With the 2022 AFL H&A season set to begin on March 16, @aflratingsPete provides a fantasy outlook for the Western Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs fell just short of winning another premiership under senior coach Luke Beveridge last year, it may be another season to run it back with a similar game style in 2022.
The midfield remains strong to begin the year however the key forward options to support Aaaron Naughton remains an area of concern, Josh Bruce is still in recovery from an ACL and Luke Beveridge has indicated Jamarra Ugle-Hagan still requires time to develop.
That leaves Beveridge in the zone of mixing things up until late in the season, this does create an amount of uncertainty from a fantasy perspective with recent history suggesting anything is possible with player positions.
The Bulldogs never made the top 4 in 2016 when they won the premiership, they never finished in the top 4 last year and were in a strong position in the 3rd quarter against Melbourne in the grand final.
A strong H&A season is likely to be a high focus at the Bulldogs, they will be highly competitive.
The Bulldogs averaged 374.5 Disposals in the 2021 H&A season (Rank 5).
Jack Macrae (33.9), Marcus Bontempelli (26.7) and Caleb Daniel averaged 25 or more disposals in 2021.
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Jack Macrae ($972K MID) continues to be an elite scoring midfielder from a fantasy perspective, he has an ability to accumulate disposals at a very high level.
He averaged 116.2pts from 26 games in 2021, he scored 100pts or more in 84.6% of games and 120pts or more in 30.8% of games.
The output should remain strong for Macrae in 2022, expect moderate to strong ownership at Round 1.
Ed Richards ($368K DEF) is set to play across half-back this season, his scoring output is likely to elevate from his 51.6 average from 5 games in 2021.
He should see multiple scoring opportunities in a premium scoring position on the ground.
Expect moderate ownership at Round 1, there is value based on his starting salary.
Senior coach Luke Beveridge has said in the pre-season he wants to play Tim English ($673K RUCK/FWD) in the ruck, Beveridge also indicated at the same time a lack of tall options due to injury and a need for development.
English can score at a decent rate as solo ruck, Stefan Martin is available to assist as well as Jordon Sweet so the output may still be volatile until such time as the tall options are available to Beveridge.
It may have to be a waiting game for English, for those that go early on inserting him into a starting roster inconsistent scoring may still be an issue.
There is upside scoring potential in his starting salary.
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2021 AFL Draft
3. Sam Darcy (Western Bulldogs) Fantasy
43. Arthur Jones (Western Bulldogs) Fantasy
61. Luke Cleary (Western Bulldogs) Fantasy
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The ability to roster Adam Treloar ($731K MID/FWD) as a forward makes him an appealing selection at Round 1, he’ll play through the midfield this season with a mix of inside and outside roles.
His scoring ability remains strong, injuries have been a concern for quite a while now which does create a question on his durability.
However, a full healthy year and he will be right at the top for a very solid scoring return.
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2022 FANTASY RESOURCES