AFL Fantasy HQ has kindly given coaches something to start thinking about before Christmas and in the lead up to the January grand opening of the site in the form of some player price tags!
We got to check out the top player prices from the premium players of the 2016 season earlier this month thanks to Warnie over at dreamteamtalk.com. But the latest price reveals give us a greater insight into our potential cash cows, fallen premiums and the risky mid pricers.
Each AFL team's player prices will be revealed over the coming weeks and The Tragic is here to break down each team to give an insight into which players we should be shortlising on our watchlists for season 2017. I'll include the must have rookies, debutants, mid pricers as well as the premiums and 'smokeys' you need to keep an eye out for during the JLT Community Series matches.
Keep a watch on the Tragic Talk blog as it will get updated when the teams get leaked - and don't forget to share your thoughts in the comments section below or over at our Facebook page.
The Blue Chip | Dustin Martin
Fantasy coaches will be devasted to find Martin has now lost his forward/mid DPP status for 2017 and can now only be selected as a midfielder. Does this detract from his potential owners? Well, it wouldn't if new assistant coach Justin Leppitsch didn't come out and say Dusty may be in line for more forward minutes with new additions Prestia and Caddy. Averaged a career high 107 fantasy points in 2016 from 22 games played, backing up his stellar 2015 season of 101.7. In 2016 he played predominatly as a midfielder, hence the inflated stats of 31.1 disposals, 4.5 marks and 3.6 tackles. Should still crack the ton average in 2017, but can he improve on it with more time spent up forward? I'm not so sure.
The Mid Pricer | Toby Nankervis
The big lump of a lad from Sydney has crossed over to the Tigers this season in a bid to take the mantle as number one ruck - and we think he can do it. Going into his third season, Nankervis has only played 13 games total and was behind the likes of Pyke, Tippett and Naismith. I'm not so sure Richmond will want to take two dinosaurs into games next season, so it will come down to a battle between himself and Hampson for the number one ruck spot. Maric seems lost as Hardwick went for the younger Hampson for much of 2016, so I don't see him as a threat in 2017 still. Over his 8 games played in 2016, Nankervis averaged 58.6 fantasy points, with a high of 86 versing St. Kilda in round 21. The thing I like about Nankervis is his tackle rate, as a big man he will follow up on his tap work and as a result avergaed 4.5 tackles per game last season. One to watch if you are looking for a premium/mid price ruck combo - although Sandilands could be the safer option.
The Bargain | Josh Caddy
I like this move. Caddy is now available as a forward as well as a midfielder after picking up DPP status for 2017. After crossing over from the Cats in this year's draft period, Caddy will be in search of a fresh start and more midfield minutes. Hardwick has already promised more midfield time for the 24 year old who is yet to reach his full fantasy potential. In 2016, Caddy had an interrupted season through injury to end up with a fantasy average of 82.3, which was down on his 2015 output of 89.5. If Caddy can recapture his 2015 form and add midfield minutes to his game, there is a realistic possibilty he could crack a 90+ average - and as a forward option you would take that any day of the week.
Fresh Blood Stud | Dion Prestia
Another high profile player that the Tigers fought hard to get during the trade period this year. Prestia crossed over from the Suns in the quest to play for a Melbourne based club. He's always been on the cusp for fantasy coaches in terms of becoming that elite premium midfield option we so want him to be, but just falling short - mainly due to injuries the past two seasons. He's played a combined 22 games in the past two years but has managed to get himself up for a full pre season so far. Has a career best fantasy season average of 100.4 back in 2014, but lowered his colours in 2016 only managing a 92.9. Is capable of busting out some mammoth scores on his day, such as his 149 against Sydney last season - but can drop the odd sub 70 on you as well. I like this move from Prestia however and i'm predicting an average closer to his 2014 form next season.
The Breakout | Oleg Markov
Son of the great Australian pole vaulting champion Dmitri Markov, Oleg came onto the scene in 2016 with his trademark pace across the wing. In his first season as a senior player, Oleg manage 8 games for the Tigers after breaking into the team in round 16 to play out the season. Averaged 66.5 fantasy points across those 8 games and cracked the fantasy ton in round 20 against the Pies with 26 disposals and 12 marks. May find it hard to cement a spot in the team again in 2017 with the return of Kamdyn McIntosh and midfield recruits Prestia and Caddy. At his price it's a pass for mine as his potential to breakout is very much dependant on his place in the team. Pass.
The Smokey | Brandon Ellis
Let's get this out there right now - if Brandon Ellis manages to develop an inside game, he becomes a premium midfield option. Until that time though, he stays a smokey option for coaches. Ellis is the epitomy of a gut running midfielder who works hard both ends of the ground to take those lovely +6 scores that fantasy coaches want. He had an indifferent year in 2016 however due to a Richmond side that reflected his form and end the year with an 89.5 average. He would be dissapointed with his season, especially after his career best 2015 season when he averaged 99.7 to become a genuine midfield option. Ellis racks up the disposals on the wing with a favourable kick to handball ratio and takes elite marking numbers (6.1 average) for a midfielder, but it's his tackle numbers (2.5 average) that prevent him from taking that next step. Again, the fact his inside game is lacking means the tackles won't come easy. It's his role in the team however preventing him from that inside game and I can't see it improving with the injection of inside midfielders Caddy and Prestia to go along with Miles, Martin and Cotchin. For me, Ellis stays as that sub premium option until he can show us his inside game.
Which Richmond players have attracted your attention for 2017? Share your thoughts in the comments below.