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 Sydney Swans.
Must start player:
They Sydney Swans have some serious options when it comes to must-start players for your fantasy team. But the tip of the top for me is Isaac Heeney, and let me explain why. Some could argue, that Heeney’s 2022 season wasn’t as spectacular as the expectations that were placed on him during that preseason. But if last year didn’t meet that expectation, and we still saw 103 fantasy score average per game, and still finishing the year as the ranked 3 forward. Then you can only imagine the production he is going to obtain at his absolute best. Personally, we still haven’t seen the best version of Isaac Heeney yet, this thought alone is exactly why all Gameday Squad coaches need to be starting the Swans Superstar. The ceiling for Isaac Heeney throughout the 2023 season is the best at his position, with the Sydney Swans agreeing with that statement too. Ensuring Heeney is a Swan until the 2028 season.
Dream legend card:
There are plenty of great nominees at the Sydney Swans for the legend dream card. But one in particular has to be taken, and that player is Chad Warner. If I was asked this question throughout the 2021 preseason, this answer would be vastly different. But after the commencement of the 2022 season, the AFL world found out what Chad Warner was really made of. His quick decision making and instinct to hunt the footy became extremely apparent during the tail end of last year. He took his game to another level and can be greatly attributed to the success that Sydney Swans had getting to the grand final. Furthermore, Chad Warner is going to be turning 22 throughout the 2023 AFL season, his best years are yet to come. We have only seen a glimpse of the potential Chad Warner has, which is already such an elite standard. His season numbers from last year won’t be overly impressive, but his form in rounds 16-21 was out of this world. Chad Warner is a superstar in the making, every game I watch him play, he just keeps getting better. Making Chad Warner undoubtedly the dream legend card I want for the Sydney Swans, let’s hope someone is lucky enough to have that honour soon!
Avoid this Bust:
Swan legend Luke Parker is a player I will not be starting in my best 18 for 2023. Luke Parker is ‘O’l Reliable’, ‘Mr Consistent’ and has been an absolute weapon for the Swanies since joining in 2012. But the 2023 season has regression written all over it. Will Luke Parker still have a 100 point fantasy average per game, or thereabouts, sure. But is that enough production for a midfielder spot in the elite Gameday Squad teams, unfortunately not. Evaluating a players fantasy value who has the likeness and accolades such as Luke Parker Is extremely difficult for most, as the question we all want to be answered is, how good will Luke Parker actually be? And is he worth the punt? Reduced midfield minutes can be expected in 2023 and is a massive factor in why coaches should be avoiding Luke Parker this season. Parker has been so elite for so long, so don’t overspend capital trying to roster him this season, the price tag Luke Parker has won’t match any expected outcome within that price range.
Value on the rise:
The player that has been nominated for this section, honestly is so unlucky to not have been selected for ‘Must Start’, or even the ‘Dream Legend Card’ component of this blog. That man is Errol Gulden. Similarly, to Chad Warner, Gulden is going to be turning 21 throughout the 2023 AFL season. After the year he just had, you’d think he would be much older. He showed off his class, composure under pressure and instinct to continually apply forward pressure to opponents. What more do we need to tell you? Make sure you roster Erroll Gulden in your best 18 this year. Okay there is more, Errol Gulden in the 2022 season finished as the 5th best-ranked forward for the season, and he's only just getting started. Making him one of Gameday Squad's best dynasty assets at just 20 years old, okay I’m done now. Get Errol Gulden before it’s too late.
Value on the decline:
My Swan to avoid for the 2023 season is Jake Lloyd, and I want some insight into why that is. Jake Lloyd has been an elite fantasy defender option for years now. It seems like since joining the AFL, you can depend on Lloyd to at least finish within the top 15 of fantasy defenders. In 2022, Lloyd had a healthy average of 108 fantasy points per game and was ranked the 10th-best defender for the season. Lloyd will be a serviceable defender for coaches who desperately need to fill in roster voids, but I would certainly not be going out of my way to start him when there is an abundance of quality defenders to choose from.
2023 Hot take:
The Sydney Swans are a tough Grand Final loss went to the old Netflix, and watched the dream team documentary. After that, the team had their lightbulb moment. Why don't we go on a redeem team tour? So that is exactly what they will set out to do. The young bloods had a taste of the commitment, sacrifice and determination that is required to play at the highest level. So the next step is now and they will be tested. Having the hardest team schedule this season, it will only bring out the best of the Swans and they will be ready to compete for it all again in September.