Welcome to the Round 7 edition of Footy Prophet’s new weekly series – Fantasy Flashbacks. Throughout the 2018 home and away season, we will look at some of the greatest historical fantasy performances correspondent to the upcoming round – before fantasy football existed.
We’ve seen some amazing scores so far in Fantasy Flashbacks, but none were as impressive as our Player of the Round this week in Hawthorn full forward Jason Dunstall, who in Round 7 of the 1992 season produced the highest fantasy score ever recorded.
The Hawks were hosting the Tigers at Waverley Park, and Dunstall came into this game in great form, having kicked 9 goals against Collingwood, and 7 against Essendon in his previous two matches.
However, against the Tigers that day he put in performance we are never likely to see in AFL football again, kicking 17.5 (1 short of Fred Fanning’s VFL/AFL record of 18), from 29 disposals and 18 marks to register an astounding 243 fantasy points.
It was a phenomenal performance by Dunstall, who after seven rounds sat atop the Coleman Medal standings with a staggering 53 goals. He went on to take out the award that season kicking 145 goals from 23 appearances – the fourth highest return in VFL/AFL history.
In the same game he also earned three Brownlow votes, and went on to produce his highest season total in the coveted award, finishing two points behind eventual winner Scott Wynd.
Dunstall did however take out the AFLPA’s MVP award and won Hawthorn’s Best & Fairest award for the third time, while also earning the first of two All-Australian selections.
1992 was arguably Dunstall’s best season from an individual perspective in what was an amazing career.
Dunstall made his senior debut in Round 2 of the 1985 season against Melbourne, kicking three goals in what was a huge win for the Hawks. He went onto play 16 games in his first season, including four finals for 36 goals.
However, despite such a solid start to his career, it was a disappointing finish to the year, with the Hawks getting belted by Essendon in the Grand Final and Dunstall going goaless, in what was Hawk’s legend Leigh Matthews final game.
In his second season Dunstall kicked 77 goals from 22 games, claiming the first of 12 club goal kicking awards and helping the Hawks to their sixth premiership.
In 1987 the Hawks fell just short of defending their premiership while Dunstall fell just short of registering his first 100 goal season with 94. However, he and Hawthorn came back strongly the following season, with Dunstall taking out his first Coleman Medal with 132 goals, and the Hawks winning the first of two consecutive flags.
Dunstall went onto play 269 games while booting 1254 goals. He finished his career with four premierships, three Coleman Medals, four Hawthorn B&F awards and two All-Australian selections.
Awarded the captaincy of the Hawks from 1995 until his retirement in 1998, Dunstall was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame in 2002, while he was included in Hawthorn’s Team of the Century and is also in the club’s own Hall of Fame as well as being named an official Club Legend.
Dunstall would also have been a very handy player in fantasy. Over his career he would have averaged a fairly solid 83.1, however in the six seasons from 1988-1994 he averaged 99.3 points per game, including a season high of 112.3 in 1992.
With five seasons returning a 100 plus average, and another in the high 80s, there’s little doubt Jason Dunstall would have been one of the most popular forwards in fantasy footy had it existed while he was in his prime.