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AFL Fantasy preview: Midfield

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 02 : Tom Rockliff of the Power is tackled by Richard Douglas of the Crows during the 2019 JLT Community Series match between the Adelaide Crows and the Port Adelaide Power at Memorial Oval on March 02, 2019 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 02 : Tom Rockliff of the Power is tackled by Richard Douglas of the Crows during the 2019 JLT Community Series match between the Adelaide Crows and the Port Adelaide Power at Memorial Oval on March 02, 2019 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)

WITH the AFL season less than two weeks away, some of us are madly scrambling to put together our AFL Fantasy teams.

For most, we might as well not even bother, but at least we have fun.

portadelaidefc.com.au wants to help and has taken a look at some of our club’s best bets to help you at least get close.

Today we have a look at our midfielders.

 

The absolute lock:

Ollie Wines ($678,000) We know he is in doubt for round 1 but it’s a long season and he is the club’s best midfield performer of 2018. Wines averaged 93.5 points, playing 22 games last season. That tally sees him sit inside the competition’s top 30 midfielders for AFL Fantasy scores from last season.

Port Adelaide’s new co-captain averages 26.1 touches per game, 3.3 marks and five tackles. He had 25 or more touches in 15 of his 22 games last season including twice reaching 35 disposals. He passed 100 AFL Fantasy points 10 times in 2018 and will be aiming to score more highly in the Power’s high-intensity attacking brand of football this year. With the AFL’s new starting positions at centre bounces, it seems quality inside midfielders will dominate and Wines is certainly one of those.  

 

The roughy:

Tom Rockliff ($600,000) previously known as the PIG for his ability to score so highly in AFL Fantasy, Rockliff fell away in 2018 after making the move to Port Adelaide from Brisbane. The former Lions skipper averaged 82.9 points in 2018, well down on his career average of 103.4, which is incredibly impressive over a 10-year career.

Expect him to bounce back in 2019 if his JLT2 game is anything to go by. Having had shoulder surgery in the off-season, Rockliff looks lean and fit and his 41 touches, 16 marks and two goals saw him rack up a healthy 178 AFL Fantasy points. That’s just short of his career high of 190 points scored against Gold Coast in 2014. In that game he had 31 kicks! He also once had 32 handballs against Hawthorn in 2015. Rockliff is a guy who knows how to find the ball, with a career high of 48 disposals against Carlton in Round 11, 2016.

Now that he is settled, and has the ability to play on the inside or outside, expect him to be back to his high scoring best in 2019.

 

The rookie:

Zak Butters ($248,000) Butters has quick become a fan favourite amongst the Alberton faithful after his performances in an intra-club match, an under 23 trial game and two JLT Community Series matches. In his first JLT game against Adelaide, the teenager was the highest scoring AFL Fantasy player in the Power side with 93 points on the back of a 25 disposal, five mark and four tackle performance. He then backed that up with 14 touches, three marks and three goals against North Melbourne in JLT2.

A classy and smart footballer, Butters averaged 20 disposals, four tackles and four clearances for the Western Jets in his draft year, proving he knows how to find the ball. He is very much in Round 1 calculations and will play plenty of games in 2018, so at a bargain basement price he represents good value and a quality investment. Expect a price rise fairly early in the season.