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Roy from The Traders (for afl.com.au)  December 27, 2017 11:56 AM

Cripps adding strings to bow Carlton Media spoke to Patrick Cripps as the pre-season training camp continues on the Sunshine Coast.

LAST year the Blues, along with many clever Fantasy coaches, were the proud owners of the League's standout defender Sam Docherty (DEF, $823,000), who averaged a whopping 117. Unfortunately, 'Doc' is set to miss the upcoming season following a knee injury at training and his absence opens up some Fantasy value at the Blues as they do their best to fill the void.

Newcomers Aaron Mullett (DEF, $517,000), Cam O’Shea (DEF, $231,000) and Matt Shaw (DEF, $375,000) are all candidates to benefit instantly.

Lock them in … now

Patrick Cripps (MID, $692,000) is coming off averages of 98 and 99 in the past two years and he is poised to take his game to a new level with the added responsibility following the departure of Bryce Gibbs.

After missing the majority of the pre-season, he had a slow start to 2017, hitting his first ton in round five with 121 and then going on a tear with eight out of the next 10 games in triple figures. Injury ended his year with a score of 40 in round 16 which brings his price down nicely. From all reports, he hasn't missed a beat this pre-season and has been working on being a more effective forward when rotating.

Track their pre-season (yes, even the JLT Community Series)

Jarrod Garlett (FWD/MID, $319,000) has been given a lifeline by the Blues and if he ticks all the boxes in the pre-season, he could be a genuine bargain. The former No.15 draft pick averaged 65 in 2016 at Gold Coast and Stephen Silvagni is on record flagging a possible midfield role. It's a long shot, but keep an eye on him.

Dual-position tempter

Sam Petrevski-Seton (FWD/MID, $478,000) is an awkward price, especially for a player entering his second season but this kid is a genuine star. When given the opportunity to play through the midfield last season he looked right at home so keep an ear to the ground whether the Blues intend to play him more through the middle in the absence of Gibbs. His highlight for the year was a 20-possession, 10-tackle game against the Cats where he scored 105.

New stripes, right price

To say 'right price' is a bit of a stretch because mid-priced players can be difficult to pay up for, but the increased opportunity Matthew Kennedy (MID, $485,000) will receive in the Blues' midfield places him in prime position to have a breakout season, especially given it is his third year. He has a history of racking up huge numbers in the NEAFL and managed three scores over 90 for the Giants last year.

First-year bargain

Paddy Dow (MID, $266,000) looks a hefty price to be considered a bargain but the Blues used pick No.3 on the midfielder with a 'ready-made' player in mind. He will offer the Blues upside in a number of areas including explosiveness from packs and is a constant threat in front of goal. If he looks to have worked himself into the best 22 before round one, he certainly deserves the bargain label.

Forgotten warrior

Matthew Kreuzer (RUC, $740,000) reminded everybody of just how good he is last year and surprised many with his durability as he averaged 105 over 21 games. It's a huge price to pay, but if you like a 'set and forget' ruck, there is every chance Special K will be the highest scoring big man next season. His 2017 and career-best season offered six scores over 120, highlighted by a top score of 149.

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