When playing fantasy footy, it always feels satisfying when you find yourself with the upper hand. Usually this comes in the form of luck, picking the right player at the right time, captaining player x over play y or maybe just picking the right players to sit it out on the bench that week.

Whilst a lot of it can come down to the simple toss of the coin, it’s always tough to make the right call every time based on our own knowledge. Sometimes, however, it takes more than just luck and requires coaches to think outside the square and look for ways and players they think can give them an edge.

With the game increasing in popularity, it also seems that it’s harder and harder to pick a side that stands out without being full of foolish picks. The popular players such as Gary Ablett, Lance Franklin and Brendon Goddard almost cancel each other out because nearly every serious coach owns them. Maybe there’s a case for considering those who might not be the most picked but are considered underrated and could provide a huge point of difference if they come through.

It’s about weighing up the upside of the player and whether or not it’s worth taking the risk of falling behind if things don’t work out due to form or injury.

In such competitive competitions, it makes sense to look outside the same pool of players that most other coaches have already locked in. If things go right for the following players, they will be big boosts for the coaches who decide to take a few calculated risks.

Here are five players that fit into aforementioned point of difference category and why they’re worth considering in 2013:

 

Paul Chapman (midfielder/forward) 
2012 Fantasy/SuperCoach averages – 97.4/100
2013 Fantasy/SuperCoach starting prices – $502,600/$535,600

It probably wasn’t the most prolific year for “Chappy” in 2012 but nonetheless, his fantasy scores still stacked up with the best of them. A viable option as either a forward or midfielder, it’s easy to see a lot of coaches overlooking him due to his hamstring problems and age.

Some would say he’s on the way down, but there’s no reason why Chapman can’t replicate what he’s done so well across the past few seasons once again. Providing he stays on the park, he should average close to 100 in both competitions.

The injury concerns are somewhat overplayed; Chapman hasn’t played less than 20 games since 2009, even with Geelong rotating its older players. Expect him to be a top 10 forward again this year.

 

Scott Selwood (midfielder)
2012 Fantasy/SuperCoach averages – 97.1/104
2013 Fantasy/SuperCoach starting prices – $503,500/$556,700

Whilst Selwood probably won’t be the first mentioned midfielder when it comes to premium options, there’s no ignoring the numbers he put up last year. He tackles hard which keeps his score constantly ticking over and is always in the thick of the action.

Another alternative premium option, Selwood is different to Chapman in the fact that he hasn’t turned 23 yet. You could argue he has plenty of upside left, averaging around the 100 mark in both competitions. If he continues to develop on the back of last year, expect his average to jump up, putting him amongst the elite midfielders.

It’s always hard to decide which top quality mids you want to select, and going a little different in this area of the ground could pay huge dividends if a player like Selwood shows continued improvement.

 

Paul Duffield (defender)
2012 Fantasy/SuperCoach averages – 82.8/92.7
2013 Fantasy/SuperCoach starting prices – $426,800/$496,700

A proven fantasy performer in years gone by, Duffield struggled under new coach Ross Lyon and was eventually dropped in the middle of 2012. He then returned to finish the year on a stronger note, putting up an 82 average in Fantasy and 92 in SuperCoach.

At his best, Duffield is a great rebounding option for the Dockers and carries the ball well. He has always played good footy at Freo’s home ground of Patersons Stadium and if he can continue on from his strong finish to last season, he could be considered fairly undervalued.

Duffield is certainly worth the risk. If he is able to string some consistent games together, he should be close to the top seven defenders and a 90-point average. He has shown in the past that he can score very effectively.

 

Jonathan Brown (forward) 
2012 Fantasy/SuperCoach averages – 79.5/77.9
2013 Fantasy/SuperCoach starting prices – $409,600/$418,100

One of the most intimidating forwards in the game, Brown has always had the capability to dominate the fantasy landscape. He is constantly a threat to kick big bags of goals but hasn’t been surrounded by the best side in recent years as far as delivery into his forward 50 goes. Expect this to change in 2013.

It’s evident that the Lions are on the up and Brown will be one of the first players to benefit from this. He puts himself in good positions all game long and if Brown stays healthy, he could show massive improvement on his numbers from last year.

With Brisbane looking to improve and Brown the primary cog in the Lions forward line, he looks to be a pick of great value if the Lions continue their pre-season form. He will certainly be overlooked in favour of younger options but even at his age, he is still one of the better forwards in the game.

 

Todd Goldstein (ruckman)
2012 Fantasy/SuperCoach averages – 79.1/93
2013 Fantasy/SuperCoach starting prices – $407,300/$497,900

Nearing the prime of his career and facing his first season with the prospect of being the number one ruck option, Goldstein looks set to have a big 2013. He has always played alongside Hamish Mcintosh, now at Geelong, and has proven to be a great scorer when filling the role on his own.

Whilst North has other ruck options, Goldstein should be the first of them picked and has shown in the past to be a consistent scorer. He showed the heights of his ability in 2011 when he averaged close to 100 in Fantasy and 105 in SuperCoach.

If he can return to that level this season, he’s 20 points undervalued based on his price this year. He looks to be a great ruck option in a position where coaches have chosen to select a variety of players using different strategies, whereas it has been popular to simply pick two premiums to ‘set and forget’ in the past. Goldstein is set to have a consistent year and provide a big point of difference in the ruck department.