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 Hawthorn Hawks! Let us know your thoughts on who we have included below on all of our socials - twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
B- Back-to-back teams who exceeded the GameDay Squad footy boys and I’s expectations (except Tom), this time we are with the Hawthorn Hawks. Going into the season I was sceptical because I didn’t know where their goals were going to come from and to be honest, I still don’t. No, but in all seriousness, Hawthorn proved to field a very well-rounded team and pushed themselves up into 13th on the ladder. While some of the bigger names - Tom Mitchell, Jaeger O’Meara I’m looking at you - failed to impact like the fantasy would have liked, some of the more unknown talent in Dylan Moore, Jai Newcombe and Harry Morrison proved to be both productive and consistent throughout the year. Hawks fans should be happy with a 13th position finish considering the list talent they had
Most Valuable Player
Failed forward come Hawthorn quarterback James Sicily is quite comfortably Hawthorns fantasy MVP for 2022! Sicily was a rock for the Hawks this year, everything from intercept marking, breaking the lines with a career-high in meters gained per game and leading the league in rebound 50s, averaging 8.14 exits out of defensive 50 per game. Sicily also took his fantasy scoring to another level this year, having his career-best GDS fantasy season averaging 117 GDS fantasy points per game, ranking him 5th amongst all defenders in the game. Sicily is still just 27 years old, and still has a ton of production to offer any coach who is lucky enough to own a card of his in GameDay Squad footy.
Performance of the Year
James Sicily had the biggest score for the Hawks in 2022. His big day against the Bulldogs in round 23 included :
181 GDS fantasy points!
Rookie of the Year
Rookie of the year for the Hawks has to go to 2021 mid-season draft pick, Jai Newcombe. Newcombe made 7 appearances in 2021 but was still eligible for the 2022 rising star award, earning a nomination for his round 5 performance against Geelong where he had a massive fantasy day to match his impact on the game scoring 135 GDS fantasy points. That would go on to be his second-highest fantasy score of the season, scoring an even more massive 144 GDS fantasy points in round 10 against Brisbane. Newcombe finished the year with a GDS average of 103 points per game, which when you take into account his age of just 21 years old is pretty incredible. But what coaches will be more excited about was how he finished the year, scoring over 100 GDS fantasy points in five of his last six games! Onwards and upwards for young gun Jai Newcombe, he could be one of the better midfielders in fantasy footy if he keeps going the way he is!
Surprise of the Year
Harry Morrison flew silently under the radar as some of the other bigger names in the squad filled the headlines. He had an awesome year in more ways than one. First and arguably most importantly, this is the first season since he entered the league in 2017 where Morrison played more than 20 matches in a season. Durability has been something that has plagued Morrison since his debut season, so it’s promising to see him finish with 21 games played in 2022. Secondly, he was able to pair that consistent field time with having his highest-scoring fantasy season to date. Morrison’s average of 97 was by far and away his best fantasy season yet, dwarfing his 2021 GDS average of just 71 GDS fantasy points per game. His GDS average of 97 was enough to rank him 5th among all Hawthorn players in 2022, if you had told me that in the off-season I would have laughed directly in your face! But I’m here for it, I’m on the Harry Morrison train, let’s hope he can continue to ascend in 2023!
One card I really wish I owned this past season is Dylan Moore’s. Moore was one of the most productive and consistent forwards in GameDay Squad footy scoring which is proven by his positional ranking. He finished 4th amongst all forwards in the game with his very handy average of 108 GDS fantasy points per game helping him break the top 5. His improvement from 2021 is marked by a 26-point discrepancy, averaging just 82 GDS fantasy points in 2021, to now averaging 108 GDS fantasy points in 2022. The best part about Dylan Moore? He’s only 23 years old! I want all the stock in Dylan Moore as he sets his sights on finishing first overall Amon all forwards in 2023.
Disappointment of the Year
I know what you’re thinking, “how can a guy who averaged 110 GDS fantasy points in 2022 be your disappointment of the year?” And I hear you, but it's the expectation and drop-off that we saw from Tom Mitchell that left a sour taste in my mouth. Let’s talk about the drop-off from 2021. Mitchell has always been an elite ball winner and 2021 was one of his better years, averaging 131 GDS points per game and finishing as the 5th best midfielder in fantasy footy. In 2022? 110 GDS points per game and the 29th best midfielder in fantasy footy. That is a colossal drop-off for someone of Tom Mitchell’s calibre. There are now swirling trade talks surrounding Mitchell, reports suggesting he could be on his way out of Waverley Park, and maybe a fresh start will rejuvenate his career! Because when he’s at his best there's no better fantasy asset in the game.
The Hawks have created a really fun, young, talented team to watch. As a dynasty fantasy football platform, we love that, because the likes of Dylan Moore, Jai Newcombe, Ned Reeves and Will Day get exposed to game-time they may not have found at some other clubs that are more maturely inclined. That’s what makes these young stars so good for GameDay Squad, they have the opportunity, can they take it a step further in 2023?