Expert Panel: Who are the two must-have premium midfielders in 2022 AFL Fantasy?

Finding value is the focus at this time of year, but don’t forget about which premiums you’re locking into your starting AFL Fantasy side, given they’ll likely score the bulk of your points and be your weekly VC/C options.

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Honeyball has turned to its team of AFL Fantasy experts to nominate two must-have premium midfielders, to help you make the call.

The expert panel includes 2020 fifth-placer Nick Millar, 2020 29th rank Matty Finch and 2019 11th rank Joel Eyles.

Matty Finch

Jack Steele ($1.02m MID) – Definitely the bloke that if he starts off the season in the same fashion that he ended it then will be almost impossible to get to and he’ll just hurt you all season long. Plus the Saints have a juicy early fixture, based on which sides conceded most Fantasy points last year, so expect him to start strong. It’s always reassuring having a reliable VC/C option too, even if he costs plenty.

Jack Macrae ($972k MID) – Been one of the most consistently good midfielders over the last three years and has almost become Mr Reliable in banking that one 105 score every week. His average really didn’t waver last season despite fears of a packed Bulldogs midfield following Adam Treloar’s arrival. He’s just so good.

Joel Eyles – @Marmalade_aus

It is pretty easy to pick the obvious choices in Steele, Macrae and Tom Mitchell ($969k MID), and to be fair Matty already said them so it’s nice to mix it up, but I really hate paying top dollar or slightly overs for premiums, every player in my starting squad has to bring some upside to the table.

Clayton Oliver ($912k MID) – His fantasy pedigree is insane averaging 100 across his entire 118-game career. He has shown a big ceiling with some monster 150+ scores (C/VC material) and very durable even with all the tape on his shoulders. Runner-up in the Brownlow last season, he is my red hot favorite to take it out this year and I still think his best footy is yet to come.

Josh Kelly ($870k MID) – Started 2021 averaging 85 from the first six Rounds and gave plenty headaches but went at 111 from then onwards, with the added bonus of forward status. Can be prone to injury but with five straight years of 100+ average, he brings great consistency. He’s 27-years-old and getting to that 150-game mark, so these should be the best few years of his career and he has been locked in my side since the day the app came out.

Nick Millar @Time_Millar

In response to this question, I could just say you need three of the biggest baddest mids you can find, and that’s cool, but it’s expensive and comes at a cost of balance. So a better strategy is two sizeable canines, and one of less but still great dog, whether it’s an injury discount, a known breakout or a new role, there’s someone sitting in the next tier down ready to fit neatly into your side.

So the Big dogs are; Jack Steele ($1.02m MID) – An absolute star, scores for fun, and not too many worries from his teammates taking the ball from him, that said the saints are on the rise, which would also benefit. The downside is he’s crazy, crazy expensive, and it feels super wrong to pay more than $1m. But it’s not that much more than the other guys.

Jack Macrae ($972k MID) – Tried and tested. I try to start with him most years and most years he doesn’t let me down. Don’t think twice.

Tom Mitchell ($969k MID) – A ball magnet and known Fantasy pig. Gets marked down a touch for saying to the Traders he might play forward, but hopefully he’s just trolling the boys.

I’d consider Touk Miller ($1.02m MID), Jarryd Lyons ($982k MID) and, if you want a POD – which I wouldn’t recommend – Zach Merrett ($925k MID).

Those guys are all crazy expensive though so you’d only want two of them. Just like a fine expensive wine, it needs to be paired with something also with woody undertones and fine tannins but significantly less expensive so look at Lachie Neale ($792k MID). He’s Discounted by last year’s injury season, he’s rocking a full preseason and is reportedly in great shape, throw in a changing midfield with the apparent Dayne Zorko move to half back and what we saw him do in the finals means there’s premium points to be mined at mid strength price. You’d be crazy to miss.

For me it’s a combo of Macrae, Titch and Neale, but I may yet change that up, pending ruck selection. Happy hunting fantarinos.

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