You know what they say… you’ve got to risk it to get the biscuit!
Mid-price mayhem is back and better than ever in 2023!
In this article, I’ll take a closer look at seven mid-priced players to consider and list some other options you should keep on your radar. These players can really make or break your season! If selected well, you’ll be laughing your way up the rankings. Conversely, if selected poorly, you could be in for a long season with soul-destroying spuds left, right and centre sitting in your squad… The temptation is hard to resist given the value these guys present in the right circumstances.
*For the purposes of the article, a mid-priced player is valued between $400K and $700K. Ownership (%) as at March 9. DNP = Did not play.
Elliot Yeo ($625K DEF – WCE | 2022 Average: 57.4 | 37.13% owned)
Yeo’s 2022 season was symbolic of the Eagles woes… Personally, he battled through multiple injury setbacks managing just the five games at an average of 57… The good news? As fantasy coaches we have the opportunity to select Yeo at a massive discount given what he is capable of. He has multiple 100+ average seasons to his name and you would think the only way is up for Yeo and co! He showed what he is capable of in the praccy game vs Crom where he scored 89 points in 67% time on ground, all while attending 12/30 centre bounces. It appears to be a safe selection and 37% of coaches are on board the Yeo-Yeo.
Will Day ($537K DEF – HAW | 2022 Average: 60.7 | 8.94% owned)
The young Hawk has been earmarked for more midfield minutes in 2023 with the departures of both Mitchell and O’Meara. Day has previous plied his trade down back and off a wing but with a big preseason under his belt, he is primed to enter the hawks on-ball brigade. Day was solid in Hawthorn’s practice game vs Collingwood with 73 fantasy points, however, it was the 16 CBA’s that will have coaches excited for what lies ahead. Priced at 60, plenty of coaches will see value here.
In the Mix:
- Jordan Ridley ($669K DEF – ESS | 2022 Average: 75.5 | 2.09% owned)
Dom Sheed ($591K MID – WCE | 2022 Average: 70 | 19.01% owned)
Another Weagle who struggled through multiple serious injury setbacks in 2022 – first an ankle injury and then a stress related injury after returning mid-season to register a solitary game. Sheed was solid in West Coast’s practice match, he looked to be moving well and registered a modest 78 fantasy points frrom 75% time on ground with 17/30 CBA’s… The value is undeniable, the question is, can you fit Sheed into you midfield given the mid-price tempters on the table?
James Worpel ($463K MID – HAW | 2022 Average: 52.3 | 26.49% owned)
Another Hawthorn player set to benefit from the exits of both Mitchell and O’Meara… Worpel will be looking to put a clanger of a 2022 behind him and is only priced at 52! Incredible to think this bloke won a best and fairest only a few seasons ago. He looked impressive in Hawthorn’s practice game vs Collingwood with his physicality – he was a bull around clearance and racked up 30 touches of his own as well as attended 18/31 centre bounces. In my opinion, probably one of the safer bets going around given how cheap the man is!
In the Mix:
- Finn Callaghan ($406K MID – BWS | 2022 Average: 54 | 12.06% owned)
- Ben Cunnington ($668K MID/FWD – NORF | 2022 Average: 52.5 | 2.6% owned)
Lloyd Meek ($473K RUC – HAW | 2022 Average: 60.7 | 4.71% owned)
It wouldn’t be a fantasy preseason without coaches contemplating going away from the tried and tested ‘set n forget’ ruck structure… Meek made the move east over the 2022/23 offseason and while he was the best of the Hawks big boys in their praccy match vs Collingwood, he didn’t set the world on fire and was sharing ruck duties with Reeves. For coaches considering, this one may simply come down to if Meek is playing as the solo ruck come R1.
In the Mix:
- Sam Draper ($524K RUC – ESS | 2022 Average: 59.2 | 7.16% owned)
Toby McLean ($401K MID/FWD – WB | 2022 Average: DNP | 18.85% owned)
A popular preseason selection that coaches have cooled their jets on based on his performance in the practice matches… McLean was deployed off half-forward and rotated onto a wing in the Doggies scratch match vs Norf and while he had his moments, he never really got into the game. With the Doggies sporting a stacked midfield, I don’t see midfield minutes coming the way of McLean but the fact is he is priced at about 45! It seems borderline fraudulent for a guy who put together a season average of 94, albeit back in 2018!
Archie Perkins ($527K FWD – ESS | 2022 Average: 59.5% | 0.75% owned)
One of the positives to come out of an otherwise terrible season for Essendon in 2022 was Archie Perkins. I see 2023 as a big growth year for Perkins as Brad Scott looks toward the next wave of young midfielders – fair to say midfield minutes will be up for grabs as illustrated by his 8/17 CBA’s in the Dons praccy match vs St Kilda. He managed a solid score of 80 from 79% time on ground… Priced at 59, you could certainly do a lot worse than take a punt on Archie!
In the Mix:
- Tanner Bruhn ($471K MID/FWD – GEEL | 2022 Average: 53.2 | 6.11% owned)
- Sam Flanders ($508K MID/FWD – GCS | 2022 Average: 44.3 | 3.98% owned)
It would be unwise to start with all of these guys given the high risk vs reward. If you are looking for a ‘safer’ bet, you’d be looking at players with higher ownership such as Yeo, Worpedo and Sheed. If they do flop, at least you have the comfort of knowing that a lot of other coaches are in the same boat. Many of the players mentioned in this article are relying on playing a more fantasy friendly role to warrant selection. Primarily, this is increased midfield time which was a recurring theme when I was making this article.
As a rule of thumb, don’t go sacrificing your team structure for the sake of (over) selecting mid-pricers. Remember, you picked your premiums for a reason so back them in! Also make sure you don’t miss out on those all important rookies for cash generation. For me, the backbone of my side is made up of premiums and rookies. I’ll only select mid-priced players if I see real value and upside or a change of role that warrants their selection. For instance, more midfield time generally equates to greater scoring output.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments! How is your side structured and just how much will you be getting amongst the mid-price mayhem?!
Fantasy Fanatic #70