Dan HOUSTON (PTA), $484,800, BE: 89.28
Age: 22yrs 10mths
2020 Season: 4th
Draft Pick: Rookie Draft, Rd3 Pick 45
SC history (2019-17): 89.3, 77.5, 73.4
SC % ownership: 22.8% and rising
Dan was recruited as a mature-aged rookie who bolted into Power’s best 22 in 2017 as a replacement across half-back for the injured Jasper Pittard. He hasn’t looked back since, with his poise and kicking efficiency the standouts. In Rd14 last year he was asked to do a specific job on Tim Kelly and came away with 110 SCpts. After a poor showing in the midfield the following week, he returned to half back and got injured. On return he played predominantly across half-back again, before playing out the last 5 games of the season in the midfield. In total he played seven games in the guts with a high of 134 (four tons of which three were 110+) and a low of 54. He averaged 99 exactly, when playing MID.
So that’s what he looks like!
What do we need?
At his starting price, we need him to become a keeper. You’d think that means we want 20+games min. at an average of 98+.
Still young and has shown natural improvement since he came onto the AFL scene. Hinkley stated last week that “Houston is a lock for an inside midfield role in 2020”. He has trained purely with the midfield group in this off-season and it is these facts that make him ‘underpriced’; it’s a positive role change.
Whilst still unproven (our sample size isn’t big enough), his SuperCoach scoring trends, together with # of games, age and role suggest he can only improve on last season.
Hinkley has talked up Port’s chances in 2020 (not for the first time) and is considered the bookies’ short-priced favourite for the chop. He has created a rod for his own back in making his bold statement regarding this year’s premiership aspirations. If Port don’t win their first three, they may have a negative win:loss ratio come the end of Rd6 and the pressure will be mounting. What effect would that pressure or a new coach have on Houston’s position in the guts? Wines’ eventual return could also negatively impact his midfield minutes.
[I’m trying to find excuses to not start him]
Even across HB last year, he averaged 84.5 over 14 games which also demonstrates slight SC improvement on his previous year. Port have a pretty decent early fixture and are the best ranked SC scoring side in the competition (relative to ladder position). I see him kicking on in 2020, especially in the midfield. Before I wrote this I wasn’t so sure, but now I’m locking him in; unless I see something to the contrary during the Marsh Series.
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