Welcome to all GameDay Squad coaches, AFL fantasy coaches, AFL fans or just the curious. GameDay Squad is going to be releasing a series of AFL seasonal reviews that will provide you with all the fantasy insight and recommendations your heart desires. We are just weeks away from the commencement of the 2023 AFL season and if you are late to the party and haven’t done your fantasy research, let GameDay Squad handle that for you. Enjoy this installation of fantasy breakdowns for the Fremantle Dockers.
Must start player:
It's got to be superstar midfielder, Andy Brayshaw. If you have him, you must start him, it is as simple as that. He pretty much selects himself at this point, especially off the back of a season where he averaged 29.3 disposals, 4.7 marks and 6.2 tackles a game! The guy is at the tippity top of his footy and fantasy game at just 23 years of age! The only knock I have on Andy is that he has proven to be susceptible to the odd tag, but he'll gradually learn to deal with that as he matures and honestly, even with the threat of a tag or two he's a top 3 mid for 2023 and empitomizes the must-start monicker.
Dream legend card:
If you haven't already noticed a trend with the legend card picks for each team, most of us are following the criteria of young, supremely talented and fantasy-friendly roles. There are actually a few who tick these criteria off for Freo and namely, those are Andy Brayshaw, Luke Jackson and Hayden Young. I'm going to have to stick with Andy because no matter how good those other two are, your safest bet at the legend level is Andy Brayshaw. Young - tick, supremely talented - tick, fantasy-friendly role - tick. At 23 years old and with a 2022 GDS average of 130 points per game under his belt, lock and load for the next 10 years!
Avoid this Bust:
Former fantasy-relevant and Freo star Michael Walters is coming into his 14th season for Freo and may excite some fantasy owners due to his name but please do not be fooled. Walters is cooked as a fantasy player, the 32-year-old has been on a steady decline for a couple of seasons now, highlighted by his GDS fantasy average of 75 points per game in 2022. Mix his age and diminishing fantasy scoring ability with some injury struggles and you have yourself a bust people! Stay away from Michael Walters in 2023... and beyond.
Value on the rise:
I mentioned him briefly earlier but Hayden Young deserves his own flowers in this blog. The 21-year-old half-back had himself a good year in 2022, averaging 102 GDS fantasy points per game, but most importantly, asserting himself as a mainstay in the Freo backline. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when Hayden Young becomes a top 6 fantasy defender and you don't want to miss that train when it arrives!
Value on the decline:
Will Brodie enjoyed a career year after escaping the Gold Coast Suns VFL prison. Brodie averaged a career-best 110 GDS points per game which placed him ahead of the likes of Luke Davies-Uniake and Chad Warner. However, while I would love for Brodie to continue at that rate or even take it up a notch, the inclusion of Jaeger O'Meara scares me just a little bit! I'm more than happy to be wrong, but with the likelihood of Freo starting with Brayshaw, Serong and O'Meara in the guts, I might just want to wait and see before I go searching for any Will Brodie's.
2023 Hot take:
Not only do Fremantle remain in the top-8 but they run it all the way back and cement a top-4 finish in 2023!