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 Geelong Cats.
Must start player:
You look at Geelong’s team on paper and you scan for players who genuinely have the ability to finish top 6 in position come the end of the season. You find Tom Stewart and Mitch Duncan - end list. There’s a lot of young talent coming through now and there’s a few names who can become must starts but as we stand in pre-season I’m going to select the latter, Mitch Duncan to be my must start for Geelong. Like many the GDS Aussie Rules team are interested in for the 2023 season, Duncan has seen a position change, flipping from a forward to a defender for the season. Duncan finished third overall amongst forwards last year in GDS scoring, with a per game average of 110 GDS fantasy points per game. It feels like business as usual for the veteran who should just continue on being a fantasy stud!
Dream legend card:
I'm being very vanilla and sticking with Mitch Duncan here for the dream legend card. It goes against the grain as a lot of the picks so far for this section of the blogs has been young, talented and "has a fantasy friendly role". Duncan ticks two of those three boxes as he enters the season as a 31 year old! Im almost certain that a young gun will pop up throughout the season but as we stand today, theres no one safer than Mitch Duncan you would want with a 1.5x player score multiplier.
Avoid this Bust:
Sam Menegola has been a guy who has been a fantasy gun pretty much ever since he entered the league in 2016. Sam Menegola is also a guy who has had massive struggles with staying fit and healthy! Last year was a year to forget for Menegola as he registered only 7 games and a GDS average of just 82 GDS fantasy points per game, which for Menegola's standards - is a massive drop off. If he can prove to stay fit I might just back flip on this but with his history and the inclusion of so many young players that leaves his position in the team up in the air, he's an avoid for me right now.
Value on the rise:
The role that the footy fantasy community expect Mark Blicavs to play has also enticed me this pre-season! Listed as a ruck in GameDay Squad Aussie rules, Blicavs is tipped to play a weird hybrid ruckman/rover role that is sure to prove fruitful for his fantasy scoring aspirations. He’ll be a popular pick I think as players of difference at the ruck position (especially in GDS as teams only have one scoring ruckman), I doubt he’ll be selected as much as the likes of Rowan Marshall and Tim English, so coaches who are willing to take the risk elect to start him round 1 might just come out on top! I don’t think a GDS overall average of 110ish areas is out of world of possibilities for Blicavs this season - and if that’s the case - watch his value fly!
Value on the decline:
Torches and pitchforks at the ready! This will not be popular amongst Geelong fans but I think we see newly appointed captain Patty Dangerfield's value diminish, but only just slightly! For good reasons though! The young brigade that Geelong has invested in should get their opportunities at different stages of the season to show off their talents in the guts. We're talking the likes of Tanner Bruhn, Jack Bowes, and Max Holmes, players that have an opportunity in an ageing side to stamp their ground in the middle. I can also see Danger being deployed as a deeper forward more and more as the season goes on. But he is a champion, i'd love to be proven wrong here.
2023 Hot take:
About as hot as a fresh pie here! I think Geelong miss out on the top 4! The general consensus seems to be that Geelong run it back and are deserved favourites for the silverware once more, i'm not sure its going to be that easy! There has been an influx of talented young players come into the Geelong system, which is great! The fans have been crying out for some young blood to be introduced down at the cattery, but at what cost? TBD, but for me, I think they just miss the top 4.