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 Carlton Blues! Let us know your thoughts on who we have included below on all of our socials - twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
B- The most exciting game of the season came in round 23 where Carlton met their old foes in the Collingwood Magpies. A win for Carlton meant they crept into the top eight and were playing finals footy for the first time since 2013! A win for Collingwood meant that not only were they locked for a finals spot, but they made the top four. A goal in the closing moments in which Jamie Elliott grabbed all of Carlton supporter's scrotums and twisted them, meant that Carlton gut-wrenchingly missed out on the finals. Which seems to be the tale of the story for Carlton as of late, they just seem immune to finals footy. Enough now of the sad tale of Carlton and finals footy and more about the fantasy numbers, some of their guns put up! We already knew how good the likes of Patty Cripps and Sam Walsh were for fantasy and they were great once again. New recruit George Hewett had his best season yet after coming across from the Sydney Swans. Some veterans such as Adam Saad and Matthew Kennedy really stood up this year and scored incredibly well for fantasy. And who can forget, the GameDay Squad Footy MVP Sam Docherty, who battled and beat cancer in 2021 came back and blitzed the competition in 2022, one of the best stories to come out of the 2022 season, and the footy he played was just as incredible. Carlton fans will want to forget this season and swiftly move onto 2023, but not before we hand out some awards.
Most Valuable Player
Sam Docherty is no stranger to being an absolute fantasy gun. The 28-year-old half-back flanker has scored 100+ GDS fantasy points a season on four occasions 2016, 2017, 2021 and now 2022. Docherty heroically fought off testicular cancer which interrupted his 2021 season and well into the 2022 pre-season, but he made an emotional and inspirational return to the field in round 1 as the Blues took on Richmond. Once he was out there and had a taste for it, he never looked back! He finished as the highest scoring and averaging defender in the GameDay Squad Footy, and only trailed Adelaide's Rory Laird in scoring average on a per game basis as well as he went on to average an unfathomable 131 GDS fantasy points per game. Docherty also managed to total season high's in disposals and tackles per game, proving that he still has a lot left to offer!
Performance of the Year
Zac Williams had the biggest score for the Blues in 2022. His big day against the Gold Coast Suns in round 4 included :
171 GDS fantasy points!
Rookie of the Year
This was really tough to find a winner for given the limited about of rookies Carlton fielded this year but I'm going to give it to tenacious small forward Corey Durdin. The 20-year-old who was still eligible for the 2022 rising star award managed to play a total of 21 games this season! A season-high among all 2022 Carlton Blues rookies. While his season average was only 49 GDS fantasy points per game, Durdin did prove to have some decent scoring prowess in his locking scoring 77 GDS fantasy points in round 3 against Hawthorn and a season-high score of 93 against GWS in round 9. If Durdin can string a couple of those games together he could be a sneaky option for your GDS footy forward lines next year.
Surprise of the Year
New 2022 recruit George Hewett surprised many with how well he scored for fantasy in navy blue this year. The former Sydney Swan moved over to the Blues as a free agent in the off-season and enjoyed his best season stats-wise and fantasy-wise as well. He went from averaging a measly 64 GDS fantasy per game in 2021 to averaging 112 GDS fantasy points and finishing as the 7th rated defender based on per game average in 2022! A massive improvement and while it was noticeable in Sydney colours that the talent was there for him to reach such ceilings, the blues gave him the opportunity and he took it with both hands. He already owns a spot in my 2023 squad, I'd suggest if you don't have him already, do everything in your power to go get him!
From averaging 69 GDS fantasy points in 2021 to averaging 98 GDS fantasy points in 2022, It's Adam Saad! 2022 was by far and away Saad's best fantasy season and you could say that injuries to key defensive players early on in the season played a hand in the opportunity he got but the fact of the matter is, he played out of his skin. 21.9 disposals, 4.8 marks and 2.2 tackles per game was the recipe which took him to his career-high fantasy average of 98 GDS fantasy points per season. for what it's worth, he even led the league in bounces per game with 5.38 (the next best was 2.67...). Massive year from Adam Saad, let's see if he goes along with it in 2023.
Disappointment of the Year
Stinker season from Jack Martin. Number's wise, 2022 was his worst fantasy season since his debut season way back in 2014, only averaging 64 GDS fantasy points per game. This average was off the back of stat averages of 9.5 disposals, 3.3 marks and 2.6 tackles per game. A far cry from the man who once averaged 18.6 disposals, 6.3 marks and 4.9 tackles a game. At the age of 27 years old there is still time for Jack to remind us of the damaging player he once was, though, the way his numbers a trending, it seems as though his best stat lines are behind. him.
As earlier mentioned Carltons fans will have their sights set for 2023 already, it feels as if it's a finals or bust for season them in 2023 as their list boasts names of the likes of 2022 Brownlow medalist Patty Cripps, a fit and firing Sam Docherty, young gun Sam Walsh and a forward tandem of Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay. A lot of eyes will be on them, can they make the most of their talent?