The easiest bye-round in fantasy sports history is now unfortunately behind us which means stress-levels are through the roof heading into round 14! We'll be without the likes of Nick Daicos, Jordan Dawson, Zach Merrett and we potentially, maybe Clarry Oliver? What's going on with old mate? An infected blister? It almost sounds comical (I hope he's okay of course), but it's just the way the 2023 fantasy footy season is! You throw in Sic-dawg copping a three week suspension and Timmy English only notching up a 2 point first quarter in round 13 and suddenly you have a full on stand up show. I could talk about the circus that is my GameDay Squad team all day but...
It's time now to get stuck into some fantasy chatter! GameDay Squad is a little bit different to your more traditional AFL Fantasy and AFL Supercoach platforms. Some features that make it a little bit of a different experience are:
There are no weekly trade restrictions, this means that you can take your MRO frustrations out stress free.
In GDS the cards you use to play are virtual player cards which you can collect from player card packs, with that, there is a fully functioning peer-to-peer transfer market which you can trade, auction and sell player cards that you own. Yes, this means that you can not only rage trade but rage sell all of your James Sicily cards!
It’s also essential to keep in mind that GameDay Squad is a dynasty fantasy football platform and that will be heavily taken into consideration in this article.
Fremantle Dockers - Forward (FWD)
I have been pretty much non-stop banging this drum all season long and finally, I got some love back from the toothless big man! I've stressed the importance of having stashes for players like Luke Jackson and specifically big men like Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy as well who have fantasy-hating list managers, in the (unfortunate) event one or the other goes down and misses time. We saw what life could be like without #1 Freo ruckman Sean Darcy on the park where Luke Jackson tore up Optus Stadium for 23 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles and 33 hit-outs, which tallied up to 131 GDS fantasy points. The scary part is... he left some decent points out there! He missed two goals and dropped a few marks late in the game but, owners of Luke Jackson cards have got to be happy with the big dawg top scoring for Freo in fantasy points and reminding everyone of just how talented he is!
Brisbane Lions - Midfielder (MID)
Full disclosure, I was firmly on Lachie Neale's backside early in the season. I think I recall even going as far as to say he might be past it... yikes, and I get what I deserve given his recent form! four consecutive scores now of 122, 132, 117 and 140 GDS fantasy points prove that one of the best ball winners in recent seasons still has some gas left in the tank. Owners should select Neale with a decent level of confidence while he's in this purple patch. He has all the opportunity in the world, currently leading the league in centre-bounce-attendance percentage with 87% per game means he has every chance at finding the footy. It is still worth treading with some caution knowing that Lachie has been more than susceptible to a bust game this season, but in the form he's in - he's hard not to select.
St Kilda Saints - Forward (FWD)
I mean... Stevie Wonder could see how good Mitch Owens is going to be for both the Saints and fantasy coaches as well. Averaging 93 GDS fantasy points in his sophomore year, the 19-year-old has gone to another echelon of scoring in 2023, his season so far has included scores of 128 points in round 4, 111 in round 6, 115 in round and most recently a 127 GDS fantasy point outing in round 13. He's a genuine unicorn in that he's proven he can score points in legitimately every stat category, his ability to hit the scoreboard, work up the ground for kick/marks, tackle pressure and the fact he's recorded at least one or more hit-outs in every game since round two is just mind boggling! He has a rare skillset and owners of Mitch Owens must be excited about what the future can bring. If you don't have an Owens card already... get on your bike.
Essendon Bombers - Forward (FWD)
Forget the future or "in a couple of seasons' time" etc, Ben Hobbs is a legit option right now! It has to be said, he's doing this with Darcy Parish and Will Setterfield out with injuries and Parish especially could be back after Essendon's round 14 bye round BUT Ben Hobbs is legit! Averaging 107 GDS fantasy points in his last four games, the 19-year-old has established himself as a legit fantasy option, and potentially a point-of-difference option for the second half of the year. The strange thing is Hobbs is doing all this without cemented CBAs, during this four-game stretch of 100+ scores he's only averaged 42.5% CBAs per game! I know the midfield for Essendon is only going to get more saturated with some guns coming back into selection availability but Hobbs has to have owners excited not just about the future, but his prospects this season! Especially seeing as though he's listed as a forward in GameDay Squad Aussie Rules.
Sydney Swans - Foward (FWD)
At this point, I'm just tired of the narrative. Every. Single. Season. We harp on about Isaac Heeney and his midfield time and how good he's going to be when he gets a good crack at it. Well, in round 13 we saw just that! Heeney attended 76% of centre-bounce-attendances (Without Callum Mills and Luke Parker) for the Swans in round 13 and he scored 150 GDS fantasy points... SIKE, we got baited for 83 GDS fantasy points with his highest CBA percentage on record. Hopefully, we can put the midfielder chatter to bed for at least a little bit, he might just be a fantasy squib. (Harry Potter fans, give me my flowers there).
Collingwood Magpies - Midfielder (MID)
I think now is the perfect time for the owners of Taylor Adams to try and offload the midfielder. The 29-year-old is coming off fresh back-to-back scores over 100 GDS fantasy points and looks in really good nick to Taylor Adams' standards. I'd be trying to find a buyer chasing points during the bye rounds and hoping to find a bite. Adam's has proven time and time again that he is one of not the most injury-prone players in the league, so while he's fit and putting up decent numbers, look to offload and look to get some talent back in return.
Collingwood Magpies - Defender (DEF)
Fantasy points in this Collingwood side are hard to come by for players that aren't magnets like the Daicos brothers, Tom Mitchell and Jordan De Goey but one to keep an eye on in the second half of the season is defender Isaac Quaynor. Using the eye test, Quaynor passes just about every criteria for fantasy, positive kick-to-handball ratio, rarely beaten on the ground and in the air and his line-breaking kicking and running ability is severely underrated. The problem is, he has always passed the eye test without becoming a legit fantasy starting option. Will we see that change though? In his last three games, Quaynor has averaged 98 GDS fantasy points, which is a 23.7 GDS fantasy points increase from his season average. The direct correlation? Nick Daicos has finally started to see some consistent midfield time, nothing up 40%+ CBAs in three straight games for the pies.
I don't think we can categorise Quaynor as a must-buy yet, but again, just keep an eye on him in the second half of the season, because it's now or never for him.
Fremantle Dockers - Midfielder (MID)
It's curious how 2021 #10 draft pick Neil Erasmus can't crack into this Freo side. I thought with Jaeger O'Meara missing in round 13, James Aish would fill the inside hole and Erasmus would be selected for a wing role. Shocker... I was wrong - nothing new there! In the three games Erasmus has graced the field this season he's put up scores of a sub-affected 23 GDS fantasy points in round 7, 94 GDS fantasy points in round 8 and an 85-point outing in round 9. He's also towelling it up in the WAFL as of late as well, Averaging 26.75 disposals, 2.5 marks and 5.5 tackles per game in the magoos. He's too good to be down there, do not sell any Neil Erasmus player cards!
Hawthorn Hawks - Defender (DEF)
Jarman Impey is stringing together a hell of a stretch here, averaging 134 GDS fantasy points over his last three games for Hawthorn, truthfully he's about another good week away from being in the buy category in this very blog. Especially with his captain James Sicily heading to the tribunal to challenge a three-week ban! If anything Impey is unreal Sicily cover for his impending 6 games missed due to suspension in the second half of the year if we are following trends. In all seriousness though, there are points to be had down back for the Hawthorn defence, we have seen Jack Scrimshaw show some scoring power, same can be said for Blake Hardwick, we just need someone to take the reigns and make the position theirs. I'll back Impey in to be that player and although it's risky, if it pays off - you're laughing.
The information contained in the article is not intended and should not be understood or construed as financial advice. As always please do your own research, my placing history suggests you should absolutely do your own research!