Lock and Load: I’m calling it, this is the year Daniel Rich ($502,800) finally becomes relevant (although he was technically a premium last year playing all 22 games for an average of 91.5). Rich only averaged 88 points up until Rd13 last season and then a little piggy called Witherden rocked up and he averaged 95 for the remainder of the season, which includes a 49 the first game they played with each other – possible defense shake up if you will, otherwise he averaged 100 from Rd15 onwards. Witherden and the arrival of Hodge will hold up down back allowing Rich to move to more wing/mid role utilising his lethal foot, along with his average trending upwards the last 3 years and all signs point to him cracking a 95+ average season for the first time.
Feeling Lucky: It takes a lot of guts to fork out nearly $500k for a 9 gamer but Alex Witherden ($478,900) put in one of the best 9 starting Supercoach games we’ve ever seen. Brisbane loved getting the ball into his hand, 24 times on average in fact and he will become one of their lead kick-in takers in 2018 – from what we saw last season, he’s not adverse to kicking to himself. He has shown nothing but elite kicking skills (and kicks it often) so it will be interesting to see if he begins to attract more attention and how he handles it. No guts, no glory.
Lock and Load: There is no denying that when uninjured, Dayne Beams ($557,600) is one of the few elite Supercoach scorers going around. He also enjoys it when Rockliff is not around, scoring 127 and 132 in the 2 games without him last year, and 115, 126, 105, 138 and a 73 in the other 5 games without him so the departure of Rockliff will undoubtedly help Beams in 2018. He finished his 2017 campaign off strongly and by all accounts is having a solid pre-season, and priced at just over $550k with prior best season averages of 122, 115 and 113, what’s not to love? Injury would be the only concern but we’ve seen in the past that sometimes players just get over it (Higgins 21 games, Kreuzer 21 games, Adams 22 games last year).
Feeling Lucky: Last year, Thommo highlighted that rucks are selfish Supercoach scorers and only like to ruck solo. Stefan Martin ($540,000) seemed to learn a little in 2017 raising his “sharing” average from 56 to 88 however it’s not as good as his solo average of 102. He is not getting any younger though and heads into the season 31 and out of contract at the end of 2019, so Brisbane will need to look towards their future ruck stocks and will more than likely pump more games into Archie Smith this year. You really would have to be feeling lucky to pick him from the get go.
Lock and Load/Money Maker: Not having played since 2016, Allen Christensen ($267,300) is priced at an average of 50. He knows how to find the ball averaging 93, 91, 87 and 80 uninjured (2016) in the past. Something, something Rockliff gone, something, something needed on ball. Expect him to make some decent coin and if he pumps out an average of 90+ again, you’ll be laughing.
Feeling Lucky: Missing hitting the trade button to Z.Merrett in Rd2 2016 when injured by all of seconds and missing a top 500 finish all because of it still leaves a sour taste in my mouth, however Mitch Robinson ($406,400) is one to look at in 2017. By now, I think we have all agreed that the forward line is all about finding good value, as all the top end premiums have some doubts and 5 of the most expensive forwards have been top 10 on 2 or more occasions (Franklin, Gray, Wingard, JJK and Dahlhaus) – so a good chance the end of season top 10 will differ. Over the last 7 years, Robinson has averaged 80+ which includes many seasons of tagging and negating roles. The Brisbane midfield are now lacking a big bodied, experienced midfielder without Rockliff and Robinson is expected to fill some of this void. He averaged 91 in the first 6 games before injury in 2017 and due to circumstances, should average 90+ with more time in an onball, attacking role which is all we will need from a F6 come end of season and $400k is the type of value we speak of.
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