2018 Price: $479,700
2017 Average: 87.3
2017 Games: 12
Past Averages (2016 – 2012): 82, 73, 69, 63, 56
2017 IN SHORT
In his fourth year at St Kilda, Shane Savage struggled to hold his position in the best 22 early in the season. In Rounds 1-3 he only averaged 13 possessions and 59 SC points per match and Richardson criticized his lack of drive from the backline and dropped Savage to the VFL. That penitence lasted until Round 10 when he played the one match against the Western Bulldogs but despite racking up 21 possessions, he didn’t impress the coach and was again dropped to the VFL. Perhaps he learnt his lesson or perhaps he was just sick of playing VFL, but the next time he returned in Round 16 he seemed a different man.
Playing a high half-back role, Savage held his position for the rest of the season (Round 16-23) and averaged 24.6 possessions and 100.25 SC ppg and even ran forward for 4 goals in 8 rounds.
Coming into 2018 he has had a full preseason and looks set to play the role deserted by the retired Montagna.
- Savage is durable, playing all but 2 games in the last 3 years, even if some of them were at VFL level.
- The coach has indicated that Savage looks set to play the half-back general role.
- He has had a full preseason.
- He is cheap! $$$
- Even though his big games have been few and far between, Savage has shown as ability to score highly for a defender.
- He wants to play so badly he took teammate Roberton out with a cricket ball to the gonads in December. That’s desire!
- He has never averaged 90+ for a complete year, only for short stretches with last year being his highest average.
- Richardson dropped him to the VFL last year: Do you want a $479k almost-premium playing VFL?
- Savage has regularly dropped scores between 40 and 60 EVERY season!
- He doesn’t have a high contested possession count so he needs to rack up plenty of ball to score well.
- How many players break-out in their 9th or 10th seasons?
- Tackling is not his thing, averaging just 2 tackles per match, and he also doesn’t rack up many marks with an average of 5 marks per game last season. This didn’t really increase late in the season when he was playing better.
With a lack of true gun defenders, many Supercoaches are looking for value defenders and Savage may fit the bill. However his selection is not without risk. Yes, he was one of the Saints best in the final 8 rounds of 2017 but he only played 12 matches for the season, his worst game count since 2009.
Logic states that you can’t select him with any certainty so this will all come down to your judgement of whether he has turned the corner in Supercoach sense.
So, do you believe in a 27 year old finally breaking out??
My gut says “Yes” he has indeed turned that corner, mostly because Montagna has retired and Savage actually has a role of his own. However, does that mean I will be selecting him? Hmmm…
I don’t mind taking a few risks on cheap premiums but I just don’t think Savage is cheap enough to take the risk. He might increase his average to a healthy 95ppg but I would rather take a risk on a player like McGrath from Essendon who is (by his own admission) playing midfield in 2018 and is far cheaper.
Now watch Savage kill it in the JLT and suck me in!
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