The Eagles will go into 2020 searching for another flag with an experienced side. They will also have a few undervalued fantasy players this year with guys returning from injury along with some young guns.
Listen to our latest podcast: ‘Pre-season 2020: Sydney, West Coast & Western Bulldogs‘
Liam Duggan (B)
Liam Duggan has always promised but never quite delivered fantasy wise.
In our league in particular, Duggan has been a name on many coaches radars but he’s always failed to rise to the occasion.
In the last three seasons he’s averaged bang on 67 points, which is just below that magical 70 figure which you want from your D4 or D5.
At only 23 you feel there is more to his game as he has plenty of ability but he just hasn’t managed to take that next step.
In 17 of his last 36 games he’s scored 70+ but where he lets himself down is that he just doesn’t take the game to the next level with big scores and for a defender he often lets you down with too many scores in the 40’s.
In saying all of that, with Shannon Hurn now 32 and Brad Sheppard entering the latter stages of his career at 28, I feel that there may be a slight chance Duggan can get a more fantasy friendly role.
He has the tools to be a consistent defender, let’s just see if he can do something with them in 2020.
Definitely monitor in the upcoming weeks and is definitely worth a late pick.
Josh Kennedy (F)
I can see a big 2020 bounce back for the former Coleman Medalist.
Kennedy hasn’t done a full pre-season in three season but he’s just finishing up a full one heading into 2020.
In his prime of 2016 and 2017, Kennedy averaged 88 & 82 points but in the last two years he only averaged 65 & 54 points.
Fitness and injuries have played a big part in that dip, along with the fact that in the last two years his game time has dropped by 10%.
Everyone will be writing off JK on draft night, thinking he is past it and is too old but this means you are going to pick up a gun forward for peanuts.
He’s obviously one for a team that are hunting a flag and not worried about age but I’m excited to see what a fully fit Kennedy can do in 2020.
Could easily return to an 80 average and you should be able to get him nice and late.
Hamish Brayshaw (C)
Now Hamish is really only getting mentioned here as his last name is Brayshaw. I think we’re legally obliged to talk about every Brayshaw this pre-season but in saying that his WAFL numbers were very good in 2019.
Brayshaw accumulated 8 tonnes from 16 games which is very good going as we don’t often see many big scores in the WAFL.
He had a PB of 127 points and an average of 99.8 which put him 17th overall in the WAFL rankings last year.
Brayshaw was delisted and then re-recruited over the off season which is interesting but now Clubs are managing their salary caps a bit differently, it isn’t cause for great concern.
He’s one I’ll be monitoring in the Marsh Series because if he plays, I guarantee he’ll be putting up some big numbers.
The West Coast midfield runs really deep which does really hurt him, so I’d only recommend as a super late pick depending on what he does in the Marsh Series or as a waiver watch player throughout the year.
Jake Waterman (F)
Waterman spent his time split between the AFL and WAFL last season.
His AFL average was a modest 61 but he did average 72 from his last 3 games.
With Kenendy and Darling in this side, Waterman will have the opportunity to roam up the ground more in 2020.
He has a bit of Adelaide Tom Lynch about him when he plays at his best as that connector to the forward lines.
Back in the WAFL he averaged a very solid 92 which is great going for that competition.
Waterman will be fighting big Oscar Allen for that final spot in the Eagles forward line.
He’s a bit in between the firsts and seconds at the moment but if he cements a spot I think he could be a a handy late pickup.
Jamie Cripps (F)
Cripps is a real underrated keeper commodity who had a bad run with injuries last season.
He only averaged 64 in 2019 but did pull out a big tonne in the finals.
While he did rack up 8 scores above 80 from 19 games, including finals, he had lots of low scores which dented his average.
Prior to 2019 his averages were as follows:
If fully fit this season, he should average 75 at minimum and will be a handy acquisition for an F4 or F5 spot.
Nic Naitanui (R)
Nic Nat is back and he’s going to be hungry for success this year.
He’s basically had three injury interrupted years but has finally got a full pre-season under his belt and looks ready to go.
He averaged 72 last season from 3 regular season games and if you add in his finals scores, his average goes up to 78.
This issue with Nic Nat is that he’s probably going to have a low TOG percentage for the rest of his career, but his PPM are through the roof.
He’ll ruck the whole time he’s on the field, win taps, tackle, take marks and get touches.
Durability the issue with Nic Nat. If he stays fit this season he should go around the 80 mark but you’ll need to cross your fingers and toes.
He’s not someone I’d be drafting if I was starting a new Keeper League or in a draft league but can be handy cover for those deep into a long term keeper when good rucks are scarce.