You know it’s a bad idea before you even click ‘add to team’. You know you shouldn’t be doing it and yet you can’t stop yourself. Before you know it, your gamble on a ‘should-I-or-shouldn’t-I’ player is losing you head-to-head games and sending your global ranking screaming into the dust.
This year is different. This year, we’re here to guide you through the list of players you should not, under any circumstances, put into your fantasy teams. So grab a pen and some paper and get ready to draw a solid red line through these names.
Just don’t. Please. Josh Hunt might seem like a really good option – he’s got a booming left foot coming out of defence and Geelong like playing him on small opposition forwards. He’s a nice mid-range price, projected to be worth $414,800. A closer look at his price reveals why 5,076 SuperCoach teams in 2012 would likely have been swearing angrily at their computers on Monday mornings “That bloody Hunt!” Firstly, Hunt averaged 64.9 from 20 games in 2012. Not good, not bad. However, when you look at players cheaper than Hunt who had higher averages, his selection in over 5000 teams becomes astounding. Names like Nick Malceski, Ted Richards, Sam Wright, Jarrod Harbrow and Chris Newman are all cheaper than Hunt, and average almost 12 points more weekly. All up, an incredible 51 players that averaged higher than Hunt in 2012 are projected to come cheaper than him in 2013. There’s an honour roll of names you should get instead. At the top of this list is Nick Malceski, and if you can afford $6,000 you can get Josh Gibson or Courtenay Dempsey. Boom. Problem solved.
Zac Dawson is projected to be an awkward $265,500 this year. Much about Dawson is awkward, including his gait and hairstyle, and the trend seems certain to continue. For reasons unbeknownst to most, Dawson gets a game nearly every week, having played 16 last year, and averaged a disgusting 49.6. Dawson was in over 7,600 teams in 2012. Yes. Really. A quick look at Dawson’s totals in his 16 games of 2012 almost induces vomiting. There’s a horrific 10-point game in there against Adelaide, followed up with a 29 against Richmond the next week. In fact, Dawson didn’t go over 70 the entire year. The closest he got was 68. Twice. You don’t want this guy in your backline. Save yourself over $100,000 and pick up a highly-rated defensive rookie. Try Nick Vlastuin. If you absolutely have to have someone around Dawson’s price range, Matt Buntine is a better option.
Harvey has been a wonderful choice for fantasy teams for a long time with his ability to rack up touches seemingly at will and score goals that others wouldn’t think about. Even in 2012, he opened up at $548,000 and averaged 95 across the year, so his inclusion in this list might surprise a few.Put simply, Harvey shouldn’t be in anyone’s team this year. Firstly, he’ll miss the first 6 games of 2012 due to a crude set of hits on Daniel Kerr and Adam Selwood in the Elimination Final last year. Secondly, he’s getting old. The smart money is on Harvey spending more and more time in the sub vest.If you absolutely have to have Harvey, trade him in after Round 6. He’s projected to open up at $511,000 this year, so for that price you could have a huge list of players who will actually play from Round 1. These include Jordan Lewis, young star Toby Greene or dual-position choice Bryce Gibbs.
Magner burst onto the scene in 2012, effectively doubling his value in the first two rounds. Considered the best cheap prospect in the league, Magner proceeded to disappoint all those who picked him up expecting more of the same. Magner didn’t score above 90 for the rest of the year, and didn’t score above 60 in his final seven games.Don’t be fooled this year; Magner is projected to open at $317,200, which is an insane price for someone who averaged a paltry 59.3 in 2012. Magner may see less game time in 2013 with Melbourne’s recruitment of Jimmy Toumpas, who should definitely be in your team, and the rise of Michael Evans and Daniel Nicholson.At his price, Magner shouldn’t get a spot in your team. Jamie MacMillan from North Melbourne is a wise decision at $334,900 if you can afford him, or as mentioned with Zac Dawson, you can save yourself almost $200,000 and grab a rookie – maybe Carlton’s exciting first-round selection in Troy Menzel.
Notorious B.I.G said it best: “If you don’t know, now you know.” Avoid Shaun Higgins for fantasy football at all costs. People fall for the pre-season articles showing Higgins at full flight, displaying every drop of his mercurial talent every year. He was in over 7,300 teams in 2012 and let every single of those teams down with an average of 79. The average itself is not bad, but with a price tag of between $450,000 and $550,000 every year, Higgins never lives up to expectations.Only four scores above 100 in 2012 are a huge warning sign. Higgins drops value and drops it quickly. A projected price tag of $425,000 might tempt the uninitiated, but it should be written in big bold letters in the header of any fantasy football website: avoid Shaun Higgins.Better mid-price forwards to have that will save you countless hours of agony and some handy cash include Jack Darling and Andrew Walker. If you’re feeling frisky, Stephen Milne will save you about $60,000 over Shaun Higgins.
The pint-sized Pie was in almost 6,000 teams last year. Perusing his scores over 20 games, a frightening level of inconsistency reveals itself. His value went down, before it went up again, reaching a season-high $511,700, before plummeting by over $100,000 to end up at a mediocre $399,900. His season average was 88 despite only scoring over 100 four times. Several scores in the 90s may have inflated his average, but Blair’s scores bounced around in the 60s and 70s a lot during the season.This year, Blair is projected to open up at $473,800. Save yourself the hassle of hoping for a consistent performance from Blair and pick up one of the players in his price range.For example, you can get Dustin Martin for $300 less – his price has dropped a significant amount due to a comparably poor 2012 – or Jack Riewoldt, who gets the overwhelmingly large majority of Richmond’s forward 50 entries, for $485,900.
Every year there are players fantasy coaches agonise over. This year, don’t be hasty – do your research, check the price range of your desired player and see if there’s a better option. You’ve got plenty of time to pick your team.
And for the love of god, do not pick Shaun Higgins.