2021 Team Preview – Carlton Blues

Written by The Salamander on March 9 2021

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Year Finish Average SC Points For SC Points Against Players Used Rookies Played In Round 1
2020 11th 1615 (13th) 1685 (6th-most) 36 0
2019 16th 1582 (17th) 1719 (2nd-most) 37 1
2018 18th 1516 (17th) 1784 (2nd-most) 37 2
2017 16th 1615 (14th) 1686 (5th-most) 39 3

As is often the case with a team on the rise, the Blues’ best 22 will be hard to crack into in 2021. But although Carlton rookies may be few and far between this season, there’s still a lot to like about this side from a SuperCoach standpoint.


Lock & Load: Zac Williams ($458,600)

Assuming the Blues don’t manage to have his one-game suspension overturned, Williams presents an ideal case for the famous Motts Maneuvre. However you decide to get him in, if he performs even half as well in his new midfield/forward role as he has in his two pre-season games, he’ll be more than worth the effort.

Feeling Lucky: Adam Saad ($526,200)

The case for starting him: the Blues tried to get the ball in his hands as often as possible in their scratch match against the Bombers; although this was not quite as pronounced against the Saints on thursday, you can fully expect this to continue throughout the season. He also won’t have to perform the occaisinal lockdown jobs that held his average down a bit at Essendon.

The case against: $526,200 is a fair bit to pay for a guy who, prior to last year, had never averaged more than 83. How much did the shorter quarters affect his output last season? Personally, I think he’ll prove to be a good pick, but at his price, I’d rather take a wait-and-see approach. He certainly isn’t likely to get much more expensive over the first few weeks.

Feeling Lucky: Sam Docherty ($496,000)

It feels weird writng “Feeling Lucky” instead of “Lock & Load” next to Docherty’s name. With his knee concerns now seemingly well behind him, he’s certainly a safe enough pick. Realistically, though, anyone picking him is going to be hoping he scores a lot more this year than he did last year. Which he might – he did, after all, average 115 in 2017. But four years is a long time in football, and the Carlton backline from which he earned a spot in the All Australian team is a very different beast to the one that exists today.

Money Maker: Liam Stocker ($186,500)

It won’t be in Round 1, but the 21-year-old is bound to get a game at some point this season, after not playing at all last year. He’s a bit expensive as a pure downgrade target, so give him his full two games and make sure that he’ll actually make you some money before you bring him in.


Lock & Load: Patrick Cripps ($523,700)

I was once asked a couple of years back, by a person who had never seen him play, to describe what Cripps’ biggest strength was. “Beastliness”, I answered. Not long after, Cripps then spent a couple of pre-seasons lightening his frame, in the hope of improving his running game. For this season, however, he’s decided to go back to what made him such a great player to start with, and bulk back up again. The end result? The beast is back.

Feeling Lucky: Sam Walsh ($543,400)

After averaging just 78 over the first six rounds, Walsh finished the season on fire, averaging 114 for the rest of the year from Round 7 onwards. If he can perform like that this year from Round 1, he’ll be an absolute bargain.

Money Maker: Lochie O’Brien ($180,500)

30 percent time-on-ground in Thursday night’s match against St. Kilda doesn’t bode well for the 21-year-old’s Round 1 chances, but 39 points in that 30 percent TOG does bode well for his prospects once he gets his shot.


Draft League Special: Marc Pittonet and Tom De Koning

If you miss out on the big-name rucks in your draft league, and end up picking up the very serviceable Pittonet late, see if you can also nab De Koning late as well. Apart from the latter being in line to be the Blues’ number one ruck this season before being struck down by injury, you’ll also have a nice setup where if one of them is injured, the other is bound to play.


Money Maker: Paddy Dow ($202,400)

Don’t let his quiet-ish AAMI Series game fool you – you need Dow in your forward line. Priced to average around 37, he’ll be playing a combination of midfield and forward this year, and has bulked up significantly over the off-season, as shown below.

Feeling Lucky: Jack Martin ($446,300)

Martin is set to play a similar midfield/forward role to Zac Williams this year, which should see his numbers increase. However, at almost $450K, you’re paying a premium-ish price for a guy who has never averaged more than 83 in a season. I wouldn’t begrudge anyone starting him, but I also wouldn’t criticise anyone for taking a wait-and-see approach. Personally, I’ll probably be in the latter camp.


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Got a Carlton player in your team that I haven’t mentioned above? Let us know in the comments below!


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9 thoughts on “2021 Team Preview – Carlton Blues”

  1. Sadly that Motts Manoeuvre doesn’t work as how it was designed as Williams is playing in the first game of the season. This makes you take a gamble on playing a rookie before they’ve scored other than taking an already well scored rookie


    1. Ah, blast! I’d forgotten about that. With the Blues’ appeal failing, I guess we’ll either have to bring him in later, or start him and hope a bench rookie pops up in Round 1 to take the sting out of his absence.


  2. Docherty 21 kicks (equal 4th highest kicks during aammi) 6hballs and 4 marks and 600 metres gained would usually put him around the 95-105 mark but 7 clangers and de of of only 70% handicapped his score.
    He wont get much cheaper than his current price and might be a reliable D6, but.


  3. Atm it’s Walsh and Dow for me . Cripps holding on for dear life to that M5 position but it’s slipping away from him with Rowell Brayshaw or Taranto odds on to take it from him. Docherty is also on my radar he has the role it was only his DE% that let him down. Saads run off HB does worry me slightly with doch though. Not sure I’ll start him but in my thoughts


  4. I keep hearing about Zac Fisher (394k FWD). Both docherty and cripps this week have publicly stated he’s the one to expect a breakout this year. Got a fair bit of the ball in the AAMI series (23 touches, kicked 2.3) for 82 SC (95 DT) and complements Cripps and Walsh well as a damaging outside ball user. But does he become SC relevant? Such an awkward price



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