The Defenders Show: SuperCoach 2021 #SCCPodcast.PS2

2021 supercoach defenders tom stewart

SuperCoach 2021 is back, and so are we!


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In our second episode for the year, we start our preseason positional series with the 2021 SuperCoach defenders.

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2021 SuperCoach Defenders, Podcast Rundown:

  • Premiums: Lachie Whitfield, Tom Stewart, Luke Ryan, Jeremy Howe, Caleb Daniel, Jordan Ridley, Luke McDonald, Sam Docherty
  • Mid-priced: Alex Witherden, Wayne Milera, Jordan Clark, Orazio Fantasia


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  • Lachie Young, Adam Saad, Callum Mills, Nick Haynes, Brayden Maynard


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Podcast Text:

Marcus: Welcome to the second pre-season SuperCoach podcast for season 2021. Second podcast, second platform for video recording. All sorts of craziness. It’s actually, it’s only been overnight that we’re recording this second episode. I haven’t even edited the first one, Mark. And we’re back in it because we’re so keen. And our recording platform overnight released video recording, so trying something new. So hopefully the video goes out with either the last one or this one, still unknown at this stage. But anyway, that’s probably unnecessary preamble for everyone. Welcome FBdonkey, welcome back to the show.

FBDonkey: Good to be back mate, good to hang out with you two days in a row, I’m a lucky guy.

Marcus: Yup, last day of a lockdown in Melbourne, so fortunate to get a bit of time where we’re all trapped indoors in Victoria. I’m in Sydney if you did not catch the first show, flying back home tomorrow. Anyway, we’ll get on to what we’re going to talk about for this episode, which is the backline. So heading through the positional shows, as we do in the preseason. It’s a pretty well established tradition now, we’re not going to change a good working formula. Last episode, Mark, we talked about the top picked defenders. So we covered Lloyd, Williams and Laird, and then we just mentioned Lachie Whitfield, and that was where we left it. So we’re going to run through some of the other options but I think, probably makes sense still to continue looking at the ownership stats and move our way down that way, and then we can do a bit of a summary at the end of the show.

Just a kind reminder before we jump into the show, we will be recording a Patreon bonus episode after this show. So if you want some bonus content, and to support the show, please jump on board., we have a prize that goes out to the top overall scorer in our group for the year, each year. So make sure you get involved with that. Of course bonus content, we’ve got a private discord channel, a few little bonuses. If you have a high enough subscription, you get a cap and a stubby holder as well as a bit of a physical Thank you. Plenty of different options, starting from a dollar a week. So if you’re new to the show, welcome, and that’s how you can support us. Otherwise, to get involved in the community, or join us on Facebook and on Twitter, we’re on the social media channels as well.

So enough of a preamble, Mark. Let’s get into some SuperCoach chats, and maybe we’ll just start on Lachie Whitfield,     561,000. Upside is definitely there but the liver injury. What would you need to see before you pick him? If he plays in that preseason, the only processing game that we get, is that enough to potentially squeeze his way into your side with a good showing?

FBDonkey: Probably not, I think. Bruised liver is a pretty tricky injury for playing AFL footy I think. He is not running at the moment and is unlikely to play any preseason games. So I think that most sides will end up with the Whitfield in their team by the end of the year if he can stay fit. His scoring potential is just so high. He has those big 150 plus games, really consistent, an absolute gun of the competition. I think he’s the sort of player that doesn’t need a crazy good pre-season to be a good pick, he’s just so naturally fit and can just run out the games. So I think he can build into the season but it’s enough, a liver injury is not great, and it’s enough of a sign to probably just look elsewhere for your starting side.

Marcus: All right, next player in 16.8% of teams is Wayne Milera 312,000. Talk is he’s going to get some time in the middle. Now, heard the AFL SuperCoach official podcast that Al, Tim and Dan do, and talk about Wayne a little bit and reflective in the percentage picks stats here. They’ve gone to positional shows as well, Mark, went through the defenders too. W what do you reckon about Wayne?

FBDonkey: What do they What do they say? Mimicry is a form of flattery, we’ll take that. Wayne Milera is look, I mean if it wasn’t for injuries, he looked like he was probably gonna break out maybe 2019. But he has had a lot of injuries over his time in the AFL and the most games has ever played in the season is 19 over five seasons. So that’s not a great sign. You do get a really healthy discount, and he did start the year off with 96 and 70 last year. I think it probably depends a lot on rookie availability. So at the moment defense rookies look fairly slim, and if they are really slim then you might end up having to go into a mid pricer. I think he’s definitely got the potential to be a 90 average defender, which for 300,000 you would take and would turn out to be a good pick. He’s probably the sort of player that could post a 120 plus early and everyone FOMOs into him as a selection, so it could give you a bit of a headstart. He’s a decent chance of making my side at this stage. I’m not convinced on the selection. It’s a shame we don’t have some preseason games to really get to see what role he’s playing and what sort of form he’s in,  but yeah he’s high in consideration for my team. What about you?

Marcus:  312,000 is that just a bit much to pay for a mid pricer, that you want to be pretty sure that they’re going to work out, because if they don’t – it’s a fair bit more that you’ve invested, and those sorts of picks can really peter out. If he averages 85 at that sort of price point, you’re not as happy with them as being a stepladder selection compared to somebody who’s more of a 255 bracket. I know we touched on in the Patreon show, some of the Forwards that were  cheap, so Ziebelll types. So the profile is just generally one that, to your point Mark, you  generally want to see a pretty strong run into the season to be able to them with confidence. At this stage of the season, I think that sort of pick tends to make a lot of sides early in the preseason and then they tend to filter out. Without a really good showing in the first pre-season game, I doubt he’ll be selected in this percent of teams. There are chances that he plays well but still is unable to score a hundred in the midfield for Adelaide, that could very much be a legitimate consideration.  At this stage, unless I see something amazing in pre-season games, probably not hugely likely to make my team. I do have a question for you though about rookies – oh sorry.

FBDonkey: Oh I was just going to say what sort of players do work out in that 300,000 range? So over 300,000, have you had success with mid prices in the past, and what sort of profile would they have?

Marcus: Yeah that’s a good one. I think we generally really like finding the guys returning from injury or have moved clubs and are getting more opportunities in a different spot. 300K, picking a more genuine breakout within the same team, is just generally a higher risk type player. Most mid-pricers conform to that sort of pattern and that’s why they’re generally a little bit more dangerous I think. There has been contention for half back and wing spots in Adelaide, and consistency in playing those positions over time has been challenging, and we’ve seen that with Brody Smith and Rory Laird as recent examples. So at 312K, I think you want to hold them for the season ideally. If you did have to move them on and you got to trade them out at a peak that may be still palatable but I do think that sort of price point, you generally want to keep. Whereas under 300K, you’re more happy to use them as a stepladder selection.

Potentially that changes a little bit with the backline for the first time last year really seeing a large increase in scoring with the change of play in the running and gunning from out back. So maybe even if Wayne manages a high average, you might still want to top him up, meaning that there’s a higher bar to clear in the backline as well. Where previously you might be happy with Wayne averaging 95. This year, you’d probably be looking at a score that’s now a fair bit higher. Jeremy Howe last year obviously scored huge, how much of that was because of a change in game style toward the back line versus that being influenced by 16 minutes of game time. A lot of that stuff is pretty hard to unpick, I guess.

I guess the other point that I was going to go to Mark was around the rookies. So last year, basically unprecedented from rookie point of view.  Most Victorian players especially weren’t able to really show their wares but not just that also get better as footy players. Like I wonder whether or not overall the draft class is just going to be a little bit more under developed and will that cause us to potentially look a little bit more at  these 300K type players. Or is that potentially too much of an overreaction because we will also have rookies didn’t actually get to play last year even if they were showing a lot of training, because they might not have had any not simulation to go off. I’m wondering if you had any general thoughts about mid-priced risk this year?

FBDonkey: Probably need to see how that plays out over the next probably six weeks or so till the season starts, realistically, because we need to see who is likely to be making the round one side. My feel at the moment would be that the rookie pool will be less this year, and probably the most difficult thing that we’re likely to face is rookies just not playing consistent ongoing games. So I don’t know how many people that are from the draft pool last year that are going to come in and play 20 plus games this year. I would suggest that the AFL clubs would protect them a little bit more because they haven’t had that season and to really smash their bodies around and have that development. So that plays hell on our SuperCoach team but it’s probably the right thing by those young men. I think that at this stage of the year we always have that feeling though like that there’s not going to be enough rookies and we all need to pick mid pricers, and then it turns up into the season and the rookies do turn up. So yeah I’m hopeful that there’ll be enough rookies out there but gut-feel at this stage says the draftees from last year will play less.

Marcus: Interesting trend with draftee scoring last year, also it seemed to be a little bit lower. Part of that could have definitely been because of the whole 16 minute thing, so the lowest scorers just didn’t get the same scaling and so the differential between the high scores and the low scores was even more distinct. But I wonder whether or not some of that is also going to be impacted by the fact that the subs are continually decreasing, you know at one stage we had three plus one. Now we’re back at four and we’ve got a heap less interchanges. Does that mean that players that get stuck on the bench a little bit more may be a bit more of those rookies. And last year we did see a few instances of certain rookies also playing lower game time, you know playing 50%, and then the better players playing more. That definitely could have been the result of the 16 minutes thing though, you know the better players just stayed on park because didn’t have to play as long. So many different nuances to think about in terms of transitioning from last year to this but overall I guess my commentary is just more around the fact that potentially we might be a bit more tempted by these guys moving into 2021 depending on how the teams start shaking up.

Alright, next onto the premiums. And we’re going to talk about Tom Stewart next. 11.9% of teams. I actually think that’s a little bit low. He scored 18, I think two weeks after I brought him in or the week after I brought him in last year.  Smashed his collarbone in an innocuous incident with Tom MacDonald. If you take that out his average actually goes up to about 105 for the year.  Burst onto the scene as a mature ager then has been All-Australian. He is a rebounder but also takes intercept marks. Super consistent and basically comes with a little bit of a discount cause of that 18 as well. He’s one that’s really high in my list, obviously a Geelong supporter but you know I liked finding value as well, Mark. And obviously that 18 is something that has got to tempt as well. So has he made your side at all Mark? I mean he’s only 20 K less than Rory Laird I suppose, and you’ve got Zach Williams as well. So if you want Lloyd, Williams, Laird, I mean it doesn’t leave a lot of spots left.

FBDonkey: It really doesn’t and Lloyd, Williams, Laird are sitting there at the moment for my team. So I think that depending on what happens with the rookies, I guess there might be one more premium spot in that side, or Lloyd or something might come out of that team at some stage. And Stewart was definitely in the first team that I picked this year, just that level of consistency is awesome.  Will the time on ground be affected this year? I think maybe not. My feel is that potentially he played higher minutes last year but then he plays higher minutes again this year because he’s a defender that can probably stay on the ground longer and the rotations might happen elsewhere on the field. How’s the Geelong structure looking at the moment? I mean they brought in a whole bunch of new players. The team is going to be different this year. Do you see Stewart’s role within that team changing? I haven’t really thought too much about that aspect.

Marcus: I think stability in the back line is probably going to be the main consistent part for Geelong into 2021. Obviously we lose Harry Taylor but I think Blicavs slots back there and the rest of the team’s fairly set. We already had depth in the back line which saw Zach Tuohy move out into the wing last year but Tom Stewart is the general. He’s not going to lose his spot, he plays that third up intercepting role perfectly for Geelong and has a unique flair to be able to dart forward as well. A bit sort of Scarlett like with the way that he run and guns from the back line sometimes. So I don’t see his role changing a heap. Would you have him as your next picked after these three: Lloyd, Williams, Laird or are there others in contention?

FBDonkey: At that price I probably would have him as next picked, it depends whether I wanna move down a bracket really. I mean if Whitfield was fit he would probably be ahead of Stewart and I think Luke Ryan probably should be in that conversation as well.

Marcus: So we’ve talked about six guys who have super high upside Lloyd, Williams, Laird, Whitfield, Ryan, all guys that could do 105 plus. You know that’s what I meant before with Wayne and whether or not that changes the optics on picking some of these mid pricers who are a bit more expensive in the backline this year. There’s just not the same give, I think. Cause you know that doesn’t even throw Howe in there yet, you know some people are looking at Witherden if he can break out now that he’s moved to West coast. So there’s, I think, very interesting times in the back line. We normally start here cause it scant. We start in the backline because we’re like alright here’s the two guns and here are the mid-pricers. This year, it’s a very different dynamic.

 Let’s go to Jeremy Howe and Luke Ryan next, seeing as we’ve already mentioned them and they are the next two in terms of percentage anyway. 11.6% of teams is Jeremy Howe. 518,000 and obviously coming off a long-term injury. And then Luke Ryan, 576,000. Now he was a bit of heartbreak for some who started him, traded him out after a slow start and then he went on absolute fire. Luke Ryan is a little bit, both of them I guess, a bit more prone to the high score but also a low score as well. I think the previous four you could argue have a little bit more consistency to them, either because they move up the ground a little bit more or because of the role that they play for the team allows them to just run and gun a little bit more. But Howe and Ryan have at times had to have defensive posts which can tend to throw their score a little bit. Sicily’s another type that falls into that bucket. I think that’s probably reflective of the fact that their percentage ownerships are a little bit lower despite still possessing that same high upside. Do you see that changing at all this year, Mark? And do you see either of those two creeping into your side or would you prefer to stick to the four that we’ve already talked about?

FBDonkey: I think that Luke Ryan definitely interests me quite a lot. If you look at his scores after round five last year, he only had one score below 100, and it was a 67. So sometimes he can have that lower game but he’s also got those huge gains in him as well, with a few like over 140 games in there. And Fremantle do get a couple of defenders back this year, which could free Ryan up a little bit from those defensive posts. I mean they the other side of that is that they do have some young players like Hayden Young that potentially will take some of the ball out of the back line away from Ryan, which might limit his scoring a little bit. Was his scoring inflated a little bit last year with those shorter games? And how much can you actually read into last year scoring. I feel like you might get him cheaper in one game. He’s not quite a Jake Lloyd, like free running defender. So Lloyd’s probably safer to not have that one game which drops his price, and Ryan does have the injury history as well where he’s never played more than 20 games. His trajectory in scoring is very good, I’m interested in Luke Ryan. He probably at the price just presents a little bit too much risk for my liking. I don’t see him necessarily going above that 107 average. Howe doesn’t interest me at all, coming off injuries. He’s had a pretty terrible injury history since crossing the Collingwood, and interesting like his highest average ever was 94 previous to last year and last year Whoa 120 and we all look back and think gee he changed super coach. And he was so so impressive, but he only played four games. So still hasn’t done it over an extended period. What about you?

Marcus: Yeah absolutely. I didn’t jump on Howe last year definitely burnt me because by the time he got injured his price point was high enough that people who did get on him were laughing anyway. So probably just more of the context in terms of: if I had my doubts last year, I don’t think it’s going to hold into this year. Especially returning from that long-term injury and with the price premium that you’ve got to pay for those banger games that he had before he went down. And Ryan, a guy to keep your eye out for to hopefully dip in price. He seems like a good candidate to leave on the sidelines as a potential upgrade option. He tends to present as a good upgrade throughout the year really. Alright, let’s go to the next couple of players and we’ll cover them together because they are cheapies. And one of them has crossed over from Essendon but not the same Daniher heartbreak I’m sure. Orazio, a 271,000 DEF forward. Surprisingly in nine and a half percent teams. Has changed roles.

FBDonkey: Is that surprisingly high or surprisingly low?

Marcus: High I would have thought. I mean hasn’t really done super coach scoring well before. That sort of role is sketchy, small forward, medium forward, tall marking small. I mean he’s a weird type player. He relies on goals really. No goals, no good really. And those types of players you don’t tend to want in your team. At 271,000, he’s a stepladder though. So I have liked picking 280 K and below key position forwards before. Just because if they spike a good game or two it can really inflate their price beyond what you would get if somebody just bobs out 75s and eighties or 85s at that sort of price point, which can also work but can take a little bit longer to mature to the right level that you want to try them out on. SoPort Adelaide, you’d argue, in the position to contend again. They had a unfortunate prelim final loss but you think with the age of that list that they should be coming back pretty strong. Orazio you’d think would be used to free up you know the Butters types up the field. So I think that his spot you’d think is  there as long as he can play.   I’m not so worried about job security, I think there’s a role for a forward like him in their team. It’s been a couple of years that they’ve tried to pull him over, isn’t it?

FBDonkey: It is, yeah. And it’s good to see him back in Adelaide. It’s very different to the Daniher situation. He’s a player that, yeah I’m rooting for. Like good luck. His body just hasn’t held up ever since he started really. There was a period there where I would suggest he was Essendon’s most important player in the sense that if he was playing well we would win and if he wasn’t playing well then we would really struggle to win. And he could have that sort of role at port Adelaide.  There’s a few more players at Port Adelaide, some better players in that forward line that could free him up a little bit. You’ve got Robbie gray and Fantasia coming out of the same forward line. And I really hope it works out for him. It’s more hope though, I think that with a player like Fantasia, it’s a bit like you suggested. That one score can make a real difference but what you’re really hoping for there is to gamble and get lucky, and sometimes that is absolutely part of this game and we should be gambling to try and get lucky. 270 on our player that’s had a big injury history is a pretty tricky situation I would say to be gambling to get lucky, especially seeing as he doesn’t have a premium scoring history and doesn’t have a likelihood of a premium scoring history. Like it’s not like he becomes a keeper. You’re literally just hoping he has two or three big games early in a row and you can capitalize on his price increase, and you don’t have other priorities at that time in your team. So there’s probably too many things that need to fall into place for that to work, for me to be willing to take that risk.

Marcus: Now the next type of player is a guy that you’re a little bit more likely to potentially try. You’d see him essentially just as an expensive premium rookie. Jordan Clark 242 K, only managed three games last year but there’s talk that he gets to potentially go on the wing a little bit. You know you were talking about how can Tom Stewart potentially have his role slightly changed. Clark has spent a little bit of time in the backline last year. Suppose if he tries to cement a spot in there, that might change the dynamic a little bit as a fast small defender we did probably struggle for that fast, small rebounder, like a Jayden Short type that Richmond had. I think job security is the main concern here. If you saw him get games pretty continually, he’s a fair talent. Racks up the ball. Good decision maker. Decent foot skills. 240 K  just such a easier price to stomach than even 270.  240 is just so close to the top end rookies that you’re paying for. So yeah I think Clark’s a guy that I may consider but ultimately job security and that price point will probably scare me off. We’ve seen Charlie Constable types of the past, the wing is an interesting thought but I don’t really know how he gets a wing spot when you get Isaac Smith and Higgins into your team. But I mean they don’t want to lose him to WA, and that’s not a reason to pick him but Geelong has shown faith in playing their kids before. Yeah not too sure about him at stage.

FBDonkey: Is this year that season where they show faith in playing the kids though. Like it seems like it’s the cats like all the eggs are in this year’s basket. This year, maybe next year if you’re lucky but this is the shot that they’re taking. And we haven’t seen Geelong do that before but you would think that that is going to make it probably tricky for Clark to get games. I’m a bit surprised he didn’t go back to WA given the fact that he really struggled to get into that side last year. Seems to have all the talent. If he was 180 and picked round one you’d probably go for it. 240, it is better, but it’s still a little bit tricky given job security. Like you could be two or three games in and he’s not playing anymore, and then you’re in a really tricky spot.

Marcus: Yeah absolutely. And we’ve seen Geelong do that unfortunately. They’ll drop a guy for a couple of weeks and then have him come in. They do a bit of a squad rotation model. Let’s go to the next player, who’s an interesting one, guy who’s moved clubs. 456 K in Alex Witherden. Has shown some really huge scoring potential in the past. And a move of clubs has been a trigger in the past for big scoring improvements. They do have players that do play his position well though already at West Coast.

FBDonkey: My guess is that they’ve brought him in as an apprentice to Shannon Hurn and someone to take that mantle with Hurn getting into his thirties now. He is the right age. The fact that he wasn’t getting games at Brisbane last year is tricky. I mean Brisbane had a really good side. I mean he posted a 170 last year. He showed that he definitely has that ability because of his insanely good kicking. Fair bit of risk associated with him, with that uncertainty around the role and where he fits in. Definitely the sort of player you’d love to see three preseason games from and get a real like eye test on him, get a feel for really where he fits amongst that back six and how many kick outs he’s taking, stuff like that. So if he’s taking the majority of kick outs, I think at 450 460, he’s a great pick. But there’s a lot of risk in starting him. But then he comes with a price discount cause he could be a proper premium defender. If you’re tossing up Witherden versus Stewart, do you always fall on Stewart in that battle?

Marcus: Yeah absolutely I think he’s shown that he can do 105 previously. So you pay the 80k for that security I think. Yeah 80 K is just not enough savings I think to be taking that level of risk where I think Witherden’s best season’s been 83 like in terms of playing 20 plus. I mean it did come in his second season so does have a lot of promise. Again I just think the bar in the backline has gone up.

FBDonkey: So what we’re really talking about risk profiles right? Like how much risk are we willing to take on board in our team and you do have to gamble in spots, you can’t just go safe everywhere. But the value of each of those risks and the probability of it coming off.

Marcus: Yeah and that’s why we like taking the risks more at that 300 K price bracket if we’re picking a mid-pricer because there’s more room to give because you can afford to trade them out and they’ve got a higher room to grow. Where your premiums you want to be a lot more certain that they’re going to take that next step and even present some extra upside potential which Witherden certainly does. You know that 170 type score does point to that.

Let’s talk about a couple of more premiums though who really do present upside again. Caleb Daniel, Jordan Ridley. 7.8%. 7.1. Just the riches in the backline, seriously like we’ve been playing SuperCoach for a really long time, I don’t know last time you had this many guys who can average a hundred plus at the start of season. Caleb Daniel, picture of consistency. Takes all the back line kick outs for the Western Bulldogs. Like I just don’t see him getting worse. It’s just not an exciting pick, I don’t think. I don’t know how much further he can go. But if the Bulldogs start winning a lot of games, and they’re are top four side, then potentially that’s enough to get him to a 105 110 mark rather than a 100 to 105 mark. And he’s still young, he’s still got room to improve. And then you’ve got Jordan Ridley. Marking prowess. Last year being his first breakout, again room to improve. Also long raking kicks. Also takes some of the kick outs. I’d rather take, like they’re more expensive of course, but there’s just too many good options to be going a Witherden type. I’d be probably tempted by either of these two players probably more so than Luke Ryan and Jeremy Howe even. I like the consistency of Daniel better and I like the upside and even consistency of Ridley. I mean he really surprised me last year.

FBDonkey: I would take Ryan ahead of Ridley, definitely. Just A bit more AFL experience, probably have a bit higher hopes for Freo this year. Ridley – awesome in that first year. And you would hope that he could keep going. He made such a massive jump in one year. Is he likely to make another big jump the year after? That seems like a lot of pressure to put on him. I’d be really happy with Ridley if he just consolidated this year and was able to produce similar performances. He did die off a little bit as the year went on. So just posted a few lower scores, probably from that mid-year onwards where teams were probably trying to make him a little bit more accountable because the ball was just going through him constantly. Like Essendon was just using him all the time and his intercept marking was amazing. And I mean there’s some transitions going on in that Essendon team. You’ve got Hooker and Hurley’s been injured at the moment, but what’s the future of that backline look like. And we’ve got a couple of young fellows that might be part of what that looks like and Ridley seems like the cornerstone of that for the future. So definitely high hopes for Ridley going forward. I don’t love picking a player the year after they’ve had a breakout, when they’re breaking out to close to top average. Just in their fourth season I think it’s hard to really go another step but hopefully he proves me wrong there. Daniel like you said boring pick potentially. Seems super safe, super reliable with the high floor. I guess his durability is a bit of a concern though. He has never played 22. He seems to play most games every season but does seem to miss a couple every year.

Marcus: How about Luke McDonald? 6.8%. Again, riches. The riches. 513,000. God, I’m going to be more confused after this show. This is not helping me actually. Let me read his stats out since he moved into the back line and started taking all the kick-outs. Who would have thought he could kick this well. 122, 136, 95, 138, 119, 144, 94, 84, 121, 131. Lowest score of 84, one of only three scores under a hundred in the finish, and each of his other scores are basically 120 plus. Fortunately for us, the first seven games he was scoring in the fifties. He had five scores under 59. And so you know you talk about a guy running into to hot form to finish and hopefully carrying it into 2021, just on that basis alone he’s gotta tempt. 512,000, maybe I should be reconsidering my Tom Stewart pick.

FBDonkey: He’s definitely been in a few of my draft teams this pre-season. Really loved the way he brought home the end of last season and everything I’ve heard of him over the pre-season. It’s just, I mean looking at his scoring history is tricky because he’s never really shown anything and then second half of last year he just goes bang and it all just clicks. Often those players do go on with it. help. I’m not sure whether he – has he still got the beard? Maybe that should be whether you pick him on Stewart to say whether he’s got the beard when he lines up. Yeah shout out to all the journos that are not in work at the moment, we love you guys and miss you guys. I honestly think that he can actually go on with it. I really think that sort of structure in scoring in the past where a player and I know that I said you don’t want to pick up by the year after they break out, the difference with McDonald is that he broke out in half of the year, and so you still getting a price discount on him. The difference between McDonald and Ridley. And the other difference is that he’s seven or eight seasons in. So just has that body of work behind him where he’s got that  100 or so games experience now. Whereas Ridley doesn’t have that sort of exposure. So I think that McDonald is different to Ridley. Cheaper, actually went higher when he did go on a run, more experience and a clear sort of a bit of a role change mid-year last year. So yeah I’m actually pretty bullish on Luke MacDonald and yeah him or Stewart are probably the two that I’m really lining up for that extra spot. I do think McDonald is a big gamble and it could not work out but it could also work out incredibly well.

Marcus: There is talk about Ziebell when we covered him in the forwards in the patron bonus yesterday, Mark. We talked about him moving into the back line. Now I personally don’t really see him doing the running and gunning, he’s not known for his foot skills but we did say the same about McDonald. I wonder whether or not they could try and use Ziebell with a big boot out, like just get an absolute torpedo out of there. He’s got a big long boot. If he moves to halfback, how does he interact with McDonald. That could be a consideration just to keep your eye out on in the first pre-season game.

FBDonkey: That comment Marcus I’ve just gotten all excited about Luke McDonald, locked him into my lineup and then you give me that crap some information that might not go go with the initial information. I guess my initial thoughts are North may have so many points kicked against them this year that there’s plenty of kickouts for both of them.

Marcus: Look I think I’d have him above Ridley, Daniel, Witherden, Ryan, Howe. The next guy I’ve actually been pretty tempted by but I’m just worried about what the introductions at Carlton are going to do to him. But Sam Docherty, this is a guy who’s average 115 as the preeminent halfback two years in a row. Last year, excusable that he didn’t quite reach that height. This year under 500 K. I mean he’s in under 7% of teams picked at the moment. So the world’s moved past him a little bit. Adam Saad comes in. Has the game changed a little bit so that Docherty’s style doesn’t quite hold up with the same point scoring as it did prior to his injuries. Where do you sit on Docherty, I mean he’s the biggest enigma for me just cause we like to look at history as an indicator of potential value and arguably he’s the most obvious one on that metric.

FBDonkey: How many positions in defense do we have this year. Is it just still just six because that could be abit tricky based on this show, trying to fit all these guys in. I think there’s a few factors so number one, a lot of players struggle in the first year back from ACL’s to post scores that they’ve posted previously. And then in the second year they actually can return to form from previous years. We’ve seen that a number of times in the past. Will Docherty fit that category – not sure. He’s coming off two ACLs so potentially that is more significant and he may struggle to fully return to ever be the player that he was beforehand. So that probably puts a little bit more doubt on that. I think potentially the biggest factor for me is coaching. So coaches have changed during the time where he was a gun to where it is now, and if you think about Docherty and the way he played, and the way Carlton played when he was scoring. He was playing that Jake Lloyd role where it was just: always free, always at the back of packs, and in defense Carlton would always hand pass him the ball. Like every single time they would look for him and give him the ball to get them out of defense. Is Carlton still gonna play that style? So Lloyd’s benefiting from the fact that he’s had the same coach throughout that period and it’s the same style so he’s able to show consistency in that role. Docherty I think relies on just receiving that ball over and over and over again because he’s such a great kick. So I would have my doubts that he’s going to be able to get that role back again which may affect his full ceiling. So the injury and the role doubts potentially mean that that’s why he’s priced at under 500,000 right? Like that’s why he’s a bit of a gamble. If he comes out and averages 120 over the course of the season, I’m probably not going to be surprised by that either cause he was an absolute superstar of the competition. I’m really unsure on him so he probably won’t make my starting team. I think you did make a pretty good case for him.

Marcus:  Alright, those are all the guys that are in above 5% of teams at the moment. We’ll leave the rest for our bonus show where you know Mills, Cumming, Maynard. Do you remember a little guy called Nick Haynes from last year. He averaged 98, I mean he tailed off the last two games but yeah so there’s still some juicy stuff to talk about in the back line but we’ll leave it there for the main show cause we’ve gone for a little while. Do you want to summarize your thoughts as we went through that experience. I’m more confused.

FBDonkey: Gee some of those options you mentioned for the patron show are pretty decent as well. So look I think that after having this chat I’m looking at more than likely there’ll be four premium defenders chosen in my side, and that’s because there’s a lot of scoring and defense. And Laird and Williams are absolutely locked in, as we discussed on our first show. And then the Lloyd McDonald, Stewart, and anyone else that we talked about as well fighting for those other two spots.

Marcus: My main takeaway is that I’ll likely be tempted to by value away from Lloyd. I’m very much more unlikely to pick a Milera type in the face of such outstanding premium opposition, and that maybe a centering point to remind ourselves on is injury history and reliability as a way to navigate through the multitude of options that we have. It can be often forgotten but it’s an important part of a making sure your total scores are right up there. Alright Mark and with that we’ll wrap up the backline show and we’ll of course do a little regroup at the end to summarize our thoughts post the preseason game. So we may revisit this still more than four weeks out when we were addressing these backline guys. Don’t forget if you want to get more content. We’ll catch you all next time. See ya.

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