Eyecatchers: Michael Walters

Michael Walters has always teased the ability to become Fantasy relevant, but has never taken the next step. In 2016, Walters averaged 93 points between rounds 4 and 14, showing he can get it done for an extended period of time. The issue was, as a small forward, the gap between his best and worst scores was too great. Even during those 10 rounds of good scoring, Walters still produced scores of 45 and 61.

Walters dropped off the radar in the second half of 2016, only averaging 70 points after Fremantle’s bye. That trend of scoring continued early in 2017, with three scores under 40 in the first six rounds.

However, Walters caught the eye of many Fantasy coaches and experts after switching to a midfield role in the second half of round seven. Walters scored 66 points in that second half against the Bombers and gathered 16 disposals. The move helped the Dockers get back into the game against Essendon and coach Ross Lyon patted himself on the back, calling the change “genius”.

Walters went into the midfield again last week against Richmond and scored a massive 137 points. Once is lucky, twice is a trend. If Walters continues to play through the midfield, his Fantasy stock could go through the roof quickly. The most tempting part of this is his price of $382,000. He’s sitting at a nice amount if you have a Dan Houston or a Dan Butler to upgrade.

Of course, this is a risky move. You’re bringing in a guy who averaged 52 points up until that Essendon game. Walters probably isn’t going to become a premium forward, but he’s clearly shown he can score big if put into the midfield. Walters’ breakeven for this week is 24 so the longer you wait to see if he scores consistently, the pricier he’ll get.

The Dockers take on Carlton at Domain Stadium this Sunday, a game they should win. Carlton has struggled with small forwards this year, which might tempt Lyon to leave Walters in his usual role, but if he does get the midfield time we’ve seen across his list six quarters of footy, he could be in for another big score.

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