(You may want to read the overall strategy reasoning before continuing)
High up in the thinking is Nathan G Brown, whoâ€™s retailing at $236k. An in-form Brown is a bargain at that price, but with sooo many injury worries, is it worth the risk? Of course, weâ€™ll come back to this question if and when he plays. But when planning your forward-line strategy, donâ€™t forget about Browny.
Best cheap rookies:
Fergus Watts ($94k): Given this blokeâ€™s history of injuries, and St Kildaâ€™s run of outs in that respect so far this season, youâ€™d be forgiven for trying to avoid Watts. He broke his ankle after playing one game last season, and has had further worries this season. Nevertheless, is a talented key forward and likely to play this year; heâ€™s a fourth-year player and thus has a mature body. Thereâ€™s not a great deal else in the cheap forwards department, so in my opinion Watts is the best bet.
Mitch Morton ($118k): Get him this week, because heâ€™s going to shoot up to around $150k after this weekâ€™s games. A very skilled player, and a good bet to break into the Eaglesâ€™ best 22, particularly with Mark Nicoski recovering from a shoulder injury.
Jack Riewoldt ($82k): Not sure why Jack hasnâ€™t got a run so far this year, but heâ€™s in there now. Didnâ€™t do anything in his first game, but has enough experience at VFL level to reasonably expect heâ€™ll make a go of it early on in the big league. Added to that is Richmondâ€™s youth policy. Hopefully, Jack gets a run.
Beau Dowler ($82k): This is the bloke who was chosen before Paddy Ryder for the Hawks. Heâ€™s still feeling the effects of a pelvis injury sustained just before he was drafted, but played some games last year and should do so before the yearâ€™s end too. Not a guaranteed huge scorer, but a handy bet to get some games.
Chris Scott ($111k): Watch this one carefully. Scott is still recovering from a massive hip injury, but the Lions have got him on the list for a reason. If heâ€™s fit, heâ€™ll play â€“ and if he plays, heâ€™ll score ok. As yet, thereâ€™s no mention of him returning, but itâ€™s one to keep your eye out for. IF he plays, that price is a bargain.
Leroy Jetta ($100k): Bit of a dark horse, and not the most reliable of choices. Small forwards rarely are â€“ theyâ€™re inconsistent, and donâ€™t pick up many stats. However, Jetta has already played this year, and when he recovers from a groin injury should get another run in the seniors.
Best upgrade targets:
Brad Johnson ($363k): Trust me, this is a great price for Johnson. Heâ€™s a champion Dream Teamer, who tends to play up the ground if the goals arenâ€™t flowing, thus ensuring a good score no matter what the situation.
Matthew Pavlich ($310k): After some slow games, Pavlich is back to a rock-bottom price for a guy of his capacity. Heâ€™ll start to fire up as the Dockers regain their form, and is a great pickup at this price.
Barry Hall ($304k): Another who, like Pavlich, is simply at a rock-bottom price and shouldnâ€™t be discounted.
Alan Didak ($280k): After scoring 80 in his first game back from injury, Didak has dropped off the pace somewhat. However, heâ€™s a good bargain at that price, and should return to top flight (and good scores) later this season. Handy swap for a Franklin or Cloke, too, if thatâ€™s something youâ€™re considering.
Ryan Oâ€™Keefe ($308k): Yet another rock-bottom priced forward. Oâ€™Keefe has slipped away from last yearâ€™s great form, but is worth considering as the Swans start to hop back into gear and improving their possession rates.
Jason Akermanis ($265k): Another cheapie. Aker is not the gun he once was, but he’s worth far more than this price. He’s inconsistent, but when he scores, he scores big time. Consider taking a chance – it could be the x-factor that gets you over the line in one or two matches.