Fantasy Face-off: Zach Merrett vs Tom Mitchell

Compare the pair… Same age, same income, same starting balance…

All super advertisement gags aside, they say comparison is futile. What they don’t know is that this is AFL Fantasy so bugger that, it’s the name of the game to compare players and make potentially premiership winning decisions!

In this series of articles, I will put two players of interest head to head to see how they stack up against each other! Inevitably, as Fantasy coaches we are often faced the conundrum of “pick one”, whether that be due to salary cap squeeze, team structure, upcoming fixtures, etc.

For context, I will present multiple quickfire (Pros) and  (Cons) and from there try and split the two to come to a final verdict!

Match up #2 sees two household fantasy names go head-to-head! It’s the Pig Tom Mitchell taking on the Piglet Zach Merrett in an uber premium midfielder showdown!

Zach Merrett Player Tom Mitchell
192022 Games Played21
107.22022 Avg.96.3


Merrett is a proven fantasy genius… He’s the only player to average 100+ points in every season since 2016 – some stat and a testament to his consistency!

Merrett is as durable as they come having only missed three games (all in 2022) in the past five seasons! Incredibly, Merrett only spent three weeks on the side lines following a syndesmosis injury sustained early in 2022. For context, this is usually a six to eight week recovery!

✅ After an abysmal 2022, Essendon(e) will be out to prove the masses wrong. As one of Essendon(e)’s big dogs, I expect Zach to lead the resurgence from the front!

As one of Essendon(e)’s prime movers, there is always a risk that Zach attracts more attention from the opposition. For example, in R21 2022, Merrett was blanketed by BWS’ Perryman for a dismal return of 55! Ouch!

Plenty of chirp from Zachy good signs early!


✅ With Collingwood right in the premiership window, Mitchell has been recruited to fill a gaping hole… That is, to get his nose in the trough at centre bounce and win bulk clearances! They didn’t recruit him to pick daisies on a wing and I’d expect him to be in the Pies top-3 centre bounce attendees. Role is a big tick!

✅ Mitchell joins Collingwood with a point to prove after being slowly squeezed out of the Hawks midfield in 2022 as they looked to their youth… You know what they say… “Don’t poke the Pig!”

✅ We’ve got some heavily discounted premium bacon available here… Mitchell is priced at 96 ($853K)borderline daylight robbery for a guy who averaged 116 the year prior!

Despite progressing to a prelim final in 2022, the Pies were not the fantasy friendly club we had previously come to know and love. They ranked 12th for total fantasy points and only had two players eclipse an average of 90 (Crisp and Grundy). Their game style has evolved under McRae – will this work against the Pig?


Two excellent selections who will be pushing for a top 8-10 mid spot in 2023 However, Mitchell takes the cake for mine. The Pig has been recruited to play to his strengths which as we have seen over the journey has led to absurd fantasy returns! He’ll be back where he belongs in the trenches and I can see him averaging 105+ with ease. It is incredibly rare to see premium bacon of this calibre dirt cheap – Fantasy coaches far and wide won’t be complaining. Pump the spare $100K you save into improving another selection in your squad of 30!

So there you have it folks, the second edition of ‘Fantasy Face-off’? What did you make of it – agree? disagree? Who else would you like to see go head-to-head over the preseason? Let me know in the comments! Thoughts, feedback and banter welcome!

Cheers legends,

Fantasy Fanatic #70


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