2018 Breakout Contenders – Part ONE

Written by Schwarzwalder on March 20 2018

ADELAIDE – Brad Crouch, MID, $529k

At 24 years of age, Crouch has been in the system for six years but only managed the 61 games.  His brother Matt is a year younger yet has played 72 games.  The bigger wraps have always been on Brad in comparison to Matt.  We’re yet to see the best of Brad due to his constant injury worries, namely his dodgy hammies.  Brad finds himself in the Physio Dept again this pre-season, hopefully he’s managing himself better these days.

The guy is definitely capable…….In the 12 games after the Bye Rounds of 2017 (Including Finals), Brad Crouch averaged a near-elite 107 SC pts.  With the opposition focus mainly on Sloane & Matt Crouch, Brad Crouch is bound to have a massive year (if he ever stays on the park long enough)……..

 

BRISBANE – Alex Witherden, DEF, $479k

Witherden was given his chance to shine after the Bye Rounds in 2017 and didn’t disappoint.  Playing predominantly off the half-back flank, Witherden scored three tons from his nine games played and was a handy downgrade target for many SuperCoaches.  Those nine games have placed Witherden at an awkward price of $479k however.  That sort of price cuts him out as a ‘stepping stone’option to a season-long commitment.

Job security looks stable as the Lions are bound to get plenty of game time into their youngsters.  Can Withers justify the price tag or does he need more time?

 

CARLTON – Charlie Curnow, FWD, $408k

This 21-year-old looks to have the footy world at his feet as he enters his 3rd season.  Very exciting to watch, this kid is already drawing comparisons from Carlton faithful to Anthony Koutafides.  Quite the compliment!  As often stated here on the site, Curnow seemed to ‘Kick up a gear’ after the Byes last year.  Over the last eight weeks, Charlie averaged 94 pts.  Will be given every opportunity to better that this season.

 

COLLINGWOOD – Tom Langdon, DEF, $451k

Langdon won the Magpies’ Best First Year Player Award back in 2014 and played 41 matches across his first two seasons.  Ankle and knee problems have restricted Langdon to just 16 appearances over the last two years.  In 2015 he was on his way to becoming a decent attacking half-back player, averaging 85pts from all 22 games played.  Langdon gave us a glimpse of his capabilities again in 2017  when he averaged 92.5 pts over the last five weeks of the year.

The signs are there for a breakout year if he can stay on the ground.  Another youngster with an equally awkward price tag of $451k.  It’s either a genius move or a lame duck move……….

 

ESSENDON – Devon Smith, FWD, $439k

One of the big off-season moves, Smith left the Giants in search of more opportunity.  He’s sure to get it at the Bombers who are in desperate need of some midfield depth.  Smith already managed a 90 pts average across 21 games back in 2014 when he was sitting on a half-forward flank.  Given more midfield time, many Coaches are backing him in to make the Top6 FWDs for the year.  Looked to be one of the more impressive players during the recent JLT Series.

 

FREMANTLE – Nathan Wilson, DEF, $417k

Another one to have left the Giants in search of greener pastures, Wilson is tipped to be the main ball carrier from the back half of this Dockers line-up.  In terms of SC-output, Wilson is coming off his best season last year with a 76pts avg from 21 games played.  The main query  is whether Wilson is good enough to break through but he’ll sure  be given every chance………

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8 thoughts on “2018 Breakout Contenders – Part ONE”

  1. All potential breakouts. However just heard on sports FM, Brad Crouchs injury may be worse than first thought. Could be out for a couple months.

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  2. Thanks Birthday Boy! 😉

    I’m a huge fan of Langdon, and no one seems to be talking about him, which I like! He seems like a less volatile alternative to Sicily, just have to find the extra dough.

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    1. As a collingwood supporter, lord help me when he has to kick the ball, my heart is in my mouth every time he lolliepops the ball 60 meters into the air haha. But the intercept game on him is obviously where he scores. Bit risky for me

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    2. Great write-up, Schwarzy.

      I was all over Langdon as well, Chillo, but his price didn’t offer enough value for the injury risk…

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  3. I picked up Witherden in draft last year so I watched him pretty closely. His kick to handball ratio is great and he looks really composed when he has the ball. Wouldn’t be surprised to see more improvement this season.
    Speaking of draft, I’ve got a last minute spot to fill in my league. Draft is at 8:45pm tonight. Sign up if you’re keen, league code is 127604.

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  4. I’m taking the punt on Witherden. Solid chance to be a top 8 ave player amongst all the risky picks down back

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