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Top 10 fantasy-ready draftees for 2008

It’s a little dangerous doing this list at this stage of the pre-season, when we still haven’t got much of an inkling of what the selection chances of most of these players are for round 1. Nevertheless, we’ve got three weeks of NAB games to look back on by now, and the popularity of various players drafted in the 2007 National AFL Draft is already starting to take shape. (Note that I disqualified redrafted players like Stuart Dew from this list.)

#10: Lachie Henderson. An impressive 67 against the Bombers in the first week signalled Henderson’s potential to earn some cash cow dollars early in the season with Daniel Bradshaw likely to start late. 37 and 10 in the subsequent Challenge games weren’t so hot, but he remains a viable option to stow on your forward bench.

#9: Matthew Kreuzer. Rookie rucks are never huge stat earners… except for Josh Fraser, the last ruckman to be picked at #1 in the AFL National Draft. The Blues will play him because they’ve got bugger all else. His fantasy price is rather high for a bench player, but he’s popular with coaches regardless.

#8: Harry Taylor. He may only be a stopgap measure in the Cats backline until Matthew Egan returns from injury, but that’s going to be a couple of months away and in the meantime young Harry could accumulate a nice profit sitting on your bench.

#7: Cale Morton. Has gone under the radar a bit due to missing the televised part of the pre-season, but 110 and 42 in the last two NAB Challenge games can’t be ignored. If he misses out on initial selection then plenty of fantasy coaches will be waiting for him when he does debut.

#6: Chris Masten. We haven’t seen him in the pre-season due to his off-field indiscretion, but he’s an Eagles midfielder and nobody wants to miss the boat on the next Matt Priddis. Even if he doesn’t hit those heights, there will no doubt be plenty of numbers to share around in the West Coast engine room and he’s good enough to earn his share.

#5: David Myers. Has been rather quiet in the pre-season with scores of 33 and 42, then being rested last week. Essendon’s royal-blue-and-white game plan of handballing out of halfback will suit Myers down to the ground, however.

#4: Rhys Palmer. His numbers of 46 and 42 in the NAB haven’t been stellar, admittedly with limited TOG. Palmer is still right up there in discussions not only as a bench centre but in starting 22s from round 1. He’s that good.

#3: Cyril Rioli. A very consistent NAB campaign, capped by some eye-catching turns of speed and hard tackles in the Crows game last weekend, have locked Cyril in to countless fantasy forward benches.

#2: Scott Selwood. 62, 74 and 75 in the Eagles’ three NAB games: get on it! The Selwood machine keeps on churning out fantastic rookies, and this one’s eligible as a back… and he plays for the Eagles. Did I mention that? Sorry, I’m a little excited over here. 😉

#1: Craig Bird. It is amazing that a player taken at pick 59 is this highly rated before he has even played a home & away game, but the kid is good enough to warrant top billing. Racking up 84/96 in the first week going head to head against Sam Mitchell was enough to get everyone’s attention. The Swans have given him Paul Kelly’s old number, so they have to pick him in the ones. They just have to. Surely?

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