You have no marbles: Mid-priced madness

Hey Community, Dave here.

I thought I’d do a little piece on low percentage selections in the forward line, specifically some more speculative ones. Some of the more popular forward selections come with multiple questions and what-if-isms *cough* Westhoff, Heeney, Gray, Dunkley *cough*.

This time of year, and all the way up to lockout you’ll hear “if he” SO. MANY. TIMES. You’ll say it, I’ll say it. It’ll drive you nuts thinking about it.

“If he plays more time in the midfield”, or “if he backs up his last half of 2018”, or “if he plays 22 games”.

If, if, IF.

The guys below really interest me (although none are in my current team… yet) as they’ve flown under the radar, been written off or not really considered and certainly not talked about.

Defence has been a focus in this price bracket for obvious reasons, with rule changes and multiple value selections, but I’d argue there’s plenty to like for your one make-or-break mid-pricer at that $420- $440k price point in the forward line.

Jack Billings – 2% Ownership

2018: 80.6 from 21 games

This. F*cking. Guy.

I had him, you had him, we all had him and the agony he brought, but here’s the stat: 92.7 from his last 9 games.

He averaged 92.7 from 22 games in 2017 and was tagged with the potential to go again in 2018. A poor start, role changes and poor form around him hurt his scoring.

Could this be his year? I certainly think he’s better than his 80.6 last year and with some more support around him could easily push that up to 90-95 in 2019.

What’s the question for young Jack you ask?

How many games will the Saints win?

  • 4 wins in 2018 =                                80.6
  • 11 wins in 2017 =                              92.7

If you think they can put up 8 wins or more he’d have to be considered. It’s not as tenuous a link as it looks… Billings is a guy who scores well in winning games, even close games.

He averaged 107.6 in victories (including his 85 in a draw against GWS) in 2018 and 100.3 in winning games in 2017.

The Saints have a reasonable draw and Billings is another year in the system and more mature. He certainly eclipses the 80.6, but by how much? Who’s ready for the Billings roller-coaster circa 2019?

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Patch is absolutely onboard the Billings train. Choo choo!]

Tom Lynch – 6% Ownership

2018: 78.4 from 10 games

Hmmm… while Tom Lynch’s ownership is mostly hopeful Tigers fans, here’s the stat: 85.1 from 19 games in 2017 & 93.2 from 22 games in 2016.

We don’t like key forwards.

Well, we’re trained not to like them. Buddy is always the exception, though maybe not this year. I tossed up JJK for this article, but after looking through injuries and form issues, I had to put a line through him.

Big Thomas is an interesting one.

The potential is huge. He’s going from the equivalent of the Sandy VFL to vengeful Tigers outfit that will give him 12 more inside 50’s a game and inside 50’s from some elite midfielders.

How many goals will he kick? After 66 goals in 2016 led to an average of 92.3 , you’d think he kicks 60-70 in yellow and black. However, working up the ground and being a more mature forward in a winning team with increased inside 50’s, he’d go 95-100 in 2019.

He’s coming back from PCL surgery, is recovering well and fully expected to play round 1, but he still may be a wait and see and if he comes out firing in the first few he’ll be hard to go past.

Jade Gresham – 1% Ownership

2018: 79.1 from 22 games

No bullshit for this one.

There’s a lot to like about this kid. He’s another Saint, but one that isn’t as impacted by the Saints ladder position. He is rock solid fit and has played back to back 22 game seasons. In the last 12 rounds of 2018 he put up a 95.4 average.

Yes, Dunkley put up 111.3 over his last 10, but he also has never played a full season and isn’t guaranteed to play the same role again in 2019. That’s not a knock on the Dunkley selection, I think he’s under-priced, but not 111.3 under-priced, even as a midfielder (that’s a Lachie Neale average by the way).

Gresham really had a year split in two, averaging 66.2 in his first nine games and 95.4 in his final 12, where he played a more midfield-centric role and it translated to almost a 30-point differential. Not much else to say, he has the talent, Richo likes him in the guts and he’s on the rise;

Will he play in the Saints midfield?

  • 2017: 66.3 from 22 games
  • 2018: 79.1 from 22 games
  • 2019: 95-100??

My (substantial) gut tells me Gresham is a better pick than Dunkley, for 3 reasons: he’s durable, he’s $90k cheaper and he will play in the midfield.

It’s not going to be a popular selection, but may be one that frees up $90k for you to spend elsewhere.

Thanks for reading Community, let me know what you think below!

Comments (69)

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  1. dontblushbaby says:

    Thanks Dave for opening up another forum , I agree Gresham could have a breakout, however like most I have Danger,Smith & Heeney locked in , if I was to put him at F4 I would have to take out Z.Williams at D4 and I believe he has more upside imo

  2. James says:

    Hi Dave,

    What are your thoughts on Jack Viney at ~450k?

    • Dave says:

      Hey James,

      He's a tough one, you'd have to really like him because honestly I'd rather go up to Sloane, Merrett or Crouch. He's certainly under priced, but I don't see him as pushing that 110 mark and I doubt you get 22 games out of him. Maybe a slider for your draft team?

      • Hey Dave Great choice and well thought out. Gresham merits some thought particularly with increased mid time but I have opted for Viney myself. You are spot on. Merrett and Crouch are better but we dont always have the coin. I am currently exploring Zac Bailey as that next mid pricer 275 k and change of role Also gives me175 k to upgrade to better rookies Gibbons to walsh and a few obvious non starters,risky but maybe worth it great work Dave NDD

  3. RealStory says:

    Excellent write up Dave I hadn't really looked at any of those blokes before this, thanks mate.
    Billings and Gresham both interest me maybe Gresham a bit more than Billings but, Tom Lynch nah/yeah/nah I really want to see what happens with him and Jack I wont be suprised to see a few eye injuries in the tigers cheer squad due to dummy's being spat at terminal velocity. Can a decade long #1 target with a fantastic on field ego accept being 2nd string?

  4. CensoredStory says:

    Excellent write up Dave I hadn't really looked at any of those blokes before this, thanks mate.
    Billings and Gresham both interest me maybe Gresham a bit more than Billings but, Tom Lynch nah/yeah/nah I really want to see what happens with him and Jack I wont be suprised to see a few eye injuries in the tigers cheer squad due to dummy's being spat at terminal velocity. Can a decade long #1 target with a fantastic on field ego accept being 2nd string?

  5. AFL Blues says:

    Hey, mind your language… -.-

  6. Will says:

    Gresham did not average 95 in his last 12 or the last 12 rounds?

    • Will says:

      He averaged 85 in his last 12 and that whole average was generated by 6 weeks of domination.

      Dunkley averaged 115 in his last 9 and 127 in his last 6

      • Dave says:

        Sorry Will, that's my bad, Gresham was 90.3 in his last 10.

        • Sharkmove_King says:

          That's alright Dave, a good friend of mine once said 'Dont let the truth get in the way of a good story'

          • Dave says:

            Thanks mate, I'm still trying to figure which spreadsheet I grab that from! Too many stats and too much research!

  7. Mystic_Mac says:

    Thoughts on Nic Newman community? Should see a lot more of it at Carlton.

    • Dave says:

      Hey Mac,

      He's becoming more interesting as the days go by. From the reports Williamson hasn't been out on the track as yet, so Newman is really becoming a serious JLT watch. The question down back will really be how many of these mid-priced guys can you fit in? There are some interesting guys around his price: Hibberd, Weller, Williams, Saad, Ellis, Houli and McGrath, that will be big JLT watches too.

      • Mystic_Mac says:

        Hey Dave,

        Yes, you make a good point. Roberton may also be one to watch in JLT, at a very cheap price.

        • Dave says:

          Yeah absolutely Mac,

          I think the concerns for him playing a more lock-down type role are valid, especially with the 6-6-6 structure and the Saints lack of fit KP backs.

          A whole lot of unknowns around what the scope for kick-ins will look like too, and how many do we try and fit in, it's definitely on top of my JLT watch list.

    • Tyruddanaut says:

      Carlton doesn't have a whole lot to do with it ngl.
      If he does play an intercepting role off half-back, then he will score well, but Simpson is expected to occupy one of the flanks for the majority of the season and Cunningham and Williamson should find themselves getting games. O'Brien, Thomas and Petrevski Seton might also move back into that free half-back role for a good percentage of the game.

      I don't see Newman averaging more than last year, I think that's about on par. If no-one had the bias of picking him in his rookie season, where there were a couple rippers, I don't think he'd be in the conversation as much

  8. UpBeat says:

    Quite a few spots left in this league, only SC's who fight till the end. code 165630

  9. Holty01 says:

    Awesome work Dave. Very good reading

  10. Nice person says:

    Well done Dave, about time we saw some decent content. T lynch is very tempting

  11. The Ranger says:

    Onya Dave, thanks for the post.
    Not as a starter but T.Lynch is def on the radar.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Ranger,

      Definitely agree, I'd be more positive on him if he had a full pre-season, he's a potential upgrade target. Though I can only see the 6-6-6 structure helping him and other KP forwards.

    • Dave says:

      Hey Ranger,

      Thank you, cheers! He's a very interesting proposition, love to see what the 6-6-6 structure does for him.

  12. John says:

    Witherden, Roberton, Miles, Witts and Greene are my current midpricers. Is that too many for a single team?

    • John says:

      Scratch Witts, meant to just say the other 4

      • Dave says:

        Hey John,

        There's plenty of risk there, what's your back up strategy if one or two don't work out? Greene and Roberton probably hold the most risk, so maybe go with one rather than both. I keep coming back to Guns and Rookies setup, with Witho and Williams my mid-priced risks.

        • Lazza says:

          That’s extreme … you daredevil Dave … 🙂 Fairly solid choices, rather than high risk I’d say

  13. Xman says:

    As a saints fan just to touch on Gresham, I wouldn’t say he will play midfield. Our starting midfield will be Ross, Steven & Steele. There will be multiple players rotating through there including Gresham and billing’s. But if your banking on him to play a good chunk of midfield time I would say that’s a bad call. We need him to kick goals.

    • Dave says:

      Hey Xman,

      Yep, can see him in a group of 3 or 4 guys that rotate through there. He fits the Dahlhaus/McLean mould and could easily push the 90-100.

      • Pete says:

        Hmmm I understand he's a handy forward but you should have Bruce back this year and kicking goals and I think he could do more damage as a mid than Billings could (maybe Billings will play more forward), he definitely gives your midfield something different. Won't be Among the top 3 for centre bounce attendances with Ross, Steven and Steele in there but he could be 4th in line and play about 50-60% midfield in my opinion depending on what you choose to do. Definitely has the skill by foot that the others don't

  14. Ja191 says:

    Legend Dave, thanks for the article! Great read

  15. Prizza says:

    Great to have a write-up, good job easy to see who has there noses out of joint with negative feedback, always looking to shit-can ???.
    Lynch on mine as well.

  16. Such is Fyfe says:

    Looking to fill the last 8 spots in a $100 buy-in cash league.
    Email [email protected] for details

    Prize structure as follows:
    18 entrants x $100 fee = $1,800 prize pool as follows.

    Champion – $625
    Runners up – $300

    Minor premier – $100
    Highest score of the year – $100
    Consolidation award (Winner of Bottom 8) – $100

    $25 weekly to the highest score of the week, in the unlikely event the highest score of the week is tied both will be paid $25 and the latter comes off the champion’s prize end of season = $25 x 23 = $575

  17. Sharkmove_King says:

    T.Lynch is one half of the SHARKMOVE 2019……. Seriously consider him for a cheeky VC on Thursday Night Round 1. Yes, yes I know Martin & Cripps are playing the same game, but just check out Lynch's record against Carlton…..They are his biatches!!!

    • Sharkmove_King says:

      As far as the other 2 go, I won't pick Gresham for the same reason I (probably) won't pick Robbie Gray- They are 2 good in the fwd50 and won't get enough time in the middle.

      Billings No for the exact reasons you touched on. In a good team he would average ~100, but St.Kilda will struggle again this season imo

  18. TRIGGA_HAPPY says:

    Was going to go Darling up fwd but with Quaynor impressing for the pies and firming for rd 1 need some cash to bring him in so Gresham gets the job done.

    he is my breakout candiate …

  19. NoLanguage96 says:

    Of those only Lynch could tempt me. Solid write up though good job mate!

  20. Michael says:

    Wouldn't call T Adams mid price but at 523k and in only 2% of teams I'll be taking a punt. Apparently burning the track as well at training.

    • Holty01 says:

      I’ve heard the same Michael but I’m not brave enough to select him

      • Pete says:

        The whole pies midfield sounds like it will be one giant rotation and all will lose midfield time with the arrival of Beams.

    • Prizza says:

      Hey Mick, he just doesn't stop putting in, when others are stopping he will keep going, thought long and hard about him and still musing.
      Remember the new rules will aid the fittest this year.

    • Shake_n_bake says:

      Has probably been our best ball winner so far over the pre season

  21. TommyC99 says:

    Cheers Dave, Up until i read this hadn't even thought about Gresham but is now definitely on my radar!

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Tommy, of the forwards he is one to keep a close eye on. I'm also extremely keen to see what the 6-6-6 does for KPFs like Lynch, Darling, JJK and Brown.

  22. Russty_ says:

    Nice article Dave, I thought Lynch was still a fair ways off?…he could definitely be one to jump on I think if he comes out of the blocks well, would like to see his first 2 games before I do though.
    I've considered a lot of midpricers over the past weeks but have ended up with 3 and all in the backline…I reckon Gresham will do well this year though.
    Billings, I thankfully kicked to the kerb early last year and didn't regret it, he's a never again-er for me.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Rusty,

      He's "pushing" for round 1 according to our trusty news outlets. But you're right, he could be a correction trade before round 3 or an upgrade at the byes. Yep, the value is definitely down back and certainly see a lot of teams going to D4 and even D5 with either of Williams or Smith. The sad fact about Billings is that we'll all miss him when he does breakout, too many chances!

  23. BillyGoatGruff says:

    Has Lynch ever played alongside a Coleman winning forward before? It'll be interesting to see the dynamic so many questions to answered regarding team habits etc a few dummies might hit the turf early on as well. Too many variables for me to go anywhere near him.

    • Dave says:

      Hey BGG,

      Yep, fair enough mate. He definitely hasn't played alongside a Coleman Winner, but it may actually help him. I'd see him more up the ground with Riewoldt as the stay at home FF. but they will mix it up and throw Caddy in there too, when he's back.

  24. dontblushbaby says:

    The AFL Website has an up to date Injury List by Club, some on there that you may not be aware of or where they are at

  25. Shake_n_bake says:

    Longer to miss start of the season with a hamstring

  26. Gen says:

    Pearce Hanley. just under 300k
    Thoughts??

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