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The Traders rank the Fantasy ruckmen

The Traders, AFL.com.au  March 16, 2017 3:52 PM

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Gawn is the clear numbr one, but could Nathan Vardy add some value to your AFL Fantasy side?

Choosing the right time to select players in certain positions can go a long way in shaping your Fantasy Draft season.

Some coaches opt for a strategy of rotating positions as the draft unfolds, piecing together their squad aiming for an even balance. Others draft based on tiering players across all positions. That is, ranking players in a bracket.

While Patrick Dangerfield may have averaged 118 last season, Max Gawn went at 106.5 which was five points more than the next best and the only big man to play all 22 games.

You could say that Gawn is ranked with the top line midfielders and most likely ahead of players who may average more than him.

Gawn, together with Brodie Grundy, were the only rucks to average more than 100 points last season. The duo are among the small group of solo ruckmen who are Fantasy gold as they’re not sharing duties with others. Unless the Demons pull a surprise and pick Jake Spencer for round one.

Two seasons ago, Todd Goldstein and Stefan Martin were the top averaging players in the competition. They averaged 96.4 and 89.1 respectively in 2016 but round out the big four ruckmen available this season.

Sam Jacobs is worthy of consideration in the early rounds as he is likely to remain the go-to man for the Crows. With 20 or more games in each season for the last five years, "Sauce" has averaged around 90 in that time.

Nine ruckmen averaged more than 80 points last season with an extra eight in the 70s. If your league only drafts one ruckman, holding off after the first few picks until the end of the draft is sound strategy.

In recent drafts that I have witnessed and been involved in, four rucks have been taken in the first round. I have also seen Grundy go at pick No.1 and Gawn at No.2.

A big run on the rucks is common and often happens earlier than expected, especially if you have a deeper draft where two ruckmen are required.

There can be some gems in the later rounds. Matthew Kreuzer has enjoyed a stellar pre-season and has an Average Draft Pick (ADP) of 115. If you’re getting him there, he could be considered as a bargain.

Toby Nankervis has been a hyped player this pre-season. It is likely that someone may grab him early, but he is better than the 113 ADP that he is currently being taken.

If you leave your ruck until late, be sure to hunt for free agents as circumstances change frequently in the ruck department.

Even consider a back-up ruckman when drafting on your bench. Handcuffing, or as Calvin calls it, pocketing (selecting the second ruck from the same team as your No.1) can be a match-winning strategy if injury strikes.

The Traders' ruck rankings

Collectively, we agree who the big four ruckmen are and order them the same way. Average Draft Pick (ADP) has Goldstein ahead of Martin, but realistically, you can throw a blanket over them a tier down from Gawn and Grundy.

RANK

PLAYER

ROY

CALVIN

WARNIE

ADP

1

 Max Gawn

1

1

1

3

2

 Brodie Grundy

2

2

2

14

3

 Stefan Martin

3

3

3

21

4

 Todd Goldstein

4

4

4

17

5

 Sam Jacobs

5

5

5

29

6

 Shane Mumford

6

6

7

37

7

 Aaron Sandilands

7

7

6

60

8

 Kurt Tippett

10

8

8

40

9

 Toby Nankervis (FWD)

8

10

10

113

10

 Matthew Kreuzer

11

12

9

115

11

 Tom Hickey

12

9

15

95

12

 Patrick Ryder (FWD)

9

11

16

56