Pop quiz boys and girls!
Nice try. Take the test.
In 2016, which player received the ball by hand the most from his teammates?
- Scott Pendlebury
- Patrick Dangerfield
- Sam Docherty
- Andrew Gaff
A big clue was given in the title of this article, because if it was one of the first 3 three blokes this article about Andrew Gaff wouldn’t make a lot of sense would it?
The speedy wingman was given it 359 times in 2016 (17 times per match, an AFL record) and he delivered it at 72.3%. Now, handball receives can be looked at one of two ways: a) he’s a lazy prick and a seagull, or b) he runs hard and is always there to support his teammates.
In this case, it’s definitely b. Gaff averaged a tick under 30 disposals this year (29.9), 22.6 of them of the uncontested variety (ranked first in the comp) Supercoach gives you 1.5 points for each handball receive and when you’ve got Priddis (and now Smitchell) feeding them out to you it’s easy points!
His 2016 was a bit of a letdown after his breakout 2015. He wasn’t alone however, most of his midfield mates struggled for consistency. After 5 scores under 80 in the first half of the year, a switch was flicked post bye, 6 tons from 9 games and 30+ possessions 5 times. Despite his barnstorming finish to the year, he still finished the season valued at over $100,000 less than what he started the season priced at. Can he pick up where he left off after his 104 average in 2015, or is he a mid priced trap?
— Jock Reynolds (@jock_reynolds) January 12, 2017
|Games last season:||21|
|Average last season:||90.3|
|100+ games last season:||10 (high score 132)|
|Sub 80 games last season:||7 (low score 42)|
|Price range last season:||$354K (rd13) – $560K (rd1)|
|Missed games last season:||
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Not a whole lot. He’s a young bloke (24) who will hit the 150 game milestone later in the year if nothing goes pear shaped.
While I can’t knock him from a footballing perspective, his game is built on uncontested footy and it just isn’t supercoach friendly. He needs a lot of the pill to ton up, only managing to cross the 100 point mark once when he had less than 30 disposals. There were also times in 2016 when he did pass that 30 touch barrier, only to be rewarded with scores in the 80’s. You can see above that his +100/-80 games don’t offer us the kind of consistency we crave from a MID-only player.
Andrew Gaff is changing it up in 2017, by bulking up to add some inside grunt to the Eagles midfield pic.twitter.com/IKh5ez5ZxB
— AFL on 7 (@7AFL) December 19, 2016
As has been the case with a lot of these “maybe they will break out” midfield guys, there are just so many options in the fallen premium category we don’t really need to take the punt on Gaff this year. I don’t see him breaking into the top dozen or so midfielders. However, I will still watch his price. If he bottoms out at under 400k again I’d have a look.
If you want to grab him it he’ll need to lift the things I listed in “the bad” category. Along with upping his contested possession game. As he relies so much on uncontested footy for points, he also needs to lift his efficiency rate by foot to something truly elite.
- Durable as buggery – Missed 1 game in 5 years
- Runs all day and always in the game
- Kicks more than he handballs (4th overall). 8th for total possessions
- 7th best average in the AFL for metres gained (479)
- Doesn’t like to tackle – 1.7 a game
- Doesn’t hit the scoreboard. 7 goals last year and only 49 in his career.
- A career high 3 clangers a game in 2016
Even if Gaff reproduces that 104 average from 2015 at a fairly modest price, I don’t feel that he will become a keeper in your team. If you’re after a midprice stepping stone player, there are so many cheaper options that will generate a better cash output.
Get amongst the comments or hit me up on Twitter (@SC_Kev7)
|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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