Top 5 Players Returning From Injury

Published by Lekdog on

5. Matt Crouch (ADE – $482,000 – MID)

Are we sleeping on Matt Crouch for Supercoach 2022?

At the time of writing Crouch is in 5% and I’d argue that’s probably enough teams. Now I don’t have the testicular fortitude to start him myself (I currently have about 12 midpricers in my team) but there is some merit to the selection…if you can overlook the fact that he hasn’t played since 2020.

Since hitting his straps in 2016 Crouch has averaged; 92.8, 110.6, 101.6, 103.7, 110.7 and 0.

Let’s take the club at their word and believe that Crouch is over his injuries and has had a strong preseason, what does he need to average to be a good selection? For me it has to be close to his personal bests of 110.

There’s nothing to say he can’t do it, he’s only 26, racks up possessions with ease and he even finished with an average of 128.8 across his last five games in 2020.

But there are things to consider; hip/groin injuries can linger, Jordan Dawson has reportedly been looking at mid time, Rory Sloane refuses to leave ‘the engine room’, the rise of Ben Keays, Harry Schoenberg and Rory Laird, can Crouch score with them in the guts?

I don’t mind the upside play here folks but I’m interested to hear from you!

4. Wayne Milera (ADE – $271,100 – DEF)

Is Wayne Milera a breakout contender or a burn man?

Alright, I’ve only got Milera ranked above Matt Crouch because of his price. These days $271k is basically a rookie and we know this guy can score a lot more than a rookie…when he is on the park.

At 24 years of age, Milera should be entering his Supercoach prime but having only managed 62 games across six seasons we have to ask ourselves if the risk is worth the reward.

Milera’s best return was in 2018 when he played 19 games for an average of 79.8, then 17 games in 2019 for 74.1, 16 games in 2017 for 58.6 and stuff all in any other year.

He reportedly has one of the roles on the wing completely sewn up and his talent will guarantee a best-22 spot, but why am I so hesitant?

If he can average 80 points and play the first half of the season then it’s a clear win for people who want to select him, but with the amount of defensive rookies we have on offer and a number of discounted premiums to select, I can’t help but feel the risk isn’t worth it.

3. Jade Gresham (STK – $299,000 – MID/FWD)

Jade Gresham has looked poised to breakout in just about every season he has played so far, is 2022 going to be any different?

2020 and 2021 were tough years for Gresham in terms of staying on the park but in the 14 games he played he was able to score 80+ in 64% of them and 100+ in 25% of them.

Predominantly Gresham has played a forward role for the Saints but it sounds like he’ll be spending more time in the guts in 2022. If you consider that he has averaged 78.3 across the last four years as a forward, what do we think he can do as a midfielder?

To be honest, he’s potentially a keeper even with an average of around 80 (assuming he can play the majority of games) just as Joe Daniher was in 2021, but with the new rules around positional changes perhaps the floor for forward options will lift moving forward.

I like Gresham, I think the upside at the price is worth it, particularly because he is in the forward line where scoring is at a premium.

2. James Sicily (HAW – $448,100 – DEF)

James Sicily is capable of averaging more than 100 points a season, he costs $448k…the maths on this one is pretty simple.

As with all of the players on this list, we have to be concerned about Sicily staying on the park because he almost always manages to miss games either through injury or suspension.

In 2019 he managed to play all 22 games for an average of 93.8 backing up his average of 105.1 from 14 games in 2018.

But it’s 2020 that is of interest to me, Sicily was averaging 108.2 for the year before getting injured in his final game of the year and was able to pump out high scores of 114, 128, 132, 149 and 164 acting as an interceptor for the Hawks.

He is good enough that he should walk straight into Hawthorn’s defensive six and everyone else should be making room for him back there. Yes, Blake Hardwick and Jack Scrimshaw have been developing in defense alongside Changkuoth Jiath and Jarman Impey, but it’s Sicily’s domain and I expect them to let him feast.

Let me know if you are avoiding Sicily and tell me why in the comments!

1. Cam Rayner (BRI – $278,600 – FWD)

I’m happy to admit that my Cam Rayner obsession may have pushed him to number one here, hell I had him locked in for selection in 2021!

2020 saw a mini-breakout for Rayner (the shortened quarters probably helped) where he averaged 73.1 across 15 games.

But it was a purple patch of four games to close out the regular season in 2020 which gets me excited. He pumped out scores of 80, 125, 36 and 114 during rounds 15-18 as well as a couple of 90s earlier in the year.

This is a small sample size, in fact it’s tiny, it’s not even a sample…it’s a blip…but a blip on the radar can sometimes end up being a bloody big fish.

Throughout the preseason we’ve seen Rayner and Zac Bailey switching between the midfield and the forwardline, and if you believe the reports it’s Rayner who will be spending more time in the guts than not. 

I don’t know what to tell you community, there’s no real maths behind this call, it’s all mostly a vibe. There’s a role for him, he is talented and the B.E.A.S.T calculator always liked him but more than anything I just like watching him play.

I can see his impact and when it shines through, Champion Data rewards him with points…I’m banking on it shining through more often than not.

Whether he breaks out or not, I’m reasonably confident that he’ll service us well until we can shift him to a fallen premium.

What do you think community? Are you starting any of these blokes? Did I miss anyone?



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All of Gresh, Sicily and Rayner are in.


I have 3 – Milera Rayner and Sicily. I can’t fit Gresham in without going down to 11 premos. Can’t have them all! So it’s between Rayner and Gresham. At this stage Rayner. I think 115 is the benchmark for premium in the mids. I might get forced later to bring in someone less than that. But my mistake has been to start guys who might be an ok M8. Yeah he’s cheap, but M8 is possibly his best. Too much risk for an M8


If it’s one thing the Saints need in the midfield it’s a bit of zip…Gresham has that and with Hannebery made of straw I don’t think he’ll last 2 games if he can even manage a start.
One thing I have noticed when reading things about Gresham is that he’s not quite there yet as in full fitness and strength, so that’s an avoid for me for now. Rayner’s been getting wraps like he’s good to go so, probably the better choice.


i had him penned in October. Was one of the first in my side. So a bit of positive bias carrying through to now. I thought he would be in many teams. Surprised he is a pod.
structurally I don’t like 4/4/2/2. Much prefer 3/5/2/2. So I need a stepping stone. Because I really only want to run 1 or 2 at most defensive rookies.
on Milera himself as a choice, I like the fact that he is almost certainly best 22. He has shown a good ceiling, so if he stays on the park, I feel really confident he will make 150k quickly. There is a universe where his body stands up and he’s almost a keeper. It’s probably not this universe, but you never know. I will be really happy if he gets the job done in 6 weeks.
why not another choice in the same bracket? Feel like he’s a bit more of a known quality. I do have Coleman in the forwards. He’s insurance I guess cos I could always swing him back. Neil warned us off Bowey, which was a good call.
So – positive bias, structure, high ceiling, have insurance, best choice for me in the range


Speaking of injuries.
Scratch off Gerg Clark for a debut rd 1.
Injured himself in match SIM has arm in a sling 🙄.

JohnDJ59.Black Flag

Rayner has been my F3 from the start and hasn’t moved. I am starting to think about Sicily as my D4, in place of Ridley who I currently have at D3, Whitfield would move from D4 to D3.


Hey John, I think you could easily replace Rayner with Curnow or Rachelle, if that enabled you to keep Ridley

Lion Tamer

I had Rayner and Bailey until the praccy match and then booted rayner to the curb and backed Bailey to be a top 3 fwd.
Rayner was a lame duck in the middle, he just doesn’t know where to postion himself at stoppages and as a result he only gets a clearance or posession when the ball goes to an unlikely position.
I swapped him for Rachelle at this stage and used the extra cash to turn JHF into caldwell