Howdy all, it’s Barron Von Crow here with Part 6 of our 2014 Supercoach Scouting Report.
Today’s ticket is taking us on that long flight to Western Australia. Fremantle to be exact, where we’ll be taking a gander at the 2013 Grand Finalists, the Fremantle Dockers.
2013 was a terrific year for them and they’ll certainly be hoping they can continue that fine form into 2014 and perhaps go that one step further towards immortality by winning on that one day in September. Not a huge amount of player movement for the Dockers this off-season, but they’ve brought in a quality player in Colin Sylvia and hope to fix their goal kicking woes with the oft-injured Scott Gumbleton. Reckon it’s enough to give the Dockers that little extra push for next year? Only time will tell.
Anyway, enough waffle from The Barron, it’s time we moved onto the Fremantle Dockers!
Fremantle Dockers 2014 SC Scouting Report
2013 Record: 16 wins, 5 losses, 1 draw
INSScott Gumbleton (Traded from Essendon)
Colin Sylvia (Free Agent from Melbourne)
Matthew Taberner, (Promoted Rookie)
Michael Apeness (Pick #17, National Draft)
Alex Pearce (Pick #37, National Draft)
Brady Grey (Pick #58, National Draft)
OUTSViv Michie (Traded to Melbourne)
Jesse Crichton (Delisted)
Peter Faulks (Delisted)
Alex Forster (Delisted)
Josh Mellington (Delisted)
Jayden Pitt (Retired)
2014 Team Preview
2014 Bye Round: 10
Final 4: Geelong Cats, Hawthorn Hawks, Brisbane Lions, Port Adelaide Power
The Dockers had a productive off-season, culling some dead wood from their side and trading out Viv Michie who was unable to break into the side, while bringing in Colin Sylvia as a FA, someone who should add to their midfield if they need him, while also being adaptable enough to play forward, which was a bit of a problem area for them last year. Sylvia has played 10 seasons for Melbourne and considered somewhat of an underachiever, so many are hoping the change of scenery will do him some good. Also on the forward line improvement note, the Dockers went out and traded pick #54 for the often injured Scott Gumbleton, finally ending their 2 year search for a KPF. This is a great low risk trade for the Dockers, they haven’t given anything up of great worth for the former #2 pick and he’s on a 1 year, incentive based deal, so there’s no long term salary cap after effects to deal with if he crashes and burns. If (and it’s a big if!) Scott Gumbleton can get fit and healthy and play a quality amount of games; he could be a big difference for the Dockers come finals time.
The Dockers run up until their Round 10 bye is looking like it will be quite a challenge for them next year. Their first 9 games will be against 5 top 8 teams in Collingwood, Hawthorn, Sydney, Port and Geelong as well as games against potential top 8 teams in Gold Coast, North Melbourne and Essendon. The 2nd half of their year is much easier, with 8 of their last 13 games against non-top 8 sides (9 if you count Carlton) from 2013. The double up games are a 50/50 proposition for Fremantle, they’ll face West Coast, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, Geelong and the Brisbane Lions twice next year. The WC and Brisbane games should be an automatic 4 wins on the board, but they’ll have tougher games against Hawthorn, Port and Geelong.
Their Run into SC finals is pretty tough with games against Geelong, Hawthorn and Port Adelaide, 3 teams that Dockers did not score all that well against at all, with the highest recorded score by a Docker against those 3 last year being a 135 by… Lee Spur! Betcha didn’t see that coming! Brisbane was a different kettle of fish with both Mundy (139) and Ibbotson (137) recording big scores against them last year.
Mark Freo down for another top 4 birth next year, whether they can make that final step to being a Premiership team remains to be seen.
2014 Projected Wins/Losses: 17 wins, 5 losses
2012 SC Average: 93.2
2013 SC Average: 106.5
Starting Price: 574.3K
Teenwolf! One of the best young midfielders running around, unbelievably this kid only turned 22 a few months ago. One can only imagine how much he’ll improve in the coming years! A terrific clearance player, last year saw him ranked 9th in Total Clearances, 11th in Clearances per game, 5th in Total Contested Possessions, 5th in Contested Possessions per game, 15th in Kicks per game and 20th in Total Kicks.
Still, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for Fyfe as he also ranked 1st in the dreaded Clanger count, in terms of both Clangers per game and Total Clangers recorded. This and his poor effective disposal %, which stands at 63.6% overall, which is mostly due to his poor kicking efficiency %, which is at 54.7% is what’s currently preventing Fyfe from jumping up into the upper echelon of SC midfielders. We must also not discount the fact that Fyfe recorded as being under the 4th most pressure per disposal in the top 50 ball winners, which would be one reason for his poor disposal efficiency. Now turning to the positives (The Barron likes to think his glass is half full on most days), that 63.6% was a career high and a big improvement on last years 56.4%, so it does look like Fyfe is working on his kicking and trying to improve this area of his game. His kicking efficiency % rose from a terrible 49% in 2012 and his handball efficiency jumped above 70% for the first time in his career to 76.5%. And as said before, he’s only 22, so he’s still working on improving his game, something he’s made a note of during pre-season interviews.
Even with his disposal issues, he is one of the best ball winners in the game, recording the 6th highest contested possession rate of the top 50 ball winners. If he can fix his ball use issues, he’ll be one of the best Supercoach players in 2014, I’ve got high hopes for Fyfe, and I’m most likely jumping aboard, especially at his current sub 600K price.
2014 SC Projection: 106-114
2012 SC Average: 89.2
2013 SC Average: 103.7
Starting Price: 559.5K
2013 saw a return to form for Mundy who improved his SC average by 14.5 points over his 2012 average, though he was on a lot of people’s burnman list after posting a decrease of almost 18 SC points between 2011 and 2012. The good thing about this was Mundy started the year underpriced at a very reasonable 477K. We won’t have that luxury in 2014 but Mundy is still a terrific choice for a midfielder if you can’t fit one of the big 600K plus mids into your budget.
Another Fremantle player with some kicking issues, he’s recoded two consecutive years of a kicking efficiency of 58.2%, this is well off of the 70% he recorded in 2009, but he is averaging almost 5 more kicks per game. A clearance machine for the Dockers, Mundy ranked 5th in Total Clearances, 7th in Clearances per game as well as ranking 16th in Total Inside 50’s, 18th in Total Contested Possessions, 14th in Total Tackles and 19th in Tackles per game. His tackles were the highlight for Mundy, ranking the best tackle efficiency of any of the 29 players who averaged 5 or more tackles a game. All of these are terrific sources of points in SC, so if Mundy can replicate these stats again in 2014, which I think I can, then he’ll be an excellent pick for your side.
2014 SC Projection: 101-109
2012 SC Average: 95.2
2013 SC Average: 110
Starting Price: 593.6K
Another Docker who had a return to form in 2013, like Mundy, he saw his SC average jump almost 15 points, bringing him back to a fantasy relevant player for us. Another contested ball winner for the Dockers, I don’t know how they have so many sometimes!
Barlow had a terrific year, ranking in the top 20 in multiple categories. Barlow ranked 5th in Total Contested Possessions, 10th in Contested Possessions per game, 14th in Total Clearances, 7th in Total Disposals, 17th in Disposals per game, 8th in Handballs per game, 12th in Tackles per game, 16th in Total Effective Disposals and 19th in Total Goal Assists.
Only owned in 13% of SC teams last year, which ranked him as the 34th most owned midfielder for 2013, he’s a potential POD choice for your side if that sort of ownership % holds up. With the added amount of midfield only eligible players such as Stevie Johnson and Brendon Goddard coming in, there may be a few who decide to head off in that direction, meaning Barlow may see his ownership % fall even more.
Some may be turned off by his 2010 year where he averaged 111.6, then followed it up with 2 years of sub 100 scores, but I think Barlow has the talent to back up his 2013 average. Will be hard to separate between Mundy, Fyfe and Barlow, Barlow comes with the higher cost, but he’s also has the highest average out of the 3. Don’t think you can go wrong with either.
2014 SC Projection: 106-112
2012 SC Average: 92.8
2013 SC Average: 80.2
Starting Price: 432.6K
Duffman! The Dockers may have the team with the best nicknames in the AFL. Expected by many to breakout into an elite SC Defender after Broughton was traded to the Gold Coast, Duffield looked like he was beginning to show promise as a potential 100 point scorer for us, seeing his SC average at a very respectable 96.3 by the end of Round 10. Then Duffield saw his season do a 180 and the next 10 games he played he saw his average plummet to 65.7. To summarise his season of two halves up quickly, it was after Rd 10 he stopped getting the pill so much, with his Rd 1-10 average disposal count sitting at 20.8, it then fell to 15.2 for the remainder of the year.
Statistically Duffield posted almost exactly the same numbers as 2012, the only drop off was his effective disposal %, which fell from 82.1% to 75.2%, but that’s still a decently high number for a player. Still, he’s not without his good points as he has played 21 or more games the past 5 years, so he has the durability factor on his side. Also posted quality SC scores in his last 2 Finals games of the year with a 103 against Sydney and a 91 against Hawthorn.
At the moment I’m putting Duffield on the consider list, as he’s a decent cheaper option for you to consider if you can’t afford one of the 500K+ defenders. He may not be looked at by as many teams now that we’ve got the likes of McVeigh, Mitchell, Walker, Bartel, Hodge etc. as defenders next year, but that means he could be a nice POD player for you if you’re willing to take the chance on him.
2014 SC Projection: 85-92
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: N/A
Starting Price: 123.9K
The #4 pick from the 2009 draft, Morabito has had an absolutely shocking run with injures, having to undergo three knee reconstructions during his short AFL career. Has only played 23 games, all being played in 2010. Morabito is probably on our radars every year “If only he can get healthy!” we’ll tell ourselves. He’s 22, he’s talented and if he can get out on the park then he’ll be a fantastic and most importantly, cheap addition to your SC side. As always though, keep your eyes on him during pre-season and keep tabs on how he’s tracking. Might not start initially, but could be a fantastic downgrade target for us to look at again mid-year.
2014 SC Projection: 65-73
2012 SC Average: 112.6
2013 SC Average: 64
Starting Price: 310.7K
We’ll all be licking our lips in anticipation for Sandilands after seeing that starting price. Sandi had a terrible run of injuries in 2013, limiting him to only 10 games (including finals) for the year and posting an 48 point drop off in his SC average down from 112.6 to 64. It was in the finals series that we saw the real Sandilands return however, posting a much more recognisable 114 average over that period.
We know Sandilands is good, so why is he only a consider instead of a lock, especially at a heavily discounted price? Well it’s his injury history that’s the biggest concern. The last 3 seasons has seen him play 13, 12 and 7 games for the year. What’s worse is he’s not in his prime either, having just turned 31 in December. He’ll also have his game time managed to ensure he’s fit and firing come finals time too, so he has the potential to miss SC Finals, not because he’s injured, but because he’s being rested so he’s fresh for the big games.
So picking Sandi comes with some risk, but it’s a manageable risk if you’re willing to put up some extra $ to buy yourself some cover. If you do buy Sandi, you may consider spending some extra $ to get yourself a handy 3rd mid priced ruck. Look at the likes of Brodie Grundy, Tom Hickey, Shaun Hampson, Billy Longer or Hamish McIntosh. Someone you can count on playing most weeks so if Sandi is out for a match, or even for a prolonged period, you’re not hoping and praying a rookie bench ruck is named, or wasting trades on swapping around rucks to fill a spot. Or you can hope Sandi plays the first 7-8 games of the year, makes some really nice cash and then trade him off for a premium. Just remember, it’s most likely not a matter of if Sandilands gets injured, but when. Either way, I think we’ll see Sandilands in a ton of teams at the start of the 2014 Supercoach season.
2014 SC Projection: 100-108
2012 SC Average: 80.7
2013 SC Average: 92
Starting Price: 496K
A solid option for your forward line next year, I like the looks of him over a similar priced player in Travis Cloke and Jack Riewoldt just because he has a bit more consistency to his SC game. He won’t nab those insane scores that Cloke/Riewoldt can when they’re having a great day at the park and on a goal kicking binge (though Mayne did have high scores of 120, 126, 130 and 137), but on the flipside he’s not as prone to those terrible sub 60 scores that Cloke or Riewoldt can sometimes produce on the days when their shots on goal are just not sailing through the big sticks.
Mayne also other positives, ranking 5th in Total Goal Assists, 17th in Goal Assists per game, 16th in Total Marks, 20th in Total Tackles and 20th in Total Goals and has a very high effective disposal % at 77.6% (for comparison Cloke is only at 63.9% and Jack Riewoldt is at 62.8%). I don’t mean to turn this completely into a Mayne VS the big KPF type summary, but when you’re picking your initial SC side and you’re umming and arring and thinking about adding a Cloke or J.Riewoldt to your team, just remember that your buddy Chris Mayne is sitting there for you, similarly priced, similar SC average, but isn’t going to have his SC score destroyed if he fails to kick some goals on the day.
2014 SC Projection: 90-97
2012 SC Average: 110
2013 SC Average: 81.1
Starting Price: 437.5K
The Pav is one of my favourite players, so I was really rooting for the Dockers in the GF last year. Pav suffered a massive dropoff from his 2012 average, he fell almost 30 SC points, but that is somewhat understandable with him suffering injuries and suspensions throughout the year. Even with the 12 games he played, he managed to rank 11th in Goal Assists per game, 14th in Goals per game and 16th in Marks Inside 50 per game.
He has played 291 games, he’ll rack up the 300 game milestone next year, but that’s something to also consider. He’s 32 and has plenty of miles on the odometer, so could we be seeing the end of Pavlich as a fantasy football relevant player? Still managed to show some form towards the end of the year, he kicked 18 goals in Fremantle’s final 7 games of the year, so he’s still able to kick it through the big sticks, but I think the days of him racking up 18-20 possessions a game are over, which will have an impact on his scores. Still, it shouldn’t be too bad, he actually had a higher SC average in 2012 than he did in 2011, even though he averaged 6 fewer possessions because he upped his goal kicking average from 1 per game in 2011, to 3 per game in 2012.
That’s where we’ll need to see Pavlich stand up in 2014, if he can get 15 possessions a game, plus kick 2-3 goals a game, he should be able to get back to being near, or at least a 100 point scorer again in Supercoach.
He may come with some risk due to the additions of Sylvia and Gumbleton potentially taking goal scoring opportunities away from him, but that price is too hard to ignore, so you’ll have to take a serious look at Pavlich in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 90-98
2012 SC Average: 81
2013 SC Average: 86.1
Starting Price: 464.4K
Mick The Mad Irishman did an absolutely fantastic write up on Sylvia earlier in the year, in his Turncoat series, so what I want you to do is go off and read that first…You done? OK, now you can understand why Sylvia is in the “Skip ‘Em” section of this review.
Many will be hoping to play the “change of scenery” card with Sylvia, hoping that a move away from Melbourne and some help from Ross Lyon will be the catalyst to him becoming a fantasy relevant player. He spent 10 seasons in Melbourne, his highest average being 96.3 in 2011 and only twice averaging more than 90 (and just barely in 2009 with a 90.5 average) in a year. Add in the MID/FWD eligibility and The Barron can see plenty of people rubbing their chins and stroking their beards (if they have them) thinking “Yes, I just might put Sylvia in my side”.
He may have been looking at some major improvement if he was headed full-time into the midfield, but look above, we’ve just listed off Fyfe, Mundy and Barlow as terrific ball winning midfielders. Add in the likes of Clancee Pearce, Stephen Hill and Tendai Mzungu and I think Mick’s prediction of Sylvia spending more time in the F50 than the midfield will be spot on. A significant amount of time in the F50 will see his disposal numbers drop, which will see his SC average drop, and he’s not a big enough goal scorer to be able to make up the difference, unlike we’ve seen Pavlich do when his disposal count dropped due to playing in the F50.
2014 SC Projection: 85-92
2012 SC Average: 57.3
2013 SC Average: 58.6
Starting Price: 315.9K
The #2 pick from the 2006 draft, many Freo fans will be hoping that Gumby might finally get out onto the park in 2014 and become a goal kicking forward the Dockers need now that Pavlich is beginning to slow down (He has been their leading goal kicker 7 times in the past 9 years). Once again though, the problem with Gumbleton is he’s only had one season where he’s played a decent amount of games (2010 with 17 played), the rest of the time he finds his body only allowing him to get out on the field 5-6 times (35 games in 7 years total) before his re-occuring back and hamstring injuries strike.
The Dockers put him through a battery of medical tests prior to trading for him, so they obviously think (or hope) his injury woes are behind him and he can start playing AFL football on a consistent basis. For the Dockers, it was a low risk, high reward trade, so it’s understandable why they made the trade, but this is SC we’re talking about, so we have plenty of other options available to us. Also has the usual KPF issues with scoring in SC, Gumbleton isn’t a good enough player to be getting his points elsewhere, so if he has a bad goal kicking day, then his SC scores are kaput. The Dockers are hoping he’ll be an able be a quality tall target for them, which could ease the pressure off Pavlich a bit, but will also make things easier for Mayne and the small goalsneaks like Walters as well, so Gumby playing does have potential SC impact elsewhere on the ground, just not for the player in focus (much like the Pods and Betts recruitments for the Crows).
If you’re the risk loving type, then I’m sure you’ll be ready to jump aboard and hope for the best. If you’re a tad more conservative (or sane), you’ll be staying away from Gumbleton in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 50-58
Quick list of lower ranked players to keep your eyes on during pre-season
Michael Apeness – FWD/RUCK – 137.3K
Alex Pearce – DEF – 117.3K
Brady Grey – FWD – 117.3K
And that’s how The Barron thinks how the Dockers are going to look for 2014. Have a different opinion? Or just want to get some questions looked at by the JR Community? Whack a comment down below, or send some airmail on the Twitter @BarronVonCrow and we’ll see if we can’t help you out.