2018 Price: $504,300
2017 Average: 91.7
2017 Games: 22
Past Averages (2016 – 2012): 108, 110, 111, 82, 71
2017 IN SHORT
The warning signs were there early in 2017 when Port managed Robbie Gray through the 2017 preseason. As a midfielder only, most supercoaches did not even consider Robbie for their starting squad and that was certainly the right decision with Port starting Robbie Gray as a forward in Round 1 when he scored an ugly 38 points from 8 possessions against the Swans.
As the season progressed he did rotate through the midfield at times but he only really racked up big SC scores when he got off the chain up forward and kicked big bags of goals. In Round 8 as Port were preparing to visit China, Gray’s struggles with a gimpy groin were finally revealed, explaining the forward relocation.
That role continued for the entire season causing his average disposals to drop from 26 per match in 2016 to 18 per match in 2017. His marks increased by 1 per match as a forward and he kicked 47 goals compared with 25 goals in 2016 but he also laid 3 less tackles a match culminating in 16 less SC points per match.
To top off a tough year for Robbie, he was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer in October 2017. Let’s keep our fingers crossed he has made a full recovery and remains healthy and cancer free.
- He wasn’t moved forward for team balance as I’ve seen mentioned, but rather to protect his groin injury so he may well return to the midfield more in 2018.
- He is a proven gun who has not averaged less than 108 points per match since 2013. When you get down to the basics, Gray scored 92 points per week with a dodgy groin (and possibly ill health) for most of the season.
- Even if he spends a lot of time forward, Port seem likely to post some big wins in 2018 so Robbie will pump out some monsters like his 161 SC points in Round 2, 2017.
- If he’s healthy, Gray will play midfield in close games as seen in the Elimination Final where he was moved to the midfield against West Coast and scored 112 SC points.
- After poor durability early in his career, Gray has played all bar 4 games in the last 4 years.
- With the arrival of Rockliff, Gray seems less likely to spend more time in the midfield in 2018.
- Has he recovered fully from his groin injury?
- He is 30 years of age at the start of the 2018 season, old enough to be a concern considering his early career injury woes.
- As a forward only, his inconsistency is frustrating with his 2017 scores ranging between 30 and 161 points. All up he twice scored in the 30s and twice in the 40s, ugly scores in any position.
With a full preseason under his belt, Robbie could be a steal in 2018. Given he averaged 92 points per week in 2017 with a dodgy groin and the forward options are so limited in 2018, it is hard to argue that he won’t be a top 6 forward.
When you really think about it, he only needs to lift his average to a 95 to do the job.
I reckon the arrival of Rockliff and the effect that will have on Robbie Gray has been overemphasized by Supercoaches. Sure Rocky will get midfield time but Gray is such a talented midfielder, he can make things happen unlike the rest of the Power midfield. Sure Wines, Ebert, Rocky and Powell-Pepper are good players, but they won’t kick clutch goals from the ruck-tap like Robbie can (and did). He’ll definitely spend time forward but expect him to move to the midfield for a chunk of each quarter if he is fit come Round 1.
Welcome to Thommo’s Tribe, Robbie!
Gee the forward line is doing my head in this season!
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