2018 Team Review – Western Bulldogs

Written by on February 16 2018


Feeling Lucky: After overcoming a devastating hamstring tendon injury early in 2016, the free-running Jason Johannisen ($450,800) burst his way back into Supercoach calculations, culminating in a premiership and a Norm Smith medal. JJ was a popular pick in many Supercoach backlines at the start of last season, however his heightened profile resulted in a considerable increase in physical attention from opposition players. This led to a 12 point dip in Johannisen’s SC scoring, and without the usual drive out of the back 50 that he provides, was probably a major contributing factor to the reigning premiers missing out on September footy. If he gets back to his 2016 form, Johannisen is potentially a top 10 defender and is extremely well-priced. Consider.

Money Maker: Blindingly quick with a raking left boot and a shock of red hair to match, it’s tough not to notice pick 16 Ed Richards ($135,300) streaming out of the backline. The Dogs have earmarked Richards for the rebounding half-back flanker role vacated by club great Bob Murphy, who said farewell at season’s end. The Oakleigh Chargers product has great footy genes and reportedly an attitude to match, and showed rapid improvement towards the end of 2017. Keep an eye out for him later in the season as a possible downgrade option.
Aaron Naughton ($166,800) was actually the Dogs first pick in the draft at number 9, however he’s more of a key position type. At this early stage I’m not as convinced about his scoring potential, and it’s possible he’d be competing with newly acquired free agent Jackson Trengove for a spot in the 22. As with all rookies, keep an open mind.


Lock and Load: Those of you with good memories will recall the angst that Marcus Bontempelli ($577,800) caused early last season, when his raw statistics were seemingly a little out of whack with his ‘inflated’ Supercoach numbers. The SCT boards were rife with conspiracy theories; however the truth is that the Bont gets the hard ball, is tall enough to drift forward and hit the scoreboard, and is one of the classiest users of the footy in the comp. His form dropped off a little mid-season (right after I traded him in, of course – sorry about that everyone), but he finished the year pretty well and is priced just a touch below the elite mids. Here’s your chance to get ahead of the curve, and take advantage of those Scoring Anomalies!

Feeling Lucky: For some reason, Jack Macrae ($587,800) was awarded forward DPP status last year. I don’t know why, you don’t know why, it’s a complete bloody mystery. The point is that it made the prolific wingman a must-have in every Supercoach team, as he played every game and pumped out a 107 average. Now that Champion Data have revoked that forward status, Macrae will be largely ignored by coaches in 2018, but should he be? A handful of extra points per game compared to last year would see him finish as a top 10 mid, which is what we’re all looking for, and he’s a fair sight cheaper than some of the more fancied options.

No cash cows in the Dogs’ engine room this year. Callum Porter was taken at pick 74, but this will be a development year for him I think.


Money Maker: Tim English ($134,700) was the standout ruckman in the 2016 draft, taken at pick 19 by the Dogs. Noted for his mobility, but as is typical for young rucks, English obviously needs a little more time to develop the physicality required for an AFL ruck. Having said that, he did manage two games last year, is well regarded at the club, and comes with the prized R/F status this year. If he can get into the best 22 early on, he could be a very useful R3/F8 swingman. English is currently a popular bench option at 22% ownership.


Lock and Load: He’s been a fixture in Supercoach forward lines for a few years now, and Luke Dahlhaus ($498,500) will be near the top of the “Coaches’ Choice” list once again in 2018. Started last season like a house on fire with five tons in 7 games, but could only struggle to a 90 ppg average by season’s end, although that was still good enough for eighth highest aggregate amongst forwards. At 25 years of age Dahl has already experienced niggling problems with his knees, so he needs to be monitored, but he is as close to a safe selection as there is at this time of the year. Lock him up!

Feeling Lucky: Fourth year in the league is prime time for a breakout, and that’s exactly the situation that the under-rated Toby McLean ($470,200) finds himself in this season. McLean bumped his SC average by a massive 16 ppg last year, posting a very respectable mean of 86. What was even more interesting was the way Toby finished the year – 4 tons and averaging 98 in his final eight games. Those are elite numbers for a forward, and sustaining those over the course of a season would make McLean a must-have. Last year, we at SCT pondered whether you should have Dahlhaus and Macrae in your forward line – can you have Dahlhaus and McLean this year?

Money Maker: See Tim English ($134,700) above.


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9 thoughts on “2018 Team Review – Western Bulldogs”

  1. You and Hutta have done a brilliant job with the Team Reviews…….bunch of absolute work-horses that you are! Thanks heaps guys!!


    1. The help from the other coaches and writers has been fantastic and all the other reviews have been of outstanding quality and all kept the flavour. The last fortnight has been hectic and could not have finished all 18 without the help so it’s greatly appreciated. Looking forward to finishing up what’s to go and I’m onto my boys this morning.


  2. Chillo 2018 – “For some reason, Jack Macrae ($587,800) was awarded forward DPP status last year. I don’t know why, you don’t know why, it’s a complete bloody mystery.”

    Chillo 2019 – “For some reason, Sam Menegola ……..”


    1. So you’re saying Menegola is a lock this year, RB???

      At least Sam kicked a few through the big sticks last year. Macrae kicked ONE solitary goal in 2016, and CD decides he’s a forward! Incredible, in the true sense of the word.


  3. Great write-up once more Chillo.

    You are correct about Macrae; he increased his contested ball numbers last year and so scores better than a wingman. If you trust him to continue an inside-outside mixed role he could be an amazing pick. Possibly depends on whether Libba gets back to his inside ball winning best.


  4. Nice write up – I’ve got Bont locked away, should be a nice POD to start the year. Keep the mind he is only 22 and is only going to get better.

    Also keep a close eye on Lukas Webb (M/F) – he’s awkwardly priced @$245 but in his 4th season could play a key role across half back this year, excellent kick/user of the ball.



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