Duffer takes a look at the Power from Port Adelaide today……..show some love……..
Back in 2013, Port Adelaide was everyone’s second team. A fast exciting game plan, come-backs and upsets against top sides & a rise from the bottom of the ladder made Port the most watchable side in the competition. A year later with a new stadium, Port again defied expectations with their young list to make it all the way to a Preliminary Final. They lost by just a single kick to eventual premiers Hawthorn. Naturally the young list developed further and that’s why they’re now a premiership fancy…..right?…….RIGHT?!
Except it didn’t happen. Recruiting Paddy Ryder didn’t help as planned & the Power had a very inconsistent 2015 season – gathering 6 wins against top 8 sides and yet still finishing in 9th place. Another star forward recruit (Charlie Dixon) over the next preseason and everyone started to expect the Power to bounce back in 2016. However a ban to Ryder and Monfries kicked off another disappointing year for the Power, falling to 10th place with only 1 victory against a top 8 side (an injured North Melbourne) to their name.
Great history lesson you say, but what does it matter? This is Supercoach, not school! And you’d be right. But it’s important to know what to expect from clubs as well as the players we choose. No point picking a key-forward if their team never gets the ball forward after all. This history lesson shows that Port are unreliable at the moment and trying new things. This presents opportunities but also some tempting risks which I’ll outline below.
Bye: Round 9!
Consider Port players carefully! They share the Rd9 Bye with Gold Coast and Supercoach still counts your full 22 players on field, unlike the ‘best 18’ in other Bye Rounds. So if you’re wondering if you can get away with Gray, Swallow, Powell-Pepper, Ryder, Brodie and Eddy in the same team and just upgrade some before the Bye? No. No you can’t. Well maybe you can, but it’s not recommended.
Predicted Best 22:
B: Tom Jonas – Tom Clurey – Darcy Byrne-Jones
HB: Jasper Pittard* – Jack Hombsch – Hamish Hartlett
C: Justin Westhoff – Travis Boak – Jared Polec
HF: Chad Wingard – Jackson Trengove – Sam Powell-Pepper
F: Nathan Krakouer* – Charlie Dixon – Aaron Young
R: Patrick Ryder – Ollie Wines – Robbie Gray
Int: Brad Ebert – Karl Amon – Matthew Broadbent – Jarman Impey*
Fringe players include: Houston, Eddy, Bonner, Neade, Austin, White, Sam Gray, Lobbe, Atley.
* = missing round 1
Hamish Hartlett ($423,700) [4.6% ownership]
Now that Hartlett has become eligible in defence, a large number of coaches are looking at him as a tempting mid-priced option. At first glance his price of $423,700 looks like good value for someone who had averaged 101, 97, 90, 91 and 92 prior to 2016.
In 2016 Hartlett was the opposite of a breakout prospect (more like break down prospect) – a move to the back line negatively impacted his scoring, bringing him down to an average of 77.9. Port have confirmed that Hartlett will be playing the same half back role this year and the JLT series has shown that his scoring is not going to be returning to the heights of 2015.
If that wasn’t enough to turn you off, Hartlett also has a significant history with both hamstring and shoulder injuries. After 3 relatively injury free years, Hartlett once again succumbed to injury and only managed 15 games in 2016.
Jasper Pittard ($499,300) [1.2% ownership]
2016 was something of a breakout season for Jasper who averaged 91 across the year and showed great consistency running off half back. He has steadily improved over the past 4 seasons and his Supercoach numbers reflect that – averaging 61, 66, 80 and then 91 in the last 4 years. Has the potential to become a Heath Shaw type runner off the backline. At 25 years of age, there is every chance he could further improve on last year.
He was certainly a good pick for those who started with him last year. But this year, his price and Rd9 Bye make “Captain Risky” even riskier. May be a good option post-bye though as we’ll know if he’s improved by then.
Note: Pittard has done his hamstring in JLT 2 against Richmond and should be scratched from any initial teams.
The backline isn’t the place to go looking for Port Adelaide rookies (in Supercoach anyway) as Bonner, Austin and Clurey are already too awkwardly priced to offer any real value. They’ll get plenty of game time throughout the year but won’t score well enough to justify their price.
Robbie Gray ($588,200) [2.4% ownership]
Port’s best true premium. Robbie Gray won the coaches MVP award in 2014 in a stunning year averaging 111 across 22 games. Gray hasn’t been quite as exceptional since, but hasn’t been far from it either. An average of 110 in 2015 and 108 last year including 2 scores of 53 (1 of which was impacted by injury) reflect the high scoring nature of the Port ball-winner. Without the two 53’s Gray’s average for the year was 114.6 which would have put him just behind Pendlebury as the 3rd best (mid) average for the year.
Robbie should score much the same this year and should be on every Coach’s radar after his Rd9 Bye. Those that value ‘Players Of Difference’ for League wins or don’t have too many Gold Coast/Port players could also consider him for their starting line-up too.
Note: Gray had an undisclosed minor injury prior to JLT 1 causing them to be cautious with him (missed both the intraclub match) and JLT 1. Copped a small corky in JLT 2 but got through fine.
Ollie Wines ($533,700) [1.3% ownership]
The Bull!! Wines and his incredible thighs have been crashing through packs for 4 years now. He’s always looked completely at home at the bottom of packs & wrestling the ball free. Just starting to get into the prime of his career, the 22 year-old has averaged 74, 100, 97 and 98 in his 4 seasons of AFL footy and played 84 out of 93 possible games.
Wines has the potential to breakout into a true mid premium this year if he improves his disposal efficiency (60% average last year) and lowers the amount of ‘clangers’ (#1 in League last year). Only potential concern is that he used to average 3.1 hitouts per game – the most of any midfielder, although this is unlikely to make much of an impact on his scoring (with the ‘3rd man up’ rule change).
Sam Powell-Pepper ($135,300) [40.6% ownership]
If you don’t have this guy, then you haven’t been paying attention. Has been compared to a young Ollie Wines – in how he’s arrived at the club ready to play AFL footy – strong body, confident and hungry to play. Hinkley has all but confirmed he will be playing Rd1 and the kid looks like he’ll get significant time in the midfield. Plays a bit like a Dustin Martin mixed with Ollie Wines, pushing off and crashing through packs but needs to work on kick:handball ratio for SC (2 kicks to 11 handballs in JLT 2) so that we see some solid scores from “Pepper-Pig”.
Will play and should get plenty of midfield time at Port. With a lack of mid rookies this is the one you need to have!
Joe Atley ($117,300) [2.2% ownership]
The brother of Shaun Atley appears to be going under the radar a bit despite being heavily praised by the Port coaching staff. A cheap midfield rookie, Atley scored 78 from 60% time on ground against Richmond including a very impressive goal. Has been lumped together with Powell-Pepper as draftees that are likely to play games this year (and potentially early on).
Atley may have tough competition to force his way into the team but keep an eye on his game time in JLT 3. That will likely indicate how close he is to Port’s ‘best 22’. If he’s playing he should score well.
Willem Drew ($117,300) [1.2% ownership]
Hasn’t impressed me and has been given very limited game time in the JLT series (only 30% Time On Ground) but was mentioned by Hinkley in the JLT2 post-match presser as ‘putting pressure on the mids’ and pushing for selection. May get an opportunity later in the year.
Patrick Ryder ($418,100) [16.4% ownership]
Only the one consideration in the Rucks and it’s Ryder returning from the Essendon ban. Ryder’s popularity as a FWD/RUCK is understandable considering his discounted price and the lack of forward premiums. Ryder is however a large risk in his own right, as Port have not committed to playing him as a sole #1 Ruckman. He has also looked far from dominant in his JLT games.
At best I believe he’ll score around the 86 avg that he had for Port in 2015. I see him starting slowly and possibly sharing ruck duties with Lobbe. Looks well behind Nankervis now for the Supercoach FWD/RUCK position but is an option for those who are willing to take a sizeable risk.
Chad Wingard ($439,800) [5.4% ownership]
A FWD mid-priced option that is slated for more midfield time. Wingard has shown previously that he can score well in Supercoach, having averaged 95+ during two seasons as a forward. Wingard only averaged 80 last year and was well down on his best but still managed six 100+ games. If you start with ‘The Chad’, be aware it could be a bumpy ride.
The jury is still out on whether the midfield move will improve his scoring (100 pts from 85% TOG, 37 pts from 67% TOG in JLT 1 and 2). In a year where there are few reliable forward premiums, Wingard is a tempting proposition.
He may represent a better post-bye option than starting mid-pricer with that awkward Rd9 Bye. Even if it means not capitalising on his lower-than-premium price.
Brett Eddy ($102,400) [27.4% ownership]
27 year-old Brett Eddy was the leading goalkicker in the SANFL last year with 68 regular season goals. Eddy is a rookie-listed player but looks set for early game-time this year after looking dangerous in JLT 1 & 2. How he fits into a side that currently has Ryder, Trengove, Dixon and Westhoff as tall forwards is still to be decided and may relegate him to filling in when injuries strike.
As a key forward his scores will fluctuate and will likely never be particularly high, but at that price how can you say no? Pick him if he’s named round 1.
Note: Port currently have 2 list spots open allowing for 2 rookies to be upgraded prior to the season starting.
Dan Houston ($117,300) [3% ownership]
19 year old Houston has come out of nowhere to be a potential starter for Rd1. As a rookie-listed player he still needs to be elevated, but he should grab one of Port’s list vacancies (mentioned above).
Up until late 2016 Houston was playing as a forward, but a shift to the backline may have changed his fortunes. Six months and two excellent JLT games later (60 pts from 62% TOG & 81 pts from 79% TOG), playing at an average disposal efficiency of 96.7% (only missed one target in two games!) and Houston now looms as a replacement for Pittard in Rd1. May not get regular game-time but impossible to ignore with his stats so far. Seems to have a game well suited to Supercoach.
White, Monfries, Austin, Broadbent, Dixon. Don’t consider these guys, they’re all injury affected and unreliable.
Big round of applause for Duffer! Massive 1st-up effort, well done! – Schwarzwalder
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