It’s taken me a few years to warm to Lance Franklin the man as opposed to Buddy Fanklin the Footballer.
He has graced my Fantasy Footy forward line now for several seasons. But it’s been with a feeling of begrudgement that I’ve given him the nod. The story goes that he was asked during the 2004 AFL Draft camp what his weak points were – he couldn’t think of any. Other reports suggest that he slipped down as far as number 5 in that draft behind players like Richard Tambling due to some perceived doubts around his character – was Lance going to approach his footy in an ”All about Buddy” way? Would he fit into a team?
Now the cocky kid who grew up on a West Australian wheat farm with horses, sheep, goats and a donkey called Pancho has become a man. The gun who kicked a footy for hours into goal posts painted by his Dad on the side of a shearing shed has repaid the faith that the Hawks had in him in 2004. The excitement machine that didn’t lay eyes on a city untill his 15th year has become a man that makes me proud of the virtues of our magnificent game.
Many have said that I am as gifted and exciting to the Supercoach and Dreamteam game as Buddy is to AFL. As such I can well appreciate the discipline that Lance has applied towards becoming a humble team oriented man. And while the cocky kid at the 2004 draft camp was wrong when he explained that he couldn’t see any weaknesses in his AFL game, I’m struggling to come up with many weaknesses in his Fantasy Footy propsects for AFL season 2012;
- A freak: A gun. A simply incredible footballer who loves to kick loooong goals
- Increasing scores: Last 3 seasons has averaged 88 (2009), 107 (2010) & 111 in 2011 (Supercoach) and 81, 95 & 102 (Dreamteam). Thanks resident maths and stats man Peter Higginbotham for those figures.
- Peaking: Will turn 25 soon, will be peaking over the next 3-4 seasons. Expect these averages to rise further
- A forward: Is one of the only forward line players that will average 100+ in both Supercoach and Dreamteam
- I love to watch him play: I just appreciate the incredible tricks he performs all the more having something invested in him
There are a few downsides to think about though folks;
- Hexy: Topping the Forward line eligible players price scale at $600,600 in Supercoach he is expensive. In Dreamteam still a bit pricey at $503,000 but not as bad. Worth it in both forms is my call.
- Will miss games: If his past record is anything to go by expect him to sit out at least a couple of games through suspension. Hasn’t played a full season since 2008
It must have been hard for a player who became so huge so quickly to pull his head in early doors. I am proud of the mature and humble man that Lance is becoming and look forward to appreciating the magnificent genius he brings to our game while he helps hoist Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy teams to glory in season 2012.
(ps.. make sure you listen to our 2 recent podcast/radio show thingoes if you haven’t tuned it yet, and check out other pearls of wisdom from our head Strategic Officer The Crouching One and Head of Mathematics and Statistics Petter ‘Higgo’ Higginbotham.)