Young midfielders are always hard to peg in Supercoach, players like Taranto are obviously supremely talented, but picking the correct year where they “breakout” can sometimes be more about luck than an exact science. There are things we can look for though, the #1 thing is often opportunity, which is something that may be headed Taranto’s way with Dylan Shiel now a Bomber.
Tim Taranto (with alteration like that it sounds like Stan Lee named him) has shown a natural progression in his game, he’s now headed into his 3rd season of AFL football and has continued to improve his numbers across the board as he’s gained experience. That comes both from an increased role, his midfield time jumped from 52% in his first season to 72% in his second, and from just becoming a better player. He’s also shown a quality defensive side to his game, rating as the only Giants mid to rate “above average” for pressure acts per game and he ranked 9th for total tackles in 2018 according the Champion Data. His disposals increased from 15.4 to 20.8, and almost doubled his clearances, going from 2 to 3.8 per game. Another similar spike in his numbers (which could be possible with the loss of Shiel) could see him head towards the 25 disposal, 5 clearance, 7 tackle range, which could produce some very good scores.
Player progression isn’t always linear, so it’s still entirely possible that Taranto stalls on similar numbers as 2018, or doesn’t produce a similar increase from his first to second year. He’s not the first young player to experience such a thing, and he won’t be the last. We’ve had similar cases in the past where a players “breakout” has been delayed by a year or two, which is entirely possible with Taranto. With a price tag of $481.6K, he’s not a fair jump off a more secure option from a teammate like Callan Ward, or other players such as Dustin Martin, Joel Selwood, Marcus Bontempelli, Luke Parker, Dayne Zorko, Matt Crouch, Scott Pendlebury…you get the idea. It looks like not many are willing to take that risk at present, with Taranto only in 2.7% of teams (though that can work out as a good thing since he’s likely a POD if that figure holds).
It’s a tough one to pick, Taranto is young and talented and getting better, but he’s also probably not better (yet) than Kelly, Colignio and Ward and there’s also another upcoming midfielder like Jacob Hopper and new mids Jye Caldwell and Jackson Hately thrown into the mix too. Dylan Shiel has often been that 4th in line midfielder and has SC averages of 94.8, 102.8, 99.1, 97.7 and 89.7 over the last 5 years. If Taranto could produce a 95-99 average, I think that would be a quality result for a 3rd year midfielder, so the question will be do you want to pay near $500K for a player that would be ranked him in the 30-40 range for midfielders in Supercoach.
Personally it is not an option I will be taking, but I can definitely see the appeal in slotting him in as a M4/M5 as he has a lot of potential to be a very good scorer.
Community, are there any of you out there willing to take a chance on Tim Taranto in 2019?