Prequel fatigue: Crows v Power wrap

Another preseason game lacking much competitive interest, but with plenty of intrigue for fantasy coaches.

Prequel fatiguePort Adelaide had half their side out, as seems to have been the case for about half the sides in the NAB Challenge so far, so this game wasn’t close and will have no bearing on the regular season prospects for either club. There was much to pique the interest of fantasy coaches though, starting with Jared Polec topping the pops for the Power with a 91/87.

Polec played a HFF on David Mackay (99/108) including a 42-DT-point Q3, in the sort of individual matchup where you would expect much more attention to be paid to each other than to the ball once the real games begin. Nevertheless, Polec watchers from his time at Brisbane could see that he had all the toys, as Shane Warne would say; it was just a matter of him deciding to knuckle down and get the best out of himself. A change of scenery might be the best thing that could have happened to him. An unkind person might point out that getting out of Brisbane, specifically, might also be a good thing… but I wouldn’t be that sort of person. He’s in most fantasy sides already with good reason, though I think he’s more bench fodder than startable.

Eddie Betts (99/127) had a day out, which I don’t think is so important by itself as Eddie is not the sort of player who puts up consistent numbers, but for its knock-on effect on players around him in the Crows forward line. Jason Porplyzia started in defence which is an interesting thought given the injury to Nathan van Berlo and got subbed off with a minor niggle in Q3 with a 40/56, while the juicily priced Brodie Martin started forward for a 58/75. If he’s competing with Sam Kerridge (57/73) for the third forward spot behind Betts and Porplyzia, it’s a close run thing. If the Porpoise is rotated back and forward along with utilities like Matthew Jaensch or Martin, there could be room for all of them. Kerridge might the one to miss out due to his lack of flexibility, meaning Martin becomes very interesting for fantasy. And then there’s Charlie Cameron (42/29 from low TOG), who reminded me of Cameron Hitchcock… yeah nah, maybe not this year. It is a very fluid situation, so watch it keenly.

Elsewhere, Brent Renouf (47/62) reminded us why so much is expected of Matthew Lobbe this year. Oliver Wines appeared after half time and filled his boots with a 66/50. Could he build on his mid-70s and take it to 90s or maybe even 100s in his second year? History says no, it’s pretty much never done that way.

Who would you start if you had to make the choice: Polec or Matt Crouch? Do you think Martin is worth stowing away on your bench? Can you justify both Chad Wingard and Wines on your fantasy team at the same time? Let me know in the comments.

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