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2010 cheat sheet

Bushel babies: Underhyped players for 2010

Underhyped players

Some players just aren’t getting enough attention from fantasy coaches, if the FanFooty databases are anything to go by.

Similar to the overhyped players post a couple of days ago, I have been looking through the teams in the Fanplanner and see a few names way down popularity charts who I think should be given more consideration by fantasy coaches.

The Unloved Premiums

Paul Duffield, Brad Symes, Kane Cornes, Leigh Montagna, Andrew Embley, Hamish McIntosh and Leon Davis are all almost non-existent in the list of popular players in the Fanplanner. A significant amount of coaches I know choose every player with upside in mind, even rolled gold premiums like most of these blokes are. I can see why those sort of coaches might look askance at these players. Duffield, Tags, H-Mac and Neon Leon have just gone through a big jump in average last year, so the thinking may be that their value the year after such a rise will not be nearly as undersold. I think there is still some upside left, particularly in Duffman. I am surprised at the lack of H-Mac love since he was so good to a lot of coaches last year, and the uncertainty over Dean Cox means that if you’re going with a two-premium strategy for your rucks, McIntosh should be right up there behind Aaron Sandilands as a safe pick.

Symes is an example of the sort of player who has teased us before but has dropped off the radar. Coaches who picked him up last year in the hope that the likes of Andrew McLeod and Tyson Edwards might take a back seat as their bodies age were disappointed to find these evergreen champions had at least one more good year left in them. Most coaches bypassed Shannon Hurn last year for much the same reason, but Hurn finally delivered on the promise he had shown for years with a start-worthy year of 22 full games. I still think Symes has 10 or more points of improvement left in him, and the old codgers might not last out the season.

Kornes and Embley have been reliable warhorses for fantasy coaches for years now, but this seems to be the year that they get the flick, judging by the numbers. Both have gone through role changes at their clubs, and will probably change again this year, with Kane mooted for forward rotations. You can bet that Chad Cornes settling at halfback means that he’ll be waxing a lot of rebound pill with his brother, nonetheless. Embley seems to be a spare parts man but with the advent of Bradd Dalziell to permanently take a wing, Embley may settle into the lucrative half back line, in the manner that Sam Mitchell did last year with sexy results.

The Maligned Mid-Pricers

Melbourne Demons Training Session

Bachar Houli, James Hawksley, Cale Morton, David Mackay, Chris Yarran, Ben Warren and Sam Wright are the mid-priced players that I think are underappreciated. Houli has been on the outer at Windy Hill for a while now, but the reports I have heard from the Essendon intra-club match were good and it seems Houli has pulled his head in and has the coach’s confidence again, for the moment. I have liked him as a SuperCoach specialist for a while now, and with the rise of Jobe Watson and Brent Prismall there is room for another inside midfielder at Bomberland who won’t get the tags. Hawksley is mooted for a back pocket role this year at the otherwise top-heavy Lions, and while he may not set any houses on fire he could deliver respectable returns in the mould of Kyle Cheney – though hopefully with better job security.

Morton has gotten lost a bit amongst the draft hype at Melbourne. While he is priced rather highly, his upside is great considering that the Demons will actually be trying to win this year, thus will theoretically get more of the ball. His game is built for Dream Team, with the hallmarks of a highly outside (80% according to the Prospectus) Joel Bowden type appetite for uncontested marks and kicks, with little in the way of defensive assignments to interrupt his DT sluttiness. Mackay is a quiet, unassuming type who nonetheless used his permanent wing spot to slide into the top five in running bounces last year, underlining the outside nature of his game, tending towards the front half. Both Morton and Mackay are going into their third years and while the third year is not as important in AFL as it is in fantasy NFL, the graph of both of these lads is pointing towards them reaching premium status this year, a la Bernie Vince last year.

Yarran is a bit more of a long shot. Someone has to kick goals for Carlton, surely? Most conjecture revolves around the tall timber but Yarran seems to have been forgotten as a marking target. His undoubted quality is tempered by injury susceptibility, of course, but he seems to be getting through his second pre-season just fine. Don’t be surprised if he bobs up in the NAB with some tasty numbers. As for Wright and Warren, these two were the third and fourth mentioned on last month as being part of the flotilla of younger Roos being injected into the midfield, with Jack Ziebell and Levi Greenwood the others. Jay-Z continues to get the most love, but don’t take you eye off the others in the NAB.

The Hazy Rookies

Actually, I can’t fault the way that coaches have gone with rookies on the Fanplanner much, as information on early selections are impossible to come by. David Astbury is barely there but he’s no lock for round 1, though his stocks are rising. Mitch Banner is perhaps a little low, but again he’s got a mountain to climb. Phil Davis is still winning the battle for fantasy popularity over Shaun McKernan and Ricky Henderson but if that contest swings on the Adelaide training track then it will quickly reverse itself in fantasy too. It’s way too early to be locking in rookies anyway at this early stage, as the NAB will throw all the sticks up in the air again.



  1. Neppallis

    February 7, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Great Work Monty! I agree with everything!

  2. Deano

    February 7, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Very good article! Good stuff Monty!!

  3. LostGuy

    February 7, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I actually have Symes and McIntosh in my team.. Yarran was in at one stage too, but I didn’t think he was worth the risk

  4. reconfig

    February 7, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Brad symes is on a modified pre-season isnt he??

  5. LostGuy

    February 7, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    Symes is injured!! I think I’ll trade him out for Newman… he probably won’t improve much, but he’s consistent

  6. jsmithxiv

    February 8, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Pretty good Monty… Though you seem to contradict yourself with what you said in the ‘Overhyped players’ blog.

    In that one, you were very critical of people picking Cooney who “may” improve 10 points, saying this was a waste and better off looking for someone who’ll improve 25 points.

    Yet in this blog, you’re happy to spruik Symes who also “may” improve 10 points, and suggest he is a good pick-up…

    In particular reason why one is a better pick up than the other if they’re both a similar risk in terms of potential improvement?


  7. jsmithxiv

    February 8, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Sorry, should read “Any” paricular reason!

  8. Disco DB

    February 8, 2010 at 9:26 am

    @jsmithxiv – Symes is classed a Back, Backs tend not to boost their scoring by as much as Centres do. His point was there are probably stronger options in the centre than Coondawg. There are less options in the Backs.

  9. Frankdagun

    February 8, 2010 at 9:58 am

    MOnty, i’d imagine Leigh Montagna is being ignored due to his $668k price tag. With most coaches still selecting Ablett as a perma-captain, trying to squeeze in Swan, Montagna or even Dal Santo as a 600k plus premium in addition to Ablett would be difficult. Montagna’s price will surely dip at some stage making him a good pick-up.

    Also there is so much value with the likes of Hodge, Cooney, Vince & Prismall – why spend and extra 160k when you could upgrade in other areas

  10. m0nty

    February 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    jsmithxiv: As Disco DB says, my reasoning there is that Symes adding 10 points gets him to gold premium status, whereas Cooney still lies 15 points behind the leaders if he gets to 100.

  11. jmorgan

    February 8, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    In cooneys first 14 games in his brownlow year he averaged 119 supercoach points before suffering from his knee injury. He is now 24 and is at the beginning of his prime age (according to prospectus it lasts until 28 y.o. generally). In a team tipped to push for a premiership he could “potentailly” average more. Listen to the freak and jump on in supercoach, avoid in dream team.

  12. Swannies

    February 9, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Hey Monty,

    I was wondering if you could make a most consistant and least consistent list just because it is taking a long time to find all the info.


  13. Resch

    February 9, 2010 at 7:24 am

    @Swannies, Get the NAB Cup Record ($7). It has the most consistent list in it (for DT but will be a guide for SC too)

    Top 3 were – Thomas, Enright and Lovett-Murray.

  14. jggeddes

    February 9, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Monty – I was interested in Sam Wright, until he wasn’t listed in your projected 22 for North Melb, and wasn’t even on the “waiting” list! Might be worth a look otherwise, but by your own projections, he is pretty far from being guaranteed a game, or even being in the first 25-26 looked at.

  15. Disco DB

    February 9, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    @Swannies – download FFGenie and sort 2009 data by Standard Deviation (the smaller the SD, the more consistent). You can filter by position, minimum average or whatever. FFGenie is very handy throughout the season also.

  16. koray

    February 10, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    @ Monty i’m glad you put up Morton’s picture.I think i’m in love.

    P:S What do you think of Adams from the Kangas ?

  17. twinpeaks

    February 11, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Morton was a few years below me at school
    When he won the larke medal he went to; for anyone from Perth who would appreciate this, Club Bay View which is renowned for being filthy. Was dancing with the medal round his neck and pointing to a newspaper cutout of himself all night.
    A fairy, dont get him, if he ever tried tackling he would die

  18. burner09

    February 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    It’s a long shot but Michael Barlow from Fremantle is a prolific ball winner from Vic. Country and Weribee last year in the VFL averaging 30 Possessions, Turns 23 this year with years of senior footy experience in Victoria for Shepparton United as well, A ball magnet

  19. millsie69

    February 11, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    I’m looking forward to these ‘sexy results’ from Embley that you mentioned Monty haha

  20. crew

    February 18, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Wade Thompson ?? Played early last year ignored most of it now elevated?.

  21. Brazen

    February 25, 2010 at 12:59 am

    ^^^ very prophetic about Barlow Burner09! Not a ‘long shot’ in Fanplanner now I bet after NAB1

  22. wcarey

    March 3, 2010 at 12:34 am

    Most underhyped players will come from the underhyped dockers this year. Look for many DT genius’ surfacing

  23. Arky

    April 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Geez, after 2 rounds pretty much the entire underhyped list from this article are looking like shockers (except Montagna); of course, a few are injured and you can’t predict that, but geez.

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