Changes to the Dual Position Status for 2017 were announced last week (click here for DPP Changes) and I just wanted to get my first impressions down on paper (& direct to the hard-drive). Of course, there is still a long way to go before the 2017 season gets underway. But if you’re like me (& by reading this, you probably are!) then you’ll be keen to start your pre-season planning for the year ahead.
This write-up will focus on those players that have LOST their DPP status for the 2017 season and whether they are still SC-relevant. At this time these are my opinions only and may still change depending on pre-season form.
Zach Merrett (ESS, MID) – Finished a massive breakout year as the 8th highest SC-scorer of 2016. At an average of 111.5 from 22 games, he was 73 pts clear of the next best FWD (Dusty Martin). It will be interesting to see what effect the returning Bombers (Heppell & co.) have on his SC output. Anyone who finishes the year in the Top10 is always worthy of consideration. At a first glance however, he might be a bit pricey before the season starts (will be similar price to Parker, Neale, Selwood & Treloar). Now classified as a MID only, I can see him being a big POD early with many keen to wait on any changes to the Bombers overall structure & line-up.
Dustin Martin (RICH, MID) & Dayne Zorko (BRIS, MID) – Both players averaged about the same for 2016 (108 & 109 respectively) and are now classified as MID only. Will both start at a lower price than Zach Merrett and should provide a decent POD early on. Dusty was finding plenty of the ball but his clangers slowed down his SC scoring throughout 2016. Will be interesting to see how the additions of Prestia & Caddy to the Tiger midfield will impact his output.
Leigh Montagna (STK, DEF) – If Joey was still classified as a MID or FWD then he probably wouldn’t have made the list. Having averaged 99 SC pts in 2016, he could still provide relevance as a Defender only, especially if he stays injury-free.
Jeremy Howe (COLL, DEF) – Could be easy to dismiss Howe given he averaged 92 pts during 2016. However, he infamously broke his hand just before the start of the season and took a while to warm up. He averaged 100.3 over his last 16 games which makes me wary of putting a line through him. At a first glance, he could provide a big POD as a DEF only.
RELUCTANT TO DISMISS
Toby Greene (GWS, FWD) – We all know what he’s capable of when he gets some midfield time. The Giants midfield is however, stacked with talent at the moment. Greene is now classified as a FWD only after his stint on the forward-flank during 2016. An average of 90 doesn’t look great but his scores are typical of a true FWD. Greene hit the ton on ten occasions but also went under 70 in five games. With Merrett, Zorko & Martin no longer eligible as FWDs, our forward lines are open to more right-field options or even key-position players. At a first glance, you could do worse than Greene who should be involved in many big Giant victories in 2017.
NOT RELEVANT IN 2017
Michael Barlow (GCS, MID), Aaron Hall (GCS, MID), Daniel Rich (BRL, MID), Jack Watts (MEL, FWD), Christian Petracca (MEL, MID), Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti (ESS, DEF), Sam Kerridge (CAR, MID), Daniel Wells (COLL, MID), Jarrod McVeigh (SYD, DEF), Jarrod Lyons (GCS, MID), Clay Smith (WBD, FWD)
Summary: You need the best of the best in your SC midfield. For that reason, I simply can’t see Barlow, Hall, Rich, Kerridge, Wells, Lyons or Petracca scoring 110+ over the course of the entire season. They’ll have their big games but I don’t see them as the ‘cream of the crop’. Watts played a big part in Melbourne’s victories in 2016 but still only hit the ton on four occasions…….no thanks! Maybe I’m being harsh on McDonald-Tipungwuti as I love watching him play. Whether he’ll take the next step straight away (100 avg this year?) remains to be seen. Prefer to wait and see with him. McVeigh might still be a rough outside chance as a DEF only, but I just doubt he’ll play a full season. Clay Smith is another who will have his big days but I can’t see a consistent output that is worthy of a spot in the forward line.
Just a quick reminder that Supercoach will open today for SC Gold subscribers, which includes all new prices and a ‘team picker’. What do you make of my first impressions? Any disagreements? Be sure to let me know in the comments below (or on Twitter @SchwarzwalderSC)……….. (Isn’t it great to be talking footy again?) 😉
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