Todd Goldstein RisingInterest in Todd Goldstein has gone through the roof these past few weeks.

First came the big news – the AFL banned blokes from going 3rd man up in any ruck contest. Great news for dominant tap ruckman like Goldy.

And now comes news that Majak Daw has stuffed his knee, gone under the knife and will sit out a big chunk of the remaining preseason.

In his ripping write up on Todd Goldstein earlier in the preseason Kev highlighted a bloody interesting link between Majak Daw’s place in North’s best 22 and a decline in Goldstein’s SuperCoach output.

While GM of North’s footy department reckons he’s “confident he’ll be available in the opening rounds of the season”, I can assure you there’s stuff all chance of Daw hitting the park before round 5.

Yep. On the surface it looks as if the chips are falling big Toddy’s way.

But let’s hold our horses. Let’s not trot around with engorged Goldstein trousers just yet – there’s research to be done and informed decisions to be made.

The Majak Factor

The table below tells a story. Majak and Goldstein played alongside each together 7 times last season. When Goldstein shared the rucking duties with Majak all of his key numbers dropped, and so did his SuperCoach output.

GoldStein Supercoach numbers With Daw

Most SuperCoach players will have a glance at a table like this one and jump to a conclusion pretty quickly. Majak won’t be playing.. so Goldmember will shoulder all of the ruck work and return to his best in 2017. LOCK.

NO. Absolutely, positively, dead set NO.

If you’ve hung around this magnificent joint for long enough you’ll know that there are always a shitload of factors at play.

Never jump to a conclusion unless you’ve done the hard yards. Scratch a few surfaces. Then get the shovel out and dig like a mad prick until you’ve discovered all that there is to discover about a bloke before you lock him in.

The Knee

You have to ask yourself – why would North Melbourne want to chuck Majak bloody Daw into the ruck when they’ve got one of the best blokes going around to shoulder the load?

The signs were there early in 2016. Goldstein had ripped the rucking world a new one in 2015, averaging almost 45 hitouts a game, 14 of them going to advantage. While he was in relatively good form early – his tap work and work rate had dropped away.

Then in round 10 we saw it. Todd Goldstein sitting on the bench with a fat arse icepack on his knee. He had a spell for a week, then on return clearly struggled to cover the same amount of ground. He couldn’t impact general play like we’ve seen him do in the past. Couldn’t get his hand on enough of the pill.

Todd Goldstein Knee injury

He’d shouldered all the ruck load in 2015 and the magnificent big bastard was feeling the pinch. Bringing in Majak Daw to chop Goldstein out was more about Goldstein’s drop in capacity as it was about the emergence of Daw.

Massive question this – is this the new norm for Goldstein? Having played a hell of a lot of this beautiful game I’ll tell you one thing.. missing 1 week with a knee then limping around on it for the rest of the season sounds a hell of a lot like a degenerative & ongoing condition to me. He might hit the ground running in round 1 after a nice off-season spell but let me tell you – he’ll feel that same old pinch before very long at all.

I could well be proven wrong here (for the sake of Goldstein’s longevity I hope I’m right) but North has to inject another bloke into the 2017 role that was earmarked for Daw. Ben Brown could be the bloke that chops out Toddy. Braydon Preuss or Sam Durdin are the kids that might be called upon.

Whichever way this falls, mark my words – Todd Goldstein will not reproduce his 2015 form again.

Third Man Up

Now some good news for big Todd. The AFLs canning of the 3rd man up in the ruck contest is a positive.

3rd man up became a widely used strategy in 2016 – deployed most heavily against the dominant tap ruckman. The impact this rule change will have on output for the dominant ruckman (also to the midfielders who played the 3rd man up role) will stagger you.

We’ve analysed this in incredible detail in the 2017 Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Magazine. I can guarantee you that you’ll change your mind on a few selections once you’ve digested the “Death of the 3rd Man Up” article. Snag your copy here while they last.

The magazine article will show you that the 4 teams who went with the 3rd man up most heavily were Port Adelaide, Geelong, St Kilda and Western Bulldogs. So how did big Toddy get on against these mobs?

Goldstein Third Man Up Supercoach

You might not think Goldy’s drop in Hitout to Advantage (HOA) against the 3rd man up strategy was that significant – but stuff me – it was.

Remember, a hitout in itself is worth bugger all anymore – unless it goes to the advantage of the ruckman’s team. Goldstein’s SuperCoach output on HOA alone was down by an average of 11 Supercoach points in these games where he had to deal with the 3rd man up strategy at its most aggressive.

Expect an increase in HOA point generation for Todd in 2017.

Norf Heading Souf?

Back to reality for Todd. North will struggle in 2017.

Brent Harvey. Daniel Wells. Nick Dal Santo. Drew Petrie. You don’t lose that calibre of silk without copping it on the scoreboard. And North will cop it hard in 2017. Where do you reckon they’ll finish on the ladder? How many wins will they chalk up?

Lets have a squiz at Goldstein’s numbers when things are on the nose:

Goldstein Wins and Losses

Doesn’t look crash hot does it? Goldmember goes flaccid when North are up against the wall.

One thing to keep in mind – Goldstein has been such an important factor in whatever success that North has had over the last few seasons. Could it be that North just struggled when Todd was off the boil?

I reckon it’s more about Todd’s reduced ability to make an impact around the ground when the opposition has the run of the ball – the stats back that up. While his tapwork stats hold up, his general disposal numbers have generally dropped off in losses.

You also have to wonder how the loss of experience around the ruck contest will impact on his HOA numbers. Wells, Dan Santo and Harvey in particular were bloody good readers of the ball off the ruck contest..

 What’ll he average in Supercoach 2017?

We’ll all have a different opinion here – that’s part of what I love about this caper.

Here’s how I see things;

  • He’ll continue to experience the Majak factor – sharing ruck duties with Ben Brown early then Majak when he’s back. The knee will be a problem – and he’ll struggle to run out games more as the season wears on.
  • I see North notching up 8 or 9 wins. Given his history in a losing side his overall average will take a hit. The chart below will give you an idea about how his output is likely to be impacted by North’s win/loss ratio, both if he improves on his 2016 output, and if he drops off
  • Some of the point loss because of the above factors will be offset by a rise in his HOA numbers

The darker green below will show you where I reckon he’s at for 2017. I’m leaning further towards a slight drop off in form as opposed to an improvement.

Goldstein prediction matrix

  • The link between his overall hitout numbers and SuperCoach average are clear as day when you look at the graph below. With question marks over his fitness and need for a chop out in the ruck, I don’t see his hitout per game rate returning to his 2015 numbers.


The verdict

Remains a solid NO.

What are your thoughts community?




Stirlsy · 14/01/2017 at 23:54

Well Jock, that's going to make me think it over a little but in the 2 teams im floating he is in both teams 1 with Sandi the other with Big Maxy i still think ill take the punt with him no matter what team i start with.
Great insight Jock keep the good stuff rolling.

    jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:15

    Cheers Stirlso – all boils down to his body at the end of the day. I have very robust doubts around his ability to run out the season without some serious chop outs. That means less time in the guts, that means less SC

Jambo · 15/01/2017 at 00:06

Unless I'm mistaken, I reckon that the HOA's have more to do with the midfielders' ability to read the tap from the ruckman. If that's true, I think we are looking at the wrong issue. Stefan Martin is an exception to this belief. For this reason, I will not be selecting Goldmember this year.

Ripping article, Jock!!

    Kev · 15/01/2017 at 10:18

    Reckon it's 50/50, Jambo. The big boys don't just hit it anywhere they want. Plenty of conversation with the rovers about running patterns and such. Nic Nat in particular is awesome to watch doing this

      jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:15

      Great point Jambo – definitely a factor mate esp with Boomer, Dal and Wells gone – all bloody good on the shark

Kev · 15/01/2017 at 00:44

Flower me sideways, Jock! If this is the kind of insight and analysis inside the mag you'd be mad to not get your hands on a copy. Get around it community!

    The Stiv · 15/01/2017 at 14:33

    You're really not serious about your SuperCoach if you don't get it. The 2015 mag was a game changer.

      jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:16

      Thanks Kev & Stiv! We are bloody proud of it lads. I think this ones got v2015 covered by a fair way as well! So good to have you blokes around the place.

        Derek · 15/01/2017 at 18:27

        I still believe the article in last magazine on the Mamoth Curve, was the best article ever written in the history of the world, on any topic. No exagerating!

          Luskin Star · 15/01/2017 at 19:26

          For mine the best article was the one about identifying the next beast. Jumped on Merritt and cripps as a result and doing it again this year

Keenbutclueless · 15/01/2017 at 01:32

An unbelievably enlightening article. Blown away by the quality of this work. Goldy may well end up as the second highest averaging ruck at 106, but he will definitely get cheaper. Part of the argument for picking him was that he might be slightly undervalued. This article blows that theory out of the water. If we can trust Sandi for the first half season, then an upgrade to Goldy will make a lot of sense. I was leaning towards a Gawn/Sandi combo, but this almost locks it in for me.

    jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:18

    Bloody good comment re: price mate. Almost every premium in the comp dropped in price in the lead up to the bye last year. Not outside the realms of the possible that Goldy will come out and hit the scoreboard pretty well before the knee condition takes its toll – still – no doubt he'll drop in price. None at all

Kev · 15/01/2017 at 10:14

Alright. I've had another go at this after some shuteye and my morning coffee. Still highly aroused reading this a second time, the final graph showing SC v Hitout average is particularly stimulating.

If Ben Brown was 100k cheaper with DPP I'd be looking at him very closely. Can't wait to read further ruck analysis in the mag, Jock. Really super stuff this.

    jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:19

    You're a good man Kev – I hear some strong word around the community that you have a ball tearer of an article that will drop on the site in a day or two.. could be one about the Williams boy is the word 😉 A corker

Krups · 15/01/2017 at 10:19

Great article Jock, the way your mind works is just awesome. A big no for me and ill be having Grundy at R1

    jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:21

    Thanks Kruppo! Grundy's gonna be a real POD the way things are going which surprises me a bit – theres a STACK of upside in him I reckon. Sandilands being selected by every bloke and his dog.. I'm unlikely to go Sandi at this stage. I've had Grundy in and out of my side for a month now – and still undecided on Gawn. Something about a Big Stef and Grundy combo has me reaching for the tissues a bit at the minute,

      Krups · 15/01/2017 at 19:32

      Jock old mate great minds think alike. My current ruck setup is Grundy/Big Stef and all for under Million $$$$

I N Pieman · 15/01/2017 at 10:38

I think those real monster scores will be a lot harder to come by for Goldy. Don't think he's going to kill you if you don't start him. I was watching him with that knee last season & I didn't like what I saw. He's a maybe later. Awesome piece old mate

    jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:27

    Thanks old mate! I've read your Ben Long write up about 5 time now what an absolute boneless pink salmon fillet that one was ya beast! Was thinking about Goldy all night in bed – here's what I reckon is a real good chance of happening
    * your typical bloke might go in with a Gawn Sandi combination
    * Goldstein's knee's not to shabby early. Might even crank out a few 115-120s early
    * Sandi either snaps in half, underperforms or makes a bit of coin. Either way, Goldstein looks a reasonable trade in option for Sandi around round 6. Goldstein's price will have dropped (lock that in).. and blokes will snaffle him
    * The knee condition progressively worsens – anywhere between rounds 5 to 10 he'll be visibly stuffed
    * Could be a lemon for the rest of the season

    Shit I hope I'm wrong – nothing like seeing a big bloke in his prime. Don't reckon I'm wrong though.. he's on the slide.

      I N Pieman · 15/01/2017 at 16:16

      No worries mate. I sent you an email to let you know I found NOMCOC the 2nd in the draft. Purpose picked to play round 1. Can send it you tomorrow if your still taking articles. Hard to argue with anything you've said about Goldy there. That knee really is a concern

        jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 16:34

        Mate – bring MOMCOC v2.0 on! Cheers mate!

          I N Pieman · 15/01/2017 at 16:38

          I'll have it you to tomorrow mate

LEKD0G · 15/01/2017 at 10:47

This is a great article! What a read, certainly raises some questions marks in regards to big Goldy…I really want to take a risk in the ruck this year and maybe that looks like a Gawn-dilands combo…much to think about

    jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:29

    You won't walk alone if you head in with Gawndilands old mate (like the sound of that.. Gawndilands). Not sure I'll star with either yet – Thinking right now is Stef-undy

      LEKD0G · 15/01/2017 at 19:22

      That isa a very interesting lineup, sure the mag will clear that up for me

    Luskin Star · 15/01/2017 at 19:45

    This is the year to take risks in ruck i think. Set and forget has served us well but i think that is because we havent had viable mid price options. The last time we had one was Sandi himself and he tore it up. This year we have sandi and stef who are both capable of keeper scores. And dont forget Giles who has usually scored well when in no1 role. The points leaked by not having Gawn can be made up by loading the mids with the extra cash.

Moustachio · 15/01/2017 at 11:14

Very exciting analysis here. But but but…

North are not stupid, they are well aware of this niggling injury to their most important player and will have put every effort in the off season into getting him the rest and physio he needs.

He actually managed to decrease the difference between wins and losses this year, which either means Norf were les reliant on him or that he was less reliant on them.

Goldy is the most consistent high scoring ruck in the league and has not had a major injury at all. Together with lack of third man up I am expecting a modest upswing even if North are losing. Gawn was just fine this year in a crap team.

    jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:34

    Yep – 3rd man up will help the Member no doubts there.. Gawn will also get a bit of a point per minute shot in the arm without that cheeky 3rd prick lurking.

    The knee really concerns me though. We didn't hear any specifics about what the problem was. He didn't need surgery post season. As weird as it sounds the fact that he didn't go in for a bit of a clean up at the end of the season makes me all the more concerned that its one of those knee conditions that just can't be improved by the knife. Wear and tear more than anything else.

    ron dale · 15/01/2017 at 21:20

    think you have a typo Moustachio crap should be highly improved with one of the best midfields .We all make mistakes Gawn easily the top ruckman 2016 and2017 just a matter of R2

      MoustachioSC · 16/01/2017 at 22:49

      Definitely improved ron, but not a top 8 midfield (or side) I reckon. I do rate the Beard.

The Bont · 15/01/2017 at 11:31

Great read jock you brilliant man !
Got me questioning my Gawnstein ruck combo .

Sam L · 15/01/2017 at 11:50

I might have to rethink my current Goldilands combo in the ruck. I've also thought about putting Shane Mumford in the ruck, but his scoring output went down once Lobb started firing. The ruck structure has always caused headaches for me, this year is no different.

    Sam L · 15/01/2017 at 11:53

    Woops, I meant his scoring output changed (not went down) once Lobb started firing, so it will be interesting what Mumford's role will be this year.

      jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:35

      Mummy! Now there's a point of difference Sammy! I'm putting a lot more thought into Big Stef.

TRIGGER HAPPY · 15/01/2017 at 13:24

Jock you have outdone yourself here.
A statisticians smorgasbord.
If this is a sample can't wait until the actual magazine arrives. If it arrives during the week may be more than one sick day taken. A case of general soreness for the community.
This has just confirmed my choice of big Stef over Goldy.
Cheaper and I expect Stef to start off in a blaze of glory. How is this for a Ruckman dream start.
GC, ess, saints, times, dogs, port, swans, hawks, crows.

If raring to go Rd 1 locked and loaded with his partner in crime Sandi.

    jockreynolds · 15/01/2017 at 15:36

    YES. Trigg – I've had Stef under the microscope as well – the more I look the more I'm considering him. Look at that early run – stuff me.

Rick Grimes · 15/01/2017 at 13:44

He's in my team…for now.

Jack · 15/01/2017 at 16:27

What makes us think his knee injury from last year is ongoing? After a layoff he could be 100%….Close to a certain starter for me, cant believe how much people's opinions of players can change so drastically in the space of 12 months. I can understand people that are considering Grundy but I can't help but think Stef is gonna be a huge burn man.
Great piece written by a great man

    Kev · 15/01/2017 at 17:15

    Interesting one, Stiffy Martin. No doubt he is underpriced after May sent him to China via the turf of the Gabba, took him a while to get back from that one. Will be interesting to see if Archie Smith continues to get opportunities.

    Both were rubbish when rucking together
    AS: 6t, 8h/o, 52sc
    SM: 9t, 25h/o, 70sc

    To put that into context Martin averaged 19.3t, 32.1h/o and 106.5 in his final 8 games. Smith was coming off 2 games averaging 17t, 31h/o, 93sc.

    Small sample size but I don't see Stiffy as our ruck saviour

      I N Pieman · 15/01/2017 at 17:27

      Archie Smith had a run in with a string Ray & copped a barb through his foot that needed to be surgically removed. He won't be running to comfortably for a while

      TRIGGER HAPPY · 15/01/2017 at 17:35

      Didn't a stinger take out Smith?

        I N Pieman · 15/01/2017 at 18:25

        Pretty nasty photo of the damage Trig & the barb they pulled out. Surely that holds him back a while

#EngineRoom · 15/01/2017 at 17:22

#TeamGawndy #TeamGrawny

Derek · 15/01/2017 at 18:59

I've been Goldy/Sandi for awhile.

Idea was to upgrade Sandi to Gawn once Sandi price rise and Max price fall. Sandi just too cheap to ignore.

I thought Goldy was reasonably priced based on his 2015 form, thinking the off season rest would have fixed his knee.

Reading what Jock has written, there is more to worry about with Goldy than his knee. When Daw comes back.

I'm not like Gawns attitude this year, skylarking abut me think. So not keen to start him at $645k.

Another option is to start with Ryder/Sandi.

I have Ryder locked at F4 anyway.

He could start as a ruckman and first upgrades I can swing him to forward line and bring in Max at a cheaper price.

What do you think about that

    I N Pieman · 15/01/2017 at 19:18

    Who would be your ruck cover Derek? What if one of them or both of them go down. Your in strife. What's the contingency plan?

      Derek · 15/01/2017 at 21:37

      That is my backup. Swing Ryder to forward line and trade a keeper in

    Neil Demons Delight · 15/01/2017 at 21:57

    Hi Derek The problem with not selecting Gawn is the points you forfeit by selecting a Lobbe waiting for a Gawn drop. Study the dees opening games and given he will play R1 cant see him dropping much. Remember your 9 point review 2 years back.Point 9 PAY THE PRICE does that still apply. good luck for the year personally interested in your views on Wingard

      Derek · 16/01/2017 at 11:43

      Don't remind me about LOBBE.

      Having another day to think about it, Max look pretty solid.

      Pay the price, can't go wrong.

      Mix that with looking for value with an underpriced premium on each line (rule 5).

      I have added another rule. No injury risk players. So Sandi and Fyfe still need to 100% prove they are ok to be included.

      Derek · 16/01/2017 at 11:56

      Wingard does tick a lot of boxes for me. I had him in my team until I slotted Ryder in at F4.

      Dahlhaus, McCrae, Henney, Ryder.

      All the talk about Henney getting more midfield time puts him ahead of Chad at the moment. I am hoping he gets more midfield time with Monfries back in the forward line.

      Ports early draw is not great, plus the round 9 bye are against him.

      Right now he is behind Henney, but ahead of Motlop.

CroMagnon · 15/01/2017 at 19:38

Yea, the fantasy lord hath prophesied, a vengeful scourge shall beset the Goldmember, and he who selects the cursed one will endure sub par scores and gnashing of teeth!

Luskin Star · 15/01/2017 at 19:50

Super article Jock. You have strengthened my resolve to steer away from Goldy, a former fav.

AMAC · 15/01/2017 at 21:00

Thank you for your hard work and insight with this article Jock. It has given me some legitimatley healthy food for thought. I still think that Gawn will be the number one ruck in 2017 but I am now uncertain of the number two. Currently considering Martin, Grundy, Sandi, Hickey, Sauce and Ryder.

wombatsfc · 15/01/2017 at 21:27

Looks like you've been having a few sleepovers at Higgos place jock, well done mate the old noggin must be shagged though. Steph to the Max for me in the ruck atmo

    Derek · 17/01/2017 at 12:38

    the only thing that worries me about Martin is Archie Smith also in the team. If you saw him play his 3 games last year you will know what a talent he is and will become. He might be just be the Steph Martin of 2014!

Wighty · 16/01/2017 at 14:35

Can't believe there is not more love for Ryder…virtual one man band and DPP

    jockreynolds · 16/01/2017 at 22:16

    Plenty of love for him up FWD Wighto – I reckon he'll end up in every other team.

      Derek · 17/01/2017 at 12:30

      Have a look across the other lines who you can get for about the same price. There is plenty of other good value out there. Mills, BMurphy, Hartlett, Beams, MMurphy, Bennell, Wingard, Heeney, DeGoey, Petracca.

      It is his FWD/RUC DPP that stands him apart, especially if you are going with Sandi at R2.

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