Free steak knives: Preseason hype team

Tim Shaw isn’t required to sell this team of February champions from the first round of the preseason.

We have had half of the 18 games in 18 days and the fantasy blogs are running hot with speculation, so it’s time to assemble a squad (this one picked in the Dream Team competition) comprised mostly of those who performed well in the preseason.

Perhaps surprisingly, I have not been able to find room for more than two Hawks despite them bossing the preseason so far. Four Demons shows how big their bandwagon is right now, though four Swans is maybe a few too many.

No doubt I’ll be able to compile another team after the second slate of games that will look a lot different!

Jarrad McVeigh – immune from the Swans’ tough early draw, proven champ
Sam Mitchell – could still have upside with less tagging pressure off halfback
Michael Hibberd – not a huge amount of upside but a little with his second half of 2013 being down
Andrew Mackie – I like Mackie to lift his scoring with Enright dropping a bit this year and Bartel switching forward
Matt Suckling – not entirely sold on this, maybe a sub risk, but there’s little else in this range
Luke McDonald – two strong NAB games makes this a no-brainer
Brodie Martin – contingent on him being named in R1
Alexis Georgiou – also has to be named R1 and given he’s a rookie this may be difficult

Gary Ablett jnr – Suns will lift this year and lift GAJ up to new heights
Tom Liberatore – has several more gears to go
Dayne Beams – if you don’t have this bloke I don’t know why you’ve read down this far
Jack Trengove – bit of an emotional gut pick but my gut is not the greatest (though it is big)
Xavier Ellis, Viv Michie, Jack Martin, Jared Polec, James Aish, Matt Crouch – most teams will have most if not all of this half dozen

Matthew Lobbe – genuine #1 ruck with a fabulous back end of 2013, lock
Tom Hickey – most would have Aaron Sandilands and I may get worn down on this one
Billy Longer – handcuff for Hickey
Fraser Thurlow – will play some games early

Patrick Dangerfield – pay for the best
Tom Mitchell – can’t argue with that form
Chad Wingard – when in doubt go for the younger player because they more likely have upside
Lance Franklin – going on the Cloke theory from 2013 of a player who survives a bad contract year rebounding
Troy Menzel – contingent on him getting picked for a fluid Blues forward line
Sam Lloyd – I like to start the mature-agers because they tend to have better early games
Jay Kennedy-Harris – I suspect he will have high standard deviation so he’s bench fodder
Gary Rohan – barely surviving on the end of my forward bench

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