PICKING the right rookies or “cash cows” is vital to a successful SuperCoach season.
We’re looking at this year’s cheapies – or any player under $225,000.
The right cash cows will play early, score well and earn you plenty of cash to then use on upgrading players to high-scoring premiums.
Keep an eye on the NAB Challenge to see which young guns are stepping up and looking ready to play in Round 1 and good luck.
JED ANDERSON (North Melbourne) $223,900 Mid-Fwd
The Kangaroos new recruit has speed and tricks to thrill supporters but he will need to prove himself during the NAB Challenge. Not sure whether he’s a certainty to line up in Round 1 but expect Brad Scott and his team to give Anderson every chance during the pre-season.
CHRISTIAN PETRACCA (Melbourne) $123,900, Mid-Fwd
The former No.2 draft pick is built like a brick you-know-what and is ready to make an impact … despite suffering a broken toe over Christmas. We suspect he’ll play more forward than midfield but regardless, at $123k he’s too good to pass up.
RILEY BONNER (Port Adelaide) $117,300, Def
They really like Bonner down Alberton way. The Power’s top draft pick is an attacking defender who is expected to get plenty of opportunity at senior level. Bonner has a sweet left foot that will look pretty good coming off half-back for years to come.
TOM PHILLIPS (Collingwood) $123,900, Mid-Fwd
According to Champion Data, the Magpies have found their next Tom Langdon. Phillips is definitely one to watch during the NAB Challenge to determine his role and SuperCoach scoring potential. An elite ball-winner at junior level with dual position status.
NATHAN FREEMAN (St Kilda) $123,900, Mid
Injuries have cruelled the new Saint but if his body holds up he’s got plenty of motivation to prove a few doubters wrong. The Saints coughed up a 2016 second-round draft pick to get him, so you’d think he’ll play straight away when ready. Definitely a risk-reward selection.
SAM KERRIDGE (Carlton) $137,600, Mid-Fwd
Starved of opportunities at Adelaide, the big-bodied midfielder will be given plenty of midfield minutes at the Blues. He has already impressed with his work ethic during pre-season. Picked up 30 disposals or more in five SANFL games, with his inside work.
JONATHAN SIMPKIN (Essendon) $223,400, Mid-Fwd
After signing on as an Essendon top-up player it’s hard to look past Simpkin, particularly given he’s got dual position status. A ball magnet, he was unlucky not to play more games for the Hawks after a consistent season in the VFL, winning Box Hill’s best and fairest.
BEN KENNEDY (Melbourne) $187,800, Mid-Fwd
Many believe Kennedy was played out of position at Collingwood, where he spent most of his time as a small forward rather than the role in which he’s best suited – an inside midfielder. Excelled at VFL level, averaging 26 disposals. The knock is his kicking, which can be poor.
MITCH BROWN (Essendon) $117,300, Def-Fwd
Brown will slot into a key defensive post given he has spent most of his time training down back this pre-season. Can take big marks and is also able to swing forward and do damage on the scoreboard. A rookie-pricer we won’t have to worry about whether or not he’ll be picked.
JACOB HOPPER (GWS Giants) $193,800, Mid
Touted as the replacement for Adam Treloar in the GWS midfield, Hopper was Champion Data’s top ranked player before the AFL Draft. Ranked No.1 at the Under-18 national championships for contested possessions and clearances. Considered ready-made at 186cm and 82kgs. Lock.
RYAN DAVIS (Gold Coast) $102,400, Mid
Admittedly, he’ll need to be elevated off the Suns’ rookie list but the mature-age recruit has been talked up by Gold Coast coaching staff as a player who can make an immediate impact. At 26 years old, Davis has been a star in the WAFL, averaging 18 disposals and kicking 116 goals in his last 78 games.
KIEREN COLLINS (Western Bulldogs) $117,300, Def
The Bulldogs were extremely happy to snare Collins in the AFL Draft last year and he could walk straight into the club’s backline in 2016. At 18, he’s already 193cm and 94kg. While his point scoring potential is somewhat questionable, we expect him to see plenty of opportunities at AFL level.
SAM COLLINS (Fremantle) $117,300, Def
No relation of Kieren above but just as exciting for SuperCoaches. Collins has been a star across half-back for the dominant Box Hill Hawks in the VFL and finally gets his AFL chance with the Dockers. After Luke McPharlin’s retirement Fremantle might have found a ready-made replacement.
DAVID CUNINGHAM (Carlton) $121,800, Mid
Carlton is expected to play their youngsters early and a lot in 2016 and Cuningham is front and centre. The speedy midfielder has impressed at pre-season training with his work around the clearances and could play from Round 1.
MICHAEL HARTLEY (Essendon) $117,300, Def
The loss of Michael Hurley and Cale Hooker will fast-track Hartley’s path to the AFL. A mature-age recruit, Hartley should slot straight into the Bombers line-up after a dominant season for Coburg in the VFL last year.
This article first appeared in The Herald Sun.
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