Superb work by Andy B who has chucked the Saints under the microscope and produced this comprehensive report on the list. Thanks AB! Settle yourself in for a great read.
Supercoach Relevant St-Kilda Players in 2012 – General
Anyone expecting to read up on the merits of picking up mid priced (200K to 450K) Saints such as Jason Gram & Dean Polo should read elsewhere as the analysis below will largely consider the Saints Guns and Rookies (G & R) prospects with the odd splattering of ‘value’ picks. The reason for this is twofold, firstly, the recent history shows that the G & R strategy is best method to have a team full of stars for the finals but secondly and most importantly the Saints offer very little or no value for mid-priced players.
For non G & R converts, although Defenders Jason Gram & Sam Gilbert may have a great ‘supercoach’ season under the new coach, without DPP status I personally think there is better value elsewhere. Jason Gram ($ 409,400) is about to turn 28 & his previous five years of SC have netted 75, 77, 79, 85 and 92, if he could get back to 2006 form 400K is good value, however with young legs coming into the side will that occur? Sam Gilbert ($ 432,700) only averaged slightly under 80 last season after 92 and 95 the previous two years, hopefully he raises his game from last season where he looked frustrated, however for this money I would look elsewhere. Again, my gut feeling says don’t touch either Gram or Gilbert and instead look for a rookie who can hopefully get close to the 75 to 85 scores I would expect from these two. Remember that cash cows up-graded to prem’s / guns is the way to have a great time team for the business end of the season. Whilst players such as Jack Steven $ 424,000 had his breakout year last season and I think the train has already left with Jack even though the likes of Joey Montagna probably correctly states ‘”Jack Steven is ready to have a really big year. He did really well last year and he’s going to go to another level’ (Herald Sun 7/3/12). Whether that level is up to a prem midfielder with weekly 100+ scores you are taking a big chance. Aaron Sippos at $ 241,800 is the most likely to have a breakout year and he has certainly bulked up enough to run through the midfield and the wing as well as proving a foil for the key forwards. With a BE of 45 he is good value for a 19 year old forward who kicked 99 for Beaconsfield, but again I would look to true rookies.
A new coach and therefore game plan will hopefully bring excitement to not only Saints fans but also Supercoach nuts in 2012. Faster and less predictable movement to the forwards should hopefully mean that an injection of youth the Saints will finally offer some handy Supercoach rookies / cash cows after a couple of barren years on that front.
Another reason to take a close look at Saints players is their relatively easy start to the season. The Saints first five games are Port (AAMI), then 3 winnable homes at Etihad v Gold Coast, Doggies & Freo followed by Melbourne at the G. The beauty of a softish start is that SC scores are generally weighted to players of the winning team so rookie players (read cash cows) if selected from round 1 could receive decent price hikes. I also like the Saints last four H & A games which would means in Round 20 (1st final) they play Melbourne at the G, followed by Geelong, GWS and Carlton at Etihad [Ed: that last one will NOT be easy!].
St-Kilda – Defenders
Lock Him In: –
Brendan Goddard (DEF / MID) is always the first name in my supercoach team and with DPP (def / mid) and a reduction in price ($ 584,700) I would strongly suggest the same. He is all class so scores well even when he does not dominate. Turning 27 in May he should be reaching his peak. His break even (BE) of 108 is his previous season’s average which was down on his previous two years of 130 & 116. The two previous seasons averaged 90 (only 7 games) and 106. My only worry is the sight of him playing a fair bit as a forward in the first NAB Cup game, especially if the Saints midfield struggle to get the ball up to the forwards. To me, still lock him in. However as a final note, don’t waste him in midfield, get him into defence but make sure you have a DPP in the mid’s whose bye differs from the Saints (round 13).
Beau Wilkes at $ 106,200 and a delicious BE of 20 is lock & loaded. After being unlucky not to get a constant place in a very good West Coast defence, Beau showed the flexibility which no doubt the Saints have chosen him for with strong forward displays kicking bag of goals last season for Claremont in the WAFL. He has been training with the forwards (no doubt to free up Riewoldt up the ground), however he showed last week in the first NAB Cup game that he could also more than adequately cover the loss of Zac Dawson. I suspect he will not be a high scorer & therefore a not keeper, however Supercoach Gold predicts based on an average score of 61 (his 2010 ave from 6 games was 62.5 & 2009 ave from 3 games was 56) his price will increase by $55,000 after Round 3, $ 166K by Rd 7 and his price is predicted to be $302K by Round 10. If he is named in Round 1, make sure he is in your team as the Saints recruited him for a reason.
Not initially, but maybe later..
Sam Fisher – A niggling injury and getting tagged in Port and other games made for a poor end to an otherwise great season and probably explains his reasonable price of $ 537,900. The only worry is how the Saints will utilise him now that Zac Dawson has moved to Freo. Playing loose and rebounding out of defence is great for SC scores hense his previous averages of 99, 91, 92, 100 & 97. If he plays this role again and opposition teams don’t make him accountable then he is a great prem defender. However, if the new coach tries a Sam Gilbertesque forward option plan or for him to play on the oppositions best defender then stay clear. As a final note, if you can only go for one of Goddard or Fisher, go Goddard due to DPP status & the fact that Fisher will turn 30 in July.
Nicholas Winmar ($ 113,200) 21 in April, the 2nd cousin of the former Saint of the same name looked impressive in Round 1 of the NAB cup. Hopefully he can develop into a running half back as he certainly has the speed, kicking ability and decision making under pressure to be a good player in the future. With the new coach saying birth certificates mean nothing; he could be a great alternative to the likes of Clarke. Keep an eye on him.
St Kilda – Midfield
Tom Ledger ($ 113,200) Really impressive in the Saints first & only NAB cup hit out. Definitely one to consider very closely as with only 2 previous AFL games, the 178 cm / 76 Kg pick 59 from 2010 is priced at a very attractive price of $ 113,200. The Saints website describe him as being a good prospect, with good speed, endurance, skills and eye for goal and I have to agree with them. It is a long way until Round 1, however he is on my mids bench and the following comment from Leigh Montagna in the Herald Sun on 7/3/12 re-enforces my thoughts that Ledger is very much in the frame for round 1:
“A couple of the younger guys, Tom Ledger, Jamie Cripps, Rhys Stanley, Amed Saad, they’re all putting up their hand to play senior footy in Round 1. We’ve got a full list to pick from and we’ve got some young guys pushing up, so it’s all looking promising.”
Lenny Hayes coming back from a major injury hence the heavily discounted $ 422,000 is an interesting one. Generally I keep away from SC guns once they hit 30. However due to Lenny’s tackling, consistency, class & past SC record (104 in 2010 when aged 30 and prior to that 119, 103 & 120) I am looking at making an exception for 32 year old Lenny. He is a bargain prem M4 & should easily surpass his BE of 76 & after other upgrades would still be a great M6 / 7 come the business end of the season. Lenny should have blown away the cobwebs after his year out so at <$430K for a top class midfielder who should get you 100+ points he’s a great point of difference (POD).
Leigh (Joey) Montagna should not get in your team ahead of Swan, Pendles or GAJ, however at $ 545,900 he is certainly a good option as a M3 / M4. Joey let me down last year due to injuries & a suspension however he still averaged 101 points. Previous averages of 115, 126, 102 & 85 should mean that his BE of 101 is achievable however with a lot of young midfields going to get game time I may wait and look to up-grade him later if the return of Lenny gives him his normal high scoring role.
Nick Dal Santo at $ 647,100 is not in my pre-round 1 midfield over the likes of other guns such as Swannie, GAJ etc. Dal did great last year and has always been a class act however with Lenny back and a bunch of goods going to get blooded will this affect his scores this year. His previous averages of 119, 112, 116, 116 and 117 are both very impressive and consistent and having just turned 28 he’s probably got another couple of 100+ years ahead of him. With a BE of 119, Dal’s price is predicted to go down $ 68,000 by round 7. Upgrade target for me, but cannot argue with others starting with him.
Sebb Ross ($ 106,600 BE 20) The Saints first pick in last years draft has huge wraps on him however he did not look ready in the NAB cup game. At 187 cm / 83Kg he’s a decent size and his TAC cup stats of 24.8 disposals, 4.6 marks & 3.4 tackles should point to Jobe Watson’s cousin being a future SC star. I would imagine the Saints would initially get games into him at the lower level. However, he could be a great midseason rookie pick up especially if a Saints midfielder or two go down injured.
St-Kilda – Forwards
Ahmed Saad ($ 124,700 BE 23) A 22 year old mature age small forward with pace to burn, as Carlton fans following the Bullants would have noted, for a relative newcomer to the AFL game kicking goals v decent opposition is not a problem. Watch him in the rest of the NAB cup as previous automatic choices Milney and Sneiderman will be his big competition for a spot in the Saints 22. His first game in the NAB was certainly impressive with his also laying a few tackles on the wing and midfield. He is in my team if named in 21 for Rnd 1 and with a BE of 23 he has great cash cow potential.
Nick Riewoldt at $ 472,400 and a break even of 87 is a tough call. Everyone is predicting that the shift in game plans have made the likes of Roo less effective in terms of SC scoring. Last years figure of 87 is well down on his previous averages of 109, 113, 114, 114 & 117. Maybe the prophets of doom are correct, however, the Saints low quality and quantity of forward entries last year together with his knees and erratic kicking action are probably equally responsible. I would love to see Roo get back the days when he would prove unbeatable running out to the wing similar to Buddy in the past year or two. I have a feeling that with another couple of forward foils he is due a big year. However whether he will prove a better buy than a Pav, Goodes, Dustin Martin or Steele Sidebottom who have the advantage of more midfield time is the $ 472,400 question. At this stage I prefer Buddy, Martin, Goodes and dare I say it Robbie Gray as prem forwards, however I would love nothing more than upgrading a cash cow to a 100+ scoring fit and firing Roo.
Jamie Cripps ($ 162,600, BE 30) has only played 4 games for an average of 30 points however that was from little game minutes due to the dreaded red subs vest. Cripps is 20 this year and will get games, however a recent hammy issue may hinder him being in the starting 21 from round 1. At 183cm / 81Kg, the pick 24 from the 2010 draft displays the speed, kicking skills but more importantly endurance to justify the decision to give him Robert Harvey’s #35. A real talent who they will introduce fairly early in the season so hopefully a second wave cash cow as BE of 30 means value increase for a lad who will also see midfield time. My only worry is him becoming David “Supersub” Fairclough!!
Rhys Stanley ($ 176,200, BE 33) Make or break season for the 21 year old for the 2008 draftee (pick#47) who won the 2009 Grand Final Sprint. At 200cm and 98Kg the forward and part time ruckman is certainly quick but does not have the safe hands of a McEvoy. Only 2 games last year at 32.5 points seemed a bit clumsy. Will go up in price however a 200K increase from a 100K rookie is better than a 100k increase from this $ 176K 4th year player. Hope I am wrong…..
Terry Milera ($ 124,700) The speedy 24 year old half forward was picked up this year from SANFL club Port Magpies to add pace to an ageing squad. Clever goal and touches in NAB cup game. A few South Melbourne market spring rolls and dimmy’s into his light 68 kg frame and he could be a great one for the latter part of the season.
Sam Crocker ($ 113,200) Pick# 43 in the 2010 AFL draft, 179cm / 76Kg small forward who can switch through the midfield is going to be a star. Whether it is this year I am not sure, however with huge wraps on his great speed, accurate kicking and most importantly a great footy brain he is definitely one to watch.
St-Kilda – Rucks
Ben McEvoy at $ 548,800 could be a great point of difference (POD) ruckman. He was a marvel last year and even though he is still only 22, the No 9 pack from 2007 draft has developed into the No 1 ruckman that the Saints always hoped he would. Always likely to pop up with a goal, hopefully him and Kozi can rotate between ruck and forward to enable the Saints to stretch defences whilst enabling plenty of pace elsewhere. If he was a 100K cheaper I think I would lock him in, however with a BE of 101 he could be a decent up-grade option if like me you may roll the dice and hope that Giles and / or Stephenson, Derickx can prove useful ruck cash cows as our GC mate did last year.
ALL THE DPP ROOKIES
DEF / MID (DPP) Warick Andreoli was a popular choice last year. At 113,200 and a BE of 21 it would be a bonus to see him play, rather than only be a handy DPP. Andreoli will be 20 when the season starts but could still be on the rookie list? Pick 41 in the 2010 rookie draft he is 182cm / 75Kg and is a left footer with plenty of speed,
DEF / FOR (DPP) Jackson Ferguson is a handy DPP at $ 113,200 and a BE of 21. He will only be 19 when the season starts and at 194cm / 87Kg is a key position hope for the future after coming through as a NSW scholarship player. Pick 72 in 2011 Rookie Draft and last I noticed still in rookie list.
MID / FOR (DPP) Cameron Shenton at 94,700 is 21 and was pick # 30 in last years rookie draft. 188cm and 84Kg
RUCK / DEF (DPP) Jay Lever is $ 106,600 & BE of 20 is only 18 and unlikely to play this season, however he would be a good match with a Ruck / Defender DPP player.
RUCK / FOR (DPP) Jordan Staley at $ 94,700 (BE of 17) From all accounts he is still on the rookie list but is a good prospect with both a decent kicking style and an eye for a goal. However, he could be the next Joel Tippet. He would prove a perfect cheap combo with Rowe of Carlton or Roughie of the Hawks.
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