To buy, to hold, or to sell? That is the question facing fantasy managers ahead of Round 3 of both the Liberty A-League and the Isuzu UTE A-League.
Standout stars, under-performers and those picking up injuries have left managers with plenty to think before settling on their Round 3 squads.
It’s not too late to make changes this weekend, with a rolling lockout leaving fantasy coaches with time to tinker with their squads before Saturday’s seven-game agenda gets underway.
The A-Leagues Fantasy Podcast crew debated long and hard on this week’s episode over which players to buy, hold and sell ahead of Round 3 – with Melbourne Victory star Bruno Fornaroli and Adelaide United youngster Bernardo Oliveira leading the charge for selection in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men, while the return of the Liberty A-League Women after a one-weekend hiatus offers young Western Sydney gun Milly Clegg the first opportunity to impress at her new club.
Read on as aleagues.com.au takes you through the players to consider buying, holding or selling ahead of Round 3.
Featured image credit: Adelaide United
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Bernardo Oliveira (Adelaide United FWD – $165K)
In just 36 minutes of game time this season, Adelaide United youngster Bernardo has registered an equal-team high of 37 fantasy points. As a result, he’s expected to rise in price by $119k at the end of Round 3; the 19-year-old missed all of last season through injury but has worked his way back into the fold at the Reds with devastating effectiveness off the bench, scoring twice in his side’s 6-0 rout of Melbourne City in Round 2.
Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne Victory FWD – $302k)
Five goals in two games – including a four-goal haul against Newcastle Jets in Round 2 – has seen Bruno Fornaroli leap to the top of the league-wide fantasy scoring charts with a whopping 50 points after two games. His projected price increase of $156k makes the in-form Victory spearhead a tantalising fantasy option heading into an ‘Original Rivalry’ clash with the Reds on Saturday night.
Milly Clegg (Western Sydney Wanderers FWD – $252k)
In the Liberty A-League, Milly Clegg is one of the standout names pushing for selection in Round 3. The former Wellington Phoenix star turned 18 this week, making her eligible for her first appearance at new club Western Sydney Wanderers against Newcastle Jets on Sunday.
Clegg is an exciting attacking option for the Wanderers and should accrue consistent minutes moving forward in a team that hasn’t scored a goal through the opening two rounds.
Susan Phonsongkham (Perth Glory MID – $165k)
Owners of Susan Phonsongkham in Liberty A-League Fantasy can prepare for a major boost in the in-form midfielder’s value after Round 3 due to her goalscoring exploits across the opening two rounds.
Phonsongkham has scored in consecutive games, and as a result, her fantasy value is expected to increase by $96k by the end of the weekend. Another good showing in Saturday’s clash with Canberra United will only work to solidify Phonsongkham as a safe selection moving forward.
Kirsty Fenton (Sydney FC DEF – $324k)
The star Sydney FC full-back is not in action this weekend due to the Sky Blues overseas commitments at the AFC Women’s Club Championship in Uzbekistan – but if you can shift the high-scoring defender to your bench, Fenton will prove a valuable asset when she returns.
Fenton has 33 points on the board after two rounds – the most of any Sydney player and the third-most in the league. Should fantasy managers elect to shift Fenton out for Round 3, odds are they’ll be eagerly trying to fit her back in once Sydney come back to domestic action in Round 5.
Lachlan Wales (Western United MID – $213k)
A goal in Round 1, then a four-point showing against Western Sydney in Round 2; Lachlan Wales’ output dipped after the opening weekend – but the Western United winger’s classification as a midfielder in fantasy means he remains a valuable fantasy asset heading into Round 3.
The knee-jerk reaction after Western’s 5-0 loss to the Wanderers would have been to shift Wales out at the end of Round 2 – but holding on to the forward for another weekend could prove a masterstroke if he returns to the form that saw him notch 18 points in Round 1. Wales’ value is expected to rise by $49k at the end of Round 3.
Jake Brimmer (Melbourne Victory MID – $410k)
Jake Brimmer has scored just four points across two rounds to begin the season – and due to his premium fantasy price tag, the Victory midfielder is expected to suffer a hefty value decrease after Round 3.
Owned by 8% of managers heading into the weekend, Brimmer has a $90k price dip projected for the end of the weekend, with a 28-point haul needed for the 2022 Johnny Warren Medallist to break even.
Alou Kuol (Central Coast Mariners FWD – $348k)
Two goalless games to begin the season have left star Central Coast signing Alou Kuol lacking in significant fantasy impact heading into Round 3. A hefty knock against Adelaide in Round 1 cut his opening weekend short, and 64 goalless minutes against Macarthur in Round 2 leaves the 22-year-old needing a huge performance on the road against Perth Glory to avoid a projected $64k price dip.
Cortnee Vine (Sydney FC FWD – $478k)
An injury on international duty with the Matildas, coupled with Sydney FC’s trip to Uzbekistan for the AFC Women’s Club Championship, makes the most-owned Liberty A-League Fantasy player a logical transfer out ahead of Round 3.
Vine has been traded out of more teams than any other player between Rounds 2 and 3; her $478k value will not decrease in Round 3 due to the fact that prices only begin to fluctuate after each individual player’s third appearance of the season. Fantasy managers can elect to hold onto the Sydney FC star until she returns to domestic action – but her value could be spent elsewhere in the meantime, with Melbourne City’s Rhianna Pollicina ($380k) and Canberra United’s Michelle Heyman ($456k) two of the popular trades in ahead of Round 3.