Early 2009 fantasy preview: Richmond

I’m bullish on the Tigers next year, at least from a fantasy perspective. A lot of teams are going to play zone defence – with differing levels of competency – and Richmond’s game style is suited beautifully to playing against it, as evidenced by their performances against Hawthorn this year. They are in their element when their halfback flankers can ignore their men and drift up the ground. When Joel Bowden (98/18) and Chris Newman (82/22) are allowed to play high, they can sit back, spot up leads and use their good kicking skills to advantage by playing keepings-off. That’s why I think it’s almost mandatory to have at least two Richmond backs in your DT next year. If you don’t like either of the aforementioned two, Jordan McMahon (84/22) or Jake King (77/14) might be more to taste, but there will be plenty of points to share around. Jay Schulz (69/15) would be going a bit too far though.

There will be good numbers in the mids too. Shane Tuck (91/22) is still underpriced if you think he’s going to continue his second-half form next year. Kane Johnson (94/18) probably hasn’t got much more to improve. Nathan Foley (75/21) dropped six points this year in average, indicating how hard he was tagged, and I don’t expect that to change. I would be extremely wary of touching Mark Coughlan. Richard Tambling (74/22) has the most to give, I reckon, if he can get his confidence high – only two DT tons this year (105 and the bare 100), which indicates that he still hasn’t figured out how to dominate a game.

In the forwards, I don’t think there’s a huge amount to excite. I have a nagging feeling they might try to rehabilitate Kayne Pettifer (79/6) but he’s fully priced (EDIT: and rumour is he’s for the chop anyway). Cleve Hughes (47/6), Mitch Morton (66/17) and Jack Riewoldt (58/18) are not DTers. Brett Deledio, I fear, will be a centre only.

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