2019 Team Preview – Melbourne

Written by Schwarzwalder on January 16 2019

(Written & Created By Zac F)


Many Supercoach pundits this time last year had Michael Hibberd ($398,300) locked in their sides off the back of his impressive debut year for the Dees where he averaged 99.2 supercoach points in 2017. Fast forward 12 months and there’s not a lot of love around for ‘Hibbo’ after averaging a modest 73.4 over 18 games in 2018. A quad injury that he appeared to be carrying for a number of weeks ruled him out of their round 12 match with Geelong. He returned for four games in round 14 and didn’t look 100% before again missing the next four games. Taking all of that in to account Hibbo represents strong value averaging 90+ in 3 of his previous 4 seasons prior to 2018.
Why you should? Definitely under-priced in a year where value is increasingly important to find, has the ability to be a top 6 defender and point of difference.
Why you shouldn’t? The addition of Lever and May, both of whom are also excellent kicks could reduce the reliance on Hibbo’s ball use coming out of the back half. With the Demon’s on the up, will the ball spend less time back there? Are there better options?

Footy fans in the know were left wondering if there was more to the story when former number 5 pick Kade Kolodjashnij ($363,700) was thrown in as steak knives as part of the Steven May deal.
‘KK’ played 18 games in his first season and all 22 in his second with an impressive Supercoach average of 89.4pts. That year he finished second only to Tom Lynch in Gold Coast’s B&F award.
His progress was halted by serious concussion issues that curtailed his last 3 seasons in which he’s managed a total of just 38 games. However, a recent diagnosis highlighted whiplash as the issue and after undertaking an extensive neck strengthening program both he and the club are confident that his concussion troubles are behind him. If that is to be the case KK looms as a strong candidate for recruit of the Summer and could be the wingman the Dees have been crying out for.

Why you should? Proven talent, training with the midfield group in a move that should see him occupy the wing for the entire season, finished second in the Dees time trial and was highlighted by Gawn as one to watch in 2019, represents significant value.
Why you shouldn’t? Only 38 games over the last 3 years and traded away for next to nothing.

A man that’s made his way on to a lot of supercoach teams already is rookie Marty Hore ($117,300) a mature age defender from Collingwood’s VFL side. At 22 years old, 189cm and 84 kg he is seen as a ready-made, versatile defender with a nice left foot that can play immediately. Buyers beware!
With the addition of forgotten man Jake Lever and new recruit Steven May the Demon’s now boast one of the strongest backlines in the competition. Marty Hore looks to be a viable mid-season option if and when the Dee’s lose players to injury in the back half but it’s hard to see him getting a game early – though I’ll be happy to be proven wrong. Like all rookies watch his pre-season form closely.
The club rates Joel Smith highly and I suspect he too is above Marty Hore in the pecking order for a game should injuries occur.



One of the game’s most supercoach relevant players Clayton Oliver ($622,600) is one I will definitely have in my team by seasons end. He averaged 111.5 in his second season (2017) and 114.7 supercoach points in his third season (2018) with the sky seemingly the limit for him. It is important to note that unlike previous years ‘Clarrie’ has had an interrupted pre-season and had operations on both shoulders prior to Christmas and for that reason I won’t be starting with him – in the hope that I can pick him up a touch cheaper. With that being said I regard him as the second-best midfielder in the comp behind only Patrick Cripps and wouldn’t be surprised to see him still appreciate in value despite his interrupted pre-season.
Simple decision – either start with him or plan to get him in!

 For all the bargain hunters out there, look no further than Jack Viney ($449,500)! There’s a lot of excitement around a fit and healthy Brad Crouch from Adelaide and his price of $418k and rightfully so. However, Viney represents just as much upside if he can get his body right having been held back by persistent foot issues. His first game in 2018 was round 9, playing four games before the break in round 14 where he was finding his feet and fitness. When he returned from the break he scored; 116, 101 and 104 before again missing the remainder of the home and away injured. He then scored 105 and 114 in the Dees’ win’s over Geelong and Hawthorn in the finals before posting a 48 in the loss to West Coast on a day none of the Dees really showed up.
We are still yet to see the best of Jack Viney and training reports are very positive about him despite him still training in the re-hab group (Jan 14).
Why you should? The price is right! Proven B&F winner that is still to reach his potential and will be a big change to this year if he has a little bit of luck with his body.
Why you shouldn’t? Stress fractures have a habit of re-occurring, if he doesn’t reach premo status you have to waste a trade.

What’s up with Angus Brayshaw ($526,900)? Is the tone from training reports with ‘Gus’ completing most of his pre-season to date in the re-hab group with no explanation as to why?
An article on the Demons website mentioned he was unable to partake in his customary 100 x 100 metres sprints on Christmas day this year with his two brothers but didn’t say why. With that being said he’s said to be moving well at training and looking good but that’s enough to scare me off starting with him despite his upside.
Why you should? Finished third in the Brownlow after missing the first three games of the season, averaged 115.5 his last four game of the year and should continue to improve.
Why you shouldn’t? It’s unclear why he is in the rehab group and for me that’s enough to look at other options at a similar price that appear safer, at least to begin with.

The surprise smokey to keep an eye on is Tom Sparrow ($117,300). The demons first player selected (pick 27, 2018 draft) has been receiving consistent praise from track watchers and this was franked last week by Bernie Vince saying he’s one to watch. Vince praised his competitiveness and mentioned that his strength and explosiveness reminded him a bit of Patrick Dangerfield. Sparrow has a lot of the attributes Goodwin loves, he’s aggressive, tough and team first and the Dees believe they’ve got a player here. His body is AFL ready and he’s definitely made an impression on the club, but he has a lot of competition for his mid/fwd role but keep an eye on him!



In a year with so many high-priced players, something has got to give… but can we honestly entertain the thought of not starting with Max Gawn ($692,100)? He played all 22 games last year for a whopping 127.5 supercoach average. Gawn was an excellent captain’s choice on numerous occasions with scores of (151, 168, 148, 140, 145, 151, 156, 156) respectively. The fear for many of us is that the addition of Braydon Preuss will mean Gawn will spend more time forward and potentially be rested games. In a recent interview Gawn mentioned the ruck situation will be determined over pre-season so keep an eye out. I personally believe they will play Gawn solo ruck for most of the year but I do think the Dees are a big chance of resting him at least once throughout the year (round 18 against St. Kilda looks possible). Gawn shapes as one of the most interesting pieces of the 2019 supercoach puzzle and I have no doubt that the winner will need to make the right call on Gawn to win it. Don’t be thrown off by the pre-season as they will almost certainly play Preuss and Gawn in tandem but may still opt for Gawn to go it alone in round 1.
Why you should? More likely than not to be a top 2 scoring ruckman of the competition even if he has a second ruckman, currently running personal best times.
Why you shouldn’t? The price, does have an injury history and one bad game at his price could allow you to pick him up for cheap, may ruck in tandem with Preuss which could affect his scoring.



No Jesse? No Problem? With backman turned forward Tom McDonald ($529,800) enjoying a stellar season and averaging the most goals per game of anyone in the competition, he’s sure to have admirers. He averaged 97.6 despite missing much of the pre-season and the opening 5 games of 2019 but his scoring did fluctuate a lot from week to week as can be the case with key forwards. The departure of Hogan does mean Tom McDonald will get the best KPD each week and this does have the potential to affect his scoring output. That being said I think it’s very reasonable to assume he’ll average 90+ in 2019 but he’s not someone I’ll start with or be desperate to bring in from a supercoach standpoint but hopefully I’m proven wrong.
Why you should? Last year he stamped himself as a premium forward with an average of 97.6 and he’s definitely one that could be a top 6 forward at the conclusion of 2019.

Why you shouldn’t? Key forwards scores can vary a lot from week to week, he’s not cheap and his output may decrease with the loss of Hogan? Are there better options?

Ready to explode? It’s no secret Christian Petracca ($442,600) has the ability to take over a game with his power and skill but we haven’t quite seen it regularly yet. He averaged a respectable 81.5 supercoach points in 2018 but his final series showed signs he is ready to take the next step. He could be a good value set and forget pick at his price but it’s not without risk. With the Demon’s boasting one of the strongest midfields in the competition he’s unlikely to get many minutes in there which is obviously detrimental to his scoring output. That being said he also has the potential to be a top 6 forward based on ability.
Why you should? Petracca has star potential and if that potential is realised in 2019 then you’ll get to reap the rewards by starting with him and saving a trade.
Why you shouldn’t? Lack of midfield time, inconsistent scorer, yet to prove himself as supercoach relevant.

** Very detailed indeed!  Plenty to take away from this Preview.  Thanks very much, Zac F! – Schwarzwalder **


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18 thoughts on “2019 Team Preview – Melbourne”

  1. Excellent, thanks Zac F. No secret that I’m Oliver’s #1 fan 😉

    What are your thoughts on Jayden Hunt? I know he’s loved at the Dees, but with such depth in numbers now, is there a spot for him at HB/wing in 2019?!

    While still undecided on Gawn, I’m not sure Preuss has the tank to really threaten big Max. It’s his price and bye that put me off him, more than Preuss’ arrival.

    Thanks again. Excellent.


    1. Cheers Allsaints,

      Jayden Hunt is a really interesting one, his price is right and clearly has good afl attributes with his run and speed. He just turns it over far too much and I think he may struggle to get a consistent game this year in my opinion.

      That being said, a couple injuries at HBF or wing and he’s in the team and will be looking to prove himself. Apparently he was one that was weighing up his options at the end of last season given his lack of opportunity and the club were quick to tell him how much they wanted him.

      Definitely one to keep an eye on and one that will appreciate if he plays but I think his potential to appreciate is much lower than some rookies that may pump our similar scores. Happy to be proven wrong though!


  2. Thanks Zac F.

    Very detailed Team Review.

    I’m really struggling to find a Melbourne player to lock in this year.

    I currently have M Hore as tentative D7. I like KK but he will have to be playing wing for me to really consider him. There’s just so much talent down back for the Dees this year. I’m really not sure who the stand out defenders will be.

    We have all been waiting for Petracca’s breakout year. If he was playing for St kilda or Carlton I would be much more likely to take a punt. I just think Melboune have so much Midfield talent its hard to see him spending enough time in the middle. Maybe with Hogan gone, Petracca might get more of the ball forward?
    Also Melbourne share the R13 Bye with Geelong and Sydney so Danger and Heeney are my priorities for those R13 Bye starting Forward spots.

    I have owned Oliver the last two years and will be looking at him at some stage. With those preseason surgeries I will hold off starting him this year. I just think at his current price Cripps is probably the safer bet.

    Thanks again for a great Team Review.


  3. Oh Schwartz.

    I just had a thought.
    It might be helpful with the Team Reviews to add their Bye weeks under the main Banner.

    Eg: Melbourne Team Review.
    ( R13 bye week. )

    It just might help us get our heads around the whole Bye structure thing.
    Loving the Team Reviews ,who’s next ?


    1. Hey FT, look over to the right hand of screen, just below the ‘Latest Articles’ section…….all Bye Rounds for each club 😉
      Adelaide preview from Chillo is up tomorrow followed by Thommo’s dejected look at Hawthorn without Mitchell………


      1. Yeah cool. I know about the Bye chart.
        I have almost committed it to memory.
        ( I copied it onto a poststick note and its stuck on the top corner of my laptop, the day Team Picker opened.)
        I just thought it might help reinforce other peoples understanding of how the Byes play out. Its not overly important.
        Looking forward to the Adelaide and Hawthorn write ups.



  4. Love the write up, lots of detail there – thanks Zac!

    Have to say though I’m not sold on any of the Dees except Oliver – and theres some questions over those shoulders.


  5. Good on ya Zac.
    I too probably wont start a Dee in R1.
    Oliver is unlikely to start R1 anyway. He had the same Latarjet surgery that Ablett had, and that was only one shoulder. … and he was out for months. Elite sportsman typically take 3 months to recover – Feb at best before has mended… At what point does he partake in contested training drills? I cant see them taking a risk with Clarry. He is a R14 target for me.
    Gawn – I’ll pick him up at some stage….. hoping he will drop in price at some point.
    Brayshaw … Whilst I had him last year in DEF, there are easily 20 MIDs ahead of him this year.
    I like the Viney option …he is at a 10% discount … but his injury worries me ..
    I heard the Vince interview where he talked about Sparrow … definite watch… might he play 3 before Oliver returns??? …


    1. Was Oliver’s surgery really that intensive? I’m sure I read otherwise a couple of months back. I’m gutted if that’s the case as he is/was genuinely my #1 pick on the park for Rd1, bar nobody. 🙁


      1. The Club reported he had a double Latarjet surgery. It’s normally open surgery. Latarjet is required when there is significant damage and involves cutting bone and tendon from the shoulder blade and then joining it to the shoulder socket to prevent the shoulder popping out. Abblet, Fyfe and Ibbotson had this op. Ablett had issues that dragged on for months … Fyfe was 3 months, Ibbo about 14 weeks… Oliver had his ops in October I think, a few weeks apart .. so he will be eased into contact training through Feb… He could very well be ready by R1, but he plays very vigorous brand of footy… so I’ll be waiting until he has played a few games before bringing him in..


    2. Interview yesterday with Viney saying this is the first time he’s put together three months of solid training in years. There’s no doubt that his body is a risk but for me I honestly think he’ll average 105+ and appreciate enough for me to straight swap someone I view as a best 8 mid that’s dropped a bit. Potentially around the time of his bye.
      Brayshaw averaged 115 after the bye last year and there’s no reason he won’t continue to improve next year. He does all the things that score well in supercoach, he’s a goal scoring mid that wins clearances, tackles and uses the ball well – often with his foot, he’s a good mark too. It is possible he’ll pick up the number one tag ahead of oliver next year in some games though.
      The new’s I’ve heard on Oliver is that they are expecting him to play round 1. He was playing with cooked shoulders for a number of games last year apparently so don’t be too surprised if he’s pumping out a 120+ from the get go.
      Good luck for 2019


  6. Long-term, I think Tom Sparrow is going to be the best player taken outside of the first round in last year’s draft. I watched so much footage of him heading into the draft, and could not understand for the life of me why he was flying so far under the radar. Most power-rankings and phantom drafts had him in the 50s or later. Personally, I would have been willing to take him with a late first-rounder.

    As to his SuperCoach relevance for 2019, it all depends on if he can break into a strong Demons lineup, and, if so, where. His most natural position is as an inside midfielder, but Melbourne’s engine room is already pretty stacked. He’s also a great intercept mark, so he could do quite well in defence, too. Whether or not there’s a slot there for him, I’m less certain. And he also has great goal-sense and loves to tackle, so he could end up starting in a forward pocket somewhere. He’d do the job perfectly well, but it wouldn’t be good for his SuperCoach output.

    I’ll be watching him very closely throughout the JLT. If he can lock-down a SC-friendly position before round 1, he’s a lock.


    1. Yeah it’s hard to see him getting a game, but almost definitely hff or fp with some limited rotations through the midfield. Definitely one to watch!
      Good luck for 2019


  7. Brilliant job!!! Loved it. I’ll now be taking Oliver out and upgrading to him. I dont like picking players that have had any injuries in the preseason. Vineys now on my watch list as well. Thanks.


  8. I’m loving the look of Harmes (MID, 453K) as a left field option. He moved into a semi run-with role late in the year and had a low of 82 in his last 8, with an average of 105 over those games including an 88 against west coast when they got absolutely thumped! Before that he had a few scores below 50 playing more forward but he was arguably melbournes best player through the midfield in the last 2 months of the year. One to watch?



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