With just under two weeks before players take an extended break for Christmas we were introduced to a few new recruits today, while the names don’t scream out as fantasy prospects their stories & roles are able to give us a better picture of the 2019 landscape.
Zac Clarke was signed by the Bombers via the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period, after a solid year in the WAFL he appears ready to take on an AFL career again.
“The year off allowed me to rehab my injuries & get myself right.. I feel like I’m over them, & I’m ready to get back in the AFL system & play some good footy” Zac Clarke.
Clarke is likely the back-up Ruck for Tom Bellchambers, he averaged 57.2pts in AFL Fantasy & 52.5pts in SuperCoach back in 2016.
With Mason Cox set to remain predominately as a key Forward next season the in-game back-up Ruck role may land at the hands of Jordan Roughead, he is set for a main role as a key Defender.
“I think I’ll spend a fair bit of time as a key back but I’m open to playing any position that the coaches see fit” Jordan Roughead.
Roughead averaged 67.3pts in AFL Fantasy & 69.8pts in SuperCoach in 2018.
Another player signed via the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period was Keegan Brooksby, he comes in as a back-up for Nathan Vardy, Tom Hickey & Nic Naitanui who is returning from an ACL injury.
“Obviously my number one aim is to play AFL football.. But if I play in the WAFL I’ll be working to build a successful environment there” Keegan Brooksby.
Brooksby averaged 70.3pts in AFL Fantasy & 74.7pts in SuperCoach from 3 games in 2017 for Gold Coast.
Mav Weller hopes to reignite his career after joining the Tigers, he has played 121 games averaging 15.6 Disposals. Weller played 13 games for the Saints last year and averaged 15.4 Disposals, he spoke about his new opportunity at the Tigers today.
“I think I’ll fit in pretty well, I think the things I do well works into (the) game plan well.. I’m quite aggressive, give good pressure, & am a contested ball winner” Mav Weller
Weller averaged 66.4pts in AFL Fantasy & 61.1pts in SuperCoach in 2018.
Joel Selwood will train on a modified program leading up to the Christmas break, in an interview via AFL.com.au he advised this was for body management only.
“Mine’s probably a bit of a slower build compared to the others”
“It’s mainly just an age thing more than anything else, I’ll only be in parts of training leading into Christmas. After that I’ll be with the boys for most of it.” Selwood told AFL.com.au.
Selwood averaged 100.3pts in AFL Fantasy & 105.1pts in SuperCoach in 2018.
AFL FANTASY ANALYSIS
Unfortunately injuries heavily impacted the 2018 season for Josh Kelly, he missed 6 games between Rounds 4-9 dealing with a groin injury and did not play in the Giants losing Semi Final to Collingwood due to a knee injury.
Kelly scored 100pts or more in 50.0% of games & 120pts or more from 25.0% of games in 2018, this was a moderate reduction compared to 2017.
Despite the injury issues Kelly still managed to average 108.4pts in the 2018 H&A season, between Rounds 12-20 he averaged 122.8pts.
Kelly demolished bottom 4 teams last season, he averaged 145.8pts against Carlton, St Kilda, Brisbane & Gold Coast. Kelly averaged 94.8pts against all other opponents during the 2018 H&A season.
Monitoring Kelly over the pre-season will be critical for fantasy coaches willing to consider Kelly at Round 1, based on his recent injury history his ownership may be on the lower side to begin 2019.
GWS have quite a difficult draw in the opening few games next season, the Giants play Essendon (SPO), West Coast (OS), Richmond (SPO) & Geelong (GMHBA) in the first 4 Rounds of the 2019 H&A season.
It would be quite understandable to fade Kelly based on the Giants opening fixtures, if he is targeted by opposition clubs during that period then it’s possible Kelly may be available with a salary discount shortly thereafter. Kelly could be an early upgrade target.