Excitement is ramping up as we get closer to the start of the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, and AFL Fantasy coaches are getting closer to locking in their squads for the year.

SUNS Media has had a look at the midfield and ruck positions and previewed some players to consider for your teams.

Premium Stock:

Hugh Greenwood (MID) – $737k

Playing all 17 matches in 2020, Hugh Greenwood rewarded those coaches who picked him with an average of 96 for the year. Eligible as a forward last season, Greenwood spent almost all of his time in the midfield and as a result has lost his forward status for 2021.

He heads into this season as a unique option with just 1% ownership at the time of publishing. Greenwood finished last season ranked the number one player in the league for tackles with a grand total of 114 (average of 6.7 per game). It makes up a significant portion of his Fantasy scoring (four points per tackle) and therefore gives him a high floor each week. He is also expected to resume his role in the midfield this year which has seen an overall boost in his scoring compared to previous seasons where he has spent time as a forward. He’s one to watch through pre-season and is a reliable option if you’re chasing something a little unique for your Round 1 team.

Jarrod Witts (RUC) - $615k

In AFL Fantasy terms, Witts had a down year last season after posting career-best numbers in the 2020 season which saw him claim his maiden club Best and Fairest. During the COVID-impacted season, Witts averaged 80 Fantasy points per game (adjusted), down 24 points from his average of 104 in 2020. The drop in average has seen him priced at a juicy $615k.

In games the SUNS won in 2021, Witts’ average was 101 (adjusted). With five wins last season, the team will be looking to improve on that number this year and Witts will be a large factor in that push. The co-captain also hasn’t missed a game in three years, proving his incredible durability as a ruckman. He’s come back through pre-season in great condition and hasn’t had any interruptions, unlike the 2020 pre-season where he was managed with an ankle injury. Witts is a great contender to improve on his average this season and if he can return to his form of 2020, is 24 points under-priced and fantastic value in the ruck department. 

Bargain Buy:

Matt Rowell (MID) - $574k 

The most selected player in AFL Fantasy and the man everyone wants to hear about; Matt Rowell. Rowell has a huge ownership of 54%, and for good reason. The midfielder took the competition by storm in his debut season before an injury in his fifth game ended his year prematurely. In the four full games he played, Rowell had scores of 64, 108, 107 and 78. His score of 0 in Round 5 when the injury occurred also counts towards his average. A huge blow to the competition, the silver lining is Rowell has received a 15% discount on his price and is valued at $574k.

There’s no limit on Rowell’s scoring potential. In his four-game sample size, the 19-year-old showed he can not only find the football but lay heavy tackles with an average of seven per game. His recovery from shoulder surgery is progressing well and the midfielder is on track for Round 1. Playing in the club’s intra-club match, Rowell tested the shoulder with a number of strong tackles and showed no discomfort when he was tackled in return. Lock him in and throw away the key.

Rookie Watch:

Alex Davies (MID) - $170k

A Gold Coast Academy product who was pre-signed ahead of the 2020 NAB AFL Draft, Davies is one to watch this season. Touted as a potential first-round draft pick, Davies’ pre-selection means he is priced at the minimum of $170k which could be a saviour for AFL Fantasy coaches this year.

Jostling for a position in the hotly-contested SUNS midfield, Davies is in the conversation for a Round 1 berth but may have to wait for an opportunity this season. Davies was one of the best in the VFL Practice Match on the weekend and did his chances of selection no harm. The Cairns product has represented the Allies, Australia Under 17’s and SUNS Academy in recent years and at 191cm is a big-bodied inside midfielder. An extremely talented junior through the Academy, Davies has the tools to succeed at AFL level.