Welcome back GameDay Squad coaches, this blog is going to inform you about the players of difference early in this GameDay Squad fantasy season. The following players are currently being rostered in less than 5% of GameDay Squad teams, some of them may not be a part of the rolling GDS dream team or even team of the year, but these are the players that others are overlooking and you can capitalise on.
Essendon Bombers - Defender (DEF)
Mason Redman is a defender-positioned player who plays for the Essendon Bombers. The biggest element that screams value when analysing Redman’s fantasy potential for the season is that he has been honoured with the kick-in duties for the Bombers. In GameDay Squad, a kick is worth 4 points, with kick-ins from inside the goal square not counting for any points. But kick-ins, where the player has exited the square are an additional +4 points per. Mason Redman in round 1 had 6 total kick-ins, with 5 of them being a play-on, meaning that if he didn’t accumulate any other fantasy points throughout the game he would still finish on 20 points. A cheeky 20-point (give or take) buffer on a player's fantasy score is going to be crucial over an entire season and will be a point of difference your team has over others.
Sydney Swans - Forward (FWD)
Isaac Heeney is a forward-positioned player who plays for the Sydney Swans. If you kept up with round 1 of fantasy footy, you’d know that Heeney’s first game wasn’t that impressive. His 75 points to start off are worse than all his career averages over an entire season, so not the start GameDay Squad coaches were asking for. But, he finished 2022 as the rank 3 forward and maintained a healthy average of 102.8 fantasy points per game. So his value is apparent, the biggest cause for concern with Isaac Heeney this season will be the reduced minutes we’re expecting from the midfield this season. If he can maintain his midfield rotation and get back into his elite goal-kicking form from last season, Isaac Heeney will be a point-of-difference player this season.
Carlton Blues - Forward (FWD)
Charlie Curnow is a forward-positioned player who plays for the Carlton Blues. The Coleman medal champion, bagging 64 goals in 2022. A massive breakout year for a player who kicked a career-best 2.9 goals per game. Round one of 2023 was a different story though, kicking 0.0 in a game where the Blues drew with the Richmond Tigers. But I fully expect this to change in a big way, and that starts in round 2’s Thursday night blockbuster against the Geelong Cats. Similarly to Isaac Heeney, Curnow's round 1 slump shouldn’t scare away GameDay Squad coaches from starting them in your line-ups. Curnow finished 2022 with a 93 average fantasy score per game and ranked as the 9th best forward for the season. Curnow’s role for the Blues is eerily similar in 2023, with the upside of an increased role more probable than a decrease. So forget about round 1 and look at the bigger picture, Charlie Curnow is a point-of-difference player for GameDay Squad coaches this season.
Greater Western Sydney Giants - Forward (FWD)
Toby Greene is a forward-positioned player who plays for the Greater Western Sydney Giants. The third forward-positioned player throughout this piece, indicating there is a lot of uncertainty amongst the position right now. Toby Greene’s past couple of seasons have been riddled with injuries, he hasn’t been able to hit the 20+ games mark since 2016. This is a concern, but what isn’t a concern is the fantasy point averages Toby Greene has had throughout this period. Excluding 2020, Toby Greene over the past 4 seasons has maintained a massive 96.3 fantasy average score per game. When Toby Greene is on the field for the GWS Giants, he is a game-changer and a proven fantasy stud at the forward position. So whilst many coaches on GameDay Squad ponder over who they’re going to be playing for round 2 and beyond, go with a proven star like Toby Greene. He is going to be a point-of-difference player for all GameDay Squad Coaches this season and deserves a spot in your team.
Essendon Bombers - Midfielder (MID)
Zach Merrett is a midfielder-positioned player who plays for the Essendon Bombers. The newly appointed skipper is coming off a stellar fantasy season, but the addition of Darcy Parish must have GameDay Squad coaches concerned about his fantasy score. Sure, Parish is going to demand the footy in his hands around the contest, where Zach Merrett usually shines, but the overall strengthened midfield for the Bombers should see Merrett getting better quality looks all over the ground. Merrett’s 30+ disposals in round 1 whilst getting tagged by the opposing team are a clear indication that his role of distributing and winning the footy is just as important now, as years prior. Merrett is ready for a massive year as club captain but is even more hungry to get into your starting GameDay Squad team.