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AFL Fantasy team gem

AFL Fantasy expert Adam ‘Warnie’ Child is expecting recruit Devon Smith to excel in his new role.

AFL Fantasy expert Adam ‘Warnie’ Child from DT Talk and AFL.com.au’s “The Traders” has found an upcoming fantasy gem from the Essendon Football Club. He is expecting Essendon recruit Devon Smith to excel in his new role at the Bombers and has explained why you shouldn’t miss out on selecting the former Giant this year.

DEVON SMITH

Position: FWD

AFL Fantasy: $575,000

Bye Round: 13

2017 Average: 81.6

2017 Games Played: 16

Predicted Average: 95

Draft Range: 3rd-4th round (top tier of forwards)

Why you should pick Smith

Yes, I am speaking with red and black glasses on here, but the trade of the trade period with the most Fantasy relevance was Devon Smith heading to Essendon.

The Giants are so stacked that even the best of them struggle to hit the numbers they’re capable of achieving due to the massive depth at the club. Smith was certainly one of those.

In his third season, Smith averaged a career high 94 from 21 games. He kicked 26 goals for the season and averaged 22 disposals with five tackles per game. This included top scores of 147, 137, 133 and 128. He predominantly played forward as he has for most of his six-year career at AFL level.

If we rewind back to his junior days, Devon Smith was a MID/FWD. He averaged 103 fantasy points in his final year of TAC Cup and has always been a ball-winner, being one of two players to average 20 disposals, 10 contested possessions, one goal and five clearances per game in 2011.

He played 20 games in his debut season at an average of 67.9 and then 18 games at 74 in his second year.

The last three seasons has seen Smith knock out 20, 12 and 16 games at averages of 85.9, 80 and 81.2. As mentioned, he has spent most of his career as a small forward without the opportunity to run through the middle.

Smith’s move to Essendon should see the ball-magnet get midfield clock and, in turn, scores should start flowing again. Those matches he did play through the midfield or up on the wing were when we saw the better scores.

Essendon has acquired Smith to add midfield depth, not to play as a small forward. There’s already Fantasia, McDonald-Tipungwuti and Green up there as well as Stringer.

Verdict

I’m backing in Devon Smith to be a top-six forward. He’ll average in the mid-90s with the role that he’s touted to be playing and with injuries behind him, he’ll embrace the opportunity he’ll get at his new club. Smith is a midfielder and will be treated as such by the Bombers. 

Only 10 of the players available as a forward averaged more than 90 in 2017. One was two-gamer Jacob Townsend, a couple are key position players and only two played all 22 games. 

I don’t have him at number one, but he will be among the top forwards I will select in draft. I think that we can possibly hold off a little in selecting our forwards on Draft day (get those 110+ mids and get a decent defender) due to being able to throw a blanket over a bunch in the forward group.

At the moment, picking Smith priced at the low 80s with at least 10 points upside means I’ll start with him. I’m keen but I know others aren’t, so hot tip; everyone will have him at some stage.