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  • Liam Kermode

Who will be AFL Fantasy's 2024 Best Point-Of-Difference Target?

AFL Fantasy's 2024 Best Point-Of-Difference Targets: Fantasy managers face the crucial task of taking a chance on players they perceive as potential game-changers in their leagues. The catch? These gems often don't come from the obvious selections. Take last season, for instance: Errol Gulden who put an extra 30 points on his 2022 average, and Sam Flanders who made the forward position his own in the second half of the 2023 season, both who had shown clear promise but took their games to "Must-Start" levels. Then there are rookies like Harry Sheezel who don't come around very often and become instant round winners for coaches who trust them early! Even Nic Newman ascended to must-start status in 2023, turning from point-of-difference starter to round winner late in the season!

In short, we know that the Nick Daicos' and the Tim English's of the fantasy football world will stand out in 2024, but who will ascend and win you weeks? The AFL is inherently unpredictable, and fantasy football amplifies this volatility, leaving coaches teetering on the edge from March through September. The mantra seems simple: "Select the perfect lineup, filled with high-scoring, injury-resistant players." If only it were that easy. If I possessed a magic wand to summon the 2024 Fantasy POD MVPs, here's a glimpse of who would make the cut:

Fantasy point-Of-Difference

Connor Budarick - Gold Coast Suns

To no fault of his own, Connor Budarick finds himself under an immense spotlight, tasked with stepping into the shoes of his new coaches esteemed attacking defender predecessors like Jayden Short and Bachar Houli for Richmond. It's a weighty responsibility, given the stellar fantasy performances these players delivered in their primes (with Short potentially poised for a resurgence in 2024). Budarick's anticipated role carries substantial fantasy potential, but it's no walk in the park. While Budarick has shown glimpses of his capabilities, the keys to unlocking his success lie in maintaining his health and his role within the team structure, both in which seem to be trending in the right direction.

Injuries have unfortunately hindered Budarick's progress in the past, impacting his standing within the team hierarchy. However, recent indications suggest that he's poised for a significant role and has the fitness to back it up. The burning question remains: will Connor Budarick stake his claim for a starting defensive position in 2024? My bet is on him rising to the occasion.

Keidean Coleman - Brisbane Lions

Another rising talent from Queensland, this time it's Brisbane's promising half-back flanker, Keidean Coleman, who's poised to make waves in fantasy football. While Coleman already commands attention in many GameDay Squad lineups, his trajectory differs from Budarick's. Instead of transitioning from a non-starter to a starter, I anticipate Coleman's ascent from starter to bona fide star status.

In 2023, Coleman elevated his GameDay Squad average from the previous year, reaching an impressive 88 fantasy points per game. Looking ahead to 2024, I foresee his average soaring even higher, likely surpassing 115 fantasy points per game and beyond. Coleman has been playing second fiddle to Brisbane's seasoned veteran, Daniel Rich, for a couple of seasons. With Rich's retirement, Coleman steps into the spotlight as the primary distributor from the Lions' defensive 50. Possessing a comprehensive skill set and ample talent, Coleman has the potential to crack the top 10, perhaps even the top 5, among fantasy football defenders. Could 2024 be the year he fulfils that promise? It's certainly within reach.

George Wardlaw - North Melbourne Kangaroos

Powerful, ball-winning midfielder George Wardlaw is another I expect to be in weekly selection considerations in 2024. Wardlaw showcased his prowess in 2023, averaging an impressive 75 GDS fantasy points per game. Beyond statistics, it's his on-field presence that has captured the attention of footy fans and fantasy coaches nationwide. Wardlaw's exceptional ball usage and relentless pursuit of the footy, resulting in hard-ball gets and clearances, have earmarked him as a future star. While concerns linger over his soft tissue injury history, the flexibility of GameDay Squad allows for seamless adjustments. Despite this setback, Wardlaw's talent has the entire footy community buzzing with anticipation. He's undoubtedly a player destined to shine season after season, eliciting praise from GameDay Squad coaches for years to come.


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