AFL preseason stocks up, stocks down: every team assessed

Welcome to ESPN's new weekly AFL column: 'Stocks up, stocks down'. Our footy experts cast their eye over the week's action to find out whose stocks are up -- whether it's a coaching masterstroke or a player having a blinder -- and whose are down. Every club features, so jump ahead to your team below (desktop only).

Crows | Lions | Blues | Magpies | Bombers | Dockers | Cats | Suns | Giants | Hawks | Demons | Roos | Power | Tigers | Saints | Swans | Eagles | Bulldogs


Stocks up: The only shining light for the Crows in their 71-point loss to Port was Brodie Smith, who racked up plenty of the ball at halfback and ended the game with a staggering 779 metres gained.

Stocks down: Where do you even start? The entire club is a mess and will be battling North Melbourne for 17th place in 2021.


Stocks up: The Lions look like they're going to be an offensive juggernaut in 2021, and their preseason hit out against the Suns certainly reinforced that. They scored 18 goals, with Joe Daniher and Charlie Cameron kicking seven majors between them, while the midfield also got in on the act.

Stocks down: You have to feel for Cam Rayner. The No. 1 pick from the 2017 draft suffered a horrendous looking injury that has all the hallmarks of an ACL tear - just as his career was really starting to take off. Fingers crossed the news isn't as bad as many expect!


Stocks up: Boom recruits Zac Williams and Adam Saad have slotted in beautifully at the Blues, both impressing in the pre-season loss to St Kilda, though Williams won't play Round 1 after copping a week for a high bump.

Stocks down: Right now, Carlton's forward line is non-existent. Charlie Curnow, Mitch McGovern, Levi Casboult and Eddie Betts all sustained injuries in pre-season, joining them on the sidelines is Harry McKay, who injured his ankle against the Saints.


Stocks up: Big Mason Cox was recently labelled 'elite' by Champion Data, and his second-half performance against the Tigers lived up to the tag. The American booted three goals after the main change and was clunking marks just as he did against Richmond in the 2018 preliminary final.

Stocks down: The Pies' midfield took a big hit with Adam Treloar moving to the Bulldogs in the off-season, and now Steele Sidebottom looks like he's set for some time on the sidelines with a calf strain.


Stocks up: The young Essendon midfield is something to get excited about. Zach Merrett, Darcy Parish, Andrew McGrath and Jye Caldwell combined well against the Cats, almost seeing them over the line. It's not all doom and gloom at Windy Hill.

Stocks down: It could have been a VERY nice outing for the Bombers in Geelong, but inaccuracy was the story of the night. Essendon had eight more scoring shots than the Cats, but their 18 behinds cost them any chance of pulling off the win.


Stocks up: It's quite possible Nat Fyfe has gotten better in the off-season. The two-time Brownlow Medal winner put on a clinic during pre-season and we wouldn't be surprised if he added a third Charlie to his collection later this year.

Stocks down: A hamstring injury to star forward Michael Walters is a huge blow for the Dockers. He will likely miss two to three weeks of the home and away season.


Stocks up: Geelong's star-studded trio of recruits all got through pre-season unscathed, impressing along the way. Against the Bombers, Jeremy Cameron booted two goals, Shaun Higgins one, while Isaac Smith racked up 25 disposals.

Stocks down: Those awful t-shirt guernseys have to go. They Cats have been using them in preseason footy and at training for some time, but come on, boys, keep them on the training track!

Gold Coast

Stocks up: Forward Alex Sexton continues to show he's a valuable member of the Suns, bobbing up for six goals in his side's 28-point loss to the Lions. He has A-grade goal sense, an accurate kick and finds himself in good spots.

Stocks down: It's been a theme for the Suns in recent years, but their defence and two-way running needs a lot of help. After leading by almost five goals in the second term, the Suns allowed 11 goals in a row before they were able to steady the ship and keep the margin respectable.


Stocks up: At the time, the pick seemed a little speculative but Tanner Bruhn could be a name to follow. The young Giant, taken at pick 12 in the draft, showed all of his class around goal, kicking four majors in the win over Sydney.

Stocks down: The Giants got the job done but some awful use of the ball almost cost them. Stephen Coniglio, Toby Greene, Jacob Hopper and Tom Green all disposed of the ball at an efficiency rating below 65%.


Stocks up: Have the Hawks found some goalkickers in Jacob Koschitzke and Tyler Brockman!? The pair combined for nine goals in a dominant win over North, stepping up in the absence of veterans Jack Gunston and Luke Breust.

Stocks down: It's only preseason but Jarman Impey's struggles appear to be continuing. Just six disposals, two tackles and no shots at goal isn't good enough from an experienced pressure forward.


Stocks up: Put your money on Nathan Jones to play 300 games. Some eyebrows were raised when it was announced the Dees veteran would go around again in 2021, but he showed why he's still worth a spot in the 22 - his composure, finishing and leadership is still unmatched at the club.

Stocks down: The Dees' finals chances - are they good enough? There's always a chance for egg on face after judging one preseason game, but for a squad looking to take the next step to get back into the eight, they were significantly outplayed by a team likely to play finals in the Bulldogs. With Jack Viney, Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw still to come back, they'll need to produce right away if Melbourne is to challenge in 2021.

North Melbourne

Stocks up: If Jaidyn Stephenson is set to spend more time up the ground in 2021, Roos fans have to be excited. The former pie racked up 27 disposals in an impressive first outing for his new club.

Stocks down: It's not unfair to say North need to find a consistent avenue to goal, but that forward line was underwhelming against the Hawks. For Josh Walker and Dom Tyson to kick three each, while Cam Zurhaar and Nick Larkey combined for just one must be a worry for David Noble. Fingers crossed they can find a focal point in 2021.

Port Adelaide

Stocks up: He barely played half the game against the Crows, but Orazio Fantasia left his mark with a man-of-the-match performance. The former Bomber ran riot inside 50, kicking three goals and three behinds in the dominant win.

Stocks down: It's hard to be too critical of Charlie Dixon, as the Port spearhead wasn't really required to hit top gear against Adelaide. Still, Dixon went goalless and finished the game with the fewest touches of any Power player.


Stocks up: 43, yes 43 disposals for Jayden Short, the most he's ever had in a game! Short was already a good player but if he's moved into A-grade territory, the Tigers are going to be even harder to beat in 2021.

Stocks down: It's difficult to be too critical of the reigning premiers after a preseason win, but it remains to be seen just what impact some of the younger brigade will have in 2021 or going forward. Does Riley Collier-Dawkins come on? Derek Eggmolesse-Smith and Callum Coleman-Jones also played but don't seem to be putting pressure on for Round 1 spots.

St Kilda

Stocks up: The small forward pairing of Jack Lonie and Jack Higgins combined to either score or directly assist 11 goals against the Blues, as well as having 43 touches between them.

Stocks down: New club, same old Mason Wood. Just three disposals in his limited minutes was nothing to get excited about for Saints fans.


Stocks up: With a young and up-and-coming midfield, Luke Parker is likely to spend more time forward for the Swans. Against the Giants, Parker split his time between midfield and forward, finishing the day with three goals and 22 disposals.

Stocks down: Surprisingly, Isaac Heeney went virtually unnoticed during pre-season, despite playing the majority of minutes.

West Coast

Stocks up: He was good in 2019, great in 2020, and this year, Liam Ryan could be anything. Against the Dockers he was clean, kicked goals, took marks and did everything to justify last year's All-Australian selection.

Stocks down: Sorry, but poor form from the Eagles fans who were booing Dockers skipper Nat Fyfe, after an accidental head-clash left West Coast recruit Zac Langdon on the deck. It was ACCIDENTAL. Settle down!

Western Bulldogs

Stocks up: He's had a haircut, he stuck to midfield minutes and he looked irresistible in his side's 34-point win over Melbourne. Marcus Bontempelli looks ready to lead his team at a flag tilt. His 32 disposals were all class and he looks incredibly fit coming into his eighth season of footy.

Stocks down: The chances of a Bulldog winning the Brownlow. Put your house against that happening - there's just so much talent in that midfield, and it's a midfielders' award! In their preseason win over the Dees, the Bont had 32, Jack Macrae had 39, Lachie Hunter 27, Tom Liberatore 31 and Josh Dunkley 31 - with Adam Treloar still to return!