With the 2022 AFL H&A season set to begin on March 16, @aflratingsPete provides a fantasy outlook for Geelong.
The transition for Geelong has already begun, several changes were made in the off-season including a host of new assistant coaches.
The Cats also invested in the 2021 AFL Draft by selecting five players which is certainly a view to the long term future.
But the here and now is all important from a fantasy perspective in season 2022.
Geelong senior coach Chris Scott will have a plethora of new ideas from his new assistant coaching group, this may bring about the implementation of several changes from the subtle to the not so subtle.
Many teams are heading in the direction of efficient ball movement, the biggest question from the outside looking in is will Scott embrace change which has delivered so many finals appearances or will he hold strong and trust his individual mindset of moderately slow ball movement maintaining defensive structure?
With two highly rated key forwards available to him an efficient ball movement style would be preferred, but with an ageing midfield turnovers would crucify the Cats going the other way with the potential of players to be caught out of position.
If Geelong play a hold onto the ball type style their disposal average with be again high, the Cats were already ranked No.1 for team disposals averaging 387.5 in 2021 H&A season.
They were ranked equal 1st with 400+ team disposal games finishing with 7 in the 2021 H&A season.
Cam Guthrie (29.0) was the only player that averaged 25 or more disposals in 2021.
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The scoring for Mitch Duncan ($841K MID/FWD) exploded once he commenced his 2021 season at Round 3, he averaged 123.1pts from his opening 7 games.
And that was coming off an injury interrupted pre-season.
His 2022 pre-season has been slightly interrupted maintaining his training loads through an individualised program, but importantly there appears to be no genuine concern.
But we acknowledge he won’t complete a full pre-season.
The initial salary for Duncan is a considerable investment at Round 1, many will be opposed to selecting a player that has not completed a full pre-season while others will feel in a forward position (for fantasy) it is a sound investment to make especially with his genuine ceiling while taking on the potential risk.
Cam Guthrie ($922K MID) is almost the forgotten midfielder at Geelong from a fantasy perspective, he averaged 106.0pts from 23 games in 2021 scoring 100pts or more in 69.6% of games.
He averaged 114.3pts from his opening 10 games of the 2021 H&A season.
He is expected to be a feature through the midfield again in 2022, he was used at 68.5% of centre bounces in games he played in last season.
There will be little ownership for Guthrie at Round 1, he has played in 95.5% of games since Round 5 2019.
Selected at pick 16 in the 2019 AFL Draft Cooper Stephens ($190K MID) is yet to make his debut, that could change very early in the 2022 H&A season based on his pre-season thus far.
His role will likely be through the midfield at times which should provide multiple fantasy scoring opportunities.
He should exceed value quite easily and provide a healthy profit if he can see an extended run in the Geelong team, ownership will likely be heavy once he is named for a debut.
With the recruitment of Jon Ceglar ($641K RUCK) in the off-season the ruck situation at Geelong became a little messier from a fantasy perspective this season, Ceglar recently underwent minor knee surgery which could open the door for Rhys Stanley ($651K RUCK) to begin as clear No.1.
Chris Scott has proven over a long period of time he will adjust the ruck set-up at the Cats, with Ceglar coming in expect that situation to be volatile throughout the 2022 H&A season.
Unless availability becomes an issue for Geelong at the ruck position in 2022 this is a clear avoid spot.
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2021 AFL Draft
24. Toby Conway (Geelong) Fantasy
25. Mitchell Knevitt (Geelong) Fantasy
32. James Willis (Geelong) Fantasy
48. Flynn Kroeger (Geelong) Fantasy
64. Cooper Whyte (Geelong) Fantasy
Don’t Forget About
Injury ended the 2021 season early for Tom Stewart ($812K DEF) but he will return in 2022 leading the Geelong defensive unit, he averaged 96.8pts in 2021 scoring 100pts or more in 55.0% of games.
Stewart recorded 9 marks or more in 60.0% of games last season which was good for an average of 104.3pts, when he recorded fewer than 9 marks he averaged 85.5pts.
Opposing teams will again attempt to restrict the influence of Stewart sitting inside defensive 50 in 2022, but it is likely he will have several games in which the Geelong structure prevails which should provide a healthy scoring output.
Stewart is likely appropriately priced to begin the season, expect moderate ownership at Round 1.
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2022 FANTASY RESOURCES