(Written & Created By Ben)
Lock and Load:
This slot had been well and truly reserved for Sam Docherty ($511,300) almost from the moment he injured himself at the start of last preseason. Unfortunately, as I’m sure you’re all aware, Sam has injured the same ACL that left him on the sidelines for all of last season, and it’s looking likely the same will happen this year.
However, looking on the bright side, that means that someone has to step up and fill the void left in his wake, and who better than the model of consistency himself Kade Simpson ($570,300). Although he’s a bit pricey, he is coming off of his second-best season ever average-wise (105) while only missing one game with a tight calf.
Simpson is your pick if you want a player that is a sure-fire thing to be a top 10 player in his position come seasons end, as he has averaged at least 92 since 2009, with 5 of those seasons having an average of over 95, and in that time he has only missed 6 games through injury. The only concern is that he does turn 35 next year, however he has shown no signs of slowing down yet.
With Docherty moving onto the long-term injury list, Carlton under the new rules have an opportunity to recruit an extra player onto their list. However, the club has made it very clear that they won’t use the extra list spot to recruit a “Docherty” replacement, which leads me to believe that they think they already have one, and all signs point towards Nic Newman ($394,100).
A much beloved Supercoach player after his 2017 cash cow campaign, Nic couldn’t quite reach the same heights in his sophomore effort. This is mainly because the emergence of Jake Lloyd saw him fall down the pecking order a bit at Sydney, as he only managed 10 senior games, and he when he did play he was no longer the primary distributor out of the backline.
If he is the heir apparent to Docherty’s role at Carlton, this will no longer be an issue, as he will form a powerful tag team with the aforementioned Simpson, meaning his average should climb.
This selection isn’t without risk however, as if he does not reach the average you want, he is priced quite awkwardly, making it hard to trade him out effectively. He is also not guaranteed to fill Docherty’s role either, as there are quite a few candidates who could fill that role, including Dale Thomas, Lachie O’Brien, and…
After missing all of last year with back issues, Tom Williamson ($189,500) looks fit and firing this off-season, and is gunning for the Docherty role. He fits into that role perfectly, as he is an elite athlete with great poise and decision-making skills.
Some might be scared off after looking at his 2017 average of 49, however this average was brought down by a lackluster second half of the season due to dealing with some niggling injuries, as well as the rookie wall. He has the potential to be a good scoring cash cow, as made clear in his first seven games of 2017, where he averaged 60.7, with three scores over 70 including one over 80. Returning this year with another preseason under his belt and a bigger role, I can see Williamson being a good option for a cash cow.
Additionally, look out for Angus Schumacher ($123,000) later into the season as a downgrade target. He’s shown some good form in the VFL and if he finds some consistency he could get some games next year.
Lock and Load:
There’s really only one man who could fill this slot, and of course, that man is Darcy Lang ($327,700).
Wait, you guys disagree? Not Darcy Lang? Really? Alright then, looks like I’ll have to go with my second choice in Patrick Cripps ($648,200).
In all seriousness, Paddy made the jump to the Supercoach elite we were all expecting last season, averaging a whopping 119.4 and carrying the entire Carlton midfield on his back in the process.
He’s the whole package when it comes to a Supercoach midfielder: consistent performer, and a high ceiling. Last year he raised the bat 16 times, including 5 scores of 150+ (151, 152, 187, 156, 173). He also rarely had an off game, with his only score below 90 coming in round 11 with a 54.
The only reason I can see you not picking him is his price. He is VERY expensive, and with a lot of competition in the $600k-$650k range (Oliver, Fyfe, Kelly, Neale) you might not have the cash to fit him in. If you do have the cash though, you can’t go wrong with this pick.
Because of the lack of quality midfielders at Carlton outside of Cripps, there is plenty of room for one of the young guns to step up and take charge next to him. There is no clear candidate for who will step up, but my money is on Paddy Dow ($325,500).
Dow is definitely a speculative pick, as this will only be his second season, and he only averaged 59.6 in his first year, but he is a special kind of player, and it’s not unheard of for a player to become elite in just their second year (Bontempelli averaged 103 in his second year, Oliver 111 in his). He also has DPP status, along with another young midfielder who I will talk about later…
He’s the number 1 pick with an expensive price tag to match, but Sam Walsh ($207,300) should be strongly considered for every midfield. He’s a walk-up start at Carlton and should play Round 1, and he’ll slot right into our midfield straight away.
Walsh is an elite talent with a very Supercoach friendly style of play, and his main strength coming into the draft was his massive tank, which means that the rookie wall will hopefully affect him less than most.
For anyone still concerned about the price, he’s priced for an average of 38.2, which is an absolute steal for a player who is looking like he’ll be one of the best scoring rookies this year.
For someone a little friendlier on the pocket, have a look at Liam Stocker ($126,300). He’ll play a lot of senior footy this year and is an inside bull, which means he should score fairly well off of all of those contested possessions.
Lock and Load:
Don’t. Just don’t. Stay away. There are no rucks you should be seriously considering at Carlton. Well, there is one, buuuuuuuut…
Matthew Kreuzer ($432,900) when fit is one of the best ruckman in the league, period. He’s also one of the best ruckman as far as Supercoach goes, you only need to look at his 2017 average of 109 to know that. So with people concerned about Gawn’s price and upcoming role, I can see why people might be tempted to start with him.
However, poor Kreuz is not fit very often anymore. He only managed to play a little over half of last season, and when he did play, he was usually carrying something, making him a shadow of his prime. Additionally, he missed the majority of those games with heart issues. You do not stuff around with heart issues. That right there is reason enough to never, ever pick him again.
I could be completely wrong though, and he could play 22 games and average 110 and then I look like an idiot. In fact, I’d love it if Kreuz proved me wrong. But sadly, I just don’t see that happening.
Again, no-one here that’s really worth a look. Maybe Tom De Koning ($171,500), but I’m unsure how many games he plays and in what role.
Lock and Load:
Once again, a bit of a barren wasteland here, there aren’t any players I would consider “lock” material.
Zac Fisher ($392,800) will be entering his third year and is looking likely to take the next step after an impressive 2018 averaging 72.4 and showing flashes of brilliance along the way. All reports say that he is training the absolute house down, and after a third preseason, he could have enough of a tank and enough bulk to either slide into the engine room, or onto a wing. The only concern is that Carlton are now flush with young midfielders who may get the role ahead of him, so watch for his role in JLT. He also has DPP status which certainly is handy.
Additionally, there is always the chance that Charlie Curnow ($420,400) can make the leap to superstar this year, and with an improved midfield and supporting cast, it’s certainly possible.
Showing flashes of brilliance all year, Charlie never seemed to take over games like we expected he might (apart from that stellar first half of round 1 against Richmond), but it’s not entirely his fault, as the delivery to him from our terrible midfield didn’t help. With improvements to our list all over the board, this may elevate Charlie to the point where he can start dominating games.
There’s also always the chance that he gets moved up the ground a bit more in the Lance Franklin/Jack Gunston role, but I see that as unlikely due to how integral he is to our forward line. Maybe one day though.
The clear choice here is Will Setterfield ($144,900). A future gun in the making, Setterfield has had a terrible run with injuries, hence why his career has never really got going.
However, with fitness guru Andrew Russell also coming over to Carlton, Setterfield stands a chance of staying healthy. If Andrew can fix Jaeger’s knees, I’m sure he can fix Will’s.
If he’s fit, Setterfield will slot right into our midfield and play round 1, which means he should also slot right into your team.
So that’s it! Make sure to let me know what you think of my analysis! If you have any questions about any Carlton player, Supercoach related or not, ask away!
(** Great job, Ben! – Schwarzwalder **)
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