2020 Team Preview – Greater Western Sydney

Written by Chillo on January 15 2020

Defenders

Lock and Load: After battling through a shocking achilles tendon injury in 2018, the dynamic Zac Williams ($551,700) returned with a bang last season, becoming the underpriced premium we were all hoping for at the beginning of the season. A 102 ppg season average meant that Williams was one of only eight defenders to top the 2000-point barrier for the year, and he should be near the top of your most wanted list again in 2020. Zac’s trademark brand of hard running and long kicking (7th in the league for metres gained in 2019) are a perfect fit for Supercoach, and health permitting, he will once again finish the year as an elite player in his position.

Feeling Lucky: You probably won’t pick him in Classic due to all the other options, but for those of you in Draft leagues Nick Haynes ($474,700) is very much worth keeping in mind. One of the best intercept defenders going around, Haynes is rarely beaten these days and was one of the pillars of GWS’s run to the grand final in 2019. Certainly not a high possession getter in the back half, but Haynes is quality and is definitely a candidate for your second or third defender in draft.

Money Maker: It’s unusual to see a small defender taken so high in the draft, so it’s a measure of Lachlan Ash ($193,800) that the Giants recruiters saw fit to snap him up at pick 4. Blessed with speed, vision and an accurate right slipper, Ash was an All-Australian at Under-18 level. Certainly a player to watch in the pre-season and mark down for future reference.

Midfielders

Lock and Load: I’ve been writing this Giants preview for a few years now, and every year Josh Kelly ($637,700) pops up right here. Anyone who has ever seen him play can instantly see why – one of the classiest mids going around, with a beautiful left foot kick and the ability to win the ball inside or outside the contest. What’s the catch? In his six seasons, Kelly has only managed to play the full 22 games on one occasion. He is as certain as anyone can be of averaging 110+ this year, but will also likely miss a game or three at some stage with some sort of niggling injury. Are you prepared to ride out that frustration in order to bank this captaincy option?

Feeling Lucky: Lots of interesting options in the Giants’ engine room, all of which come with their own associated risks and benefits. Tim Taranto ($555,900) didn’t quite have the breakout season that many were hoping for in 2019, instead posting a solid 102 average while not quite showing the consistency of a true premium mid. Now in his fourth season, a similar improvement this year would see Tim enter the group of elite midfielders in the competition. It’s worth remembering that he was really the only Giant that stood up in last year’s GF hammering at the hands of the rampant Tigers.
Stephen Coniglio ($549,500) certainly has the potential to be a top 10 mid at year end, with his ability to drift forward and kick goals, while also winning the hard ball. However, an ongoing battle with his knees brings a level of uncertainty, in addition to his occasional struggles against the tag. He will assume the captain’s armband for the Giants this year, perhaps this new responsibility will bring about consistency to his Supercoach scoring?
Callan Ward ($511,400)
 returns from a 12 month layoff after suffering an ACL tear a few minutes into his 2019 season. The Giants stalwart has a fantastic record in Supercoach, recording five seasons of 105+ scoring, but can he return to his best after such a devastating injury? The price is definitely right, and everyone will be monitoring Cal’s preseason closely to see just how well he has pulled up from a lengthy rehabilitation. 

Money Maker: The draft confuses me sometimes. For instance, how can the beast that is Tom Green ($166,800) somehow fall to pick 10? I understand he’s an academy player, but shouldn’t the other clubs maintain accountability by at least trying to draft the guy at his rightful position? Green is already an impressive player at the stoppages, and within a season or two in the AFL system, I fully expect this guy to be one of the premier contested ball winners in the comp. Whether he can get game time in the stacked Giants midfield this year is debatable – hi Jackson Hately! – but his slide down the draft board has made him extremely well priced in my estimation. Unleash the fury, Mitch!

Rucks  

Feeling Lucky: After struggling through a pesky knee injury in 2019, Sam Jacobs ($348,400) has made the move to the Giants in a bid to reinvigorate his career. The spectacular emergence of Reilly O’Brien and GWS’s waning reliance on Shane Mumford in the ruck mean that orange and charcoal should be a natural fit for Sauce, who has a 115 ppg season average in his resume. However that was back in 2014, and it’s questionable whether the rising 32 year old has the juice in the tank to be a viable stepping stone for your Supercoach team in 2020. The good news is that Jacobs had 58 hitouts in the SCGF last year, and by all accounts is training well. Calculated risk.

Forwards

Lock and Load: Lachlan Whitfield ($604,100) is a forward this year for some reason. Don’t think, do! F1 is one of the easier positions to fill in 2020, and I would expect Lachie to be in the top 5 most selected players when Supercoach has its grand opening later this month. In 2019, Whitfield averaged 11 points per game more than the next best available forward, primarily through his almost unrivalled running power and pinpoint disposal of the footy. Yes, his light frame can make him susceptible to injury, but the upside far outweighs that risk in my estimation. Just lock him in (pun fully and absolutely intended) and move on!

Feeling Lucky: When available, Toby Greene ($510,100) is good at football. And that’s all I have to say about that.
I picked up key position forward Jeremy Cameron ($503,900) last year as a mid-season upgrade, breaking one of the cardinal rules of Supercoach. I regretted it for most of the year, albeit Jezza did have big games against the Pies and Suns to somewhat offset all that frustration. I think there are safer options but he does have the enormous ceiling that comes with a KPF. Cameron would be the POD to end all PODs if he starts this year the way he started 2019 (108 ppg through the first seven rounds), so good luck to you if you have the nerve to pick him!

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14 thoughts on “2020 Team Preview – Greater Western Sydney”

  1. Great write-up Chillo! Nick Haynes is one that wasn’t really on my mind for draft but now I’m intrigued…

    As for the other players mentioned, I’m heavily considering Williams, and toying with the idea of Cogs and Ward.

    As much as I love him, I can’t start Jelly with any confidence after his last two seasons, 14 and 15 games does not fill me with confidence at all.

    It’s a similar story to Toby, who after his tremendous finish last year I felt like needed to be rewarded with a starting spot in my side, but after about 2 seconds of review I decided that’s an awful idea.

    As for rookies, sadly I feel GWS will be pretty irrelevant, Ash is just too expensive and Greene will get the Hately treatment.

    But as always, GWS will be a very relevant side this year, but one with plenty of risk and reward!

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    1. The GWS rookies to look at really are O’Halloran and Caldwell – both highly rated from the 2018 draft and didnt get any games last year. An extra year under their belt and they may sneak some games in and are cheaper than they were last year.

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      1. I like Caldwell, but at 190K I think there are better (and cheaper) options elsewhere.

        I admit I haven’t seen anything of O’Halloran, so I’ll be watching out for him in the pre-season.

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  2. On the unwillingness for teams to bid on Tom Green, it’s important to remember his grandfather was a 4 times richmond premiership player and Tom grew up barracking for the Tigers.

    Clubs *may* view him as a huge flight risk.

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  3. Jacob Hopper may be worth a punt in 2020. Entering his 5th season and increased his possession count from 21 to 26 with his contested possession count being 8th best per game for season 2019. Leading total centre clearances at the Giants for the season. The big knock on his game is his disposal which may hinder his ceiling to be around the 130 mark.

    Seven tons from 19 games and averaged 95.8 which makes him awkwardly priced, and punting on him to average 105 until the Giants round 14 bye. Interesting to see what happens should full seasons from Kelly, Coniglio, Taranto, De Boer and Ward be on the books.

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  4. I like the Giants this year. Alot of their key players are at an age where they should be playing their best footy….

    Williams & Whitfield: Starting both of these guys last year and they didn’t let me down so locks for me….Regarding Zac, I don’t reckon it matters where he plays I think he can average ~100ppg back or mid. I think his slow start last year was more down to returning from injury.

    Kelly: Interesting one, hearing he is having his best pre season but I only wanna start either him or Fyfe (not both) for durability reasons and I think Nat edges him.

    Cognilio: misses too many

    Taranto: no

    Jacobs: I think he can add 100k+ to his starting price, but being a similar price to Steven & Smith in the FWD line, I’d rather take them, as they have more chance of being premos.

    Cameron: No kpf for me, watchlist though

    Ward: No, I think he will hover around 500k all year so not underpriced imo

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  5. Great write up Chillo, ta.

    GWS are by far the best SC side in the comp. They also have the Rd14 bye. And, with a fully fit Jelly, Cogs, Greene and Ward, another pre-season into a talented list, I’m expecting further improvement in the 2020 H&A season. There are big SC points up for grabs.

    I will be starting three. Zac, Lockie and Jelly (I think). I see the first two picks as being absolute locks for top 4 by position.

    Jelly is different. I LOVE watching him play footy and while that’s not a reason to pick him, IF he can stay fit, I see him as a top 4 MID in 2020. Supremely talented, has a huge ceiling AND a decent floor. I like the fact that a lot of people are off him due to his injury history, as that could also make him a bit of a pod. I’ve never started him before so am yet to be burned, but I think it’s worth the risk. Still a long way to go til first bounce, so thoughts may change, but for now it’s Jelly for me, ahead of both Crippstonite and Fyfeislife for me. My other MID locks are Macrae, Dunkley, Danger and Oliver.

    Rookies will be a wait and see, but can’t see any breaking into best 22 … until the litany of injuries strike. What’s with that!?!?!??)

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    1. Yeah I agree with everything you said about Kelly, especially the IF. I’ve been burnt before and have an excellent memory, so I’ll not be starting him.

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  6. Great stuff Chilli. The only concern with the Giants is their poor fitness staff. If they ever get Kelly right he’ll go nuts!

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  7. Great write up! I want to start Kelly, but I also want to start 8 other mids so he might not make my starting squad.

    I’m worried about whether Williams will score as well as he did in 2019 so he is a wait and see for me now. Thinking he will be an early upgrade at this stage.

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