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The AFL fantasy draft: Round 3

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Roar Rookie
24th May, 2020
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Two rounds down, 20 to go. Welcome to the third round of the fantasy AFL draft.

With 36 players already off the table, it will be interesting to see whether they start going on a needs basis in the third round of the draft.

In case you missed the first two rounds of the fantasy draft, this is how it works. Every current player on an AFL list is placed into an open pool. The draft order is based on the home-and-away AFL ladder between 2012 and 2019. Every club is building towards a fantasy best 22.

Pick 37 – Aaron Naughton – key forward/key defender – Gold Coast
Naughton has only played two years at the senior level, but he has slotted into the Dogs’ line-up perfectly and has shown the AFL world what he may be capable of. While there are many strong, young, key forwards in the league, Naughton gets the nod to be the leading player of the Suns’ attack in the fantasy draft due to his ability to be able to play in defence, giving the Suns versatility. He will certainly get plenty of delivery with Patrick Cripps and Patrick Dangerfield in the Suns’ dangerous midfield.

Aaron Naughton

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Gold Coast fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C: Patrick Dangerfield (vice-captain)
HF:
F: Aaron Naughton
Foll: Patrick Cripps (captain)
IC:

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Pick 38 – Nick Blakey – key forward – Carlton
Blakey is another young key forward who has a very promising future and is set to be a key piece in the Swans’ future attack. However, in the fantasy world, he is set to be a key part of the Blues’ attack for the next ten to 15 years. Blakey was a star in his first year in the senior system, playing 21 games for 19 goals.

Carlton fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C: Nathan Fyfe
HF:
F: Nick Blakey
Foll: Rowan Marshall
IC:

Pick 39 – Nick Haynes – key defender – Melbourne
The 27-year-old defender is underrated, having held down some of the best key forwards across the competition in his 129 games thus far at the Giants. In recent years, the Demons have prioritised gaining key defenders through trades, having brought across Jake Lever and Steven May from the Crows and Suns respectively. Haynes fits into what they have prioritised over the last few years and provides a player who can play on the tall forwards or play an intercepting role. Haynes’ running complements Sicily’s rebounding ability and holds the Dees’ defence in good stead.

Melbourne fantasy 22
B: Nick Haynes
HB: James Sicily
C:
HF:
F:
Foll: Marcus Bontempelli (captain)
IC:

Pick 40 – Adam Tomlinson – winger – Brisbane
The Giant-turned-Demon is one of the best aerobic runners in the competition, and has the ability to play anywhere, having been thrown into almost every position possible. The draft recruitment of Tomlinson to the Lions midfield pushes Lachie Whitfield into a halfback role for now, however that may change depending on the players to be drafted in the remaining 19 rounds of the draft. He adds flexibility to the Lions and could rotate into any position the Lions need him to throughout games.

Brisbane fantasy 22
B:
HB: Lachie Whitfield
C: Adam Tomlinson, Dustin Martin
HF:
F:
Foll:
IC:

Pick 41 – Jake Lever – key defender – St Kilda
Lever is a brilliant intercepting defender, despite his issues with several ACL injuries across his career. When he is on the park, Lever has shown he is one of the best intercepting defenders in the competition, having been named in the 40-man All Australian squad in 2017. Lever assists the Saints’ need for a key defender, however I’m sure that they’ll look to try and make him the third man up to allow for his intercepting throughout the rest of the draft. For now, he holds a spot at centre halfback in the St Kilda team.

Jake Lever

(Photo by Daniel Pockett/AFL Media/Getty Images)

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St Kilda fantasy 22
B:
HB: Jake Lever
C: Elliot Yeo
HF:
F: Tom Lynch
Foll:
IC:

Pick 42 – Isaac Heeney – midfielder/forward – GWS Giants
The damaging midfielder-forward has been taken to the Swans crosstown rivals Greater Western Sydney in the world of the fantasy draft. Across 103 games seeing 109 goals, Heeney has been a key part of the Swans line-up since his draft year and will be a strong part of the Giants forever-growing talent across the half-forward line with rotations through the midfield.

GWS fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C:
HF: Isaac Heeney
F:
Foll: Brodie Grundy, Sam Walsh
IC:

Pick 43 – Bayley Fritsch – forward/defender – Western Bulldogs
Fritsch is an underrated player in the AFL since being taken as a mature-aged draftee by the Demons in the 2017 draft. Fritsch has the ability to play as a forward as well as a defender, giving the Dogs some versatility. He can play both roles superbly. He is named in the forward line for the Dogs to add some extra x-factor alongside Jaidyn Stephenson. This gives the Dogs a powerful attack with 19 rounds of the draft still to go.

Western Bulldogs fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C:
HF:
F: Jaidyn Stephenson, Bayley Fritsch
Foll: Max Gawn (captain)
IC:

Pick 44 – Dion Prestia – midfielder – Essendon
The Dons are stocked for on-ballers, with the Tigers powerhouse joining Jack Macrae and Ben Cunnington in the Essendon midfield. The two-time premiership player and Richmond club best-and-fairest winner adds value to the Bombers’ midfield. Prestia, like new Bombers teammate Macrae, has been overshadowed by Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin in the midfield since his arrival at Punt Road. I’ve made the tough decision to give Prestia the captaincy over Macrae.

Essendon fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C: Ben Cunnington (vice-captain)
HF:
F:
Foll: Jack Macrae, Dion Prestia (captain)
IC:

Pick 45 – Liam Ryan – small forward – Port Adelaide
Liam Ryan is an electrifying small forward for the Eagles and may well be best known for sitting on Max Gawn’s head in a magnificent mark. He’s only coming into his third year in the AFL system but has highlighted his talent and potential so far, and already has a premiership, bringing a premiership player to the Power. Ryan adds some x-factor to the Port Adelaide attack and will be exciting crumbing at the feet of Jeremy Cameron.

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Liam Ryan

(Photo by James Elsby/Getty Images)

Port Adelaide fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C:
HF: Tim Taranto
F: Liam Ryan, Jeremy Cameron
Foll:
IC:

Pick 46 – Devon Smith – midfielder/forward – North Melbourne
Devon Smith is a classy player for the Bombers, having won the club’s best-and-fairest award in his first season at Essendon. Smith has been a solid and talented forward and midfielder across his 120 games for the Giants and Bombers, and slots into the Roos’ line-up across the half-forward line.

North Melbourne fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C: Tom Mitchell
HF: Devon Smith
F:
Foll: Clayton Oliver
IC:

Pick 47 – James Worpel – midfielder – Fremantle
Worpel, or the Worpedo as Hawks fans know him, has been a promising inside midfielder with explosive abilities. He is an incredibly fierce, ball-winning midfielder, and demonstrated exactly what he is capable of in the absence of Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell throughout 2019, topping it off with the Hawks’ best-and-fairest in the same year. He has received comparisons to Sam Mitchell, and provides a building block in the Dockers’ midfield.

Fremantle fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C: Brad Hill
HF: Jordan de Goey
F:
Foll: James Worpel
IC:

Pick 48 – Toby Nankervis – ruckman – Collingwood
Nank the Tank isn’t quite on the same level as Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn, but the two-time premiership ruckman is one of the strongest ruckmen in the league. Nankervis gives the Pies a strong ruckman to tap to their midfield and lead their ruck division in their best 22. At the age of 25, his best years are likely still to be ahead of him.

Collingwood fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C: Hugh McCluggage
HF:
F: Charlie Cameron
Foll: Toby Nankervis
IC:

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Pick 49 – Jarrod Witts – ruckman – Adelaide
The Crows like having a strong primary ruckman and Witts brings just that to the Adelaide line-up. The current Gold Coast skipper has transformed himself into one of the best ruckmen in the league after leaving the Pies for more opportunity, being stuck behind Brodie Grundy. Witts is the current co-captain of the Suns and was the 2019 club best-and-fairest for the Suns.

Jarrod Witts

(Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Adelaide fantasy 22
B:
HB: Rory Laird
C:
HF:
F:
Foll: Jarrod Witts, Tim Kelly
IC:

Pick 50 – Todd Marshall – key forward – Richmond
Marshall is a young, developing, key forward for the Power with plenty of potential. Over the next decade, he will hopefully develop into a strong target for Port Adelaide. In the fantasy draft, the Tigers have high hopes for Marshall to become a dominant forward and will hopefully give a few crumbing opportunities to the small forwards he’ll have at his feet at Tigerland.

Richmond fantasy 22
B: Harris Andrews (captain)
HB:
C:
HF:
F: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Todd Marshall
Foll:
IC:

Pick 51 – Zac Williams – small defender – West Coast
The rebounding defender has been a solid part of the Giants’ team, playing as a rebounding defender as well as on the wing. He’s got pace and a solid kick, and will fit into the Eagles side well, rebounding to a midfield with Mitch Duncan and Lachie Neale.

West Coast fantasy 22
B:
HB: Zac Williams
C: Mitch Duncan
HF:
F:
Foll: Lachie Neale
IC:

Pick 52 – Connor Rozee – small forward/midfielder – Sydney
Rozee is overloaded with potential, having had a strong debut season for the Power, playing all 22 matches for 29 goals to lead the goal-kicking table at Port Adelaide. He gives the Swans a youthful player who has a lot of potential to be a star over the next ten to 15 years and may transition into the midfield at some stage in his career.

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Connor Rozee

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Sydney fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C: Josh Kelly (captain)
HF: Connor Rozee
F:
Foll: Matt Crouch
IC:

Pick 53 – Reilly O’Brien – ruckman – Hawthorn
The 24-year-old broke out in the absence of Sam Jacobs, taking the number one ruck mantle and becoming an incredibly talented ruckman with plenty of potential. He is in the age bracket when ruckman usually start to get game time, and it will be expected that he becomes a key part of the Crows’ midfield in years to come. He takes a key part in the Hawks’ line-up in this fantasy land, giving them a player to take the number one ruck spot in Alastair Clarkson’s side.

Hawthorn fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C: Stephen Coniglio
HF:
F: Tom Papley
Foll: Reilly O’Brien
IC:

Pick 54 – Daniel Rioli – small forward – Geelong
The two-time premiership player holds a great name in the AFL and is one of the most promising small forwards in the league. He is an excitement machine, winning the goal of the year in 2017. Rioli slots into the forward pocket at the Cats alongside Eric Hipwood and Toby Greene and will give the Cats a bit of x-factor in a good-looking attack.

Geelong fantasy 22
B:
HB:
C:
HF:
F: Daniel Rioli, Eric Hipwood, Toby Greene
Foll:
IC:

Three rounds done, 19 left to go. Yet there are still so many stars and experienced heads left on the table for clubs to snap up.