Lemmens-ade: Lions v Suns wrap

Valid rookie back prospects are suddenly jumping out of the woodwork, including a young Sun.

This game did not have anything at all to recommend it as a spectacle if you were after a contest. The Suns were resting most of their first choice midfield, while the Lions brought in their best side after the reserves had been flogged last week away to the reigning premiers. Only Harley Bennell enlivened proceedings from the Suns side with four opportunist goals, though even that could only push his scores to 87/110 with three marks and zero tackles, suggesting that he is a long way off being a fantasy premium.

When you get a batch of lemons the correct thing to do is make lemonade, and that is what Sean Lemmens did with a 53/37. Pick 27 in last year’s draft, Lemmens looked a lot better than those in the Suns backline with whom he would be fighting for a spot. Trent Mackenzie is guaranteed one of those spots, but with Matthew Shaw (60/76) earmarked for a HFF role, David Swallow returning to midfield and Jarrod Harbrow playing wing, there are spots available beside the Cannon. Greg Broughton (42/34) may fill one of those slots, albeit he hasn’t looked all that interested in the preseason. Jeremy Taylor (54/48) is set for the magoos. Thomas Murphy is the one who should give up his senior spot, having played 17 games last year but looking terrible in this game with multiple goals attributable directly to his poor positioning. Lemmens should be picked for round 1, adding much-needed depth to fantasy backline options.

The Red Rock combo of Jack Redden (142/141) and Tom Rockliff (130/132) dominated as you would have expected, but not much can be read into this. Dayne Zorko (84/111) also filled his boots but I would advise caution for those hoping he regains his 2012 form. Pearce Hanley ended with a 101/87 after starting as a sweeper across halfback drifting back from the wing, a role which under normal circumstances would attract more attention; this is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does underline how his 2014 will depend on how he deals with tags.

James Aish (60/63) and Jack Martin (52/69) motored along nicely, cementing their round 1 spots in all serious fantasy sides. It was the first hit out of the year for Claye Beams, who also started in defence and began slowly on the stat sheet, but ran the game out for a 57/60. He looked like the run would do him the world of good coming off that knee reconstruction, and he is worth watching in the third preseason game to see if he lifts his ratings. Beams has high upside when fit but the concern I have with him is whether he will be fit enough for round 1, or whether he might start the year in the NEAFL.

Finally, it was revealed on the Fox Footy coverage by coach Guy McKenna that Daniel Gorringe (48/48) was the only tall at Gold Coast to have achieved a full preseason, with the rest battling niggles or recovering from offseason surgery. The important one of these for fantasy is Rory Thompson, who is fighting to be fit for round 1 with a hip injury and won’t be seen in preseason, because if he can’t go then it looks like Clay Cameron (17/29) will get the gig to support Matthew Warnock (33/43) and Steven May (25/64) as third tall back. It was Cameron who was first matched up on Luke McGuane (55/73) who booted three goals in Q1, with Warnock quietening him down after QT, so one shouldn’t expect too much from this kid. It’s good to have options in your fantasy backline, nevertheless.

Are you biting into Lemmens, or are you going to suck it and see? How many of the Red Rock combo is in your squad? Is Claye in your team at the moment alongside his brother Dayne Beams? Let me know in the comments.

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