to become a dominant fantasy player over the next decade, no draftee produced better counting stats last season than McKercher. The newest Roo averaged 30.5 disposals, 5.2 marks, 3.8 tackles and 113.4 fantasy points across the 13 total games he played in his final junior season – leading North to draft him with their first pick in 2023. The Kangaroos have devoted their fair share of early draft picks to midfielders in recent times, with Tom Powell (No. 13 in 2020), Luke Davies-Uniacke (No. 4 in 2017), Will Phillips (No. 3 in 2020), co-captain Jy Simpkin (No. 12 in 2016) and George Wardlaw (No. 4 in 2022) all set to make McKercher earn his midfield minutes.

It may seem like there are a lot of mouths to feed in the Kangaroos midfield, but I’m not concerned about McKercher’s job security. Most of the MID’s I mentioned have had their fair share of health issues throughout their careers to date and even if McKercher isn’t given a clean run at centre bounces and stoppages, I can’t see Alastair Clarkson and the rest of the Kangaroos’ brass leaving him in the two’s as they aim to vault up the ladder.

North Melbourne was a middle-of-the-road team in 2023 when it came to generating clearances and if he’s given a chance, we can expect Colby to throw his body around at stoppages and generate plenty of points. He may be forced to spend some time out of the midfield, perhaps as a half-forward or half-back  – although, McKercher has shown us that he can score at a rapid rate regardless of his role. For those contemplating picking the gun Roo in Draft leagues, you’d probably ignore him unless you’re playing in a deep competition that requires a decent M6 or M7. Keeper league managers would be salivating at his potential and he’s someone who continues to move up my rankings as a long-term M1 option.

In short, it’s hard to see the North Melbourne teenager falling short of expectations in 2024 – all he has to do is be on the field. He proved to everyone at junior level that he plays his best football in the engine room and if Clarko allows him to thrive, there’s a realistic chance McKercher mirrors the production of another AFL Fantasy gun that everyone is comparing him to, Zach Merrett. For what it’s worth, the Essendon ball magnet averaged 67.8 points from his 19 games as a rookie.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Honestly, I’m racking my brain to try and find reasons why you wouldn’t pick McKercher in your Classic side.

I can understand skipping McKercher in your Draft leagues, but when it comes to cash generation there’s nothing to suggest that Colby won’t handsomely reward those who start the season with him. Let’s quickly compare the North draftee to his new teammate who was a helpful cash cow in 2023, George Wardlaw. Dealing with his fair share of injury issues as a rookie meant that Wardlaw didn’t make his debut until Round 10 and his cash generation was dented by a few injury-affected performances. Still, he managed to overcome those problems to inflate his starting price by $207K and average 65 points from eight games.

Starting the season at $297K, McKercher should be able to get his price tag close to the $600K threshold which makes him a convenient stepping stone in the midfield for coaches. Should he also gain DEF or FWD status through the first half of the year, then you also have a flexible tool to assist your manoeuvres when we are granted three trades a week. There are no early byes to worry about either with the new Roo, a bonus for coaches trying to maximise the points on their field in the first six rounds.

I know I was supposed to deter you from picking McKercher in this section, but it just doesn’t make sense to leave him out of your starting side.

Deck of DT Rating.

KING

In the context of the upcoming Classic season, you could argue that McKercher is the most important rookie to own. There’s a blueprint for instant fantasy success if he’s thrust into the midfield and even if his magnet is shuffled, Colby can still score well enough to compensate for a dip MID minutes. Once the rest of the ghost ships fill out their entire team, expect McKercher to sit in ≈70% of teams and reward those who didn’t overthink the pick.

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER@SportsbyFry for all things AFL Fantasy (and more)! Feel free to hit me up with any questions you have throughout the season. Got something to say about the Deck or AFL Fantasy in general? Join the conversation and use the hashtag #AFLFantasy.

An Australian coffee/burrito enthusiast who is the frustrated owner of 16 fantasy teams. Writer for SportsbyFry and DT Talk ?

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Julia Magie
Julia Magie
3 months ago

An Australian coffee/burrito enthusiast who is the frustrated owner of 16 fantasy teams. Writer for SportsbyFry and DT Talk ?

Baldrick's boys
Baldrick's boys
3 months ago

Hard to disagree Fry – while on paper it’s starting to look pretty busy in the mid-mix at North, he’ll be given every opportunity you’ld think. Preseason on ground lock.




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