It's that exciting time of the year again when we delve into the realm of fantasy footy! Next up? We will be showing the Ruck position some love! We'll take a deep dive into the hard hitters from 2023, identify potential breakout candidates, and assess the older players who might be showing signs of slowing down. Get ready as we break down the Ruck position into tiers for the upcoming 2024 Aussie Rules season!
Anticipating no alterations at the top of the ruckman hierarchy once more in 2023. The prowess of Tim English and Rowan Marshall was so formidable in the ruck position last year that choosing between them became a challenge, with each offering unique strengths. However, GameDay Squad in 2024 introduces the option for users to select two active ruckman, thereby putting an end to the weekly debate of English versus Marshall and allowing us to enjoy the benefits of both talents simultaneously.
Both stand as premier fantasy footy options at the position, yet my focus is particularly drawn to Tim English's role this season. We've grown accustomed to his reliable and formidable fantasy scoring abilities, but now, with 2024 marking a contract year for English, anticipation builds for potentially one of the greatest fantasy seasons of all time! The uncertainty of English's future destination - whether it's West Coast, Western Bulldogs, or elsewhere - only adds to the intrigue. Regardless, we can expect English to give his all, both on the field and in the fantasy realm, as he strives to secure a lucrative contract, translating into abundant fantasy points for eager managers.
It's wild to think that just a couple of seasons back, Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn were the top dogs in the ruck game. They were a double trouble duo when they teamed up (ha!). But now, Grundy's headed up north to the Sydney Swans, which is a win for fantasy coaches. I wouldn't be shocked if either of them hits Rowan Marshall or Tim English territory in fantasy rankings. Right now, it's a wait-and-see game.
Brodie Grundy is primed to make his mark on GameDay Squad sides in 2024, especially now that there are two active ruckman slots to fill. His move to the Sydney Swans fills a significant gap for the team and puts him back in the spotlight as the primary ruckman once again. When Grundy operates as the sole ruckman, he's shown dominance, and there's every reason to expect the same in the upcoming 2024 season!
Tier 3 presents some intriguing options! While it might be tough to justify starting anyone from this tier over Tim English, Rowan Marshall, Brodie Grundy, or Max Gawn, injuries or significant shifts in form during the season could elevate these players into consideration as the next best choices! Toby Nankervis stands out as having the most promising path to success among the Tier 3 group in 2024. With Ivan Soldo's departure, Nankervis will shoulder a greater share of the ruck duties without the risk of interference. Finishing the 2023 season with the third-highest average among all ruckmen, Nankervis proved himself as a more than viable option with an average of 114 GDS fantasy points. I anticipate he'll continue to deliver similar performances in 2024.
Once again, it's difficult to foresee much attention being given to the Tier 4 group for the 2024 season. However, can we ever be entirely certain? Currently, yes, and the reality is that most of these players won't receive much consideration during the preseason. Yet, is there potential for a surprise contender to emerge? While it's a long shot, the possibility of a dark horse emerging can't be entirely ruled out. The pick would be Tristan Xerri who in my opinion has the highest scoring upside in this tier. The 24-year-old big man has remained an intriguing dynasty option despite his unfortunate injury history! He's a player many expect to grow as a fantasy option as North Melbourne improve their overall on field performances and should absolutely be a player coaches go out and find on the GameDay Squad Transfer Market sooner rather than later!
Tom De Koning
Bailey J. Williams
Ned Reeves/Lloyd Meek
Tier 5 where we find the best of the rest! Keep a close eye on the likes of Tom De Koning and Sam Draper. Keep these players-of-difference waiting in the wings and deploy them as you see fit throughout the season!