Dylan Roberton has probably never been considered an eye-catching player, but his start to 2017 has certainly put him on the radar. It’s quite funny how in retiring, Sean Dempster, a man perennially labelled as underrated, has allowed another St Kilda defender to start getting noticed for his performances. In past seasons, Roberton has gotten the job done as a lockdown defender, but it seems the Saints are more reliant on him with ball in hand this season.
He’s now averaging 24 disposals a game, up from 19 last year and 7.5 marks, up from five. Those stats include a round one where he had a relatively quiet day. In the last three rounds, he’s actually averaged 26 disposals and nine marks, controlling the Saints’ half-back line. His performance against the Pies in a scrappy match contributed significantly to St Kilda getting over the line, clamping the Collingwood forwards and not giving them the space Sydney allowed them a week ago.
Fantasy relevance helps put players on the map and Roberton’s last few weeks definitely has coaches contemplating whether to bring in the 25-year-old. He’s averaging 101 points across the four rounds, despite a sub-70 score in round one. He’s quickly become the epitome of a fantasy defender, racking up reliable numbers in the marks and kicks column. He only sits behind Adams, Laird, Docherty and Lloyd in terms of the highest scoring defenders so far. The only issue is his price has quickly jumped to $492,000 in AFL Fantasy and with a breakeven of 33, it’s going to continue climbing. It’d be a risky venture to get him in without a larger sample size of scoring, but if you don’t act now, he’s going to cost you a pretty penny.
The Saints are a team on the rise and have completely shuffled their backline this year with Dempster finishing up and Jake Carlisle and Nathan Brown taking key position slots. These changes have clearly helped Roberton become a more attacking defender and hopefully he can continue this form and become an option for fantasy coaches.