Preseason 2018

Diamonds in the rough: fantasy bargain picks for 2018

Putting together your fantasy team can sometimes be a frustrating affair, balancing the budget while trying to get all the selections you want. Hunting for bargains is not only necessary, but finding a few cheap quality selections can sometimes be the difference between a successful campaign or falling short.

Obviously, a lot of the players that are cheap are that price for a reason, and as a fantasy manager, you realise that they will probably not perform like their higher priced comrades. Looking for players returning from injury can often be a good choice, with players sometimes receiving a discount of up to 30 percent based upon the amount of footy they missed last season.

Also looking for choices that have played well in the past but underperformed in 2017 because of position changes, injuries, or even their role in the squad. With a bunch of trades and different-looking lineups heading into the new year, there is a host of other factors that fantasy coaches need to look at to maximise their potential point scoring. Here are some of the early contenders that are shaping up to look like some solid bargain buys.

Robbie Gray

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There’s no denying that Gray is one of Port Adelaide’s most important players, but we saw a drop in his fantasy scores last season due to him predominantly playing a forward role. With the club signing a host of new additions, it is unclear exactly what his role will be next term. If he can get back to playing in the middle we could see his average rise back up near the triple figure mark, as it was in 2015 and 2016. Port’s trading and new signings during the off-season show that the club is ready for a serious title challenge in 2018. Currently, they are $3.00 to make the top four, and it would be surprising not to see them near the top of the ladder come the end of the season. Keeping tabs on how the manager will be using players like Gray at Champion Bets or similar sports tipping sites, is a great way to manage your fantasy team for players with an uncertain role for next year.

Nic Naitanui

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The West Coast Eagle’s ruckman is an absolute steal for his position with a limited amount of decent choices at ruck for next season. It’s easy to pick him up on the cheap after he missed the entire 2017 season due to rehabilitation following a serious knee injury. Before being sidelined he was consistently hitting high fantasy numbers, and if he can get back to his best relatively quick, he will be a fantastic asset to your squad.       

Jaeger O’Meara

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After moving to the Hawthorn Hawks from the Gold Coast Suns, O’Meara did not have the impactful season that many predicted he would. Constant injuries saw him play only six games for the club, but it’s easy to see the incredible amount of talent just waiting to explode on the field. Next season has enormous potential for the 23-year old and it could be a real breakthrough year for him at the Hawks. His performance back in round 23 was magnificent and if he can play like that on a regular basis, it could see him averaging somewhere near triple figures.

These three players are just a drop in the ocean of some of the great bargains you can find if you shop around a little. Rory Lobb, Harley Bennell and Brett Deledio are also top value, and worth keeping a keen eye on as the season progresses. Now we just have to wait until the action kicks off and see if these players can make their mark on next year’s premiership season.

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