Before 2023, there were concerns that Pipes might implement a “Richmond-based” game style, which some believe is not conducive to high AFL Fantasy scoring. However, it seems Pipes has adapted this style to better suit his team’s strengths, resulting in several high-quality options.
GWS has always been a favorite in the AFL community, yet they have sometimes made it challenging with a deep midfield and the tendency to underutilize certain midfielders (by assigning them to a wing). Before 2023, the Giants traded both Hopper and Taranto, with hopes of streamlining their midfield and providing more opportunities for emerging talents. This strategy paid off with the remarkable rise of Tom Green as a top-tier midfielder (M1). The Giants’ savvy trades have also left them with a wealth of draft picks, offering numerous deep fantasy options for drafts.
Last off-season, everyone was curious about where Harry Himmelberg would play. For those who drafted him, the outcome was disappointing as he initially played as a full forward, averaging just 55.9 from Rounds 1-10, delivering scores not even worth benching. After likely being dropped from rosters, he was picked up by astute coaches who benefited when he switched to half-back, where he thrived, averaging 86 for the rest of the season. He enters 2024 with a 2023 average of 72.3, but savvy coaches should consider moving him up their draft boards.
Harry Perryman has long tantalized fantasy coaches with his scoring ability, but he has also been inconsistent. His 2023 season was marred by injury, including a score of 2 in Round 1 due to injury. Excluding that round, his average for 2023 rises to 74.3. Keep an eye on his pre-season role; time spent at half-back could significantly boost his fantasy output. Perryman’s historical scoring has been in the mid-80s, offering potential upside if placed in a favorable role.
Brent Daniels, a key small forward for GWS, is not always top-of-mind in fantasy discussions. However, his importance to the team’s playstyle is undeniable. He comes into the season with an average of 70.2, a respectable score in a thin forward pool.
The Breakout Contenders
Finn Callaghan is a major breakout candidate for 2024. Heading into his third year after impressive junior performances, he averaged 90 AFL Fantasy points in the U18 championships. In 2023, he showed potential in an inside role, indicating he is poised for a significant leap in his game.
Tom Green and Callaghan are set to lead the Giants’ midfield in the coming decade, with experienced players like Josh Kelly and Coniglio likely taking on wing/half-forward roles. This shift should enable the younger duo to become the match-winners they have the potential to be.
The Stash Options
In discussing the Giants, it’s impossible not to mention their array of talented young midfielders awaiting bigger opportunities. The 2022 National Draft saw the Giants pick Harry Rowston and Darcy Jones at numbers 16 and 21, respectively. Both bring impressive junior fantasy records, with AFL Fantasy averages of 97.7 and 103.7.