The amount of times I have wiped my team clean and stared at a blank field for days on end is worrying. Round 1 is around the corner and I think I have a good team, with a good enough safety net to go along with it.
So here it is.
D1 was a lot of players, Rory Laird’s shared points situation in the Adelaide defence scares me enough to not want to spend 587k on him and who knows what kind of scoring James Sicily will produce becoming Alastair Clarkson’s new swingman. Jake Lloyd is my D1. Is he overpriced? Probably. Will he be consistent? Yes. Almost guaranteed he will be a top 3 defender at the end of the year. I had seen enough from Zac Williams in the first JLT game that missing the second did not worry me at all. 82 in just over a half of footy? Tick. Brodie Smith looks good. I have a plan for both if he becomes a keeper, and if he becomes a stepping stone but he looked really good in both JLT hitouts, and looks like he will take a lot of kick-ins and will run it out of the square at most opportunities.
It is actually scary not seeing a Fremantle player in my team. Spoiler alert: There isn’t one in my forward line either. Fyfe was hard to leave out, and it wasn’t his lack of JLT minutes that worried me or his injury history that put me off. It was seeing the value further down the line that had me confident enough to skip him. I still have time to cave in and select him though, who I cut is the question.
Jack Macrae and Patrick Cripps locked and loaded. For obvious reasons. Do I need to go into it any further? Okay, fine I will. They will eat the pill. Leather poisoning should be the only worry. Comprende?
Stephen Coniglio will have a year where he wants to impress. He’s on the market, he wants to have teams throwing blank cheques at him. He needs to be eye catching and this new 6-6-6 rule will give him the stage he needs to do it. Matt Crouch looks enormous value if he can stay in one piece. Angus Brayshaw averaged just under 109 over the final 7 games of the year including finals. If he can average that for the year, I’ll be a very happy man.
No Sam Walsh, gone Zak Butters instead. I have a hard time picking really expensive rookies. I just don’t see the value. No denying Walsh will be a star but separating JLT form from actual season form is hard to do, and we’ve (I’ve) been tricked in the past.
Keeping it simple. Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn locked and loaded. In both of their first 8 games they come up against some pretty average ruckmen, and will be hard to catch at the byes if they dominate early, and there is a good chance they probably will. Patrick Bines as my floating donut, added bonus is he can swing forward too.
Patrick Dangerfield should’ve been locked from day one. If he wasn’t, well I don’t know what to tell you. You’ve probably already heard it a million times, and if he’s still not in your team then you’re as stubborn as a horse. Justin Westhoff at F2 (spiritual F3) is one that may surprise people given I told people to stay away multiple times but the forward line options are thin this year already and he looks good…enough. He’ll likely move onto the half back/winger type role once Port Adelaide are at full strength and I’m ready for it. Isaac Heeney at F3 (Spiritual F2).
Jack Higgins broke Champion Data records in his U18s year. He was thrown into the midfield in the final quarter against the Hawks in JLT2 as a quick fix, and I expect that to happen a lot in 2019. He will show us why he broke records this year. He will bump his average. He’s my punt as a second year breakout.
See above in case you forgot, and the last (non-mature age) draftee to average 70 in his first year was Clayton Oliver and before that Jaeger O’Meara. I’m backing him in. \
…and one last thing
I have a safety net. Those who are good at maths will have noticed I have money leftover. $104,500 to be exact. This is my safety net. If Jack Higgins falls down then I can move him up to someone else. If Brodie Smith flops, I can move him to someone else (though my options are limited) and if I decide that Sam Walsh is worth the extra rookie money then I can bring him in too before his round 3 price rise and so on and so forth.