Chillo runs the glasses over the Premiership favorites for 2017, the Giants……..
BYE ROUND: Round 13, with Fremantle, Adelaide, Collingwood, Essendon and Hawthorn
INS: Brett Deledio, Tim Taranto, Will Setterfield, Harry Perryman, Isaac Cumming, Matt de Boer
OUTS: Cameron McCarthy, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Jack Steele, Paul Ahern, Pat McKenna, James Stewart, Caleb Marchbank, Jarrod Pickett, Rhys Palmer
Allllriiiighty then. Let me get this straight. This team has been in the comp for five seasons, has an empty trophy cabinet, hasn’t made a grand final, in fact they’ve only played one prelim final….and they’re the hot favourites to win it all this year? Is that about the short of it? How can this be?
Well the answer is this – back in 2011, AFL bigwigs decided that the country’s largest city was due for a second franchise. The powers that be (rightly, IMO) recognised that establishing a club, in a geographical area that is largely foreign to the game, represented somewhat of a challenge. Deciding that one of the key elements to a successful seeding was competitiveness on the field, the Giants were gifted draft picks. A LOT of draft picks. For a couple of years, GWS had free reign in the draft to select the best and brightest footballing talent in the land. Along with a sprinkle of judiciously chosen mature talent from rival clubs, the blokes in the charcoal and dayglo orange have rapidly become the AFL’s equivalent of Frankenstein’s monster. Interpret that last comment as you see fit….
What does this all mean for we SuperCoaches? Essentially, with perhaps a couple of notable exceptions, there is almost too much talent to choose from at GWS. But I have done my best to identify the crème de la crème; these are listed below.
Heath SHAW ($576,500)
Despite the seemingly endless barrage of midfield talent at GWS, the title of most expensive Giant in 2017 goes to the last man on the field. Since making the move north in 2014, Heater has established himself as not only THE premium SC defender, but one of the comps premier scorers in any position.
In 2015 he played every game and averaged 112, one of only two defenders to average 100+ that year. Last year at the seasons midpoint he seemed poised to better that effort; however opposition coaches had finally produced the dreaded tag, leading to a couple of sub-par returns and a final average of 106. Whether that tactic is renewed in 2017 is not clear; but given the talent elsewhere to worry about, I’m prepared to bet that those opposition coaches have bigger concerns.
Turned 31 in the offseason and is probably priced near his maximum, but his record simply demands consideration as a starter. Currently the 4th most popular defender at 29% ownership.
Zac WILLIAMS ($480,100)
There’s no more prized SuperCoach commodity than the Breakout. Start with a premium player at a sub-premium price and you’re already half a step in front of the field – exhibit A, Sam Docherty, 2016. Initially priced at a middling $473,000, Docherty busted out a 108 average to take the mantle as number 1 defender. This year coaches around the land are hoping that the dynamic Zac Williams can repeat Doc’s feat. His run-and-carry out of defence is certainly exciting to watch, but does it translate to good SC scoring? His weak finish to 2016 would suggest not, but he did still average 88 for the year – the same number as Docherty before his breakout. Omen?
Stephen CONIGLIO ($575,900)
Speaking of breakouts, Coniglio had a quiet one of his own in 2016, boosting his average by 15 to a noteworthy 106. Among a star-filled midfield, Coniglio just goes about his business each week. Occasionally he will be assigned run-with duties, but it doesn’t really seem to affect his numbers, and his workmanlike performance means he’s highly unlikely to be tagged himself. Currently in 2.2% of all teams, I’m not sure if he can improve on last year’s effort, but if you think he can then obviously he’s a fantastic point of difference.
Callan WARD ($574,500)
No suggestion of a breakout here. What you do get from the Giants skipper is consistency, durability and reliability. Ward has missed a total of 5 regular season games since 2012, and in that time he has averaged 105.4. Benjamin Franklin spoke of life’s two certainties – death and taxes – but if Ben had watched AFL, he would know there are two more: Cal Ward smashing out SC tons, and Cal Ward being ignored by SC coaches. While everyone’s seduced by the risky, volatile options in the mids, Ward will just get it done again in 2017. Currently in 2.0% of teams.
Dylan SHIEL ($539,200), Tom SCULLY ($530,000), Josh KELLY ($473,800)
Look, I could go on about the Giants midfield until Father Dougal’s cows come home. As previously stated, the main problem with the GWS midfielders is that there’s just too damn many of them stealing points off each other. But they are all fine players in their own right and worthy of your consideration. Of these three, I think Kelly offers the most value, and has shown the best form in the admittedly-mostly-pointless JLT series thus far. He averaged 87 last year, and it would have been more but for a late season fade out. In his fourth year at senior level, he’s less likely to repeat that, and is currently the most popular non-rookie GWS mid at 5.6% ownership.
Shane MUMFORD ($536,300)
The much-maligned Big Mummy is back again to provide the ruckwork, and probably belt a few blokes while he’s at it. Naturally, he’s only ever a game away from an irritating niggly injury, which pretty much rules him out of most teams. But with Goldy’s knees playing up, Grundy still unproven and 211 another year older, maybe, just maybe, Mumford is still worth a look? The fourth-ranked ruck of 2016 is currently at 3.3% ownership.
With Rory Lobb losing his ruck status this year, Tom DOWNIE (R/F DPP, $217,600) and Dawson SIMPSON ($155,100) might be useful at R3 if Mummy goes down again.
Toby GREENE ($492,000)
I make no secret of the fact the Greene is one of those players who just shits me. Whether it’s his permanently docile facial expression, his penchant for giving away free kicks with ill-discipline, or just his habit of popping up and kicking goals against my Swans, I can’t stand him. But as an All-Australian and natural ball magnet, he is one of the very few premium forwards you should be looking at this year. A minor warning – his disposal in general play remains erratic at best, which means he really needs to rack up big numbers to be SC relevant. However, IF he spends enough time in the guts, he is a magnet and could be the answer to the forward famine in 2017. 8.6% ownership.
Brett DELEDIO ($516,900)
The Giants were big players in trade week, and none of their moves were bigger than picking up Lids. Drafted by the Tigers with a priority pick way back in 2004, ahead of a couple of blokes named Roughead and Franklin, Deledio has spent most of his time since then using his explosiveness, superior kicking, and goal-sense to bring joy to fans of the yellow and black everywhere.
But at 29 years old and with a few niggles starting to catch up with his usually ultra-durable body, club and player mutually agreed to part ways, and the Giants happily snapped him up in exchange for a couple of draft picks from their hoard.
There’s no point in sugar-coating this – Deledio is a must IF he gets his body right. He is more than capable of averaging 105+ and that will be enough to comfortably make him a top 6 forward this year. But given that he has already missed pre-season games with yet another calf complaint, at this stage it’s probably better to consider Lids as a potential upgrade target. Deledio only missed 4 games in his first 9 seasons, but has missed 20 games in the three seasons since then. 4.4% ownership.
Tim TARANTO (M/F DPP, $207,300)
Probably the only Giants rookie worth looking at, Taranto was taken at pick 2 in last October’s draft. The Giants traded hard to get up to that spot, they obviously know a bit about talent identification, and already the Sandringham midfielder has shown they have another winner. Any kid who can take the full force of a Buddy hip-and-shoulder and go on to 97 SC points is obviously tough! Not sure at this stage whether Taranto is best 22, but if the aforementioned Deledio can’t get on the field, then keep an eye on him. Expensive for a rookie, but he’s a contested ball beast and already has an AFL-ready rig.
(Fantastic stuff, Chillo! Big it up for the young fella…….. – Schwarzwalder)
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