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 Essendon Bombers! Let us know your thoughts on who we have included below on all of our socials - twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
D Heres another team the GameDay Squad Footy boys and I expected more from in the pre-season but failed to get things going is the Essendon Bombers. They had some promising signs from the likes of bonafide stars like Zach Merrett and Darcy Parish and also found some improvements from Peter Wright, Mason Redman and Nic Martin but when that fat lady sung, they finished 15th and failed to meet the lofty standards ever Bombers fan in the country has for their team. Essendon are armed with a boatload of cap space so look for them to be aggressive in the free agency market as they look to make a complete u-turn in ladder positions but without looking to far ahead, the 2022 season can only be viewed as disappointing, eyes will be on them as they look to change their fortunes.
Most Valuable Player
Certified ball magnet Zach Merrett once again proved to be one of the best fantasy assists in football in season 2022. His per game average of 125 GDS fantasy points had him ranked 8th overall in GameDay Squad footy, just Zach Merrett doing Zach Merrett things. He had a massive purple patch from round 15 to round 20 averaging 155 GDS fantasy points in the span, where you could have made a case for him being the most inform fantasy player in the game, highlighted with a monster score of 204 GDS fantasy points in round 20. No debating that Merrett is a freak, hopefully he continues pushing for that number 1 ranking in 2023.
Performance of the Year
Zach Merrett had the biggest score for the Bombers in 2022. His big day against North Melbourne in round 20 included :
1 Goal 6 Free-kicks for
204 GDS fantasy points!
Rookie of the Year
While there was a lot of doom and gloom surrounding Essendon this season, the one promising aspect was the ascension of a lot of young talent. The cream of the crop being budding star Nic Martin. Martin joined the bombers as a rookie ahead of the pre-season supplemental selection period meaning he missed the cut-off to have a card in our game, which sucks! (Look forward to 2023) but what didn’t suck was his fantasy production. Martin played 21 games this year and finished ranking as elite in kicks, handballs and marks, which took him to a GDS fantasy average of 93 points per game. Martin is one of the best dynasty players in our game, hopefully he can hit the ground running again in 2023!
Surprise of the Year
The biggest surprise of the year for me was 29 year old Dylan Shiel returning to form. After a fairly dismal 2021 both with on-field performance and only playing 7 games after suffering a hamstring injury. There were questions about Shiel’s role within team, many suggesting he should be traded with what seemed to be a crowded midfield he was incapable of cracking into. To his credit, he did force his way back into the guts and made the most of the opportunity, playing 19 games finishing his season averaging 96 GDS fantasy points and ranking 5th overall amongst all Bombers players.
This has Mason Redman written all over it. Essendon were screaming out for a half-back flanker to step up and make the position there’s. The community wanted and expected it to be Jordan Ridley, early games indicated it might be Andy McGrath but in the end Mason Redman made it his own and the fantasy scores reflected that! A healthy average of 102 GDS points, a high score of 170 and career best stats in just about every category makes Mason Redman the most improved Bomber in 2022.
Disappointment of the Year
I was so high on Jordan Ridley going into the season and he really should have had a Mason Redman-type year but it was anything but that. It’s not even like his season was horrendous, because he still averaged 91 GDS fantasy points and played 20 games, but it’s the what shoulda, coulda, woulda been's that just leave a sour taste in your mouth. He’s still only 23 and has the opportunity to grow within his role still so I’m not crossing a line through him by any means! It’s just a little disappointing to not have had that leap come to fruition this year.
A poor year for the Bombers but there’s reason to still be excited for fans with so much young talent on the team it’s only up from here. They also allegedly have a ton of cap space so watch this space for some more proven talent from around the league to hopefully inject some more imminent success.