IT WAS a year to forget for Richmond, which failed to make the finals after being the team to beat over the last four years. Plagued by Injuries, the Tigers struggled and so did their Fantasy scores.

However, the fixture is out and with the Tigers only leaving their home state once in the first six weeks, you’d expect them to get off flying start.

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Lock them in

After a career-high average of 93, Jayden Short (DEF, $783,000) was one positive that came out of the 2021 season for the Tigers. In a year where Richmond battled injuries, Short was one of only four players who managed to play all 22 games, registering nine scores in triple figures. Short ranks as the 10th-best Fantasy defender but has plenty of upside heading into 2022. He averaged 98 in his last seven games and clearly has the ability to average 100+.

Richmond's Jayden Short in action against Hawthorn in R23, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Track their pre-season

No one likes the term 'injury-prone' associated with their name but unfortunately that is the case for Dion Prestia (MID, $769,000). Prestia managed just nine games last year after only playing five the year before. When fully fit, Prestia can average 100, just like he has in the past. Track his pre-season and if he’s flying, bump him up your Draft rankings.

Dual-position tempter

Before the bye, Shai Bolton (MID/FWD, $652,000) was on fire averaging 88. However, as Richmond started to slide, so did Bolton who averaged just 65 after the break. We know Bolton is talented and in terms of Fantasy last year, he only dominated in games when the Tigers won. Amazingly, he averaged 88 in wins compared to just 64 when they lost.

Richmond's Shai Bolton celebrates a goal with Jack Riewoldt against West Coast in R13, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Bargain basement

He’s back and he looks a million dollars. Dustin Martin (MID/FWD, $682,000) has returned from injury that ruled him out of the final five games of the season. Martin has been a Fantasy star in the past averaging 93, 97, 93 and 114 leading into 2021. Priced at an average of 81, his 'quiet' season last year only means he’s a bargain for the year ahead.

Draft sleeper

On Draft day, you don’t need to panic when the rucks are being selected. Once Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy are no longer available, there will still be players like Toby Nankervis (RUC, $699,000) remaining in the final rounds. Nankervis missed several games through injury last year. However, when he was playing, he scored 90+ in almost half of his games. Enter Draft day with a plan, hold your nerve when drafting rucks, knowing that Nankervis will be sitting there to save you with some of your final picks.

Toby Nankervis and Robbie Tarrant at Tigers training at Punt Road Oval on November 22, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

Custom stat star

If you value tackles in your Draft league and want to increase their value and make them worth more than four points, then make sure you draft Jack Graham (MID/FWD, $657,000). Graham is an elite tackler, averaging 5.5 a game in 2021. In round 21, he scored a personal-best score of 146 with 36 disposals and eight tackles.

Buyer beware

In AFL Fantasy, key defenders struggle to score. All-Australian Dylan Grimes (DEF, $495,000) fits this category and despite being a star defender, scoring Fantasy points isn't one of his strengths. He averaged 59 last year and although that was his best year since 2012, ignore his price and find someone else.

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