With the 2021 H&A season beginning on March 18 @aflratingsPete provides a fantasy outlook for GWS Giants.
Each team will be previewed over the pre-season, stay tuned on @aflratings_FS for all fantasy news & updates for the 2021 season.
Fantasy podcast: @PlusSixPodcast
Coaching Tendencies/Game Style
Clearly the 2020 H&A season was a disappointment for the Giants & senior coach Leon Cameron, after being ranked 5th for team disposals in the 2019 H&A season they slipped to 8th in the 2020 H&A season which impacted a few players negatively from a fantasy perspective.
The Giants seemed to be stuck in a full game length style of play, continual slow movement of the ball out of defence early in the season was a clear sign of failing to adjust to a shorter game length in 2020 (It was a positive for a couple of GWS defenders with additional fantasy scoring opportunities).
The good news for the coaching staff at the Giants is the full game length has returned in 2021 which may assist their style of play, Cameron has acknowledged he wants improved ball movement in the off-season which is something to keep an eye on throughout pre-season games.
The battle for midfield usage will be hot again despite the departures of Jackson Hately, Zac Williams & Jye Caldwell. Young draftee Tanner Bruhn is an elite contested ball type midfielder that may need to find an alternative position early in his career at the Giants, Tom Green can’t be ignored for too much longer for high inside midfield usage.
The backline has a couple of openings this season, Zac Williams & Heath Shaw are no longer at the club, it may be an opportunity to target one or two who are set to fill the void in 2021.
The changes don’t stop there for the Giants, new recruit Braydon Preuss is set for the No.1 ruck role while key forward Jeremy Cameron has moved to Geelong creating a full time opening in the Giants forward line.
It’s a fresh start for the Giants, with the amount of high end talent on their list a return to the finals in 2021 is absolutely achievable.
Article by @aflratingsPete
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Tim Taranto MID
Shoulder surgery in the 2020 pre-season sidelined Taranto from the early part of the season, his scores did fluctuate wildly once he returned at Round 7 finishing with a season average of 75.3pts.
Importantly for Taranto he was used immediately in the middle of the ground once he returned to action, he was used at a rate of 56.0% team centre bounces between Rounds 7-18 (GWS Rank 3).
Based on the 2019 output for Taranto when he averaged 111.3pts from 26 games he is value to begin the 2021 season, ownership is likely reasonable to begin the season & may increase with a couple of successful pre-season games.
If the Giants can improve dramatically on their 2020 season then the fantasy improvement should correlate for a quite a few Giants players, Taranto would likely be one of those players.
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Lachie Whitfield DEF
While it’s nice to fit everyone in at Round 1 without spending up on players, what is required to set your team apart will be selecting players that have a high ceiling.
Whitfield scored 100pts or more in 35.3% of games last season (AFL Rank 8), he averaged 85.9pts on the season which included 93.9pts from his last 14 games. Whitfield was concussed early in Round 3 for 10pts, he averaged 67.5pts from his opening 2 games in 2020.
Two critical departures from the Giants in the off-season in Heath Shaw & Zac Williams may lead to increased usage for Whitefield across half-back & on the wing, he already demands plenty of the ball & with his elite endurance he has the potential to post a high end average in 2021.
Many will wait on a salary decrease for Whitfield early in the season, while that is a possible scenario finding the money to pay up at a higher price tag might also be season defining for your team.
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Braydon Preuss RUCK
Preuss moves to the Giants after playing back-up roles at Nth Melbourne & more recently at Melbourne, the Giants are carrying 4 ruck options on their list (Preuss, Mumford, Flynn & Briggs).
Last year Sam Jacobs was set for the No.1 ruck role at the Giants, senior coach Leon Cameron made the move to start Shane Mumford as the No.1 option replacing Jacobs very early in the season.
Apart from winding back the clock 12 months for a quick review on the move made by Cameron, it’s worth noting he’s not afraid to make a major move at the position. As it stands, Preuss is set for the No.1 ruck role at GWS.
The ownership for Preuss over the pre-season will be extremely strong, given his Round 1 salary & previous scoring output as solo ruck he appears to be a smash play to start with him.
*2020 AFL season: 16 Min Qtrs
One Big Question
Will Josh Kelly start more on a wing in 2021?
Photo credit: GWS Giants
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