The Tigers started last year in poor fashion, showing more than enough glimpses of the lacklustre Richmond that we’ve seen over the last decade. Sitting 2-4 after the first six rounds was not what the doctor ordered for an up and coming side that finished 2014 with an incredible nine consecutive wins before being curtailed in the first final to Port Adelaide. A gutsy five point victory over the Pies in Round 7 kick-started a fabulous run of 13 wins in the last 16 home and away games before yet again falling at the first hurdle of the finals series.
The equation is simple for Richmond in 2016: they must win a final otherwise the season will go down as another year where a whole lot of potential was squandered. Hardwick must get some winning finals experience under the belts of his troops this year. Fortunately, there are many young players who are likely to take a step up in 2016 and provide handy selections for SuperCoaches around the country.
B: Grimes, Rance, Vlastuin
HB: Yarran, Chaplin, Houli
C: Grigg, Martin, Ellis
HF: Edwards, Vickery, Deledio
FF: Lloyd, Riewoldt, Lennon
Foll: Maric, Cotchin, Miles
Int: Conca, McIntosh, Hunt, Townsend
Fringe: Bachelor, Astbury, Rioli, C.Ellis, Lambert, Hampson, Morris, McBean, Drummond, Menadue
New recruits Yarran and Townsend will be raring to impress their new supporters and should help the Tigers with some depth this season. I’m very interested to see how the former Blue goes particularly and I’m sure Motts is too!
With strong finishes to each of the last two seasons knocking on the door to the Top 4, Dimma’s men have every chance of ending the season with the double chance in finals if the door stays ajar for long enough. (Am I being too optimistic?!). Realistically, the Tigers might be only good enough to end the year in 5th-8th and have to nervously fight it out in an Elimination Final.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Alex Rance – D – $523,700
2015 Av 97.05 from 22 games
Past 5 seasons: 89, 87, 87, 84, 58
2015: All-Australian honours was duly deserved for the best full back in the competition last season. Rance elevated his game to another level, fulfilling the potential that many have seen for a couple of years (He’s always been one of Mottsy’s favourites!). Hitting the ton ten times, including two massive 150s helped his average to a career-high 97.05, after stagnating in the mid-high 80s for the previous four years.
Rance is the KING of the one percenters. No one was anywhere near Alex in this category last season, with 203 credited to his name (the next best was Josh Gibson with 169).
PROs: At 26 years of age, Rance is entering the peak of his career, which means there could still be some upside in his scoring. Playing all 22 games in three of the last four years means he gets the tick in the durability category.
CONs: As with any key position player, his scoring will come with a high degree of volatility. Three scores of under 60 last year attest to that when he has to play the real lock down jobs on strong key forwards. I like him as a potential Fallen Premium option later in the season if this repeats itself
The verdict – Rance will be a solid selection this year. One of the few key position defenders I’d ever think of picking.
Bachar Houli – D – $516,100
2015 Av 95.64 from 22 games
Past 5: 83, 92, 83, 89, 83
2015: Another Tiger who went under the radar for the start of last year, after never really presenting himself as a premium defensive option. A 150 in R3 and 165 in R5 got his season off to a flier and made everyone stand and take notice. Five tons in the remainder of the year would’ve disappointed most of his owners who brought him in expecting more of the same. His season is probably going to be remembered for the awful clanger kick-out against Freo, gifting them a goal in the dying embers of the game and ultimately costing the Tigers a top four spot.
PROs: Like Rance, his durability is up there with the best, missing just two H&A games in the last five years, so he’s more than likely going to be in the top 10 for total points this year (4th in 2015).
CONs: His consistency was not something to write home about last year, going 80 or less on 8 separate occasions. He’d want to iron out the bad games to maintain a higher average.
The verdict – My jury is still out on whether Houli will average mid-90s again in 2016. I’m not so sure.
Chris Yarran – D – $400,100
2015 Av 74.14 from 14 games
Past 5: 82, 66, 67, 87, 61
2015: Yarran basically said he wasn’t going to play football if he was still at Carlton in 2016 and I think that sums up his year. Only three tons and a LOT of mediocre scores.
PROs: A new club may just give Yarran the confidence to flourish as the high draft pick he was (#6 2008). Houli, Grigg, Miles and Maric are all examples of players who took their career up another cog when being traded to the Tigers.
CONs: He’s a massive risk, has never showed consistent premium output for more than half a season and is pretty injury prone.
The verdict – If he has a good pre-season there’s a chance he could show the same promise that Lumumba did in 2015. This should be his best season yet and should provide some value for money, but will it be enough? Maybe, but probably not. I think he’ll play some really good games for the Tigers this year though and can see him winning favour with the fans.
I also thought of looking at Nick Vlastuin – D – $410,100 but he’s going to need to break into the midfield group before being a big point scorer. Back pocket didn’t really produce much in the way of SC gold last season, with an average of just 76. Yes, he could improve on last year, but I think he’s still got a while to go.
Brandon Ellis – M – $541,100
2015 Av 100.27 from 22 games
Past 3: 97, 81, 56
2015: Pre-bye saw him average 106.4 with no scores below 90 points. Post-bye resulted in just 93.3 ppg, which left his season average just a tick over 100 points.
PROs: A fifth year break-out season could be coming after consistent improvement each season since his debut. Barely ever misses a game and knows how to find space on the footy field like few others.
CONs: Doesn’t get enough contested ball to promote massive scores. Will be a very good player for a long time, but is this season too early for him to be elite?
The verdict – It’s no secret around here that Brandon is one of my favourite players and I can see him pushing the 110 average very soon. I’m tempted, but it’s unlikely he’ll make many R1 teams with all the other midfield options available.
Trent Cotchin – M – $538,600
2015 Av 99.81 from 21 games
Past 5: 102, 106, 116, 100, 79
2015: After promising so much in 2012, coming joint-second in the Brownlow and averaging 116 points, the Richmond skipper has never reached the same lofty heights. He has often played with injury and last season may have been more of the same, with six consecutive games with no tons from R16-21.
PROs: He’s underpriced for his potential, and this is the cheapest he’s started a season since 2011. At 25 years old, he still has the capacity to improve his game.
CONs: Has been a frustrating player for many SuperCoaches over the years (can’t he PA?!).
The verdict – I was burnt in 2013. If he can ward off the niggles and start beating the tagger, he may get back to his best footy this year
Anthony Miles – M – $526,100
2015 Av 97.5 from 22 games
Past 3: 100, 57, 72
2015: Miles elevated his game to a 100 average in his first season at the Tigers from just 12 games and earned himself a permanent place in the team. In 2015 it was more of the same nuggetty contested football that we’d come to expect and admire from “Snipper Miles”. It’s hard to believe he’s still yet to play 50 AFL games, so this kid could be anything.
PROs: Oodles of improvement to come and will always attack the contested ball. Most often found at the bottom of a pack. Five scores of 118+ last year showed us something we might expect in 2016. Will be a POD.
CONs: There’s still plenty of unknowns with Miles, in that we haven’t seen him break into that top bracket of consistently high scoring yet.
The verdict – Plays a similar game to Ollie Wines, but doesn’t get the same headlines, so flies under the radar. Can see him being an SC gun, showing so much so early in his career. Midfield spots are precious though, and he’ll struggle to be a top 10 mid.
Ivan Maric – R – $514,900
2015 Av 95.43 from 21 games
Past 5: 100, 97, 113, 69, 67
2015: Started the year well, but really dropped off in the second half. It has been previously published that Maric will have to manage the rest of his career with groin issues and we may have seen some of the effects of that in 2015.
PROs: He shoulders the ruck load almost entirely by himself, with occasional pinch hitting done by Vickery and has shown to be reliable for around a 100 average.
CONs: Injury worries put a red flag on him and the ability to play out the full season at the top of his game is probably an unlikely scenario.
The verdict – I had Maric last year and he fought gallantly, being one of five ruckmen to play out 21 games. At 30 years of age now, he’s entering the risky category for me now and I’ll most likely avoid, despite how much I love seeing that flowing mullet flourish.
Brett Deledio – F – $608,800
2015 Av 112.82 from 17 games
Past 5: 103, 104, 116, 105, 102
2015: R1: 66 – Injured til R6 – R6: 60 – Remainder of the season: 118.5 average. Deledio killed it from R7 last year and became the envy of all those (like me) who traded him out after R1. He’s been such a consistently good player his whole career, but in 2015 Deledio played forward a lot more booting 26 goals for the year with his elite right boot.
PROs: One of the most durable players the AFL has seen, missing from just 13 games since his 2005 debut, although nine have come in the last two seasons. He’s almost guaranteed to be in the top 6 forwards
CONs: Highly priced while there are plenty of value picks in the forward line this year. Can’t really think of much else!
The verdict – He’s one of the safest picks in SuperCoach and has been for many years now. If my budget allows it, he’s in, otherwise cross your fingers that he comes down in price at some stage.
Dustin Martin – M/F – $569,300
2015 Av 105.5 from 22 games
Past 5: 100, 102, 89, 99, 78
2015: His best SC year to date, continuing to improve his game bit by bit. Three scores in the 50s marred what would have otherwise been an average around 110. We all know he’s got the talent and is usually one of the first picked forwards for many.
PROs: We’ve been picking him for years, but he’s still just 24 years old and can mature as a footballer still. A midfielder who can go forward and find the scoresheet on a regular basis is SuperCoach gold.
CONs: Stereosonic, hanging out with Dane Swan, chopstick antics – his off field behaviour is certainly fraught with danger and is always at risk of landing himself with a ban of some sort. On-field, brilliant – off-field, boisterous.
The verdict – Usually a lock, this season might be one where Dusty is left on the sidelines by more than a few coaches who will slot him perhaps into the Harley Bennell mould with his risky behaviour. Drop him at your peril though, because this kid still has plenty of SC scoring to do.
Shane Edwards – M/F – $492,800
2015 Av 91.33 from 15 games
Past 5: 85, 78, 80, 62, 75
2015: A breakout season has propelled the once fan-maligned Tiger into the leadership team at Punt Road. He was one of the most improved players in 2015 before succumbing to injury in R15. Six tons from his first 8 games had Edwards scoring as well as any other forward in the competition and was making his way into a lot of sides. Starting at quite a few centre bounces last year, there was a definite push for him to play more midfield minutes.
PROs: His confidence may well lift this year as a new leader at the club. His season average doesn’t reflect the work he did pre-injury last season (103.25 ave to R10) and could thus be a tad underpriced if he produces that level again.
CONs: Hard to pick a player off just 8 good consecutive games.
The verdict – A sneaky POD for some, and should lift his game again and provide some value, but I can’t quite see him achieving the consistency to grab a place amongst the very best scorers.
Jack Riewoldt – F – $493,000 has always pushed the 90 average, but not much more. He’ll have some big games, but consistency in scoring is always a massive issue. Granted he’ll score a lot of goals, but be wary of the key forwards in this game.
With the change in the sub rules, I see potential in Kane Lambert $364,200, Ben Lennon $304,000, Reece Conca $284,100 and Sam Lloyd $274,800 to increase their averages from last year, however awkwardly priced I’d commit to spending more money for a guaranteed gun or a rookie. Keep an eye on them for your SC Draft competitions. Not all will find a spot in the first 22, but the one or two who can, will not be averaging the 50-60 points at which they are priced.
Corey Ellis $193,400 and Daniel Rioli $157,800 may see some games this year, but unlikely in R1.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
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