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Upgrade analysis: Forwards

(You may want to read the overall strategy reasoning before continuing)

High up in the thinking is Nathan G Brown, who’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, we’ll come back to this question if and when he plays. But when planning your forward-line strategy, don’t forget about Browny.

Best cheap rookies:

Fergus Watts ($94k): Given this bloke’s history of injuries, and St Kilda’s run of outs in that respect so far this season, you’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; he’s a fourth-year player and thus has a mature body. There’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 he’s going to shoot up to around $150k after this week’s games. A very skilled player, and a good bet to break into the Eagles’ best 22, particularly with Mark Nicoski recovering from a shoulder injury.

Jack Riewoldt ($82k): Not sure why Jack hasn’t got a run so far this year, but he’s in there now. Didn’t do anything in his first game, but has enough experience at VFL level to reasonably expect he’ll make a go of it early on in the big league. Added to that is Richmond’s youth policy. Hopefully, Jack gets a run.

Beau Dowler ($82k): This is the bloke who was chosen before Paddy Ryder for the Hawks. He’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 year’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 he’s fit, he’ll play – and if he plays, he’ll score ok. As yet, there’s no mention of him returning, but it’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 – they’re inconsistent, and don’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. He’s a champion Dream Teamer, who tends to play up the ground if the goals aren’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. He’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 shouldn’t be discounted.

Alan Didak ($280k): After scoring 80 in his first game back from injury, Didak has dropped off the pace somewhat. However, he’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 that’s something you’re considering.

Ryan O’Keefe ($308k): Yet another rock-bottom priced forward. O’Keefe has slipped away from last year’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.

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