Past his best or is there something left in the tank?
by Liam Watson
Marc Murphy endured a frustrating year as the Carlton skipper failed to sustain continuity, only playing the first 10 games. He was always behind the eight ball with a limited pre-season following a shoulder injury he suffered late in 2015 that required surgery.
One of his better games this season came in the first round, even with a lack of match fitness. The interrupted pre-season might be the factor that caused his Supercoach & AFL Fantasy scoring output to decrease overall in 2016 compared to previous years, but he was still able to play a key role for his team as they exceeded expectations by taking some major scalps.
Just as he was starting to work his way into the season, an ankle injury ended his year. The frustration comes as he could’ve returned a lot earlier but the ankle didn’t recover in time. The Blues certainly missed his leadership out on the field.
He may have had an uncharacteristic season, but we all know he has been a fantasy beast in the past and you only have to look at what teammate Bryce Gibbs managed to do, rebounding from an underwhelming 2015 by his standards to average 106.1 in 2016. This gives me great optimism that Murphy should at least come out with a point to prove.
|2017 Supercoach Price:||$432,500|
|2017 Est. Position:||MID|
|Games last season:||10|
|Average in 2016:||79.5|
|100+ games last season:||3|
|Sub 80 games last season:||3 (including injury affected 12)|
|Price range in 2016:||$421K – $556K|
|Missed games last season:||12 with that troublesome ankle|
After taking out that injury affected score of 12, his season average increases to a slightly more respectable 87 from 9 games. He also found the going tough with concussion in round 4, but was not really influencing that game anyway.
There is evidence to suggest that he can bounce back from a poor season based off a much better Supercoach average in 2014 compared to 2013. Whether or not that’s a sign of things to come is a major talking point and determines if he is selected or not.
Murphy’s injuries over recent seasons are a cause for concern, and it remains to be seen if he is over those niggles. A massive pre-season is required and needs to prove he is capable of running out a full season without any hiccups along the way.
There is also the threat of a potential tag from the opposition, where at times in his career he hasn’t coped well. Though with the emergence of Patrick Cripps, opposition teams might decide to put less time into Murphy and turn their attention to Cripps instead. Murphy can be a damaging player on his day when allowed to run free, so it will be interesting to see if teams want to put time into him.
Murphy would be selected as a mid-priced option with the hope that he can return to at least a 105+ average. If he achieves that, then he is a risk worth taking. He will prove to be an excellent selection if he can replicate the impressive form shown in the second half of 2015. He scored a mammoth 151 and then after Carlton’s bye his scores read 103, 114, 97, 113, 104, 114, 117, 130, 93 and an injury affected 85.
- For just 430k he will be extremely under-priced for a man who has performed to an elite standard in the past for fantasy coaches. He may not be this cheap again during 2017.
- Cripps could get the first tag from the opposition as he looks to become the main man in the Blue’s midfield, allowing Murphy to feel like he has less pressure to perform.
- Murphy kicked 7 goals in 10 games showing a clear impact on the scoreboard, particularly when he stepped up in that clutch moment against Fremantle.
- He has shown he can’t perform at his peak if underdone. His Supercoach performances appeared limited by that shoulder injury, demonstrating he won’t want to be playing at less than 100 per cent again. He will need to prove he is over the shoulder and ankle injuries by playing some NAB Challenge matches at least.
- As mentioned before with the injuries, he is less durable these days. Can you rely on him to play the full 22 games? He hasn’t played 22 games in a season since 2011. His durability is the real question mark heading into 2017.
- In a rebuilding team, is there enough opportunity for him to score big points consistently? He is capable of a high ceiling, but can he still reach it?
2017 is a make or break year for Murphy, given he looks to regain some fantasy relevance. He hasn’t averaged 110+ since 2012, but it’s still possible he can return to that level of scoring. All he needs is a good run at it and he could very well return to his former self because time hasn’t run out for him to deliver.
If we do see the sort of scores he produced in the second half of 2015 or more, we could have one of the bargains of the year. He comes in with a very tempting price to ponder.
It’s hard to argue that he doesn’t represent great value. As one of the biggest fallen premiums of 2016 he should come out firing, perhaps to prove some doubters wrong. This is not a speculative pick as you are getting a proven premium at a real discounted price.
Ripping contribution young Liam! Have a chat with him below, or over on twitter: @LiamWatson77
|This article has been penned as part of the Jock Reynolds Community Series, where anyone from within our proud community can have their say in front of their peers. These men and women have displayed the spirit of togetherness, positivity and community that we value significantly.|
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