I wrote an article in the latter stages of 2014 on Pearce Hanley. It was preseason, and we were all excited at the prospect of a DEF/MID Hanley, alas, for 2015 and all the years since – he has been MID-only.
This year is the first – since 2014 – that we have been gifted a Hanley DPP.
However, is it too late?
In the years following my dissection of his selection potential, he simply has not lived up to the hype.
He missed the first 3 months of 2015 due to hip surgery and a few weeks post-bye with back-related hamstring tightness. His 2016 season was ‘indifferent’ and he admitted to not playing to his potential; and his 2017 season was derailed due to the tragic death of his younger brother Tommy. He also missed 2 weeks in the latter half of the season due to back-related hamstring tightness.
The end of 2017 saw Hanley play for Ireland in the International Rules Series – where he subsequently broke his hand and had his 2018 preseason interrupted.
All those games missed.
With all that in mind, I still think he is fantasy relevant.
PEARCE HANLEY: THE FACTS
|2018 facts||$428,000 DEF/MID|
|2017 100+ scores||4|
|2017 sub-80 scores||6|
|2017 highs and lows||High of 119, low of 31|
These numbers don’t scream “PICK ME”, but I see potential.
This year, Gold Coast are a shell of a team – filled with middling players and a core of young potential stars. Considering Hanley is 30 this year, it puts him in the oldest handful of players in the team, meaning he will want to be a leader and step up his game.
Where does he play?
I think Hanley will almost certainly run off the flank. With the likes of Miller to probably run off the other flank.
If he is not off a flank, it will be a wing-role for mine.
Going over Hanley’s heat maps from previous seasons, he has mostly played defence – with the exception of 2014-2016 – a closer to 50-50 split in mid-fwd possessions.
His 2017 heat map indicates a clear shift back, with stints on the wing.
His numbers speak for his majority outside-style play.
In 2018, if we exclude his injury-affected game against North Melbourne, he averaged 6.25 contested possessions. Considering he averaged 20.6 disposals in those matches, he is more likely to receive the pill and run, than bulldoze into packs.
He kicks the ball more, which is a tick (avg 11.9 kicks to 7.7 Handballs) – but does not like to tackle much (avg 2.2 per game).
Hanley averaged 5.1 marks a game, and his efficiency with the ball was good at 69%.
Hanley will rarely hit the scoreboard, and his clanger-rate could improve (3.4 per game)
Another stat of note – his average SC score in wins compared to losses, last year was negligible – 76 in wins, and 78.4 in losses.
Going back to his 2016 season, he played for the Lions and was playing more 50-50 between mid and defense (according to his heat maps).
His numbers however, were very good.
Hanley opened the 2016 season with 6 straight 85+ scores and 3 tons to average 110 – yet his following 6 matches yielded 3 sub 80’s and an average of 77.5.
I couldn’t find a reason why his numbers suddenly dipped other than lack of possession and bad efficiency.
His stats for the year compared to his 2017 campaign were similar, with one major standout – his rebound 50’s compared to his inside 50 average (3.5 I50 in 2016 – 1.9 I50 in 2017, and 2.0 R50 in 2016 – 3.3 R50 in 2017)
Either way, if Hanley plays off a flank or wing – at his price, he only needs to average around 80 to be worth his money, I feel he could average 90-95 – with some large scores in there.
Plays for Gold Coast – not many other good players to take his share of points.
Kicks more than handballs.
SC average in losses isn’t much different from wins.
Has a history of high scores.
Plays for Gold Coast – they will get more beatings than most this year.
Is an outside player, if tagged, will likely stain your team.
Unknown coach – where will he play Hanley?
A near-lock in defense at his price for mine, and the DPP status just gives more flexibility to your team.
Isn’t Sam Docherty or Heath Shaw (in his prime), but a handy 90-95 a week will be a good return on investment.
In my team at D3, and will need to not play to be moved.
Let us know community, are you picking Hanley?