With the AFL season just around the corner, the hopes and dreams of all 16 sides are high. As a grueling pre-season comes to an end the traditional cliques have been bandied around. Players have bulked up, broken personal bests and reached new levels of fitness.
For the majority, our childhood dream of playing AFL has become a fantasy. We live vicariously through the stars of the game. The magic of Cyril Rioli, the toughness of Max Rooke, the high flying marks of Brett Burton.
In recent years a cultural change in the way we watch AFL has occurred. While we love our team with a staunch passion, old rivalries have softened. Collingwood supporters have begun to follow Essendon players. What would Eddie say? Has hell in fact frozen over? This is the phenomenon that has gripped the nation; this is Fantasy football.
Up until the start of the new season I will look at how to construct a winning Dream Team, the best structure for your initial squad and who to select.
Firstly I’ll look at whom I rate as the top 4 underpriced players in this year AFL Dream Team competition. These are the players who will increase their averages and price in 2010.
Nick Suban – Fremantle – Defender
Suban starred for Fremantle in his debut season playing all 22 H&A games in 2009. Expect greater playing time through the Middle and stints on the Half Back Flank. At $240,900 he is reasonably priced. In 09 Suban averaged 55 PPG* however from round 16-22 he averaged 67 PPG.
Callan Ward – Western Bulldogs – Midfielder
Playing 19 games at an average of 74.2 PPG Ward began to show his class towards the latter stages of the season averaging 82.2PPG from Round 18-22 and 91PPG in the final two rounds. The Whitten Oval faithful have great expectations of Ward in 2010 as they look to break their premiership drought.
Matther Kreuzer – Carlton – Ruck
At only 20 Humphrey is starting to look the real deal. Leading the Carlton rucks for the majority of 2009 Kreuzer averaged a respectable 75PPG, however it was his last four games where he averaged 83.75 PPG that signals he is about to take the next step and become a premium ball winner around the ground.
Patrick Dangerfield – Adelaide – Forward
In his first full season with the Crows in 2009 after staying home in 2008 to complete his Year 12 studies, Dangerfield showed he has immense courage and commitment. However he only managed to average 53 PPG as he spent most of the season up forward or riding the pine in 2009. However with his first uninterrupted Pre-Season, Dangerfield is expected to spend more time in the middle and could prove to be one of the bargains of the 2010 Dream Team season.
*Points Per Game (PPG)