2018 Player Review: Tom Rockliff

Written by Thommo on February 15 2018

Everyone looks good in teal!

Position: Midfielder

2018 Price: $529,400

2017 Average: 96.3

2017 Games: 20

Past Averages (2016 – 2012): 111, 102, 132, 110, 97

2017 IN SHORT

With new coach Chris Fagan coming in to the club, we weren’t sure what to expect from Rocky. After a year of criticism for his pointed captaincy style, he had been dumped as captain and he could easily have phoned it in.

But he didn’t!

Instead he pumped out scores of: 137, 118, 104, 176, 104, 53, 148 and 147 for an eight round average of 123ppg. (For the record the 53 point match was against Port Adelaide and he still gathered 23 possessions, 6 marks and 6 tackles but he butchered he ball.)

Unfortunately just as his price peaked at about $635k he injured his shoulder and the rot set in. Well, not the rot, but he missed 2 matches plus his bye and then he started playing mainly as a forward. From Round 9 onwards he averaged 78ppg with just the one score over 100.

That led to post-season shoulder surgery and Post Adelaide came knocking, asking just how much Brisbane wanted to keep Rocky.

Not very much as it turns out!

Welcome to Port, Tommy!

PROs

  1. When he’s on fire, very few players can score like Rocky can.
  2. His kicking isn’t elite enough to attract a tag.
  3. His ceiling is amazing with a career high of 204 points in 2016.
  4. Rocky is actually quite a consistent scorer when he’s fit. In 2015 when he averaged 132 ppg he only dropped below 100 on three occasions and below 90 once (a 74).
  5. Life will only get easier in a team that wins more than it loses, especially if Rocky is resting forward at times. You could catch a cold in the Lions’ forward line!
  6. Rocky is not afraid to tackle, averaging 8 tackles per game in 2015 and 9 tackles per game in 2014.

CONs

  1. Let’s address the elephant in Supercoach: injuries. Rocky has not played a full season since 2012. In fact that’s his only full season he’s ever played!
  2. His disposal efficiency can cause a few poor scores in Supercoach. As mentioned above, during his hot streak early in 2017 he posted 53 points in Round 6 in Supercoach but 100 points in AFL Fantasy and the discrepancy was mostly due to disposal efficiency.
  3. We don’t know what his role will be at Port. He is claiming he will be playing midfield but you can never know until the season starts.
  4. That pesky Round 10 bye! Make sure you can cover him and still field 22 players!
  5. With a squad with more depth there will be a bit more point sharing so even if Rocky goes Bananas he may not hit the heights of early 2017.

CONCLUSION

He’s under-priced, fit and playing in the midfield. Almost without question he is going to smash out a high average to start the season. But then what? If you want a fast start then players like Fyfe and Rockliff will give you one but most likely you will have to replace or cover one or both of them several times during the season.

The logical call is to avoid Rocky unless you are desperate for a fast start and will have trades up your sleeves.

THOMMO’S GUT

I sometimes partake of a bit of AFL Fantasy and most of you will know that you get trades every week. So in that form of Fantasy Football I reckon Rocky is a great selection because he’ll score well early and you can just switch him out when he suffers the inevitable injury.

And in Supercoach?

With his Round 10 bye, the large number of bargain midfielders available in 2018 and Rocky’s injury history I just can’t start with him. I’m sure I’ll regret it when he pumps out a few scores over 150 but I just know he’ll miss games.

Can Rocky go all eye of the tiger?

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31 thoughts on “2018 Player Review: Tom Rockliff”

  1. Currently in my side at M6. Will be keeping a keen eye on his role during the JLT but with his ex-coach Michael Voss being the midfield coach at Port I have a feeling they recruited him to be that contested ball/clearance specialist!

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  2. I think in the end it comes down to your Supercoach goals.

    If you want to play a safe game, win your leagues, maybe scrape into the top 5000, you won’t pick Rocky, because WE know he hasn’t played a full season in 5 years.

    But, ask yourself this, how many of you have picked Maxy Gawn? Because the same rules apply to him.

    Two of the biggest undoubted talents in supercoach are Rocky and Beams. Both have apparently had highly successful surgery in the off season. Both are unquestioned 125+ ppg players.

    And then of course there’s Fyfe in the same mix.

    So in my mind, with Danger and Mitchell, plus discounted Fyfe Beams and Rocky I have THE top 5 midfielders in my team before the round 1 bounce. Three of them I have got for at least 100k each below their potential.

    If, just if, both of them fire you will not see me for dust.

    If they fire early, a lot of people will be burning trades to get them in or it will be season over before the byes for them.

    Worst case scenario, you burn a trade for a Dusty.

    More likely one or the other misses a couple of weeks and you end up playing Ahern or Kelly or Worpel or Wigg or whoever off your bench.

    So are you willing to take a risk to be in with a shot of winning this thing, or what?

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    1. i have thought to go Cripps beams, rocky n fyfe after Danger n dusty as u say HH value there for sure, if i have beers before season opener, its pobably the way i go

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        1. So filling your team with fallen premiums and the likes of Christianson, bennell, birchall et all(just examples) have a full squad and sideways trade through the year. Would be fun, different. You know what your up against so nothing is surprising. Unless it works… 🙂

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      1. Nope. I think that ablett will still be quality for much of the season I am expecting a 118 average at best from him.

        No price growth.

        I’d rather start with Zorko who averages 125 ppg sans Rocky than Ablett, but someone had to be sacrificed to fit Danger in.

        Still not sure chopping Zorko for Danger is the right move either, suspect Danger will fall to a high 120’s average.

        Should only be a small amount between Beams Rocky Fyfe Danger Zorko and Titch this year if all stay fit.

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        1. I dunno if Beams and Zorko are capable of going at 120+. Beams year of 123 ave was in a top 4 side. It’s extremely difficult to average 120+ in a bottom side, Ablett and Rocky are the only ones I can think of who have done it. I think Beams 2014/15 years of 113-115 are what we can expect if he’s fully fit. Zorko has a good history without Rockliff but if he goes on a scoring spree he’s going to attract attention from the opposition which he hasn’t handled well in the past, I’d expect his best to be around 115 too. Don’t get me wrong, they’re both great picks, and would be big wins if they played most games at 115 ave. But I don’t think they have the same potential as Danger, Fyfe, Rocky.

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    2. Love the theory and logic. Definitely, the only way to win is with some risks.

      My only concern would be that people go too hard on TOO MANY ‘risky’ picks. Absolutely, you need a couple of risky picks across your team to pay off, but starting with all of Fyfe, Rockliff, Beams, plus other risky picks across other lines, plus tempting mid-price options (that usually don’t work), and you’ll be playing catchup the entire season.

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    3. You are right with those names HH. I hate not owning Fyfe, Rocky, Beams and Cripps when they are going nuts but I also hate owning them when they miss games or play injured.

      That’s why limited trades make Supercoach so different to AFL Fantasy.

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  3. I’m consciously trying to go against the grain to what I normally do. Don’t want to fall for the same sirens that destroy my team’s chances each and every year. Always have Rocky and always ride the ups and downs. Maybe this year is the year I go plan B instead.

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    1. I keep getting suckered on Sloane midseason. Injuries can be operated on and healed.

      There is no known medical treatment for not being able to handle a tag.

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  4. The other option for Rockliff is that you can hope he has a price spike over the first 9 games.

    At only $529k, if he manages to have 1+ AMAZING game, he may potentially get himself a decent price spike. If at the end of this spike, he peaks over $600k (or ideally, over $650k), you could then take the profit and trade him out before he eventually succumbs to injury.

    Or, as has been mentioned, worst case, you burn a trade and side-swap him to another of the fallen premiums around the same price (Cripps, Hannebery, Parker, etc.).

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    1. When he gets injured you do the side swap and take the coin.

      Her usually plays his games out then you get told 2 weeks…. then 4 weeks later he still isn’t back.

      Any injury of “2 weeks or more on Beams or Rocky is the point you pull the trigger.

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      1. The big problem with Rocky is he comes back from injury, plays 2 blinders, you jump on board and he gets injured again. Guaranteed.

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        1. Haha. Yeah I know many a Supercoacher that has fallen into Rockliff’s trap. One mate used up 3 trades on him (out, in, out again).

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      1. Agree that Hannebery is not to be started with. My comment was that, IF Rockliff becomes an issue after several rounds, you can still trade him out to someone of a reasonable price (like Cripps or Parker or Hannebery).

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  5. I’ve had Rockliff in my starting lineup every year and this was the year I was finally going to pass on him… but damnit HH you have talked me into him!

    I’ll either be thanking you or cursing you come round 10

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  6. Just so people are aware Rockliff played forward mostly in Port’s intra club match which could be a sign of things to come?

    Although it should be said that was in a game without Gray, Watts, Dixon, Wingard, Motlop so forwards were definitely lacking.

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    1. Don’t be surprised to see Jack Watts get a lot of midfield time. The much maligned Jack Watts and Jake Stringer need to be on everyone’s watch list for those reasons.

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  7. I think port ad are a watch team leave all players out round 1 it might be wines ryder boak gray ebert wingard dixon westoff then we can pounce on the right one

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  8. It’s a big no for me. Massive injury risk and has to to big doubts on how much midfield time he will get in that stacked midfield. He’s actually not that cheap, would need to average about 106 to hold his price and not convinced he will.

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  9. Firstly, sensatiinal write up! Very good reading and all valid points.
    Secondly, love being back and reading the comments. This is what I love most about SC, brilliant site, brilliant opinions.
    Thirdly, and most importantly, Rocky…now I’ve been playing fantasy footy for a long long time. I’ve finished the season top 1000 a few times. 2 years ago I was about 500 with 1 week to go. Grandfinal week. In most of my GFs. 2 last minute withdrawals from my premos and no trades killed me. In fact injuries had killed me most of the year forcing me to burn trades. I lost all my finals. Fast forward to season 2017 and I went down the safe route. Picking players like Tom Mitchell, Zorko. Players ultra consistent, ultra fit. No buddy. No Rocky. No player with any injury concerns even of they can go large. I finished outside the top 40k. Worst finish ever. I had a consistent team but no match winners. This year I’m going to go in between. Rocky at his price is too good to pass up. In saying that I’ll have to make sure I have a trade spare for him.

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  10. Rocky’s only had the one year of averaging 131.8, otherwise 3 other seasons around 110 and 3 seasons 95-101 mark. It’s hard to understand why we should expect anything better than a 110 average, at best.

    A new start in a team where they’ve got a number of new guys, it’s more than likely it would be a slow(er) start until they start to gel. Throw in the injury history and it’s a no for me.

    FWIW, I’d take Beams before Rocky.

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