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.
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!
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.
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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