The 2022 AFL regular season has ended, and with that, so has the most challenging fantasy season in recent times. Big name injuries, covid-19 protocols and an entire positional group decimated. That didn't kill the spirits of all the fantasy coaches around the world who stuck it out for the entire season! Now that the season is over for another year, it's time to hand out some online hardware. We will be reviewing every team's fantasy season and awarding those who stood out. To kick us off we have the Adelaide Crows! Let us know your thoughts on who we have included below on all of our socials - twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
C+ Finally, a team that exceeded expectations in season 2022! I personally expected the Crows to finish cold, hard last this year but off the back of a veteran weapon and some unearthed up-and-coming talent the Crows told me and a few others to go stick it and actually performed pretty well! They finished 14th on the year with 8 wins and 14 losses, but Adelaide will be more than happy to take away some really solid performances from young guns Sam Berry, Jake Soligo, Jordan Dawson and Darcy Fogarty.
Most Valuable Player
No prizes for guessing who the Adelaide Crows fantasy MVP of the year is. The man who finished as the highest averaging GameDay Squad footy’s highest averaging player league-wide was none other than the king, Rory Laird, and he’s comfortably our Adelaide Crows MVP for the year as well. He had a monster year, averaging 138 GDS fantasy points per game which is enough to hand him the award for the Crows MVP on its own, but what’s arguably more important to note bout Laird’s season is just how consistent he was. In the 20 games the Laird played this year, he managed to score above 100 GDS fantasy points in all 20 games, which is absolutely absurd! He also seemed to do it pretty easily, scoring over 140+ GDS fantasy points on 10 occasions in those 20 games. Laird was by far and away Adelaide’s best fantasy asset in 2022, can he hold onto the thrown in 2023?
Performance of the Year
Rory Laird had the biggest score for the Crows in 2022. His big day against Collingwood in round 18 included :
20 Tackles 3 Free-kicks for
182 GDS fantasy points!
Rookie of the Year
I loved the season that Jake Soligo had when he came back into the Crows’ 22 in round 9. After struggling early in the season, failing to impact games in rounds 1 and 2, he was then used as a medical sub in round 3 where Jordan Dawson won the showdown for the Crows with a goal after the siren. He made his way back into the starting 22 in round 9 and didn’t look back! His average without those first 2 rounds goes from 68 to 76, mostly off the back of scores of 92 and 93 in rounds 10 and 14. Soligo went over 80+ GDS points on 6 occasions this year, proving that for a rookie, his scoring potential is something to keep a finger on the pulse of.
Surprise of the Year
Sam Berry was a very welcome surprise to my GDS fantasy footy team and a lot of others as well. Listed as a forward in our game but playing an inside bull role for Adelaide, the tackling machine was one of the more desirable forwards to use in the latter stages of the season. The most surprising aspect of Sam Berry was his positional ranking. Berry’s season concluded with an average of 96 GDS fantasy points which ranked him 10th amongst all forwards in GameDay Squad footy. If you would have told me that at the start of the season I would have told you to seek help. Berry is a bull and it seems as though his role at Adelaide is all but cemented for next year, so let’s watch if he can improve on that ranking.
I think we could have awarded the most improved award for the Adelaide Crows in around round 2 when Jordan Dawson took to the navy, red and gold like a duck to water. He was handed the keys to the Adelaide defence as soon as he was traded from the Swans in the last off-season and once he took on the role he didn’t look back. To illustrate just how rapid Dawson’s rise was in fantasy let’s take a look at the discrepancy in averages compared to last year. In 2021 Dawson owned an okay-ish average of 88 GDS fantasy points, is average in 2022? 121 GDS fantasy points! That is a colossal improvement, an improvement that ranked him as the third-highest averaging defender in the game. Dawson is a jet, I’m tipping he takes the throne off of Sam Docherty for the best defender in the game as early as next year.
Disappointment of the Year
A bit harsh here I know, as 24-year-old wingman/defender Wayne Milera was fresh off a season-long injury in 2021. He also only managed to play 2 games in 2020, so it was always going to take a bit of time for Milera to return to any fantasy-relevant form after so long out of the game. What made Milera attractive for fantasy in the first place is firstly his scoring potential, he has been known to score well in the past, averaging well within the high 80s in GDS scoring in seasons 2019 and 2018. Secondly, his age, at 24 and with his known scoring capabilities he was someone I thought might bounce back and resume where he left off. Lo and behold, the lofty expectation for Milera were anything but met, only averaging 58 GDS fantasy points on the year. It’s important to not forget his age! He is only 24 and has a lot of time to bring his form back.
After a season where the Crows went above and beyond the expectations set upon them, there are oodles of reasons to get behind them and remain excited. There’s a lot of promising, young talent on the list which is mixed with some of the better veterans in the game. Here’s hoping for fantasy at least that they take it to the next level!