Judge Jesse!

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This week, Judge Jesse brings you a comparison between two popular forward options as chosen by our community! They are Sydney Swans, Lance Franklin and Isaac Heeney.

 

Lance Franklin

Age: 30

Price: $489,300

Position: Forward

2016 Average: 94.6

Sydney’s Lance “Buddy” Franklin is one of the most exciting players in the competition, joining the Swans as a free agent at the end of the 2013 season. The six time All Australian has had an up and down start to the 2017 season. He started off well enough, with a 125 and a 103 in his first two games, and then he had a dip in form, averaging only 75 SuperCoach points over the next four rounds and losing 70 thousand dollars in value. Just to mess with us he came to play against Brisbane the next game, booting eight goals on the way to 160 SuperCoach points. It’s hard to know how much to look into this, as the Lions are averaging over 119 points against in per game. Buddy is averaging nearly three goals per game, but that could be so much higher, with Franklin having already had 42 shots at goal this year – and that’s not counting those attempts which went out on the full. Unfortunately Buddy’s scoring seems to be very goal dependent. With a strike rate of just over 50% in front of goals this can become extremely frustrating. The one thing Buddy has over just about every player in the competition is his insane ability to just tear games apart off his own boot. Buddy single handedly kept the Swans in it against the Bulldogs in round 2 until late in the game off the back of four goals, three behinds. Those who remember the game will know that the Dogs ‘were just toying’ with the Swans until Buddy had something to say about it.

 

Isaac Heeney 

 

Age: 21

Price: $491, 600

Position: Forward

2016 Average: 79.6

Isaac Heeney was picked up by the Swans with their first pick in the 2014 National Draft. As a product of the Sydney Swans academy, he was able to be taken with pick 18, but would have gone at number two if the Demons had have had their way. This goes to show just how highly rated the youngster was, and still is by the competition. Heeney’s 2015 debut was the stuff of dreams – kicking the winning goal in the dying stages of the game. Heeney’s first season also saw him pick up a Rising Star nomination, and he held a 70 point average over 12 games, hitting the scoreboard in all but two of those games. Heeney’s 2016 campaign was touted by many to be his break out year, but he, like so many others, succumbed to those dreaded second year blues, and only marginally increased his average to 79. The positives in his 2016 season were that he played nearly every game, with a total of 20, and helped himself to six scores of over 100 SuperCoach points. Worryingly, he also dropped below 60 six times – including a measly 33 in round 15 against the Bulldogs. With the departure of Tom Mitchell from the Swans engine room, many SuperCoach players had Heeney locked into their forward line – believing the role vacated by Tom Mitchell to be Heeney’s for the taking. Unfortunately he was struck down with glandular fever and didn’t make his debut until round 4 against GWS. He only scored 75 in that game but has cleared the ton in each game since. Most impressively he has improved his average score this year to 107 SuperCoach points.

 

The Judgment

This week’s comparison was a thoroughly interesting one, as it’s a really tough decision to make. Heeney’s high average of 107 is awfully appealing, but he has shown in the past he may not be able to average that high consistently. He is also more expensive than Buddy. This price difference is fairly miniscule, but it does highlight the fact that Buddy is probably at his cheapest point for the year. The most concerning thing about Buddy, as I have already mentioned is just how much his scoring is dependent upon kicking goals. As the best forward in the Sydney lineup he will always take the best defender and is often covered by two or even three players. Heeney does seem to be spending more time in the midfield which is always great for forwards in SuperCoach. Out of these two forwards, I’d choose Heeney over Buddy. Yes Buddy can get off the chain and score huge, but he can also have off days and stink it up for your side.

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