An ACL injury saw 2014 go to rags; will 2015 bring Daniel riches?

TG Footy Tracgic - DexterBrisbane struck it rich in 2008, selecting Daniel Rich with pick #7. His AFL debut came in RD 1 2009, where he knocked out a respectable 84 SC from 21 touches, 4 marks and 4 tackles – earning him the first AFL Rising Star nomination. His 2009 season turned out to be an absolute belter in which he won the Rising Star award unanimously and also took home the Best First Year Player award. Surprisingly, his debut year yielded his equal best in terms of SC tons – knocking out 7, which was matched in 2012.

2014 saw change to the Brisbane Lions; new coach Justin Leppitsch moved Rich to the half-back line and it turned out to prove successful in the NAB Cup. He started the 2014 season playing from half-back and in the first game vs Hawthorn; he knocked out a 79 from 19 touches (0 tackles, 2 Frees against & 3 Clangers took the sheen off). The second game of the year against Geelong proved a better result, tearing out a 104 from 20 touches & 5 tackles in a more handball (and contested possession) heavy game.

The unthinkable happened in round 3. In a little over a quarter, Rich was tearing along on 60 SC from 8 touches and 3 Rebound 50’s when his ACL went snap and so did his 2014 season. I think Leppitsch was onto a winner with Rich playing the half-back line. Put Hanley on the other flank, insert Beams, Rockliff, Redden & Aish in the guts, Christensen and Zorko on the forward flanks and BAM what an Engine Room!

One thing I’m quietly optimistic about – DPP for Rich! DPP is seriously an option, considering he played his whole 2014 season off the back flank (all 2½ games) – I wonder how Champion Data consider it. Do they go from their last season or from the last 22 games? If it’s solely off their last season; DPP is extremely likely. I expect it’s different though.

2015 Price: $348,300 (injury discounted)
2015 Position: MID
Games last season: 3
Average last season: 81
100+ games last season: 1
Sub 80 games last season: 2 (1 was on track for a big ton, but injury hit)
Price range last season: $448K – $463k
Missed games last season: 19; (ACL in RD3)
Significant history: Averaged 85.9 in 2013
Averaged 90.8 in 2012
Suspended for 2 games for rough conduct in 2012
AFL Rising Star 2009
Best First Year Player 2009
Drafted at pick 7 in the 2008 National draft.

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As I stated above regarding his defense move, his stats clearly indicate a move to the rear half of the ground. In 2012, he averaged a healthy 4.9 inside 50s and 1.6 rebound 50s. In 2013 he averaged 5.0 inside 50s and 1.5 rebound 50s. Fast forward to 2014; he averaged 0.7 inside 50s compared to 3.0 rebound 50s. Yes, he only played 3 games, but it was becoming evident – Leppitsch wanted Rich to play there and will more than likely return there in 2015 when you consider the midfield talent that has found its way into the Lions outfit.

Also, all reports are indicating a return to full contact training is imminent and Rich has had no hiccups, is hitting his return indicators on schedule and is eyeing a round 1 start – which is a big tick.

We all know contested possessions, efficiency and tackling give SC scoring a significant boost and over the past 3 years Rich has upped his contested possession averages. 45.2% of his possessions in 2012 were contested, 49.2% in 2013 and 61.8% in 2014 (only 3 games were played in 2014). His efficiency has been Elite, going at 67% in 2012, and 73% in 2013 & 2014. He has also averaged 2.9 tackles a game since 2012. For how contested his game is, he only averages 2.2 clangers a game – majestic!

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From 39 games since 2012, Rich has gone sub 80 13 times. Of those 13, his ACL in RD3 of 2014 was one. In 2013 he was tagged 3 times – Lower RD1 (61), Wright RD2 (77) & Jones RD19 (96). He was also tagged twice in 2012 – Shiels RD12 (75) & Jones RD16 (83). Look at the talent in the midfield and flanks that the lions possess and think; will opposition teams tag Rich on his return? Doubtful. Hanley, Rockliff and Beams are all more damaging and “fitter”. Therefore he’s got a lesser chance to be tagged and a higher chance to go over 80.

RISK FACTORS

Returning from ACL injury. Re-injury risk.
Mid-pricer

SELECTION PURPOSE

Mid-pricer – pick him with the hope to step up to fallen premium or cash in for a bubble boy.
Pick him from round 1 or corrective round 3.

THE GOOD

  • Contested beast. 52% of possessions since 2012 have been contested.
  • Efficient. Going at 71% efficiency since 2012.
  • Team of talent, eyes won’t be fixed on him – should fly under radar. Less tag risk.
  • Priced to average 64.8. I see a 90-95 average possible if fit.

THE DOWNSIDE

  • Price. Mid-price trap?
  • Returning from injury. Could re-injure or not return to his best.
  • Lions still a developing side, only averages 80.9 in losses compared to 96.7 in wins.

THE VERDICT

This is a hard one. Daniel Rich has shown he can score (Top 5 scores: 149, 145, 138, 134 & 132). The bad thing about his highs is only his 145 was recent, which was in 2012. He has also shown he can dud (Lowest 5 scores: 28, 28, 32, 42 & 44). The good thing about his dud scores is the 44 was in 2012, and the rest were pre-2012.

I’m going to put it on the line and say this; if you are looking to put as many ultra-premium players in your team, then you’ll need a Rich-like player to bridge the gap.

I am looking at Waters, Rich and other injury-returnees in the hope they hold out – so I can bank on the ultra-premiums in GAJ and Pendles et-al and at 350k (confirmed price $348,300), Rich can provide some serious value.

At this stage, Rich has a nice spot in my midfield – if he does get DPP, he’ll be a nice slot in defense.

Welcome to Soap-On-A-Rope Daniel Rich.

YES

Is my head Rich with wisdom? Or has it gone to rags? Love to hear from you.

Dexter

Twitter: @TG_Footy_Tragic

 

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30 Comments

General Soreness · 14/12/2014 at 06:40

Brilliant work as always Dex. Agree with everything including a probable starting spot if DPP. No DPP he will be a definite no.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 10:44

    Cheers General!
    I was very surprised looking over his stats.
    more a yes than no for me, pre-season being a huge indicator.
    DPP is an almost definite yes!

Chicko · 14/12/2014 at 08:24

Dex your propensity to pump out pertinent stats is magnificent! Great article. I will seriously consider if Rich is DPP and can slot him into my back line, otherwise he will be a no for me.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 10:45

    Cheers Chicko!

    Bloody love me a bit of stattage. The Higginator is the highlight of my supercoach pre-season I tell ya!

@daveywarhol · 14/12/2014 at 08:44

I like to take a risk in my Defence and Forward lines, but never in the Mids. If Rich is given DPP, he's a lock. If he is mid only, he might work but he's got a Dale Thomas-like stench about him.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 10:46

    I can see your point there davey. Although I'd think Rich is a better specimen than daisy… he's too busy licking maltiballs' feet!

jockreynolds · 14/12/2014 at 10:08

Sensational TG – just sensational. I reckon you're spot on as well – if we want to stuff our midfields with big arse premiums we'll need these blokes to allow the salary cap. And I'm also big on picking these blokes off who have already proven that they can get the business done, as opposed to an up and comer who looks like he 'may' make the grade. He is shortlisted for me at this stage lads.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 10:48

    Cheers Jock!

    I tell ya, I was getting slightly aroused going over the stats of ol' Rich!

    Pre-season will be a BUSY one for SoapOnARope!

Kev · 14/12/2014 at 10:27

I'm about 80/20 on him as a pure mid at moment. That left boot has given me all sorts of arousal through the years. His starting price v potential output is enough to sway me to keep him to at least the byes (Lions have round 11). Agree that he's a risk coming back from an ACL, but has enough runs under his belt to get to 450-500k around the time I'll look at offloading him.

I'm running out of superlatives for your write ups, Dex. I chucked "brilliant" into the online thesaurus and came up with erudite. Let's go with that

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 10:50

    I chucked Cheers in the thesaurus, came up with kudos…
    Kudos for the kind words Kev!
    Rich is definitely firming for a place at this stage. too much upside for such an under-priced player.

Leighroy · 14/12/2014 at 10:36

Great write up, preseason games are going be big when I make my decision re rich. Great us of stats though one of my favourite reads so far

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 10:52

    Gee thanks Leroy!
    Happy to pen a piece you guys appreciate!
    Humbled and privileged to have the opportunity to provide for this fine community 🙂

Itchy Nuts Pieman · 14/12/2014 at 10:55

Fantastic Dex. You are the champion of data. I’d be interested if he’s a DPP. By the sounds of things he’s a big chance. Picking the Brissy boys is going to be a tough gig. Shattered Hanley lost DPP. Certainly high on the radar. Well done again on a great read.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 10:54

    Cheers Pie.
    I'm bloody devastated Hanley has lost DPP…
    He's been one of my favourites for a few years now… Whose the guy we go to now? McVeigh?

    I'm capping Brissy players at 3. Rich, maybe Rocky and 'Berg?

throttlefinger · 14/12/2014 at 10:57

You actually had me considering Rich, Dex. Beaut of a review. Too much talent and unknown on the Lions so not sure how that shakes out from an SC perspective. At best, I'm going to wait and maybe slot him in as a corrective…if he's a DPP. Off the radar otherwise. Will be watching to see how the upgraded Lions will work out from a points distribution standpoint (esp Rockliff, Hanley and Luey) so will keep an eye on Rich as well. Bang up job, Dex.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 10:56

    Thanks Throtts.
    Yeah mate, I agree, Brissy has a massively talented lineup.
    I do believe in a better Brissy lineup and off a HB Flank, Rich can avg 90. as a def option at 350k LOCK.

    As a mid only… still highly considered at that price. esp if you're going mid prem heavy!

      throttlefinger · 15/12/2014 at 21:06

      Very good point, my man. Depending how the pricing is structure he may find a home in my lineup. So much waiting is not doing my patience good.

        @TG_Footy_Tragic · 16/12/2014 at 10:48

        neither throtts… esp with some of the pricing rumours doing the rounds…. getting plenty more greys from the last few weeks!

          throttlefinger · 16/12/2014 at 11:05

          yeah. that news wasn't a good way to start my Monday off. Hope it's more speculation than truth.

WombatsFC · 14/12/2014 at 12:40

Brilliant Dexter.
I'd pretty much given up on this bloke reaching his potential but the info you've delivered here sort of indicates that now is a good time to be considering him.
Seeing as he only played def last year shouldn't SC make him def this year?
If he's def only he's still worth a look as a D4 transitional IMO.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 10:58

    Cheers Wombats!

    Yeah matey, agree. 350k and 90 odd AVG as a defender! Bloody lock!

Dools · 14/12/2014 at 14:34

Dex once again you have been asked to charge from the safety of a SC trench !
I will be in the same boat as you this season fallen/ injured players are very high on my list and as such Rich is one that I'm very keen to take on.
Great work and very informative Thanks I normally go "To the Fridge!!" at this stage but I'm more confident in his SC relevance and so I will celebrate by going " To the fridge!!"

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 11:00

    Cheers Dools,

    If I was one to partake in the alcoholic beverages, I'd go to the fridge also to celebrate…
    but I don't, so I'll raise a celebratory water and drink that.

    Bloody lock as defender if he gets it. 60/40 if mid only.

lostlarrikin · 14/12/2014 at 23:46

Magic as always Dex.
50/50 for me atm, only cos I am tossing up between him and VB and don't reckon I can risk having em both.
That potential ceiling has Rich by a nose for now.

@TG_Footy_Tragic · 15/12/2014 at 11:02

Cheers Lost!
VB, as in Van Berlo?
I'm currently halfway through my article…

At the moment, if Rich and VB are contesting the same mid spot – I'd say rich. you'll see why soon.

    lostlarrikin · 15/12/2014 at 22:52

    Yeah Van Berlo it is.
    Sweet, looking fwd to ur lowdown.

Seaford Scouse · 15/12/2014 at 18:49

Another gem of an article Dex, rich will be booming them down that left back flank for sure so definitely worthy of consideration in defence if he gets it. Not sure as a mid only but if he comes in at that sub 350 price you put forward then will still be twirling through the options come round 1 selection.

Think you’re right as well on the fact that you’re going to need these types of players in your team, as premos will be priced v.high this year so we need to save cash all over the park and if he has to be corrected you should be able to downgrade to a rookie with cash to spare so minimising the risk.

Less sure on Van Berlo, achilles injuries are so hard to overcome and normally takes a season to adjust back so he’s a definite no for me at the moment, looking forward to reading your upcoming review on Jim all the same.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 16/12/2014 at 10:47

    Cheers SS!

    I'm going through NVB's history and seeing quite alot of turds…

    in his last 3 years (excl 2014) he has thrown out 33 sub 80 games from 85… thats almost 40% of games at sub 80…

    just one of many observations

George · 31/01/2015 at 18:06

Daniel Rich or Dale Thomas

    Trab Pukcip · 07/02/2015 at 15:55

    Neither! No value in either of them

Comments are closed.