The hardest working man this preseason is back today to give us his thoughts on MJ’s Tigers. Thommo, your seat at the mahogany table in SCT’s Hall of Fame awaits you.
After a promising year was cut short by Carlton in the 2013 finals [best game I’ve ever been to – Motts], Richmond looked primed for a big year in 2014 only to suffer a slow start which left them chasing their tail all year. Despite the well-publicised 9 game winning streak entering the finals they were never a chance against a red-hot Port no matter which direction the wind was blowing.
This year Richmond has a favourable early draw. After playing their bogey team Carlton, Richmond meet the Bulldogs, Brisbane and Melbourne before playing Geelong at the G. Hopefully this adds–up to a fast start for our Richmond Supercoach guns and some early season optimism for the long-suffering Tiger fans
Round 11 bye shared with Adelaide, Brisbane, Carlton, Hawthorn and the Western Bulldogs.
Trent Cotchin (MID, Av. 102, 23 games, $546,500). Cotchin averaged 116 in 2012 but has struggled with the extra attention since then, only managing to average 106 in 2013 and 102 in 2014. With the strong early form of Martin in the midfield and with Deledio being available from Round 1 this year, he is likely to increase that average, particularly if the Tigers win a few more early games in 2015. The hamstring strain that interrupted his preseason is a concern.
Verdict: Offers some value but the hamstring will put most off.
Brett Deledio (FWD/MID, Av. 103, 19 games, $553,300). When I first heard Deledio would be a forward this year I mentally picked him as my first forward. He has averaged 117 before (2012), rarely missed games prior to 2014 and may receive less attention this season given the form of Martin. His Achilles is a worry but the fact he played 90% game time (103 SC points) against North in the final warm-up was an excellent sign.
Verdict: A top 6 forward. Will he play every game or will Richmond manage him? Martin for me.
Brandon Ellis (MID, Av. 97, 23 games, $520,700). Ellis had a horrible start to 2014 with 3 scores under 50 from his first 5 games. Once he got going in Round 10, he scored over 100 on 10 occasions from 15 games. The only concern during that time was his tendency to throw in sub 70 scores between scoring tonnes with 3 in the last 7 games of the year! Given his rapid improvement in his first 3 years, surely these poor scores will become rare and he’ll push his average over 100 in 2015.
Verdict: He’ll improve, but I like inside players in my midfield. Still a unique option.
Ivan Maric (RUCK, Av. 100, 14 games, $535,900). Returning from injury in Round 11, Ivan took 3 rounds to find his feet, scoring 65, 85 and 73. From then he pumped out 7 centuries from 11 games, with a low score of 89. Considering he has had a full preseason with scores of 87 from 63% TOG and 112 from 85% TOG in his two games, Ivan looks ready to return to the heights of his 2012 season where he averaged 113 from 21 games. The only negative: The new hitout rule may slightly reduce his numbers as he has never been elite for Hitouts To Advantage.
Verdict: Seems like a great option this year.
Dustin Martin (FWD/MID, Av. 100, 22 games, $534,900). If the preseason is any guide, Martin will play through the midfield more this year. At worst he’ll score the same as last year, at best he’ll be the top scoring forward. He has averaged 130 from less than 80% TOG in his two preseason games!
Verdict: F1 for me.
Anthony Miles (MID, Av. 100, 13 games, $537,100). Finally Miles was given a chance. For years fantasy coaches have pondered why he wasn’t getting a game and in Round 12 our question was answered. There was no reason! In 13 games he averaged 24 possessions per game (11 contested) at 75% efficiency, 4.3 tackles per game, 41 frees for and only 16 against. What a legend! In Supercoach he only dropped below 80 once in 13 games (46 in Round 19) and with a guaranteed spot this year (you would hope!) he may even improve. The only concern is his brief preseason appearance, playing only NAB 1 and half of NAB 2.
Verdict: A unique selection if you dare!
Taylor Hunt (DEF, Av. 60, 7 games, $290,300). There has been a lot of talk about Hunt in our undermanned backlines this preseason but he has never averaged over 65 in a season. Players like Lennon seem earmarked to play the quarterback role, so it seems unlikely Hunt can improve his average significantly. I’m calling the Port preseason game where Hunt scored 103 from 19 possessions an anomaly.
Verdict: Don’t do it.
Ben Lennon (FWD, Av. 33, 7 games, $180,400). Lennon seems likely to play the backline “quarterback” role this year after a very brief apprenticeship in 2014. By brief, we’re talking 53 minutes per games on the back of 5 vests in 7 games. As long as he plays full games and puts his elite kicking ability to good use he’s guaranteed to double his average in 2015.
Verdict: If he’s named on the field in Round 1, seems likely to outscore Hogan at least!
Kamdyn McIntosh (DEF, $123,900). Was this guy on anyone’s radar before the preseason? Drafted in 2012 with pick 31, he didn’t score well at VFL level in 2014, managing only 10 – 15 disposals in most games and averaging less than 3 tackles per match. His preseason figures of 71 and 77 points on the back of 15 and 17 disposals really came out of the blue!
Verdict: Whoever he is, he’ll make most backlines if named.
Kane Lambert (FWD/MID, $102,400). Lambert played 16 games for Williamstown in 2014 averaging 20 possessions, just over 2.5 marks (only 1 contested mark in the entire season!), 3 tackles and just over 1 goal per game. This performance was enough to earn the 23 year old a spot on the Richmond rookie list from which he has just been elevated. His average of 57 SC points from approximately 65% TOG in 3 preseason games is nothing special but at that price he’s worth a look if he is named for Round 1.
Verdict: Possible forward bench spot??
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