In this article, we delve into the AFL Fantasy potential of Port Adelaide Power players, particularly focusing on their prospects for draft and keeper leagues. Last season, Port Adelaide impressed with a remarkable winning streak, yet they fell short when it mattered most in finals football. A notable aspect of their gameplay is their tendency to avoid over-possessing the ball, instead opting for swift movement up the field. While this strategy is mostly effective for them on the field, it means the are fewer opportunities for players to rack up those easy fantasy points through cheap possessions. However, it’s not all doom and gloom for fantasy coaches looking at Port Adelaide’s roster. Players like Connor Rozee and Zak Butters have demonstrated the ability to score big, and in this article, we aim to uncover the next wave of decent scorers from the Power.
Ollie Wines experienced his worst fantasy season since his debut year in 2023, a downturn largely attributed to his shifting role within Port Adelaide’s midfield group. Behind players like Connor Rozee, Zak Butters, and Jason Horne-Francis, Wines often found himself stationed on the wing rather than at the centre bounces. This change in positioning didn’t align well with his stoppage-focused style, impacting his ability to collect clearances – a key aspect of his fantasy scoring. However, there’s a glimmer of hope; I’ve noticed in preseason training that Wines has been spending more time in the midfield. Additionally, he appears fitter than last season, when injuries during the preseason likely affected his form and positioning. Despite this, I do think the future of Port Adelaide’s midfield leans towards the younger players, which might see Wines on the outer again in 2023. Nevertheless, with his increased fitness and midfield presence, I still believe he can average over 80 this season, making him a viable choice for one of the last midfield spots in AFL fantasy keeper leagues.
Ivan Soldo / Jordan Sweet
Ivan Soldo and Jordan Sweet are currently in a heated battle for the top ruck position at Port Adelaide, but whether either of them will become fantasy relevant is up in the air. A few factors are at play here that could complicate their fantasy scoring potential. Currently, Todd Marshall and Mitch Georgiades are on light training duties, and Charlie Dixon doesn’t seem to be at his peak AFL level anymore. This situation might lead to Ivan Soldo being pushed up forward, rotating with Jordan Sweet in the ruck, which would significantly hinder their fantasy scores. If the entire Port Adelaide team is fit and firing, I’d lean towards Soldo as the likely number one ruckman, which would make him a viable fantasy option. However, this scenario would probably see Sweet relegated to the reserves. The ideal situation for fantasy coaches is for one of them to secure the sole number one ruck role, avoiding the need to share duties. A tandem setup would unfortunately mean that neither becomes a strong fantasy scorer, so fingers crossed that one emerges as the clear favorite.
Aliir Aliir could see a notable shift in his role at Port Adelaide this season, particularly with the arrival of Esava Ratugolea and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher via the trade period. Their inclusion in the team might just free Aliir up to return to his stellar 2021 All-Australian form playing entirely as an interceptor across half-back. While I’m not expecting him to become a top-tier fantasy scorer, there’s a good chance he could average in the high 60s or even potentially nudge into the low 70s. This potential uptick in performance would make him a valuable bench contributor, especially in keeper leagues. Keep an eye on how Aliir adjusts to the team’s new dynamics, as he could be a handy asset in your fantasy squad.
The Breakout Contenders
Jason Horne-Francis is heading into his pivotal third year in the AFL, a period often seen as the breakout year for young talents in AFL fantasy. At Port Adelaide, he’s currently positioned behind Connor Rozee and Zak Butters in the midfield hierarchy. This lineup could somewhat restrict his scoring opportunities, particularly as he’s more of an inside midfielder with fewer chances for outside touches. Horne-Francis has also had stints in the forward line, but I expect we’ll see a decrease in his forward role this year as he builds his stamina to assume a more permanent midfield position. Despite being the third choice in the midfield, Horne-Francis is likely to be a reliable scorer in fantasy. He may not soar to the heights some are predicting just yet, but he’s definitely a player to consider for your team, offering solid, dependable points as he continues to grow and establish himself in Port Adelaide’s lineup.
Miles Bergman is an intriguing player who, on paper, looks like he should be racking up significant AFL fantasy points, but somehow, he’s yet to string together a consistent season. A key reason for this might be Port Adelaide’s defensive style; they’re a team that doesn’t dilly-dally with the ball in their defensive half. Instead, they prefer to move it on quickly, which naturally results in less possession-based play and, consequently, fewer fantasy points for their defenders. Bergman has a strong set of hands, which should theoretically enable him to take plenty of marks off the half-back line and boost his fantasy score. However, in Port Adelaide’s quick-moving defense, becoming a high fantasy scorer is a tough ask. With Xavier Duursma’s departure, there’s a chance Bergman might find himself on the wing this season. But even with this potential shift, I’m not convinced it will significantly enhance his scoring as we’ve seen him play there in the past with little improvement to his scoring. My hope for Bergman is that he can find his groove on the half-back line and evolve into the high-scoring fantasy player he has the potential to be.
Tom Clurey’s recent stint on the wing during a preseason match simulation at Port Adelaide training last week has raised a few eyebrows. However, I’m not convinced that this is a sign of a permanent positional shift for him in Port Adelaide’s senior side. It seems more like an acknowledgment that his days as a key defender are numbered, with the team exploring alternative roles for him. In all honesty, I don’t see Clurey featuring in the 2024 season, so he’s not a player you should be considering for your AFL fantasy team. It’s a tough situation for Clurey and there are better options to focus on.
The Stash Options
Jase Burgoyne is a player that Port Adelaide holds in high regard, and he’s shown some promising signs playing off the half-back flank in the past. From what I’ve seen in recent training simulations, Burgoyne has been starting on the wing, a role that appears to really suit his playing style. With Xavier Duursma’s departure and Riley Bonner’s move to the Saints, there’s a noticeable lack of depth in Port Adelaide’s outside midfield positions. This could mean that 2024 is the year we see Burgoyne stepping up to play more consistently. He certainly possesses the attributes to be a successful AFL fantasy player. However, it might take him a season or two to fully adapt to the top level of competition before he becomes a reliable fantasy scorer.
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