After an incredible 15 year run of success, where they failed to make the finals only once and claimed two premierships, the Swans have finally lapsed into a regulation rebuild in the past two seasons. With a raft of exciting draft picks and a promising core of players entering into their prime years, only the brave would bet against Sydney bouncing back into finals contention soon. From a Supercoach perpective, there is one outstanding premium that can not be ignored, and a few other tantalising choices that have huge upside…
Lock and Load: He’ll cost you a pretty penny but the best advice I can give is to shell out and chill out, knowing that Jake Lloyd ($656 400) is holding the fort for your team at the back of the field. The Bondi Seagull glides around Sydney’s defensive 50 every season, nobody else goes near him, and he just racks up points through a combination of kick-ins, uncontested marks and pinpoint disposal. In the past three seasons his averages read 112, 109 and a stupendous 122 points per game in last year’s abbreviated fixture. Lloyd outscored the second-best defender by more than 250 points last year and there’s absolutely no reason I can see that he won’t repeat the dose in 2021. His relentlessly consistent scoring, combined with impressive durability, make it a mistake to think he’ll drop too much in price. Just get him now and save yourself all that frustration!
Feeling Lucky: Five seasons in and we’re still waiting for Callum Mills ($544 800) to move into the midfield, but he finally had that breakout season in 2020. Boosted by a 173 point effort against Richmond where the Tigers just kept kicking the ball to him, the former Rising Star a 101.4 ppg mark playing in his now-familiar spot on the Swans’ halfback line. Similar or better numbers in 2021 would see Mills finish as a top 10 defender, which makes him a very viable option for your starting lineup.
Jordan Dawson ($458 700) is the other Swans defender who may be worth looking at after finishing 2020 is strong form (99 ppg in his last seven games). However, Dawson’s versatility will affect his scoring, as a few unfortunate coaches found out last season after buying into his potential breakout hype and def/fwd status. There are better options elsewhere but mark Dawson down for the last spot in your defence if you’re in a deep draft league.
Money Maker: Will Gould ($123 900) is one of those compulsory rookie picks at this stage of the season. Who knows if Horse will actually give big Will a game this year? But should the burly backman find himself a spot in the best 22, he will surely score well enough to be a worthy cash cow and a must have on your bench. Matthew Ling ($163 000) also shapes as a capable scorer based on his NEAFL form, but disappointed in limited opportunities at the top level last year. At a slightly elevated price, he should be avoided.
Feeling Lucky: Club stalwarts Luke Parker ($571 100) and Josh P. Kennedy ($513 500) can be safely relied on to get lots of contested ball and post an average somewhere in the 100-105 range. Probably not exactly what you’re looking for, but then again the risk is lower than some other options that boast higher potential for scoring. Joey Kennedy may be the preferred option, as he comes with a slight discount courtesy of a six game hiatus last year due to a medial strain. Regardless of which one you opt for, you’ll be getting a POD with an impressive history of consistent scoring. For all you draft players, pencil both players in for the middle rounds when you’re looking for a second or third midfield option.
Money Maker: The diminutive and dynamic Errol Gulden ($117 300) comes out of the Swans academy at pick 32 with a reputation for fast hands and faster feet. Very much an outside player who is at his best on the attacking flank, Gulden boasts an impressive representative record at underage level but may have to bide his time before getting a shot at AFL level. Put him in the book as a downgrade option at some stage this year.
The Swans ruck division has traditionally been a Supercoach wasteland and 2021 is no exception. There’s been some minor interest around new recruit Tom Hickey ($261 100), but he’s more likely to be sharing the duties with Callum Sinclair ($414 100) and, with all due respect, are you really going to ignore the likes of Gawn and Grundy in favour of a bloke at his fourth club? Quick shoutout to Sam Naismith ($376 100) who is going through a second period of rehab on his already reconstructed right knee. Get well soon, big guy.
Feeling Lucky: I originally had Isaac Heeney ($454 500) as a lock and load option due to his discounted price and scoring history. That was before I heard about the radical procedures that he has endured throughout this off-season in order to rebuild the ankle he dislocated and suffered ruptured ligaments to in round 6 last year. The latest word from the man himself is that he’s “hoping to be ready for round 1”, which unfortunately is an immediate line through his name for Supercoach purposes. Downgrade option?
And of course, I have to include Buddy. Lance Franklin ($312 000) is actually a little over-priced after missing so much footy in the past three seasons with recurrent soft tissue complaints. It’s no secret that there are massive risks associated with putting Bud in your forward line, but the grainy training footage I have managed to catch has presented a trim and seemingly happy Franklin. Monitor very, very closely.
Money Maker: Sydney managed to jag two top 5 picks in the draft, and used them to pick up WA key forward Logan McDonald ($193 800) and highly regarded academy product Braeden Campbell ($189 300). Both players look to be terrific prospects, but may not be Supercoach relevant this year due to their elevated price tags. That will depend on the availability of cheaper rookies in round 1, so don’t completely dismiss these two, but right now they’re both a fair way down the list of preferred cash cows.
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