2022 Pocket Profile: Melbourne Demons

Published by Clarky on

In 2021 the Dees delivered the ultimate prize for every heart beating true. An adrenaline pumping nine game win streak to start the year, a dominant finals series and a 74 point Grand Final win. I don’t think I’ve returned from space yet but here we are getting ready for another year of AFLM and, of course, SuperCoach.

Melbourne was still relatively active in the off-season with new additions Luke Dunstan ($501,700 MID) along with rookie selections Jacob Van Rooyen ($126,300 DEF/FWD), Judd McVee ($102,400 DEF/MID), Taj Woewodin ($117,300 MID), Andy Moniz-Wakefield ($102,400 MID) and Blake Howes ($117,300 MID/FWD).

If there is one aspect that Melbourne is not lacking in at the moment, it’s depth across the field. New recruits over the off season, certainly mean that competition is going to be fierce for on field positions.

LOCK

Christian Petracca (MID, $606,200)

Hang on, what? But Clayton Oliver (MID, $672,000) averaged 123 points in 2021 and Max Gawn (RUC, $657,400) is beautiful and exists as one of the most bankable ruckmen in recent SuperCoach history. While I love Clarry and big Maxy, it is undeniable that Petracca emerged as an unstoppable talent last year. 

13 tons for the whole year with a top score of 173 against Port Adelaide. A lowest score of 83 represents a reasonably safe floor for Petracca. 

In 2021 Petracca ranked 1st in the league for turnovers and 2nd for Clangers. Even a slight improvement on these stats for 2022 is pretty much free points. In 2022 we’ll see another level as CP5 continues his dominance in the Melbourne midfield. 

This by no means indicates that other locks like Oliver and Gawn shouldn’t be considered. However, at the just over $600K price tag. Petracca represents some good value as a premo selection.

BREAKOUT

Luke Jackson (RUC/FWD, $389,800)

The 2021 Rising Star was nothing short of phenomenal in what he provided for the Dees throughout the season. His ability as a ruck allows Gawn to rest on field but Jackson in his own right has created a dangerous forward target, his potential for SuperCoach points is definitely there. 

It’s unfortunate that his week to week scoring fluctuates as much as the price of cryptocurrency. His top score in 2021 was a 141 against Gold Coast and had scores in the mid 30’s at times. Another year of improvement and development means there is serious consideration to Jackson for all our forward lines.

SMOKEY

Christian Salem (DEF, $514,500)

I love Christian Salem, he is by far one of the best kicks in the Melbourne side and someone who Melbourne rely on to help deliver the ball out of the defensive 50.

In 2021 Salem delivered 10 scores over 100 points but littered his other scoring with high 80s and mid 90’s. The biggest risk is that Salem can go missing at times, especially in games where Melbourne have been dominant with little defensive action. 

There is big potential for Salem to become a top 6 defender if it all aligns for him. Recent training reports have said that he is in great shape during pre-season and busting packs like nobody’s business. While training reports are worth as much as the paper they’re written on, like with a lot of this young Melbourne group, Salem is really only beginning to play some of his best footy. 

ROOKIE

Jacob Van Rooyen (DEF/FWD, $126,300

Last year the spotlight was on James Jordan as a rookie breakout. Nobody really saw it coming but it went lengths to show that Goody is more than willing to give the position to players that are hungry and ready to fight for it. 

Out of the national draft, I believe that Van Rooyen has some potential to be considered. Valuable DPP and training reports and vision from Melbourne show that he is training really well with the current group. Given our need for defensive depth to cover I think he would be in serious consideration if any injuries were to occur.

AVOID

I think on the whole, there aren’t a lot of players to outright avoid that aren’t obvious risks. The first few names that come to mind are James Harmes (MID, $473,900), and Jack Viney (MID, $453,600). If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again, Good wanting to play in the midfield doesn’t mean good SuperCoach scores. I think the success of 2021 has really highlighted to the whole team the necessity of playing their roles. Viney is an excellent tackler and brilliantly aggressive in winning the ball. Harmes is great at playing on a man and keeping his opponents in check. These two objectives are a big part of Melbourne’s game but will very rarely yield any true opportunity of consistent brilliant SuperCoach scores. 

Ultimately, I think brave coaches could try and find a way to start Petracca, Oliver and Gawn for 2022. The much more sensible option is to probably pick two of the three at most. Melbourne is coming off their most successful season in 57 years and is full of both rookie and veteran potential 

Did I mention we won a premiership? Yeah, we won a premiership last year and it freaking rules.

Clarky is participating in the World’s Greatest Shave and any support towards his campaign would go along way. You can follow Clarky on Twitter here.


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JohnDJ59.Black Flag

I had Petracca as my M5 to start with, but Neale is so much value, I had to change it around. Oliver is my M2 and has started in my team since 2017. I’ve had Petracca in my team the last two seasons.

The Ranger

Seeing a lot of love for Jackson but I don’t get it.
Sure he’s a good footy player with lots of upside but in SC?
11 scores under 60 last year equals a def no for me, way too risky.