It will almost be a month of full training missed by Zach Merrett based on his expected return date, his pre-season was interrupted on January 18 after rolling his ankle at training.
Fantasy News Today: 5 February, 2019
Merrett spent nearly 2 weeks in a moonboot and began walking laps without it on January 30, the Bombers are hopeful he can resume full training within a 2 week time frame.
“He’ll be looking to get on the Alter-G over the next week once he can hop pain-free”
“The progression from there, hopefully quite quickly over the next couple of weeks, is to run over ground, work on his change of direction & start to integrate back into training.” Essendon Physical Performance Manager, Justin Crow yesterday.
By The Numbers: Hit Out Kings
Merrett averaged 26.8 Disposals from 22 games last season, he averaged 30.0 Disposals from his final 14 games of 2018.
Merrett has played in 98.5% of games since the beginning of the 2016 H&A season.
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AFL FANTASY TAKE
A month missed of pre-season training usually raises red flags for fantasy coaches, completing a full uninterrupted pre-season is a key element in completing a fully productive AFL season.
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Based on the value to begin the 2019 season the want for Merrett to resume full training quickly is big for fantasy coaches, some will consider not selecting him at Round 1 based on the pre-season interruption.
AFL Fantasy: 2019 Top 5 Key Forward Value Plays
As it stands Merrett is owned by 22% of coaches, that is quite low compared to his previous fantasy history and his points ceiling along with the long term injuries to Sam Docherty & Tom Mitchell.
Tracking the remainder of the Merrett pre-season will be crucial, he is a significant investment and having an under performing premium player can pose significant scoring issues.
AFL Fantasy: 2019 Top 5 Value Plays