AROUND THE GROUNDS with Barron von Crow
Yay, Superoach is back! And yay, it’s already providing what seems like even more headaches than last year, with several popular selections in Paddy Ryder, Tom Liberatore, Matthew Kreuzer and Zach Merrett going down with injuries, which meant if you had one, or multiples of those players selected in your side this week, you may have done quite poorly in what seemed to be a very high scoring opening round.
But rookies are what we’re here for and we were given a very mixed bag. I wouldn’t go beating yourself up too much if you made a few mistakes here, no one will ever shoot 100% on rookies, in terms of both starting selections and on-field selections every week, so expect to make a few slipups here and there. We’re dealing with unknowns here, so it’s hard to be perfect. So lets go see what Round 1 gave us in rookie performances.
Across the Nation
The Blues started off hot, but they couldn’t keep the Tigers on a leash for four quarters, eventually going down 121-95. They had a few popular rookie selections, with Jarrod Garlett looking like the best option, scoring 61 SCPoints from 17 disposals, 7 marks and 2 goals. A good start for him. The other two options Carlton offered up in Paddy Dow and Ciaran Byrne were less successful, with Byrne recording 14 disposals and 4 marks for 48 SCPoints and Dow producing 11 disposals and 5 tackles for 35 SCPoints. On the injury front, Matthew Kreuzer may miss some time due to injury, but with the Blues already having Andrew Phillips and bringing in Matthew Lobbe in the off-season, that will mean little in the way of potential rookie priced players getting a go.
The VFL season will kick off for the Northern Blues on the 7th of April against Collingwood. In the mean-time, they played a trial match against Richmond last Thursday, which they lost 127-73. Lachie O’Brien was noted as one of the top 5 disposal getters with 17, while Patrick Kerr booted a team high 2 goals, with Kym LeBois and Tom De Koning also hitting the scoreboard with a goal each. They will be playing another trial match against Port Melbourne on the 31st of March against Port Melbourne prior to the start of the VFL season.
The Pies didn’t have much luck against Hawthorn, going down 101-67, but we did have two decent efforts from their rookie selections Sam Murray and Jaidyn Stephenson. Murray finished with 19 disposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles and 5 clangers for 72 SCPoints, while Stephenson had 16 disposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles and 62 SCPoints. Good start for both.
On the VFL side of things, Collingwood’s season starts on the 7th of April against Collingwood. The side had a trial match against Box Hill on Friday, which they won 89-66. No real stats were provided for the game.
The Bombers had a terrific 4th quarter comeback to take home the 4 points by 2 goals against Adelaide after being down by 20 at the end of the 3rd quarter, but in terms of actual rookie priced options, they didn’t really provide much at all, with just Joshua Begley playing, although he did have a solid game, producing 11 disposals, 5 tackles and kicking 1.1 for 61 SCPoints.
The Bombers VFL season kicks off on the 7th of April against the Frankston Dolphins, with the Bombers having a practice match against the Werribee Tigers last Friday, which they won 59 to 23 (the Tigers kicked an awful 2.11). Dylan Clarke, Trent Mynott and Matt Guelfi were noted among the Bombers best.
A very close game against Melbourne, which the Cats just held on to win, 94-97, but the biggest take away for us here was the MASSIVE debut by Tim Kelly, who produced a great game with 27 disposals, 3 marks, 6 clearances, 2 tackles and a goal for 118 SCPoints. There is the likely addition of some bloke whose last name is Danger to deal with, but a great start nonetheless. Not to be outdone, Lachlan Fogarty also looks good, recording 20 disposals, 4 marks and a goal for 82 SCPoints. Zach Guthrie also found plenty of the ball with 22 disposals and 6 marks for 86 SCPoints, while Esava Ratugolea (only took me two tries to spell that correctly!) was a bit quieter in his AFL debut, finishing with 8 disposals, 5 marks, 5 hitouts and a goal for 32 SCPoints.
The Cats VFL season kicks off on the 1st of April against Werribee, the VFL Round 1 fixture is spread over two weeks, with the Cats being the only side to play the first week, no reason why that was booked like that. Anyway, the Cats VFL side played Footscray in a trial match last Sunday, with the Cats winning 112-94. Jermaine Jones and Timm House were named in the top 5 for the Cats, with Jones booting 2 goals, with Gryan Miers and Jack Henry also kicking goals.
No rookie starts for Hawthorn, who made easy work of Collingwood, winning 101-67.
The Box Hill Hawks start their VFL season against Williamstown on the 8th of April. They had a trial game against Collingwood, losing 89-66, with Mitch Lewis kicking 3 goals and James Worpel booting 2 majors.
A close game on Sunday, with the Demons having a chance to take the lead with 11 seconds left, but unfortunately for them, Maxy Gawn was unable to convert and the Demons went down 94-97. Bayley Fritsch the 2017 winner of the Fothergill-Round Medal in the VFL made his AFL debut and did OK, producing 60 SCPoints from 11 disposals, 6 marks, 5 tackles and 1.1. Decent rookie forwards looked to be in short supply this year, so we’ll take what we can get, especially at the cheaper price point.
In the VFL, the Casey Demons (No longer scorpions, although scorpions do remind me of something you’d find in Hell) start their season on the 8th of April against Coburg.
They practically played in a swimming pool, so it’s hard to take too much out of the Kangaroos 55-39 loss to the Gold Coast Suns. The #4 pick in the 2017 AFL Draft, Luke Davies-Uniacke made his debut, but didn’t muster much, recording just 8 disposals, 2 tackles and 29 SCPoints. He averaged 47.5 SCPoints during the JLT Series, and the weather conditions wouldn’t have helped, so the 22% of teams that own him would be hoping for a better result next week.
North Melbourne will be getting their own side in the VFL this year, after previously being affiliated with the Werribee Tigers. They have a BYE in the first week of the season and won’t make their debut until the 15th of April against the Northern Blues. They had a practice on the 24th against Coburg, which they won 101-62. Nick Larkey was the standout performer, booting 7 majors, with Tristian Xerri chipping in with 3 of his own.
Both Corey Ellis and Shai Bolton started for Richmond in the 121-95 win against Carlton, though neither were heavily owned (2% to Bolts, 4% to Ellis), likely due to their premium rookie price point. Ellis, who averaged 75 SCPoints from just 57% ToG during the JLT series couldn’t translate that sort of form to the real thing, notching up just 12 disposals, 2 marks and 4 tackles for 59 SCPoints. Bolton had even less luck with just 6 disposals and 2 marks, with 3 clangers for 20 SCPoints.
Richmond’s VFL season kicks off on the 7th of April against Port Melbourne, but until then, the Tigers played a trial match against the Northern Blues last Thursday, which they won 127 to 73. There were no official stats on Richmond’s end for the game, but noted that Jack Higgins booted 3 goals, with Patrick Naish being singled out for some of his defensive efforts and Ryan Garthwaite doing a good job in down back against Harry Mckay.
It was a tight game for 3 quarters against the Brisbane Lions, but the Saints managed to pull away in the 4th quarter, producing a 5 goal to 3 effort to win 107-82 at Etihad on Saturday night. The #7 pick from the 2017 AFL Draft, Hunter Clark, made his debut, notching up 12 disposals, 3 marks and a goal for 40 SCPoints, while the former #1 pick Patrick McCartin had a slow start to the year with just 7 disposals, 3 marks and a goal for 24 SCPoints. Ben Long had a better performance though with 15 disposals, 6 marks, 3 tackles and a goal for 61 SCPoints. He is in just 1% of teams however, so few would be celebrating that performance.
In the VFL, the Sandringham Zebra’s will take on the Footscray Bulldogs in Round 1 on the 7th of April. The Zebra’s did have a trial match last Friday, taking on the Williamstown Seagulls, losing 90-41. Bailey Rice led the way with 24 disposals, with Ed Phillips finishing with 21 disposals and Nicholas Coffield 5th best with 17.
Not the best start for the Bullies, going down to the GWS Giants, 133-55, and not a great start for Aaron Naughton either, who posted just 25 SCPoints from 11 disposals, which included 5 clangers. Billy Gowers also did poorly, producing 10 disposals, including another 5 clangers for 49 SCPoints. On the other side we had Tim English who did some nice work in the ruck for 12 hitouts, as well as recording 13 disposals and 6 marks for 83 SCPoints. That’s your SUPER risky Ryder downgrade option, though I imagine most will move to Nic Nat this week.
In the VFL, the Footscray Bulldogs will be taking on Sandringham on the 7th of April. The Bulldogs played a trial match against Footscray last Sunday, but no match report details were provided by them.
It was a mixed bag of results for the Crows rookies in their 99-87 loss to Essendon, on the high end we had a great debut game from Tom Doedee with 21 disposals, 7 marks, 2 tackles, 4 rebound 50’s, 9 1%ers, 6 intercepts and a disposal efficiency of 85.7% for 86 SCPoints. Seems like a sure fire-starting option for next week. On the other end we had Lachlan Murphy and Darcy Fogarty, who did some nice things, but both drifted out of the game as it progressed. Fogarty kicked the first goal of the game and finished with 6 disposals, 3 marks and 2 goals for 48 SCPoints, while Murphy had 6 disposals, 1 mark and kicked 1.1 (lucky on the 2nd goal though) for 32 SCPoints.
Tex Walker and Tom Lynch are potentially returning next week, which could see either of/both of Fogarty and Murphy miss, but there is also the suspension of Richard Douglas and the injury of Curtly Hampton to contend with also. That may work more in Murphy’s favour than Fogarty’s if both Tex and Lynch return though.
The SANFL (make sure you say SAN-FULL, I said S.A.N.F.L once and I haven’t been allowed back in West Adelaide since. John Olsen is a jerk) doesn’t start until March 31st, but the Crows did play a trial match against Port Adelaide on Friday night, which they lost 81-41. There are no official stats for the game, but Ben Davis and Jordan Gallucci were named among the best for the Crows side.
The Power got the job done easy enough against Fremantle, winning 110-60, with Riley Bonner looking like a massive star, collecting 31 disposals (21 kicks), 6 marks, 5 rebound 50’s and a disposal efficiency of 80.6% for 119 SCPoints. A junior Heath Shaw in the making. Dom Barry found plenty of the ball with 22 disposals, but had 16 uncontested, along with a DE of 68% and 5 clangers, which dropped his score to 44 SCPoints. Good signs in how much of the ball he found however. Todd Marshall also had a good game in front of goals, booting 4 majors, but had just the 10 disposals along with it for 59 SCPoints.
The Power will be dealing with an injury to Patrick Ryder, it’s not currently known how long he will be out for, but the Power have a few options in that they could bring in rookie options in Peter Ladham or William Frampton as a like for like replacement, or run with guys like Justin Westhoff and Dougal Howard in the ruck and bring in more backline help in someone like Jack Hombsch. Either way, I doubt you’ll be using a trade to bring in a Port ruckman, but we’ll have to wait for more information if you do own Paddy Ryder, though it sounds like he may be out for 3-5 weeks at the time of writing.
The Port Magpies start on the 31st of March, in the 3rd Showdown in 4 weeks with their Round 1 opponent being Adelaide. In Their 81-41 win in a trial match Jack Trengove and Will Snelling were named in their best 5, with no official stats being given.
The Dockers never looked any chance of winning on Saturday afternoon against Port Adelaide, losing 110-60. They did trot out a few rookie Supercoach options for us though, with Andrew Brayshaw and Bailey Banfield lacing up the boots for their AFL debuts. Brayshaw, the #2 pick in the 2017 AFL Draft finished with 12 disposals, 3 marks and 2 clearances for 58 SCPoints, while Banfield posted a similar stat line, with 12 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles and 51 SCPoints. That’s an OK start, but since Brayshaw cost a bit more than a regular price rookie we’d probably want to see a slightly higher average, though adding another 6-10 points to his scores shouldn’t be too difficult to do.
On the WAFL side of things, the Peel Thunder start their season on Friday night, taking on East Fremantle in the battle of Fremantle I guess. East side VS West side or something like that, I dunno how they do things over in Perth. Also, every time I start talking about the WAFL it makes me hungry for an actual waffle. Anyway, in a trial match, the Thunder took on East Perth last Saturday, winning 129-25 with no stats provided.
Probably not the way they wanted to open the new stadium in Perth for the 2018 AFL season, but the Eagles did a good job keeping pace with Sydney for most of the game (especially hard when Franklin goes off), though they eventually lost 115-86. The Eagles had a few new faces in their side to start Round 1, with Jake Waterman producing a 8 disposal, 2 mark and 1 goal game for 51 SCPoints. Daniel Venables was quiet, with just the 7 disposals, 1 mark and 4 tackles for 37 SCPoints, while Liam Ryan found more of the ball, but didn’t fair any better SC wise, finishing with just 38 SCPoints from 12 disposals, 3 marks and 1.1. None of these are really useable scores, all three will hopefully do better this week.
On the WAFL side of things, East Perth start their season against Subiaco on the 30th of March
New South Wales
GWS announced their intentions for the season in a big way, demolishing the Bulldogs after a tight first quarter, kicking 16.11 to 4.6 in the final 3 quarters to win 133-51. It was a mixed bag on the rookie front, with Jeremey Finlayson, Zac Langdon and Daniel Lloyd playing. Finlayson was the good, posting 20 disposals, 4 marks and 6 rebound 50’s for 87 SCPoints. He likely becomes an automatic rookie on-field selection at this point. In the middle we had Daniel Lloyd, who had 13 disposals, 4 marks and 7 tackles for 61 SCPoints. OK, but he started at an inflated price, so he needs to do slightly better. And at the bottom we have Zac Langdon, who posted 7 disposals, 3 marks, 6 tackles and a goal for 47 SCPoints. Slow start, as some small forwards can in Supercoach, but some nice supporting numbers outside the raw disposal tally to hopefully give us some confidence.
The UWS Giants start their NEAFL season on the 7th of April against Sydney.
The Swans started with a quality win away from home against the West Coast Eagles, being led by an unstoppable Lance Franklin, they pulled away in the 4th quarter to win 86-115. On the rookie front, they don’t look like they’ll be producing the numbers they did last year, with just Robbie Fox and Oliver Florent playing, both doing rather poorly with Fox grabbing 10 disposals, and 2 tackles for 55 SCPoints and Florent netting 6 disposals and 2 tackles for 32 SCPoints. Both Fox and Florent were $200,000+ players, so you’d expect slightly better scores than that if you selected them.
For the Swans reserves side, their NEAFL season started on the 14th of April against Brisbane.
The Lions tried hard, but they eventually went down to the St Kilda saints 107-82. On the rookie side of things, they started the #1 pick Cameron Rayner, but he didn’t provide much fantasy football wise, recording 9 disposals, 2 marks, 1 tackle and 1.1 for 38 SCPoints. At his starting price and scores like that, he looks to be Hugh McCluggage MkII at this stage. Now, that’s just for Supercoach purposes, certainly not writing off him, or his development as a player, it is his first year of AFL football after all.
For the Lions, their NEAFL kicks off on the 7th of April with a match against the NT Thunder.
Stewie Dew got the start of his senior coaching career off to a good start, posting a 55-39 win against North Melbourne in a wet game that probably wasn’t very friendly for clean ball use. It certainly seemed to play to Nick Holman’s strengths though, with NH posting a double-double of 13 disposals and 13 tackles for 96 SCPoints. We saw he averaged 6.5 tackles in the JLT games, so that looks like it will be a strength of his, and for a side that lacked defensive pressure last year, it will be one that hopefully keeps him in the side. We unfortunately didn’t see the Will Brodie like many hoped, but all that means is he may become a nice downgrade option later in the season (assuming he’s not named before then).
The Suns start their NEAFL campaign on the 7th of April against the Aspley Hornets.
Rookie Top 5
Jeremy Finlayson – $123,900 – 87 SCPoints
Zach Guthrie – $194,400 – 86 SCPoints
Tom Doedee – $123,900 – 86 SCPoints
Sam Murray – $123,900 – 72 SCPoints
Corey Ellis – $228,400 – 59 SCPoints
Tim Kelly – $117,300 – 118 SCPoints
Nick Holman – $102,400 – 96 SCPoints
Jeremy Finlayson – $123,900 – 87 SCPoints
Lachlan Fogarty – $117,300 – 82 SCPoints
Jaidyn Stephenson – $180,300 – 62 SCPoints
Tim English – $134,700 – 83 SCPoints
Tim English – $134,700 – 83 SCPoints
Jaidyn Stephenson – $180,300 – 62 SCPoints
Daniel Lloyd – $214,200
Josh Begley – $209,700
Ben Long – $168,200
Jarrod Garlett – $117,300 – 61 SCPoints
Bayley Fritsch – $117,300 – 60 SCPoints
Todd Marshall – $194,300 – 59 SCPoints