Man On Man: Bartel vs Judd, Reilly vs Masten, Grimes vs Raines

In a new feature, FanFooty blogger Mitchell Cleary compares three pairs of popular fantasy players.

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As the 2009 season draws closer and closer, I have taken a look at three vital match-ups that fantasy coaches will need to assess before the season begins. Which midfield gun, comeback kid or young gun will you pick?

Jimmy Bartel DT $501,800 SC $623,300 vs
Chris Judd DT $378,600 SC $594,500

Two former Brownlow Medallists, two premiership stars, two guns of the game… so which one are you going to pick? Or both? Both players are instrumental to each of their respective clubs’ midfields. Bartel shares the workload with Ablett, Selwood and Corey while Judd shares the locker room with Stevens, Gibbs and Murphy.

All reports say that Judd is back to full fitness and raring to go for a strong 2009, but he has had injury problems in the past and this may haunt him. Taggers love to follow him around the park, but he has shown the way he can break the shackles.

Meanwhile, Bartel has been a tremendous fantasy pick for so long and looks fit for another premiership tilt. Joel Selwood‘s game continues to rise, and with extra midfield rotations could this hamper Bartel’s fantasy season? Gary Ablett jnr always steals the limelight down at Kardinia Park, and this may work into the favour of Bartel as the taggers focus on young Gazza.

Brent Reilly DT $284,000 SC $316,300 vs
Chris Masten DT $306,200 SC $306,900

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Masten will be given plenty of time this season to impress under John Worsfold as he looks to blood plenty of youth, but is his body ready to step up for a rigorous 22 games of AFL footy?

At the Crows, Reilly will be eased back into action early but should see plenty of TOG in the middle of the season as the likes of Simon Goodwin and Tyson Edwards start to come to the twilight of their career. Injury is another thing for Reilly, who in previous years has struggled to stay on the park.

Jack Grimes DT $186,400 SC $188,400 vs
Andrew Raines DT $188,100 SC $279,900

Looking through the new FanFooty forum, it seems at least 80% of teams have these two players

in starting, or at least one. Both are bargains and with their pre-season form, both look potential steals for fantasy coaches. Melbourne has been crying out for a player that can mop up in defence and provide a decent kick, and they look to have found one in Jack Grimes. His game on the weekend, where he picked up 26 touches, earned praise from Dean Bailey. He has had injury problems in the past, so be wary.

As for Raines, many fantasy fans hope he can return to his best, as he is simply a “cash cow”. Injuries may hamper him, but if he can return to his best he is a must for all fantasy fans.

What are your thoughts? Who would you pick from these match-ups, or who else can be thrown up as potential battles? Most of you reading this post probably have a lot of these players but who will perform in season ’09 or who will crumble? I would love to hear your views.

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