North Melbourne 2014: Supercoach scouting report

Filed in North Melbourne, Supercoach, Supercoach 2014 by on January 31, 2014 • views: 3172

Barron Von Crow

G’day everyone, its Barron Von Crow here with our next Supercoach Scouting Report.

Today we’ll be taking a gander at the North Melbourne Kangaroos, another side who’ll be looking to crack the top 8 in 2014, something they’ve only achieved the once since 2008. There are plenty of positives to the Roos going into 2014 though, they’ve got some talented young players and they’ve bolstered their midfield stocks with the addition of the 3x All-Australian Nick Dal Santo and the drafting of father-son selection Luke McDonald. The time is now for the Kangaroo’s to make a big push, not only into the top 8, but deep into the Finals also. Lucky for us they’ve got some ripping Supercoach options for us to take a look at, so let’s get cracking!

CLICK HERE FOR THE 5 GOLDEN TEAM SELECTION RULES FROM LAST YEAR’S SUPERCOACH CHAMPION 

North Melbourne Kangaroos 2014 Supercoach Scouting Report

2013 Record: 10 wins, 12 losses

Position: 10th

INS

Nick Dal Santo (Free Agent from St. Kilda)
Robin Nahas (Delisted Free Agent)
Luke McDonald (Pick #8, National Draft)
Trent Dumont (Pick #30, National Draft)
Ben Brown (Pick #47, National Draft)
Joel Tippett (Pick #8, Rookie Draft)
Kayne Turner (Pick #25, Rookie Draft)

OUTS

Luke Delaney (Traded to St. Kilda)
Jordan Gysberts (Delisted)
Ayden Kennedy (Delisted)
Ben Mabon (Delisted)
Will Sierakowski (Delisted)

2014 Team Preview

2014 Bye Round: 8

Final 4: GWS Giants, Western Bulldogs, Adelaide Crows, Melbourne Demons

A very good off-season for the Kangaroos, which saw them move out Luke Delaney to St. Kilda and the deletions of Gysberts, Kennedy, Mabon and Sierakowski from the Senior list. The biggest addition will be Nick Dal Santo in the midfield, it’s not very often you have the opportunity to add an All-Australian midfielder to your side, and the change of scenery should do wonders for Dal Santo. They’ve also drafted the son of 155 gamer Donald McDonald (they seriously named their son Donald?) Luke McDonald, who not only has the hype of being a #8 pick, but he was also granted special permission to play for North Melbourne’s VFL affiliate Werribee in 2013, so he has a year of VFL experience under his belt, something that is not the norm for draft picks. They’ve also picked up another terrific midfielder in the draft, selecting Norwood star Trent Dumont, another player like Brisbane’s James Aish who managed to crack the Redlegs senior side as a junior, and was 3rd in the voting in the Jack Oatey Medal (SANFL version of the Norm Smith) in the Redlegs Grand Final win after recording 17 disposals in the first half. The Roos also narrowly missed out on gaining Eddie Betts signature, but made up for it a bit by picking up Robin Nahas as a free agent after the Tigers delisted him. He’s not as good as Betts, but he has shown some worth as a goal kicking small forward.

The key to the Roos improving next year is they simply just have to start winning the close games. Last year they lost 10 games by 16 points or less (which was a VFL/AFL record), including terrible last minute fade outs in Rd 8 against West Coast and in Rd 9 against Adelaide (though I will admit as a Crows fan I did do some couch jumping after that game). One only needs to look at teams like Adelaide and North Melbourne, sides who gave up multiple games where they were leading late into the 3rd or during the 4th quarter, both sides missed the top 8, and a side like Port Adelaide who won the close games, recording a 5 wins and 2 losses in games by 10 points or less, and managed to win 12 games for the year and finish 7th. Even if the Roos manage to split those 16 point or less losses 50/50, that’d put them on 15 wins and they’d be right up there with the Collingwood’s, Richmond’s etc., sides that are right on the cusp of pushing for top 4 births. On a brighter note, they showed they can hang with the top 8 teams last year, recording 5 wins and 6 losses against sides that finished in the top 8. They didn’t have an easy draw in 2013 either, playing 3 of the top 4 sides twice. While one might not be impressed on the surface that they won less than half of their games against the top 8, if you look at the entire league, only 2 teams had a higher winning % against the top 8, which were Geelong and Hawthorn. They also recorded a very healthy ladder percentage, with a percentage of 119.5, which was 6th best in the league (and a VFL/AFL record for a team that finished 10th or worse), another sign that the Roos are a legit side.

On the fixture front, the Roos have a bit of a difficult opening to the year up until their bye in Round 8, having to face Essendon, Western Bulldogs, Port Adelaide, Sydney, Collingwood, Fremantle and the Gold Coast. Apart from the Bulldogs, those are 7 sides that’ll all be in the thick of it come the end of the year. The schedule opens up after that though, with only 5 games against top 8 sides, two of which are VS Geelong. Double up games will be against Western Bulldogs, Melbourne, Adelaide, Geelong and the Brisbane Lions, so they’ve got some very winnable games in the majority of that lot.

Final 4 is very Supercoach friendly also, with 3 games against teams that finished in the bottom 4 last year in GWS, the Bulldogs and Melbourne, as well as a game in Hobart against Adelaide, which would be looking 50/50 at this stage, but definitely winnable for the Kangaroos.

If the Roos can get over their close game losses next year, I think they’ll be a legitimate top 6 team and could push right up to the end for a top 4 birth.

2014 Projected Wins/Losses: 15 wins, 7 losses

LOCKS

Todd Goldstein

2012 SC Average: 93.0
2013 SC Average: 113.5
Position: RUCK
Starting Price: 612.4K

I know many of you go with a cheaper ruck structure and will pick off the guys on last years injury list that received discounts in players like Sandilands, McIntosh and so forth, but if you want to avoid all that, if you want to say “I want to lock the best ruckman into my side” and not deal with the questions or the worries, then Todd Goldstein is the man you’re looking for. Technically he was the 2nd ranked Ruckman in 2013, with Will Minson recording a +0.8 average, it’s so close between them you can pick either one as the best and be right.

Goldy had a standout 2013 campaign, returning to the 110+ average he had in 2011, something he wasn’t able to duplicate in 2012. Goldstein scored 16 tons in Supercoach, with a high score of 163 in Round 7, as well as a score of 158 in Round 18 against Melbourne. He averaged 12 disposals, 3 marks and 37.4 hitouts for the year, stats that saw him rank 2nd in Total Hitouts, 2nd in Hitouts per game, 9th in Supercoach Points per game, 12th in Total Supercoach Points and 17th for TOG. The Roos ran with Goldstein quite a lot last year, with him averaging 17 minutes on the ground between interchange rotations, which was ranked 1st out of all ruckman, and 4 minutes more than the next best in Will Minson. He also rucked 89% of the Roo’s centre bounces, the 2nd highest in the league and along with Minson, the only player in the league to ruck more than 80% of their team’s contests.

Some may be worried about Goldstein’s yo-yoing years, last time he averaged 113 points in Supercoach, he followed that up with a year average of 93, but I’m not too concerned about this. North look like they’ll go into 2014 with the same plan of having Goldstein ruck solo, and he’s a player who has shown he’s more than capable of carrying a massive workload in the ruck, so jump on board and expect similar scores next year if you want to lock down a top 2 ruckman for 2014.

2014 SC Projection: 108-114

SERIOUSLY CONSIDER

Drew Petrie

2012 SC Average: 94.6
2013 SC Average: 102.8
Position: FWD
Starting Price: 554.3K

As Petrie gets older I keep expecting him to start to drop off a tad. At 31 years old, not only has he not done that, but he’s actually been improving his Supercoach scores as he exits his 20’s and enters his 30’s and recorded his first ever 100+ average in Supercoach. Petrie averaged 14 disposals (at a career high 75.1% efficiency), 6 marks, 1.8 of which were contested and 2.3 of which were Marks Inside 50 as well as 2.4 I50’s, 2.9 tackles and 48.19 at an accuracy of 71.6%, which for the 2nd consecutive year made him the most accurate key forward in the AFL. Overall, Petrie ranked 11th in Goals, 13th in Goals per game, 4th in Total Contested Marks, 11th in Contested Marks per game, 15th for Marks Inside 50 per game, and 2nd in TOG% per game.

One notable stat for Petrie is his scores in wins compared to his scores, with Petrie averaging +39 in wins compared to losses over the past 2 seasons, so it’s probably a good thing we expect the Roos to be a good side in 2014! He also averages 8.4 score involvements per game in wins, compared to 4.8 in losses, which probably shows you how important his goal kicking has been the past 2 years. Petrie had 11 tons in 2013, which was equal 3rd with Jarryd Roughead (with Dangerfield and Martin ranked 1st and 2nd) for forwards. He also had 4 sub 70 point games, but as we know with KPF, this isn’t out of the ordinary and other players like Roughead, Cloke, Franklin and JJ Kennedy recorded 4 or more sub 70 games last year.

Petrie will be the 4th most expensive forward in Supercoach for 2014, but he’ll be a solid pick for the year. He may be a bit inconsistent at times, but he also has the advantage of being an ironman, apart from 2010 when he only played 2 games due to a foot injury he has played 21 or more games every year since 2003.

2014 SC Projection: 95-101

Nick Dal Santo

2012 SC Average: 101.8
2013 SC Average: 97.5
Position: MID
Starting Price: 525.7K

Breakups are often hard, but they happen for a reason and in the end, it’s usually best for both parties to move on on good terms. This is exactly the situation Nick Dal Santo and the Saints found themselves, with Dal Santo signing with the Roos in the off-season, and the Saints deciding not to match the contract, something they were able to do since NDS was a restricted free agent, as they focus on the rebuilding of their playing list. The Magnificent Mad Irishman has already had a look at Nicky Dal in his “Turncoat” series of columns, an article I highly suggest you go read if you’re interested in NDS for your 2014 Supercoach side.

For the first time since 2002 NDS saw his average dip below the 100 point mark, a fair drop from his glory years between 2009 and 2011 where he averaged between 115, 112 and 119 points. There was a reason for this happening though, as NDS found himself as the most tagged midfielder for the Saints in 2013, and he was eventually moved towards the back half of the field to help counteract this. For the year he averaged 24.8 disposals, 3.5 marks, 2.3 I50’s, 3.5 clearances and 3.2 tackles for the year. While his disposals and marks increased from his 2012 averages, his contested possession rate fell from 45.8% in 2012 to only 36.3% in 2013, while also noting decreases in clearances and tackles, something that can be attributed to him playing more across half back later in the year.

Moving to the Kangaroos though should help him get back to being a 100+ point player in Supercoach. Teams usually show a preference for trying to shutdown a player like Brent Harvey (and it’s easy to see why when you go and look at his win/loss point differential), so NDS should go into 2014 as no longer being the oppositions #1 target to be tagged, which will prove to be an absolute boon for his Supercoach scores.

While I’m not expecting him to get back to the heights of his St. Kilda days, he should settle someone in between there and his form last year and at 525K, will make a very solid selection (and probably a decent POD) for your Supercoach midfield.

2014 SC Projection: 100-106

Brent Harvey

2012 SC Average: 95.5
2013 SC Average: 104.1
Position: MID/FWD
Starting Price: 561.3

Much like Drew Petrie, here’s another guy I have expected to start showing a dropoff in form as he gets older, but Harvey seems determined to make his age irrelevant, as he still performs at an entirely high standard despite his age of 35. Harvey’s average of 104.1 was his highest return since 2008 when he averaged 112, and is his 4th highest recorded Supercoach average in his career. Harvey had averages of 24.1 disposals, 4.7 marks, 5 I50’s, 2.3 clearances, 2.7 tackles and kicked 19.9 along with 20 goal assists and 35 score assists for the 2013 season. The 5 inside 50’s was a career high for Harvey, and his kicking into the forward 50 was also a league best, with the Roos retaining possession 67% of the time Harvey delivered it into that zone, which was a full 9% higher than the next highest average. And it’s not just into the forward 50 that Harvey excelled at delivering the ball, it was over the entire ground, as he was ranked 1st out of the top 150 ball winners and had the 3rd best kicking retention out of any player who played 6+ games.

Much like Petrie, he had a large point differential in wins compared to losses, with a +32 point differential in wins compared to losses, a sign that if you can restrict Petrie and Harvey, the Roos as a whole suffer. There’s that old saying “Age shall not weary them”, something that doesn’t usually apply to football players, but we can make Harvey an exception to that rule. I don’t think he’ll slow down at all next season and you shouldn’t have any hesitations in picking him in your Supercoach side next year.

2014 SC Projection: 98-104

Jack Ziebell

2012 SC Average: 81.1
2013 SC Average: 95.5
Position: MID
Starting Price: 513.6K

If there is anyone in the Roos midfield who gets let off the chain due to the addition of Dal Santo, I reckon it’ll be this guy right here. 2013 was a career year for Ziebell with averages of 21.1 disposals (11 of which were contested), 3.7 marks, 3.6 I50’s, 5.2 clearances, 5.4 tackles and 20.8 goals for the year with an average 1.1 per game. Ziebell was a contested machine last year; he averaged the 2nd most centre clearances in the league and recorded the 5th best clearance differential in the top 50 attendees. His contested possession rate of 52.5% was the 9th highest percentage of the top 200 possession winners and during these possessions was under the equal 5th most pressure out of the top 100 ball winners. This pressure caused his retention rate to fall, recording a retention rate of only 60% of his disposals, which was 3rd lowest.

One issue that Ziebell has had is his TOG. He averaged the 4th fewest minutes on the ground between interchange stints, with him being sent to the interchange bench 11.6 times per game, which led the league. Now that there is an interchange cap in place, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Ziebell brought on and off that much anymore, which means he’ll either spend more time on field in the guts, or he’ll be rotated forward ala Patrick Dangerfield which means he’ll potentially see his goal tally for the year creep past the 30 mark. Either way, the more time he spends on the field, the more opportunity he has to score points!

I’m predicting Ziebell is going to climb past the 100 point average for the first time in his career, and he’s at a reasonable price of 513K as well. A few may go for Beams/Murphy who are slightly cheaper and have runs on the board, but I don’t see why you can’t have 2 or all 3 of those players in your midfield at the beginning of 2014.

2014 SC Projection: 102-108

Andrew Swallow

2012 SC Average: 109.4
2013 SC Average: 101.3
Position: MID
Starting Price: 546.4K

Swallow’s return of 101.3 was his lowest average since 2009 when he posted a year average of 98.8 points. He actually started off the year in terrific form, and posted a near identical average to his 2012 scores, averaging 108.5 between Round 1-13. His next 5 games were slightly down though, with only 1 score above 100, a 101 against the Lions in Rd 16, as well as 3 scores in the 70’s (one of these was due to injury however). Overall between Rounds 1-6 he ranked equal 7th for scores by midfield players, but from round 7 onwards only ranked 29th. Then in Round 18 against the Demons, Swallow suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon, which ended his year. Overall for the season, Swallow averaged 23.8 disposals, 3.3 marks, 2.8 I50’s, 6.2 clearances and 6.3 tackles and ranked 4th in clearances, 5th for tackles and 9th for contested possessions.

Swallow still hasn’t returned to full training duties yet, but the Roos hope to have him ready to go for Round 1. While I recommend not picking Swallow in your starting side since he’ll still be catching up a bit, keep your eyes on his form during the year. He’s starting off nearly fully priced at 546K since he played 17 games for the year and hasn’t received an injury discount. If he starts off slowly his price will likely fall quite a bit and he could be a fantastic upgrade option around the bye rounds, much like Joel Selwood was last year. If he can get fully fit, I don’t see why Swallow can’t repeat his average, especially over the 2nd half of the season once he gets some games under his belt.

2014 SC Projection: 102-108

Shaun Atley

2012 SC Average: 71.1
2013 SC Average: 73.3
Position: DEF
Starting Price: 394.2K

This time last year Atley was one we were looking at as a potential breakout player for the Roos. And while that failed to eventuate, he is still a guy who could do so this year; it all depends on where the Roos play him. Atley had averages of 17.6 disposals, 4.8 marks, 2.9 rebound 50’s, and 2.3 tackles. Always a good user of the ball, the Roos retained possession from 80% of his possessions, which ranked 1st out of the top 100 metre gained players in the AFL (I swear Champion Data can pull up a stat for anything sometimes).

Atley sits firmly in the same position as someone like Brodie Smith for the Crows does in 2014 (Or any player we label as a “breakout” contender). If they are once again stuck roaming around the back half of the field, don’t bother with them because they’ll likely put up the same sort of 75-80 scores again. If they get pushed further up the ground to the wings, then definitely give them some consideration. Keep your eyes on where he plays in the NAB Cup, but know selecting him is the normal “breakout” role of the dice risk.

2014 SC Projection: 76-82

Lachie Hansen

2012 SC Average: 62.2
2013 SC Average: 73.0
Position: DEF
Starting Price: 393.5K

Primarily used as a forward throughout his career, Hansen began the year in the same role, but was dropped after Round 4 after only kicking 5 goals over that period with a Supercoach average of 51.25. After he was brought back in Round 7, he switched ends of the ground, and was moved down back where he began to show some really good form as a loose, intercepting player. His average of 73 is slightly deceptive, because it includes a 0 he scored against Melbourne which was due to him suffering a concussion 4 minutes into the game, as well as a 10 he scored against the Gold Coast where he was subbed off at half time due to terrible weather conditions that weren’t suited to big men. If we removed those 2 games, his Round 10-23 average sits at 93.18, while averaging 10 marks per game, and he grabbed 10+ marks in 9 of those 11 games.

Overall for the season, Hansen averaged 16.7 disposals, 7.9 marks, 1.9 rebound 50’s, 2.7 spoils and 1.3 tackles. After his move down back, he usually didn’t play on a direct opponent, only spending 50+ minutes on an opponent once. He ranked 2nd at the Roos for intercept possessions (behind Scott D. Thompson) and 2nd in the AFL in intercept marks with 44, behind Brian Lake. And Brian Lake may very well be a good comparison for Hansen’s Supercoach potential. We saw back in 2008 and 2009 the kind of scores Lake could produce when he was at the Bulldogs and was marking everything that came into the defensive 50.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Coach Scott continues to use Hansen down back. He has previously talked about wanting to develop Hansen and Tarrant as guys he can plug at either end of the ground, but you’d think with Aaron Black showing some good form as Hansen’s forward line replacement, that they’d keep him down back. Hansen will be an interesting pick for you in 2014; he comes with some risk, but has some nice looking potential in his scores.

2014 SC Projection: 84-90

Scott D. Thompson

2012 SC Average: 87.8
2013 SC Average: 98.2
Position: DEF
Starting Price: 529.4K

Scott D. Thompson or “No, the one who plays for North Melbourne” as I usually have to refer to him as had a terrific 2013 which saw him named for the very first time in the All-Australian squad. An elite intercept player, he averaged career highs in a number of categories, recording averages of 19.6 disposals, 6.5 marks (2.1 of which were intercept marks), 4.2 rebound 50’s, 4.6 spoils and 2.2 tackles. It wasn’t just intercept possessions where Thompson dominated, he was also a terrific one-on-one defender, defending the 22nd most one-on-one contests in the league and only lost 18% of them, the 4th best record of the top 30 defenders. Also in players Champion Data rank as “key defenders” Thompson ranked 1st, recording the most disposals and contested possessions and equal 1st in intercept possessions.

It wasn’t just keeping his direct opponent to only 26 goals for the year that Thompson produced either. He created plenty of offence for the Roos launching the ball out of the back half, with the Roos recording 169 points from his intercept possessions, which was 1st in the AFL.

Thompson was probably an underutilised player in Supercoach last year, and very well might be again in 2014 due to the Walker, McVeigh and Mitchell additions to the defence. I think last years scores will probably be around the peak of what Thompson will average, but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for him to bump it up into the 100’s. A likely POD pick for your back 6 if you decide to add him to your side.

2014 SC Projection: 90-96

Daniel Wells

2012 SC Average: 99.0
2013 SC Average: 96.1
Position: MID
Starting Price: 518.5K

It was more of the same from Wells in 2013, that same being some terrific football, Wells averaged 21.3 disposals, 3.6 marks, 4.6 I50’s, 4.5 clearances, 2.4 goals and 25.10 for the year. A very durable player, Wells has played 82 of the Roos past 89 games; durability is something we love to see in Supercoach players. Wells went of a bit of a goal kicking tear in the final 8 rounds of the year, kicking 17 goals in that period, a number which is equal to the most amount of goals he’s kicked for the entire year over the previous 3 seasons, and boosted his Round 17-23 average to 102. If we remove Round 7 against the Bulldogs where he surprisingly started as the sub, his year average is boosted a tad to 99.3

Wells is probably going to be slightly down on your Roo priority list below someone like Nick Dal Santo, however he’s a durable and solid player, one you’ll be able to plug into your midfield and get some solid scores from until you can upgrade him at the end of the year to an elite midfielder.

2014 SC Projection: 96-102

Leigh Adams

2012 SC Average: 82.7
2013 SC Average: 79.4
Position: MID/FWD
Starting Price: 428.5K

Like Wells above, Adams is another one who’s posted very similar numbers over the past 3 seasons, with 2013 averages of 18 disposals, 3.7 marks, 3.4 I50’s, 1.7 clearances and 3.3 tackles. An encouraging sign was how his form improved as the season progressed, as his Round 1-8 average was 70, Round 9-16 average was 81 and his Round 17-23 average improved to 93.

His year average was his lowest since 2010, but he did average 85.3 and 89.9 in 2010/2011, numbers he has the ability to hit again I think. Adams should be disregarded as a midfield selection as he doesn’t have enough scoring potential compared to other players there, but he’d make a decent selection in your forward line if you’re strapped for cash and can’t afford a guy who is 100K more expensive (like Brent Harvey!). Like Wells he should score well enough throughout the year that you can keep him on field and then upgrade him to whomever is firing towards the end of the year.

2014 SC Projection: 82-88

Ryan Bastinac

2012 SC Average: 76.2
2013 SC Average: 93.0
Position: MID
Starting Price: 501.9K

It was a terrific 4th year for Ryan Bastinac, posting an improvement of 16.8 points over his 2012 average. And he did it averaging fewer possessions than 2012, going from 22.7 disposals in 2012, to 21.3 disposals in 2013. The biggest reasons for his improved scores was his contested possession count went from 27.1% in 2012 to 40.7% in 2013, as well as posting improvements in clearances, from 1.8 in 2012 to 3.5 in 2013, as well as boosting his goal scoring from 12.13 in 2012 to 20.16 in 2013. It’s a positive sign to see for a young player that he improved his scores by doing more with the ball when he has it, rather than just relying on getting more of the ball in general.

Bastinac pushed forwards a bit more often in 2013, he won 47% of his possessions in the forward half, compared to only 9% in 2012 and won 30 half forward intercept possessions, which was ranked 1st at the Roos. Bastinac managed to average over 100 points for a period, his Round 1-8 average was 80, then improved his Round 9-16 average to 104 before settling down to an Round 17-23 average of 97. Bastinac posted some terrific scores in his Round 9-16 peak period, apart from a score of 47 against the Suns, which again going back to Hansen was played in terrible, wet conditions, he had scores of 125 against the Saints in Rd 10, 121 against the Dockers in Rd 13, 137 against the Giants in Rd 14 and 119 against the Tigers in Rd 15, as well as scores of 111 against the Cats in Rd 2 and 145 against the Magpies in Rd 23. There are some good teams in that lot, so it’s not like he was beating up on teams like the Saints and GWS only.

There’s a few who think this kid can step up to become an elite midfielder next year, I’m not sure if I’ll go that far, but he definitely should post an improvement on his 2013.

2014 SC Projection: 98-104

Ben Cunnington

2012 SC Average: 77.2
2013 SC Average: 95.8
Position: MID
Starting Price: 516.7K

Another 500K priced midfielder for the Kangaroos, like Bastinac, Cunnington took a big step forward to become an excellent Supercoach player, posing an 18.6 point improvement on his 2012 averages. Cunnington was a clearance machine in 2013, averaging 7.2 clearances per game, which was 4th in the league, to go along with his 21.1 disposals (13.2 of which were contested), 2.7 marks, 4.8 tackles and 14.3 goals. He also recorded the highest contested possession rate of any midfielder who played 5+ games in 2013. Because he won most of his possessions in contests, his retention rate suffered a bit, averaging the 14th worst retention rate of the top 80 ball winners.

While his early season form was only OK, averaging 86 points between Rounds 1-8, he really began to shine after that, averaging 102 from Round 9 onwards. He also formed an excellent tandem with Todd Goldstein, as they were ranked as the 2nd best ruck-rover combination in the league and Cunnington ranked equal 3rd in gathers from hitouts (JPK was 1st and Priddis was 2nd).

As I said before, the Roos have more than a few legitimate midfield options all around the 500-525K mark and it’ll be a tough choice picking between them. I’d tend to rank Cunnington higher as he wins clearances and contested ball, things that are big boosters to Supercoach scores, and one only needs to look at how other players like Priddis and Josh P Kennedy have scored previously to see how much potential he holds.

2014 SC Projection: 100-106

Aaron Mullett

2012 SC Average: 52.2
2013 SC Average: 77.8
Position: DEF
Starting Price: 419.7K

Mullett blew the doors off the place in his first 3 weeks of football in 2013, with scores of 103, 122 and 94 for a 3 round average of 106.3. It was a short patch of excellent form however with Mullett only managing to score 100+ 2 more times for the year. Overall Mullett averaged 18.8 disposals, 4.5 marks, 3.6 rebound 50’s and 1.6 tackles, all of which were career highs, so he did have an improved season overall. Won the majority of his ball on the outside, averaging 12.4 or 74.8% of his possessions as uncontested, he proved that in Round 19 when he recorded 32 of his 32 possessions as uncontested.

Mullett liked to take risks at times last year, committing 76 turnovers for the year, which was the 4th most at the Roos, but 32% of his turnovers resulted in the opposition scoring, which was 11% above the team average. I’m not expecting huge things from Mullett in 2014, but he’s only 22 so he’ll likely have some natural progression to him game, which should allow him to improve his scores and become a more consistent player. If he can work on his decision making and committing less turnovers, that’ll help his potential Supercoach scores as well. You’ll usually start taking risks when picking in defence around the 400K mark, so this one might only be for those who want to take a risk or a POD and with Shaun Atley around the same price, many might go in that direction instead.

2014 SC Projection: 80-86

Luke McDonald

2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: N/A
Position: DEF/MID
Starting Price: 182.3K

Luke McDonald was drafted to the Kangaroos as a father/son selection during this years AFL draft. The Roos committed to selecting him at the tail end of 2012, and so were granted special permission by the AFL to allow McDonald to play with Werribee in the VFL. He played 15 games there last year, with averages of 16 disposals playing across half back. He missed 4 games for Werribee while playing in the AFL Under-18 Championships, averaging 20 disposals, with an efficiency of 82.5%, which was the highest of the 21 players to average 20 or more disposals per game during the U18 Championships. He couldn’t replicate that kind of efficiency in the VFL however, recording an efficiency % of 68.3%.

Still, as the 17 year old mini draft picks in O’Meara and Crouch showed last year, having a years experience playing against mature bodied players can do wonders for a players development and makes the transition to AFL football a tad bit easier. While we’ll have to pay slightly more than usual for McDonald, there aren’t a ton of obvious rookie options available down back at the moment; he’s looking like a potential goer if he’s named for Round 1 until there’s some more options available.

2014 SC Projection: 60-66

SKIP EM

Ben Jacobs

2012 SC Average: 57.8
2013 SC Average: 48.3
Position: MID
Starting Price: 260.4K

2013 wasn’t the year many hoped or expected from Jacobs after leaving Port Adelaide in 2012. Not only did he play a career low 7 games, he also produced a career low in nearly every statistical category and most importantly to us, a career low in Supercoach points. Still, he was either sub/subbed off in 4 of his 7 games, so he’d never set the world on fire under those conditions. In his 7 games he put up averages of 12.1 possessions, 1.1 marks, 1.7 clearances and 1.9 tackles. He also played 12 games in the VFL where he averaged 24 possessions, 5 tackles and 4 clearances, but was let down by some poor kicking during that time.

While Jacobs should post improvements on his 2013 averages if he gets some consistent game time, there are plenty of other options that are cheaper, who’ll also have higher scoring potential to them. I’ll be skipping considering Jacobs in 2014.

2014 SC Projection: 60-66

Robin Nahas

2012 SC Average: 70.2
2013 SC Average: 39.3
Position: FWD
Starting Price: 212.2K

Robin Nahas joins the Roos as a delisted free agent after the Roos narrowly missed out on adding Eddie Betts to their side. And while Nahas is no Eddie Betts, the Roos didn’t have to break the bank to grab him and he did kick 29 and 34 goals in 2010 and 2011, so it’s not like he’s a complete spud.

Nahas could only get the 6 games with the improving Tigers last year, 5 of them coming between Rounds 1-9 and the other against the Lions in Rd 20. Nahas didn’t exactly start the year on fire, being named as sub for round 1 and was heavily criticised for his uninterested body language while he was wearing the green vest on the interchange bench. His best game for the year came against Essendon in Round 9 when he was a late replacement for Brandon Ellis and he had 16 disposals, 7 marks, a goal, 4 tackles, 6 I50’s and 3 frees for. Even after all that he only produced a score of 66 and was immediately back into the VFL the week after.

While he is cheap and he has produced a season of decent small forward scores before in 2011 when he averaged 86.3, I don’t see Nahas reaching those heights again in 2014 and he isn’t even guaranteed a spot in the 22 at this stage. If you really want to go small you’ve got options aplenty at that price range with Jed Lamb, Gary Rohan, Troy Menzel and Ben Kennedy all available for selection.

2014 SC Projection: 58-64

Lindsey Thomas

2012 SC Average: 74.1
2013 SC Average: 71.6
Position: FWD
Starting Price: 386.2K

Sometimes you gotta separate what happens on the football field and your Supercoach team. I know that sounds crazy, but Lindsey Thomas is a perfect example of that rule. Out on the field he’s one of the best small forwards going around. But in Supercoach? Averages in the 60’s and 70’s for the majority of his career. Normally you’d be looking at a guy who kicked 53 goals in 2013 as a good buy, but it also included in his year stats were 10.6 disposals, 2.7 marks, 2.5 I50’s, and 2.7 tackles. Supercoach often favours what we call “accumulators”, those that get a ton of the ball and do good things with it. Unfortunately, LT doesn’t fit into this category. Skip him for 2014, but watch him when the Roo’s are playing and enjoy the show he’ll put on.

2014 SC Projection: 70-76

Daniel Currie

2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: N/A
Position: RUCK
Starting Price: 123.9K

Dan Currie must have the worst luck in the world when it comes to the teams he plays for. He was drafted in 2006, and with 5 years with the Swans he couldn’t get a game, always trapped behind the likes of Mumford, Pyke and Seaby on the depth chart. He came down to North Adelaide to play in the SANFL and showed that he’s good enough to play with the bigboys in the AFL. Then he gets drafted by North Melbourne, a side that doesn’t run with multiple ruckman, and also has one of the top 2 ruckman in the competition. He played all of last year in the VFL, and that’s probably where he’ll find himself next season too.

Currie recently re-signed with North Melbourne until 2015, and said that he was told that Coach Scott believed he had a place in the side, but now with an interchange cap in place, I think the Roos will once again go with Goldy as their man and run with him non-stop.

Many people will still go in with Currie in their sides just because there aren’t a plethora of cheap ruck options around that might get a game, so I can understand why people will select him (I may do so as well), but unless Goldstein goes down with an injury, I wouldn’t be betting the house on Currie playing this year. If Goldstein does go down long term, then jump on this guy, but until that happens, Currie will only be putting up stats in the minor leagues in 2014.

2014 SC Projection: 70-76 (if he plays)

SMOKIES

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

Trent Dumont -MID – 117.3K
Taylor Garner - FWD – 159.1K
Kieran Harper - FWD – 210.4K

And that’s it for the North Melbourne Kangaroos. Lots of interesting options available this year, some risky, some are solid picks. Anyone from the Roos that is ticking your buying bone, or what a question or comment? Whack it in the section below, or send us some mail on the twitters: @BarronVonCrow

 

Barron Von Crow

 

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Comments (88)

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  1. Pieman1978 says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of these blokes punch above. And I’m certain 1 or 2 will smash it. Adding NDS will take some focus off some. The question is who to go with. Awesome work again BVC. Are you talking to any clubs about a scouting role. The Pies gave a recruiter the ass today. Maybe they’ve got you in mind. Keep up the gold

    • Absolutely reckon there will be 1 or 2 that breakout. I'm currently flip flopping on Cunnington and Bastinac. Currently have Cunnington in at the moment.

      Nah, no AFL sides have come knocking yet, Jock keeps me pretty busy as is! Collingwood will be OK without me though, they've got Matthew Rendell down there, he'll keep that ship running fine.

    • throttlefinger says:

      Agree Pieman. Lots to choose, which could be a boon or plague depending on their form. Think the additions and luck will be on their side this year. Leaning towards Cunnington. Considering Atley. Not sure.

  2. throttlefinger says:

    Delightfully thorough and splendidly detailed as always, Barron. Much to choose and not any clear cut picks. Started with Petrie but more of an emotional pick as I just like the way he plays. Leaning toward Cunnington. Things he does well are the things that earn strong SC scores.

  3. Pete says:

    Like Cunnington and Atley for POD's

    • Atley will be a tough one to measure at this stage since his improvement likely depends on his midfield time. If he's stuck in the same role again, then he'll be like Brodie Smith and probably won't be worth the cash. Will have to wait and see how NAB Cup looks.

      • ShinbonerSpirit says:

        Chances are he's going to play off half-back. A large majority of our forward ventures began at half-back, and to have a man with such explosive speed to play there… well, it's a great asset to the club. Unless he becomes an accumulator a la Birchall, his game won't be overly SC friendly.

        • Yea, he sounds exactly the same as Brodie Smith, who also has been earmarked as moving into the midfield (especially with VB being injured), but you lose so much speed back there with him gone, and apart from Henderson, the Crows back 6 is dead slow, so I kinda expect to see him back there again next year.

  4. Jono says:

    great article BVC I think ill go with Currie and even if he doesnt get a game he is a nice loophole option so he is in my team but rucks are so hard this year!!

    Hoping to bring in swallow later on! I think he will go big towards the end of the season

  5. ShinbonerSpirit says:

    Some very comprehensive analyses BVC – wonderful job! Goldstein's price may be a little difficult to stomach, but in Goldy, you're getting a ruckman producing midfielder scores. Lachie Hansen is the one I have my eye on. Should continue his Brian Lake role of last year, especially with the plethora of talls we possess at present time.

    In other news, it's great that SC has restored the scrolling function on the player selection screen.

    • Jono says:

      Yes the scroll is back!!!

    • throttlefinger says:

      Huzzah. Too many page reloads. Need to work on keeping all player info and data on an overlay so you don't leave the team selection page. Easy thing to do.

    • SCaddict says:

      TGFT!

      • taylorwoof says:

        Brilliant!!!! THE SCROLL!!!

        The people spoke, Herald Sun listened….common sense prevailed for once. "Tip the hat to them".

    • Cheers Shinboner, hope I got everything right for your Roos.

      I did have 1 team with Goldstein in it, but it was a slightly more riskier team as I had replaced Watson for Mitch Grigg in order to upgrade McIntosh to Goldstein. So if Grigg pays off and hits a 90 average it'll probably be be worth it.

      And I really liked Hansen last year once he got moved down back, he's very tempting at that price.

  6. Bailey says:

    Great article BVC! I think McDonald is the only one I’ll be getting but it’s always great to read one of your articles!

    • Thanks Bailey,

      I've got 1 Roo in my squad at the moment, still back and forth on McDonald and Kolodjashnij for my D6 spot at the moment.

      • Daniel Beales says:

        I have this exact problem. Do i choose McDonald or Kolodjasnij?! I think from lasts years North side, with the Delaneys and Will Sierakowski struggling to break into that back line, short of someone losing a leg. I just dont see him busting into that side in 2014. (and even if he did, it wouldnt be a round 1 start) So if Kolo has some job security about him, spend the extra coin

  7. SCaddict says:

    Barron or Shinboner (or anyone else)….

    Where is Liam Anthony at with his footy?

    Less than 18 months ago he averaged over 90pts a game but you would barely know he was on the Kangas list anymore.

    Do you expect him to be a non factor for SC in 2014?

    • taylorwoof says:

      Only reason i can see why he isn't getting game is because of his disposal.

      I was watching Geelong v North Round 2 from last yr on Fox Footy the other night. Anthony played, seemed to find enough of the ball….though his disposal was questionable at times (kicks dropping short).

      Looking at his stats for that match (his first for 2013 season) he had 23 disposals with 80 SC points. On face value that seems solid. Though he was dropped for Round 3. Returned as the sub for Round 4 & 5. Then only to reappear for one more game in 2013, being Round 13. Clearly out of favour. North do like that precise passing style of game….perhaps Anthony doesn't fit into it with his poor kicking efficiency?

      I will keep an eye on him during the NAB series, to see how he's looking and whether his skills have improved.

    • He has been good in the past, but i'd likely expect to see him on the fringe of the best 22. Added NDS, as well as Atley maybe moving into the midfield. Maybe if Gibson is injured? Or they may give him games at the start if Swallow isn't ready for Rd 1, but Swallow shouldn't be too far from deputing by then, so he probably would only get 3-4 games again.

      Anyway, at 239K you'd only be picking him to be a POD as there's plenty of other options who will likely play all 22 at that price.

    • ShinbonerSpirit says:

      He's on the outer looking in. Can barely get a game in anymore, despite his good form in the VFL with North Ballarat. The acquisition of Dal Santo won't have helped. I did consider him in my team at one point, but one thing I came across was his inability to find contested ball. Agree with the Barron here, there are more reliable options at that price.

  8. Stew says:

    Anyone having trouble logging onto the supercoach site?

    • matt says:

      use google chrome as your browser and it should fix it.

    • dustbin feltchers says:

      yes, i still can't log in, invalid password or username apparently…even though i could log in a week ago and tinker with my trial team (i had supercoach gold)…what's going on Supercoach???

      • dustbin feltchers says:

        hey stew…click on the forgotten password? and type in your email address…they will send u a new temporaty password, then u can log in…good luck

        • Jack says:

          Yes, that is exactly what I had to do. Seriously way to difficult to join. They need to make it much easier or people will give up and the overall number of players will be drastically down.

  9. SCannonymous says:

    I have Currie as my fourth ruck in the event that Goldstein goes down.
    While not a great user of the ball at times, I Ziebell is in my team at the moment. I expect he will step up and produce some very good scores this year. I like Cunnington and Atley also, but don't have either at this stage.

    • throttlefinger says:

      Barron's pearls (along with getting to the roos page in the prospectus) has opened my eyes to Cunnington. Going back and forth. With the Roos favorable season draw and the additions, think he could go gangbusters. See if greater wisdoms on the matter awaits.

      Want to see what Currie does in NAB, SCannonymous. Have Thurlow (Belly out and DDP) and Nankervis at the moment. But have had Currie in there at times.

  10. taylorwoof says:

    Superb report BVC! Out done yourself this time mate.

    Plethora of information there! So many North players to digest.

    Surely 1-2 jump out of the rough this season.

    • SCaddict says:

      Probably even more. Only question is who they will be.

    • Cheers taylorwoof

      Yea, there has to be 1-2, which actually makes it kinda difficult to pick North players this year since they have 4-5 guys who you could legitimately say have a real chance of doing breaking out. So now we just gotta hone it down to ID those 2 who look like really going far.

      Brent Harvey has been talking up Shaun Atley and Ben Cunnington too

      "Harvey declared midfielders Ben Cunnington and Shaun Atley as the pair who had most impressed him in the build-up to the 2014 AFL season.

      "I feel guilty leaving a couple out, but Ben Cunnington and Shaun Atley have taken the next step," Harvey said.

      "Their training has been absolutely elite and I think they're just starting to recognise their positions in the football club. Not just a player trying to get a game every week, but seeing things they didn't previous see in their leadership as being taken to the next level.

      "I think we're going to see improvement in those types of guys, the blokes around them of the same age, same games."

      • throttlefinger says:

        After having a day to digest the Barron's exquisite findings (and reviewing prospectus data on the Roos), considering slotting in Cunnington, Atley and Goldy. Last one I'm hesitant at the price yet combined with Sandi I think will be a nice combo. There is no mystery around Goldy's skills or, more important, that he will or won't be their #1 ruck.

        • SCannonymous says:

          Hey TF, if you have Goldy, do you think Currie is a worthy bench ruck as insurance or is Majak a more likely replacement? Clearly Majak is still learning the game to some extent, but if he doesn't make an impact this year, I'm not sure if he's going to?_Atley is becoming hard to overlook, but I'm still sticking with B.Smith at this stage (I think assured midfield time), but it wouldn't take much for me to buckle.

          • throttlefinger says:

            Not big on Currie to be honest, SCanny. Daw was good last year due to the cheap price. He won't be relevant. Thinking more on Thurlow and Nankervis. Or backing Sandi with Longer as the R3. Thurlow will get time with Bellchambers out, I'm pretty sure. Nankervis is an advanced rook and the Swans will need some ruck support this year. At least that's my ruck reserves reasoning.

            If you're still into Currie, I'd keep a keen eye on him during NAB. See if his form hasn't slipped. Goldy is an ironman (most minutes for rucks) so wouldn't hold out for that.

            I'm not 100% on Atley but I'm liking the price in terms of the potential. I'm not planning on jumping in with more than 1 $500K def. Just Mitchell. Use guys like Atley and/or Buntine as upgrade material. With Kolo and McD being $180+ will take longer to get that upgrade moola.

            • taylorwoof says:

              Can i delve into your mind Throttle, and please ask what kind of structure you're looking at in defense?

              Only going in with 1 x 500K player. On top of this are you looking at a couple of 400-450's, or 3 x 300-350's?

              I had Bartel, Mitchell & Hodge set, but beginning to re-think this. My current team has dropped Bartel. Some may throw up a little in their mouths when i speak of his name, but i'm considering Jack Grimes (436K) as D3.

              • throttlefinger says:

                Right now here's where I'm at on the back line, T-woof: S. Mitchell, Houli, Adcock, Atley, Buntine, L. McD (Fuller, rook)

                Thinking is that most will do the Bartel, Mitch, Hodge/MdV and Suckling combo. I'm rolling with my guts that Atley and Buntine will go up and Bartel and McV/Hodge will go down for a nice swap. Like their prices and think they both can break out this season. Suckling I like and may put in Atley's spot if he looks strong in NAB. Just don't see someone starting that fast coming off that sort of injury. Considered Grimes or Dunn from the Dees as well.

                • ShinbonerSpirit says:

                  Nice Adcock pick TF! Has a history of starting the year with bang before slowing down midseason. He could be your route to a McVeigh, the same way John Bruyn used Cloke.

                  • throttlefinger says:

                    Man, I hope so Shinboner. Just think this year you have to think outside the Guns 'n' rook. And the more you look, guys like Adcock, B. Ellis and even Chappy look like fast lanes to upgrades, strong scores and nice PODs.

                    • ShinbonerSpirit says:

                      With all the money you're saving there, where is it all going? The midfield, forward line or ruck?

                    • throttlefinger says:

                      Well, not saving that much as I only have 3 rooks total in the back line. Have 2 rooks in starting mids and 2 starting in the forwards. McEvoy and Sandi in rucks. Only $600K+ is Gazza.

                      Liking how it's shaping up. Risks yet trying to mitigate with easy outs if need be. But the Def structure I'm sorta digging. How's your team shaping up, Shinboner?

                    • throttlefinger says:

                      But going back and forth with Atley and Hurn. Less of a risk with Hurn and could jump off strong with Dogs, Dees and Saints start.

                    • taylorwoof says:

                      Thanks Throttle! I appreciate you sharing your selections. Nice POD's in Adcock & Houli you have there!

                      You're right re the common DEF combo you mentioned there….quite a few teams will be running with that. I started off with that exact combo, yet beginning to look for an alternative. Been thinking most of the DEF/MID's are at 'top dollar', so may not be so wise to dive into 3-4 of them now.

                      Swapped Bartel to Grimes the other day, now sitting on: Mitchell, Hodge, Grimes, Suckling, McDonald, Fuller at present…..but it doesn't sit right at the moment. Suckling obviously in there with a 'Big NAB Watch' beside his name.

                      Hurn has been one i've looked at quite a few times. Soft Eagles draw and Beau Waters out injured…..surely plenty of footy across half back with be going via Shannon Hurn.

                    • throttlefinger says:

                      That's why Hurn I may swap Hurn for Houli or pay a little more and swap him for Atley. Not sure.

                      Really interested to see how Roos has these guys play. Grimes and Watts in particular. My hope is that I have D1-D5 figured out before NAB.

                    • ShinbonerSpirit says:

                      Gaz, Jobe and Goldy are my $600k+ players. I went with the expensive ruck structure last year, shelling out almost $600k for Cox – that went well, so I'm walking down the same route this time 'round with Big Todd.

                      I expect to have only 7 of my current players (possibly 8 depending on form) remaining in my squad entering finals. I've opted for the POD route, with Ellis, Hansen and Darling in my squad, and Broadbent, Michael Talia and Gaff trying to squeeze their way into the lineup.

                    • throttlefinger says:

                      Love the Talia and Darling choices, Shinboner! Given serious thought on both. Like the thought of Gaff but he'd have to show me much in R1. I swapped out Daisy so I could have Ellis at M6. Gaz, K-Jack, Libba, Cunnington and Beams are before. Pretty happy with this list. But Jobe is a safe yet inspired choice. Toyed with him but he's on my upgrade list after Pendles.

                      Goldy and Minson are still being considered. Like McEvoy because I think he could put up their level numbers. Had a strong start last year and put up big numbers with lowly Saints. Playing on the flag winners could bring out the beast in him. Plus save $100K. Worth a risk.

                    • ShinbonerSpirit says:

                      Libba also features on my team – he's going to average 110+, mark my words.

                    • throttlefinger says:

                      Agree. Doesn't rely on goals for his big points. What I like about Cunnington, too

                    • taylorwoof says:

                      My thinking with Jack Grimes is, Melbourne have added depth to their skinny midfield during the off season (Vince, Cross, Tyson, Michie & Riley). This should enable Roos to release Grimes back his best position at half back (best scoring position as well). Here's hoping…….

                    • throttlefinger says:

                      Strong logic with Grimes, Twoof. Just listened to podcast so got me thinking about Watts.

                      Also, think I may downshift Mitchell to Hanley and drop KJack for Pendles. Why wait and he's as consistent as they come. With the captain's label now he may even go off more. KJack I love but he's no Pendles.

                      Starting to overthink a bit, huh? Ugggh. Need…NAB…to…start.

                    • taylorwoof says:

                      Hahahaha…over thinking, i'm doing plenty of that as well. Yes NAB bring….it….on! It's getting closer. Itching to see some of these rookies, plenty is hinging on them (structure wise).

                      That's not bad. Adding Pendles to your starting line up, gives you another strong captain option too.

                      At the moment i'm looking at Midfield of – Gaz, Pendles, Griffen, D.Beams, Shuey, J.Martin, Rookie, Rookie

                    • throttlefinger says:

                      Dude, I love that mid field! Especially Griffen. That could be a HUGE starting run POD.

                      Still not sold on Martin at price. Lot of nice options out there. If he's the tackling machine and clearance champ as advertised, may reconsider.

                    • taylorwoof says:

                      Cheers Throttle! I jumped on board Griffen at the right time last year, so have a soft spot for him now.
                      He loves Etihad, averaged about 116 there last year. Being priced at 116 this year, thinking he can hold that value. So sort of 'bank the pts' so to speak play with him. Doggies play 14 of 23 games there in 2014.

                    • taylorwoof says:

                      Looking at Doggies draw a little more closely. Of the first 13 rounds: 8 at Etihad + games vs Melbourne, GWS & Gold Coast.

                      Oh yeah, Jack Martin. I haven't locked him in either, thinking i'll work team out with him in there…then can always give him the boot if doesn't measure up to the hype.

                    • throttlefinger says:

                      My lord Twoof, now you have me thinking of getting Griffmonster in my side. Can't justify him AND Libba off the bat, though.

                      Fantastic…another thing to start overthinking

                    • SCannonymous says:

                      Fantastic string of thoughts.TF, ShB and Woof.

            • SCannonymous says:

              TF – you speak a lot of sense. I appreciate your insights.

              • throttlefinger says:

                Likewise, my man. You are and have helped me through a lot of my planning. Things are coming together. Like you awaiting NAB to answer the rest.

  11. Mick Klavins says:

    Hansen McDonald cunnington Mckenzie Goldstein all in my team this year!

  12. scooter says:

    I know not north related but Wats the thoughts on cam sutcliffe getting regular game time and avoiding the vest

    • SCannonymous says:

      Only my opinion – I'm a huge fan of Sutcliffe, the more I look at it the more I think I have to include him in my team. Apparently he has had a good pre-season. While they have great depth, Spurr is a couple of weeks behind Sutcliffe fitness wise and Sutcliffe has the potential to go through the mids as well. This is where depth charts would be very useful, compiled by someone who follows Freo closely. I think he's worth a shot (you can only have so many of this type in your final team though, you can't have a SC team full of potential alone). Good Luck.

  13. _Anton_Chigurh_ says:

    Scott Thompson is a no-brainer for me. If we assume Nth Melb will win more matches this year through consolidating some of those closer games, not to mention any natural improvement, then they will naturally get a higher skew of total points allocated for their games, which could be all it takes for Thompson to crack 3-digits. He also has fantastic std dev and has played nearly every game in the last 5 seasons. I think he will be in the top 3 defenders for total points scored this season, along with Mcveigh and Mitchell. Lock!

    I'm also very partial to one of: Cunnington, Ziebel, Bastinac. I will likely go Cunnington because, 1) i think he is just ready to take the next step-up and breakout and 2) i think he will be the least impacted by Dal Santo's arrival at the club. I can already picture him farming plenty of contested ball out to the running NDS, in a similar fashion to what Lenny did.

    Would love to start the big man, Goldstein and lock-in 110, each and every week (and may still) but at this stage, Grundy is a must imo and if Sandilands can average even 80 and stay fit for a few weeks, then the $300+ saving will be worth more than the 30 points a week, if it means being able to upgrade the likes of an expensive rookie with questionable JS, to a semi-premium, or a Daisy/Savage etc to a superstar (which would also save a trade)

    • Yea, Scott Thompson could be a very nice pick this year. Is overlooked by and could be a sneaky way to save yourself 50K from buying a Bartel or Walker while getting near the same output.

      I think there may be a few of us on here going for Cunnington, I like him alot too, the contested ball numbers are a real standout for him.

  14. Tom.H says:

    Thoughts on Daw?

    • I think he may be used the same way again this year. They're still developing him, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him given a few runs out for the Roos. Hard to pick him since he's not rookie priced this year, so that totally takes out the option of trading him in and making some cash off him if he gets 5-6 games in a row. Brad Scott was just talking about him a few days ago actually.

      "Scott said he was as excited as anyone about Daw's potential, but cautioned supporters who thought natural progression meant the 22-year-old should be ready to explode this season.
      ''In terms of what he is going to do, it's really hard to say. He played under duress last year,'' Scott told the AFL website.
      ''We've got a lot of work to do with him and it's been frustrating that he hasn't been able to train during the pre-season, because that is the time that we really use to work with him.''

  15. KLo says:

    Great article BVC. One thing on Jack Ziebell that you have overlooked is his history of suspensions. His attack on the ball is first class, but this has lead to lengthy suspensions, and will do so again if he hits somebody the wrong way. I'm currently weighing up the near certainty he takes his game to the next level with the risk of losing him for 3-4 matches through suspension.

    • SCannonymous says:

      It is a fair point KLo. I'm backing him to stay out of trouble. He is as fit as he's been as he has not had to content with a broken leg in the last 12 months.

    • True KLo, I did forget to mention that, but i'd hope that the coaches and Ziebell realize he's going to get pinged for being so aggressive, so he needs to tone it down just a tad. I'm sure it's very frustrating and difficult to find that sweet spot where you're still going hard, but not getting suspended for silly things though.

    • chels says:

      Draft league gold then Klo, a bit of cover for him and picking him up about round 6 or 7 is my plan.

  16. Dools says:

    You have done it again my friend, edifying read Barron with lots of tastey picks from this club
    Well done Barron Love your work mate.

    • Cheers Dools, thanks for reading!

      • Dools says:

        No Mate not reading! Payin attention. This has the mark of SC greatness all over it.

        • throttlefinger says:

          The keyboard bows to his wisdom.

          • Dools says:

            Ahh TF,
            Did you really think that N. Melmourne players should not be considered after last years abberation. Now surely lighting can't strike twice but maybe it will .
            NDS is a steal and I always thought Ziebel and Cunnington where overlooked but now I see that the Barron has exposed the lot of them so you watch the Nth Melb boys picks go berserk!
            I would like to ask what does the prospectus offer on Talia, M WBD? I have him in the backs as a D4 $405K Awkward but I think he can deliver value ?

            • throttlefinger says:

              I'll give you two stats that will give you a keen insight on this team, Dools.

              1) they finished with a ladder percentage of 119, 6th best in the league and best of any team to finish 10th or lower in AFL/VFL history.
              2) This year's draw is 16th most difficult. Be easier for lady luck to smile on them.

              Given that, the additions to the team and lessons learned, I see them finishing no lower than 5th this season, Doolser.

          • Dools says:

            You have told me nothing that was not already Known my friend, Those Stats are I think common knowledge or I already had that knowledge
            What does the prospectus say now???
            Keyboard is egging me on ..:)

            • throttlefinger says:

              Prospectus chuckles at your keyboard's mockery and snarked out something on the lines of overlook the Roos at your peril.

              That's the book talkin', Dools, not me.

  17. chels says:

    to coin a phrase IMO north are SC gold this year – hence this was one of the previews I was really looking forward to reading. You have out done yourself BVC, will keep coming back to this post all season.

    If Ziebell has improved his aerobic ability and stays away from the bump police, then for mine he is a dead set no brainer as he will be the main beneficiary of NDS's arrival. If Harper is ready he is gold and Scotty T makes three. I don't think you can win this year without a decent number of the talented shinboners in your team.

  18. Give It A Go says:

    On a different note, can someone give me a run down of Shannon Hurn, compared to S-Thompson?

  19. George says:

    Hey Barron and community, how do you reckon majak daw will go this year? Thinking of sticking him in my fwd line and I just wanted to know if you guys think he can get an average in the 80-100 bracket. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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