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 West Coast Eagles! Let us know your thoughts on who we have included below on all of our socials - twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
D- Really disappointing season for the big dogs out west. A lot of the bigger names in Tim Kelly, Elliott Yeo, Luke Shuey and Nic Naitanui either struggled for form, failed to stay on the park (with injury and covid-19 protocols) and/or a mixture of both. West Coast only won one of their first thirteen games and it felt a bit like Adam Simpson used West Coasts' poor start to the season as an excuse to trial some list talent that hadn't been exposed to the AFL yet. There were however some high notes in 2022 with Eagles legend Josh Kennedy booting 8 goals in his last game, the ascension of defender Liam Duggan and captain Shannon Hurn having another great year. A lot was left to be desired this year by West Coast, hopefully, they can pull it back together in 2023.
Most Valuable Player
The old reliable Shannon Hurn at the ripe age of 67 years old takes out the fantasy MVP for the eagles in 2022! The general down back was at his usual consistent self, averaging almost 19 kicks a game, 7.5 marks and 1.7 tackles a game which took him to a tasty average of 114 GDS fantasy points per game. The Eagles as a collective should probably be worried a 74-year-old man has taken out their MVP award here but in Shannon Hurn we trust!
Performance of the Year
Tom Barrass had the biggest score for the Eagles in 2022. His big day against Hawthorn in round 18 included :
164 GDS fantasy points!
Rookie of the Year
I've chosen mature-age rookie Greg Clark over the likes of Jai Culley and Brady Hough. Culley had the higher average, Hough played more games and looks really exciting but I still can't get over Greg Clark's debut game in round 7 as the Eagles took on Richmond. 15 kicks, 9 handbells, 7 marks and 6 tackles which took him to a score of 127 GDS fantasy points, the highest totalling game of any West Coast rookie this year. Clark spent a lot of the latter part of the season as a medi-sub, essentially decimating his fantasy average, I'm hoping we can see more of him in the midfield for West Coast next year to see if he can build on his debut season.
Surprise of the Year
While he only played 14 games in 2021, he showed glimpses of what he had under the bonnet. Fast forward to post 2022 and it’s fair to say that Liam Duggan has broken out and proven to be a player many will consider going into the 2023 season. Duggan took advantage of Alex Witherden falling out of favour with the starting 22 and was able to take his average all the way up to 99. He’ll be one you’ll want to keep a close eye on over the off-season.
Not to keep harping on Duggan but he's my most improved as well. In 2021, Duggan averaged a GDS fantasy score of 78 points, he's now just finished the 2022 season averaging 99 GDS fantasy points per game which included some gargantuan scores like his 164-point day to patch Tom Barrass' performance of the year in round 22 vs Fremantle. He also owns 12 100+ GDS fantasy point games and closed the season off with five in a row! Pencil him in for round 1 in 2023...
Disappointment of the Year
At the age of 23 years old, Alex Witherden was on pace to become one of the better defenders in fantasy football this year. That was until he found himself playing WAFL footy and struggling to get himself back into the side. His defensive capabilities were allegedly to blame for his absence in the AFL and meant that he only played 13 games. The disappointing part is the “what if”, what if he never got dropped and was able to play 22 games this year, I think he could have comfortably finished within the top 10 of defenders in fantasy this year. Here’s hoping that Witherden finds himself in either the Eagles' 22 or someone else’s 22 because when he’s out there his ceiling is as high as anybody's.
The good thing is Adam Simpson is a great coach and if he can just get some luck with injuries and covid-19 protocols, he might just be able to turn this ship around. Eagles fans will be keen to get Oscar Allen back out there to at least try to fill that massive Josh Kennedy void, but above all else, those big names need to step up for the Eagles to climb back up the ladder!