Looking at the early teams, most Coaches are keen to go with the Gawn/NicNat Ruck line-up. It’s hard to ignore them at their current prices and they feature heavily below. Paddy Ryder has lost his DPP status and is available as a Ruck only. He’s sure to provide a decent POD, especially early in the season. For better or worse, the following names jumped out at me while looking through the SCT Team Picker. Here are my initial thoughts on the Ruck line…………
VALUE PREMIUMS ($450K+)
Todd Goldstein (NTH, $521 400) – Was the #1 ranked player in the entire League back in 2015 where he averaged 128 pts from 21 games. Has carried a lot of niggling injuries over the last two years and is now priced at a 95avg. The trade rumors were strong over the off-season but North is sticking with Goldy for now. With Preuss & Daw eagerly awaiting their chance, Goldy won’t want to put a foot wrong. If he gets back anywhere near his best then he’s fantastic value at $521K…………
Max Gawn (MEL, $503 700) – The Big Gawn Dog had a huge year in 2016, playing all 22 games at an average of 118 pts. That alone is enough reason to consider Gawn for your starting line-up. Judging by the early teams, many Coaches are running with that option. Could it be a trap however? (*cue Admiral Akhbar with ‘It’s a trap!’ from Star Wars*). In six seasons at the top level, only in 2016 did Gawn get through more than 13 games. Those sort of odds don’t look too inviting, especially if you’re concentrating on durability. Risk vs Reward……that old chesnut!
Nic Naitanui (WCE, $465 900) – Missed the entire 2017 season after rupturing his ACL late in 2016, hence the discounted price. Has finished 3/9 seasons with an average over 100pts, with his best effort coming in 2012 (114 avg from 20 games). We all know that NicNat can dominate his opponents on any given day. If I have any criticisms, and it’s no fault of his own, it’s that he constantly seems to be carrying a niggle or five. If he trains well over the pre-season, he’s sure to be a popular choice at R1/R2………
MID-PRICE GAMBLES ($250-$449K)
Mason Cox (COL, $304 800, RUCK/FWD) – I’m not anticipating any great rise in SC output from the big American. It sounds like Buckley is determined to give him more time in the Ruck however. That would have an adverse effect on Brodie Grundy’s numbers. Grundy (and Cox) not currently on the radar……..
Dawson Simpson (GWS, $290 300) – Turning 29 in February, Simpson has just the 30 AFL appearances to his name. His career has been hampered by various injuries and constantly playing ‘second string’ to a stronger Ruckman. With Mumford’s retirement, the way has been cleared for Simpson to take the #1 mantle at GWS. Will have to contend with Rory Lobb for most of the year but Cameron seems content to keep Lobb up forward. In two matches last season, Simpson managed a 91 & 85. If he lines up for Rd1 then it’s his spot to lose………..
How do you see the Rucks at this early stage? Are you sticking with the Gawn/NicNat combo or is it simply too risky? Have you unearthed any rookie options in the Ruck? Let us know your thoughts below……….
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