If you’ve been around for a while you know that I don’t mind myself a higher priced rookie as long as: They are a midfielder and they have strong job security (as much a first year player can have). I’ll even argue that players like Brayshaw and Dow were somewhat successful starting picks last. Yes, they were slow burners, but they played week in, week out and were able to be downgraded to free up $180k. Sam Walsh ($207.3k MID) is no exception and all I can really say is lock this guy in NOW. He was everywhere and arguably Carltons second best on ground behind Patrick Cripps. He is as a ready made AFL player as they come out of the draft and helped himself to 28 disposals (12 kicks) at 75% DE, 5 marks, 4 tackles and a team high 8 inside 50s for 102 SuperCoach points. If this wasn’t enough for you, he backed up his performance the next day with best on ground in the clubs intra scratch match. Trust me, you won’t regret spending a little extra on this rookie.
Will Setterfield ($144.9k MID/FWD) was a very popular GWS rookie pick last year in the pre-season until he ruptured his ACL. With more opportunity at Carlton in 2019 and at a lower price, it’s not surprising to see he is the second most picked player in SuperCoach. He’s a top 5 draft pick and showed what he can do against Essendon with 19 disposals (with a very sexy 17 of those being kicks) at 50% contested rate and 75% DE to go with 2 marks, 6 inside 50s and a team high 8 tackles for 113 points. He is a pretty simple pick for our forward lines.
Michael Gibbons ($102.4k MID) had finally broken into the AFL at the age of 25 after being overlooked at many drafts. He has been ticking all the right boxes in the VFL for years as a midfielder but the only knock on him was his height. Despite being a midfielder, he was parked in the forward pocket against Essendon (due to his height one would imagine) although he did manage to snag 3 goals from 9 disposals (7 kicks) and 3 marks. The role is certainly not ideal and could struggle for opportunities once the season kicks off, but is a great price to be allowed to mature at M11.
Cam Polson ($191.8k FWD) has a 13 game senior career SuperCoach average of 35 and just 8 disposals from 76% TOG seems that 2019 might be another one of those years for him.
Angus Schumacher ($123.9k DEF) laid 2 tackles in his 13% TOG but nothing else. Hmm.
Zac Clarke ($142.6k RUC) was delisted by Fremantle at the end of 2017 and after rucking Subiaco to another WAFL premiership in 2018, has been given a second chance at AFL by Essendon. Tom Bellchambers didn’t play which left Clarke to solo against Phillips and Lobbe but he did make the most of his opportunity with 37 hitouts, 15 disposals (6 kicks), 4 marks, 4 tackles, 3 1%ers and a goal for 89 points. Fully fit, TBC is still more than likely Essendons first choice ruck but Clarke will no doubt make him earn his spot. If anything happens to TBC between now and Rd1, Clarke will be a no brainer R2 for my team.
Tom Jok $(117.4k MID) surprised me a little and I wasn’t expecting to do as much as he did. That said, it was still only 7 disposals (5 kicks) at 57% DE go with a tackle and a 1%er for 22 points from 59% TOG. Hard to see him breaking into the senior game in 2019 but you never know.
For those wondering, Charlie Constable ($123.9k MID) was in fact my first midfield rookie selection when the team picker opened. Watching him run around against West Coast made be feel justified as he collected 26 disposals (10 kicks) at 73% DE, 4 marks, 4 tackles and a goal assist for 92 points. He did spend more time in the middle than he would normally, but if he lines up Rd1, he’s in my team.
Jordan Clark ($144.3k DEF) is good to go for Rd1. Had a casual 21 disposals (16 kicks) at 71% DE in his first senior game to go with a team high 9 rebound 50s resulting in 570m gained. He also took 5 intercept marks helping him to 87 points.
Darcy Fort ($117.3k RUC) was on everyones radars being a mature aged ruckman to hopefully fill a spot on our benches but with Geelong coming out saying Stanley is their preferred big man, we can all but scratch him off our lists. That said, Geelong always seems to never settle on a big man so he may get some chances throughout the year.
Gryan Miers ($123.9k FWD) got a fair run in JLT1 with a 2nd team high 87% TOG where he played forward but drifted up the ground and collected 18 disposals (10 kicks) at 72% DE but he only 4 contested possessions and 3 clangers held him back to 54 points.
Tom Atkins ($112.9k MID) was impressive playing a forward pressure role laying a team high 7 tackles to go with 14 disposals (5 kicks) at 93% DE for 69 points.
I went a few years to early and accidentally traded in Francis Watson ($123.9k DEF) in 2017 but he certainly wants to give 2019 a crack. He laid a team high 10 tackles and managed 17 disposals (10 kicks) for 76 points in the backline but the premiership backline is mighty hard to break into.
Jack Petruccelle ($123.9k FWD) can run, and fast, but as shown last year he struggles to find the ball. Just managed the 9 disposals (7 kicks) but a couple of clangers and only 2 contested possessions, relied on a goal and an assist to help him to 43 points.
Jarrod Brander ($135.7k FWD) and Jarrod Cameron ($117.3k MID/FWD) are going to find it very hard to get permanent roles in the forward line in the 2019 Eagles team and we are best to look elsewhere for rookies up front.
I feel like a bit of a broken record when it comes to North rookies but they always show us so many during the pre-season with 6 on display this weekend. They have been very unsuccessful for us over the years under Brad Scott and a gut feel says 2019 might just be the same, so I’ll keep it brief.
Ben McKay ($123.9k DEF) played key defence on McCartin but when freed up, hit the target 100% of the time from his 14 disposals (6 kicks) with 7 being contested to go with 7 marks and 5 1%ers.
Bailey Scott ($117.3k MID) found it the most out of the North kids and collected 21 disposals (10 kicks) but otherwise was quiet with 2 marks, 1 tackle and a 1%ers.
Tom Murphy ($195.4k DEF) played 4 games in 2018 for an average of 40 giving him an elevated price tag. Had 16 disposals (8 kicks) at 94% DE to go with 3 marks and a goal.
Nick Larkey ($123.9k FWD) has a great pair of hand and loves a good mark taking 7 of them. Plays key forward, had 11 disposals (7 kicks) all up and managed to slot 2 (from 3 shots) through the big sticks.
Luke Davies-Uniacke ($197.5k MID) was a bust in 2018 and enters 2019 slightly cheaper. He attended the 2nd most centre bounces for the Roos and finished on 27 disposals (10 kicks). 5 clangers and a DE of 70% held him back slightly but he laid 5 tackles and had 6 inside 50s to finish on 73 points from only 60% TOG.
Tarryn Thomas ($175.8k MID) is very expensive considered how many cheaper rookie and value picks we have around, but needs to show more than 10 touches at 50% DE in JLT2 if he’s worth the punt.
Matthew Parker ($117.3k FWD) played forward all game and took a while to get going. He only managed to get his hands on the ball 7 times (4 kicks) but did have 50% contested possession rate to go with 86% DE and a team high 7 tackles. He managed to kick 2 goals helping him to 61 from 81% TOG. How much opportunity will he get for scoring as a small forward in a bottom portion of the table team?
Nick Hind ($117.3k MID) floated off half back and finished with 5 rebounds 50s from his 10 disposals. Only missing the target once, he had 60% contested possession rate and took 2 marks for 52 points.
Callum Wilkie ($124.9k DEF) was sent into the ruck in the last half of the game but just struggled to impact with 4 disposals, 3 clangers and 3 hitouts for the afternoon. Doesn’t look to offer us much.
Darragh Joyce ($123.9k DEF) showed us what he showed us in his 2 AFL games last year. Not a lot.
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