Catch up with the latest Official A-Leagues Fantasy talking points from a riveting Round 5, brought to you by Liberty.
Five rounds into the Liberty A-League season, the cream is beginning to rise to the top as the stars of the competition show their worth as top-line fantasy assets. But a potentially serious injury to the highest-scoring player after Round 5 creates a selection dilemma for 20% of fantasy managers who own the Melbourne City star.
Meantime a top Mariners performer earns a spot in the Team of the Week, while two emerging Australian prospects dazzled with respectively brilliant performances against one another.
These are the key takeaways from the fifth round of fantasy football in the A-League Women, thanks to Liberty.
Team of the Week provides Mariners selection dilemma
With 15 points in a clean sheet display, Central Coast goalkeeper Courtney Newbon takes her place among the strongest fantasy XI from Round 5. The Mariners custodian was an immovable force against the in-form Wellington Phoenix on Saturday afternoon, pulling off a string of saves to keep the ‘Nix at bay and set her side on course for an impressive 1-0 win.
Newbon’s dazzling display came just days after the arrival of three-time Liberty A-League Champion and Matildas goalkeeper Casey Dumont, who joined the club following the end of the AFLW season where she played for Hawthorn after her Melbourne Victory departure.
Mariners head coach Emily Husband now faces a selection dilemma of her own as Newbon ($221k) looks to keep her starting role, bolstered by her 15-point fantasy haul and a sensational 90 minutes in goal for the Mariners.
The 2-5-3 Team of the Week formation saw midfielders take centre stage in Round 5, with Perth Glory midfielder Hana Lowry top-scoring for the weekend with 27 points.
Season-ending injury for high-scoring McNamara
The Melbourne City winger scored her fifth and sixth goals of the season against Newcastle Jets this weekend, sending her three-round scoring average soaring to 23.7. After five rounds, McNamara is far and away the top fantasy scorer in the league with 87 points; Melbourne Victory’s Rachel Lowe is the second-best performer with 70.
McNamara bagged a brace to lead City to victory over the Jets and take her fantasy tally to 58 over the past two weekends – but sustained the injury in the action of scoring her second of the afternoon. The Matildas forward is in 20% of fantasy teams after five rounds.
Battle of the Matildas prospects in Perth leads to massive fantasy hauls
One is a key member of the Young Matildas. The other has been capped once by the senior Matildas.
Together, Hana Lowry and Rachel Lowe are two young Australian footballers who will push to represent the Matildas in the future – and on Saturday night, scored two goals apiece on either side of a 2-2 draw between Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory.
A 27-point haul for Glory’s Lowry was the highest individual tally league-wide, bolstered by her last-gasp equaliser scored in stoppage time at Macedonia Park. Her two goals bookended a brace to Lowe who now has four goals in two games as her bright start to life at Victory rolls on.
Lowe scored 22 points herself to reward the 12% of fantasy managers with the 23-year-old midfielder in their fantasy squads. In doing so, Lowe jumped from sixth to second on the total points leaderboard.
In-form Jet provides managers selection loophole
The inclusion of 18-year-old Newcastle Jets sensation Lara Gooch in the Team of the Week illuminates a positional loophole for fantasy managers to benefit from. Listed as a midfielder, the teenager led the line for Newcastle against City on Sunday afternoon, scoring a goal, nabbing an assist and contributing to many more dangerous Jets attacks.
Gooch benefited from the return of Emily van Egmond to Newcastle on Sunday in a deadly combination with the Matildas midfielder, and through the next three games of Van Egmond’s guest stint contract at the club, could rack up big fantasy numbers classed as a midfielder but playing high up the park in attack.