Howdy folks, we’re one step closer to reaching the end of our Supercoach Scouting Reports, which means we’re also one step closer to the start of some real football!
Today we’ll be taking a look at the St. Kilda Saints. 2013 was a rough year for the Saints as they continued the task of rebuilding their squad from the remains of the Ross Lyons Grand Final teams of the 07-11 period.
It might be rough going finding a ton of value from the Saints at this stage of the year, but they do have a few interesting options available to us, from rookies, mid pricers and all the way up to premium priced players. So enough from me, let’s get moving on the Scouting Report for the St. Kilda Saints.
St. Kilda Saints 2014 Supercoach Scouting Report
2013 Record: 5 wins, 17 losses
Josh Bruce (Traded from Greater Western Sydney)
Luke Delaney (Traded from North Melbourne)
Billy Longer (Traded from Brisbane Lions)
Shane Savage (Traded from Hawthorn)
Tom Curren (Promoted Rookie)
Jack Billings (Pick #3, National Draft)
Luke Dunstan (Pick #18, National Draft)
Blake Acres (Pick #19, National Draft)
Eli Templeton (Pick #3, Rookie Draft)
Maverick Weller (Pick #20, Rookie Draft)
Jason Holmes (Pick #36, Rookie Draft)
Jason Blake (Retired)
Stephen Milne (Retired)
Justin Koschitzke (Retired)
Ben McEvoy (Traded to Hawthorn)
Nick Dal Santo (Free Agent to North Melbourne)
Tom Ledger (Delisted)
Jay Lever (Delisted)
2014 Team Preview
2014 Bye Round: 10
Final 4: Western Bulldogs, Sydney Swans, Richmond Tigers, Adelaide Crows
It’s going to be a slow climb back to the Top 8 for St. Kilda as they begin to rebuild their squad, though one could argue that they made the right move in waiting until the GWS draft concessions were done with before they completely bottomed out. It was an interesting off-season for St. Kilda, with them pulling off several shocking moves. The first was the trade of ruckman Ben McEvoy to Hawthorn, a move that no one saw coming at the time. The other was the sacking of Coach Scott Waters after 2 years and 17 wins on the board. His replacement was Port Adelaide assistant coach Alan Richardson. I wasn’t completely sure about the sacking of Waters, but they hired the best man available for the job IMO and I have tremendous faith in Richardson’s ability to turn the Saints ship around.
The Saints were very active during trade/free agent period, letting Nick Dal Santo walk to North Melbourne as a restricted free agent and moving out Ben McEvoy to Hawthorn for Shane Savage and draft picks. Savage has had the green vest curse during his time at the Hawks and will be itching to show what he can do with a full season out on the park. They also sought to boost their defensive stocks with the additions of Josh Bruce and Luke Delaney and replaced McEvoy in the ruck with former Brisbane player Billy Longer. They looked like they’ve had a very good draft with the picks of Billings, Dunstan and Acres and all 3 look like they’ll play at some stage during 2014.
On the fixture front the Saints haven’t been given the easiest draw in the world, with as many games against the top 6 sides (7) as they have against the bottom 6. They also play 4 of their last 7 games interstate, travelling to Tasmania, Perth, Sydney and Adelaide in that period. They also have an ANZAC Day game in New Zealand on their itinerary as well. The Saints double up games will come against Carlton, West Coast, Richmond, Adelaide and the Gold Coast.
The Final 4 for the Saints is also tough, with a game against the improving Bulldogs, followed by 2 games against potential top 4 sides in Sydney and Richmond, followed up by a game against Adelaide. It’s going to be a rough year again for St Kilda, as I would once again pencil them in for a bottom 3 finish, but hopefully their youngsters begin to show some signs and they use their draft picks wisely to continue the rebuilding process.
2014 Projected Wins/Losses: 6 wins, 16 losses
2012 SC Average: 95.9
2013 SC Average: 105.1
Starting Price: 561.7K
It almost came down to a coin toss for the coveted “Lock” spot in the Supercoach Scouting Report, and I did find myself flipping back and forth between Nick Riewoldt and Jack Steven, but in the end, Riewoldt emerged above all others at St. Kilda and so he finds himself at the top of the scouting report.
It may not have been a season to remember for the Saints, but it was for Riewoldt in Supercoach, with him producing averages of 18.6 possessions, 9.6 marks, 3.4 I50’s and kicking 2.4 goals per game for a season tally of 50.36. Those stats saw him ranked 1st in Total Marks and Marks per game, 3rd for Total Marks Inside 50, 2nd in Marks Inside 50 per game, 7th in Total Contested Marks, 12 in Contested Marks per game, 8th in Total Goals and 9th in Goals per game. His 18.6 possessions was also a career high for Riewoldt, a number that was ranked #1 for all key forwards last year.
Riewoldt started and ended the year producing good scores; it was just the middle of the season that he slightly struggled. His Rd 1-8 average sat at 118, his Rd 17-23 average sat at 106, but his Rd 9-16 average was a disappointing 88. The Saints relied heavily upon him last year though, with Riewoldt being the 2nd most used target inside 50 and was also involved in the 6th most one on one contests of any forward, grabbing a mark 24.2% of the time, which was the highest percentage of the 19 forwards who were involved in 60 or more one on one contests last year.
St Kilda will still be heavily reliant upon Riewoldt next year as their other forward options such as Adam Schneider (who’s only played 13 games the past 2 years) and Tom Lee aren’t world beaters at this stage or their careers (though Tom Lee is improving) and Stephen Milne is no longer with the team. St. Kilda were 16th for Inside 50’s last year, as well as being 16th in Points For at 79.6, so it’s probably a good sign that even with all that Riewoldt still managed to score well. If the Sainters midfield brigade can get the inside 50’s entries number up again, then it means even more opportunities for Riewoldt going forward. His disposal numbers may go back down next year due to him spending more time in the forward area, but he’s shown he can take marks and kick goals, so I wouldn’t expect a huge dip in his scores.
2014 SC Projection: 102-108
2012 SC Average: 89.9
2013 SC Average: 110.0
Starting Price: 593.1K
I remember this time last year, Jock and I were chatting about Jack Steven, we were both in agreement that this kid would be good, but that he’d likely score in the low 100’s, scores that wouldn’t be enough for him to be considered a keeper at his 2013 starting price of $480K. Well, there’s some proof that even the Barron and the father of fantasy footy sometimes get it slightly wrong! Mr Crimmins has already taken a fantastic look at Jack Steven, so you should definitely go read that article if you’re thinking about picking Steven up in Supercoach.
Steven broke out last year with averages of 26.9 possessions, 3.8 marks, 3.9 Inside 50’s, 5.4 clearances, 4 tackles and kicked 16.8 for the year. These stats saw him ranked 14th in Total Disposals, 16th in Disposals per game, 18th in Total Uncontested Possessions, 18th in Uncontested Possessions per game, 17th in Total Handballs, 19th in Handballs per game, 18th in Total Effective Disposals, 15th in Effective Disposals per game, 16th in Total Clearances, 18th in Clearances per game, 5th in Total Bounces, 6th in Bounces per game, 14th in Total Supercoach Score and 12th in Supercoach Score per game. Steven also ranked 28th for kicks into the forward 50, and 27% of these were marked by a team mate, which was the fifth highest percentage of the top 50. He was also the 2nd most benched playing in the AFL, averaging the 6th fewest minutes on the ground, something that may change due to the introduction of the interchange cap in 2014.
Steven came home strong in the final half of the year, with a solid build up in his scores though the year, going from 99 in Rd 1-8, 109 in Rd 9-16 and 123 in Rd 17-23. He also had 13 tons and not a single score below 70, nice stats to see from a midfielder. His Standard Deviation was 23, which was ranked 3rd out of the top 16 priced midfielders.
The biggest issue with Steven heading into 2014 is the big target he’ll likely be wearing on his back that opposition taggers will be aiming at. Nick Dal Santo usually copped the brunt of the tagging attention in previous years, and with him gone there’s a high chance they’ll turn their attentions to Steven, so it’ll be interesting to see how he goes at the beginning of the season. St. Kilda’s first 4 games are against Melbourne, GWS, West Coast and Adelaide. Melbourne have Jordie McKenzie who was rated as the 8th best tagger in the AFL last year, GWS have Toby Greene or Mark Whiley, who was rated as the 13th best tagger and did decent shutdown jobs on Scott Pendlebury, Dyson Heppell, Colin Sylvia and Nathan Fyfe. Adelaide usually used Nathan Van Berlo in the run-with role, but with him injured they may use someone like Sam Kerridge or Matty Wright and West Coast may be a safe game for him last year as they had a tendency not to tag as much, with them not having any player who logged enough minutes in a negating role to qualify as a tagger, but there has been talk of Scott Selwood moving back into that run-with role as well.
So if you’re worried about how Steven will perform with taggers it doesn’t mean you need to completely remove him from your Supercoach thinking just yet. Just wait and see how he goes for the first month or so and let that influence your decision from there. There’s a few other midfielders to choose from that are slightly cheaper, like your Cotchin’s or your Kennedy’s, so you can think about grabbing those guys first. Worst case scenario I can see is Steven still belts out a 110 average and you upgrade to him later in the year at or around his current starting price. On the flipside, if he struggles a tad and his scores go down, it means you can maybe pick him up on the cheap and hope he has a Joel Selwood type year where he storms home in the 2nd half of the season.
Alan Richardson has been quoted as saying he believes Steven has the speed and endurance to handle tags, so hopefully that turns out to be the case and Steven has a ripping year for us in Supercoach.
2014 SC Projection: 106-112
2012 SC Average: 99.2
2013 SC Average: 114.9
Starting Price: 619K
Even with Jack Steven’s fantastic season in the middle last year, it still wasn’t enough to match Montagna, who was the #1 man for the Sainters in the midfield last year. After dipping below the 100 point average in 2012, Montagna jumped back up to his 2010 numbers, with a Supercoach average of 114.9. Montagna finished the year with averages of 29.6 possessions, 4.8 marks, 4.5 Inside 50’s, 3.7 clearances, 3.9 tackles and kicked 16.8 for the year. These stats saw him ranked 11th in Total Disposals, 4th in Disposals per game, 5th in Total Uncontested Possessions, 1st in Uncontested Possessions per game, 8th in Total Effective Disposals, 3rd in Effective Disposals per game, 5th in Total Kicks, 2nd in Kicks per game, 16th in Total Inside 50’s, 15th for Inside 50’s per game, 16th in Total Supercoach points and 7th in Supercoach Points per game.
Montagna had a career low in contested possession %, with his tally falling to 30.1%, which was the 7th lowest of the top 50 possession winners in the AFL. Playing such an uncontested style of play also meant he received the 2nd lowest amount of pressure per disposal of the top 50 ball winners. This also had the upshot of being the cause of his high effective disposal counts too. Montagna was also 2nd in the AFL for metres gained and had the 8th best retention rate of the top 20. His kicks into the forward 50 were also a big boost to the Saints, with 52% of his 4.5 Inside 50’s being marked by a team mate, which was the 9th best result out of the top 50 for Inside 50’s.
All that probably highlights just how important Montagna was to the Saints in 2013 and just how important he will be to them in 2014. I know there’s more than a few who are expecting the Saints to struggle and the Saints players scores to drop as a result, but I think with Steven, Montagna, Hayes, Savage, Armitage, Ray, Ross and the younger guys in Billings, Saunders, Dunstan and Acres that they’ll have enough grunt in the engine room to be competitive enough that we won’t see a GWS/Melbourne situation arise where none of the midfielders average above 90. I think Montagna might be an overlooked option going into next year, he may slip a tad, so you might look at him as an upgrade option instead of an initial selection, but he’s still got plenty of juice left in the tank for us in Supercoach.
2014 SC Projection: 108-111
2012 SC Average: 73.6
2013 SC Average: 79.9
Starting Price: 430.7K
It’s been a slow climb for Geary in Supercoach land. The 25 year old was looking like a prime breakout contender in 2012, as he got off to a very impressive start, averaging 94.5 over his first 4 games. He then followed up with 6 games where he scored 58 or less for an Rd 5-23 average of only 66.56. And last year was almost the same again, his Rd 1-5 average sat at 94.6. He then following it up with 6 games of 71 or less and an Rd 6-23 average of 75.25, although he did end the year with an Rd 21-23 average of 115.
Still, Geary did have a career year, with averages of 17.6 possessions, 4.6 marks, 2.4 rebound 50’s, 1 intercept mark, 2.1 spoils and 3.1 tackles per game. He was the #1 ranked defender at the Saints and it showed in his polling in the Saints B&F award, where he game 4th behind Jack Steven, Nick Riewoldt and Leigh Montagna.
The hope would be that new coach Alan Richardson allows Geary to play a bit more aggressively which would probably help boost his scores up. Richardson has been quoted as saying he’s been a stand out on the training track, which is good to hear. We’ve seen previously that he normally starts red-hot, but fades away a bit as the season goes on, so if you want to play really risky you might even consider buying him early and flipping him after Rd 6 while his average is still high (if history repeats itself). Even if that doesn’t eventuate, he’s still a decent enough option for a mid priced back if you can’t afford anyone more expensive. He has shown the ability to score big on occasion, so if he can stop having quiet games, it’ll go a long way to improving his Supercoach appeal.
2014 SC Projection: 78-84
2012 SC Average: 55.7
2013 SC Average: 63.3
Starting Price: 341.6K
Shave Savage might be one of the most intriguing mid pricer players for 2014, as he’s played some very good football at his time at Hawthorn, but has often been hit with the sub vest, which has severely limited his appeal in Supercoach. Because of that he’s a player who we’ll need to dig deeper into than just looking at his SC yearly averages, which are a poor reflection on what he’s truly capable of as a player.
For the year Savage had averages of 13.9 possessions, 4 marks, 2.9 Inside 50’s, 1.1 clearances, 3.3 tackles and kicked 11.4. For the 10 games where he was not sub/subbed his averages were at 18.2 possessions, 5.1 marks, 3.9 Inside 50’s and 3.7 tackles. Savage had the highest kick to handball ratio at the Hawks, recording 2.5 kicks for every handball, and he had a terrific kicking efficiency of 73.8%. Hawthorn retained possession from 62% of Savages Inside 50 entries, which was the 6th highest percentage of the top 200 players to kick the ball into the F50 zone. For a team like St. Kilda who struggled with getting the ball inside their own 50 zone, Savage is going to be a terrific addition for them.
As we said before, Savage played 15 games last year for Hawthorn, but was involved as the sub 5 times. His 15 game average sits at 63.3, but if we remove the 5 sub games from his tally (Rounds 2, 4, 5, 51 and 23) then his 10 game average is at 82.5. In those 10 games, Savage had 3 “bad” games where he scored 66 (VS Geelong in Rd 1) 49 (again VS Geelong in Rd 15) and 53 (Rd 22 VS North Melbourne), but on the encouraging side, he had 2 games between 80-89 3 games between 90-99, 2 games between 100-104, so for the majority of his full games, he was scoring pretty well.
During his VFL stints last year at Box Hill, Savage had averages of 24 possessions, 5 clearances, 4 tackles and 2 goals was being the #1 ranked player at the club. Alan Richardson recently said he expects Savage to play half-forward and on the wing to provide support to guys like Hayes, Jones, Armitage and Dunstan who will be running through the middle, this will still give Savage plenty of opportunity to score, and playing half forward he’ll also be able to kick some goals too, so I could legitimately see him average at least 1 goal a game next year, which will be a boost to the Saints as they relied upon midfield guys like Montagna and Steven to kick goals for them last year.
It’s a bit like playing the stock market with these midprice guys. Savage likely won’t be a keeper, but we’ll want to buy him at his cheapest price, so that means if you want him, you gotta pick him in your initial side. If he can hit an average of 90+, he’ll likely top out at 470-480K, so that means the moment that his price ticks over 450K you’d have to have a serious think about selling him. This is where it gets tricky, because obviously you’d ideally downgrade him to a rookie priced player who is about to play, or has played fewer than 3 games, but the worst thing you can do is hold onto him too long once his price peaks at that 450K+ range, if he’s not going to be a season long keeper. I’ve seen Savage compared to Brent Maloney, who is probably an accurate comparison. Last year Maloney started at 362K and peaked at the start of Rd 8 with a price of 481K. By Rd 10 he was back down to 409K after a couple of bad games and never recovered past 400K again for the rest of the year. I sold late on Maloney, not trading him out until Rd 11 last year and cost myself $71,300 in the process. 70K might not be a ton of cash, but it can be the difference between buying a good player and a great player. Of course 1 bad game in the early rounds means Savage will take longer to peak in price also. By Rd 7, Maloney had 1 game where he scored 79, 3 games in the 90’s and 3 scores of 100+. Not unachievable for Savage, but there also wasn’t a bad game where Maloney totally stunted his cash generation with a poor score during his first 8 or 9 games, and he had several good ones, which is something to remember. At the start of Rd 8 it would have only been an $87,500 jump from Maloney to Joel Selwood, these are the types of deals we’ll need to look for next year if you pick Shane Savage (or any mid-pricer who won’t be a season long keeper). There’s no perfect science to it, so a little bit of luck will need to be involved too!
The Saints fixture has some easier games in the first 9 weeks with only 2 games against top 8 sides (Hawthorn and Essendon/Carlton), with their first two games coming against Melbourne and GWS, two games that Savage should score well in. Savage is looking tempting for next year and he does have plenty of potential to score well, I’ll be giving him some serious consideration for my midfield next year. He only averaged 715% TOG last year, so he’ll definitely be out on the ground more with the Saints than he was with Hawthorn.
2014 SC Projection: 86-92
2012 SC Average: 57.6
2013 SC Average: 58.1
Starting Price: 313.3K
There’s going to be an interesting battle for the #1 ruck spot for St. Kilda next year, with Alan Richardson identifying Tom Hickey, Billy Longer and Rhys Stanley as the 3 players in the running for the spot. This is going to make the decision on which one to buy difficult, but whoever wins, should be a decent source of points, especially considering their cheap prices. The Saints invested pretty heavily in Hickey, giving up their Brendon Goddard compensation pick for him back in 2012 (Pick #13), so you’d think he may be the front runner, especially since he spent last year backing up Ben McEvoy.
Hickey played 12 games last year as the backup ruckman, with averages of 10.4 possessions, 3.5 marks and 12.1 hitouts. Hit hitout numbers were disappointing, recording below average numbers in both hitout wins and hitouts to advantage, with both his rates being below what Ben McEvoy achieved.
His VFL stats were slightly better, with averages of 14 possessions and 16 hitouts, but he only recorded more than 20 hitouts the once. He’s one that’s hard to lock into your side at this stage; we’ll definitely need to see what he can produce in the NAB Cup before we can make a real accurate assessment on him. He scored a couple of tons last year showing the potential he has, but also had way too many games in the 50’s and the 60’s to his name.
2014 SC Projection: 66-72
2012 SC Average: 58.5
2013 SC Average: 51.8
Starting Price: 279.1K
Longer is likely in the same category as Hickey for next year, with his exact role in the team still undetermined at this stage. Still, the Saints got a pretty good deal with Longer, the Brisbane Lions used the #8 to draft him in 2011 and the Saints only had to give up pick #25 to snag him off Brisbane after he flagged interest in returning back to Melbourne. He only played 9 games for the Lions, but that was probably understandable as Brisbane still had Ben Hudson in 2012 when Luenberger only played 3 games, and then Luenberger himself played 20 games last year.
Longer played 4 games last year for averages of 7 possessions, 1.5 marks, 17.5 hitouts and 1.5 clearances. Both seasons Longer has recorded hitout to advantage rates of 21%, last year that was the 4th lowest of any ruckman in the competition. His NEAFL numbers were a lot more promising however, averaging 11 possessions and 45 hitouts, the next best player only averaged 33 in the comp. His hitout to advantage rate was also a better looking 27%, which was 2nd to the Gold Coast Suns Tom Nicholls in the NEAFL.
He doesn’t look to be a prolific ball user, averaging the 7 disposals in AFL games, and only 11 in the NEAFL, and in the 69 games Longer has played that Champion Data have covered he has never recorded more than 4 uncontested possessions. He’ll likely get plenty of opportunities at the Sainters, but I’m not seeing a ton of potential for good scores next year. We’ve seen you can be an elite scoring ruckman if you only average 10-12 possessions a game, but you need to average hitout numbers of 35+ to do so. Longer may find himself in that 10-12 possession range, but if he’s sharing ruck duties with Hickey, then it’ll likely be a McEvoy/Hickey situation again where at most they average around the 25 hitouts per game range each. Longer won’t be worth starting, but I’ve seen more than a few who’ve thought about buying Longer as a R3 insurance policy for their starting combo of McIntosh/Sandilands, which isn’t the most terrible idea in the world, but if either one goes down with a LTI again then I think you’ll maybe be looking for more ruck scoring punch than Longer will be able to provide. As a week to week replacement player he should do fine though.
2014 SC Projection: 66-72
2012 SC Average: NA
2013 SC Average: NA
Starting Price: 132.3K
Dunstan was the #18 pick in the AFL National Draft, coming from Woodville-West Torrens in the SANFL. He played 3 games at senior level for WWT with averages of 21 possessions, 3 I50’s and a goal a game. He was also the Captain of the SA Under 18 Championship team where he had averages of 22.6 possessions, 5 marks, 4.2 I50’s, 3.8 clearances and 3.8 tackles.
He’s already impressed during the Saints intra-club matchup, with Coach Alan Richardson noting
“Luke is a really mature kid … he is very impressive physically,” Richardson said. “He is lifting as big weights as third and fourth year players.
“He played inside; he played outside and was very impressive.
“We expect him to be able to play really soon if his form is as it was today. If that continues, there is every chance he will play some footy for us early.”
Dunstan is looking like a quality bench player at 132K. He’s been described as an “accumulator” and with the Saints rebuild looking to begin I imagine they’ll get him out onto the park as soon as they can, for as many games as he’s able to handle.
2014 SC Projection: 66-72
2012 SC Average: NA
2013 SC Average: NA
Starting Price: 207.3K
Billings was the #3 pick in this years AFL draft. He only managed 3 games during the TAC Cup for the Oakleigh Chargers where he had averages of 24.7 possessions, 4.7 marks, 4.3 Inside 50’s, 4 rebound 50’s, 2.3 clearances and 2 tackles. This was a fair bump up from his Under 18 stats for Victoria Metro which were 12.7 possessions, 4 marks, 2 Inside 50’s, 1.3 clearances, 1.3 tackles and kicking 5.2, playing further up the ground as a medium forward.
His starting price is slightly high, at 207K, so I’m sure there may be more than a few who look elsewhere. Until we get a clearer picture of how the forward rookies are looking after NAB Cup, you shouldn’t go writing of Billings just yet.
2014 SC Projection: 66-72
2012 SC Average: 47.5
2013 SC Average: 75.0
Starting Price: 404.5K
Roberton has a quality first year in the Saints colours after moving over as a delisted free agent from Fremantle. For the year he had averages of 17 possessions, 4.7 marks, 1.3 intercept marks, 3.9 rebound 50’s, 2.5 spoils and 1.9 tackles. Roberton recorded the lowest losing percentage of any Saints defender in one-on-one contests and also ranked “elite” for rebound 50’s and 7th at the Saints for total metres gained. He also ranked 1st at the Saints in both ground ball gets won in the back 50, and 1st for intercept possessions, with the Saints scoring from 25% of his intercept possessions, which was the 4th highest percentage of the top 50 intercept possession winners.
Alan Richardson has already talked about Roberton playing as a running defender, and with the addition of taller defenders in Josh Bruce and Luke Delaney the Saints have tried to upgrade their backline so undersized defenders such as Sam Fisher, Sean Dempster and Roberton don’t have to play on the big key forwards as much, though Roberton tended to play more on the #2 guys like Jack Darling.
He had a slightly inconsistent season last year though, his Rd 1-9 average sat at 90.2, but could only manage an average of 62.54 over his next 11 games, though that average includes a 26 against Port Adelaide in Rd 17 and a 43 in Rd 23 against Fremantle in which he was subbed off in both games. If we remove those 2 games from the equation, his Rd 15-23 average is a bit healthier, sitting at 81.2.
He’ll be a risky pick, but he’s shown that he can have patches where he punches above his yearly average weight last year, so it’s just a matter of removing those quiet patches from his games. With the addition of Bruce and Delaney the hope would be it would free up Roberton a bit more and increase his intercept numbers across the board, something that’d be a big benefit in boosting his Supercoach numbers.
2014 SC Projection: 80-86
2012 SC Average: 83.0
2013 SC Average: 79.8
Starting Price: 430.3K
It’s been a slow decline for Fisher since he averaged 99.2 in the 2011 season, his average falling 16 points in 2012 and then a further 3.2 points in 2013. Fisher could only manage the 9 games last year due to injuries. His stats ended up similar to his 2012 ones, with averages of 17.9 possessions, 6.2 marks, 1.9 intercept marks, 2.9 rebound 50’s, 3 spoils and 1.6 tackles. Fisher ended up ranking 2nd and the Saints for both intercept possessions and intercept marks and ranked as “elite” for disposals and kicking efficiency (83.7%) for players listed as key defenders by Champion Data.
Part of his scoring problems last year was he was matched up on the oppositions #1 forward, a role which meant he’d have to be more accountable in defence. Last year he was asked to defend against the likes of Jack Riewoldt, Jeremy Cameron and Adam Goodes during his 9 games and recorded a losing percentage of 37% in one on one contests, which was below average for an AFL key defender. At 31 years of age, it’d be a tough sell on Fisher jumping up to the scores in the 90’s he was averaging under Ross Lyon. Still, I’m sure we were saying the same thing about Kane Cornes and Alan Richardson was a big part of him (who’s also 31 years of age) jumping back up to averaging 100+ for the first time since 2010, so who knows what could happen. Many may hope that the addition of Bruce and Delaney means they’ll take the #1 man instead of Fisher, which would probably help his scores. Will be a roll of the dice pick here, I’m seeing there being more chance of it backfiring than paying off, so I’d look elsewhere next year.
2014 SC Projection: 76-82
2012 SC Average: 86.6
2013 SC Average: 71.4
Starting Price: 385K
Another Saint defender entering his 30’s who he is looking like going backwards, Dempster was an All-Australian in 2012, but wasn’t able to backup his AA form in 2013, his averages falling to 15.9 possessions, 5.9 marks, 1.7 intercept marks, 3.1 rebound 50’s, 2.9 spoils and 1.8 tackles. Dempsters biggest downfall was his intercept possessions, an area he ranked 6th in during his AA 2012 season, but he could only manage a rank of 42nd in 2013. Dempster lost 25% of his one on one contests last season, which was the 2nd lowest at the Saints, but also conceded 28 goals from 19 games, which was the highest at St. Kilda.
Dempster has only had the one Supercoach relevant year, which was his 2012 season. It’s hard to see him jumping back up to becoming a real SC prospect, so I wouldn’t be banking on Dempster returning to his AA type scores. He will hopefully improve a bit if he doesn’t have play one on one as much, but not enough to make him attractive to us for the 2014 Supercoach season.
2014 SC Projection: 68-74
2012 SC Average: 102.3
2013 SC Average: 91.2
Starting Price: 492K
I may have to duck the tinnies Jock throws at my head on this one, and I truly feel bad about it, but Supercoach isn’t a place where we let our heart overrule our heads. Going into 2014 I think Lenny Hayes days of being a quality Supercoach midfield option are over.
That’s not to say that Hayes had a bad season in 2013, he was still an important part of the Saints midfield with averages of 23.1 possessions, 3.6 marks, 4.1 Inside 50’s, 5.2 clearances and 4.6 tackles per game. He was 2nd at the Saints in clearances, handballs, contested possessions, inside 50’s and tackles and was 20th in the AFL in total clearances.
Hayes attended 61% of the Saints centre bounces, with the Saints recording a +0.8% margin during that time, making him one of only 2 Saints to put the team in the plus territory while attending centre bounces. Hayes only played 14 games last year, which apart from the 2011 season where he only played 2 games, was his lowest total since the 2006 season. Hayes will be 34 heading into this season, and while he may look attractive due to his sub 500K price, I can’t see him returning to his old scores again. If he has a good year he may manage to slightly float above the 100 point average again, but at this price you’d be better off spending money on the Beams/Murphy types, or taking a risk on a mid-pricer
2014 SC Projection: 90-96
2012 SC Average: NA
2013 SC Average: 61
Starting Price: 329K
The Saints moved out of the 1st round of the 2012 AFL Draft to secure the services of Tom Lee last year, moving down 12 spots in the draft from pick #12 to #24. Originally drafted with pick #60 in the 2008 AFL Draft by the Adelaide Crows, he only lasted 1 year on their list before the Crows delisted him, with Lee saying the reason being
“I pretty much put it down to a lack of maturity. I was a long, long way off being ready for it.”
Things are different for Lee now though; he spent a few years back in the WAFL and turned his career around. Lee only played 10 games for the Saints last year in two different stints. First he played in Rd 3 and 5 and then was sent back to the VFL. He returned to the Saints side in Rd 15, and played 8 of the final 9 games, missing in Rd 22. His Rd 3 and 5 games were a disappointment, only kicking the 1 goal in two games for a Supercoach average of 38.His 2nd stint was much stronger, with Lee kicking 16 goals in 8 games for a Supercoach average of 66.75 and kicked multiple goals in 6 of those 8 games. He was the 2nd most used target inside 50 for the Saints from Rd 15 onwards, and retained possession from 66% of those targets, the highest percentage of the top 50 targets for that period. He was also involved in the 12th most one on one contests and recorded the 3rd highest winning percentage of the top 20.
Lee will be an important piece for the Saints next year as they only have Nick Riewoldt as a legitimate target for them up forward at this stage. His form in his 2nd stint at the tail end of the year would be very encouraging for the Saints, but even with that he’s still not worth investing your money in. Will improve, but like the majority of KPF’s, he’ll still have his very quiet games and he hasn’t shown the ability to boot big scores like a Cloke can to make you consider buying him.
2014 SC Projection: 66-72
2012 SC Average: 59.2
2013 SC Average: 50.4
Starting Price: 272.1K
Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me. That’s probably going to sum up Arryn Siposs in Supercoach for 2014. He was touted as a potential breakout contender during the 2013 pre-season, about the only thing he broke out with was a case of the drizzling s**ts when he was out on the field last year. For all his pre-season hype, Siposs actually took a step back statistically speaking, averaging 10.7 possessions, 3.3 marks, 1.1 Inside 50’s, 1.3 tackles and kicked 6.8 in his 9 games.
Siposs was rated as “below average” for goals, score assists and score involvements as a forward last ear and had the worst goal accuracy (42.9%) of any player in the league that kicked more than 5 goals. His VFL form was slightly better, averaging 19 possessions and 5 Inside 50’s, but he was played as a midfielder there, and not up forward like the Saints have been using him. You’d hope he’d post an improvement 2014, and he has only played 25 games in 3 years, but I’ll stay away from Siposs this year, even if he does continue to get hyped as a “breakout”.
2014 SC Projection: 60-66
Quick list of lower ranked players to keep your eyes on during pre-season
Blake Acres –MID – 127.3K
Daniel Markworth – FWD – 123.9K
Spencer White – FWD – 123.9K
And that’s how the Barron sees the Saints in 2014. Any questions about the players listed here? Or any feedback at all? Let us know in the comments below or hit me up on the Twitters @BarronVonCrow
Barron Von Crow