Thommo delivers again. Seriously, this guy’s stamina as he works his way through each of the teams is something to be admired. Today he’s bringing us Greater Western Sydney. Thommo, we salute you.
Did someone say “Break-out year?”
Reviewing Greater Western Sydney is tough when you realise how many fantasy-relevant midfielders they possess. Currently Gold Coast, Hawthorn, Port and Sydney are considered to have the most midfield depth but as long as they can retain their stars, GWS will soon have the best midfield by far. What a pity they have no one to kick to in the forward line with the loss of Boyd and Patton! If they can manufacture enough goals they will surprise a few sides in 2015.
Round 13 bye shared with Geelong, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, West Coast
Like with Gold Coast, this is very tough so feel free to correct me!?
Fringe: Scully! Steele, Plowman, McCarthy
Toby Greene MID, Av 103, $553,300. Before researching young Toby, I was not vaguely interested in him. I believed his below average kicking would lead to poor supercoach scores and prevent Greene from having a high ceiling. Early in 2014, Greene played true to form averaging in the 80s from round 1 to 8 before missing 7 games through club-imposed suspension. But, on his return he had one poor game before he went on a scoring spree, averaging 128 from round 17-23 with a high of 161 in a loss to North Melbourne. If he can maintain that rate, he will be a top midfielder and great value.
Verdict: This is probably personal bias but not sure Greene can average 110+ for an entire season.
Ryan Griffen MID, Av 99, $530,700. Griffen is cheap and seems likely to improve now that he appears to be over his back problems. But while he has a massive ceiling that ismatched by few players (managed 189 in Round 23 of 2014), he can be tagged out of games, being held to 47 by Port and 66 by Fremantle in 2014. Many supercoaches are trying to calculate the effect the move to GWS will have on his average and that of his new team-mates. The question is: Will he be a top-6 mid again?
Verdict: He’s too good to run free and will be the first tagged. Still, expect a 100-110 average.
Shane Mumford RUCK, Av 114, $613,700. If he was guaranteed to play every game, he would be the first picked every week but it is frustrating when he suffers back spasms on game day and you lose him for weeks (yes, I’ve been burnt!). A massive scorer on his day with his tackling and pressure in the packs.
Verdict: Too big a risk unless you have bench cover but love his ceiling.
Heath Shaw DEF, Av 93, $497,800. Heath Shaw? Are we seriously doing this? I’m sure he’s a good guy to have a beer with and he’s hilarious in interviews but you won’t be laughing if he’s in your team. Scored over 100 on 7 occasions last season and had a ceiling of 134, but tends to find new ways to miss games each year.
Verdict: I had a brief “Heath Shaw brain-fade” and had him in my backline, but I’m over it now.
Dylan Shiel MID, Av 95, $509,800. No one is really talking about Shiel, but he is in the mix for the M5 role in my midfield at the moment. He tackles well, clears the ball efficiently and is down the tagging order at GWS. So far he has also looked brilliant in the preseason so the arrival of Griffen shouldn’t affect his time on ground.
Verdict: Watch him in GWS’s final NAB match, he’s a gun!
Devon Smith FWD, Av 91, $490,200. It’s a pity we have a plethora of talented midfielders available to us in the forward line this year because it prevents us from selecting talented kids like Smith. How many forwards average 21 disposals and 4.5 tackles per game? He averaged 120 over the last month of 2014 but the concern is how Griffen’s arrival will affect his midfield time.
Verdict: May be forced to play deeper forward this year.
Adam Treloar MID, Ac 108, $577,800. In only his third year, Treloar dropped below 100 only 6 times in 2014, with his two lowest scores being 72 and 74 and his highest in round 3 of 176. Normally you would expect a tag most weeks in 2015 but with Griffen arriving he is likely to roam free most weeks. All the talk this preseason is of Ollie Wines but Treloar is seriously good and could become elite this year.
Verdict: Do it!
Callan Ward MID, Av 113, $606,000. He seems to have been around for years but Ward is only 24 and should be at the pinnacle of his career. His average of 113 came off an increase in his clearance and tackling work in 2014 and considering he only averaged 25 possessions a game there is room for improvement. Only dropped below 100 on 5 occasions and topped 120 on 11 occasions from 20 games.
Verdict: Expect more of the same at the worst.
Matt Buntine DEF, Av 71, $342,800. If he plays consistently Buntine offers some value as he is an attacking defender who is likely to run free rather than be given a specific match-up. Not sure there is room for him in the best 22 yet but as a number 5 draft pick entering his fourth season, he could be a steal in our backline. It would be nice if he tackled a bit more often!
Verdict: Preseason watch, but a risky pick on the fringe of selection.
Stephen Coniglio MID, Av 84, $448,800. Coniglio has become the invisible man of GWS but he can score as evidenced by his average of 101 in the first five rounds of 2014. However given his inability to play a full season andwith so many GWS mids to choose from it would take a brave Supercoach to pick him.
Verdict: He will improve, but not enough to pick him.
Curtly Hampton DEF, Av 75, $402,600. Another talented defender entering his fourth season, Curtly has proven his ability to score with 2 scores over 100 in the first four rounds of 2014. Unlike Buntine, Curtly can defend so is given a few key match-ups of small forwards so his scores can fluctuate heavily (scored 66 in his match-up on Betts in round 5).
Verdict: May improve slightly, but defensive roles will again cause his scores to fluctuate.
Nick Haynes DEF, Av 71, $383,600. Another player entering his fourth year who has struggled with injury, Haynes seems likely to play a floating, intercept marking defender. He has proven that he can score relatively well for a defender with scores of 86, 89, 94 and 96 in 4 of his 7 games injury-freegames in 2014.
Verdict: Depending on his preseason, he’s in the mix.
Will Hoskin-Elliott FWD, Av 67, $360,900. I love watching Hoskin-Elliott play as he is a human highlight-reel but he is not a big ball winner. Apart from the odd big game (only 2 games with over 20 disposals from his 20 games in 2014) he averages only 13 touches per games so relies on goals and Inside 50s to score well. With Griffen’s arrival, he’s not going to earn more midfield time so expect very inconsistent scoring.
Verdict: Not this year.
Joshua Kelly FWD/MID, Av 68, $365,800. Kelly is going to be a star. Given his skill level and elite fitness it is only a matter of time. When you deduct his 4 vested games he actually averaged 79 points per game in 2014 in his first season. The only concern is whether he will have any more midfield time. If he does he can score well as evidenced by his 3 games over 100 in 2014.
Verdict: See how he’s used in the preseason. I’m not sure there’s room in the midfield for him yet.
Cam McCarthy FWD, Av 48, $210,700. Normally McCarthy’s not the type of player we want in our team but with Boyd gone and Patton injured he’s a chance for games. Still he’s likely to spend a lot of time in the NEAFL.
Verdict: Unless he stars in the preseason, no!
Adam Tomlinson FWD, Av. 69, $371,700. With the lack of forward options Tomlinson will be a key lead up target for GWS meaning he will have some big games in 2015. The main concern is the extra attention he and Cameron will get without Patton and Boyd. Very risky pick.
Verdict: There are better options out there this year.
Lachie Whitfield MID, Av. 79, $426,600. It’s amazing how little attention Whitfield gets as a number 1 draft pick. Barring injury, he’s likely to improve a lot in his third year and yet his name is never mentioned. With his elite kicking efficiency and ability to find the ball he will manage some massive scores this year. In only 11 games in 2014 he did score 3 tons, not bad for a second year player in a struggling side.
Verdict: Will improve again but there are safer options.
Jake Barrett MID, $123,900. One of the few people who did not enjoy the drafting of Griffen to GWS. Was dominant in the NEAFL (but then again who wasn’t) as a hard tackling, inside midfielder.
Verdict: Little chance of cracking that stacked midfield.
Andrew Phillips RUCK, Av 48, $210,700. With the departure of Boyd, Giles and Jaksch, Phillips seems likely to play more games and may make a slightly expensive bench option if you can afford him. If Mummy gets injured, you have to have him.
Verdict: If named for Round 1, worth considering as bench cover.
Jack Steele FWD/MID, $117,300. A big-bodied ball magnet at NEAFL level last year (but who wasn’t? Would be interesting to see what the average disposal count is in the NEAFL). Steele has been talked up by the club and has looked ok in limited minutes in the preseason to date but not sure if he makes the best 22 yet?
Verdict: If he’s named he’ll make most teams.
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