There are always reports during the pre-season in the AFL about a certain player who is ready for a breakout or playing a revamped role.
Everyone wants to nail predictions about a player and to make it easy, I will be playing the AFL stock market.
For each of the 18 AFL sides, I will be buying, holding and selling stocks, attempting to predict the future.
Buy: Wayne Milera
This guy has always promised the world, but injuries have slowed him down. He has the ball skills, power, endurance and class to be a very handy AFL player, but we haven’t seen it. With a midfield role this year, it’s Wayne’s world.
Hold: Darcy Fogarty
He was expected to break out last year but didn’t look overly good. He can pan out so I am not willing to sell but I am not convinced yet.
Sell: Tom Lynch
He has been a great servant of the club but his game style relies on clean and quick ball use out of the back line. I don’t know if he will get this and it could be a tough season for Lynch.
Buy: Jarrod Berry
I am a huge fan of this guy. He is as tough as nails. He has a big body and has the touch of class. With all eyes on his teammates, Berry is going to have a great season.
Hold: Joe Daniher
He is one of the hottest pre-season topics. Fans went crazy with news of a bag of four against Harris Andrews in an intra-club match. I am not willing to buy all the way in until games are strung together.
Sell: Mitch Robinson
With elite young mids coming through and father time on his back, Robinson had his worst season up north last year. He will play a role as a mentor but his best footy is long gone.
Buy: Zac Williams
I was on the Zac Williams to Carlton trade at Round 8 last season. He fits perfectly for the Blues and with a midfield role he will be able to play his best footy.
Hold: Will Setterfield
He is a high draft pick who started to put some games together last season. I am not willing to launch into his stock yet, but further improvement is coming.
Sell: Lochie O’Brien
He was pick ten in 2017 and has struggled to produce anything at the next level. He is on the last year of his deal with the club and unless drastic change comes, it will be his last.
Buy: Brayden Maynard
I am a huge fan this guy. He has toughness, skill and determination. I love everything about the way he does things and would love him in the back line of my side.
Hold: Josh Thomas
He doesn’t do a lot. He is in there for tackle pressure and goals but had a poor year. With Jaidyn Stephenson gone, more opportunity could pop up so I am not selling yet but I’m close.
Sell: Levi Greenwood
He had some good years but after six underwhelming games last year and another year on the clock, I am ready to sell off his stocks.
Buy: Andrew McGrath
He is the future captain. He does everything right and is an up-and-coming star. Look out in 2021 for McGrath.
Hold: Devon Smith
He was a best and fairest winner in 2018 before injury derailed his 2019. He came back last year but looked lost in his role. He still has good footy in him but last season concerned me.
Sell: David Zaharakis
Every AFL fan will love this bloke for the Anzac Day goal. What a moment. But injuries and age are ending him and with a rebuild coming, his days are numbered.
Buy: Hayden Young
He is a young kid with an elite left leg off half back. He will be a star launching attacks off half back for years out west.
Hold: Sean Darcy
He has shown promise but isn’t delivering huge production yet. The number one ruck role is his, but I am not convinced at all.
Sell: Stephen Hill
He was a very solid player but injuries have hurt him. He now has young kids taking over his role so it’s hard to see Hill making an impact.
Buy: Jordan Clark
He has third season break-out written all over him. He impressed in Year 1 before a quiet Year 2. He has speed and skill – a combination needed in this old Geelong outfit.
Hold: Gary Rohan
You either get four goals and a match-winning performance or more free kicks against than disposals. I don’t want to get burnt either way by selling or buying.
Sell: Josh Jenkins
He left Adelaide for a new opportunity only to sit behind Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron.
Buy: Sam Collins
Everyone is on the Matt Rowell train and I don’t blame them but I want to shine a light on an underrated star. Collins is the next elite key defender.
Hold: Lachie Weller
He is inconsistent but shows flashes. He could now be considered a veteran for this Gold Coast side and needs to deliver.
Sell: Jarrod Harbrow
Age has caught up with the veteran and with young guns coming through, it will be tough for him. He has been an outstanding servant, though.
Buy: Tim Taranto
The 2019 best and fairest winner was the forgotten man last year after a pre-season shoulder injury. With a full summer under his belt, I am expecting him to get back to his best.
Hold: Jeremy Finlayson
He signed an extension over the summer and with Jeremy Cameron gone, the spotlight is on him. I’m not so sure he’s got the ability to be the key, but I am willing to be proven wrong.
Sell: Callan Ward
What a servant, but with young stars all around, Ward’s time with the Giants could be all but over.
Buy: Jack Scrimshaw
He got better as the year went on last season. With no James Sicily, the intercepting spot is his. I am expecting him to have a very good year.
Hold: Chad Wingard
I can’t decide whether he is a match-winning X-factor or disappointing big-contract player. All reports are he is flying so this year could be the year I find out.
Sell: Tim O’Brien
He always shows a flash of brilliance that gets him another year but as a supporter, watching the other 21 of his games is constant pain.
Buy: Kysaiah Pickett
The word is he is flying and he showed very good signs in Year 1. He has shown the ability to do things no one else on the field can and I can’t wait to see what he can do.
Hold: Jake Lever
He has been disappointing since coming across from Adelaide in 2018. This will be his third healthy season so I need him to fire here.
Sell: Tom McDonald
He was on the chopping block during the trade period but remains a Dee. Injuries down forward are his only chance to prove himself again.
Buy: Jaidyn Stephenson
The change of scenery will prove key for Stephenson. He has been training as a midfielder where he dominated in juniors and could have a big season.
Hold: Luke McDonald
He saved his career with an outstanding 2020 playing down back. However, I’m not ready to buy in just yet. I need to see much of the same in 2021.
Sell: Shaun Atley
If the only string in your bow is to run really fast, I’m selling. Atley can definitely do that but doesn’t offer enough with or without the ball.
Buy: Connor Rozee
I’m loading up the portfolio with Rozee stocks. He started the 2020 season with huge midfield numbers until a foot issue kept him forward. He showed star potential in the finals and will have a huge season.
Hold: Ollie Wines
Controversy has followed Wines like a bad smell. He had a great 2020, but can he stay healthy and out of any trouble in 2021?
Sell: Hamish Hartlett
He has been a good player for Port, but has some younger stars coming through down back and may be pushed out of the line-up.
Buy: Dion Prestia
Similar to Tim Taranto, he is a best and fairest winner that had his season hurt by injury. I can’t wait to see Prestia play this year and I expect him to be Richmond’s number one mid.
Hold: Bachar Houli
He has been a star for Richmond but injuries are hurting him. Liam Baker and Jayden Short are turning into stars so how does Houli go in 2021? I’m not giving up on him, I am just cautious.
Sell: Josh Caddy
He struggled to stay in the team last year and didn’t play finals. He is too one-paced to play midfield and lacks explosiveness to play forward so Caddy is in a tough spot.
Buy: Hunter Clark
He is one of my favourite players to watch. He is pure class on both sides down back. He has courage to back into packs and never looks rushed. Clark and Rozee stocks are taken up by me.
Hold: Brad Hill
He had an extremely disappointing first year but I’m not willing to sell him yet. Another pre-season to get him into the game style helps. He needs to bounce back though.
Sell: Seb Ross
Teammates will be roaming through. With not much versatility, Ross may be squeezed out.
Buy: Dylan Stephens
He looks like a future star. Being mentored by Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker is the best apprenticeship you can ask for. I may be a year early, but it will pan out.
Hold: Isaac Heeney
Injuries have hurt his career and he has been unlucky. But for someone so hyped, I really want to see a solid season of work from a man in his prime.
Sell: Harry Cunningham
It seems like he’s been on his last legs for four years now, but surely this is his last year with the amount of academy stars coming through.
Buy: Tim Kelly
Is he already a very good player? Yes. But I am backing him in for a career-best year. He can explode out west and be a top-five Brownlow finisher.
Hold: Jack Darling
Oscar Allen and Jake Waterman are young and exciting talls and the next generation. I can’t sell Darling yet but it could be a lean year.
Sell: Shannon Hurn
Will he be out of the team? No. But with Alex Witherden coming in to play essentially the exact same role, it could be a year of transition for Hurn. It hurts to admit, though.
Buy: Cody Weightman
He brings exactly what the Bulldogs need up forward: speed and pressure. A first-round pick two drafts ago, Weightman should play a key role for the Dogs.
Hold: Adam Treloar
Soft tissue issues are already rearing their ugly head with a calf strain for the talk of the summer. With a packed midfield, how will Treloar integrate with the core group?
Sell: Lin Jong
A fan favourite so it doesn’t please me doing this, but with such a jam-packed midfield, how does he get a go?