JLT series wrap
FOOTY’S BACK!!!!! It was a painfully long off-season for some, including myself; summer hardly showed up, the Aussies got demolished by South Africa in the cricket, Santa has come and gone and we even started up the first ever AFLW season with a bang! However now it’s time to settle in and analyse the JLT series game by game, quarter by quarter and start pencilling in our starting line ups for round 1. If you don’t have time to do all that, I am going to try my hardest to give you a break down on all the players we should at least give some consideration too, who lit up the JLT series this year and hope to god they are not just February hero’s.
The first week of the JLT series produced a few standout performances that we all need to take note of. Geelong offered up some great defence options in Zach Tuohy (130) and a couple of rookie options in Tom Stewart (85) and hopefully Zach Guthrie (91). That is of course if he can get off the rookie list and force his way into the senior team at some stage this year. A couple of other defensive options who stood up in week 1 were Melbourne’s new sweeping defender Bernie Vince (97) who did what he wanted off half back for the Dees. Playing in a very similar role was Callum Mills (111) for the swans.
There were some BIG scores in week 1 of the JLT series, none bigger than Josh Kelly (151) who offers a great POD selection in a star studded Giant’s line up. Other mids putting their hands up for selection in our starting teams were Jordan de Goey (129) who seems to be finding his feet in a strong Collingwood midfield, albeit without Pendlebury and Adams. Remember how well Aaron Hall (147) started last year? It looks like he is in for another big season and we should definitely consider this ball magnet from the suns, even though he has lost his DPP. A couple of returning players, both who didn’t play last year for different reasons, in Jobe Watson (97) and David Swallow (80), played with confidence and freedom in very limited game time.
One player who will find himself in most starting line ups, if not all, is the Western Bulldogs premiership midfielder, Luke Dahlhaus (143). He has amazingly been given DDP status for 2017 and can be selected in the forward line. Two other forwards who offer great value for us are the Pies Will Hoskin Elliot (83) and Geelong new recruit Aaron Black (89) both of which could prove to be great cash cows this year.
Round 2 of the JLT series offered up a lot of SuperCoach relevance for us to have a look at! Adelaide alone has given us not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 defensive options to choose from! The always popular Rory Laird (141) was the best of the lot but Curtly Hampton (108) and Andy Otten (98) returning from injury gave us a lot to think about. Once popular selection, Brodie Smith (97) gave us something to think about.
Other defenders to put their hand up during week 2 of the JLT series were the reliable Carlton duo of Kade Simpson (90) and Sam Docherty (95), neither of whom will let you down this year. North offers us some great value in rookie priced Ed Vickers Willis (80), who if starts round 1, should be in all our starting teams.
It was all about the rookie and mid priced players in the midfield during week 2 of the JLT series, Jaeger O’Meara (90) the most eye catching and at his price and will be hard to say ignore. Over in SA, Adelaide’s Harrison Wigg (70) may get a lot of opportunities this year with Cam Ellis-Yolman out for the season with a knee while Port’s Sam Powell Pepper (56) has all but cemented a spot in the powers mid, as a big bodied rookie. Another big bodied rookie is Gold Coasts Will Brodie (97) who looks a great find for Rodney Eades’ Suns, as well as for us if he can get a gig going into round 1. North are also throwing in a mid-pricer who looks to be set for a breakout year in Trent Dumont (116), which has seen the midfielder score a ton in both of North’s JLT games so far.
Port Adelaide’s Chad Wingard (100) looked a viable option, as he appears to be spending a lot of time in the midfield this year before succumbing to a hamstring injury. Another Port forward we will be lucky enough to put on our benches is rookie option Brett Eddy (33), who is a tall forward that the Power desperately need. A very popular pick this year is Hawthorn’s inspirational skipper Jarryd Roughead (95), who after each quarter he plays is looking more his dominant self. Melbourne young gun Christian Petracca (136) had a great game against the Blues bagging 4 goals in the process. This brings me to a name that makes a lot of us cringe at the thought of starting with, though this year he needs to be considered, Kangaroo Shaun Higgins (123). He is relishing a lot of midfield time with the latest North Melbourne off-season changes.
Round 3 of the JLT series was a bit hit and miss for a lot of our SuperCoach picks. There were a lot of games where quite a few players were rested for various reasons, but a few tried and tested defenders put their hands up this week. Heath Shaw (97) was his usual self, with Jeremy Howe (141), a revelation last year, looking as if he will continue to be the go to man from the Collingwood backline. Forgotten but proven defender Michael Johnson (96) showed enough to say he could possibly return to his former glory and hopefully Zach Tuohy (121) is not just a pre season wonder.With no Enright down back for the Cats I think, he could be a very reliable starter in our sides. On the cash cow side, Caleb Marchbank (86) has cemented his spot in Carlton’s backline and will almost definitely be a good cash cow option, as long as you’re happy to pay the slightly elevated rookie price.
It was St Kilda’s Jacks in the middle that pumped out some monster scores for their price this week. Both Jack Steele (155) and Jack Billings (132) performances had SuperCoachers pulling the trigger on one or both of these boys, who are mid/fwd DPP eligible this year. Proven premiums also showed us they are not to be forgotten, with David Mundy (151) and a SuperCoach favourite of mine Callan Ward (120), reminding us not to forget about them. That brings me to a huge POD option this year, Dayne Zorko (175) was everywhere. With Dayne Beams (105) returning to the line up this year, will Zorko be let off the leash?
Returning from a pre-season injury hiccup Aaron Sandilands (133) went bang, and so did many of us, planting the big Docker at R2. Another ruck option came to play this weekend, Richmond recruit Toby Nankervis (129), who will be the Tigers number 1 ruckman this year. With his ruck/fwd DPP, he will be a popular pick this year.
The forward line is looking to be the toughest line to pick this year. Enter Lance Franklin (120). With the big swan kicking goals and then marking the ball at half back, he was all over the ground and looks in top shape. Richmond recruit Josh Caddy (95) could be a good option up forward this year, with a fresh start possibly being all he needs to reach his potential. GWS knew they were getting something special with their first pick in this year’s draft, Tim Tarranto (97) looked at home in the elite Giants squad. With Stephen Coniglio to miss the start of the season, he shapes up to be a great cash cow option.
So this is it, our last chance to dissect our watch list and give us a chance to make that last second change. In defence it was two players likely to be the number 1 and 2 defenders at the end of the year, in Sam Docherty (116) and Heath Shaw (136). Playing the half back role in their respective teams will no doubt warrant them as good picks yet again.
The King himself returned for his first hit out since the beginning of last year, Garry Ablett (78) started up forward but eventually found himself in the guts for periods of time. Can he return to his game changing best? Speaking of king’s, Nat Fyfe (176!!!!!) gave up his crown last year due to injury, but he looks hungry to win it back. However Patrick Dangerfield (139) is not just going to lie down and give it up without a fight. With his partner in crime Joel Selwood (144) next to him, they will both strive to prove that they are the premier midfield combo. Adam Treloar (126) is now a genuine midfield star, with many wondering if he can take the mantle as best Pies mid from Scott Pendlebury in 2017. Another star to mention is new Hawk Tom Mitchell (109). He is a ball magnet and goes into a new look Hawthorn midfield as consistent scorer and a very good POD for us to consider. I’m still a little confused as to why Port rookie Sam Powell-Pepper (82) is not in 100% of teams right now, as he is easily the best mid rookie option this year.
The ruck is one of the most talked about lines this year and rightfully so, with question marks surrounding Gawn and Goldy, more reasonable options are available this year than in years past. Returning from his year ban Paddy Ryder (107), looks set to have a good year. At basically rookie price we also must consider Jarrod Witts (85), who could provide us with some much needed cash flow. We now have to think about Tom Hickey (146), as the Saints best ruckman and in a fast improving side, could this score occur more often? We certainly have some tough choices in the ruck this year!
A couple of top 10 forwards from last year put in a good showing in their last JLT game of the year. Toby Greene (155) kicked a bag and was one of the leading possession winners on the park, whilst Gold Coast big man Tom Lynch (116) will prove to be one of the best goal kickers again this year, as well as a very good SuperCoach option. Some cheaper players to consider after stand out games this week are North’s Kayne Turner (102), who has put on a few extra kg’s over Christmas, as well as Freo recruit Cam McCarthy (86), who will be a big target for the Dockers up forward.
So there it is ladies and gentleman, my wrap of this seasons JLT series. With the season starting this week, I hope our teams are close to final now and we can find the strength to not push that trade button too many more times.
Best of luck to all the coaches out there!