(Written & Created By Hot Sauce)
By now many coaches out there are looking to finalise their premium selections, deciding between their gut-feel versus the numbers. If you are anything like me right now, you are looking for the last little bit of info (besides JLT form/injury) to help make up your mind to which premo’s you should pick. Hopefully, this will help.
Below is a list of the premium defenders and their average scores against their opposition in the first five rounds this season. The averages are then broken down between their career average vs the opponent and their last 5 games vs the opponent to highlight recent form.
Kade Simpson (CAR $570 300)
I must admit I was a little surprised to see that the veteran’s recent form against his first 5 opponents is greater than his career average against them. This simply highlights that the man is not human, rather some sort of real-life Benjamin Button defying logic and the ageing process. Turning 35 in May, it seems as though Simmo the veteran has been around forever, but somehow just continues to pump out great scores.
The unfortunate season ending injury of Docherty just reaffirms anyone flirting with the idea of rolling the dice on this SC Hall of Famer. Despite the inclusion of Newman from Sydney this off-season, I am significantly more confident in Simmo finishing the season as a top 6 defender over Newman doing enough on a consistent basis to challenge as a top 10 to 12 defender.
Don’t be discouraged by any pre-season form on Simmo’s behalf, the man simply strolls around until the real stuff begins.
He won’t let you down. Lock him in!
Rory Laird (ADE $587 600)
The most popular choice of all defenders and there is little wonder why. Laird loves racking up the possessions in the back half and the Crows look for him as one of the silky skilled players they have to generate their attack. The reigning Malcolm Blight medallist racks up the disposals at a high efficiency rate ranking 4th in the AFL in disposals per game and 2nd in effective disposals per game. Laird is in the prime years of his already glittering career and has increased his SC average in the last 4 years from 93.8 to a career high 108.2 last season.
Laird’s recent form against his first 5 oppositions is eye-catching with a low of 89.6 against the Hawks and a high of 104.6 against the Suns. Don’t let the return of Brodie Smith and the emergence of Wayne Milera deter you from selecting this uber-premo, as no matter who else gets a run off the Crows half-back line, Laird will be their #1 man.
The numbers have prompted myself to make the switch from Jake Lloyd to Laird, and utilise the extra $20k spending money elsewhere, will you do the same?
Jack Crisp (COL $519 900)
Jack Crisp is no longer flying under the radar but still remarkably only sitting in 3% SC teams. He has put together a run of 98 consecutive games for the Pies and in that time has averaged 88.8 while cracking the ton on average every 3 games. His is an extremely reliable, durable and consistent player who ranked 3rd in Time on Ground % and 6th in total intercepts in the AFL, just to name a few of his statistical accolades.
His consistent performances are the main highlight to his SC attractiveness, but his recent form against his first 5 oppositions ranks amongst the highest from all on the above list. There is nothing to suggest that his run of form and reliability will waiver, which at 3% ownership can be a very valuable POD.
He does have the ability to go large as evidenced in last year’s prelim victory when he amassed an enormous 153, which for me was the game that put him firmly in my sights for 2019. Before that game, his 2018 season was extremely impressive but lacking the big result, with his largest score being a 128 back in round 3. In between those 2 scores he had 21 games of which he failed to miss a game; averaged 94.2; scored 9 tons; with a high of 119. Did I mention he is consistent?
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