2019: Midfielders Discussion

Who will you start from the most expensive midfielders?

  • Mitchell

    Votes: 17 34.0%
  • Macrae

    Votes: 16 32.0%
  • Cripps

    Votes: 35 70.0%
  • Oliver

    Votes: 9 18.0%
  • Fyfe

    Votes: 34 68.0%
  • Kelly

    Votes: 13 26.0%
  • Neale

    Votes: 13 26.0%
  • Treloar

    Votes: 1 2.0%
  • Coniglio

    Votes: 3 6.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 10 20.0%

  • Total voters
    50

BigRuss

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I am pretty sure I recall you saying something very similar this time last year - which was an excellent call.

If he had more history to back it up and/or was more durable I'd lock and load him - he's the obvious like for like for Mitchell in terms of 2018 performance (and therefore price).

What's your take on why he hadn't shown more before 2018? Previous best was 107 in 2017 after hitting 100 in his second year (2014).
I think last year I said he’d go past the Bont as the Dogs best player or something of the sort cant remember to be fair.

I think he just grew into his own more than anything, he’d shown glimpses in his first few seasons that he had the tools to be a very good footballer. As much as you hear coaches talk about running patterns, most players either know where to run, or they don’t. It’s very hard to teach and he certainly knows where to run.

Not many blokes out there that can move the way he does at 190 odd cm and kick the ball as consistently well as he does. Still plenty of room for improvement at 24 years old and already knocked up 100 games.

I’m not one to try and convince people on their picks either way, I’m just genuinely curious why so many seem to be actively avoiding a player who, in normal circumstances, has ticked every box we look for in an improving player.
 
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IDIG

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i am wondering why coaches are off macrae. is it because of his price? his fixture? or can he back it up?
I think it would have to do with his huge price tag coming off a spike year (127 ave last year, 107, 94, 100, 100 prior to that). Generally most will only invest in fully priced players if they have scored at that level for a few years but coming off a spike year, it’s considered an unnecessary risk.

There’s probably also the fear that Libba returning could affect his clearances/contested possies.

Personally I’m considering him, even if he doesn’t have the runs on the board but if I need to find cash for another position he’ll be one of the first to go.
 

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I think last year I said he’d go past the Bont as the Dogs best player or something of the sort cant remember to be fair.

I think he just grew into his own more than anything, he’d shown glimpses in his first few seasons that he had the tools to be a very good footballer. As much as you hear coaches talk about running patterns, most players either know where to run, or they don’t. It’s very hard to teach and he certainly knows where to run.

Not many blokes out there that can move the way he does at 190 odd cm and kick the ball as consistently well as he does. Still plenty of room for improvement at 24 years old and already knocked up 100 games.

I’m not one to try and convince people on their picks either way, I’m just genuinely curious why so many seem to be actively avoiding a player who, in normal circumstances, has ticked every box we look for in an improving player.
Thanks for your thoughts, your earlier comment stuck in my mind even before this.

To be honest, if he had averaged 115 in 2017 (suggesting less downside risk, more proven ability to deal with tags, etc) I'd very likely lock him in.

Just did a little more digging, he averaged 104-5 in DT in his second (and third and fifth) season. The eighth best mid last year was Josh Kelly, who averaged 108. Maybe my query about Macrae not having shown more previously was a little unfair, taking this information into consideration.
 

stephen

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i am wondering why coaches are off macrae. is it because of his price? his fixture? or can he back it up?
I think last year I said he’d go past the Bont as the Dogs best player or something of the sort cant remember to be fair.

I think he just grew into his own more than anything, he’d shown glimpses in his first few seasons that he had the tools to be a very good footballer. As much as you hear coaches talk about running patterns, most players either know where to run, or they don’t. It’s very hard to teach and he certainly knows where to run.

Not many blokes out there that can move the way he does at 190 odd cm and kick the ball as consistently well as he does. Still plenty of room for improvement at 24 years old and already knocked up 100 games.

I’m not one to try and convince people on their picks either way, I’m just genuinely curious why so many seem to be actively avoiding a player who, in normal circumstances, has ticked every box we look for in an improving player.
I think he'll be pretty popular.

For me it's just that I'm allergic to paying that much for a player who has had such a huge improvement in his scoring in one season. He could be a 24-year-old clone of Ablett and I probably wouldn't pick him.

I think he's a really good player and is young enough that it's plausible he's still on the up. He played basically the perfect Supercoach role last year, filling a void in the Bulldogs' mids and doing as he liked. It's so hard to back up a year like that. He doesn't need to replicate it to be a good pick but he needs to go pretty close. I don't have any special prediction for why he won't do it but it could be any one of form, tag/attention, Libba back, change in midfield rotations, injury, partner giving birth or his dad getting deported. If there were no other C options or he was unpopular I would be tempted because I think there's a chance he does back it up and in those circumstances there'd be a big advantage to be had if he did, but as it stands I prefer Danger and Fyfe as captains so I don't think the damage is too bad if he does succeed without me on, and I think there's a good chance he doesn't in which case it's a little win over a big chunk of players when I pick him up cheaper.
 

stephen

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Very interesting you mention this.

I had already wondered whether I was better going for an extra forward, via Danger to the mids.

I've also just reread the high rankings/low rankings thread following your bump, and am wondering whether I should use this as an opportunity to trim some mid pricers from my side - especially if I don't really like the other top mids, as you refer to.

Can I ask whether you have a strong view on Roberton, Hanley, Hanners, Libba or Mummy? I have Westhoff, and would likely pick him even if I had someone else at R2, if that makes a difference.
I think they're all tough ones that make me feel queasy.

I like Hanley. I hadn't actually realised he was 30 until I just checked his stats out then. That makes me like him less. But he's really good when his head is in the game and he has the ceiling to be a keeper (even though that's obviously on the narrow end of the curve) which is what I want to as at least a possibility for a 300k pick in DEF.

Roberton I like less but I think it's perfectly plausible he's a good pick which makes me not want to think about him to much. He was really good for a decent patch in 2017 but it was a bit of a surprise (to me at least) and I don't know how likely it is he gets back there. We are heavily stocked in his kind of player and to be honest I feel so unsure of him that I could just as easily see him being dropped as being integral to our defence and being a great SC pick.

Hanners has equally as wide a range in my book. Hopefully it looks clear in JLT. I am willing to pick him if he looks like he's running the midfield. I kind of work on assumption he has been too bad to believe, but it's not a comfortable place to be when predicting things. I feel more confident that we will know more about him after preseason though, whereas Roberton could easily fire in JLT and then drop off I think.

Libba seems easier to predict. If he looks fit in preseason you'd think he'd probably score well enough to be a good enough stepping stone so it just comes down to whether we need that based on the rookies that show up. I doubt I'd be moving my team around to fit him in.

On numbers Mummy seems a very good pick but who knows how he goes after a year out. I guess we just trust our eyes in JLT. Suspension makes it hard but probably worth it. If you have Westhoff anyway then Mummy seems a no-brainer (assuming he looks fit and plays sole ruck).

Starting Danger in mids seems a good move to me at the moment because I like a lot of forwards but I guess it will depend on where the rookies show up. I'm worried I'm just being a bit gutless about committing to some of these younger gun mids but like you I see possible downside everywhere I look in the mids.
 

Bermi

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I think he'll be pretty popular.

For me it's just that I'm allergic to paying that much for a player who has had such a huge improvement in his scoring in one season. He could be a 24-year-old clone of Ablett and I probably wouldn't pick him.

I think he's a really good player and is young enough that it's plausible he's still on the up. He played basically the perfect Supercoach role last year, filling a void in the Bulldogs' mids and doing as he liked. It's so hard to back up a year like that. He doesn't need to replicate it to be a good pick but he needs to go pretty close. I don't have any special prediction for why he won't do it but it could be any one of form, tag/attention, Libba back, change in midfield rotations, injury, partner giving birth or his dad getting deported. If there were no other C options or he was unpopular I would be tempted because I think there's a chance he does back it up and in those circumstances there'd be a big advantage to be had if he did, but as it stands I prefer Danger and Fyfe as captains so I don't think the damage is too bad if he does succeed without me on, and I think there's a good chance he doesn't in which case it's a little win over a big chunk of players when I pick him up cheaper.
I liked your predictions :)
Yeah, there are many possible reasons why Macrae won't back up his good 2018 season.
Until I hear one solid reason, I'm sticking with him.
 

Darkie

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I think they're all tough ones that make me feel queasy.

I like Hanley. I hadn't actually realised he was 30 until I just checked his stats out then. That makes me like him less. But he's really good when his head is in the game and he has the ceiling to be a keeper (even though that's obviously on the narrow end of the curve) which is what I want to as at least a possibility for a 300k pick in DEF.

Roberton I like less but I think it's perfectly plausible he's a good pick which makes me not want to think about him to much. He was really good for a decent patch in 2017 but it was a bit of a surprise (to me at least) and I don't know how likely it is he gets back there. We are heavily stocked in his kind of player and to be honest I feel so unsure of him that I could just as easily see him being dropped as being integral to our defence and being a great SC pick.

Hanners has equally as wide a range in my book. Hopefully it looks clear in JLT. I am willing to pick him if he looks like he's running the midfield. I kind of work on assumption he has been too bad to believe, but it's not a comfortable place to be when predicting things. I feel more confident that we will know more about him after preseason though, whereas Roberton could easily fire in JLT and then drop off I think.

Libba seems easier to predict. If he looks fit in preseason you'd think he'd probably score well enough to be a good enough stepping stone so it just comes down to whether we need that based on the rookies that show up. I doubt I'd be moving my team around to fit him in.

On numbers Mummy seems a very good pick but who knows how he goes after a year out. I guess we just trust our eyes in JLT. Suspension makes it hard but probably worth it. If you have Westhoff anyway then Mummy seems a no-brainer (assuming he looks fit and plays sole ruck).

Starting Danger in mids seems a good move to me at the moment because I like a lot of forwards but I guess it will depend on where the rookies show up. I'm worried I'm just being a bit gutless about committing to some of these younger gun mids but like you I see possible downside everywhere I look in the mids.
This is very helpful, thanks for your detailed thoughts.

After I posted I went through each of these names again (given my comments about restructuring post-Mitchell), and actually decided to cut Roberton and Libba. This seems pretty consistent with your comments.

If Libba kills it in the JLT I may well change my mind on that, but Roberton looks the weakest link, and Libba appears marginal unless he can get back towards his best years, which seems less likely now as the Dogs have a number of good mids and Libba is not the best of them. [For what it’s worth, I discovered that most teams have around 1 mid who averages 100, which is much less than I would have guessed - so if a Miles type needs to average 100 to make good cash, those who pick him for that purpose are basically saying he’s almost as good as many teams’ best mids, which seems a stretch.]

My thoughts on Mummy, Hanners and Hanley are very similar to yours. JLT is probably always key for these types of picks, but will likely swing all of these decisions for me.

The catalyst for a change in my side was the potential Mitchell cash, plus a number of the very best coaches in the high/low rankings thread suggesting that avoiding mid pricers is helpful at a minimum, and potentially required for consistently high results.

I’ve just tried doing some numbers on the merits of GnR vs mid priced madness as a cross check on this (particularly because the winning side often seems quite non-textbook).

If you make the assumption that your (marginal) premiums score at what they’re priced at, while rookies and mid pricers score well enough to make $150k each in reasonable time (around 35ppg above what they are priced at, allowing for slow accumulation of the last $25k or so), then on the face of it it seems the mid pricer side wins easily ... you’d simply have more players outscoring their price early on (more points on field), and then more cash to buy the very best premiums later on (a stronger completed side). Clearly more trades are required than for GnR, but the points scored would seemingly make this easily worthwhile. It may be difficult to find 12 good mid pricers that can make that much cash (even a hypothetical mid priced side could have somewhere close to 10 premiums, or it won’t use all its cash - leaving 12 spots in the 22 for either mid pricers, or a mix of more guns and more rookies), although I think checking this structure versus GnR will be instructive (it’s like a corner solution). I think I’ll need to do it in Excel though, it’s slightly hard to keep track of the cash/points/trades/prices with pen and paper!

So essentially I’ve trimmed Roberton and Libba on the basis that they probably won’t make $150k ... now I just need to check whether that’s too high a benchmark for a mid pricer/stepping stone, and whether I should be picking them based on a lower threshold!

Thanks again for your views, I appreciate you taking the time.

If I manage to find something definitive via Excel, I’ll be sure to post the conclusions.
 

toxic

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I see Lachie Neales name appear in a lot of sides

As a previous owner my question to those picking him,

Where does his upside come from?
FWIW - i see he and MCrouch the same, lots of possessions, very little scope for a 120 average over a 6 to 8 game stretch
 
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I see Lachie Neales name appear in a lot of sides

As a previous owner my question to those picking him,

Where does his upside come from?
FWIW - i see he and MCrouch the same, lots of possessions, very little scope for a 120 average over a 6 to 8 game stretch
New club rule for the most part but I’m not sure how relevant it is for stars rather than players starved of opportunity. iirc Brisbane play a pretty fantasy friendly game, much better than their ladder position suggests but prob need to check that.

Funnily enough, I see Neale as a much more damaging player than Crouch and while theres a difference in price, I’d take Neale every time if given the choice.

Fwiw Neale averaged 119 between rd 6-13 and 123 between rd 17-23 last year.
 

TopBillings

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New club rule for the most part but I’m not sure how relevant it is for stars rather than players starved of opportunity. iirc Brisbane play a pretty fantasy friendly game, much better than their ladder position suggests but prob need to check that.

Funnily enough, I see Neale as a much more damaging player than Crouch and while theres a difference in price, I’d take Neale every time if given the choice.

Fwiw Neale averaged 119 between rd 6-13 and 123 between rd 17-23 last year.
Selective stats. I’m sure you can make anyone look good from rounds 17-23 etc

Neale isn’t a must have & I agree with Toxic. Gets 40 touches for 90 points more than not.
 
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Selective stats. I’m sure you can make anyone look good from rounds 17-23 etc

Neale isn’t a must have & I agree with Toxic. Gets 40 touches for 90 points more than not.
Yes of course it was selective but toxic stated he has “very little scope for a 120 average over a 6 to 8 game stretch” so i was merely illustrating that he is capable of averaging 120 over a 6 to 8 game stretch.

You could do that for any and every player of course..,,with Neale being one of them.
 

TopBillings

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Yes of course it was selective but toxic stated he has “very little scope for a 120 average over a 6 to 8 game stretch” so i was merely illustrating that he is capable of averaging 120 over a 6 to 8 game stretch.

You could do that for any and every player of course..,,with Neale being one of them.
My apologies
 
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No need (y)

I would say there’s probably more risk with a pick like Neale vs Mrouch/Zerrett though, but he has greater upside imo.

I kinda like Zorko at 100k cheaper. Obviously struggled with the tag last year but averaged 110 the two years before that. Probably an unnecessary risk but not the worst punt.
 

Darkie

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Potentially not a lot in this in terms of evidence that things are changing, but it seems it's been discussued that Cripps needs support.

Saturday, 12 January 2019
Matthew Kennedy has declared the Blues' onball unit finally ready to take the burden off star co-captain Patrick Cripps.
"The player he is, he'll keep battling through it, but he can't do that week in week out for several years," Kennedy said of Cripps.
"There's a lot excitement amongst us younger players wanting to take that load off him and I think the start of pre-season has been a really good indicator for us that we're going places as a midfield group and a team.
"There's expectation from ourselves and as a younger group to help him out a bit through there."
Mitch Cleary for AFL.com.au
 

Bermi

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Potentially not a lot in this in terms of evidence that things are changing, but it seems it's been discussued that Cripps needs support.

Saturday, 12 January 2019
Matthew Kennedy has declared the Blues' onball unit finally ready to take the burden off star co-captain Patrick Cripps.
"The player he is, he'll keep battling through it, but he can't do that week in week out for several years," Kennedy said of Cripps.
"There's a lot excitement amongst us younger players wanting to take that load off him and I think the start of pre-season has been a really good indicator for us that we're going places as a midfield group and a team.
"There's expectation from ourselves and as a younger group to help him out a bit through there."
Mitch Cleary for AFL.com.au
Agree, I don't think the young players are going to help Cripps this year much. Good that they are discussing that he is doing a lot.
Supercoach wise, I think he will still score well.
 

Bermi

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No need (y)
I would say there’s probably more risk with a pick like Neale vs Mrouch/Zerrett though, but he has greater upside imo.
I kinda like Zorko at 100k cheaper. Obviously struggled with the tag last year but averaged 110 the two years before that. Probably an unnecessary risk but not the worst punt.
Been giving Zorko some thought. Wish I knew if the main tag will go to Neale, hmmm???
 

Darkie

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Agree, I don't think the young players are going to help Cripps this year much. Good that they are discussing that he is doing a lot.
Supercoach wise, I think he will still score well.
I agree with this. The Blues are still clearly in development mode though, and a few teams seem conscious that their players (not necessarily inside mids - I’m thinking Gawn and Grundy) can’t bear a huge chunk of the load in a really physical role indefinitely.

I wonder whether Cripps plays a few less minutes in the mids, eg, and this brings him back to the pack a little. He would likely still be in the region of the top scorers given his high starting point, but I think he may be doing well to fully match his 2018 output.
 
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I agree with this. The Blues are still clearly in development mode though, and a few teams seem conscious that their players (not necessarily inside mids - I’m thinking Gawn and Grundy) can’t bear a huge chunk of the load in a really physical role indefinitely.

I wonder whether Cripps plays a few less minutes in the mids, eg, and this brings him back to the pack a little. He would likely still be in the region of the top scorers given his high starting point, but I think he may be doing well to fully match his 2018 output.
I personally think there is better underpriced starting options. The expectations and demands on Cripps will still be high with not alot of serious help inside.
 

Bomber18

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I agree with this. The Blues are still clearly in development mode though, and a few teams seem conscious that their players (not necessarily inside mids - I’m thinking Gawn and Grundy) can’t bear a huge chunk of the load in a really physical role indefinitely.

I wonder whether Cripps plays a few less minutes in the mids, eg, and this brings him back to the pack a little. He would likely still be in the region of the top scorers given his high starting point, but I think he may be doing well to fully match his 2018 output.
Cripps could just rest forward as he has been doing. His TOG could increase rather than him losing mid time.

He’s still only 23 so there’s still scope for him to push a 125-130 avg. He is yet to hit the prime age for a midfielder.
 
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