Each week, we will do a deep dive into a player that had a strong performance in the previous round. The player may not have had the top score of the weekend but a solid outing nonetheless. I’ll look to cover the previous rounds performance, outlook for the season ahead, outlook for 2024 and beyond and my recommendation for this player. Let us know your thoughts on who we have down below on all of our social channels: twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
Player of the Week
Player Name: Sam Walsh
Club: Carlton Blues
Round 5 Score: 151
2023 Ave Score: 131
Round 6 Performance
What a stellar game from Walshy in round six where he notched up 19 kicks, 19 handballs, 9 marks and 3 tackles on his way to a brilliant 151 GDS fantasy points as he took on the league leading St Kilda Saints. In a strange game in which Carlton ultimately lost, Walsh was dominant from the first bounce, and his role looks to be about as rock solid as it could be given his interrupted off-season.
It hasn't taken long has it! Walsh missed the first four rounds of the season while recovering from a back surgery procedure he had performed over the off-season. He could have got away with having a slow start to the season or being a little underdone but wow! It feels like he hasn't missed a beat. In his debut game of the 2023 season Walsh only recorded 39% centre-bounce-attendances with a GDS fantasy score of 110 GDS fantasy points which is super solid given his CBA percentage. Fast forward to round 6 where Walsh saw a massive uptick in opportunity from Carlton coach Michael Voss and recorded an 83% CBA percentage and we saw first hand what that level of opportunity can do for his fantasy scoring as he blew up for 151 GDS points in round 6. Rest-of-season I can see Walsh easily slipping into the top 10 midfielder ranks, with the possibility of pushing for top 5.
GDS Dynasty Ranking
It's so easy to forget that given Walsh has been in the league since 2019 that he is still just 22 years old! Insane considering how dominant he has been as a ball winner and has polled top 5 in Brownlow voting in the past. From a fantasy football perspective, Walsh needs to be viewed in the same light as your Andy Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver level operators. Younger than both of them, Walsh has the talent and ability to suggest that we haven't even seen the best of him yet! The only aspect of his game that plays against him from a fantasy perspective is his kick to handball ration which often leans more on the handballs, but he's one of the leagues best ball winners, he's 22 years old and we don't even know what his ceiling is!
There is no denying that Sam Walsh is a rare fantasy asset. He's match up proof, he's got an incredibly high scoring floor and he is still building into his career. At the start of the season I suggested that Walsh would finish as a top 5 midfielder come the end of the season based on GDS average per game and I stand by it to this day, he's an incredible football player and if you don't own a Walsh player card, i'd be doing all I can to get my hands on one!