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Early 2009 fantasy preview: Brisbane

The numbers in brackets after each name are their Dream Team home & away averages (unless Super Coach is specified) and games played in 2008.

Obviously Voss is the variable here. Yes, he will try a more possession-style gameplan, which can only be good for fantasy – if not for the Lions’ opponents. Brisbane have given up the most fantasy points to midfielders this season, something which may change if Voss gets the kids playing keepings-off “tempo footy”.

I don’t think Voss will tinker all that much with structure to start with. Brisbane is a good side when it plays to its strengths, which is winning the clearances and getting it quick to Brownshaw. Unfortunately, they have gone through long stretches this year where they have been smashed at clearances due to the poor quality of their B midfield rotation. Justin Sherman (61/18) and Michael Rischitelli (78/21) have been particularly disappointing – Voss really needs to get their workrate up.

Albert Proud (50/7) and Jed Adcock (70/21) are looking tastier than a Bacon Deluxe meal. Joel Macdonald in SC (94/17) is perhaps a little too expensive but in DT (74/17) has some improvement left. I doubt Jared Brennan (84/22) will stay a back for fantasy purposes, but if he does he’s worth considering.

Matthew Leuenberger (43/10) may just have priced himself out of warming the fantasy pine, and he’s not ready for your 22.

I don’t rate their defence. Daniel Merrett can be horribly exposed on the gorillas, Jason Roe is too often injured, Macdonald the same, Ashley McGrath is a stopgap, and Joel Patfull is not big enough. They can overcome that by winning shootouts, though. Josh Drummond (69/13) regularly injures his hammies, quadriceps, quintriceps and nonaceps, which puts him out of my mind despite his high ceiling. For fantasy, no one outside Macdonald is interesting for salary cap comps, Drummond is only suitable for Lethal League, Fox and Premium DT where trades are cheap, and McGrath and Patfull are fringe at best even in PDT.

As for their forwards, Jonathan Brown (88/21) fooled a lot of coaches early this year with talk of a big pre-season, but it turned out that he was carrying an injury through most of a disappointing first half of the season so he’ll be less popular in 09. Daniel Bradshaw (76/20) will undoubtedly lose back eligibility which nullifies most of his relevance in salary cap comps. The big question is whether any of the small forwards will step up: Matthews’ use of Rhan Hooper (58/20) and Anthony Corrie (57/20) was mystifying late in the season, to the extent that they both went backwards in DT scoring from ’07. Even if one of them do break out, the nature of the position is such that they are highly unlikely to push 80 and thus aren’t keeper material.

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