Gold Coast… Based purely on Fantasy I’d be running with Fold Coast, however, a 10-win season is their best result since 2014! Hopefully a case of rising Suns come 2023 and beyond…
In these reviews, we will take a closer look at each club’s Fantasy snapshot for season 2022, whilst I nominate players for MVP, best rookie and biggest flop. I will also provide my two cents on what to look out for in 2023!
Most Valuable Player (MVP)
T.Miller by the length of the Flemington straight. Maybe slightly overexaggerating here, but there’s shades of Gary Ablett with how Touk is carrying this football club! In the past two seasons, Touk has elevated himself to become one of the elite midfielders in the game, duly recognised with back to back All-Australians, Coaches Association Player of the Year and 3rd in the Brownlow Medal this season. The crowning achievement amidst all these accolades was a spot in the Fantasy Fanatic’s All-Australian team (of course😜). It’s hard to imagine that Touk’s average fell by 12 points in 2022 but there was still daylight between him and the next highest averaging Sun (Anderson’s 98 vs Touk’s 110). He’s still only 26 so has plenty of good footy in him! Let’s just hope opposition teams let him roam with some freedom rather than dry hump him week in, week out.
With a promising young list, we got a glimpse of the likes of Malcolm Rosas (averaged 46 in 15 games), Joel Jeffrey (averaged 55.6 in five games), Mac Andrew (averaged 48.5 in four games) and in the final five games of the season, Mr Preseason himself Elijah ‘Dutchy’ Hollands! Despite not playing the first 18 rounds, Dutchy seemingly resided in >25% of teams for most of the season. He lived up to the preseason hype (albeit over five games!), averaging a solid 73 including a huuuuuge (and timely!) 118 vs Hawthorn in R21. Plenty of coaches out there running with dodgy F6’s (look no further than yours truly!) were able to activate their emergency loop in an act of pure shithousery! You imagine it will be onwards and upwards for Dutchy’s stocks as he continues to gain experience at AFL level.
Fair to say you’re never searching too hard when looking for a Flop at the Gold Coast Suns. The one with the most fantasy relevance this season had to be the Matt ‘Banana Boat Ambassador’ Rowell! After a couple of injury riddled seasons in 2020 and 21, Rowell began 2022 as one of the most hyped ‘value selections’ in the comp at $464K. He vindicated this hype with a huge 117 in R1 but unfortunately lost all concept of how to Fantasy in the following 10 weeks, averaging a paltry 67! Incredibly, our resident Banana Boat Ambassador managed only eight marks in his first twelve outings. A remarkable display of avoiding cheap +6’s like the plague. To be fair, Rowelly isn’t exactly alone when it comes to flops at the Suns. High draft picks in Lukosius, Flanders, Fiorini and even Jezza Sharp need to lift, particularly with the offseason exits of Rankine and Bowes! I like what Benny Ainsworth brings to the table and there is tremendous upside there if he does get a crack in the midfield.
As an aside, with all the talent leaving their club for peanuts, surely it’s time for the Suns to get creative with their contracts? Could it be as simple as tossing in a three-park super pass and watching them become a destination club?! Thank me later Tony Cochrane.
2023 shapes as an interesting season for the Suns. Can they continue on their improving trajectory, or will they remain about as relevant as Norf? They’ve lost Corbett, Rankine and Bowes but I don’t mind the additions of Ben Long and Tom Berry. If Berry can get consistent games early, he will be cheap enough for many coaches to jump on board! Brandon Ellis found himself down back over the final six weeks and was trusted with taking a bulk of the kick-ins. Should this role remain over the preseason, could be a cheeky POD for the adventurous coach. Elsewhere, Touk needs a few more of the boys in the engine room to come with him. You imagine with Touk copping plenty of attention, someone will get off the chain. The likes of Rowell and Anderson both enter their fourth seasons and I imagine some will take a punt given their talent and hype.
So there you have it folks, the eighth of the Fantasy Fanatic’s 2022 Reviews! Stay tuned for more new content, BWS Giants are next cab off the rank.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Feedback, comments and banter welcome.
Fantasy Fanatic #70