Supercoach 2014 turncoats – Ben McEvoy

Filed in Hawthorn, Mick The Mad Irishman, Supercoach, Supercoach 2014, Supercoach 2014 Rucks by on October 29, 2013 • views: 11885

Supercoach 2014 Ben McEvoy

Good day community and welcome to this addition of our pre-preseason analysis of traded players.

This week we look at one of the two players who I hold responsible for Jock calling me at 2:00 am in the morning, at the end of another bottle of Jack crying into the phone, “why did they bloody trade him Mick, why?”.

That’s right, in this article we will be looking at Big Boy, Ben McEvoy.

When Max Bailey retired at the end of the season on the back of a premiership winning year, it left the Hawks down a ruckman. So when we heard that the Hawks were interested in Billy Longer, that all made sense and seemed like a good fit to replace Bailey. Then what happened appeared to come out of far left field. The Hawks snagged Ben McEvoy from the Saints to leave us all dazed, and poor Jock horrified. It also made many of us stand up and take note from a fantasy perspective as many are already assuming big Ben will have a big year at his new home.

Ben McEvoy Supercoach
Trade: St Kilda to Hawthorn
2013 Average: 93.32
2014 Starting Price: $495,000 (approx)

At the start of last season a lot of talk was generated around the possibility of Ben taking his game to the next level and becoming one of the premium rucks of the competition. It all made sense in ruck terms too. He was 24 and was coming off the back of two solid years as the Saint’s number 1 ruckman. The signs were there. But if you were one of the coaches who went with Ben as one of your starting rucks in 2013, you’ll know that this didn’t quite eventuate this way. In fact Ben’s average fantasy scores went backwards in 2013. The table below shows McEvoy’s Supercoach performances over the last 5 seasons.

Ben McEvoy Supercoach

As you can see you can see his average actually dropped off by over 10 Supercoach points on his 2012 performance, and dropped below 100 points per game for the first time since 2010. The next big question we should ask ourselves is why?

Below is a table showing the key stats from his last three years.

Big Ben McEvoy Supercoach

As you can see almost all of McEvoy’s stats from 2013 are down on his previous two years, with the key differentials in Ben’s SC scoring stats highlighted in red.

  • In 2013, he picked up an average of 4.9 less hitouts, 0.6 less marks per game, 0.9 less tackles per game and 0.6 less clearances per game on his 2012 totals.
  • The big stand out in that bunch is any ruckman’s bread and butter stat, his hitouts. Starting at a modest 25.3 hitouts per game average in 2012, it has fallen to 20.4 in 2013. This only ranks him 29th in the competition for average hitouts per game and a long way off the stats produced by the competition’s elite ruck performers.
  • In contrast last year’s top two players in average hitouts per game, Will Minson and Tod Goldstein had an average of 39.1 and 37.4 respectively. This also equated to Supercoach averages of 114.32 and 113.35, both over 20 points per game higher than McEvoy.
  • For those out there who don’t know how ruckmen score fantasy points, this is an alarming statistic. For every hitout a ruckman gets he scores 1 point, and for every one of those that goes to advantage he scores 3 points. So when you see him 18 hitouts behind the top two ruckmen in last year’s competition, it’s easy to see how he finished so far off the pace when it came to fantasy scoring.

These stats show us where Ben went backwards last year. But the question remains why was he down so much on his previous two years? At first I was a little confused on this one but when I looked a little closer at his games, the answer became a lot clearer. Worryingly it also aroused some concerns about how I expect McEvoy to go next year at the Hawks, but I’ll get to that a little later.

At the end of last year the Saints drafted a man by the name of Tom Hickey from the Gold Coast Suns as the clubs number 2 ruckman. Now that the Saints are in redevelopment mode they gave Hickey 12 games last year, sharing the ruck time with McEvoy approximately 65% to 35% in McEvoy’s favour. Simply, less time in the middle for McEvoy meant less opportunity to win hitouts, possessions, clearances, lay tackles etc.=

The table below shows McEvoy’s and teammate Tom Hickey’s individual performances from 2012.

Ben McEvoy Supercoach

  • As you can see from the table, McEvoy actually averaged 101.9 Supercoach points a game when he was the sole ruckman at the Saints.
  • When he was sharing the ruck duties with Hickey he only managed to average 86.17 Supercoach points a game.
  • Taking out the games he played with Hickey he would have averaged close to his previous two years of 2012 and 2011.
  • However even when Hickey wasn’t playing he still only managed to win on average 22.3 hitouts per game, which remains a major concern going into 2014.

With that in mind let’s speculate on how Ben will fit in at his new club in 2014 and if we really can start thinking about him as a legitimate starting ruck selection in our fantasy teams. Below is a comparison of the Hawks and the Saints from 2013.

Ben McEvoy Supercoach

Not surprisingly the Hawks comprehensively beat the saints in almost all departments in 2013. Comparing both sides on the key ruck indicators we can see:

  • When it comes to hitouts the Hawks contested a lot more ball ups and boundary throw ins than the Saints in 2013.
  • The Hawks were ranked 7th in the competition for the average number of ball ups and boundary throw ins, at 80.1 per game.
  • The Hawks won on average 51.06% of the hitouts from these contests at an average of 40.9 per game.
  • In comparison, St Kilda contested less ball ups and boundary throw ins. They ranked 16th in the competition with games involving the saints only averaging 76.1 ball ups and boundary throw ins.
  • The Saints won on average 44.42% of the hitouts from these contests at an average of 33.8 per game.
  • Only Gold Coast Suns had a worse success rate in the ruck contest. Not a great stat considering McEvoy was still the Saints number 1 ruckman. The Gold Coast had a 21 year old rookie as there number 1 for the year in Tom Nichols.

Two areas where the Saints actually out do the Hawks, are in the average marks per game and average contested marks per game. Not a great deal in the difference between the two with the Saints up 2.2 in marks per game and up 0.1 in contested marks per game. This leaves the Saints in 7th in the competition for contested marks, one place ahead of the Hawks in 8th. A lot of these marks coming in the back third for the saints as the Hawks are up 3.1 marks inside 50 per game.

On all other fronts apart from the rebound 50’s the Hawks completely dominate the Saints, which again would be very much expected given where these two sides finished on last season’s ladder. The Hawks win more of the ball, use it better, create more scoring opportunities and convert more of their scoring shots.

So what does all of this mean for McEvoy and what should be expect from him in a Hawks jumper next year?

Well first of all let me revert you back to one of my earlier observations, on how McEvoy’s 2013 output was well down when he plays alongside another ruckman. Well for those of you who aren’t overly familiar with how the Hawks have played over the last number of years, they too like to play tall and more often than not start with two ruckmen on the field.

In 2013 both Max Bailey and David Hale lined up beside each other 15 times in the home and away series and another 4 times during their successful finals series. They also played Hale alongside Sam Grimley when Bailey wasn’t named and used Roughead in the ruck on a few occasions also. All this being said I just can’t see the Hawks going away from their current successful game plan of playing two ruckmen.

This means McEvoy will be sharing the ruck duties not just in the 12 games he had with Hickey at the Saints last season, but in all his games with David Hale in 2014. That being the case, and even if McEvoy is most likely to get the most ruck time out of those two, I just can’t see his hitout numbers getting any better than he produced in 2013. Even if you allow for a vast improvement on his current hitout winning percentage, he just won’t get enough contests to get up to and over the 30 hitout numbers of the other elite ruckmen in the competition.

There will most likely be improvements in other areas for McEvoy, as his new team will control a lot more of the play than his previous team, which should result in him getting his hands on the ball more. I’d expect to see his disposal numbers increase slightly, along with increases in marks, contested marks, goals and tackles. I suspect one of the main reasons the Hawks went after McEvoy was to give them a strong marking option coming out of defense and up forward when he goes to the square for a rest.

I’m sure the Hawks have traded McEvoy in, not as a finished article but as someone they can see improving over the next couple of years, and eventually become an elite ruckman in the competition. Right now I’d imagine the plan would be to use him in tandem with David Hale, exploiting his current strengths as a marking target and limiting his exposure to his weakness in the ruck contest, all the while developing him for when Hale retires in two to three years’ time.

From a fantasy stand point in 2014 I don’t see McEvoy being a big player in the ruck department.

He simply doesn’t win a high enough percentage of his ruck contests. Add to this that he will be playing in a side with two ruckmen, meaning he will be involved in even less ruck contests than he was with the Saints and there seems even less chance for him to improve on his hitout totals.

Even with this offset by the potential gains in other stat areas as mentioned above, without a 30+ average hitout per game it is very hard to average premium or elite fantasy scores.

He is also awkwardly priced, in-between a midpricer and a premium. I’d rather cough up a little more money for the premium of Goldstien or Minson, without any of the risk that comes with McEvoy, or spend the money on a pure midprice player and take all the risk with less cash paid out.

The Mad Irishman’s Verdict

2013 Predicted Status: Strong Midpricer
Predicted Average 2014: 91-95pts
Status: Unlikely to be Considered

Final Word

The only way McEvoy could come back into my consideration is if the Hawks change up their game plan and go with only one out and out ruckman in the preseason. Otherwise he has no chance in featuring in my fantasy team for next year.

After reading all this how do you feel about McEvoy’s fantasy prospects in 2014?

Mick The Mad Irishman

  • 27th overall in Supercoach 2014
  • Runner Up: Jock Reynolds Premier League 2014
  • Once wrestled a crocodile with one hand while holding a stubby in the other
  • Follow the great man on Twitter:@Da_Mad_Irishman

 

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Comments (40)

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  1. jockreynolds says:

    Mick – I could read your articles till the cows come home son – what a magnificent look at Big Ben in 2014 that is. I won't be looking at him mate – as you say – I have some serious doubts about his ability to be a regular premium scorer given the combination of poor hitout (and especially poor hitouts to advantage) stats, but also I don't rate his ability around the ground. No doubts he can take a bloody good contented mark and will be a solid contributor for Hawthorn – but haven't seen enough to suggest he'll ever average 110+ over an extended period.

    • Spot on Jock – not as big a loss to the Saints as many in the media world would have you believe – I'm sure many will get sucked into having him in their 2014 sides – Way better value out there and there is every possibility that his replacement at the Saints will average just as much in 2014 – Longer to average 85 and with a starting price of around 270k could be very relevant as a stepping stone into the top shelf rucks around the byes.
      An early thought anyway

  2. Suns Man says:

    Mick another ripper article, im more keen on mumford then mcevoy thoughts?

    • Thanks Suns Man, glad you enjoyed it :D
      Mummy has only given us one season of elite fantasy scores and has suffered from the emergence of Pyke at the Swans and a string of back related injury. If he has a full preseason and is operating as the Giants sole ruckman then he is very relevant in 2014. My fear is he will be used in tandem with Giles and therefore won't score as high as if he was their lone ruckman. That is even if he stays fit. Not saying he is a "NO" in 2014 but he has a bit of convincing to do before I would consider.
      Status: Watch-listed

      I will give an in depth look at Mummy at some stage throughout November so stay tuned.
      I am more interested in Mike Pyke myself and i'm sure i'll be doing a bit on him in the new year.

  3. @MRB37 says:

    Great stuff, Mick, agree completely. That starting price of $495K was more than I was expecting. I thought if he was in the low 400's I might pick him as a cheaper option to begin with, but I think I'd rather spend the extra $ on Goldstein for that price, or maybe Nic Nat if he's around the same range.

    I was actually kind of interested to see how hitout and disposal counts impacted scores between McEvoy and Goldstein who i'm seriously considering, so I had a quick look at the numbers from last year between Big Ben and Goldy, Todd Goldstein had 6 sub 10 possession games in 2012 and had a SC average of 103 points for these games. McEvoy had 7 sub 10 possession games and his average was almost half at 59 SC points (down from a more reasonable 85 in 2012). Now those stats may be might be slightly screwy because as Mick said, there were times when McEvoy was sharing ruck work with Hickey and Goldstein rucks solo, but it still sorta shows much quality ruck work can impact a ruckmans score.

    • Great Stuff Mark,
      Yes it is really important to pick up rucks that are dominate in the ruck contests. When it comes to fantasy scoring this is where the majority of a ruckmans scores come from, so we should be all looking at guys who preform well in this stat category. Goldstein and Minson will be top dollar but will dominate again in this stat category. Also note that Kreuzer is underpriced going into 2014 and is likely to be the sole ruckman down at Visy Park. Mike Pyke is also likely to be the sole ruck at the Swans next year. Add Naitanui to that list and they are my tips for top 5 scoring rucks in 2014, all averaging over 110.

      • Marc says:

        Yes, those 5 look like the pick of the litter for ruckman going into 2014. I do like Kruezer and Nic Nat because they have potential to kick a few goals as well, but Pyke will be pushing for a selection too.

        I'll also still be keeping an eye on Sam Jacobs during the preseason. Still a good tap ruckman, so hopefully he can go into pre-season fit and healthy, unlike last year where he supposedly carried an Achilles injury most of the year (which also highlights how bad Adelaides backup ruckman Angus Graham was that an injured Jacobs was considered a better selection than a healthy Graham).

      • SCaddict says:

        I know you got burnt by Sandilands as a PoD this season but if he has an uninterrupted pre-season surely his bargain basement price can't be ignored despite the undeniable high injury risk.

        We made stacks of cash from Leuey this season, another injury plagued ruckman, so pehaps the block of flats can be 2014's premium ruck cash cow?

  4. Remy says:

    What will be Brodie Grundy's price be next season guys? Anyone know? Should we consider….?

    • Remy, many will assume that Grundy will be cheap next year but he is likely to be 395k (approx). Not sure if he will be all that relevant at this starting price. If you are going the midprice route with your rucks there would be better value in the names below
      Sandilands 340k
      McIntosh 295k
      Longer 270k

  5. Gary says:

    Gday mick,
    In 2014, my ruck combo will probably be a double midpricer combo. Mcintosh and Longer look to be a lot more solid than the midprice options of 2013. What are youre thoughts mate?

  6. Dools says:

    Hi Mick and Jock …Over the moon the site is still up and running

    Great article again Mick, Loving the comments

    Yahoo! Footy is back and it's only October !!!!
    Went on a retreat after the Cats went out but now I'm back

    My supercoach ship sailed last season and I admit I had a bad bad bad year…The boat ended up looking like a colinder and I had no time rolling lock outs Captain Loop Hole and just plain bad choices that I stuck with given the form of 2012 so ……My 5 Cents

    Ignore the Ruc Dept at your Peril…I did and I chased my tail for a season and wasted trades trying to compile a competent team (MRB37 Tried to warn me :but somehow I ignored sage advice (My apologies Marc) )
    So now when the community speaks my ears twitch and most of all my brain engages outa 1st and into hyperdrive….
    If McIntosh can stay fit and complete a good/solid pre-season he is possibly R1 for 2014
    Missed you guys heaps look fwd to the replys to the article…..I will be watching and paying attention this time..

    Yours in footy heaven (Thanks JR)

    • jockreynolds says:

      Great to have you back Dools mate.
      Ignore MRB37 at your absolute PERIL old son! I'm glad you've come back from the mountain. Hope you've meditated – eaten some locusts – wild honey – gotten your proteins up and you're ready to stick the old fangs into one hell of a season 2014!

      • Dools says:

        Thanks Jock
        The Spirit is willing , the Body is hungry for football sustinance which is why I ' come to communion.. Forgive me father for I have strayed . .It is far nicer to be the prodical then the fat calf….
        i have eaten many creepy crawlies had necter beer and pleanty of road kill roo ( Uncooked) the fangs are in Ripping shape! Bring it & 'n' I will Rip It Hahahahaha.
        I have missed ya , me ol' china.

        • jockreynolds says:

          Occasionally one of our flock will wander off.. but I'll tell you one thing.. this Father welcomes every one of his strayed animals back into the Community with warm open arms.

          • BestCoastEagles says:

            Shaken off the category 5 hangover and raring to go (counting down the days). Great to have the community up and firing again Master Jock. Looking forward all you genuine superstars comments through out this vigorous Pre-Season. All the Best Jock

    • @MRB37 says:

      Dools, good to see ya mate. Don't worry, my SC ship went down like the Titanic last year too (only bright spot was a league win over good 'ol Jock!). But we're heading for the sequel, Rise of the Titanic stuff we got going on! Another year and another chance to kick some butt!

      • Blueprime says:

        I love the passion, guys. See you all at the top of the heap this year.

      • Dools says:

        Hey buddy '
        Just seen you input… Team name must be some seafaring disastar…..with a Zombie apocolypse twist for this year..What da reckon? Names like …. DreadKrakenRising….The John Jarretts Life Saving Club….Wolf Zcreek Marine Kinder…(Ilike that one ) …..Souled Out on AFL …
        Lets see what comes forth

        • @MRB37 says:

          Ha, I love it, Dools, that's a terrific idea! Can't beat the Wolf Creek one!

          Thinking of maybe naming it Marcs Poseidon Adventure for next year. We're all turned upside down from last year and now we gotta find our way back to the surface!

          • Dools says:

            Great MRB37,
            However a few tweeks required ..LOL

            Dread things don't float ,or
            The Jonny Deepths.
            Great to see you on the web mate, stay in touch

  7. Blueprime says:

    If they all have good pre seasons I was thinking along the lines of Sandilands and Naitanui with Longer and McBean on the bench in the ruck, and having Cox and Roughead in the forward lines as backup. Would perhaps go close to having the rucks sorted for the season. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

    • jimbotraralgon says:

      Hey Blueprime.

      I am looking at the same for my rucks with Cox up forward (not so much on rounghy)….will be watching Mcintosh closely….nicnat could move forward, macca in and cox out….

      either way I'm thinking much the same.

      Longer is shaping up as the best R3 at the moment…..especially if you can save cash on a LTI premium at R1 and/or R2.

      • BestCoastEagles says:

        Sandiballs & Nicnat are locks for me. Like your call with McIntosh all three have had a torrid time with injuries but i think they will be in for stellar seasons. Great reading your threads Jimbo keep them coming.

        • SCaddict says:

          Yeah I'm right with you BCE.

          If both have full pre-seasons and no new injury setbacks then they are my likely starters too.

          Just too much value to pass up on, though plenty of water to pass under that fantasy footy bridge until March when we have to lock in our final 30.

  8. Dools says:

    Hi fellas
    It's nice to have a plan, but it is IMO all plans are based on last year What If Cox is not a DPP just pure ruc?
    What if Franlin the buddy type gets DPP ( he spent enough time in games in the middle) Did Nic Nat play enough games thru injury to justifiy the same?
    Lets concentrate on the Payers position for real. Is he A Defender tick a box. Is he the guy you want? Tic another box . Is he value for the coin and so on ect ect .
    I'm not saying that your thinking is invalid based on last year;however SC changes each year just like last year # 30 trades instead of 22#Rolling lock out#Capt Loop hole …..
    I for 1 hatd the changes but then I'm just one how did you boys like it?

    • jimbotraralgon says:

      well you better strap yourself in Dools cause I fear that more changes are on the way. maybe more trades again as the season goes over more weeks? maybe even 3 subs to deal with the 2nd set of byes…

  9. Dools says:

    Ah Jimbo,
    Noce to hear from you mate. But give me the good oil not what I wanted to hear ….More bloody changes
    I'm in the hurt locker dreading the dynamics that this will bring
    Chers mate

  10. Gary says:

    Can we still lock in Goldstein and mins on knowing that they will be free agents next year and may look to move to another club?

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