Below is how the rookie priced defenders (<212k) who played a minimum of 2 games over the JLT series performed.
Last year there were 25 rookie defenders who got through NAB with the conditions above but we appear less blessed this year with only 13 meeting the same criteria. Sigh.
In what appears to be a dire situation for rookies this year, we have been blessed by the SuperCoach Gods of Defence with the presence of Curtly Hampton. He’s been training all pre-season with the Midfield group and he put his efforts to hard work playing all 3 JLT games to average 20 disposals. Averaging 88 points for the JLT series, he collected on average 4 marks, 3 tackles, 9 contested possessions(!!), 4 clearances and a goal all off 76% TOG. If he’s not locked into you D4/5 spot, you’re not playing SuperCoach this year.
Andy “Otto” Otten was drafted in 2007 and was bought to the club with intentions of being groomed for a midfield role before two knee reconstructions has left his speed a shadow of its former self. This has left him as a utility with capabilities of playing forward and back, but for the JLT series, he held down Adelaides backline in the absence of Lever and Cheney. Averaging 5 marks, 3 tackles, 10 kicks and 8 handballs across the 3 games with an impressive DE of 89%, he racked up an average score of 85. I would love it for the man to be rewarded for his efforts, but I’d be anxious picking him (if named) with Lever only a week away.
Zach Guthrie, younger brother of team-mate Cam, had a cracking first 2 JLT games for a rookie basement priced before going ahead and hyper-extending his knee to miss the third. Thankfully, the 18 year old had a run this weekend in the Geelongs VFL sides practice match to collect 15 disposals and 4 rebound 50s. In his first 2 JLT games, he averaged 7 kicks and 15 handballs (71% DE) to go with 5 marks, 2 tackles and 7 contested possessions. He has quite the small frame and only managed 68% TOG due to a limited tank, but he was able to average a very impressive 82 points in that time. He is still rookie listed however if promoted, will be in the running for some early games and I don’t know about you, but I love myself a basement priced rookie!
Ed Vickers-Willis got his JLT campaign off to a flyer with two solid back-to-back performances and was looking the very likely candidate to replace Spud Firrito this season. This was before he was placed on Toby Greene in JLT3 where he had 5 goals kicked on him. They were certainly not a good match up for each other but it is what it is. All up, EVW averaged 7 kicks, 8 handballs, 3 marks and 2 tackles and got an average score of 65 points. He wasn’t named in the Kangaroos VFL side this weekend so here’s hoping it’s a sign he did enough in the first two games to be named this weekend.
Jake Kelly was impressive in the first game before being quiet in the remaining two to average 64 points from 82% TOG. Impressive with his ball use, he averaged 8 kicks and 5 handballs at 91% DE to go along with an 5 marks and 3 tackles. Cheney is running against the clock to get up for R1 from his groin injury, and Kelly could could be fighting for the spot in defence with Otten. Watch team announcements later this week to see how Adelaide structure their defence before jumping on either of the Adelaide duo.
Joel Smith played the first two JLT games before hurting his toe and missing the third. Hopefully he doesn’t have any Laird genes in him and he can get over it in less the 4 weeks. He was very clean with his ball use and his average of 5 kicks and 7 handballs went off at 91%. He averaged 4 marks, 3 tackles and 7 contested possessions for an average score of 64 from 76% TOG. If fit, he may slide into Rd1 to replace Jack Frost who will miss through suspension but Melbournes defensive stocks have also slimmed with Michael Hibberd being ruled out of Rd1 and Colin Garland who has potentially done his ACL. He is still rookie listed though and is another one who requires promotion.
Tom Stewart, the mature-aged recruit from Geelongs VFL team slotted seamlessly into the seniors in JLT1. His scores skied downhill from there to end up on an average of 62 although he came off with cramping in the last quarter of JLT3. He averaged 9 kicks, 5 handballs, 6 marks and 3 tackles across the 3 games and if he makes the trip across to Perth, he should get a spot in Geelongs back 6.
Lewis “Pelican” Melican might find some early games depending on Aliirs fitness but has questionable job security otherwise. Other than a shining light in JLT2, his other two performances were mediocre and he ended up on an average of 52 from 70% TOG. He averaged 6 marks, 3 kicks, 4 marks and 2 tackles from his games.
Mitchell Hibberd is one of the many rookies looking to get early games with North Melbourne in their rebuild phase. He knows how to find the ball and of the 27 people who averaged 16 disposals over the JLT series, he had the lowest TOG at 61%. Despite this, he only manged to average 43 points as he was often given the run at the end of the game when the major points had already been allocated. He also averaged 4 clangers a game which didn’t help his score. If he is given a full run, he should be able to collect a lot more of the points available.
Andrew Mcgrath, would be receiving some nice perks being the #1 draft pick, but for us SuperCoaches, it comes with a hefty starting price tag. For us to consider the #1 pick in our team, we really want them to impress us. Unfortunately for McGrath, his performances just didn’t justify this price. In fact, an average of 38 points would see him lose value. If you are one of the 24% of SuperCoachers who still have him, it’s probably time to bite the bullet and move him on. Hampton?
Matthew Scharenberg didn’t get a lot of run win an average TOG of 41% and the performance he put in when on the park just doesn’t warrant a selection. He is also expected to get a run in the VFL in the early stages as he builds up match fitness coming back from injury. One that many had pencilled in at the start of the JLT series but another that probably needs to have a line drawn through.
Go on, you know you want me.
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