Age is just a number baby
The two biggest question marks over Kade Simpson this year are his age (not for the first time) and his price; at 33 when the season begins can we justify spending $578,700 on the defender?
Let me try and sell him to you.
|Games last season:||22|
|Average last season:||106.3|
|100+ games last season:||15 (7 scores of 122+)|
|Sub 80 games last season:||0|
|Price range last season:||$483K – $557K|
|Missed games last season:||
If you’re picking Simpson it’s because you are willing to pay a premium for 22 games of quality football and Supercoach scoring. Simpson is the real Mr. Standard Deviation of 14.8, lower than Corey Enright or Patch’s man Zach Merrett (sorry Patch).
Simpson is a unicorn in the fantasy world because he doesn’t score from contested possessions (in fact he relies almost entirely on uncontested possessions) something that we would normally want to avoid in a Supercoach selection.
However his uncontested game is good enough to warrant a selection despite his age and price. Simpson averaged 20.4 uncontested possessions per game in 2016 with en effective disposal rate of 22.4 and a disposal efficiency of 82.4%. What do all of these fancy terms mean? Simpson gets a lot of the ball on his own, has a lot of time to use it and 82 times out of 100 will hit a teammate with his disposal.
The beauty of Simpson’s Supercoach prowess lies in the fact that he doesn’t rely on contested possessions. If he was a midfielder who didn’t grab the contested ball we wouldn’t look at him twice but so good is Simpson’s ability to read the play we can give him two, three…hell even four looks this preseason.
Simpson has built a game on being in the right place at the right time. He isn’t pacey and he doesn’t fight one-on-one for the ball (just 5.7 contested possessions per game in 2016) but he can read the play better than most and more often than not will find himself alone with the football with plenty of time to hit up a teammate by foot.
The beauty of Kade Simpson is that whilst he can be damaging, he isn’t dangerous enough to be targeted by the opposition forward line. In my opinion if there is to be a tag deployed on a Carlton defender (not likely in 2017 as Carlton still aren’t a contender) it would be done so to negate the effectiveness of Sam Docherty, leaving Simpson free to roam the backline once again. Simpson plays a very statistically friendly game-style which translates into Supercoach and Coach Kings points very nicely.
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I don’t think we need to go into his age too much, in my opinion nothing is different from last season. Look at Simpson, Matthew Boyd, Corey Enright, James Kelly and Shaun Burgoyne, all old and all top ten defenders in 2016.
Price is the other major factor to consider and admitadely $580K is an absolute premium in a world of affordable defenders but that extra $80K (compared to a Bernie Vince) locks in 22 games of 100+ scores.
With the trade of Zach Tuohy to the Geelong Football Club comes the only other real question mark over Kade Simpson. With one less ball carrier out of defence does the pressure to gather more contested ball fall to Kade Simpson? Does this mean that Kade Simpson will have to man up on a more talented forward than he did in 2016? Or does it simply mean that Simpson will have more opportunities to show of his left foot?
To answer these questions I can only speculate. I do not think Zach Tuohy’s absence will negatively affect Kade Simpson’s Supercoach performance in 2017. A Dylan Buckley/Billie Smedts/Dale Thomas type player in will fill Tuohy’s role for the most part, although I can see aspects of that role being filled by Simpson himself, specifically inside-50’s.
Simpson averaged 2.4 inside-50’s per game in 2016 to Zach Tuohy’s 2.9 per game, as our best player by foot I expect Simpson to push forward in Tuohy’s absence and push his own inside-50’s average to around 3 per game. This modest jump might just be the key ingredient to Simpson keeping his average above 100 for the 2017 season.
Friday has me like Kade Simpson on draft day pic.twitter.com/a4xx7D73Gx
— Cameron Neville (@cam_neville) November 25, 2016
It is also important to note that since the arrival of Brendan Bolton to Princes Park, the three key ball handlers out of Carlton’s defence in Simpson, Docherty and Tuohy all increased their Supercoach output. This, in my humble opinion, is due to a new system in which the focus is on defence and effective usage of the ball. Tuohy increased his Supercoach average from 79.3 to 81.5 in Bolton’s first year, Docherty jumped from 87.7 to an impressive (and defensive leading) 108.7 points per game and Simpson was able to move his average from 92.7 to a career high 106.4 points per game. This is not a fluke, in my opinion it is the result of a new mindset, a mindset that speaks well to Simpson’s viability in 2017.
- Averaged 106.3 last year
- Averaged at least 92.7 in 9 of the last 10 years
- Elite by foot
- Major part of Carlton’s structure
- Global warming may reduce the amount of times he wears long sleeves in 2017
Simpson will drop in price…but I don’t think that’s a reason not to select him.
Look at his history, he’s a champion and there is no reason why he won’t be the second ranked Supercoach defender again in 2017.
His ball usage, role, consistency and durability all point to another season of scoring 2,200+ Supercoach points.
You have to outlay a lot of cash at the start of the year but I think Simpson will be well and truly worth it. Others will be looking at my man Sam Docherty but I think it’s viable to have both given the glut of cheap defenders we have available to us.
YES – Big price for big scores
What’s your call on the Kade Simpson?
We all know him. We all love him. Tweet with him: @LekBlog
|This article has been penned as part of the Jock Reynolds Community Series, where anyone from within our proud community can have their say in front of their peers. These men and women have displayed the spirit of togetherness, positivity and community that we value significantly.|
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