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 Richmond Tigers! Let us know your thoughts on who we have included below on all of our socials - twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
B After some steep regression from the top in 2021, the Richmond Tigers crept their way back up the ladder in 2022 finishing 7th on the ladder and pushing Brisbane to their limits in the elimination final, losing by only 2 points at the Gabba! Avaricious Richmond fans will be elated with how their 2022 squad performed on the field, but in true Richmond fashion, they were anything but fruitful in terms of fantasy production. Versatile half-back flanker/rover Jayden Short topped the team for GameDay Squad fantasy average, but only finished 21st in overall rankings. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at the players who did perform and hand out some awards.
Most Valuable Player
As aforementioned, elite ball user Jayden Short was easily Richmond’s best player for fantasy in 2022. Short had his best year, slotting straight into the previously manned Bachar Houli role off half-back, but also roaming through the midfield at times throughout the season as well. Richmond love the ball in his hands as proven by his stats this year where he had career highs in kicks per game with 19.3 and also notched a career-high average of 2.9 tackles per game - probably due to his increased midfield time. Short's GDS fantasy average of 118 points per game put him on top of all Richmond players in 2022, but also ranked him 4th among all defenders, proving that Jayden Short is and will be an elite fantasy option.
Performance of the Year
Tom Lynch had the biggest score for the Tigers in 2022. His big day against the West Coast Eagles in round 7 included :
178 GDS fantasy points!
Rookie of the Year
Rookie Noah Cumberland made his debut in round 17 for the Tigers and never looked back. Joining forces with forward line mainstays Jack Riewoldt and Tom Lynch, Cumberland was able to join the party averaging 2.1 goals a game! Enough to put him firmly in the elite category for average goals per game. The Brisbane Lions academy product added stat lines of 9.4 disposals, 2 marks and 1.9 tackles per game to his debut season resume, which totalled a GDS fantasy average of 74 points per game. He’ll look to build on that in 2023, and very well may be an option when the consistency in his game inevitably comes into play.
Surprise of the Year
I guess it’s a little harsh but 6 seasons into his career, never really being fantasy relevant in the slightest and becoming more and more of an afterthought when thinking about Daniel Rioli as a fantasy asset, it comes as a surprise to me to see Daniel Rioli averaging 91 GDS footy points in a season and making his way into my team for a few rounds! Rioli relished his time off the half-back line and wing for Richmond this year. With Richmond’s fantasy MVP Jayden Short spending more and more midfield in the guts, Daniel Rioli was able to slot into the vacant role left by Short off half-back and his fantasy scores were the beneficiary. Rioli had a 5-round average of 102 GDS fantasy points through rounds 13 to17, proving his scoring ability, gems definitely one to watch heading into 2023.
After 9 seasons of fantasy meritocracy, Richmond’s intercept marking/catapulting/quarterback-style defender off the half-back line had by far his best season yet! Finishing as the … ranked defender in GameDay Squad footy, Nick Vlastuin relished the role of primary ball handler coming out of defence with predecessor Jayden Short spending more time in the midfield. Vlastuin averaged career highs in disposals and marks which took his GDS average to 107 points per game, a massive effort when considering his 2021 season average of 76 GDS points per game.
Disappointment of the Year
This is a surefire way to have one of the biggest fan bases in all of footy on my case but Dusty had a really disappointing fantasy season in 2022. Dusty only played 8 games this year for a GDS season average of 89 points per game, a far cry from his #8th ranked finish amongst all forwards and an average of 98 GDS fantasy points in 2021. There’s no doubt that Dusty Martin is one of the most talented players to ever step foot on a footy field, I just hope he can get some consistency back in his game and return to the old
The Tigers are creeping their way back up the ladder and I don’t think they stop at 7th for much longer. They have already been busy in the trade period adding star mid/fwd Tim Taranto and they look likely to add his GWS teammate Jacob Hopper. Don’t expect this sleeping giant to be out of the count for too long.