Howdy folks, Barron Von Crow here and today we’ll be looking at one of the most interesting sides going around in Supercoach and I’m talking about the Melbourne Demons.
Of course the biggest news, and the reason they’ll be so interesting to watch is the appointment of Sydney Swan Premiership winning coach Paul Roos to the top job, a move that has given people hope that he’ll be able to get the best out of a variety of young underperforming players that the Demons have on their squad, players like Jack Watts, Jack Trengrove and Jack Grimes
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The Demons have also worked on bringing a lot more talent into their side, with the addition of the exciting 17 year old draftee Jesse Hogan, former Giant Dom Tyson, injured plagued youngster Vic Michie, who wasn’t able to break into Fremantle’s talented midfield last year, as well as veteran help in Daniel Cross from the Bulldogs and Bernie Vince from the Crows (veteran help they desperately need IMO). We saw how a good year can transform a team with Port Adelaide last year. In 2012 they were one of the bottom 4 sides for Supercoach points as a team, they moved up to 11th overall in 2013 and they had a much better year as a result, both for us in Supercoach and out on the field to. Will we see a similar result for Melbourne? Only time will tell.
MELBOURNE DEMONS 2014 SUPERCOACH SCOUTING REPORT
2013 Record: 2 wins, 20 losses
Viv Michie (Traded from Fremantle)
Dom Tyson (Traded from Greater Western Sydney Giants)
Bernie Vince (Traded from Adelaide Crows)
Aiden Riley (Delisted Free Agent)
Jesse Hogan (17 Year Old GWS Mini-Draft)
Mitchell Clisby (Promoted Rookie)
Christian Salem (Pick #9, National Draft)
Jay Kennedy-Harris (Pick #40, National Draft)
Jayden Hunt (Pick #57, National Draft)
James Harmes (Pick #2, Rookie Draft)
Max King (Pick #19, Rookie Draft)
Alexis Georgiou (Pick #35, Rookie Draft)
Neville Jetta (Pick #50, Rookie Draft)
Colin Sylvia (Free Agent to Fremantle)
Aaron Davey (Retired)
Joel MacDonald (Retired)
David Rodan (Retired)
Troy Davis (Delisted)
Tom Gillies (Delisted)
James Sellar (Delisted)
Josh Tynan (Delisted)
Rory Taggert (Delisted)
2014 Team Preview
2014 Bye Round: 10
Final 4: Hawthorn Hawks, GWS Giants, West Coast Eagles, North Melbourne Kangaroos
Former Demons Coach Mark Neeld didn’t even get 2 years into his 3 contract after being fired on June 17th, posting a 5-28 record as Coach of the Demons. Neil Craig, the former Adelaide Crows Coach and Director of Sports Performance for the Demons took over as caretaker coach, but things didn’t get much better for the Dees with Mr Implied Pressure at the helm, with the Dees losing 10 of their next 11 games
One thing is for sure, Paul Roos won’t be losing sleep at night worrying about his job security, he’ll be given the full 2 years to turn this side around, and the biggest issue Roos has highlighted so far is contested possession. It’s simple really, you win first use of the ball, and the rest of your game can flow from there. One only needs to look at the dramatic improvement Adelaide posted in 2012 when Brenton Sanderson made winning contested possessions his #1 item to improve, and the midfield looks like it has been Roos main focus on during the off-season. Last season the Demons posted the worst disposal, contested possession and uncontested possession differentials, which basically means, their opponent had the ball in their hands way more than the Dees did. So to remedy that, they’ve beefed up their midfield stocks considerably bringing in 5 midfielders and losing Colin Sylvia in Free Agency (it was essentially a Sylvia for Vince swap)
On the fixture front, the Dees have obviously been given a generous draw (for obvious reasons), their first 5 weeks is particular noteworthy with only 1 away game against GWS and 4 home games against St. Kilda, West Coast, Carlton and Gold Coast and overall their fixture includes 8 games against the bottom 6 clubs. Technically they only have 4 “away” games, but their fixture includes home games in both Alice Springs and Darwin. Their final 4 is a 50/50 shot, with 2 games against bottom 6 sides in GWS and West Coast, and 2 tougher games against Hawthorn and North Melbourne. They’re still not close to being a top 8 contender, but Roos should at least make them competitive, and that’ll be a good start for the Demons on improving their fortunes in 2014 and beyond.
2014 Projected Wins/Losses: 7 wins, 15 losses
I know I said GWS would likely be the only side without any Locks in their side, but we’ve hit it again with Melbourne. They simple do not have an “elite” player at their club at this stage, with their best player, Nathan Jones, having a 2013 Supercoach average of 90.05, which ranked him as the 75th best midfielder in 2013. I know they’ll be a new side, with a new coach and gameplan, but I don’t see anyone in the side that’ll jump up to becoming a potential top 20 player. Not yet at least. Though much like GWS they have lots of talent, it’ll just take some time for them to fully realize their potential. Players like Watts and Trengove are still question marks at this stage on what they’ll produce, and rookie Jesse Hogan, as talented as he is, will still take plenty of time to develop and KPF usually have a rougher go of it than midfielders. The other mature age players like Vince and Cross will provide a helping hand on the field, but apart from Cross a few years ago, neither have been guys you’d lock into your Supercoach side the first time you go and pick your players.
2012 SC Average: 97.5
2013 SC Average: 90
Starting Price: 485.7K
Nathan Jones has been carrying the Demons midfield these past two seasons, leading Melbourne in disposals, clearances, contested and handball-receives. Jones recorded averages of 23.1 disposals, 2.1 marks, 2.7 I50’s, 5.9 clearances (9th in the AFL) and 3.5 tackles in 2013. His 130 clearances were 56 more than any other Demon and he attended 213 centre bounces and won 61 clearances from there, which was equal 2nd in the AFL.
Jones had a Standard Deviation of 18 last year, which compared with the top 50 midfielders in 2013 would have ranked him 3rd, behind Brad Ebert and the new midfield option Brendon Goddard and Jones also had 8 tons on his record. Jones is also a tough son of a gun, having only missed 5 games in the past 7 years and only 1 in the past 4, which is a statistic we love to see as Supercoachers. The biggest key to him improving his average is the games he scored between 70 and 90 Supercoach Points, of which he had 9.
Now the reason Jones isn’t a lock? Because it’s tough to judge what his output will be next year. No one doubts his talent, but is it a case of him putting up stats because he’s playing as a one man army in the midfield? And with the added help in the guts, will that see his clearances numbers and his Supercoach points go down? Then on the flipside, if the Demons improve their contested ball winning, it’ll mean more possessions, which will mean he’ll be a legit chance to improve on his 23 disposal mark, which will be the biggest thing to boost him over that 100 point average mark. Personally I think Jones will improve with the additional midfield help (remember, he lead the team in handball receives, so if more players win the ball, it gives him more opportunity to receive the ball too), and I think he’ll have a career year next year.
Potential POD if you want to go that way, but I’m sure many will feel more comfortable selecting a falling premium such as Marc Murphy or Dayne Beams who’s sitting at the same price, or putting up the extra 80-90K to grab someone who has a real chance to become elite like Trent Cotchin or Nathan Fyfe. A solid pick though and I think there’s worse choices you could make.
2014 SC Projection: 96-102
2012 SC Average: 98.6
2013 SC Average: 88.5
Starting Price: 477.1K
Former Western Bulldog Daniel Cross was banished to the VFL for a period last year, dropped after Round 8 as the Bulldogs began to focus on developing their young midfield. He had been solid, but unspectacular in his first 8 weeks and even started as the sub in the Bulldogs Round 7 clash against North Melbourne. He was brought back into the side at the end of the year and didn’t really miss a beat, playing the Bulldogs last 5 games, and apart from a poor game against Brisbane in Round 22 where he scored 38, he finished the year with a Supercoach average of 92 over the final 5 games and showed he can still produce scores when needed with 3 tons in that period. Cross ended the year with averages of 22.6 disposals, 5.5 marks, 2 I50’s, 2.5 clearances and 4.4 tackles.
While Cross’s best years are behind him (he never averaged below 100 between 2005 and 2010) he’s still a quality addition to the Melbourne midfield, and will provide excellent support to Nathan Jones and the young kids. While he won’t be back to his old form, he’ll still be a solid pick and I think he’ll be close to his 2012 averages.
2014 SC Projection: 92-98
2012 SC Average: 86.0
2013 SC Average: 76.2
Starting Price: 411.1K
Former #1 pick Jack Watts has been a bit of a disappointment during his brief AFL career, never living up to the hype that comes with being the first pick in the draft, and especially since Melbourne picked him over the exciting Nic Naitanui. The Barron doesn’t really like to play that game though as players can’t control where they’re picked, as long as they go and bust a gut on the field, that’s all I care about. Probably the biggest hope many have with Paul Roos is he can turn Watts from being a good footballer, into a great one, the player many expected he’d be when he was drafted in 2008.
Watts played as a swingman last year, spending time both up forward, where he booted 22 goals for the year, and down back in defence, where he ranked 9th at the Demons for intercept possessions. Overall though his numbers were slightly down from what he recorded in 2011 and 2013, with averages of 14.8 disposals, 5.3 marks, 1.8 rebound 50’s and 1.6 tackles. Assuming the Demons stay fully healthy in 2014, I think we’ll likely see Watts spend the entire year in defence with Clark, Dawes and Hogan up forward, which means we may see a reduced goal amount, but it will give him more opportunities to gain possessions. The Demons are currently going through the pre-season with a banged up frontline though, with neither of Clark, Dawes or Hogan participating in full training at the time of writing, meaning we could see Watts used in the swingman fashion again.
Watts will likely be a risky pick and you’ll probably make the choice depending on how confident you are on Roos pulling some hocus-pocus transformative magic on Watts. He’s shown he’s good at reading the play in defence, and he wouldn’t be the first player who’s struggled elsewhere on the ground only to look like a gun playing free in defence, so keep your eyes on his pre-season form and if you like taking a punt then give him a go.
2014 SC Projection: 82-88
2012 SC Average: 88.3
2013 SC Average: 80.9
Starting Price: 436.5K
Jack “Grimey” Grimes will be another player for those who like to take a punt. He’s had his durability issues in the past, only once playing more than 15 games in 5 seasons at Melbourne (Jock likes to call him Kleenex Jack due to all the soft tissue injuries he’s suffered over his career). Another player who was used in a variety of roles last year, Grimes spent time in defence and also a midfield tagger. He ended the year with mostly career lows across the board since he became a full-time player in 2009 averaging 18.3 disposals, 4.6 marks, 2.4 rebound 50’s and 4.2 tackles.
We’ve seen what he can do in the past though, with a Supercoach average of 94.4 in 2009 and as we saw with Nathan Jones, it doesn’t matter how good you are, it’s hard to average big points in Supercoach when your team gets the ball the least amount of times in the AFL. He did start off 2013 in very good form; in the first 5 rounds he averaged 21.2 disposals, 3.8 marks, 4.2 tackles and 99.6 Supercoach Points before he broke his collarbone in Round 6 against Carlton. Once he returned in Round 15 Neil Craig was in charge, who started to use Grimes as a midfield tagger at times and his Supercoach scores suffered as a result, with a Round 15-23 average of 78.1 Supercoach Points. On the plus side, his injury was a broken collar bone and not another soft tissue injury like he’s suffered in the past, so maybe it’s a sign he’s past his durability issues?
I’ll be skipping Grimes in 2014 due to the continual injuries he’s suffered over his career, but if he does manage to stay healthy and once again gets to play as a running defender like he was at the start of 2013 then he could be a sneaky good pick for you, if you’re willing to take the risk.
2014 SC Projection: 84-90
2012 SC Average: 74.9
2013 SC Average: 75.0
Starting Price: 404.5K
Jack Trengove has gone backwards as an AFL player the past 2 years. In 2011 the former #2 pick averaged 20.4 disposals, 4.8 marks, 3 I50’s, 2.8 clearances and 5.3 tackles and 87.7 Supercoach points in his second year of AFL football, very promising signs for a 19 year old footballer. Then Mark Neeld became Coach and Trengove suffered under the massive burden that was placed on his shoulders, firstly being named as the youngest Captain in VFL/AFL history at 20 years and 181 days old and with only 37 games of AFL football at that point. He also suffered a stress fracture in his foot which slowed his preseason preparation and Trengove ended up averaging 17.9 disposals, 4.3 marks, 1.8 I50’s, 4.7 tackles and 1.5 clearances per game in 2013.
Trengove wasn’t the most consistent player last year either, with 7 games below 70, 8 games between 70 and 90, 3 games between 90-99, and only 2 games with 100+. He will need to work on those games poor games where he scores below 70 if he wants to become a relevant Supercoach player for us. Like a lot of the Melbourne youngsters, it’s the hope that the increased midfield talent and some Roos magic will open things up for Trengove and take the massive pressure he’s had on his shoulders this year. He’s 22 and has played 79 games, so if there was ever a time for him to become a breakout contender, this would be the year for it. In the end, Trengrove will be another Melbourne pick for those who’ll want to take a risky punt on a player in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 82-88
2012 SC Average: 84.1
2013 SC Average: 57.8
Starting Price: 249.2K
Clark hasn’t been seen much in the Demons colours since his move to the club from Brisbane in 2012, having only played 15 of a possible 44 games in two years. Injuries have been a common theme for Clarke though, as he’s only had one season (2009) where he’s managed to play more than 20 games for the year. Still, Clark is an extremely capable player when he gets out onto the park, he averaged 2.6 goals per game in 2012, which was 7th in the AFL, a rate which would have seen him kick over 50 goals for the year.
Clark only managed to play 4 games last year, when he was on the field, the Demons went to him often, with only Travis Cloke recording more one-on-one contests during that span and once again losing to Cloke, he had the 2nd lowest losing percentage in one-on-one contests out of the top 10 in that category. The additional midfield firepower is also going to benefit Clark as he should hopefully have the ball delivered more often into the forward 50, and with forward backup like Dawes and Hogan, as well as the high flying Jeremy Howe also roaming the forward 50 he’s got plenty of backup around to help and he’s also capable of just crashing a pack and grabbing contested marks, with almost 50% of his marks being of the contested variety in his time at Melbourne.
Like Grimes, he’ll likely be skipped by more than a few because of his injury history (understandably so), and normally I play the stay away game on KPF’s, but the fact that he’s 200K cheaper than his 2013 starting price means I don’t think we can completely write him off just yet. As of writing Clark still hasn’t started full-preseason training, which is a bit of a concern, but Melbourne may just be playing it safe with him due to his previous injuries. Keep your eyes peeled on him during pre-season, if he’s fit and firing for Round 1, then he should be a decent option to stick in your side.
2014 SC Projection: 80-86
2012 SC Average: 55.8
2013 SC Average: 44.7
Starting Price: 216.8K
Drafted by the GWS Giants with pick #3 in 2011, Tyson was traded to the Demons, along with pick #9 (Christian Salem) for #2 and #20 picks in the AFL Draft, the Demons giving up the chance to draft the talented Josh Kelly, but obviously seeing the acquisition of Tyson and Salem as a 2 for the price of 1 scenario. And it’s tough to blame them really, Tyson was a highly touted junior footballer, and as mentioned, he was a former #3 pick so this kid has the goods to be a very good player for the Demons.
Tyson hasn’t had a ton of AFL experience, playing 10 games in his 2 years at the Giants; he suffered a knee injury last year that put him out of action until round 10 where he returned to the Giants side via the NEAFL. He averaged 25 disposals, 6 clearances, 3 tackles and 102 Supercoach Points during 9 matches in the NEAFL, and played 3 games of AFL football last year for averages of 13.3 disposals, 2.7 marks, 2.7 clearances, 2.3 tackles and 44.7 Supercoach points.
Even though his 2013 scores look disappointing, he’s a number #3 pick, and Melbourne rated him enough that they were willing to trade the #2 pick for him. He can play, his NEAFL stats showed that and if he can get a clear run through pre-season, I think he’ll be primed to put up some good Supercoach points for our teams in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 74-80
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: 40.0
Starting Price: 172.6K
Vic Michie spent the first two years of his career at Fremantle battling persistent foot injuries and stress fractures in his foot. He managed to put that all behind him in 2013, but still couldn’t break into Fremantle’s talented midfield, but ended up playing 16 games for the Peel Thunder in the WAFL, where he averaged 26 disposals and ranked 1st at the club for clearances, 2nd for I50’s, 3rd for score assists, and 4th for disposals and also won the Peel Thunder B&F award.
Michie only played the 1 game for the Dockers last year when he was a late inclusion for Lee Spurr in Round 14. He started the game wearing the green vest, but came on and ended with 13 disposals, 1 mark and 3 tackles and on a per minute basis for that game ranked 2nd for disposals and pressure applied acts for the Dockers during that game.
As was said above, he spent his first two years mostly injured and only played the 1 game last year, so he may take some time to adjust to full time AFL football, but he should be another good addition for the Demons midfield, and since he comes in cheaper than players like Josh Kelly, Dom Tyson and Jack Martin, he may be picked up by a fair few sides for 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 68-74
2012 SC Average: 61.2
2013 SC Average: 31.5
Starting Price: 169.9K
“Pig Dog” Aiden Riley is a tough little son of a gun and an absolute clearance machine. Has only played 12 games of AFL football in 3 years, he managed to break into the Crows side late in 2012 in Round 19 and had a non-sub affected average of 77 in 3 games. He was put back into the SANFL at the start of 2013, and once again broke into the Crows squad in Round 14 against the Gold Coast, scoring 63 Supercoach points, but unfortunately broke his leg in the opening minutes of the game against West Coast the next week in Round 15, which is the cause of 31.5 Supercoach average for 2013.
He hasn’t had a ton of AFL experience, but looking at his SANFL numbers it shows the promise he holds, where in 2013 he ranked 1st in Clearances and 4th for Score Assists during the games he played for Sturt. That wasn’t just for Sturt either, he led the league in those categories, which is an impressive result for him. His disposal can still be iffy at times, so he doesn’t have ultra high upside, he won’t be a superstar, but he will be a guy who Melbourne can stick in the side and he’ll do the dirty grunt work for them around the stoppages.
I think he’s got the potential to be this years Koby Stevens, who started off 2013 at a similar price ($176K), and averaged 68.1 for the year. And while there were a few who expected a bit more production from Stevens, he still served his purpose, generating a couple hundred thousand dollars on his starting price. With the more expensive rookies, a figure of 170K isn’t totally unreasonable this year either. I really like this kid, so keep your eyes out for his name closer to the start of the season. He may not be ready to go at the start of the year as he’s still recovering from his broken leg, but he could make a nice downgrade option if he gets games later in the year.
2014 SC Projection: 62-68
2012 SC Average: na
2013 SC Average: na
Starting Price: 217.3K
Jesse Hogan is running wild, brutha! Melbourne traded for Hogan using pick #2 in the 2012 GWS 17 year old mini draft, giving up picks #3 (easily do-able for Melbourne since they also had pick #4 as the Tom Scully compensation pick) and pick #13 to gain the rights to Hogan. As we saw with Jaeger O’Meara and Brad Crouch in 2013 and as we’ll likely see with Jack Martin and Hogan in 2014, teams who’ve made these moves will likely ecstatic that they did.
Ineligible to play AFL football in 2013, Hogan spent the year at Melbourne’s VFL affiliate club the Casey Scorpians where he spent the year saying his prayers and taking his vitamins and he ended up playing 15 games for the Scorps, averaging 14.3 disposals, 6.7 marks, 2.4 of which were contested, 1.7 tackles and kicked 39.21 for the year and also won the Scorpians B&F award, an amazing result for an 18 year old kid. He absolutely dominated some games at VFL level, Round 13 he recorded 23 disposals, 12 marks and 4.3, Round 14 he grabbed 21 disposals, 10 marks and had 6 goals and in Round 18 recorded stats of 25 disposals, 12 marks and 3 goals.
He has been compared to Jonathan Brown and Matthew Pavlich, 2 of my all-time favourite players, so that’s quite a reputation to live up to. We obviously won’t see him dominating like he did in the VFL, but he does have some nice support in Clark (if he stays healthy), Dawes and Jeremy Howe up forward, so he won’t have all the pressure of kicking goals for the Demons. Word hit that he suffered a knee injury during training, which will put him out for 1-2 weeks, shouldn’t be too much cause for concern at this point as he’ll have time to make up what he missed, and it seems more precautionary than anything else.
If Hogan is good to go for Round 1, then definitely give him some consideration for your starting side. May be limited due to the KPF bogeyman that plagues a lot of young players in Supercoach, but this kid is seriously talented and could put up some decent scores. Many may look elsewhere, which is understandable, but there will be a few who decide to use him as a “safety net” since he looks likely to play a lot of games next year if he’s healthy, and Clark doesn’t have the best injury history, meaning he could be a big part of Melbourne’s forward line in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 60-66
2012 SC Average: 64.4
2013 SC Average: 82.4
Starting Price: 444.4K
Lynden Dunn struggled at the beginning of 2013, missing Rounds 2-5 and only averaging 69.2 in his first 9 games for the year, often being used as a midfield tagger during that span. He was moved down in defence towards the 2nd half of the year though and began to show some form, his Round 15 onwards average sitting at 95.5. He did almost the same last year though, averaging 44.1 between Rounds 1 and 14, then averaged 89.75 for the remainder of the season.
Overall it was near career best form for Dunn, averaging 16 disposals, 3.7 marks, 3.9 rebound 50’s, 3.5 spoils and 3.3 tackles a game. Many might be put off from Dunn since he’s 26 and never been a big time Supercoach player, but he wouldn’t be the first older player who’s ever experienced a surge when a new coach comes aboard. One only needs to look at Brent Reilly’s performance in 2012 when Brenton Sanderson moved him from a primarily midfielder role to a loose man down back and he went from never averaging more than 78 to averaging 92.4 for the year.
Dunn could be a surprise pick for your Supercoach side, he looked quite good playing down back last year and if he can settle in that role, he could be a nice source of points. If you’re thinking about picking Jack Grimes, but are put off by his injury history, then Dunn is one to consider for your back 6.
2014 SC Projection: 82-88
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: 67.2
Starting Price: 362.2K
Gawn managed to play 13 games for the Demons in 2013, despite not playing in 2012 and only managing the 4 games in 2011. It was 2 different seasons for Gawn really, from Round 4-9 he was used up forward after Mitch Clark was injured and he didn’t exactly set the world on fire with an average of 60.16. He did manage games where he scored 97 and 88, but also had games where he scored 18 and 39 also. He was then brought back between Rounds 14-18 playing as a ruckman after an injury to Mark Jamar and looked solid as the #1 big, recording an average of 83 over those 6 games. Was brought back again in Round 23 against the Western Bulldogs, but was subbed out at half time with a disappointing score of 14.
He did put up some fantastic stats in the VFL however, where he played 9 games and had an average of 141 Supercoach Points. He’s a bit unit too, listed as the 3rd tallest player in the AFL and only 2cm shorter than Aaron Sandilands. He’s had his share of injury issues in the past, undergoing 2 knee reconstructions, the main reason he’s only played 17 games in 4 years. He’s still young though, only 22 and as Mark Jamar gets older (he’s 30 now), he’s looking more and more injury prone. If Jamar gets injured again, or if Roos decides he wants to head off in a younger direction at the start of the year, Gawn could be a nice buy, or even a nice injury replacement should the worst strike (like Sandilands getting his yearly injury).
Watch him closely during the pre-season and maybe even think about starting him if he’s named as the lead ruck in Round 1.
2014 SC Projection: 74-80
2012 SC Average: 73.9
2013 SC Average: 78.0
Starting Price: 420.7K
As mentioned above Mark Jamar is getting older and he’s also becoming more and more injury prone as he ages. Never the most healthy guy to begin with, since 2006 he’s only played more than 15 games once, which was in 2010 when he played every game for the year and in his 11 years as an AFL footballer, and has only played more than 15 games twice. Since his 2010 season he’s recorded seasons of 15, 14 and 9 games.
He’s never been a big ball winner, the past 2 seasons he’s averaged 8 disposals and 2 marks per game, but did make up for it by averaging 32-33 hitouts, his mark of 33.1 was the 4th best in the AFL this year. He’s never been a big scorer in Supercoach anyway, with his best years scoring in the mid 80’s. With his durability issues piling up, it makes him a risky pick, and there’s no real upside to him anyway. He’ll be one to avoid in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 70-76
2012 SC Average: 84.6
2013 SC Average: 78.7
Starting Price: 424.3K
Traded from Adelaide for the Colin Sylvia compensation pick, Vince will be a nice support piece to the Demons midfield. Vince put up similar stats to his 2012 season in 2013, averaging 20.6 disposals, 4.1 marks, 3.5 I50’s, 3.6 clearances and 3.2 tackles. Played a bit more down the field than usual in 2013, he won 62% of disposals in the defensive half of the ground, which was the highest percentage of any Crows midfielder.
Vince has stagnated as a player though and many will hope that a move to the Demons will re-energize his career, but I’m not banking on it. While he’ll be a tremendous help to the Demons midfield, he does at time have a “going through the motions” way of playing and will at best put up similar stats to his 2012 and 2013 seasons. No real huge upside there and will at best hover around the same price you buy him for the majority of the year.
2014 SC Projection: 80-86
2012 SC Average: 64.4
2013 SC Average: 55.8
Starting Price: 300.7K
Dawes has his worst year in Supercoach since his first year of AFL football in 2008. He could only manage 12 games for the year and was subbed out due to injury twice. Even if we remove those subbed games from his year average, it still only sits at 59.4, so it’s not like he was setting the world on fire when he was playing fit. Only averaged 1 goal per game for the year, he kicked multiple goals only 3 times and was held goalless 4 times. Not a good sign for a KPF at all.
It’ll be a crowded forward line for the Demons with the returning Mitch Clark to be joined by rookie Jesse Hogan and the high flying Howe, and that’s not even including Watts potentially playing forward also, which could mean Dawes finds himself as one of the most expensive VFL players going around. Even if he does get on the ground, he’s show in his best years that he’s only a 70 odd point scorer, so there’s not much to be excited about here.
2014 SC Projection: 62-68
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: 78.7
Starting Price: 424.5K
When I find myself at a loss, I occasionally have a universal rule I apply to Supercoach. When in doubt, draft the bloke who played for the Norwood Redlegs, a rule that paid off handsomely for those who selected Dean Terlich in 2013. Terlich had a terrific year, averaging 19.8 disposals, 5.2 marks, 3.5 rebound 50’s, 2.1 spoils and 3.5 tackles for the year as the main man bringing the ball out of defence for the Demons.
Now the reason we likely won’t be picking Terlich in 2014? Because he’s likely to sit at around the same average again next season. We’ll take that sort of production at a rookie price since it meant he generated almost 300K to his starting price, but there’s no upside to it for a 420K player. Will be good once again for the Demons, but not good enough in Supercoach to make us consider picking him.
2014 SC Projection: 76-82
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: 44.6
Starting Price: 240.8K
Toumpas struggled during his 14 AFL games in 2013, averaging 12 disposals, 3.1 marks and 2.5 tackles. His VFL form was much more encouraging though, where he averaged 26 disposals a game. Very much an outside player, he averaged 72.4% of his possessions as uncontested in his 14 AFL games and 68% as uncontested in his VFL games.
Those large uncontested numbers would be a concern to us in Supercoach and his low disposal count in his AFL games would also be cause for concern. He’s still a young kid though, and not the first who’s taken some time to adjust to AFL. His VFL numbers show that he’s capable, he’ll just take a bit of time to find his feet. With a starting price of 240.8K, the Demons have at least 3 other options themselves that would be better picks than Toumpas in 2014, and that’s not even mentioning players on the other 17 teams. Skip him in 2014, but keep your eyes on him for the future.
2014 SC Projection: 60-66
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: 71.3
Starting Price: 387.9K
Jack Viney, son of Melbourne legend Todd Viney, had a very impressive first year of AFL football, averaging 71.3 Supercoach Points with averages of 17.5 disposals, 2.8 marks, 4.4 clearances, and 4.2 tackles. His season was split into two halves, first Rounds 1-7 which saw him average 66.3 (with an impressive 117 on debut), but also contained a score of 9 in his Round 4 match against the GWS where he was subbed out at half time. His 2nd half of the season was between Rounds 17-23 where he averaged a much better 76.7.
Viney was the 2nd most interchanged player in the AFL (behind Jack Ziebell) and averaged the equal fewest minutes per stint on the ground of any player and never played more than 100 minutes in any of his 13 games of AFL football. Also had a poor kicking efficiency, averaging 9.1 kicks per game at only 45.8% efficiency. On the flipside, his contested numbers, clearances and tackles were very impressive for a 19 year old, which shows you what a great midfielder he’ll likely become in the future.
Paul Roos has already talked about playing him up at half forward so he doesn’t get as burnt out from playing as many midfield minutes as he did last year, something that will limit his scores once again. It may mean slightly more disposals and time on ground, but it’ll likely mean less clearances too. He needs some time to further develop, but he’ll be a fantastic player for the Demons, just not this year.
2014 SC Projection: 72-78
Quick list of lower ranked players to keep your eyes on during pre-season
Dom Barry -MID – 123.9K
Christian Salem – MID – 177.3K
James Harmes - MID – 132.4K
And that’s how the Melbourne Demons are looking for 2014. They’ll be a tough lot to pick through as I’m sure many are hoping a Roos spike will occur and help many of his players along to becoming fantasy football relevant and it will be interesting to see if it happens.
Got any Melbourne players you’re thinking about picking? Or will you be staying away completely? Drop a comment below, or hit us up on the Twitters @BarronVonCrow