Tom Rockliff was the perfect example of why even ultra-premium players aren’t season long locks in Supercoach.
It took about 3 quarters of football in Round 1 before Rocky was hammered and suffered broken ribs, an injury that hit his season and caused him to miss time all the way until Round 14.
It was a tale of two halves for Tom Rockliff in 2015. The nightmarish first half of the 2015 season, in which he missed 6 games with the aforementioned rib injury and averaged 77 Supercoach Points, and the dreamy 2nd half of 2015, where he went bananas. Especially over his last 6 games which saw him average a very lazy 136 SCPoints.
But even with his elite play over the last 2 years, Rockliff hasn’t always been the greatest Supercoach player. He’s had one fantastic year where he became an ultra premium (2014 when he averaged 132), but 5 other seasons he’s averaged between 85 and 113 SCPoints. So the question is, can Tom Rockliff get back to ultra-premium status in 2016, or is he destined to be a step below that and join the long list of players below God (Gary Ablett) tier?
|2016 Prices:||$550K SC, $579K AF, 7.2K CoachKings|
|Games last season:||16|
|Average last season:||Average Last Season: 102 SC, 105 AF, 90 CK|
|100+ SC Games last season:||10 (including 7 games of 120+ and a high of 152)|
|Sub 80 SC games last season:||4 (2 due to being subbed out because of injuries)|
|SCPrice range last season:||496K-709K|
|Missed games last season:||6|
The case for:
- Contested possessions + clearances + tackles = Supercoach Success – 3 of the bigger point scoring areas in Supercoach just happen to be 3 of the areas that Rockliff dominates in. Rocky led the AFL in tackles per game last year, averaging 8 a game and at the height of his powers in 2014 he led the AFL in tackles per game again, as well as averaging the most disposals, ranking 3rd in kicks per game, 4th in handballs per game, 9th in clearances per game, 6th in contested possessions per game and 1st in effective disposals per game.
- BIG scoring potential – Rocky is a Captain candidate every week, he’s more than capable of going large, with a recorded career high of 182 SCPoints. Along with Gary Ablett and Todd Goldstein, he’s probably one of the best Captain picks in SC. He can go large and he does it frequently
- Price – Ultra premium potential for about 150K less than you’d normally pay. Bargains like that don’t come around every week and while most people in his price range will likely stay in the same category, Rockliff is one of the few who could easily jump up another category.
The case against:
- Limited rotations – Unknown if this will hit at this stage, but with a limited amount of rotations available to teams in 2016, is it possible we see the return of the Crazy Vossy favourite, where Rockliff is parked down at FF for long spurts? The Lions still don’t have the greatest forward line, so his presence down there would be a boost and it happened to him in 2013, a move which saw his SC output “limited” to 110 SCPoints for the year. Still good, but we’re picking Rocky on the hopes that he becomes the ultra-premium player we know he can be. Less time in the middle means less stats for Rocky, a move which will hurt his scoring potential.
- Too much heavy lifting? – Rocky is certainly capable of the big scores, but he’s often done it when the Lions are down a player or two. Last year, he went on his big run once Dayne Beams (and Jack Redden for parts) were missing. In 2014 he went really big in the 2nd half of the season when Jack Redden and Daniel Rich were out. So if the Lions stay healthy and all of Beams, Zorko, Robinson, Hanley, Rich and new recruit Tom Bell are out there on the ground, will that prevent Rockliff from knocking out the really big scores? No one doubts his ability, but there’s more than a few good players in the Lions midfield group if they’re all healthy. Still, even if that knocked off 10 SCPoints from his average, I think we’d all be happy with a guy that averages 120 SCPoints a game.
- CoachKings – this is interesting. We are looking at a very different scoring system in CoachKings, providing a more even spread of scoring across across the board. Rocky averaged only 90 CoachKings points last season according to our current scoring system, and his $7.2K starting price is midpricer category. Maybe NOT the set and forget selection in CoachKings he is for other formats?
- Supercoach/AFL Fantasy – Yes. No question about it to me, he’s a lock in my side. Every reason I can give you why you shouldn’t pick him is just a hypothetical “if this happens” type argument. Will Rockliff be a contested ball grabbing, clearance winning, tackling machine? Yes, 100% he will, and because of that, he belongs in your team for 2016, especially at a discounted price. If you miss the boat on him there’s a good chance you’ll be spending 700K on him at upgrade time.