Welcome to this week’s edition of Judge Jesse, where we turn the microscope on two up and coming forwards in Jack Billings and Toby Greene.
Price: $510, 900
The former Oakleigh Chargers forward was taken by GWS in the 2011 national draft with pick number 11 and shone instantly for the Giants; finishing second in their best and fairest in his debut season. Since then, Greene has barely missed a trick – averaging 94 in his first season, and keeping an average that never dropped below 73.2 (second year blues!) Greene enjoyed a very solid 2016 campaign, averaging a healthy 90.4 – this included an average of 21 disposals, five marks, four tackles and two goals per game. These stats include one game where Greene took 11 marks and two games where he took nine. Given that Greene is only a little bloke (182cm) these marking numbers show just how strong a contested grab he is. Fast forward to Greene’s 2017 campaign and he is having one of his best seasons to date. Greene is averaging 19 disposals, six marks, three tackles and three goals per game. This includes a bag of five goals in round two against the Suns, 10 marks against Carlton in Round 12 and five games where he recorded four or more tackles. The biggest knock I have on this guy is his inconsistency. Take his first five games for example; 72, 138, 92, 84 and 118. This guy has more ups and downs than a yoyo, and that can be extremely frustrating as a coach.
Price: $516, 200
Another Oakleigh Chargers lad, this time going at number three in the 2013 AFL National Draft. Billings made his debut in the 2014 season and earned himself a rising star nomination (an award he would eventually lose out on to Lewis Taylor). Billings went on to average a respectable 61 point average in his debut season, which is not all that terrible considering he played as the sub in a few of these games. Billings’ 2015 season was on track to be something special until he injured his shin in round 10. Billings averaged 84 from only nine games that season. In 2016 Billings averaged 74 SuperCoach points, 20 disposals, four marks and three tackles per game. This season Billings has stepped his game right up to a new level, emerging as a future star of the game; even being referred to in the same vein as superstars Cyril Rioli and Eddie Betts by AFL champion Matthew Richardson. As a small forward, praise doesn’t get much better than that! So far this season Billings have averaged 23 disposals, five marks, five tackles and just over a goal a game. This includes a few boast worthy hauls of 8 tackles in Round 10, 12 marks in Round 8 and five goals also in Round 8. Billings has absolutely hit that elusive next level we’ve been hoping for. Kudos to those of you who started him, as he has made over 100k in just 14 rounds.
There’s a lot to like about these two blokes SuperCoach wise, which is lucky for Greene, whose antisocial approach this year has left him as the player many of us love to hate. As Rick James famously said in his iconic “Superfreak” he’s “the kind you don’t take home to Mama” We now know he was talking about Toby Greene.* But we all know SuperCoach is about using your head, not your heart. The facts are that Greene is 6K cheaper, averaging seven points more per game and is playing in a side many experts agree could go all the way this year. The only worrying thing about him is the fact he has been suspended already this year and doesn’t seem to be well liked by the umpires. Those of you who can recall the game earlier in the season where Greene was told by umpires “we’ve been watching you for two weeks. You’re getting close to the edge” will know what I mean. In spite of that, if you’re tossing up between these two, then Greene is your man.
*Note: Rick James may not have been talking about Toby Greene…although we assume he probably was. Mr James declined to comment.