Which players will score more points after injuries to Tom Mitchell, Sam Docherty
What do you do when the reigning Brownlow medallist, after completing a SuperCoach season with an enormous 129 average, goes down with a likely season-ending injury?
What do you do when the highest-scoring defender of 2017, succumbs to a second ACL injury before the pre-season has even finished? You look to the Doc!
In their first “Doctor’s Orders” pre-season column for 2019, the SuperCoach experts at Doctor Supercoach takes an in-depth look at how these injuries will impact key selections in 2019.
James Worpel $395,700 Mid-Fwd
After being selecting at pick 45 in the 2017 draft, The “Worpedo” entered the Hawks line-up on a half-forward flank, but it didn’t take long for him to slot right into the midfield rotations within his first season.
After getting dropped earlier in the season, Worpel returned in Round 18 and averaged 23 touches through to Round 23, before a disappointing finals campaign.
During this run of games, Worpel averaged 88 SuperCoach points and after another promising pre-season and with plenty of opportunities for him to increase his midfield minutes, the Worpedo is certainly one to watch in the JLT series.
Nic Newman $394,100 Def
Newman was a massive ball-winner in the NEAFL before debuting as a mature-age recruit for the Sydney Swans in 2017.
From the 2017 and 2018 seasons, Newman suffered a noticeable drop-off in possessions and minutes spent on ground, both of which contributed to his falling SuperCoach average.
The new Carlton recruit spent his 2018 playing mostly off the wing and half-back flank for the Swans at an average of 73 SuperCoach points per game.
While this doesn’t sound too appealing, without Docherty, there could be an increase in responsibility and minutes for Newman off the half-back line at the Blues. This, coupled with his strong points-per-minute ratio, add some appeal for the former Swan.
While Newman does boast a SuperCoach friendly kick-to-handball ratio at nearly 2:1, his kicking efficiency is currently not a strength and therefore his upside is limited. But given he will be playing with a younger set of teammates, his time on ground and opportunity for SuperCoach points, should see an increase.
The kick-in situation at the Blues is not as well defined as at other clubs so there is also potential for a few extra points if Newman is entrusted with some kick-ins as he does enjoy moving the ball forward quickly and far. Expect to see Newman play a similar wing and half-back flank role for the Blues in 2019.
Chad Wingard $481,100 Mid-Fwd
Wingard has typically been a solid SuperCoach pick since his breakout season in 2013, with a season-low average of 80 during that time. The former Power star scores particularly well when playing in the midfield, as shown last year, when it became the classic tale of “a season of two halves”.
Prior to Round 12, Wingard only averaged 70 SuperCoach points, often playing deep forward. A move to the midfield from Round 12 onwards saw that average lift to 89 by season’s end, with an impressive 103-point average from Round 12-23.
While it is clear that Wingard’s burst speed out of packs makes him an ideal candidate to fill the void left by Tom Mitchell, he is also so dangerous around goals that it would be foolish to anticipate him to become a pure midfielder this season.
However, an increase in midfield minutes is certainly on the cards and as long as he can get over his current calf tightness injury, Wingard should strongly be looked at when selecting your starting squads.
Kade Simpson $570,300 Def
Simpson never ceases to amaze. “Simmo” will be the ripe old age of 35 before the season ends, however, you can bet that he will be one of the top-scoring defenders in 2019.
With a scoring history that includes a lowest season average of 93 in the past decade, as well as him missing only six matches during this time, Simmo has to be strongly considered for a spot in your starting line-ups.
With Docherty injured last season, Simpson increased his average to 105 points per game. With Docherty out again this year, expect Simpson to not only retain his average, but increase it due to the change in rules regarding kick-ins. With an extra disposal for leaving the square on a kick-in, the man who takes these duties at Carlton can expect extra points this season, and that could well be Kade.
With seven games above 120 points and four matches below 80 in 2018, Simmo continues to be a rollercoaster worth riding. There is likely to again be an opportunity to pick him up cheaper throughout the season, but sometimes the safety of a pick is worth locking in immediately. Currently, in only 6 per cent of sides, Simpson remains to be a unique selection that could get your team off to a flyer.