2018 Price: $599,300
2017 Average: 109
2017 Games: 21
Past Averages (2016 – 2012): 113, 104, 87, 87, 47
2017 IN SHORT
Compared with 2016, Lachie’s output was down slightly in 2017 for several reasons. The first was his wrist and shoulder surgery in the preseason, the second was the return of Fyfe to mostly full fitness pushing Lachie forward more in 2017 and the third was his late season groin injury. All up his averaged dropped 4 SC points from his 2016 average and his average disposal count reduced from 34 in 2016 to 27 in 2017.
Given he recorded such a large drop in possessions it is surprising that he only dropped 4 SC points per match but his improved kicking efficiency helped as did kicking 14 goals in 2017 compared to 7 goals in 2016.
As mentioned, he did suffer a late groin injury causing him to drop 44 points in Round 21 and then miss Round 22 but all up he was a pretty reliable midfield selection for the second year running.
- He is a serious POD.
- He’s turning 25 years of age in 2018, prime time for midfielders.
- Lachie is under-priced given he averaged 34 possessions per match in 2016.
- Ross Lyon has discussed playing Fyfe forward more in 2018 hopefully leaving Lachie to rack up the possessions in the midfield.
- Neale is a consistent scorer, only dropping below 90 on 6 occasions in the last 2 seasons.
- He has a decent ceiling, scoring over 140 on 3 occasions in both 2016 and 2017.
- Neale has again had offseason surgery (listed as knee and groin), but he is tracking well for the JLT.
- Ross Lyon.
- Again that damn Round 14 bye!
- Ross Lyon.
- Despite being a consistent scorer, he does score the odd shocker with a 55 and injury-effected 44 in 2017 and a 51 in 2016.
- Ross Lyon.
- He is a little too handpass-happy, with 3:4 kick-handpass ratio.
It is hard to really criticize Lachie Neale. He is a ball magnet who, even in a poor year, averaged 109ppg. He is at the right age to lift his average even further and he has proven he can perform consistently over an entire year in both 2016 and 2017. If his bye were in a different week he would be super-popular but the Round 14 bye will prevent most coaches looking at him.
With Ross Lyon screwing around with his position in 2017 I refuse to advise ANY coach to select a Fremantle player but if you want to be different with minimal risk, it’s worth considering Lachie.
You know when you just can’t bring yourself to select a player no matter how good their stats are? For me, Lachie Neale is that player. My head looks at his age, at his statistics and at his role and it can’t find fault with him. He is a safe pick to hold his average or improve it.
But my gut disagrees. Maybe it has suffered too much intestinal upset relating to Ross Lyon or maybe his style of play is just not sexy enough to appease my gut but either way I will not be partaking of Lachie.
He just feels wrong!
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