2022 Premium Defenders

Written by Motts on February 3 2022

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30 thoughts on “2022 Premium Defenders”

  1. Trying to fit three guns in the defence if possible. Got Crisp, Lloyd and Dawson atm but with only 19k in reserve it’s unlikely to work. One may become Sicily pending role and form to allow some $ elsewhere.


  2. Lloyd (Locked)
    Hall (Locked)

    Gone heavy at the back in my early drafts:
    Really want to fit in Crisp but can’t afford the funds / don’t want to cull Hall for him.

    Some real good options, can’t really go wrong with a whole selection of defenders.


  3. I’m a little conflicted seeing Aaron Hall so popular at this stage of the pre-season (currently 17% ownership, appearing in many mock teams).
    I haven’t made my mind up on him yet, but these are my current thoughts:

    1) He finished last year on an unbelievable tear (8 consecutive 110+ scores to finish the season), he has a very high ceiling.
    2) It looked like North were going out of their way to get him the footy last year.
    3) I’m convinced Zeibell isn’t that good (boy can he butcher the footy), so if I was North, I’d be redistributing some touches away from Zeibell, possibly to Hall. Admittedly, I am not a specialist in North’s list, but do they have any other half back flankers who can kick? None spring to mind.
    4) North should be better this year, does a rising tide lift all ships?

    1) If point 4 above is true, I think North would actually prefer Hall not to be a major part of it. He’s always struck me as a downhill skier, and surely isn’t part of their long term planning.
    2) Prior to 2021, Hall was an absolute mess for SC coaches. Missed multiple games several years, never averaged anywhere near what he did for the last 8 weeks of the season.
    3) At his current price, he has to average well above what his career has indicated he typically does.



    1. Zeibell and Hall having a good 2021 seemed more aligned to a change in game plan with the Roos and blooding younger lads in the middle and I cant see that plan changing this year.

      However, Hall has had good years in the past (mid 90’s) but I’m doubtful he will be a 100’s player this year if the Roo’s midfield fire.


      1. Hey Arzi, great point re their midfield youngsters.
        Hall did average 96 in 2016 (missed 5 games), and 92 in 2017 (missed 3 games). I’m unsure if the missed games were injury or otherwise.

        IMO if we rely on 8 games from 2021 or go back to 16 and 17 for evidence of his scoring potential, we can’t disregard the years where he was nowhere near that. In 18-20 he only managed 26 games, with season averages ranging from 73 to 80.

        He’s such a tough player to pin down, because if you watch him on the right day he looks like a world beater. But for a player priced at 572k, he’s no sure thing.


      2. Corr is back and there is much better availability generally so while Hall will still do well, it wont be the Hall and Ziebel show done back. Corr and Walker fit, Perez and others now available.

        Also drafted Goater at 19 or so who is a rebounding defender so between he, Perez and Bonar there should be much more run of half back support/ depth


    2. I watched my fair share of north games last season due to hopping on Hall & Tarryn early.

      I was definitely more impressed with Hall than Zieball. I personally think Hall’s role is locked and with that can see him going 105+ again barring injury.

      His price is also including an injury induced ‘6’ & another injury induced ‘37’ – could very well have been priced @600k.

      Post bye (11 games) – he averaged 117.5

      At this stage he was the first premo Defender I locked in. Unless fitness issues arise or his role is in question he’s locked in for me.


      1. Hey Abs, very jealous you got Hall in last year, I missed the boat unfortunately.
        I’ll be keen to see his role in pre-season, if it looks similar to last year he’ll be very hard to turn down!


  4. Jayden Short appears to be criminally underrated.

    One of the most secure roles in the comp, monopoly on kick ins, been super durable aside from a one off elbow injury years ago, and obviously the Houli retirement aids him.

    Averaged 110 without Houli in the side last season, 105 if you go by the last couple years.

    Lloyd aside, I think he’s one of the safest picks in the backline while also presenting great value at his price.


    1. rioli started to play halfback last few games of last year and scored very well, interesting to see if rioli stays or short gobbles it all up


  5. I see a lot of people going for top priced defenders. I remember Father Dougal’s article about how SC output starts to drop off after 28. When I look at the top priced defenders I see

    Lloyd – scoring has declined from 122 to 108 last year. The idea that it will kick up without Dawson might be wishful thinking. He has just turned 28. Not done with yet, but not as convinced there is an upside

    Hall – 32 this season. Sorry but 2021 feels like a fluke. It’s hard to imagine Hall going unchecked again in 2022. Same as how teams shut down Doc, and a bit like Lloyd.

    Ziebell – also 32. Does stay on the park. His scoring dropped in the second half with Hall emerging. Seems over priced. An argument that if Hall receives attention, then Ziebell might benefit, but not for me.

    Stewart – will also be 29. Later starter, so maybe not an issue. Has gone 98 in 2019, 100 in 2020 and 108 last year. So on the right trajectory. Did get rested at the end of games when victory was assured. It’s the lisfranc injury that is concerning.

    Rich – will turn 32 during the season. Has averaged more than 100 only once in 13 seasons, which was last year. Honestly hard to see him go 107 again.

    Crisp – also turned 28. Topped 100 average last year for the first time. Did get more mid time minutes last year, which looks like continuing. Feels like he is at max price.

    Dawson – jumped from 85 to 101 last year. Feels like there is upside. The knock is that last year he was in a top 6 side, this year a bottom six side. And without real clarity on his role, it feels like a little shot in the dark.

    Heppell – turns 30. Did a lot right coming back last year after injury. Could see him improving this year, but again at 30, maybe by not too much.

    So 6 of the top 7 priced defenders are all over 28. Four over 30.

    If you think 100-105 will be sufficient for a defender, maybe it’s better to save money by buying some of the younger blokes who are improving and using the difference elsewhere.

    Thinking three of Ridley, Short, Ryan and Cumming might be the way to go. I think you could nearly add Dale to that list.

    Whitfield has the highest upside for his price and turns 28 during the season, but just can’t trust him to stay on the park.

    The defence has turned into a bit of a Dad’s Army. Is this the reality that the experienced heads go back to prolong their career to flourish? Or will the young guns emerge and go past them. I am backing the young guns to improve. I think I can match or be just below the big dogs on points, and hopefully can use the extra coin wisely.


    1. Some excellent points, Phil.

      Think you’re bang on about Dawson. He’s training on a wing rn and don’t think the Crows generate enough outside ball for him to pop off like he did at the Swans. Also agree that Ridley, Short and Ryan are where the upside’s at.

      That said, I think people sometimes over-exaggerate the effect of player’s ages in SC. Certainly output, endurance and injury profile becomes a concern the older players get, but it’s not like they’re geriatrics out there hobbling around. They’re all still elite athletes.

      I remember when the new kick in rule came in 2019 and made guys like Hurn and Houli attractive picks but people were hesitant because they were both over 30. They ended up both doing 105 and finishing Top 6 OA. Yes, age is important but it has to be contextualized with the player’s role.

      For example, yes Hall is over 30 and has a shocking injury history BUT he’s in a low impact role as a half back distributor. Not playing in the guts, tackling and bashing & crashing. He takes kick ins, seagulls around and has a soft scoring stream.

      Did 115 in that role last year, so is coming in discounted. As long as he’s still in that role, he’s a lock for Top 6 (probably 2) and for me.


  6. Been playing around with my team (as you do) – trying to gain the least amount of rookies whilst still wanting the maximum guns/premiums. I’d love a poll before the season commences on “How many rookies priced under $210K (to include the expensive No 1 pick in J Horne Francis) are coaches looking at starting on the field in round 1.”

    My team currently has 5 premium mids, with 8 onfield rookies. But with the high priced & fancied mid rookies in Daicos, JHF & Ward, I’m flirting with the idea of running with one less premium MID, to gain an extra premium DEF or FWD, as that seems to be where the rookies don’t score as well. Would still be running with 8 rookies onfield, but more in the MIDS and less in DEF & FWD.

    Will run a couple of spreadsheets whilst waiting on Maccas BYE planner – and for pre-season comp to begin so we can get a look at these rookies.


    1. Yeah, it’s interesting Lisa.

      I’ve got a structure rn where I clip back on one premo MID, trim Grundy to Big O and then have an extra DEF and FWD premo. 4-4-2-4. 14 keepers.

      Not sure I can stomach only 4 premo MIDs though. Like that scoring power and VC/C options.


    2. Lisa, I’m looking at only starting 4 mid premos (plus Hobbs, JHF, Daicos, Clark)…just reckon there is so much value around and cash to be made with this approach in 2022, particularly forward. For example, Gresham and Cogs at $560k between them, could easily provide 140-160 pts…better than any mid premo, but cash generation as the cream on top. I dont think I will be alone there. Also, the mature age rookies, McDonagh, Clark etc….look too good to resist.
      However, initial team selections will as we know, throw all our plans out the window !!
      However as we know, initial team selections will throw all our plans out the window !!!
      This might mean a slower start than I would like, but I’ll hopefully be pumping come the byes.


    1. Tom had a lisfranc injury last season and they are notoriously slow to fully recover from. Stewart is 28 and has been in my backline the past couple of seasons, and I love him as a player but I won’t be selecting him this year – at least not at the start of the season.


  7. Currently have Lloyd, Crisp & Ryan. Crisp is a robot who doesn’t miss games. Lloyd, well he may or may not get back up past 100 again, but I can’t see him dropping too much. If I were a braver man I’d pick Bailey Dale and use the cash elsewhere, but like Crisp he barely missed games. Ryan should benefit from having a few taller players around him freeing him up a little – I’m betting he gets back over 100 av again.

    I did have Hall until remembering his age. I have a rule – no players over 30. Running with Hewett as D4 atm.


  8. Ryan’s scoring drops massively with young in the team. Source fan footy. “Supercoach difference in playing with Hayden Young (8) vs without (11): 89.4 vs 106.5 = -17.1”

    Hall is a scary pick admittedly. He is a must have if he does majority kick ins, and isn’t tagged! When he takes majority kick ins, his scoring increases massively, and ziebell’s drops massively. The inverse is also true. See round 19-23 2021z Furthermore, scout reports from north suggest that “all plays are going through hall.”


  9. There are positive comments being made by club decision makers, on the likelihood of two premium DEF rookies playing R1 – in Chesser (Eagles), and Gibcus (Tigs).

    If they eventuate, it could free-up money & role risk – enabling you to load-up midfield and fwd lines, and still play three premium defenders.

    Also, there could be three good options in fwd/def switch rookies for extra cover if you keep the fwd line a little light and stack the mids: – Matt McGuinness (North – got a good push in the article on Xerri -AFL website); Skinner (mature ager who everyone is already on); and Kelly (Pies – who featured in a recent article on time trial winners at each club).

    Interestingly, the article on Xerri also seemed to guarantee Charlie Comben a starting spot in North’s fwd line at $123.9k, and it spruiked his speed and aerobic running capacity. Certainly one to keep an eye on – he could be one of those big units who gets up the ground clutching contested marks from kick-ins, and then gets back inside his fwd 50 for another dip…

    Food for thought…


  10. Thanks for that update.

    Gibcus has elite tank for a player his size so might play early. People tend to just see the leap and forget how much of an all round athlete he is. Tigers sometimes play a crazy tall backline with board as their 4th big defender, so structurally they’ve done it before.



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