Time to collect this young Hawthorn Hawks stud's player cards? One of the league's best back like he never left? Time to put a red line through one of Sydney's biggest names? There are so many questions coming out of round 22. So, let's turn our attention back to fantasy footy for a second and identify some risers in form and others who should be falling out of favour with all fantasy coaches in our GameDay Squad Aussie Rules Round Review. Let us know your thoughts on who we have down below on all of our social channels twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
Zak Butters – FWD, Port Adelaide Power (139 points)
Zak Butters had a couple of quiet weeks there for a bit but he is well and truly back on track to being a must start for the rest of the season! Against some very handy competition, Butters is coming off back-to-back scores of 156 and 139 GDS fantasy points, Ranking him second in last three game average amongst forwards! He also faces Fremantle and Richmond to end the season, for a guy who is known to end the season with a bang, you couldn’t ask for better midfield match ups! Butters is a guy you should look to long term as well. It’s easy to forget he’s just 22-years-old and while it can be stressful owning him, at least you’re guaranteed some excitement!
Jai Newcombe – MID, Hawthorn Hawks (182 points)
Are Hawthorn, Sam Mitchell and Jai Newcombe giving us an early glimpse into the 2024 season? This past month they have been playing some astounding footy, putting away the league leaders in the Collingwood Magpies, taking down the Western Bulldogs and playing incredibly well against St Kilda and Richmond. Sam Mitchell has his boys humming, and none more than young-gun Jai Newcombe. Newcombe burst onto the scene last year in 2022 where he became known around the fantasy community, taking his average to 103 GDS points per game and becoming a valuable dynasty prospect. Many were expecting Newcombe to take his game to another level again this year, he has failed to fully take it up a notch but, his average is still around 108 GDS points per game in 2023 and is coming off two scores in a row of 117 and 182 GDS fantasy points! It’s been a timely reminder of how good Jai is going to be for years to come, especially if Hawthorn continue on this trajectory.
Clayton Oliver – MID, Melbourne Demons (141 points)
Well… Clayton Oliver took off where he left off didn’t he! After about approximately 20 ‘minor’ injuries, Oliver returned for the first time since round 10 against Port Adelaide! The highest averaging player in GDS fantasy footy could have been awarded a game to get his top shelf performances back under his belt but boy oh boy, he hit the ground running hard! 14 kicks, 13 handballs, 3 marks and 13 tackles totalled 141 GDS fantasy points in his return! Oliver should be viewed as the number 1 midfielder to end the season, he’ll face some relatively easy competition in Hawthorn and Sydney to end the season and now that we have confirmation that his back to tearing up the league, he’ll be a lock to occupy one of your midfield slots in our final two rounds.
Tom Liberatore – MID, Western Bulldogs (24 points)
It’s always the downside of owning and starting Tom Liberatore! He is such an incredible fantasy assets to have and uber consistent, however, he does put his head in dangerous places often and with concussion protocols apart of the game, he can burn you with these types of scores. Libba’s clash with Connor Nash’s knee put him out for the rest of the game In the Bulldogs excruciating loss at the hands of Hawthorn and Libba left fantasy coaches with only 24 GDS fantasy points to his name. Here’s hoping he doesn’t miss any time! Because he truly has been one of the best midfield options to own and play this year, if he does miss time, teammate Adam Treloar would be a great plug and play option!
Bailey Smith – MID, Western Bulldogs (72 points) ((AGAIN))
Keep a close eye on Bailey Smith going into round 23! When Libba left the game Smith was trusted with more midfield time than usual, tallying up 52% centre bounces attended on the round, his highest percentage since round 10. You would think with such an increase his score would improve, but he only walks away with 72 GDS fantasy points on the night. IF Libba is to miss the round 23 outing against West Coast, look to see if Bevo trusts Smith with more midfield time and then see how he performs if he does get the midfield time. Both will be telling, and will have a huge impact on his value over the off-season for fantasy footy.
Isaac Heeney – FWD, Sydney Swans (98 points)
It seems that Isaac Heeney and fantasy footy are just not meant to be. I was willing to dip the toes in the water again, just to see how thing s were going for him since Lance Franklin’s retirement but that hasn’t seemed to change anything at all. A 92 GDS fantasy average per game is about 10 points short of where his basement average should be around and I’m now more than willing to label him a boom or bust with upside if he ever gets a good shot at some midfield time. Which I wouldn’t bank on given he’s see mingling stuck behind, Luke Parker, Chad Warner, James Rowbottom, Errol Gulden, Angus Sheldrick, Callum Mills even Tom Papley and whoever else they have stashed away in the Swans academy right now. No Thanks.