Everyone wants to know… Who are the Rookie Forwards to Watch in 2014?
Rookie forwards were light on last season. Is it going to be similar again?? We have already talked about some of the Bargain forwards for this season, including Bock, Fasolo, Rohan, Karnezis, Clark and co. Will we end up with a forward line of bargain players, or are there some rookie superstars to watch that could slot into our teams? These are the forward rookies we are watching through the NAB Cup…
TOM BOYD – GWS
Real DreamTeam $212,800
AFL Fantasy $262,900
The famed #1 draft pick was a lock in well before the day. In the TAC cup he kicked 27 goals from only 6 games, averaging 16 disposals, 8 marks for a 99 DT pt average. In the under 18 champs he kicked 9 goals from 4 full quarters of footy before injuring his ankle. How on earth will GWS fit in this junior forward prodigy alongside Jeremy Cameron and Jon Patton is going to be exciting to watch! He will play, he will no doubt kick goals, but is he DT worthy at his premium #1 draft pick price. That is yet to be seen. There may be cheaper rookies and bargain alternatives who can make you just as much money. Lets see how he rolls out in the NAB cup.
JESSE HOGAN – Melbourne
Real DreamTeam $212,800
AFL Fantasy $265,600
Hogan was a preselected pick for Melbourne as a 16yo and couldnt play AFL last season. He played an entire season in the VFL as a 17yo and won the best and fairest for Casey, averaging 14 disposals, 7 marks, and multiple goals in 10 of his 15 matches, for an 81 DT pt avg across the whole season. Key forwards dont settle in at AFL level as quick as the smalls do, but if you were taking one of Boyd, Hogan and last year’s Patton… I think Hogan is the one to put in your DT.
JACK BILLINGS – St Kilda
Real DreamTeam $202,800
AFL Fantasy $257,400
Missed a bit of footy due to a knee injury last season, but in 3 games at TAC Cup level he averaged 25 disposals, 5 marks, for a 93 DT pt avg. A clear FWD/MID dual position player, he has shown the ability to run both ways, averaging as many rebound 50’s as inside 50’s. First thoughts would be that he will miss Round 1 and slot into the saints mid season, but preseason word is that he is at full preseason training already and set to play in the NAB cup. Despite injury, Billings was taken at #3 in the Draft and should be top priority for your DT when he starts to play, round 1 or not.
BEN LENNON – Richmond
Real DreamTeam $157,800
AFL Fantasy $233,100
Classy half forward flanker picked up at #12 in the draft who can always find the goal. He averaged 25 posessions a game for 110 DT pts through the TAC cup, 60 DT pts in the Under 18 champs. Not a solid defensive side to his game yet, but such a beautiful kick, should find some game time up forward for the Tigers. Watch for selection.
OTHER ROOKIE DEFENDERS TO LOOK OUT FOR…
Lewis Taylor – Very quick FWD/MID dual position, breaks lines and knows how to win his own ball. Averaged 31 disposals in the TAC cup, where he co-captained, 25 disposals in the under 18’s, where he captained VIC Country, and was #1 for centre clearances in the competition, oh and averaged 106 DT pts. Um… did we mention he can be picked as a forward, and was picked for a rebuilding Brisbane Lions team. Extremely high on watchlist at only $112,800 (DT).
Dayle Garlett – Very classy FWD/MID dual position, averaging 19 touches in the under 18’s but overlooked in the 2012 draft. Returning to the WAFL he kicked 48 goals as a forward flanker, 5th most in the competition, for an 84 DT pt average across the season. Hawks have given him a chance, and if they can just get the most out of him, he should feature this season for sure.
Mitch Honeychurch – Another FWD/MID dual position DT pick, and a Fantasy superstar. He averaged 102 DT pts in the Under 18’s and 94 DT pts in the TAC Cup. He can win his own ball, kicks goals, and predominantly played through the midfield as a junior. Watch closely to see if he can sneak a spot in the young Bulldogs side.
Cam McCarthy (#14, GWS), Jarman Impey (#21, Port), Zac Merrett (#26, Essendon) are other top draft picks to watch.
ROOKIE FORWARD CHEATSHEET
With such an abundance of Bargain forwards this year, and the top forward rookies being key position players, it might be one or two forward rookies slotting into a bench spot at this stage, dependent on who is getting selected. Wanna see where we think the following rookies will fit into our team this year? Click the blank forward below to see where we fit them in to start the season.
(Click above for rookie forward cheatsheet)
Of course the NAB cup will change all that no doubt, but at least you have a good starting point.
: Login now at http://afldreamteam.virtualsports.com.au to start your DreamTeam planning like we have.
Follow Justo on Twitter @DreamTeamFML.