Player Review: Buddy Franklin

Written by Thommo on March 15 2017

What could have been! So who’s winning a Premiership first?

Dob: 30/01/1987

Team: Sydney

Position: Forward

Supercoach Price: $514,600

2016 Average: 94.59

2016 Games: 22

Bye Round: 11

Past (2015-2011): 87, 100, 90, 116


Age/Durability: ★★★★

Buddy’s fitness has not been a significant issue for some time but he has suffered well-publicized mental issues that prematurely ended his 2015 champagne. He returned to play every match in 2016, including finals, and over the last three years he has averaged 19 games per year.

He has played two JLT matches in the 2017 pre-season so he also seems to have recovered well from his off-season shoulder surgery.

2016 Form: ★★★★

Buddy had a ridiculously consistent start to the season for a key-position forward (not that he plays a 100% key position role) with eight scores over 100 points in the first ten rounds of 2016 and a low score of 83 points. In those ten rounds he kicked 40 goals at an average of 4 goals per match.

Unfortunately his form and Supercoach scoring dropped off from then. He only averaged 89 Supercoach points in the final twelve rounds and kicked 35 goals or 2.9 goals per match. He scored a low of 34 points in Round 22 after copping an elbow to the hip against the Roos.

Ignoring the 34 point match, Buddy won enough ball up the ground to prevent too many shockers, averaging 18 possessions and 6 marks per match, elite for a tall forward.

Consistency: ★★★

Buddy was super-consistent in 2011 and 2012 but he has scored more erratically since then. He arrested that trend somewhat in 2016 with only four sub-80 scores, most of those due to in-game niggles.

Ceiling: ★★

Many coaches, myself included until last night, assume Buddy has a massive ceiling. This is no longer really true. Since Round 10, 2012 when he kicked 13 goals against the Roos in Launceston and scored 236 Supercoach points, Buddy has rarely lodged a monster score. After that glorious day (for everyone except Scott Thompson), Buddy has scored over 100 points on 47 occasions but only scored over 130 points seven times and over 150 twice.

I’m sure he still has a monster score in him but don’t hold your breath!

Tag: ★★★

Buddy rarely gets beaten by a defender but every now and then a Rance or Tarrant manages to hold him for an entire match. When he’s having a bad day his Supercoaches become nervous as Bad Buddy appears and gives a few free kicks away.

Thankfully Bad Buddy has learnt to stop getting suspended.

Value: ★

Yes, Buddy has averaged 116 points in a season but that was back in 2012 at a different club so is he really going to reach those heights again?

Most likely his highest projected average is in the low 100s, so he offers minimal value in 2017.

Overall: ★★2/3

Buddy is consistent for a key position forward and is more durable than he’s given credit but he offers little value in 2017.


On the pro-side, Buddy looked more imposing in 2016 than he has in years and he scored really consistently early in the season. When he is having a poor game he can push up the ground and win a few possessions so he rarely scores a shocker.

On the con-side, he does have those quiet games often due to the niggles that are quite common across career. He won’t miss games from the niggles but they affect his output across a season. When he is having those bad game he can give away free-kicks like few other players in the AFL.

If there were more forward options in 2017, I doubt anyone would even consider Buddy in their starting squad. However there aren’t many options and Buddy is likely to scrape in to the Top 6 forwards for the season so you could do worse than start with him.

Is Lance going to be your Buddy in 2017?

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12 thoughts on “Player Review: Buddy Franklin”

  1. Somewhat the forgotten man up FWD this year, young Buddy. Agree….I reckon he’s a Top6 FWD over the course of the year. Definitely a spot for him.

    Thanks for another quality write-up, Thommo…’re a machine!


    1. Thanks Schwarzy.

      I think most people were waiting to see if he was fit after the shoulder op. Seems up and about; at least that’s what Taranto said!


  2. Top 6 forward at the end of the year IMO, why waste a trade getting him later on when he’s sure to average 90-100 which I rate as a forward.


    1. He usually throws in a couple spud scores every now and then that result in a price drop, hopefully right before his bye round so I can pick him up cheap.


  3. Upgarde target for me, agree with forgotten man i use to start with him every year :but not anymore no idea why lol 😛


  4. Not a starter for me….but I forgive his lower numbers from the second half of last year, because some of those games were played in swimming pools. He did look great in the JLT and he’s probably my first target for a forward upgrade.


    1. He actually had some decent games in the wet, not that it helped him either. Three of his poor scores late last year were linked to mild injuries.



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