The midfield is the most important part of any Fantasy side, as it is the area on the field where players generally score higher scores. These are the names you should be looking to get into your side as soon as possible.
My recommendation would be to start with at least 4 of these players. Most will begin the year with between 4-5 premiums this season as there are quality rookie priced players; Crouch, O’Meara (HYPE LIST), Wines, Viney, Hrovat, Kane Mitchell and not forgetting the more expensive rookies in Whitfield, O’Rourke and Toumpas.
The Old Tried and Tested
Dane Swan – $688,100
Gary Ablett – $642,500
Matthew Boyd – $593,700
These three players have been a regular fixture in our DreamTeams over the last few years and are regular accumulators of the ball.
Dane Swan is one of the games all time best ball magnets, he finds the ball where ever he goes. Last season he increased his average to 133.5 ppg up from 120.9 ppg. The biggest question mark over Swan is whether he can maintain that average with the return of Luke Ball from injury and Scott Pendlebury playing a full season. While he might not average as high in 2013, you cannot dispute his ability. Priced at $688,100 he is the most expensive player in the game. A loss of $50,000 for the year is nothing in the scheme of a season. Swan is a LOCK captain choice almost every week and not selecting him may put you behind from the very beginning.
Gary Ablett continues to show why he is considered the best midfielder in the game, even in a developing side, racking up more possessions and DreamTeam points in 2012 than his first season at the Suns in 2011. Last season he averaged 124.8 ppg up from 112.1 ppg. Expect Ablett to continue to average a similar number this season as the Suns develop midfield support around Ablett.
Gary Ablett 2012 Season Highlights.
Matthew Boyd played every game last season, the same as he did in 2011 and continued to average highly. Over the last three seasons he has averaged 115.1 ppg (2010), 116 (2011), 115.2 (2012). The only negatives surrounding Boyd is he is now 30 an age where DreamTeam Coaches begin to become weary of players. Boyd can be handball happy as evident in his last five games where he had a higher handball to kick ratio. However he still scored well averaging 114.6 ppg with no score below 100.
Scott Pendlebury – $568,700
Marc Murphy – $522,000
Despite missing four games with injury mid-year Scott Pendlebury recaptured his ball winning ability, collecting over 30 possessions in 8 of his final 11 games. During this 11 game period from Round 16 to the Preliminary Final, Pendlebury averaged of 114.1 almost 4 ppg higher than his season average of 110.3 ppg.
Marc Murphy started the season in promising fashion scoring 5 100+ scores in a row to start the season and was averaging 109 ppg before his round 8 collarbone injury suffered in a contest against Patrick Dangerfield in a ferocious contest on the ball (see below). Murphy returned in Round 16 and was consistent throughout the rest of the season, with two standout games against Richmond in Round 18 collecting 36 touches and 113 DreamTeam points and in round 21 against Essendon collecting 37 touches, 2 goals, 9 marks and 6 tackles for a season high DreamTeam score of 163. Murphy ended the season averaging 100.8 ppg, well below his 2011 average of 111.4 ppg. Now priced at $522,00 he need to be one of the first selected players in your 2013 squad.
The New Blood
Dayne Beams – $599,400
Trent Cotchin – $570,200
Patrick Dangerfield – $525,000
Dayne Beams had a breakout year in 2012, moving from a half forward role into a more prominent midfield role. He was only one of two players, along with Gary Ablett, to kick over 25 goals (27 goals) and average over 25 possessions (27.33 possessions).
His consistency was rewarded winning his first Copeland Trophy (Collingwood Best and Fairest) as well as the 3AW AFL Player of the Year award and was named in the 2012 All Australian team. He finished the season averaging 116.4 Dream Team ppg, up from 101.6 the season before. Beams is a goal kicking ball accumulator. The perfect combination for a DreamTeam player. Even at $599,400 you should lock him into your starting side.
Trent Cotchin had his best year to date, finishing tied for second in the Brownlow medal with Sam Mitchell. Cotchin increased his average from 93.6 ppg in 2011 to 110.4 ppg last season. This included scoring over 100 DreamTeam points in his last 10 games and averaging 129.75 ppg in his final four games of the season.
Expect similar numbers again in 2013 with Cotchin becoming one of the elite players of the competition.
Patrick Dangerfield finally became the consistent player we had been hoping to see. With blistering speed (see below) and ferocity at the contest Dangerfield joined the elite of the competition in 2012. 1st in the AFL for hardball gets and 2nd for contested ball, Dangerfield was almost unbeatable in a contest. His season was acknowledged with his first All Australian award and finishing second in the Crows Best and Fairest behind Scott Thompson.
Dangerfield is a typical SuperCoach player, but with an increased ability to win the uncontested ball outside, he has the potential to become one of the highest scoring DreamTeam players in 2013.
Those unlucky not to make it into my Elite 8 were Kieran Jack, Brett Stanton, Toby Greene and Nate Fyfe who are all on the bubble of becoming elite AFL DreamTeam players.
ppg = Points Per Game
Who do you disagree with. Who do you think will be the elite 8 by the end of the season? Comment, Tweet/Re-Tweet and Follow this blog for regular updates.