In part two of Time Trial Kings, The Tragic looks at Richmond, Sydney, St Kilda and West Coast to see which players performed on the track for their respective teams while keeping an open mind on their fantasy worth.
Read Part 1 of Time Trial Kings HERE.
BURNING UP THE TRACK! It seems as though every AFL club and their players have had a time trial in the past week or two. Results have been coming through daily about which player has set a personal best or dethroned the previous time trial king at their respective club. It wasn't all that long ago that the media didn't report on the time trials, but in more recent times it has become the 'barometer' as to how well a player is travelling - or not so, in some cases.
The legendary time trials are generally run over either 2 or 3km distances, with most clubs these days opting for the 2km time trial to better reflect what a player does in a game situation. It's handy for us fantasy coaches as well, because we get to see some of the young guns coming through who are keen as mustard, trying their best to show coaches they can mix it with the seasoned players. We also get to see which players have been grazing in a good paddock over the off season and are struggling to keep up the pace, as well as those players that are potentially in line for more midfield minutes and have improved their engine.
We have to take these results with a grain of salt as coaches however, as it's obviously not the be all end all for a round one spot in the team. But what it can give us is a great insight into how well a player has prepared themselves for the season ahead. As a fantasy coach, it certainly makes your decision easier knowing that a player you have been looking at is performing on the track and setting a personal best time.
The Tiger's 1st to 4th year players took to the 3km track and it was the injury plagued Nathan Drummond who crossed the line in first place. He was closely followed by Kane Lambert and Kamdyn Mcintosh. The 21 year old Drummond who was taken with pick number 52 in the 2014 AFL Draft had his short career wrecked by an ACL injury. Since then he's made great strides in the VFL and played four games in the seniors toward the end of 2016 averaging 55 fantasy points. Lambert will need to lift his disposal efficiency if he wants to cement a spot in the TIger's best 22, gut running will only get you so far. While Mcintosh seems to have found a nice niche on the wing/half back flank, but may find midfield minutes hard to come by next year with the inclusion of Prestia and Caddy now at the club. Other noteable performers on the day were senior duo Reece Conca and Brandon Ellis who returned early and managed to place in the top five from limited preparation.
1. Nathan Drummond
2. Kane Lambert
3. Kamdyn Mcintosh
It was tough conditions by all reports for the Saints 3km time trial where players found it hard to post up personal best times. Never the less, small defender Jarryn Geary put on a polished display to take home first place with Nathan Freeman putting aside his recent hamstring issues to take second, while wingman Jack Newnes rounded out the top three. As fantasy coaches, the obvious name here is 2013 number 10 draft pick Nathan Freeman. Highly lauded back at Collingwood, his move to the Saints was supposed to be a fresh start, though the injury curse continued. He'll be basement priced when fantasy opens and if he manages to get through some pre season matches, could be serious value for coaches as a cash cow option to start the season.
1. Jarryn Geary
2. Nathan Freeman
3. Jack Newnes
4. Mav Weller
5. Seb Ross/David Armitage
Ace midfielder Dan Hanneberry quashed any rumour that he could still be suffering from a knee injury sustained in the finals last season with a scintillating time trial run to finsh first in front of youngsters Jordan Foote and Harry Cunningham. In doing so, Hanneberry has put thousands of fantasy coach's minds at ease to make him a premium option for your midfields. Jordan put his best Foote forward (see what happened there?) ...in an effort that would have caught the eye of the conditioning coaches. Foote was taken in the rookie draft back in 2015 and played one game in the seniors last year v Carlton in round 18 for 43 fantasy points. He's an in and under type mid that may find it hard to crack a fully fit Swan's outfit - one to keep an eye on though.
1. Dan Hanneberry
2. Jordan Foote
3. Harry Cunningham
27 year old Chris Masten once again took out the Eagle's time trial for the second time in as many trials. He finished ahead of Tom 'Chops' Lamb and small forward Jamie Cripps. Masten is of little fantasy relevance as he is a mid only and is likely to again float in the limbo that is between average and elite. Tom Lamb on the otherhand is an interesting proposition, especially with several key talls either injured or departed the West Coast list. Lamb is a 193cm, 87kg beast of an athlete that has the ability to play as a high half forward or big bodied midfielder. He has a similar physique to Jack Darling but with an awesome engine which was also evident at the draft combine with a 15.5. He's only 20 years old and the Eagles have given him time to mature - but I liked him from day one when I saw him play round one of 2015, didn't look out of place on the big stage and oozed confidence. I hope West Coast can find space in their 22 to unleash him in 2017.
1. Chris Masten
2. Tom Lamb
3. Jamie Cripps
Note: Carlton, Geelong, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide and Western Bulldogs are yet to release their time trial results.