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Presto

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We predict the top six SuperCoach scorers in each position for 2019
Ben Higgins, Herald Sun
February 21, 2019 7:00am
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Predicting the top-six scorers in each position is fraught with danger.
Our learned colleague Tim Michell attempted it last year and finished with eight out of 24.
It might look easy on paper — picking the likes of Dangerfield, Lloyd, Oliver and Grundy — but what if there’s injuries? Who is the next big thing?
Here’s our predictions for the SuperCoach season ahead. Have your say in the comments below.

DEFENDERS
It feels like 2019 is the Year of the SuperCoach Defender. With new kick-in rules and the increasing popularity of quarterbacking halfbacks, defenders have never been such strong SuperCoach contributors. Thus, picking the top-six overall scorers is increasingly difficult. Kick-in kings Jake Lloyd, Rory Laird, Jayden Short and Luke Ryan are primed for big years while. The likes of Alex Witherden, Zac Williams, Brodie Smith and Kade Simpson could just as easily prove me wrong. Lachie Whitfield is a midfielder and Rory Laird might as well be given his ability to find the pill but the big question mark is James Sicily. The Hawks swingman was on track for a big 2018 before injury ended his season early. If he can stay out of trouble and injury-free he’s a monty to be a must-have backman.

Predicted 2019 top-6: Jake Lloyd, Rory Laird, Lachie Whitfield, James Sicily, Jayden Short, Luke Ryan
Predicted 2018 top-6: Rory Laird, Michael Hibberd, Michael Hurley, Jeremy McGovern, Kade Simpson, Jeremy Howe
Actual 2018 top-6: Jake Lloyd, Kade Simpson, Rory Laird, Shannon Hurn, Jack Crisp, Jayden Short


MIDFIELDERS
Quite possibly the hardest position to pick given the depth of talent. Last year my colleague Tim Michell got just one out of six correct. Clayton Oliver and Patrick Cripps are SuperCoach powerhouses and should continue to rack up the points in 2019. Likewise, Lachie Neale is metronomic in his SuperCoach scoring and rarely misses a game, that won’t change at Brisbane. I’m tipping a big season from Josh Kelly after his injury issues in the past two years while Dustin Martin should also return to the top of his game after an indifferent 2018 from a SuperCoach point of view. The big call is Adam Treloar. There’s a lot of mouths to feed in that Collingwood midfield but Treloar has taken over the No.1 mantle from Scott Pendlebury and has the potential to average 110-120.
NB: Barring injury and suspension Patrick Dangerfield is sure to be a top-six scorer but given his dual position eligibility, we’ve put him in the forwards category.

Predicted 2019 top-6: Clayton Oliver, Josh Kelly, Patrick Cripps, Lachie Neale, Adam Treloar, Dustin Martin
Predicted 2018 top-6: Patrick Dangerfield, Dustin Martin, Nat Fyfe, Rory Sloane, Marcus Bontempelli, Matt Crouch
Actual 2018 top-6: Tom Mitchell, Patrick Cripps, Patrick Dangerfield, Clayton Oliver, Lachie Neale, Jack Macrae


RUCKS
The top two speak for themselves, Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn. The pair were head and shoulders ahead of their fellow big men last year and are expected to dominate again in 2019. It’s the next tier where things get interesting. Todd Goldstein and Toby Nankervis don’t have any competition and should play solo all year with maybe a break late in the season, just to throw everyone’s plans into disarray. Stef Martin has a battle on his hands to play Round 1 after an interrupted pre-season and Archie Smith’s strong form but his proven durability and scoring have him firmly in the frame. Finally, Shane Mumford. Yes, he’s going to miss the first two weeks but his scoring ability and the Giants’ lack of ruck options make him a strong top-six candidate.

Predicted 2019 top-6: Brodie Grundy, Max Gawn, Todd Goldstein, Toby Nankervis, Stef Martin, Shane Mumford
Predicted 2018 top-6: Max Gawn, Paddy Ryder, Matthew Kreuzer, Toby Nankervis, Stef Martin, Brodie Grundy
Actual 2018 top-6: Brodie Grundy, Max Gawn, Stef Martin, Todd Goldstein, Callum Sinclair, Toby Nankervis


FORWARDS
Durability and consistency are the name of the game in the forward line with the likes of Luke Breust and David Mundy finishing in the top-six last year. This year, Patrick Dangerfield should dominate the field and is an easy No.1 choice. Josh Dunkley and Isaac Smith are young guns looking to lock in full-time midfield roles in 2019 and given their finishes to 2018 are more than capable of top-six finishes. Likewise, Devon Smith and Robbie Gray. The pair are more likely to play forward than midfield but are so important to their team’s success, they’re sure to have SuperCoach friendly roles. The big call here is Josh Kennedy. The West Coast spearhead was dogged by injury last year but has proven he can be a top six SuperCoach scorer in the past. We’re not saying pick him — or be selective when you do — because he’ll have 170 one week and 40 the next.

Predicted 2019 top-6: Patrick Dangerfield, Josh Dunkley, Isaac Heeney, Devon Smith, Robbie Gray, Josh Kennedy (WCE)
Predicted 2018 top-6: Isaac Heeney, Lance Franklin, Toby Greene, Jack Billings, Devon Smith, Kane Lambert
Actual 2018 top-6: Justin Westhoff, Sam Menegola, Devon Smith, David Mundy, Luke Breust, Toby McLean
 

Presto

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James Harmes, Josh Dunkley, Trent Dumont among players who could be under the radar SuperCoach stars
Liam Twomey, Herald Sun
February 22, 2019 8:29am

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How much can you trust end of season SuperCoach numbers?
That is the question coaches everywhere should be asking as the hunt for point of difference value ramps up.
Because, while the vast majority of SuperCoach teams feature the likes of Patrick Dangerfield, Patrick Cripps and Isaac Heeney, it could end up being your off Broadway selections who make or break your season.
With only a month until Round 1, we’ve looked at some of the best under the radar selections who finished 2018 with a bang.
Angus Brayshaw MID $526,900
At Round 12 last year, Angus Brayshaw was anything but a SuperCoach stud.
After starting the season in the VFL, the former No. 3 draft pick had just 778 points to his name and was struggling to consistently pass 80.
But all that should be a distant memory given how he finished 2018.
Brayshaw’s final nine games were nothing short of outstanding, posting seven triple figure scores and lifting his overall season average to a career best 97.1.
In the second half of the season he averaged 108.3, which is a big enough sample to have him on your 2019 radar.
James Harmes MID $453,800
There is no love out there for Melbourne hard nut James Harmes, who is currently featuring in zero per cent of teams.
But given his final month of 2018, it might be time for a rethink.
Harmes finished last year like a SuperCoach stud, posting four consecutive 100 plus scores over the final month of the season.
He averaged 113.5 in that time. If he maintained that pace for the entire season, it would rank him in the league’s top 10 average scorers.
For those who are a little nervous about the four-game sample size, it is important to note that Harmes’ season average has gone up each year, which is encouraging.

Josh Dunkley FWD|MID $516,300
At first glance, paying more than $500K for Josh Dunkley might seem a big ask. But there are a couple of reasons to look very, very closely at this young Dog.
From 2017 to 2018, Dunkley’s average jumped from 60 to 95.1.
However, his final six weeks of last season is are cause for even more excitement.
From Round 18 onwards Dunkley averaged 127.1. If he maintained that pace for the entire season, he would have been in the top five average scorers in the competition.
Dunkley also carries dual position status, meaning you can swing him between your forward line and midfield.
He is currently in around 11 per cent of teams and is the perfect point of difference candidate.

Trent Dumont MID $452,800
When I first saw Trent Dumont at this price, I immediately kept on scrolling. I wasn’t the only one. He is currently in zero per cent of SuperCoach teams.
But there is a strong case to be made that Dumont might be a solid point of difference candidate.
The North Melbourne midfielder found his feet over the final five weeks of last season, averaging an impressive 113 in that time.
That run included scores of 132 against Brisbane and 162 against Adelaide.
But is that sustainable?
Champion Data ranks Dumont as the fifth best wingman in the competition and with the 6-6-6 format locked in, his skill set is about to become even more important.

WATCH OUT FOR
Not all point of difference selections end up winners. In fact, there are a few options who have us very nervous. Here are a few of the ones we are staying away from.

Dayne Zorko MID $520,200
It was a rollercoaster ride for everyone who had Dayne Zorko in their midfield last year.
Here are his averages broken down for the season:
Rounds 1-6: 65.6
Rounds 7-20: 115.3
Rounds 21-23: 71.6
So which Zorko will we see in 2019?
For everyone who was chasing Grand Final glory, it’s hard to forget those final three weeks.
Zorko’s average dropped by a whopping 15 points from 2017 to 2018. It is not a trend we like.

Tom Phillips MID $489,100
Through the first half of 2018, Tom Phillips was putting forward a solid case to be in the All Australian squad.
He had seven scores over 100 and during a six week period between Round six and 11, averaged 114.1.
However, the SuperCoach magic well and truly dropped off in the second half of the season.
Phillips broke triple figures only once and from Round 12 onwards averaged just 78.
Hitting 2019 with a whopping price tag of nearly $500K, Phillips is way too risky given how he finished the season.
With the addition of Beams, he may see even less midfield time this year.

Trent Cotchin MID $486,900
Captain Cotch’s SuperCoach average dropped significantly in 2018, falling from 101 to 89.
However, for anyone considering him as a bounce back candidate this year, be careful. The end of season numbers were even more concerning than that.
From Round 16 onwards, Cotchin averaged a worrying 58.8.
His closing price last season was just $372,400 while he has opened this year closer to $500,000.
Having a solid point of difference player is great but Cotchin isn’t it.
 
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Hey guys,

Does anyone have access to The Phantom’s articles from The Advertiser/Herald Sun this week?

There are a couple I’m particularly interested in:

- Pre-JLT Team Reveal
- Draft Rankings
- Intraclub Intel

If someone has access to these it would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Beijing_Sting

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Couldn't find two of them. Do they exist? This one seems to - sort of. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/...s/news-story/2d3ee1ca17249a097a38630a26f2adef



If you haven’t played SuperCoach Draft before, you’re missing out.
Arguably, it’s a fun, more-exciting way to play our favourite fantasy game.

Take part in a league with your mates — or join any available public league — and select a unique SuperCoach team through a live draft where each player is only available once.

You can then trade players with other teams throughout the season and pick up any undrafted player from the free agency pool as you go.

League settings — number of teams, squad size, trading and free agency options, gameplay and draft type, just to name a few — are customisable, allowing you to set up your competition your own way.

To help, here is the second instalment of my Top 50 player rankings — the February (pre-JLT) edition. For new players, it will give you an indication of how a draft might play out.

THE BIG CHANGES
Swan Isaac Heeney jumps into the top 10 at the expense of an unlucky Clayton Oliver, who has only just re-joined the Demons’ main training group after off-season surgery on both shoulders.

Gary Ablett falls 12 spots after the news the veteran is set to spend majority of his time forward in 2019.

Tim Kelly and Sam Menegola’s midfield minutes should increase as a result and the new position of both dual-position forwards reflects this.

Docker Connor Blakely is no longer in the top 50 after suffering a serious hamstring injury at the end of January.

Collingwood defender Jack Crisp makes way for Crow Brodie Smit h, who is set to bounce back in a big way this season and will be a big beneficiary of the new kick-in stat ruling, as will Tiger Jayden Short, who also slides into the list.

The Phantom is starting to be sucked into the hype around Jack Billings. Is this the year he finally puts it all together in the midfield? It’s no certainty but he has more potential upside than Demon Tom McDonald who he replaces in the top 50.

Young Brisbane ball magnet Alex Witherden climbs into the top 20 with The Phantom believing he could be a top-five defender this season.

His team-mate and key defender Harris Andrews falls to the bottom of the list after the news Lions’ coach Chris Fagan has been trialling him as tall target in attack.

After an injury-interrupted pre-season and with young big man Archie Smith impressing in his absence, ruckman Stefan Martin drops to No. 42 — behind Justin Westhoff and Todd Goldstein.

And Hawk recruit Chad Wingard falls nine places after a pre-season calf injury.

THE PHANTOM’S MUST-HAVE PLAYER ON EVERY LINE

1. PATRICK DANGERFIELD (GEEL) FWD/MID
January ranking: 1

2018 average: 122

With Dangerfield a chance to average 20 points more than the next best player in his position, it has to be the Geelong superstar at No.1. No change from January and there won’t be going forward with Dangerfield declaring his participation in pre-season training has doubled this summer.

2. BRODIE GRUNDY (COLL) RUCK (2)
2018 Average: 130

The top-ranked scorer from last season should go close again in 2019 and is a worthy No. 1 selection. But the gap between he and the second-ranked ruckman — likely to be Max Gawn — might not be as great. Back in full training after toe issue.

3. JACK MACRAE (WB) MID (3)
2018 average: 127

With the two best positional players gone, it’s time to take the No. 1-ranked midfielder. And, with Tom Mitchell injured, Macrae is the man.
Good luck opposition midfielders, Carlton star Patrick Cripps looks to have bulked up even more over summer.4. PATRICK CRIPPS (CARL) MID (4)
2018 Average: 119

Last season there was only three midfielders who averaged more than 120 points per game; Dangerfield, Macrae and Mitchell. Expect the contested-ball beast from the Blues to join the group in 2019.

5. JAKE LLOYD (SYD) DEF (5)
2018 Average: 112

The skilful Swan was the only defender to average more than 110 points per game in 2018 and, with the new kick-in stat ruling, he’s a chance to better his 112-point average this season.

6. MAX GAWN (MELB) RUCK (6)
2018 Average: 127

There’s a concern about what the impact of recruit Brayden Preuss might be on Gawn’s scoring but we might be overplaying it. He has to be selected here — and it could be higher if we get more clarity on Preuss’ role during the pre-season.

7. NAT FYFE (FREO) MID (7)
2018 Average: 114

While some SuperCoaches might opt for Josh Kelly or Clayton Oliver ahead of Fyfe, the Docker skipper still possesses one of the highest ceilings in the competition. If he stays fit, look out.

8. JOSH KELLY (GWS) MID (8)
2018 Average: 114

After returning from injury, the classy midfielder averaged 120 points from Round 12 onwards last season. Uses the ball better than most and hits the scoreboard so, if he gets a clear run at it, expect that to be his average across the entire season in 2019.

Isaac Heeney has stormed into The Phantom’s top 10 SuperCoach Draft rankings.

9. ISAAC HEENEY (SYD) FWD (16)
2018 Average: 97

Jumps into the top 10 after stating “I feel I can take my game to the next level” after the first full pre-season of his career. Averaged 98 points per game in 2017 after battling glandular fever over summer and posted nine SuperCoach tons in the first 12 rounds, despite pre-season knee surgery, last year. The next-best forward behind Dangerfield.

10. RORY LAIRD (ADEL) DEF (10)
2018 Average: 108

The Crow ball magnet is still the second best SuperCoach defender behind Lloyd and is as reliable as selections come. Laird should, at least, maintain his average this season.

11. Clayton Oliver (Melb) Mid (9)

12. Dustin Martin (Rich) Mid (11)

13. Lachie Whitfield (GWS) Def (12)

14. Lachie Neale (Bris) Mid (14)

15. Elliot Yeo (WC) Mid (15)

16. Matt Crouch (Adel) Mid (17)

17. Alex Witherden (Bris) Def (23)


18. James Sicily (Haw) Def (18)

19. Devon Smith (Ess) Fwd/mid (13)

20. Zach Merrett (Ess) Mid (19)

21. Josh Dunkley (WB) Fwd/mid (20)

22. Adam Treloar (Coll) Mid (21)

23. Sam Menegola (Geel) Fwd/mid (31)

24. Kade Simpson (Carl) Def (26)

25. Justin Westhoff (Port) Ruck/fwd (27)

26. Andrew Gaff (WC) Mid (28)

27. Dayne Beams (Coll) Mid (29)

28. Stephen Coniglio (GWS) Mid (30)
 
Last edited:

Presto

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Doctor SuperCoach examines some of the mid-price defenders that could prove gold in 2019
Doctor SuperCoach, Herald Sun
22 minutes ago

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Nailing your starting defenders in SuperCoach is a key to hitting the ground running.
Too many times have we seen a top-line defender from one year, suddenly drop their average by a considerable amount in the following season.
Therefore sometimes the backline is a great position to try your hand at some mid-price options instead.
The expert team at Doctor SuperCoach cast their eye over some of the most contentious mid-price options for 2019.
RYAN BURTON ($356,700)
Ownership
: 3 per cent
New Port Adelaide recruit Ryan Burton comes in to the 2019 season at a very generous price, considering that the 22-year-old rebounding defender is only one year removed from his exciting debut season that saw him average 84 SuperCoach points per game. Making the move from Hawthorn to Port Adelaide, Burton is tipped to be a primary kick-in taker, after taking in excess of 25 per cent of Hawthorn’s kicks last year. With the new rules favouring players that run and carry out of the square, Burton could see a few more points added to his average in 2019 via this method.
With the departure of Jasper Pittard, Burton looks primed to slot into a favourable half-back flank role at his new club. Playing in a similar position in 2017, Burton averaged 21 possessions before dropping to just 17 a game last season. He was still able to muster three scores over 90 showing us that the potential for bigger scores is still there, however, in 2017 that figure was higher with 10. The half-back flank position has been a revolving door at Port Adelaide for some time now, so make sure to keep an eye on who may be favoured there in the JLT Series. If Burton gets the nod, keep him on your watchlist.

BRODIE SMITH ($332,500)
Ownership
: 20 per cent
Perennial burn man Brodie Smith hasn’t had an injury free season since 2014, including just two games played for the entirety of the 2018 season, after a devastating ACL injury in the 2017 qualifying final. However, in those two games, Smith was able to highlight his incredible scoring potential by scoring a whopping 129 points against GWS, which was also in a losing effort. Prior to the 2018 season, Smith played a full regular season, in which he stormed home averaging 93 points from Round 12 onwards, but finished the season with a slightly disappointing average of just 82 points. Assistant coach Scott Camporeale has already been quoted saying “with the kick-ins from full-back, the new rule works well as Brodie Smith is able to get an extra 10 metres”, which implies that it is Smith that may be the preferred option to take the kick-in duties in 2019. With this being the case, coupled with the fact that Smith has already shown signs of being a top-tier defender in the past, he looms as a savvy bargain pick if he can get through the majority of games this season. Additionally, the Crows play just three 2018 finalists in their opening nine rounds of the season, which may make for a hot start for Smith. If Adelaide are going to bounce back into top eight contention, Brodie Smith will be a big factor in their resurrection.

DYLAN ROBERTON ($297,500)
Ownership
: 16 per cent
Last season, Dylan Roberton was limited to just four games after being diagnosed with a heart condition which had caused him to collapse during St Kilda’s Round 4 clash with Geelong. In the three rounds prior to this, Roberton had been averaging a respectable 80 SuperCoach points. In 2017 though, Roberton broke out with an average of 93 points for the season, cementing himself as a top defensive premium option. This wasn’t Roberton’s only season above a 90 average either, as he was able to muster a 91 average in 2015 too. Now if the injury risk was the only downside to the Roberton selection, it would appear silly to ignore him at this generous price, but there is another factor that needs to come into consideration – versatility. As much as coach Alan Richardson would applaud Roberton for his ability to play multiple positions in defence, it is a major scare factor in SuperCoach. Roberton’s average decreases significantly when he rotates to play as a ‘third tall’ in St Kilda’s defence, rather than a rebounding defender or loose man down back. Given his role is hard to predict on a week-by-week basis, coupled with the likelihood that Shane Savage has claimed what once was Roberton’s kick-in duties, Roberton remains more of a close watch in the JLT Series.
 

Presto

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Our experts have their say on some of SuperCoach’s biggest names
Herald Sun
22 minutes ago

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Having a tough time selecting your SuperCoach team?
Our experts are here to help and every week will have their say on some of the game’s biggest names.
This week we start with the likes of Dustin Martin and Jake Lloyd as well as which ruck strategy we’re preparing to employ.

DUSTIN MARTIN ($563,800, Mid)
The Phantom
: Too cheap to ignore. After averaging a huge 119 points per game in his Brownlow year, Martin was priced at $656k heading into 2018. This season, he’s priced as the 18th-ranked midfielder in the competition. But, at this best, how many can score like Dusty? Not many, if any.
Alastair Paton: Dusty might not get back to his unbelievable 2017 numbers but he’s a lot better than his 104 average from last year. I’ll have the VC on him in Round 1.
Gilbert Gardiner: The sheer definition of arbitrage. Far too cheap for what Dusty (will be) is capable of churning out each week. The premiership Tiger and Brownlow Medallist was the first player picked in Gilbert’s Guidance.
Ben Higgins: He’s simply too cheap to ignore. We were locking him last year for $100k more, so why the hesitation this year? Few can match Dusty’s scoring potential and he makes an ideal M4 or M5.
Dan Begala: Dusty’s an absolute lock and should be the second player selected behind Patrick Dangerfield at F1. You’re getting a Ferrari for the price of a Ford, ladies and gentlemen, so it’s a no-brainer. I’m tipping he’ll scale the lofty heights of his heroic premiership campaign and average 130 points. SuperCoach “arbitrage”, folks.
Tim Michell: I’m 50-50 on Dusty. His price is enticing but his 2017 Brownlow year was the only season he’s averaged more than 110 in SuperCoach. I prefer Matt Crouch and Zac Merrett at a similar price.
Dan Batten: Locked and loaded. That price for a player of Dusty’s ilk is too good to pass up. Can’t see the superstar having two poor SuperCoach seasons in a row.
Paul Dunn: Dusty did us a favour last year by having an down season compared to 2017. This just means he is a bargain for us this year. With a good pre-season he should be able to provide your team with a great return to form and a return to his scoring output of 2017. Must be considered.

ZAC WILLIAMS ($407,800, Def)
Phantom
: After missing the entire home-and-away season with injury, the dashing Giant defender was recalled for the elimination final and wasted little time reminding everyone of his scoring power, recording 117 SuperCoach points. Williams should improve on his 94-point average of 2017 and appears the best value-for-money option, in any position, for 2019.
Paton: About as safe a mid-price player as you can get, he’s been in my backline for a long time. Slight concern at reports he didn’t take any kick-ins in the Giants’ practice match.
Gardiner: Tempting at the price but happy to dodge the Giants’ speedster. Will monitor closely and happy to consider Williams should he start strongly.
Higgins: I’m gone for Brodie Smith. He’s that little bit cheaper and is just as capable of pumping out premium-quality SuperCoach scores. Williams is most certainly on my upgrade watchlist and I’ll be keenly watching the JLT Series to see how the new kick-in rules impact him … and Lachie Whitfield.
Begala: Amid the new kick-in rules, I envisage Zac Williams will be knocking on the door of the top-10 defenders in 2019. I, like most astute pundits, will be stacking the backline and expect Williams will be vying with the likes of Brodie Smith ($334k) for the highly coveted D4 position.
Michell: Absolute steal at his price. He should be in either the D3 and D4 position in every side. In 2017, when he averaged 94, he only scored below 70 twice to Round 21 and went above 80 in 18 of those 21 fixtures. Has a high ceiling and could easily be a top-six defender.
Batten: A player who averaged 93.9 SuperCoach points in 2017 for $407,800? Bargain. Should improve on that figure with the new kick-in rules.
Dunn: Returning this season after his Achilles injury in 2018 look for Zac to be a great scorer for the Giants in defence. He only played two finals for the Giants last season and averaged just over 21 disposals in those two games. With his discount for missing all of the 2018 regular season he is certainly under-priced and should be a value pick in defence.
 

Presto

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SAM WALSH ($207,300, Mid)
Phantom
: Everything you hear about the No.1 draft pick is overwhelmingly positive. Although I expect him to have a greater SuperCoach impact than the top picks of recent seasons, at the high-end rookie price, I just can’t squeeze him in at the moment.
Paton: I haven’t picked a $200k rookie for years, usually a $123,000 player will deliver the same output. This year could be different, if you believe Champion Data and anyone who has seen Walsh this pre-season. Will be watching his JLT games very closely.
Gardiner: Ticks a lot of boxes but price is somewhat prohibitive. Will he play? Yes. Is he good? Absolutely. Will he score better than a regulation $117,300 rookie? Not necessarily. What I do know is this … I’ll be watching the JLT Series closely.
Higgins: Was actually one of the first cash cows I picked. I think Walsh walks into Carlton’s Round 1 team and not as some half-forward type, a fully fledged midfielder. Yes, he’s high-priced but if things do go pear-shaped you can trade him down and make some cash in the process.
Begala: Throwing all Carlton biases aside, he’ll be starting immediately in the engine room of The Begala Brigade. He’s a competitor, dominated his entire junior career and reportedly chalked up BOG honours in the scratch match against Hawthorn. The youngster will average 80-plus.
Michell: As a Bluebagger I can’t wait to see him play but after the experience of recent years it’s hard to justify spending that much on a rookie. You can pick up his new teammates Michael Gibbons and Liam Stocker for about $20,000 more than Walsh on his own.
Batten: His highlights from last week’s scratch match brought a smile to Carlton fans and SuperCoaches alike. While expensive rookies can often be a trap in this game, Walsh is just about a sure thing to have an impact from day dot.
Dunn: He is just the type of player that Carlton are desperate for and that is good news for SuperCoaches. Walsh should be given plenty of game time and this will see him be one of the most important rookies of the season. He should provide us with consistent scoring and may end up being one of those guys you keep as bench cover throughout the year.

JAKE LLOYD ($608,200, Def)
Phantom
: Injury aside, it’s hard to see a 2019 season when the Swans star isn’t, again, the top-scoring SuperCoach defender, especially with the new kick-in stat ruling. And his Round 13 bye is easier to navigate, too. I’m happy to spend the cash.
Paton: Lock lock lock. Gets a ton of the ball, takes kick-ins. Next.
Gardiner: It was a choice between Lloyd and Rory Laird and I went with the Crows dasher instead. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Higgins: This could ruin my SuperCoach season but Lloyd isn’t currently in my team. We can’t fit every gun in and he’s right on top of my upgrade watchlist. That said, with a big JLT Series I’ll be forced to splash the cash and bring him in. Few defenders have such a SuperCoach friendly role as the Swans playmaker. Now or later, have a plan to bring him in.
Begala: He’s just the consummate professional and if you’re chasing overall rankings, I would suggest mortgaging the house and acquiring his services. Yes, he’ll likely dip in price, but you’ll be chasing the peloton from the get-go if you don’t splurge. The only scoring threat could be Jackson Thurlow, should he assume part-time kick-in duties.
Michell: I was burned big time last year not having Lloyd and won’t be making the same mistake again. He plays one of the most SuperCoach-friendly games of any player and the new kick-in rules should only help his scoring. Whether I can start him and Rory Laird is the biggest issue in defence.
Batten: Was late to the Lloyd party in 2018 and paid the price. I’m not making the same mistake this year.
Dunn: Lock and load. Lloyd will be one of the most selected players and one of the biggest locks of the season in defence. Look for him to continue his run from last season and he will be one of those players that most teams will have and if you don’t have him you could get left behind. The new kick in rules should only enhance his scoring. Locked in my team.


JOSH DUNKLEY ($516,300, Mid-Fwd)
Phantom
: The 22-year-old averaged 29 disposals, 11 contested possessions, seven tackles and 116 points per game from Round 15 onwards. And in the final five rounds of the year, only Brodie Grundy, Jack Macrae and Patrick Dangerfield scored more points. Only a Luke Beveridge coaching move in the JLT Series to could move him out.
Paton: I was a year early on Dunkley, picking him in my starting squad last year then trading him out before he went berserk when Bevo moved him into the guts. If he starts there in Round 1 he’ll be a points machine. But I don’t trust the Bulldogs coach.
Gardiner: Powered to the post last season, finishing the home-and-away season with six straight tons, which is usually a good indication for the following season, but again, a touch too rich for Gilbert Guidance’s consideration. Want to see the Dogs get their act together before cherry picking too many out of Whitten Oval.
Higgins: Not for me. The Bulldogs midfield is a revolving door of players - just look at Toby McLean in the second half of last year - and there are better options available. Tom Liberatore’s return
Begala: Lock. The young buck averaged a whopping 127 points across his final six games and it would be remiss of investors to overlook a trend as striking as this. Dunkley broke out BIG time. If the return of Tom Liberatore doesn’t thwart his midfield opportunities, I think he’ll be entrenched among the top-six forwards.
Michell: A brilliant finish to 2018 should have the tough Bulldog on your radar, but I want to see a greater sample size before I’ll consider him at that price. I’d prefer to pay the big dollars for proven players such as Isaac Heeney and Sam Menegola.
Batten: You can’t ignore his finish to 2018, amassing six straight tons as his ball-winning ability grew in spades. Will spend plenty of time in the guts and at 22, he should only get better.
Dunn: Dunkley announced himself in the back half of last season and came home like a steam train. Look for him to continue this form if he can maintain a spot in the midfield rotations. Combine that with the ability to select him up forward, he should be very popular in starting squads. I will consider him but want to see his role before selecting him.
 

Presto

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Hawthorn
JAMES SICILY ($570,400, Def)
Phantom
: The fourth-highest averaging defender last season but can we trust him to stay on the park? And what can we take from his comments about a potential - albeit slight - role change? I’m happy to wait-and-see on this one.
Paton: Missed games are the only worry because he ticks every other box. Loves a long kick-in which should mean extra points under the new rules.
Gardiner: A popular pick last season - as a dual position threat - but spending $570,400 on firebrand Sicily as a stand-alone defender is a recipe for list management disaster.
Higgins: I like him as a SuperCoach pick, I really do, and I think he’ll be a big POD to start the year. After copping a talking to from Clarko last year after two suspensions, I think his brain snaps are behind him. I’ll need to see how he fares in the JLT Series before committing.
Begala: The Sicilian has no ceiling on his scoring potential, but the plethora of running defenders (Laird, Lloyd & Simpson) and midfielders (Whitfield) pressing their case for selection leaves quite the challenge fitting Sicily into the mix. He is, however, the quarterback of the Hawthorn defence and a certainty to thrive under the new kick-in rules.
Michell: Sicily was one of my best starting selections last year, but the odd brain fade and trip to the tribunal made him frustrating to own. I think him and Lloyd will vie for the title of No.1 scoring defender this year if Sicily stays on the park for a full season, but that is a huge question mark. I can’t start him based on that disciplinary record.
Batten: Brain snaps aside, Sicily is a scoring machine. His intercepting is invaluable and he will take the bulk of Hawthorn’s kick-ins. It’s a yes from me.
Dunn: Sicily should be one of the big beneficiaries from the new kick-in rules. This, along with his breakout scoring from last season should see him as one of the more popular players in 2019. While he did get a couple of suspensions last year, he stayed out of trouble after the second suspension and only missed games after that due to an injury.
year.

STARTING RUCK STRATEGY
Phantom
: Can I choose just one ruckman? Brodie Grundy is locked in but the R2 position - like it is for many SuperCoach teams - is a revolving door. Darcy Fort is currently there so I’m hoping for a Round 1 debut but it makes me nervous just thinking about it.
Paton: Currently I have Grundy and Gawn but it’s far from set in stone, especially with Braydon Preuss lurking and ready to steal Max’s points. With many other teams thinking of a similar set-up it might be smart to find one of the few rucks who will fly solo. Hello Todd Goldstein?
Gardiner: Sticking fat with Gilbert’s Guidance stalwarts Max Gawn and Todd Goldstein. Set and forget.
Higgins: I’m splashing the cash on Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn. Obviously, Gawn is the main concern with Brayden Preuss expected to figure as a back-up big man but like Nic Naitanui (Scott Lycett) and Grundy himself (Mason Cox), I don’t see his scoring falling too far with the former Kangaroo in the team.
Begala: Grundy. Gawn. Daylight. Fort. End of story? I’m chasing overall rankings and expect both, Grundy and Gawn, to average 130-plus in 2019. The only issue is the lingering shadow of Braydon Preuss and whether he lines up alongside the reigning All-Australian ruckman this season. It’s going to come down to the wire at team selection for Round 1.
Michell: Grundy and Gawn. Take out Tom Mitchell and these two scored almost 200 points than the next best player last season. If you start with another ruckman at R2 you’ll only burn a trade to bring Grundy or Gawn in at some point. These guys are as good as any premium midfielders, if not better.
Batten: Max Gawn and Todd Goldstein at this stage after an interrupted pre-season for Brodie Grundy, and banking the extra cash for my defence. Watch me swap out Goldy for Grundy in an instant if he punches out two 120s in the JLT.
Dunn: I will be staying safe in the rucks. Grundy and either Gawn or Goldstein for me. I am a big fan of set and forget in the rucks and I don’t want to be using any trades there if I don’t have to. Grundy is an absolute lock and worth paying the money for. I want to see Gawn in the JLT and how Preuss is used. Once I see that I will make a choice on him or Goldy.
 

Brisbane Lions

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Interested to see how Sam Walsh performs in the JLT, this is the first year in a long time that I am considering starting the number 1 pick.

Last 10 years the number 1 draft pick has averaged:

2008 Jack Watts - 26.3
2009 Tom Scully - 71.1
2010 David Swallow - 79.5
2011 Jonathon Patton - 45.3
2012 Lachie Whitfield - 73
2013 Tom Boyd - 44.6
2014 Paddy McCartin - 37.2
2015 Jacob Weitering - 67.7
2016 Andrew McGrath - 70.7
2017 Cameron Rayner - 60.4
2018 Sam Walsh - ?

If Walsh is playing round 1 and starting in the guts, are people going to start him? He will need to average 70ish for him to moo in to that magical $150,000 profit range.

From all reports, I think an average of 70 is very achievable for him. What are people's thoughts?
 

NT.Thunder

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Just can’t believe the #1 draft pick is being talked up so much in the pre-season, unheard of!
 

Presto

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The Phantom’s Pre-Season: The SuperCoach defenders who must be on your JLT Series watchlist
The Phantom, The Advertiser
February 26, 2019 6:02pm

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The JLT Series is upon us and it’s time for SuperCoaches to get serious. It’s time to see the players we’ve been talking about over summer in action. The Phantom looks at the SuperCoach defenders who must be on your watchlist.

Adelaide
Brodie Smith $332,500
Smith played just two games last season after recovering from an ACL injury but the 2014 All-Australian is fit-and-firing and ready to reclaim his title as one of the most damaging half-backs in the game. Monitor his kick-in duties.
Wayne Milera $433,100
In the absence of Smith, the 21-year-old made his mark on the competition last season and has been a standout over summer. Milera is ready to take his game to another level but, with Smith returning, will he do so at half back? The JLT Series will hopefully tell us more about Don Pyke’s plans

Brisbane
Harris Andrews $480,100
He’s a star key defender — and premium SuperCoach scorer — in-the-making but coach Chris Fagan believes he can be even more effective as a forward. Monitor his role closely.
Alex Witherden $455,000
Watch for the young star to take his ball-winning to another level in 2019, starting in the pre-season competition.

Carlton
Nic Newman $394,100
The former Swan gets his chance to lockdown a spot across half-back in the absence of Sam Docherty and young defender Tom Williamson.

Collingwood
Isaac Quaynor $153,300
The draftee appears a ready-made player but it’s not an easy side to break into at Collingwood. Watch for the 18-year-old’s explosiveness off half-back.

Essendon
Andrew McGrath $384,300

It didn’t eventuate last year, despite glimpses over summer, but the former No. 1 draft pick might be ready to take up a spot in the Essendon midfield this season.

Fremantle
Luke Ryan $489,900
The 23-year-old took the most kick-ins at the Dockers last season but only played-on once. Will he do so more — and bump up his kick numbers in the process — in 2019?

Geelong
Jordan Clark $144,300
The 18-year-old draftee, who is composed, quick and reads the play well, has impressed in his first pre-season at the Cats and is set to push his case for a Round 1 debut over the next fortnight

Gold Coast
Sam Collins $188,900
The mature-age recruit, who holds the Champion Data record for the most intercept marks in a season in any competition, is a Round 1 lock but what can we expect scoring wise?
Chris Burgess $123,900, Fwd
The 22-year-old booted two goals in an impressive performance in the practice game against the Lions last week and his flexibility will appeal to coach Stuart Dew.

GWS
Zac Williams $407,800
The Phantom’s best value-for-money option, in any position, for 2019. Williams was quiet in the Giants’ recent practice match but expect him to take it up a gear over the next two weeks. Will Williams and Lachie Whitfield fit in the same defensive 50?

Hawthorn
Jack Scrimshaw $149,800
It’s been an interrupted pre-season for the former Sun but the 20-year-old is ready to showcase his talent in the JLT Series. We might be asking ourselves “How did Hawthorn get this kid for nothing?” by the year’s end.

James Sicily $570,400
Sicily himself suggested his role might change slightly with the introduction of the new rules in 2019 so keep an eye on the 24-year-old when he appears in the JLT Series — especially when the Hawks kick-in.

Melbourne
Marty Hore $117,300
The mature-age defender from the VFL, who took a number of kick-ins in the recent practice match against the Magpies, is firming as a Round 1 starter after an impressive summer.

Michael Hibberd $398,700
Can the 29-year-old return to his SuperCoach best in 2019? To do that, his role needs to change. With Steven May arriving, along with fellow mid-size defender Hore, there is a chance Hibberd will be freed up again.

North Melbourne
Jasper Pittard $365,700
The former Port Adelaide defender averaged 92 points per game in a career-best year in 2016 but he’s failed to average more than 79 in the past two years. What can he do at his new home in 2019?

Port Adelaide
Connor Rozee $189,300
Look for the Power’s top draft pick to seal his Round 1 debut in a half-forward role over the next fortnight.

Xavier Duursma $130,800
There’s others spots up for grabs at Port Adelaide, too and the 18-year-old, who can play in multiple positions, is right in the mix if he can continue his impressive summer in the JLT Series

Richmond
Brandon Ellis $387,500
After making a name for himself as one of the most-damaging wingmen in the league in the early part of his career, Ellis found himself in the reserves last year after struggling to have an impact at half-back. But Ellis, whose strengths will suit the new 6-6-6 centre-bounce setup, is a chance to re-join the midfield this season.

St Kilda
Dylan Roberton $297,500
Roberton delighted the St Kilda faithful with an impressive performance in the recent intra-club match and will continue his journey back from a heart scare in the JLT Series. The value might become too hard to ignore.
Hunter Clark $293,500
Clark was another Saint to impress in the intra-club hit-out, showing signs he’s ready to take his game to another level in his second season.

Sydney
Callum Mills $428,900
We’re likely to see the young Swan play predominantly in the midfield through the JLT Series but we’ve seen him do that before. Will he stay there for the season proper this time?
Justin McInerney $117,300
The 18-year-old has some serious dash and it’s no surprise there has been some excitement around the draftee over summer. Let’s hope he gets a chance to impress over the next two weeks.

Western Bulldogs
Bailey Williams $441,600
Ball-winning defender has stated he’s spent most of his pre-season training with the midfield group so hopefully the JLT Series gives a better indication of his 2019 role. He’s a potential SuperCoach star.

West Coast
Oscar Allen $236,700
With Mark LeCras retiring and Josh Kennedy and Jamie Cripps injured, expect Allen to be one of a handful of young Eagles pushing their names forward over the next two weeks.
 

Presto

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Gary Buckenara names the best SuperCoach cash cow prospects
Gary Buckenara, Herald Sun
February 27, 2019 7:00am

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AFL recruiting guru Gary Buckenara knows exactly what it takes for young players to make it at AFL level.
Buckenara has tracked recent draftees from 2018 and seasons past since their days as under-16s. He knows their games inside and out.
So who does he believe is ready to step up and play at AFL level in 2019 and more importantly, is there a role for them in 2019 in the team that drafted them?
He reveals his top SuperCoach rookies for 2019 and the players you must keep an eye on for your team this year.
Carlton needs midfielders and Walsh is ready to play. As the No.1 draft pick, Walsh is the most expensive of the draftees but I see him playing regularly and he’ll be worth the investment. Carlton is in a position where it needs to get games into its younger players, therefore players like Walsh will get valuable midfield minutes to score points. While Walsh may not get the same numbers as more established players, he’s still got the ability to collect possession tallies in the 20-30 range. Walsh is a good ball-user, he’ll win his share of contested possessions when he has to and he’s a good kick, and they’re the sort of ingredients that will see him play regularly and rack up nice SuperCoach numbers.

IZAK RANKINE (Gold Coast Suns) $198,300 FWD
Rankine is a player everyone should be looking at. At Gold Coast, like Carlton, they’re going to need to play a lot of their younger players to build the club culture and not allow them to lose their appetite by playing NEAFL. The Suns need to invest in their high draft picks and a kid like Izak Rankine is exactly the type of player who will have an impact straight away. He’ll find the footy, he’s devastatingly quick and has great agility. He’ll play midfield but he’ll go forward as well and kick goals. He should be in your starting line-up.

NICK BLAKEY (Sydney Swans) $166,800 FWD
I rate Blakey really highly. He’s got so much upside and I think he’ll play a fair bit of senior footy this year. He’s a great intercept mark, he can play back, he can play forward and he can go into the midfield, so he’s a real utility. He’s valued at $166,800 but I think that’s a good price for a player who can score points a number of different ways because he’s got an all-round game; he’s good overhead, he’s very good defensively, he intercepts and he reads the play well and is a great user of the ball. Being in the Sydney Academy fast-tracks his development as well, so he’s ready to go. Only injuries will stop him from playing a lot of games.

LIAM STOCKER (Carlton) $126,300 MID
Stocker is ready-made. He’s got a strong body already and I think the Blues will get him into the team from Round 1. They were obviously really keen to get him to their club, so they’ve got plans for him. Like Walsh, Stocker will get roles because Carlton needs to play its younger players and that means good things for SuperCoaches. He could be a real value pick because I think he’ll have an immediate impact and at $126,300, he’s too good to ignore. He’s a good kick of the footy, is tough and hard and he’ll win his fair share of ball. He’s a lock.

JEZ McLENNAN (Gold Coast Suns) $117,300 DEF
A rebound-defender, McLennan can also go forward but I think he’ll play mostly down back for the Suns and will be a senior regular. He’s had experience playing against senior bodies already in the SANFL, which will hold him in good stead as he makes the transition to AFL footy. Like Rankine, McLennan should have the benefit of being given a lot of games so he can settle into life at the Suns. He’s a good intercept mark for a rebound defender, is a good kick and has a strong body already that’s ready to play. I think he’ll be a nice cash cow in defence who’ll score well.

IAN HILL (GWS Giants) $117,300 FWD/MID
Hill is a bit speculative but worth considering because I think GWS need a dynamic small forward. He has X-factor, he’s a really exciting player who can create havoc with his speed, pressure and footy nous as he gets to work at the feet of the likes of Jeremy Cameron and Harry Himmelberg. The Giants have lacked that type of player, so I’m just reading the play here … if he has a good pre-season, he should play. The question is can he score enough to be value in SuperCoach? I think there’s opportunity there given the footy should spend a lot of time inside the Giants’ forward 50m. Hill has got something special – he can chase and tackle and also jump and take a big mark - and I’m taking a punt that he’ll get games early.

LUKE FOLEY (West Coast) $117,300 MID
Foley has come through Subiaco in the WAFL, where he played in a premiership and had a really good season as a midfielder/forward. He has a task ahead of him to break into West Coast’s best 22 but he’s ready to go and can play. He’s a player SuperCoaches should pencil in and keep a close eye on him because if he starts to get games he’ll find the footy, there’s no question. He’s a smart player who uses it well, all he needs is an opportunity. He needs to break into the premiership side, so we need to be realistic, and it might take him a little time to find his feet, but I think he has the capabilities that if he gets in, it’ll be hard to get him out. I really like him.

BEN CAVARRA (Western Bulldogs) $117,300 FWD
Cavarra is a great story. He was overlooked at the draft for so many years but finally gets his chance at the Bulldogs and I think he can come in and have a real impact. He’s a midfielder to me; he can win a lot of the ball despite being very left-sided - which has been the knock on him - but can also kick goals (he booted 66 for Williamstown in his past two seasons as a small forward) and is courageous. I think he’ll be used forward but with stints through the midfield in his first season and there’ll never be any doubt about his effort or ability to find the footy. Good VFL players always tend to do well at AFL level. Great value.

MATTHEW PARKER (St Kilda) $117,300 FWD
The Saints recruit has taken real inspiration from Tim Kelly, his former teammate at South Fremantle, and now has his opportunity in the AFL. Can he also emulate Kelly’s SuperCoach impact? He was dominant at WAFL level and has spectacular traits; he can stand on shoulders, he can kick a freakish goal, he’s quick and can do all the exciting things on the field fans love to see. He’s exactly the type of player St Kilda needs to invest in to make sure he’s comfortable living in Melbourne because he has moved away from his family and has overcome some challenges in his life, and playing him is the best way to make that happen. I believe he’ll play early if he continues to have a good pre-season. Definitely worth considering because he won’t be overawed and his natural talent on display at AFL level will come to the fore. Keep an eye on him.
 

Presto

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NICK HIND (St Kilda) $117,300 MID
Another player drafted out of the VFL, Hind is an outside midfielder who’s a good kick and will run and carry all day. One of St Kilda’s biggest areas for improvement is pace and skill and Hind definitely brings that, so I suspect Alan Richardson will be keen to get him into the midfield. I think he’ll get plenty of games and I think the Saints will want the ball in his hands. He has the ability to break away and create the overlap with Isaac Smith-style run.

DARCY FORT (Geelong) $117,300 RUCK
Fort missed out on a few drafts but he’s developed a strong body now and is ready to play after dominating for Central District in the SANFL. Geelong needs a ruckman – Rhys Stanley and Zac Smith haven’t been able to pin down the No.1 role – and I think Fort is more than capable of taking that mantle. In fact, I believe he’s going to become the Cats’ No.1 ruckman because he’s definitely a good enough tap ruckman to displace both Stanley and Smith in the best 22. Pick him.

ROBERT YOUNG (St Kilda) $117,300 FWD
Drafted out of SANFL club North Adelaide, Young has the ability to grab a spot in the Saints best 22 and make it his own. He’s not going to be a star but he should play enough games to be a solid contributor. I’m not saying you should pick him but he’s one to keep an eye on through the JLT Series.

CALLUM WILKIE (St Kilda) $124,900 DEF
I had Wilkie ranked in my top-50 for the draft last year so I think the Saints got a real bargain in the rookie draft. He was one of the SANFL’s top defenders last year because his intercept marking is a real strength. Wilkie reminds me a bit of Tom Barrass from West Coast in the way he plays because he reads it well and floats in across the pack. St Kilda is trying to redevelop its side and I think Wilkie can be part of that. He can have an immediate impact as a mature-age recruit.

DARCY FOGARTY (Adelaide) $242,700 FWD
He’s a bit more expensive than the other guys but I really like Fogarty as a player. In 2017, I had him ranked as the best player in the draft and I think he’s shown enough to suggest he’s on the cusp of becoming a seriously good player for the Crows. He can play both forward and back and with Mitch McGovern leaving for Carlton, I’m confident Fogarty will step up and make that spot his own. He’s a really strong mark, he’s tough, never takes a backwards step and he’s a very reliable kick. I think he can have a breakout season this year and become one of the game’s best young players. He averaged 44 points per game last year but I think we can improve that average dramatically in 2019.

LUKE DAVIES-UNIACKE (North Melbourne) $197,500 MID
Davies-Uniacke was the must-have cash cow before the JLT Series last year but didn’t quite take off as we expected, so that means he’s still available cheaply for us this year. He had a learning year last year and now with a full pre-season under his belt, I believe he can have the impact in 2019 that we were expecting in 2018. He can play a number of roles, although he should be used predominantly in the midfield, and has serious upside. Even though North Melbourne added the likes of Polec, Hall and Tyson to their midfield during the trade and free agency period, I think there’s a spot for Davies-Uniacke and Brad Scott should be playing him regularly. He’s got the ability to have a standout season.

NOAH BALTA (Richmond) $123,900 FWD
This one is a bit left-field because Balta needs to break in to one of the strongest teams in the competition, but he’s a big smokie. I think Richmond will be looking to get him into the AFL mix this season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he grabs his chance. He’ll have to earn his spot, but keep an eye on this kid. He’s got the body to be able to play now and he’s got serious athleticism about him. He traditionally doesn’t get a lot of the ball but I think that will change at AFL level because Richmond’s style suits him. He can take marks and can play in a similar way to Alex Rance. He can also play forward and even in the midfield. He could be a downgrade target mid-season.

MATTHEW LING (Sydney Swans) $123,900 FWD/MID
Ling had an injury-interrupted season last year but if he can get himself fit I think there’s a spot for him in the Sydney midfield. The Swans lack pace and Ling is super quick, so he’s exactly the type of player they need. He could be serious value. He’s got a lot of ability and being in the Sydney system, we know how well they develop their players. Watch this space.

TARRYN THOMAS (North Melbourne) $175,800 MID
Thomas is a very exciting prospect for the Kangaroos. He’s got a lot of X-factor about him, but he does need to put on some size, so I expect 2019 will be a development year for him. I can see him playing a handful of games to get a taste of senior footy but I think mostly he’ll play VFL. Having said that, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him come in and do some spectacular things at AFL level because he’s got serious ability. I still think the Kangaroos will be very mindful of not throwing him to the wolves too early. He won’t be in my side.

WILL SETTERFIELD (Carlton) $144,900 MID/FWD
Absolute lock. He’s a must-pick. The ex-GWS No.5 draft pick has serious talent and will be a walk-up start in the Carlton midfield from Round 1, providing he’s fit and ready to go after his knee reconstruction. Setterfield can play all over the ground - in the midfield, up forward and down back - because of his size at 191cm. He’s ready to go.

SAM COLLINS (Gold Coast) $188,900 DEF
The ex-Fremantle player played for Werribee in the VFL last year and was a dominant force as an intercept defender. He had an outstanding year and deserves his second opportunity. He should slot into the Gold Coast defence and play every game, barring injury, and will get a lot of opportunity to rack up SuperCoach points because I suspect the ball will spend a fair bit of time in his area.

ISAAC QUAYNOR (Collingwood) $153,300 DEF
By all reports Quaynor is burning up the track at Collingwood training and putting himself right in the mix for an early-season debut. He’s got some exciting athleticism about him and although I think he’ll start the season in the VFL, he will get early opportunities. He’s got the ability and raw power and body to play, so I can see him playing pretty regularly, especially considering I believe the Pies do have a need for this type of defender. Not a lock yet but watch him closely.

CONNOR ROZEE (Port Adelaide) $189,300 DEF/FWD
Rozee will have a tough task to get into the Port Adelaide midfield but there’s no doubting his ability and he’s already impressing on the training track and in match simulation, so it’s a matter of how the coaches want to develop him. He’s already played senior SANFL footy, so he’s ready and if I was the Power I’d be getting him in as soon as possible because he is a quality player. He might not be the star Izak Rankine is but he’ll be a more consistent winner of the footy and that means he’ll be a more consistent SuperCoach scorer. If he plays, he’ll do well. He brings a lot to the table, qualities Ken Hinkley should look to invest in following the loss of Polec to North Melbourne. Rozee is a really smart decision-maker.

JACK SCRIMSHAW (Hawthorn) $149,800 DEF
A former No.7 draft pick, Scrimshaw is a talented player who never settled at the Suns. Back in Melbourne, at Hawthorn and surrounded by his family and friends, I think Scrimshaw is going to be a real surprise packet. He needs to get his head into footy a bit more but I’ve been told he’s going very well at training and the penny has finally dropped for him with his training and work ethic. Scrimshaw is a bit of a Ben Stratton type with his ability to intercept but he attacks more and I think he can make some big inroads at the Hawks this year. He can play from Round 1 and be a right-footed Grant Birchall because he’s got good skill and good decision-making.
 

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CHRIS BURGESS (Gold Coast) $123,900 DEF/FWD
A mature-age pick-up for the Suns, Burgess is likely to play a role in Stuart Dew’s team following the departures of Tom Lynch and Steven May. In the past Gold Coast has picked up players from state leagues to top up its NEAFL side but I think the Suns are past doing that now and any mature-ager coming into this club has been pencilled in to play a role at AFL level to help develop the younger players. I think he’ll play a lot of footy in 2019 but given he’s a key forward/defender, don’t lock him in to your side until you get a gauge on his scoring potential during the JLT Series. We should be wary of key position players.

MARTY HORE (Melbourne) $117,300 DEF
Picked-up out of Collingwood’s VFL side, I thought Hore was one of the best defenders in the league last year. He’s obviously ready-made and can play from Round 1, it’s just a matter of where he fits in the pecking order. The fact Jake Lever is still on the comeback trail from an ACL goes in his favour but with the addition of Steven May to play alongside Oscar McDonald as key defenders, is there a role for him? Kade Kolodjashnij has also joined the club and is deceptively tall at 190cm, while Michael Hibberd will slot in to the back six as well as Neville Jetta. Sam Frost can also play a third tall role, as can Joel Smith. Competition for spots is hot at Melbourne all over the field. Keep a close eye on the role he plays, if any, during the JLT Series. If he gets games early, I’ll reckon he’ll keep his spot but his SuperCoach scoring potential is a mystery at this stage.

CHARLIE CONSTABLE (Geelong) $123,900 MID
A big-bodied midfielder who was on the cusp of a senior debut last year, Constable is going to find it tough to break into the strong Geelong midfield again this season. With another pre-season under his belt he should be fitter and stronger and I think he will get an opportunity at some stage – clubs need to find out if these youngsters can play at the level - but just how early that is remains the big question mark. He’s got a lot of talent and if the Cats get an injury or two, he’s capable of stepping up to be that big-bodied midfielder. Be aware of him and have him on your watchlist. He’s a clever player, who I think can be a solid contributor at AFL level.

BRETT BEWLEY (Fremantle) $117,300 MID
A ready-made player for Fremantle out of Williamstown in the VFL, I expect Bewley to play from Round 1. He’ll be so determined to show what he’s capable of during the JLT after being overlooked in the draft so many times and he’s the type of player where you know exactly what you’re going to get from him as an inside midfielder. He wins so much contested ball, he attacks it really hard. Bewley could be the replacement for the injured Connor Blakely early in the season and if he does get his chance, I’ve got no doubt he’ll be racking up the disposals and SuperCoach points. He uses the ball well.

LUKE VALENTE (Fremantle) $117,300 MID
Valente was drafted at the end of last year but he’s got the body capable of playing straight away. He’s an inside/outside midfielder but probably plays predominantly as an inside ball-winner who’s a good user of the footy. He was South Australia’s most consistent player in the under-18 carnival last year, which is a good indication of his ability to step up when it matters, a trait coaches love. I suspect Ross Lyon will want to develop him in the WAFL first, to see how he performs before considering him for an AFL debut.

WILL HAYES (Western Bulldogs) $117,300 MID
Keep an eye on this guy. The Bulldogs and coach Luke Beveridge have a habit of plucking players out of their VFL side or state leagues and turning them into good contributors at AFL level and Hayes could be the latest. The Bulldogs know exactly what he’s capable of given he played for Footscray in the VFL and led the club for average disposals (26 per game) and contested possessions, while he can also win his fair share of ball on the outside. I don’t think he’ll play straight away but more strong performances at VFL level will see him rise into AFL calculations quickly as the Bulldogs look to rise back up the ladder. He’s a smoky pick. Could he be the Billy Gowers of 2019?
TOM ATKINS (Geelong) $112,900 MID
Atkins had another great year for Geelong’s VFL side last year and was finally rewarded as the Cats picked him up in the rookie draft. The Cats - like the Bulldogs - have a knack for plucking players out of their VFL system and turning them into very good AFL player. He might be the next Tom Stewart. For me, keep a very, very close eye on him because I can see him coming in and playing a role. He can play both midfield and half-back and I think there is a spot for him to potentially help to release Zach Tuohy. He was top-10 in the VFL for contested possessions, score assists, hard ball gets, clearances and tackles. Has the potential to be a nice SuperCoach scorer.

JOSH CORBETT (Gold Coast) $123,900 FWD

Like Sam Collins and Chris Burgess, Corbett is a mature-age recruit for Gold Coast who should play from Round 1 and be a regular fixture up forward for the Suns. He is a great contested mark but be mindful of the fact he’s coming in and playing against AFL defenders, which is a big jump from VFL. He’s a wait and see for mine because I’m not sure he’ll average enough to make you enough money as a cash cow.

IRVING MOSQUITO (Essendon) $117,300 MID/FWD
One of the most popular cash cow picks so far (over 18 per cent ownership) but I wouldn’t be picking him in my side. Mosquito will create so much excitement in the future because he’s got that X-factor about him and he chases, tackles and does all those eye-catching things but the reality is he’s behind Orazio Fantasia and Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and even Devon Smith in that role. They’ve got it covered for now and 2019 will be a development year for him unless the Bombers have a bad run with injuries.

SHANE McADAM (Adelaide) $123,900 FWD
McAdam has X-factor and will likely fill that Charlie Cameron role alongside Eddie Betts that the Crows have lacked since his departure to Brisbane. He’s the type of player who could kick four on debut but I’d be wary of him in SuperCoach. Small forwards are often very up and down with their scoring. He’s an opportunist. Pass.

TOBE WATSON (Fremantle) $102,400 DEF/MID
A 20-year-old from Swan Districts, he had a good year in the WAFL as an intercept defender and won his fair share of the ball, averaging 20 disposals per game. His dual position status as a defender and midfielder makes him appealing, as well as his bargain-basement price, but I feel the Fremantle defence is pretty set with the likes of Joel Hamling, Alex Pearce, Luke Ryan and Nathan Wilson. Watson will be a depth player but if Fremantle do get some injuries, I think he has good scoring potential because he reads the play really well and knows how to find the ball.

BAILEY SMITH (Western Bulldogs) $180,300 MID
I’d be seriously looking at Smith. If he gets an early debut, and by all reports he has performed really well over the pre-season, then I’m confident he will grab his opportunity with both hands and become a regular contributor at AFL level. He wins plenty of the ball and is a hard nut. He’s got a good enough body, nous and footy smarts to make a quick transition to AFL level. He won’t be overawed. Smith could also be used as a high half-forward who rolls through the midfield.
 

Presto

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CEDRIC COX (Brisbane Lions) $166,100 DEF
Cox is entering his third season and is ready to have a breakout year in my opinion. He has enormous talent, I had a bit do with him when I was at North Ballarat as he played a few games at VFL level with us in 2016 as an under-18s player and was really impressed. He’s got all the tricks. I expect that now he’s in his third year, he’s ready to step up and be great value as an outside winger and playmaker who can also play across half-back or across half-forward. I expect him to play regular senior footy for the Lions this year and he has enough tricks to earn SuperCoach points. Keep a very close eye on him. He’s a very exciting player, he’s quick and his kicking is elite. He’s also got dancing feet.
ELY SMITH (Brisbane Lions) $117,300 MID
Smith was drafted at the end of last year and I think he will get some games for the Lions in 2019. He’s the type of player who can play the high half-forward or half-back role and I think his scoring potential is huge. He wins his own ball and is very athletic. He’s ready to go.
JOE ATLEY (Port Adelaide) $123,900 MID
Atley is entering his third season and should be aiming to break into that Port Adelaide midfield. With the departures of Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard to North Melbourne and Chad Wingard to Hawthorn, there are spots available as Ken Hinkley looks to reinvigorate his side, and Atley could be one to benefit. He’s a ball magnet and was emergency on a number of occasions last year but battled some injury concerns. He needs a big season and is still available with a rookie price tag. Watch him in the JLT Series for his scoring potential, which I think could be a nice surprise. Hard-nosed midfielder who has good disposal.
OLEG MARKOV (Richmond) $158,000 DEF
From what I’m hearing, Markov has been the No.1 performer on the track at Richmond. He’s blitzed them in the time trials and in the weights room he’s put on size, so all the indicators point to he’s ready to have a breakout season. Markov has so much athletic ability he can play all over the ground because he has a huge engine. The knock on him has been his kicking but if he’s improved that, which he’s been working on, I think he’s ready for a huge breakout year. Watch this space. I’ve got a gut-feel he’s going to be a real smoky for Richmond this year. Can be a star.
LEWIS PIERCE (St Kilda) $235,600 RUC
Pierce will set you back a bit more than a rookie normally would but given the conundrum in the ruck this year, the Saints big man is seriously worth considering as your second starting ruck. Pierce played for Frankston last year in the VFL and became the No.1 ruckman and won a best-and-fairest. He played the last three games for the Saints at AFL level and acquitted himself really well and I believe he will go past Billy Longer this year and be St Kilda’s No.1 ruckman. He’s a very good tap ruckman and he’s good around the ground; he takes marks, can win a ground ball and is a reasonable kick. He’s be great value at his price if you’re willing to take a risk.
ZAC CLARKE (Essendon) $142,600 RUC
Had a year out of the game and arrives at Essendon as the back-up ruckman, at this stage, to Tom Bellchambers but I think Clarke will play a bit of footy this year. He averaged 96 points in his best SuperCoach season back in 2013 and I think the style of footy the Bombers play will suit him because he likes to use his athleticism. I liken him a little bit - although he’s not the same player - to Mark Blicavs in the way he plays because he can run and jump and take a mark. Bellchambers is a bit injury-prone, so watch this space.
MICHAEL GIBBONS (Carlton) $102,400 MID
Gibbons has finally earned his AFL opportunity with Carlton and it’s been a long time coming. The Blues wouldn’t have signed him without seeing a role for him at AFL level, given how much training and match simulation they wanted to see from him before agreeing to put him on the rookie list. I expect him to be part of Carlton’s Round 1 team and become a consistent and reliable performer in the midfield. You know what you’re going to get from him that’s for sure. At $102,400 he’s going to be outstanding value. Lock him in.
 
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