Geelong 2014: Supercoach scouting report

Filed in Geelong, Supercoach, Supercoach 2014 by on January 6, 2014 • views: 2008

Barron Von Crow

Welcome one and all, today it’s the Geelong Cats turn to be put under the Fantasy Football microscope.

We’ll be looking at which players might be soaring up towards Supercoach stardom, and which players will crash and burn in 2014.

The Cats have begun a bit of a transition period as they have said farewell to a few of the old guard with over 30’s players such as Paul Chapman, James Podsiadly, Josh Hunt and Joel Corey being shown the door. In their place is the young brigade for the Cats. Blokes who’ve been given a taste of AFL football, but will now be looking to lock down a permanent 22 spot now there are some vacant spots in the side. And that means we’ve got some potentially tasty mid-priced players on offer for us to have a look at.

Now, let’s get cracking into another Scouting Report and our look at the Geelong Cats

Geelong Cats 2014 SC Scouting Report

2013 Record: 18 wins, 4 losses

Position: 2nd

INS

George Burbury (Promoted Rookie)
Joshua Walker (Promoted Rookie)
Darcy Lang (Pick #16, National Draft)
Jarrad Jensen (Pick #36, National Draft)
Jade Kolodjashinij (Pick #41, National Draft)
James Toohey (Pick #15, Rookie Draft)
Nick Bourke (Pick #31, Rookie Draft)
Zachary Bates (Pick #46, Rookie Draft)
Michael Luxford (Pick #56, Rookie Draft)

OUTS

Paul Chapman (Traded to Essendon)
Josh Hunt (Traded to Greater Western Sydney)
James Podsiadly (Traded to Adelaide)
Trent West (Traded to Brisbane)
Joel Corey (Delisted)

2014 Team Preview

2014 Bye Round: 8
Final 4: Fremantle Dockers, Carlton Blues, Hawthorn Hawks, Brisbane Lions

2013 was a terrific year for the Cats, seeing them lose only 4 games for the year, 3 of which were by a goal or less. They failed where it counts though, suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Hawks in the Preliminary Final, again by less than a goal. 2014 is shaping up to be an interesting year for the Cats with a number of older players being shown the door, it will now be a question of which fringe players can stand up and fill the void left by the departing players. The Cats certainly aren’t short on talent, so I don’t think we can expect any sort of significant dropoff for them and they should still be a Top 4 team in 2014.

The fixture is a mixed bag for Geelong, being forced to play the Top 6 sides from 2013 8 times, with the double up games coming against last years Grand Finalists Hawthorn and Fremantle, as well as Carlton, Brisbane (I’m sure they won’t be having any repeats of Rd 13 again next year) and North Melbourne. The games against Fremantle and Hawthorn should be battles, but the Cats did beat Fremantle by 41 points in Rd 14 last year and beat the Hawks twice before the loss in the Preliminary Final. The Cats July is shaping up as a prime period for them in SC with consecutive games against the Bulldogs, Demons and Giants on the fixture, we should be expecting big points from those games, and with another 5 games left in the season after the Giants game, it should be a bit too early for us to worry about them resting players.

The Cats Final 4 is tough up until SC Grand Final time when they will play the Brisbane Lions. Potential resting there depending on how the Lions are going at that stage, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

2014 Projected Wins/Losses: 18 wins, 4 losses

LOCKS

Joel Selwood

2012 SC Average: 117.6
2013 SC Average: 118.4
Position: MID
Starting Price: 638.7K

Joel Selwood had a career best year in Supercoach, managing to eclipse his previous high of 117.8 in 2010. Amazingly for someone who had such a high average, his first half of the year was terrible for a player of Selwoods standards, dipping below the 100 mark 6 times and having a Rd 13 SC average of only 105.23. It was the 2nd half of the year that Selwood absolutely stormed home, in the final 9 games of the year his average soared to 137.4. (Filter every midfielder by their end of season average here).

And that was the biggest problem many had with Selwood, those who bought him at the start of the year would have been mighty annoyed with his post bye round average of 107.18 (which isn’t terrible, but was 10 points under his previous years average) and seeing his price tumbling $136,700 from his starting price, sitting at only $492,800. Still, he was an absolute standout upgrade for many of us, as it’s not often you get a premium that cheap and have them put up such a standout average for the rest of the year.

And statistically, where didn’t Selwood dominate? He was ranked 8th in Total Handballs, 5th in Total Effective Disposals, 14th in Effective Disposals Per Game, 7th in Total Contested Possessions, 16th in Contested Possessions Per Game, 12th in Total Disposals, 11th in Total Inside 50s, 10th in Total Clearances, 14th in Total Goal Assists, 7th in Total Tackles, 16th in Tackles Per Game and 3rd in Supercoach Score Per Game.

Will be the 3rd most expensive midfielder behind Ablett and Pendlebury, he will appeal to a few who are looking to save some cash in their midfield by skipping the most expensive player in Gary Ablett. Even if you do go with Ablett as your M1, Selwood will make a terrific M2 or M3 if you want to pony up that much cash. Many may skip him initially and hope for a repeat of last year, I don’t forecast him falling that far in 2014, but I imagine many said the same thing in 2013! Either way, he’s an excellent initial pick and excellent upgrade target, as long as he’s in your team at the end of the year, you can’t go wrong!

2014 SC Projection: 115-120

SERIOUSLY CONSIDER

Steve Johnson

2012 SC Average: 96.6
2013 SC Average: 115.9
Position: MID
Starting Price: 625K

Another Cat who had dipped below the 100 point average in 2012, only to rise above it again in 2013, it was a career year for Stevie J in SC, nabbing his highest ever average and only his 2nd time averaging over 100 in 9 seasons. Averaged 115.9 during the year, a fantastic score of 177 in the Cats loss to the Hawks in the Preliminary Final boosted his average up to 117.2 if we include Finals games, which would have ranked him 4th overall for SC points scored per game. SJ had a terrific year, ranking 7th in Disposals per Game, 8th in Kicks per Game, 17th in Uncontested Possessions per Game, 20th in Contested Possessions per Game, 9th in Inside 50s Per Game and 16th in Total Inside 50s.

Still, Johnson isn’t a completely perfect player, with a kicking efficiency of only 57.1%, and when under no pressure only hit his intended target 73% of the time, which sounds high, but was actually the 2nd worst percentage recorded by the top 50 ball winners in the AFL. Also started to cop more attention from opposition taggers towards the end of the year, this may continue into next season, which means there’s a chance for lower scores from Stevie J on the horizon.

Unfortunately will be changed to being only midfield eligible, rather than the MID/FWD swing, this will hurt his ownership % somewhat, add in the fact that he is the 6th most expensive player in all of SC next year, I think we may see a situation where many people are scared off by his yo-yoing averages and decide to spend their $ on players in the same price bracket such as Swan, Griffen, Montagna, Watson or his very own teammate in Joel Selwood, meaning he could be a solid POD pick for you early in the season.

2014 SC Projection: 108-115

Jimmy Bartel

2012 SC Average: 98.6
2013 SC Average: 106.1
Position: DEF/MID
Starting Price: 572.5K

Jimmy Bartel’s 106.1 average was his best return in Supercoach since 2009 (when he posted an average of 108.9) and saw him rise above the 100 point barrier after falling below in 2012. Again Bartel will be a dual position player, but instead of being in everyone’s forward line, next year he’ll be in our defence instead (let’s be honest here, I doubt anyone will pick him as a mid). Bartel will be 1 of 3 defenders (the other two being Jarrad McVeigh and Andrew Walker) who will cost you the big bucks of 572.5K, don’t let that deter you from selecting Bartel in your defence as he will be an excellent selection and out of the 3 the one I think who will be least prone to suffering a potential points fall in SC.

Bartel ranked in the top 15 in a few categories last season, seeing him rank 12th in Total Kicks, 13th in Total Effective Disposals (with a 78% disposal efficiency), 11th in Total Time On Ground % (averaging 93.9% TOG) and 9th in Total Supercoach Score. Bartel only turned 30 in December of 2013, so I’m not seeing a dramatic age affected dropoff on the cards for him yet, and he should comfortable net a score somewhere between his 2012 and 2013 averages.

2014 SC Projection: 98-105

Allen Christensen

2012 SC Average: 79.9
2013 SC Average: 92.8
Position: MID
Starting Price: 500.4K

Christensen is a difficult one to judge for 2014. Averaged 92.8 in only his 3rd AFL season, a completely respectable score, his year average was boosted by 5 points by his Rd 6 score of 177, so if we were take that aberrant score out of the equation, it drops his year average score back down to 87.82. Still, Christensen did begin to show some form after the bye round, with him averaging 106.83 over his final 6 games of the year, but fell back down to earth again come Finals time, posting an average of 69.3 over the Cats 3 Finals games. Wasn’t overly consistent during the year, that will hopefully be something he can work on during the off-season, he did show promise in a number of areas, averaging 21.1 disposals with an effective disposal % of 71.1%, along with 3 clearances, 3.6 I50’s, 1.1 rebound 50’s, 4 tackles and 1.1 goals in only 78.8% TOG. He rated above average in clearances according to Championship Data, with 94% of them being effective, ranking him 2nd in the top 100 clearance players last year. Also ranked 9th in the competition for score assists during the home and away rounds.

Once again, to steal some material from the mathematical genius Higgo, Christensen is hitting that sweet spot, the “breakout” zone, he’ll be 23 in May next year and has played 57 games, so he’s someone we can consider to be a potential breakout player, so we should keep an eye on him. Maybe a pick that’s best made by those who like to take live dangerously, as he does have a chance to stagnate like some youngsters do, but if you are going to take a punt on someone, there’s worse selections out there.

2014 SC Projection: 98-108

Hamish McIntosh

2012 SC Average: 102.9
2013 SC Average: N/A
Position: RUCK
Starting Price: 332.9K

A horror run of injuries has limited McIntosh to only 8 games in the past 3 years, seeing him miss the entirety of the 2013 season with various knee, Achilles and ankle issues. This has been bad news for McIntosh, but fantastic for people looking to own him in SC since it means we’ll now have the option of buying him for the bargain price of only $332,900 this year.

Word is McIntosh has returned to pre-season in good shape, and has arrived early with the 1-4 year players in an effort to maximize his fitness for 2014. Reported that he will be ready for the Cats NAB Cup games, this is excellent news since it means we’ll be able to take a thorough look at him with the scouting goggles and see if he’s completely fit and firing for Rd 1. Has been training with Dawson Simpson in the ruck, from the sounds of it the Cats current plan is to play Vardy up forward to replace Podsiadly and McIntosh and Dawson as the rucks. Geelong traded Trent West during the off-season, who at best is an average player, but was their one bigman who has managed to stay healthy, which means Geelong are probably feeling confident with their bigman stocks being fully fit at the start of the season.

McIntosh last played between rounds 1-7 in 2012, during this small period he was ranked as the 3rd best ruckman in the AFL, ranking as above average for winning ruck contests and hitout to advantage rates, as well as ranking elite for disposals according to Championship Data.

The biggest issue for McIntosh now is going to be the mental one. You can do all the training drills in the world, but it’s not going to be able to replicate the rigors of an actual game. I’m not expecting him to jump out and immediately score in that 90-100 range he has averaged previously, but once he gets same games into his legs then I reckon he’ll be good to go. His discounted starting price means he’s not going to fall off the face of the earth if he scores poorly to start with either, so we shouldn’t lose too much money on him if he does struggle early.

2014 SC Projection: 85-92

Josh Caddy

2012 SC Average: 61.5
2013 SC Average: 60.3
Position: MID/FWD
Starting Price: 325.3K

Drafted at #7 in 2010, we’re going to go back in time, all the way back to October 2012. This is the last time Jock Reynolds took a look at Caddy, just after he had made the move to Geelong from the Gold Coast. So, what did Jock think of Caddy back in 2012? Well it was simple, skip him in 2013, but he’s a potential breakout contender in 2014 or 2015. And like usual, Jock was completely dead on the money with his assessment, I don’t think we’ll see him fully peak in 2014, but he’ll be well on his way to getting their by next year.

Started the year off slowly, scoring 1 against Sydney in Rd 4 which was due to him being subbed on 5 minutes into the 4th quarter, he also had a score of 20 the next week against the Bulldogs after he was concussed in the 2nd quarter and did not return for the rest of the game. His average after his first 8 games of 2013 was a measly 38.5, rising to 52.5 if the sub/injury games are removed. He did not return to the Geelong side until Rd 14, this is when he started to show some form as his next month he averaged 89 SC points, though fell back into scores in the 60’s for the rest of the year, seeing his 2nd half average sitting at 73.4.

He did manage to have 12 games with 15+ disposals, and only received 70.1% TOG, so there is plenty room for improvement next year if he gets to spend more time out on the field. I don’t think 2014 will be the year he fully “peaks”, but he’s in the breakout zone (we sure are talking about that lot with Geelong aren’t we!), and I think he’s a decent midpriced forward or midfield option if you need to save some $ and can’t afford a more expensive player. Like Christensen, Duncan and a lot of the other young Cats, he’ll be all the more better with another year of pre-season training under his belt and I think he’ll be a very handy player for the Cats in 2014. Won the ball 62% of the time in the forward 50, a move into the midfield, even if only part time should see his scores increase as he has a higher chance to gain more possessions in the guts. He will need to work on his kicking skills, recording only 51.3% kicking efficiency, if he can work on improving this area of his game, it’ll go a long way towards improving his scores.

May be considered a high risk pick, something I’m prone to occasionally doing myself, but I can understand if those who like to play a bit safer and skip Caddy in 2014.

2014 SC Projection: 82-88

Harry Taylor

2012 SC Average: 86.9
2013 SC Average: 94
Position: DEF
Starting Price: 507K

Another Cat to post an improvement on their 2012 averages, Harry Taylor had a career year with an average of 94 SC points, which ranked him as the #9 defender in Supercoach for 2013. HT has become a bit of a goal scorer these past two years, finding himself moved into the F50 at times, and has gone from kicking 8 goals in his first 4 years, to kicking 15 in each of his last 2. Taylor did most of his goal kicking between Rounds 3-5, kicking 9 goals in those games and producing SC scores of 103, 125 and 138.

Still, it wasn’t just kicking a few more goals that produced higher scores for Taylor, he did plenty of other work around the ground, ranking 3rd in Total Marks, 9th in Marks Per Game, 7th in Total Contested Marks, 6th in Total Rebound 50’s, 19th in Rebound 50s Per Game, 10th in Total One Percenters, 18th in One Percenters Per Game and 15th in Total Time On Ground. His stats have stayed fairly consistent with what he produced in 2012; the biggest difference was his Kick to handball ratio changed, with him averaging 9.3 kicks and 6.9 handballs in 2012 to 11.1 kicks and 5.6 handballs in 2013. He also saw his marks per game clip rise above 7 for the first time with an average of 7.3 (1.5 Contested). Only conceded 20 goals for the year, while kicking 15 himself, which is a remarkable statistic for a KDP.

With the departure of James Podsiadly and the potential back issues for Tom Hawkins continuing, I can imagine the Cats will continue to swing Taylor forwards at times, which means he’ll still be kicking a few goals to boost his scores. The rest of his game has been amazingly consistent since his debut year in 2008, so I don’t see any potential dropoff on the cards. Will be expecting another All-Australian year for Harry Taylor in 2014, so you shouldn’t have any hesitations in selecting Taylor

2014 SC Projection: 90-96

Corey Enright

2012 SC Average: 93.9
2013 SC Average: 94
Position: DEF
Starting Price: 506.8K

Corey Enright is a bit like the Energizer Bunny; he just keeps going and going and going.

Turned 32 at the end of the 2013 season, his age hasn’t seen his Supercoach production slow down at all, with 8 consecutive years of averaging at least 90 Supercoach points (with a high of 101 in 2008), he’s also played at least 20 games a season during that span as well.

Last year Enright ranked 11th in Total Marks, 11th in Marks per Game and 12th in Total Rebound 50’s. Has been amazingly consistent since 2006, has been putting up stats of 22-25 disposals to go along with 5-6 marks, a couple of tackles and fantastic disposal efficiency usually in the high 77-78% range. That sort of consistency makes me thing that despite his age we can expect similar sort of stats from Enright next year, so if you were happy picking him in 2013, then you should give him another look in 2014.

You’ll notice that he had a Standard Deviation of just 12 in 2013 which is incredible. Click here to filter your defenders by standard deviation (SD) to give you a good idea about how reliable a player is.

2014 SC Projection: 90-96

Dawson Simpson

2012 SC Average: 37
2013 SC Average: 88.7
Position: RUCK
Starting Price: 430.4K

Another injury plagued bigman for the Cats! Simpson has dealt with back and knee injuries and has only managed to play 11 games over his first 4 years of AFL football. Was starting to show some terrific form last year, managed to play 6 games and had scores of 105, 131 and 148 in that period. Take away the game in Round 18 where he suffered the knee injury and only scored a 22 and that pushes his year average up to 102. Between Rounds 13 and 17 had averages of 11.6 disposals, 4.2 marks, 2.4 tackles and 33.8 hitouts (with a huge 55 hitouts against Melbourne in Round 16)

Once again, the biggest thing to keep an eye on his how he comes out of the pre-season, if he’s fit and firing then we should be taking a serious look at him. The other thing to watch is how many talls Geelong decide to go in with in 2013. They’ll have McIntosh, Vardy and Simpson returning from injury, one of them (Vardy) is likely to go forward, but this means we’ll potentially see a time sharing situation arise between Simpson and McIntosh. Still Simpson is arguably the best ruckman Geelong has, so if healthy he should have the #1 spot locked up in 2014, but still carries some potential injury risks in 2014.

2014 SC Projection: 90-94

Tom Hawkins

2012 SC Average: 95.1
2013 SC Average: 66.6
Position: FWD
Starting Price: 359.5K

2013 was a terrible year for Hawkins, who suffered through a back injury the majority of the year which greatly affected what he could do out there on the footy field. Even with all that, Hawkins did manage to boot 49 goals for the year, ranking 9th in Total Goals, 10th in Goals per Game, 10th in Total Contested Marks, 7th in Total Marks Inside 50 and 9th in Marks Inside 50 per game.

Hawkins has been told that surgery will not be able to fix the current issues he’s having, so Geelong will instead put him on a tailored pre-season training program, hoping to reduce the load on his back by focusing on conditioning and core strength while modifying his training loads.

That’s the key to us selecting Hawkins in 2014. If he even shows a hint of still having some on-going back issues come Round 1 than I’ll likely be jumping off him, but if he can get fully fit and have a Vardy/Kersten/Walker type emerge as a 2nd and/or 3rd tall to take some pressure off him, I think he’ll be back to a 2012 level score. As always with KPF’s, they’ll have the occasional dud game when they don’t kick any goals, but the fact that we’re getting him at almost 150K cheaper than his 2013 starting price means we’ll have to consider him in 2014.

2014 SC Projection: 88-92

Steven Motlop

2012 SC Average: 61.6
2013 SC Average: 81.9
Position: FWD
Starting Price: 441.8K

Steven Motlop is one of Geelong’s most exciting players, and one that I think may be slightly overlooked by a few in Supercoach. 2013 was only his 2nd year as a full time player, with him only playing 5 games in his first two years of AFL football, and he made a fantastic jump, increasing his Supercoach average by 20 points on his 2012 average.

Motlop ranked 1st for scoreboard impact for the Cats last year, due to his 1.8 goals per game average, kicking 44 for the year, which was ranked 14th in the AFL, as well as his 20 goal assists for the year, which was also ranked 14th in the AFL. Motlop also found himself ranked 10th for Total Inside 50s, 2nd in Total Bounces and 5th in Bounces per game. Surprisingly for such a fantastic goal kicker, he only won 30% of the ball in the Cats forward 50, he often pushed up the ground, this is why he ended up ranking in the top 10 for I50’s and bounces as well as recording the 2nd most metres gained by any player ranked as a “general forward” by Championship Data.

Motlop doesn’t win much of his own ball, with only 29.3% of his possessions being of the contested variety, while this was something we don’t like seeing in players to consider for Supercoach; Motlop still kicks enough goals to overlook this sort of statistic. May not have a ton of improving to his scores, but might make an interesting POD if you choose to go in that direction and don’t have the cash to buy a 500K+ forward in your side.

2014 SC Projection: 88-92

SKIP EM

Mitchell Duncan

2012 SC Average: 80.2
2013 SC Average: 80.5
Position: MID
Starting Price: 434.2K

Another young Geelong midfielder suffering from some inconsistent play, Duncan had 4 scores of 110+ (with a season high of 135) as well as 6 scores in the 90’s and 2 scores in the 80’s, but was let down by 7 scores under 70, with 4 of those scores being in the 50’s as well as a 38 in Rd 11. We must take into consideration Rd 20 in his match against the Power, which saw him concussed and subbed out early with only a score of 4 points, so if that is taken out of consideration, it raises his average a tad to 84.14. Not much better, but a slightly more accurate reflection of his year.

Now even with all of the above, there is some good news, those poor scores mostly occurred in the 1st half of the season, and apart from a 52 Rd 13, his scores were all above his yearly average in the 2nd half, and once again taking Rd 20 out of consideration, his average over his final 9 games was 96.1, with 3 of his 4 110+ scores coming during this period.

Had a similar disposal count as Christensen, averaging 21 disposals and 6.4 marks, his scores are let down somewhat by his poor clearance numbers at 1.2, he’s very much an outside player, averaging only 5.5 contested possessions and 15.5 uncontested with an effective disposal % of 69.5% as well as 3.1 I50’s on 79.8% TOG. Had the 2nd lowest contested possession numbers at Geelong, while also ranking 1st in uncontested marks and 3rd in handball receives at the Cats.

Like Christensen, he’s very much in that “breakout” zone as he’ll be 23 in June of next year, but has a slight leg up on games over AC, having played 76 in 4 years. Also like Christensen, it’s hard to peg where he’ll be in 2014, but the fact that he doesn’t win his own football means that although he’s in the same position as a Caddy or Christensen, his scoring potential may be just a step below what they’re capable of in Supercoach. Doesn’t mean he’s not a good player, just one that we probably won’t look at for fantasy football purposes.

2014 SC Projection: 85-92

Travis Varcoe

2012 SC Average: 12
2013 SC Average: 55.9
Position: MID/FWD
Starting Price: 301.6K

It’s been a tough few years for Varcoe. He was looking like a potential breakout contender for us in 2010; he averaged 82.6 SC points while leading the league in Goal Assists per Game. Since then it’s been constant interruptions to his playing time due to injury. Only played the 1 game in 2012, he managed 14 in 2013, but once again missed time due to injury, spending Round 4 to Round 15 on the sidelines after a shoulder injury.

He did play every game for the Cats from Round 16 onwards (including all 3 Finals games), but he just couldn’t seem to get into a consistent groove, managing to average 60.25 with a high score of 88 in Round 18 and a low score of 25 in Round 17.

It’s hard to recommend Varcoe at this stage, the key to us giving him another look at the beginning of the year will be if he can make it all the way through pre-season in good shape. If he doesn’t suffer any further injury setbacks than maybe we can consider him, but for the moment you’ll probably have a few better options elsewhere, and we can’t even say with 100% certainty that he’s a walk up starter for the Cats at this stage.

2014 SC Projection: 66-72

Nathan Vardy

2012 SC Average: 56
2013 SC Average: 68.7
Position: RUCK/FWD
Starting Price: 333.6K

Another Cat bigman who has missed a large stretch of games due to injuries (I feel like I’ve said that too many times), Vardy only managed to play 2 games in 2012, a Rd 23 match against Sydney where he scored a 56 and the Cats Elimination Final loss to Freo where he scored 46. Didn’t get a game in 2013 until Round 10 against the Gold Coast, he only played 1 more game until he was sidelined again, but played from Rd 18 onwards (including the Cats Final series), where he posted an average of 69.87 in his final 8 games, with a top score of 125 coming against St. Kilda in Round 18, which saw him grab 7 marks, to go along with 16 disposals, a goal, 19 hitouts, and 5 I50’s.

Will potentially be used as a forward target to the Cats in 2014, he showed he’s capable of booting a bag with a tally of 4 goals coming against the Gold Coast in Rd 10. He’s still young though and will most likely be an inconsistent player. There are a few other Ruck options around the 300K range for us this year, so I don’t see any real value for him there and with Hawkins at the same price in the FWD line, as well as another discounted big like Mitch Clarke available, I don’t see a ton of value for him there either, especially with the RUCK/FWD swing being less useful this year compared to last.

2014 SC Projection: 70-76

George Horlin-Smith

2012 SC Average: 37
2013 SC Average: 61.1
Position: MID
Starting Price: 329.7K

George Horlin-Smith is going to be a hell of a player for the Geelong Cats. Mark my words; he’ll be one of the best players for the Cats in a few years. Has played 11 games in 2 years, he’ll be one that will be looking to get a full 22 games next year to really kickstart his development as an AFL player. Was the sub in both Round 1 where he scored 5 and Round 6 where he scored 13, if we take those two games out of consideration it raises his year average to 78.5.

He did manage two impressive scores during 2013, scoring 105 in Round 4 against Sydney and 114 in Round 16 against Melbourne. Also received a Rising Star nomination for his fantastic game against Sydney, which saw him 23 possessions, 1 goal and 4 I50’s, while also restricting Josh Kennedy to 23 possessions and only 80 SC points (I’ve had my scouting goggles on this kid ever since that game!)

Will be in line for more games in 2014, I’ll be skipping him this season, I think he’s a potential Green/Red vest option for Geelong, which will limit his scores if that happens, but if you want to get way ahead of the game, mark him down as one to keep an eye on for 2015.

2014 SC Projection: 64-72

SMOKIES

Quick list of lower ranked players to keep your eyes on during pre-season

Shane Kersten -FWD – 123.9K
Joshua Walker - FWD – 226.5K
Darcy Lang – MID – 142.3K

 

The Cats will be a tough side for us to pick SC players from next year, they have some potential breakout candidates, but they may also have a few duds lying around also. Who are you looking at picking from the Cats in 2014? What a comment below, or let us know on the Twitters @BarronVonCrow

Click here for all of the Barron’s 2014 fantasy footy scouting reports this preseason

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Comments (33)

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  1. jockreynolds says:

    Another top wrote up Barron – thanks very much old mate. You left your goggles at the caravan last weekend mate – hope you've got another pair I know you're on your way to the Gold Coast at the minute.

    Hawkins was an absolute spud last season wasn't he. I've been considering taking on The Mad Irishman's suggestion and adding his rule: Thou Shalt Not Select Key Position Forwards to my set of hard and fast rules.

    Like you say – he's been told surgery won't fix his crook back and he will be an absolute no go in my starting mob this season. Gets bloody tempting though when prices drop on a player like this

    • Not a problem Jock, not a problem at all. And yes, i've definitely got another pair ready for the Gold Coast trip, that one is going to be a scorcher!

      Normally I do follow that same rule, no KPF in my side, but that 2012 average and that starting price makes me think otherwise. That back injury scares me though, the Cats are saying all the right things at the moment and how well he's doing, but i'd like to see it put under some real game rigors again. Doc Larkins compared the vertebrae in his back to a jam donut being squished and once the jam gets squished out, there's no way to put it back in again. So it's something he'll likely deal with for the rest of his AFL career it sounds like.

      Also, I now want some donuts.

      • lostlarrikin says:

        mmm donuts…
        Can't resist 'em!

        I'm of the KPF commandment but with JPod and Chappy absent the risk becomes lesser.

        A bit like the Clarke – Sandi risk really

  2. theazzyg says:

    Hey baron, good article! I’m personally thinking of going josh caddy. He’s a good price, potential breakout and gives that forward/mid swing eligibility

    • jockreynolds says:

      Gday there azzyg! I tend to agree with Bazza on this one – I reckon he's still a preseason and a half away from an area where Higgo might consider him sigggnifficant. However he is in that breakout zone, and must be amoung a handfull of blokes who could well bust out in 2014

      • lostlarrikin says:

        Yeah the back to back 61/60 does concern but eh they didnt just recruit im cos he smelt purdy!
        Take out his injury and sub affected (5) scores and he comes upto 67.
        Certainly patchy, but would expect less vest with Corey out of the mix.

    • Hi theazzyg,

      Caddy is one i'll be taking a serious gander at too. Not expecting huge things, but I think he'll average enough to keep my scores ticking over and generate a little bit of dosh so I can upgrade him down the line. As you said, the mid/fwd swing is a bonus as well.

      • theazzyg says:

        If he can keep up around the 80 average, with no sub affected performances he will do his job like you said. He won't be going anywhere near my midfield though, just a mid priced forward line option I'm thinking.

  3. Dave says:

    Lot to look at in the cats side caddy is the one for me that has the biggest chance to explode
    Also really like big Dawson Simpson was traveling really well before he went down
    Locks for me are deff Selwood and Stevie j

  4. Nuggety says:

    Gday community, Cam Guthrie on anyone’s radar? A 21 year old 50 gamer who could see more game time with a couple of Geelongs outs. They do have a good history of blood nuts, think Neville Bruns, Adrian Hickmott, I’m sure there’s others… $317k not super cheap but untried def rookies are around 200k. Could be one of the Geelong fringe youngsters ready to push into an 80 odd average. And plenty of 400k+ backs no certainty to average any higher. Am I Robinson Crusoe on this one?

    • Hi Nuggety,

      Not sold on Guthrie this year, he'll be one to watch for the future for sure, but I think his potential scores are stifled a tad while Enright is still in the side. He should hopefully boost his average up into the 70 range next year I think and there's worse guys out there you could take a punt on.

  5. throttlefinger says:

    Fantastic and insightful Cat coverage, Barron. Think you're right about Selwood as a strong M2 pick. Even used the Higginator to use him as a M1 to free some cash to bulk up ruc and fwd. With Jimmy B, here's where I'm caught: paying a midfielder price for a defender, especially since he's not a spring chicken. Not saying that he won't contribute, but is he worth the price? Caddy is another I've been going back and forth with. Could be in for a breakout year. He and Hawkins will probably gain the most NAB eyeballs.

    • Thanks Throttle!

      Selwood is currently my M2 to go with Pendles, it's a pretty strong starting set I think if you're deciding to skip out on Ablett initially. Think we'll see that combo plenty of times in Supercoach teams at the start of the year.

      As for Bartel, i'm not worried about a dramatic drop off for him, his versatility is what will save him I think, he can play pretty much anywhere on the ground and produce results for you. Out of the big 4 of Walker, Bartel, Mitchell and McVeigh, he, along with Mitchell are the two I feel most confident about going into 2014.

      And yep, eyeballs keenly glued to Caddy and Hawkins in the pre-season, they're the two of greatest interest to me ATM, along with McIntosh.

      • throttlefinger says:

        Yeah, I tend to agree. Right now I have Bartel as my D1 and Mitchell as my D2 (but considering Hodge to free some moola).

        Thinking the same on M1-M2. Can't see either proving to disappoint.

        Motlop is another I'm going to watch closely. Have a good feeling about him given the inspired ball he played in the end. May be ready to take off. May be a plums call.

  6. NutSack says:

    Hey Jock, you gotta stop giving away all the 'locks'! Now I know by the end of all the reviews theres gonna be a list of 20+ locks, which is impossible to start with so there are only a few locks really- looking at the man and not the numbers Pendles, Selwood, Watson and Danger are all locks- they are in my team fullstop- and of course GAJ is a strange and scary one this year.

    Ablett Snr- well he waited for the ball to come into his zone and then he was lethal where as GAJ hunts the pill all over the ground and is lethal. Thing about the Suns is with all the midfield coming through GAJ could spend more time forward and this is where I think he'll put to bed the question of whos better- Gary Ablett or Gary Ablett Jnr- I have a sneaking suspision that GAJ at some stage soon is going to become a goal kicking machine and will soon kick 80+ goals in a year. But I also think with a man like GAJ wasting very few opportunities that maybe he might even kick more.

    Ohh yeah and Dayne Beams has to be a lock also.

    One question I have though is that with few DEF's avging over 100 is Bartel to be considered a lock over Mitchell and McVeigh in DEF?

    • At the moment NutSuck I have the Big 4 defenders ranked as 1. Mitchell 2. Bartel 3. McVeigh 4. Walker. Walker is last since Malthouse has talked about using him back forward again instead of floating across half back. Honestly though I think you could do a coin toss over them and you'd be happy with whatever result you get.

  7. enter the void says:

    Barron you haven’t considered the rule changes being implemented this season. No more frees for Duckwood leading with his head will (I believe) knock off a good 10 pnts/game off his average.

    • Benno says:

      Was just about to post this comment haha. I am still considering him and is my M2 at the moment. But I think the rule will effect him greatly.

      • Mick says:

        Might have to give all the duckers from out west a miss too then (shuey the big one)!

        • Benno says:

          Haha fair call, but Shuey was only averaging about 1.3 frees per game. Selwood on the other hand over double that at 2.8

    • enter the void says:

      Last season Ducky had the most frees in the AFL by a country mile, with 73 frees for… next best was Cotchin on 46 (http://m.afl.au/stats?#splayer).In 2012, Shuey missed far less games and came 4th overall for most frees with 54. Surely these two notorious duckers will have a lot more trouble milking frees this season.

    • It's entirely possible ETV, but what the umpires say and what they actually end up doing are usually two different things. Besides, I think he's still a good enough player that it won't kill his scores too much.

  8. Wombats says:

    Thanks again Barron. You reckon that you could toss over mitchell, bartell, mcviegh & walker as they will all produce. I agree and D1,2,3,4 are not issue at all for me, or most others either I reckon. What info do have have for D5,6,7,8?
    How is thurlow going? He looked ok when he was fit last year.

  9. Dools says:

    Another ripper Baron very very good mate

    High tackles (Head) are to the AFL "No Go Zones" and a free will always be awarded milked or not.
    I expect Joel to keep churning out the numbers and be the scariest prospect (His taste for goals, Hard ball gets, Leadership etc) this season. He would be my choice to play for my life .
    I would like to alert the community to a young fella by the name of Mitch Brown. Been at the Cats for 6 , ya 6 years (Never played but still on the list…Wow that's patients) enigma Yes! ! ….Can play Yes! Has Serious skills and maybe just maybe by the NAB he will veigh for the position in the Defence over some brighter illumenaries…
    Also Jed Bews (Father / Son rule from 3 yrs ago Son of former Geelong CPT Andrew) Everyone thinks he is ready to go but he is only 20!
    So Without GAJ…Pendles, Jelwood, Son of Tim, Fyfe.. So far As M1,2,3 & 4
    Love the Team reports mate…Respect

    • Wombats says:

      I liked Browny a couple of years ago when he was still fairly new, he looked really good, fantastic balance, vision and skills but he can't stay on the park for more than a couple of games. His scores from l/y are not indicative of his ability but they are indicative of his endurance. unless he gets on the 'Bombers juice' I doubt that he will get onto the field every week.
      Have you ever noticed how much the bombers mascot looks like a syringe?

    • Hey Dools,

      Yep, I expect the same with Selwood. They'll talk about how they'll crack down on duckers, but with the pace of the game and Selwood going in hard all the time, they'll still call his fair share of frees his way.

      My M1-4 was looking exactly like that, still thinking about dropping one for a cheaper prospect at this stage however.

      • Dools says:

        Hi mate
        I was all gong ho! on Fyfe but wispers from the West are saying he is going to spend more time forward because of wonky shoulders …
        Which is funny I thought wonkey shoulders were funny in any position!?

  10. lostlarrikin says:

    Noice Barron!
    Tomahawk and Caddy big on the radar, one of which may take a back seat til Rd 3

  11. @taylorwoof says:

    An extensive report BMV! Superb Work!

    Glad you included Motlop #onmyradar

  12. SCMania says:

    I'm a fan of Kersten as a rookie at the moment. Jimmy Bartel I'm strongly considering, also Selwood is a lock. Great article!