FozDaddy’s Way-Too-Early Mock Draft 2020
With the Marsh series almost upon us, many SuperCoaches are looking to complete a draft with their friends. As service to my community, I compiled my top 30 selections that I would take in a draft, if it were happening today.
Pick #1: Brodie Grundy
He’s probably picked first by most drafters, with fair reason. You only have one ruckman in all draft formats, so having someone who consistently plays and scores 120+ most weeks will give you a distinct advantage over those who are starting a ruckman who’s name isn’t Max Gawn. Three scores under 100, and 13 over 130 last year is exactly what you want from your number one pick.
Pick #2: Max Gawn
For similar reasons above, Max is my second off the board. He’s still a superstar ruck option, but he’s a little more prone to getting injured or missing a game. Gawn had 13 scores over 120, but had three under 100 and missed a game last year. Currently he’s my second selected, but may slip if his injury lingers.
Pick #3: Jack Macrae
Macrae is a super-reliable midfield beast, and despite Bontempelli and Dunkley being massive scorers as well, Macrae’s output hasn’t diminished. If your draft league has the captain’s option on, he also provides you with a great chance for double points. Last season he had three scores under 100, with the lowest being 84, and finished the season on a 13 game streak averaging 133.18. This last stat is important as it runs parallel to the moment Dunkley transitioned into a full-time midfielder. It shows Macrae’s scores actually improved with another ball-winner in the centre.
Pick #4: Lachie Neale
Neale is another relatively obvious selection. He didn’t miss a game last season, and averaged 121.3 points per game. He had five games under 100 points, and most of those games were against teams that provided him with a little extra attention. Hopefully he has learned how to handle the tag a bit better this season, as when he’s on he can go huge. Seven scores over 140, with two of those over 175 as well.
Pick #5: Patrick Cripps
There’s a bunch of blokes who you can select in this 5-10 range, who are all very good footballers. However, with Carlton (hopefully) becoming more competitive, the burden on Cripps should (hopefully) reduce, allowing him to be a bit more freed up. When he’s going, he can be a hard man to catch, with nine scores over 120. However, seven scores under 100 is a little more concerning. When Carlton is winning, his scoring improves to 121.5, whilst he averages 115.21. Whilst it’s not a massive difference, we’d obviously prefer the extra 6.29 points each week.
Pick #6: Josh Dunkley
It feels crazy to be selecting a second Bulldog midfielder this high, but as Lek(Bull)Dog says, “Good players don’t steal points off other good players.” Now, this may be a risk because who knows where Beveridge is going to play Dunks, but after their round 12 bye, Josh had one score under 100, four scores over 150, including one score over 200, and averaged 130.91. Those numbers are incredible, considering Macrae also averaged 133 during that time. He has a super-high ceiling, and seems ultra-reliable when in the midfield, however his coach is a bit of a weird cat.
Pick #7: Nat Fyfe
I feel a little guilty picking Nathaniel Theodore Fyfe relatively low in this draft, especially since he won a gawddamn Brownlow last year. However, after shoulder surgery in the offseason, compounded by the fact he’s missed games in every season of AFL he’s played, means he does slip a bit. He is still a gun (12 scores of 120+, 3 sub 100 scores), but his inability to string a full season together hurts his stock.
Pick #8: Marcus Bontempelli
Holy smokes, another Doggie!!! With the Bont named captain, I can’t see his scoring going backwards. He has missed three games in the last four seasons, all while averaging premium levels. He’s not as consistent as Macrae and Dunkley, with nine sub 100 scores, however six of those were in the 90’s. When he goes big, it’s really quite big. Seven 130+ scores last year, with two more 120-130 scores, mean it’s a bit of a rollercoaster ride with Bontempelli. Hopefully he can iron out the inconsistencies as the new Bulldog skipper.
Pick #9: Adam Treloar
Whilst I would (probably) never pick him in classic, Treloar didn’t miss a game last year, and apart from 2018 when he tore both his hamstrings in the same play, he rarely missed any games from his debut in 2012 to 2017. He had five scores under 100 last year, with only one below 83, whilst alson scoring mammoth scores like 150 in round five, and 177 in round 20. He’s a player you can lock into your side and not have to worry about for the rest of the season, and in draft that is the sort of player you want.
Pick #10: Clayton Oliver
It may seem strange after a dip in production last year, but Clarry is still a SuperCoach beast. He hasn’t missed a game in the last three seasons, he has averaged over 109 points per game in that time, and last season he still averaged 109.4 points despite missing almost the entire preseason due to significant shoulder surgery after 2018 finished. Coming off a complaint-free preseason so far (touch wood), Clarry looks like returning to his best. Even last year, he had 14 scores over 100, and four of the eight sub 100 scores were in the nineties. Similar to Treloar, lock him in and don’t ever move him.
Pick #11: Lachie Whitfield
Finally, our first forward! Whitfield was electric to start the season last year; scoring three 120+ scores, including a 152. Everyone jumped on the then-defender, only for him to get hurt two weeks later and miss a fortnight. Then, when he came back he delivered us a 170 and 115, before hurting his hamstring in round 11 and not returning until round 17. Then, when he was finally back, he had five tons and two scores of 90 to finish the rollercoaster ride that was my emotions. When on the park, Whitfield is a truly elite footballer, however he played with me, and many others, all through last season. Despite playing all of 2018, he is prone to missing games, having played 15 in 2017 and 19 in 2016. Reports out of western Sydney suggest he’s had a good preseason thus far, so hopefully he string together a strong season.
Pick #12: Rowan Marshall
Rowan surprised almost everyone last season with a year to remember. His average jumped 47.4 points from the season before (62.8 – 110.2), which was helped by a scoring run of 109+ each week from rounds 11-20. It was pretty incredible considering he wasn’t even selected for round one, but Rowan has solidified himself as a future star. His ability to play the game when the ball hits the deck reminds me of Brodie Grundy, just a slightly poorer man’s version. Paddy Ryder has complicated things, however I can’t see him in a situation overtaking the most improved footballer last season as St Kilda’s number one ruck.
Pick #13: Jake Lloyd
Lloooooooooyyyyddd is the first defender off the draft boards, and is a good solid pick. He’s missed one game in the last four seasons (2017), and had one score below 83 last season. Eight scores above 120 gives you enough reason to select him, so do it and have him hold down your back line with consistency.
Pick #14: Patrick Dangerfield
I feel like I might cop some hate for this one, however Dangerfield is on the wrong side of 30, plays an important role in Geelong’s forward line, and is a midfield only player. He has massive scores relatively consistently (nine scores over 130), however he’s prone to low scores too, as he sometimes plays forward permanently or gets tagged out of games (eight scores under 100, three under 70). He’s definitely a gun, but as he ages he may slot into a forward-majority role.
Pick #15: Josh Kelly
Whilst he’s in my “Never Again” pile, he will feature in my side if he’s available this late in a draft. When fit, he’s arguably the best player in the game, however he has missed fifteen games in the last two seasons alone. When he gets a good run at it, he can put up big numbers. Of his 14 games last season, 11 were above 100, and two were in the nineties. Christ, even his worst game was his first back after missing five weeks, and it was an 82. I can’t deny his ability, but I’ve been hurt too many times by him. In 2018, I held him after round three when Leon Cameron said his hamstring was a “2-3 week injury.” I’ve done the maths. If I had moved him to Macrae like I wanted to, I would’ve finished 9th overall (I finished 29th). And yes, I had the trades to do it. So no, he’s not for me. He may be for you, but I have too many demons.
Pick #16: Todd Goldstein
Todd had a phenomenal year last season; averaging 112.2 off 22 games. However, I feel like it was a bit of an up year, and overall he’s started to decline. People would argue that he should be higher on my list, however I can’t see him averaging 110+ again. He’ll be in the range of 100-105 I feel. Still a very handy average, and most people definitely overspend in the first two rounds to get a reliable ruck, but a strategy a lot of people consider is ignoring rucks if they miss out on Grundy and Gawn, as the next best 5-10 rucks are all within 10 points of each other.
Pick #17: Tim Kelly
Kelly didn’t miss a game in his first two seasons for Geelong, and averaged 93.2 in his rookie year, and 103.5 last season. Now he’s back in WA with his family, on a team with a solid support cast, but where he’s the best midfielder. Surely his forward time goes down, and his numbers improve? If he can score 103.5 every week in a midfield with Dangerfield, Ablett and Selwood, surely he can score 110+ with Gaff, Sheed and Yeo (no disrespect, all great players). 12 tons and four scores in the nineties can definitely improve in a midfield where he’s the boss.
Pick #18: Dustin Martin
Forward line premiums are scarce, at least for now, and Dusty is one of only three forwards this year who averaged 100+ last season. From what I’ve heard, he’s had a great preseason, but the Brownlow medallist hasn’t been a must-have commodity since 2017. Being a forward option will mean he will creep into plenty of classic teams, however he’s a bit more attractive (to me) as a draft option.
Pick #19: Zac Williams
At this stage of the draft, many of the uber-premium “locks” have been selected, and you’ll have noticed that almost all of them were midfielders. Since the board has been cleared of all those superstars, defenders and forwards who can average 100 points per game are a whole lot more valuable than midfielders who “just” average 100 points. Midfielders in that 90-105 range are a dime a dozen, while defenders like Zac Williams are a little harder to find. He had a ripper year last season, cracking triple digit averages for the first time with 101.6, after increasing his scoring output every year since he was drafted. When he went into the midfield last year, you could tell that’s where he truly belonged, and hopefully we get to see a bit more of it this year. He had three scores below 100 from round 12 onwards, with two of those scores being 96 and 99.
Pick #20: Bachar Houli
Bachar had his best season in 2019, averaging over 100 for the first time ever (105.3). What helped his scoring was 13 MCG games last season; a ground where Bachar scores ridiculously well, compared to other grounds. In 2020, Richmond will play at the MCG 14 times, so selecting Bachar becomes a lot easier knowing that he plays even more games at the home of football than in his best season to date.
Pick #21: Elliot Yeo
I didn’t appreciate Yeo enough when he was selectable as a defender, but he’s a very good player out west. He has spent the last two years averaging 107+, and had big scores in 2019, including four over 130, and seven more between 114-129. With Kelly coming across, Yeo might receive a little less attention at stoppages, which may help him score more consistently.
Pick #22: Dan Houston
This is my first “risky” selection, however I don’t think it’s risky at all. He is selectable as a defender. He has been training with the midfield group all preseason. His coach has locked him in as a midfielder. He had seven centre bounce appearances in the first quarter of Port’s intra-club match last week. He would only be heading north in this mock draft after some preseason games.
Pick #23: Andrew Gaff
Gaff is one of the more consistent players who isn’t deemed a star SuperCoach option. Last season, he had one score below 80, five above 120, and 14 tons overall. He plays on a wing, so Kelly isn’t going to hinder his contested possessions, but will probably get the ball out to him and help his scoring, and apart from king-hitting Brayshaw a couple of seasons ago, he doesn’t miss too many games. Seems like a solid bet if he’s still on the board at this stage.
Pick #24: Tom Stewart
He is such a safe defensive bet it’s almost ludicrous having him at #24. He only had four scores over 115 last season, however his consistent range was 95-110, where he had eight scores. He won’t win you games with 140’s, but he won’t lose you games with 40’s.
Pick #25: Dayne Zorko
Zorko the Magnificent was back last season. He had a dodgy 2018 where he took over the captaincy and didn’t play overly well, but 2019 he was back to his old self. It may have been due to Neale’s arrival, but he had 14 tons, including seven over 120 points. He’s definitely one to have if you can get him as your second or third pick, but if your second selection is early you may find someone better.
Pick #26: Zach Merrett
Merrett was stripped of his leadership position, but hopefully that will spur him on to play even better football. He’s played 87 of the last 88 games, averaging at least 100 over the last four seasons. His ceiling is very high, however his good games typically fall in the 120-135 range. 14 centuries last season is still a good rate on the year, just don’t waste a high pick on him unless he performs come Marsh series.
Pick #27: Tim Taranto
This is a selection that comes with a bit of risk, however Taranto is primed for a huge season. He had a relatively consistent season last year, tonning up 13 times, however the more promising statistic is his continued rise through the seasons. In his first year, Taranto averaged 66.5, and in his second season, he averaged 88.7. Last year he improved again, averaging 102.4. It is unlikely he will increase his average by 20 points again, however 5-10 points isn’t out of the realm of possibility. The only concern is that there hasn’t been a huge change to GWS’s midfield, with Kelly and Coniglio still operating on the inside. However, the acquisition of Sam Jacobs may work in Taranto’s favour, as he is a definite improvement on Mumford.
Pick #28: James Sicily
Sicily had a “down” year in 2019, where his average dropped from 105.1 to 93.8. Whilst 93.8 isn’t necessarily a bad defensive average, we expected a whole lot more from Sicily. However, what is exciting is Hawthorn’s offseason. The Hawks signed Sam Frost and Michael Hartley, and while Hartley isn’t expected to play consistently, Frost is, and will allow Sicily to play the interceptor that he did so well in 2018. Last year he was expected to play as the second key defender, and sometimes as a forward, as Hawthorn fiddled with their line up. Even as a key defender, Sicily still managed nine tons, which is only going to increase when Frost is injected into that defensive six.
Pick #29: Rory Laird
You could swap Sicily and Laird if you really wanted to, however the Hawks bias is coming out a little bit. Laird is one of my favourite defenders to start with in classic; however last season was a bit of a down year for the Crow. Eight centuries in 22 games isn’t a bad return for a “down” year, but in 2018 he showed us exactly what he could do, with an average of 108.2. Hopefully he can reach those heights again.
Pick #30: Isaac Heeney
I know people are going to close the page after this one, but it’s my last selection, so doesn’t matter anymore. Heeney is destined for greatness, and this is the year. An interrupted preseason, compounded by a dodgy ankle, led to a forward-stranded Heeney in 2019. However, surgery in the offseason and a full preseason load so far has Heeney primed for major midfield minutes for the first time ever. This selection is very much a wait-and-see during the Marsh series, if there’s even a hint of 2019 in the preseason games then he’s falling off my list.
So that’s my top 30, community! It is a list which will chop and change throughout the preseason games, but let me know how wrong I am, who your first selected is, and what you want to see from certain players in the upcoming matches. Also, if you like the article let me know, otherwise I won’t bother doing a follow up after the preseason games.
FozDaddy Twitter: mattforrest29