2020 Team Preview – Carlton

Written by Huttabito on January 24 2020


Howdy everyone, and welcome to my Carlton player preview for the year of our lord 2020. I apologize for getting this and the other parts to my premo analysis out so late, but that bloody blowfly that is life has been buzzing around me and won’t leave me alone, so I had to go and deal with that first.

Anywho, Carlton are going to lose exactly 0 games this year, win the granny by roughly 100-120 points, and then erect a giant solid gold statue of David Teague out the front of Ikon Park. Trust me, I’ve run the numbers and there’s no way any of this doesn’t happen. Naturally with a season like this ahead of them, the Carlton Football Club will be a relevant team in the upcoming Supercoach season, so let’s have a dive into why.

Also, since it’s fun I’ll have a quick look at who I named in each position in last year’s article and review how my predictions went, because I’m a masochist who loves turning off potential readers by making them realise my advice is crap. Oh well, let’s get into it.


Lock and Load: Last year I had Kade Simpson in this slot, saying that he was the perfect reliable premo who was all but guaranteed to give you an average of 95. Unfortunately old age finally got its hands around poor Simmo, and he put up a disappointing average of 81, so I’ll count that as a cross against my analysis.

Looking to 2020, there’s really only one man for this role, and he’ll be one of the most popular picks in Supercoach this year: oh co-captain my co-captain, it’s Sam Docherty ($436,100). After two rough seasons on the sidelines after back-to back ACL injuries, Doch is fit and healthy for the first time in years and is all set for round 1 this year. Track watchers are saying that he’s in better shape than before the injuries (thank-you Andrew Russell) and $436k for someone who’s last two healthy seasons resulted in averages of 114.7 and 108.7 is an absolute steal.

Obviously his injury history is a concern, and it’d be foolish to think that he’ll go straight back to being the number 1 defender in the game, but I think it’s reasonable to assume he’ll play close to every game since he’s had a full year and a bit with Andrew Russell now (who fixed even Jaeger’s dodgy knees) and an average of 90-95, which for sub-450k is an absolute steal. There’s a reason his nickname is Locherty this season!

I’m Feeling Lucky: Last season I had Nic Newman in this slot and gee-whiz did I get that one right. Newman played 20 games and averaged 95 for the year and 109.4 after the bye, so that’s a tick to me thanks.

As for this year, there’s no real stand-out in this spot like Newman last year, but a sneaky breakout contender is the Halls Creek Cowboy himself Sam Petrevski-Seton ($443,300). Sam was moved about a lot last year under two different coaches, but has found himself a home at half-back, evident by the fact that he has been training exclusively with the defenders this pre-season. Sam was fantastic in this role, using his poise, composure, and fantastic disposal to drive the ball out from our back half. If he could find more of the ball back there, he could very easily push his average into the low 90’s and sit on the cusp of being a premo. Whether he can do this with the return of Docherty is another question entirely. Watch closely.

Money Maker: Let’s just say I did not nail this section in last year’s preview. I recommended Tom Williamson as a great cash cow option, only for him to be ravaged with injury and only manage two games. My other sneaky suggestion was to watch out for Angus Schumacher to get some games late in the season, only for him to play 1 game, score 39, and get delisted at season’s end. A big, fat fail on my behalf, but I’ll learn from my mistakes and try not to suggest similar players again.

Anyway, my big cash cow recommendation down back is Tom Williamson ($146,300). What can I say? Learning is for losers and nerds, and I ain’t neither. If it were possible for a cash cow to be considered a burn man, Willa would be close to it, as he’s teased Supercoaches and Carlton fans alike over the years, only for his body to let him down over and over again. But this time he’s really over his injuries, I promise! Anywho, I doubt he’ll play round 1 because our backline is too strong atm (what a problem to have!) but it’ll only take one or two injuries for him to squeeze into the 22.

Also keep an eye on Matthew Cottrell ($123,900). He’s a running machine that has been slowly working on his craft in the VFL and by all reports has had a fantastic pre-season. He could make a wing his own in 2020, and since we’re pretty light when it comes to wingers I can see him getting games this year.


Lock and Load: Last year I had Cripps in this category, and what a shock! He was really, really good. With a better team around him and hopefully better protection from the tag this year he will be really, really good. Just pick him.

Oh, you’re not convinced by pure conviction? How about pure STATS then?

Patrick Cripps turns 25 this year, so is just entering his prime.

Patrick Cripps is in a rapidly improving team that won’t get dominated as much, thus better overall scores.

Patrick Cripps had a down year last year and still averaged 117.1.

The year before that (his most complete year IMO) he averaged 119.4.

Last year he scored 120+ 9 times, including a whopping 194 when he single handedly beat the Lions.

A lot was made of him being unable to handle a tag, yet his worst game last year was still only a 66 against the Giants where he had the best tagger in the game on him and the Blues lost by nearly 100 points.

Pick. Him.

I’m Feeling Lucky: Last year I really whiffed on this section. I suggested Paddy Dow as a sneaky breakout option, and he proceeded to lower his average by 5.2 points and lose a bunch of money. So that’s a bit of a whoopsy-daisy on my behalf.

So lesson learned, don’t bank on second year players making an Oliver-esque jump in average. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, once again, learning is for suckers, so everyone jump on the Sam Walsh ($471,900) bandwagon before it’s too late.

Lemme give you some stats. Sam Walsh in his first year, in a bad team, played every game and averaged 86.9 points per game. This kid outscored the likes of Jack Steele, Jaeger O’Meara, Joel Selwood and Angus Brayshaw in his first year. Sam is something super special, and I think he can make the jump to premo this year, especially if he moves off of a wing and into the middle, thus increasing his contested numbers. He has also shown a capacity for high scores, as he scored 6 tons last year, including a huge 143 against the Lions. My bias is probably clouding me, but if it’s looking like he’s playing full time in the guts, he will be in my starting team.

Additionally, the old guard of Marc Murphy ($492,400) and Ed Curnow ($493,200) saw a big jump in average once David Teague put them back in the middle, and if you’re looking for a cheaper midfield POD, don’t count out these two.

Money Maker: Last season I suggested Sam Walsh here, and even though everyone and their dog started with him, I’ll still put this one down in the win column. I also suggested Liam Stocker, and he was looking like a good downgrade option for us before he got injured, so I’ll count that as breaking even.

As for this year, Carlton don’t actually have many relevant mid rookies, partially because our first pick Brodie Kemp is out for the year with an ACL, but also because with a stronger list this year we’re not having to rely on brand new draftees to fill spots anymore, which is fantastic. However, look out later in the season for Sam Philp ($121,800) to possibly get some games. By all reports he’s been having a great pre-season and Teague’s game plan thrives on speed, which Philp has in spades.


I’m not going to have the usual categories for the rucks, simply because there are no relevant Carlton rucks in the classic game mode. Just lock in Grundy and Gawn and be done with it.

However, in draft you don’t have that option, so don’t forget about Matthew Kreuzer ($528,900). I suggested him in last year’s article and he went on to average 97.4, albeit only playing 15 games. If you’re desperate for a ruck, maybe consider him.

But in classic, don’t even bother with any of our rucks, they won’t score enough to even touch Grawndy.


Lock and Load: Last year I suggested no-one in this category, and this year I’m going to suggest no-one again. Our forward line is built around KPF’s (who keep getting injured btw) so steer clear from Blues players in your forward line!

I’m Feeling Lucky: Last season in this section I suggested Charlie Curnow, who started to finally hit some form with a 93, 102 and 152 in back to back rounds, only to get injured and miss the rest of the season, so that’s a cross for that selection. I also suggested Zac Fisher as a breakout candidate, only for him to get stuck at half forward and have his average drop by 7 points to 65.6. Another big cross.

But once again, learning from your mistakes is not very cash money, so Zac Fisher ($356,100) is on the list again as a break-out candidate, provided he plays anywhere but forward. If he plays midfield/wing, his class and speed could translate to a breakout season in Supercoach. Unfortunately we have approximately 7,000 young players fighting for those last few midfield spots, and I dare saw there are a few ahead of him in the race. Monitor closely.

It’s a similar story for Jack Martin ($420,800) this year. After Gold Coast sent a stern message to the league that they wouldn’t be taken advantage of at the trade table anymore, Jack proceeded to walk to the Blues for absolutely nothing. Oops.

Jack has promised much and delivered not much so far in the league, but hopefully a permanent position and a strong team will help him deliver on the potential he has shown flashes of. However, he is currently training exclusively with the forward group, so if it looks like he’ll play HFF or in a pocket steer clear entirely. If he looks to be playing midfield or on a wing however, strongly consider him.

Money Maker: Last year I suggested Will Setterfield, who did fine as a cash cow, not great, not awful either. A tiny little tick for me on that one.

This year we don’t really have anyone that really stands out in the cash cow department, but my smokey for games later in the year is Josh Honey ($124,900). I was p*ssed that we passed our last pick on draft night while Honey was still on the board, but then we rookied him the next day anyway. That’s why the recruiting team gets paid the big bucks and I sit at home in my trackies writing silly little Supercoach articles.

Anyway, Honey is very, very raw, but is quick, agile, and knows how to put the pill through the goals, all things that we need in our forward line. By all reports he has impressed during pre-season, and if he shows enough form he could very well get a spot in our forward line by year’s end.

So there you go, I hope that was somewhat insightful! If you have any more questions about Supercoach or just Carlton in general in 2020, fire away in the comments. And as always, thanks for reading!


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20 thoughts on “2020 Team Preview – Carlton”

  1. “Learning is for losers and nerds”, lol.

    Good right up. Only room for one Carlton defender in my team and they all have merit, hopefully they don’t steal each others points….

    For me, Walsh is the true tempter. Played well enough last year to suggest bigger and better is inevitable this year but will he be a mid keeper cause to stay on my page he needs to be elite…. A second year elite break out is not unheard of but does Walsh meet the criteria?


    1. To me, Walsh *needs* full time inside mid minutes for me to consider him. The reason most second year players see a huge increase in average is a jump in contested numbers, which won’t be happening if he stays on a wing.


      1. With Walsh’s huge tank, I doubt Carlton will ever play him as a full-time inside mid. He’s better off on the wing, similar to Gaff.


        1. We have quite a few up and coming wingers in O’Brien, Cottrell and maybe even Williamson (he has never played wing but I think he’d excel in the role personally) who all have huge tanks (Cottrell I’d argue has a bigger tank than Walsh!) so eventually he’ll be moved into the guts I reckon. Maybe not this year though.


  2. Great stuff Ben.

    Not on the Doch train just yet, but likely will be. Crippa’s locked in and I have to say, I like your Walsh pick. At his price, he could be a steal. His price seems low since he fell away dramatically in the last few weeks of a long first season. Not at all surprising for a kid. He is, as you say ‘special’.

    Of the rookies, I’m most interested in Cottrell. I’ve heard good things somewhere else too. Williamson will need to prove fitness and role before I consider him at that price.

    Thanks again mate.


  3. Great work, Ben! My problem this year is fitting them all in!

    Here’s one you missed that I reckon will do VERY well at his new club: Jack Newnes (MID $386,400). Get a load of this:
    2015 – averaged 90.7 in 22 games
    2016 – 88.6 in 22
    2017 – 84.7 in 22
    2018 – 65.6 in 22 (this is when St Kilda started playing him in positions he wasn’t happy in)
    2019 – 71.2 in 20

    He’s rapt to be at a new club and The Blues will play him in the guts where he wants to be. I totally reckon he’s worth the risk.


    1. Interesting Motts, I hadn’t considered Newnes. My issue is if Walsh has one wing sown up, that means Newnes and the rapidly improving O’Brien are in a deadlock for the other. I think Newnes is ahead now, but for how much longer? Some food for thought.


  4. Nice work Ben. Just Cripps and Doc for me at this stage. I try to stay away from second-year players, so Walsh is a no even though he is bloody good. Going to wait and see on the rookies, though I agree that Cottrell looks the goods.

    No love for Newman? Amazing finish to 2019.


    1. If you read my DEF premo analysis I explain why Newman is not a good choice. The TL;DR version is, with SPS moving back and Doch and Willa being hopefully healthy, I can’t see him maintaining his average, or possibly even his spot in the best 22. When there are players like Laird and Sicily around the same starting price point, I just can’t see a reason you’d pick him.


  5. Nice write up Hutta….I love reading these things. I will be starting Williamson if he gets a r1 gig, and Cripps. I’ve been a fan of Fisher for a while, and if I knew he was going to get heaps of mid time, he would be a cheeky chance as a mid mid….if you know what I mean.
    As regards the season overall for Carlton, I admire your enthusiasm, but you forget that one day, my Bombers will avenge the 1999 prelim (and 1948 granny), and this year will be it. I’m thinking a 45 pt half time deficit (think about that), will end up in a glorious 1pt win for the bombers, catapulting us to outright leader with 17 flags !!


  6. Love it mate. Just a word on M.Murphy though, saw an article today that said he has been training with the forwards this preseason so I doubt he will get those mid minutes like the 2nd half of last year.


    1. Looking at the reports from the match sim today I think you’re right unfortunately, looks to be splitting time between mid and forward.


  7. “Anywho, Carlton are going to lose exactly 0 games this year, win the granny by roughly 100-120 points, and then erect a giant solid gold statue of David Teague out the front of Ikon Park. Trust me, I’ve run the numbers and there’s no way any of this doesn’t happen.”

    Have also run numbers; can confirm.


  8. Onya Guys, love the banter, keep it up.
    I find it very informative and helpful.
    Now if only we could have access to teams after the drafting was completed instead of all the other distractions.


  9. Thanks Ben.

    I too have Cripps and Doc as my only Carlton locks at the moment.

    My smokey for a kinda breakout has to be Jack Martin.The fact he is training with the forwards doesn’t really help, but I still think with the forwards we have available this year, he is certainly one capable of putting up a 95+ average.
    I saw a pic of him next to Eddie Betts and was shocked at how tall he is.
    He managed only 77 last year ( everyone new he was leaving) but somehow averaged low 80’s for 2017/2018. Thats playing full time forward for the Suns. The fact they get smashed out of the middle every week and rarely managed to score over 80 points must have made it tough.
    He was a very talented junior and a priority pick as a 17 year old. I’m sure if he was at ANY other team he would already be a star.

    I’m pretty sure he can average 90+playing mostly forward.If he gets a few more Mid minutes that could jump to 95+ the question is..

    Is that going to be enough to get you a top 6/8 forward spot.

    I was honestly pretty tempted to start him but… (Why is there always a But… ) The Round 13 bye is already a huge problem with G&G Cripps and Oliver, lloyd and Doc as well as Dusty Walters and Heeney up forward. I will be following him closely but just can’t risk starting him

    Thanks again and good luck to you and you’re Blues in 2020..


  10. LOve it, I wish all supercoach articles were this entertaining. You forgot to mention TDK coming in and belting out a few 6 goal + 20 hitouts games after Kreuz breaks in round 4



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