2022 Team Preview – Collingwood

Written by Motts on March 4 2022

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After a disappointing 2021 with the Pies missing the finals and the departure of Nathan Buckley as coach, Collingwood shapes as a fantasy relevant side again in 2022 as their list regenerates and Craig McRae takes the wheel.


Lock N Load

Jack Crisp (D/M, $571,000) has built a reputation as a reliable Supercoach defender, playing 163 consecutive games and consistently placing in the top defenders by total points. His average over the last 4 years is good, reading 96, 89 and 99, culminating in an average of 105 last year (ranking 2nd for total points from the current defender crop). Crisp played some additional midfield minutes last year which helped land him his first B&F, with this split defender/mid role expected to continue (attending 40% of centre bounces last season). Although Crisp may throw in the occasional lower score when put into a defensive role his floor is still relatively high, with a 79 being his lowest score last season, and another 5 scores in the 80’s (4 of those by round 7). After round 8 last year he averaged 110, including 121 in the last 5 rounds. Crisp is pretty much priced somewhere near his maximum output, but you know what you are likely to get in return for your investment.

Feeling Lucky

Brayden Maynard ($502,500) had a great SuperCoach breakout year in 2020, lifting his average from 80 to 102. This was followed with a regression back to 92 last season, but with increasing talk from the Pies camp of additional midfield minutes for Maynard will this result in an increase in output in 2022? One to monitor through the preseason games, Maynard is generally a good decision maker and penetrating kick, and you know you will be buying a tough player who will be giving his all.

Jeremy Howe ($427,300) had an injury interrupted 2021 after a career high average of 120 (over four games) in 2020. In that fourth game, Howe did his knee but was able to make a successful return come Round 1 2021, averaging 100 in the first three games of the season. A significant hamstring injury in round 4 derailed the majority of Howe’s campaign, however he did manage to return for 3 of the last 4 games to result in an overall season average of 78.5. There are some positives, Howe generally takes a good proportion of Collingwood kick-ins when fit and has improved his intercept game in recent years. He is also fun to watch, although that is generally not part of the criteria I look for when selecting my squad! Turning 32 midway through the season with recent significant injuries and with recent news of an iffy groin, Howe is a very risky pick with a full season highest yearly average of just 94 in 2017.

Trey Ruscoe ($260,100) averaged 48 last year in SuperCoach in his second season. Not particularly impressive. But after a shift to the backline, Ruscoe was able to put together a reasonable three game shift of 107 (23 touches), 66 (20) and 80 (from 22 touches) from rounds 18 – 20. What Ruscoe offers the Pies is tenacity and pace. He also did look more comfortable in that backline role. But competition is high for spots in the Pies backline, with a stable core back 7 of Roughhead, Noble, Howe, Moore, Maynard, Quaynor and Crisp all ahead of Ruscoe. Throw in an inconsistent scoring history and the potential to be thrown forward for low scores mean I would be recommending looking at cheaper cash generating options for now.

Money Maker

Charlie Dean ($102,400), springs to mind as a player fitting the cheaper cash generating option criteria! Dean was plucked from Williamstown VFL winning the VFL’s best young player award joining previous winners such as Michael Barlow, Michael Hibberd, Kane Lambert and Bayley Fritsch, and now comes to the Pies as a readymade mature-age intercept defender. Dean averaged 85 SuperCoach points and is bargain basement after joining the Pies with pick 2 in the rookie draft. Dean is definitely one to monitor over preseason particularly with Jordan Roughead missing until at least round 5, as when picked he is certain to make cash for our sides. [Editor’s note: Charlie’s injured himself since this was written and looks very unlikely to start in Round 1]


Feeling Lucky

Taylor Adams ($516,700) had a disappointing 2021, averaging just 95 from 14 games. The unofficial leader of the Magpies midfield, Adams has had decent seasons in the past, averaging 110 in 2020 and 108 in 2017 (with defensive DPP). But in the other 4 years since 2015 Adams has averaged 96 or 97, and with talk of increased rotations rolling through the Pies midfield resulting in Adams spending more time at half-forward, and the usual Adams injury risk, it would be a very bold call to suggest Adams could get anywhere near a top 10 midfielder this season which is what we need at that price.

Patrick Lipinski ($359,900) finally has some decent job security and his class looks a good match for the Pies list. Lipinski averaged 34 touches and 156 SuperCoach points from 4 VFL games last year, but struggled for opportunities in the stacked Doggies AFL midfield, being limited to just 9 games (and 4 sub vests). Lipinski has been training through wing/half-forward with stints through the middle in early Pies match-sim which might be enough to scare most people off given his awkward price. Undoubtedly underpriced and with reasonable scoring potential, Lipinski should at least be considered as a value pick in your draft leagues.

Scott Pendlebury ($492,300) would ordinarily not even make this section based on his age and pricetag. But keep an eye out after a time-share in defence has been floated for this season, as although he only averaged 90 last year, his next worst average since 2008 was 103 and he has a reasonable chance of picking up a defensive DPP at some point during the season…

Money Maker

Finlay Macrae ($206,800) is the brother of Western Bulldogs ball magnet Jackson Macrae with whom he (fortunately for us) shares some attributes. Macrae has spent some time in the gym in the offseason acquiring more of an AFL build, and is expected to be part of the Pies 2022 midfield mix. Macrae averaged 5 kicks, 7.7 handballs and just one tackle per game last season, but did start to show some signs later in the season, averaging 18 possies per game in his last 4 games (for just 57 ppg) and moving well. At the elevated price tag his selection is probably dependent on options elsewhere.

Nick Daicos ($193,800) averaged 36 disposals, 2 goals & 159 SuperCoach points in 5 NAB League games in 2021, after sliding to pick 4 in the draft. For a player who Bucks suggested was AFL ready last year, Daicos seems like a relatively obvious selection for our sides this year as he is guaranteed games when fit. As for role he will likely slot in across halfback and through the midfield, with some time forward as McRae sees fit.

Reef McInnes ($123,900) suffered a finger tendon injury in the 2021 preseason so is yet to have a decent run at it. A big-bodied inside midfielder with speed to burn and “explosive” capabilities from stoppage, the Pies are keen to give him an opportunity at some point this season.


Lock N Load

After back-to-back 130 average seasons Brodie Grundy’s ($627,100) output has declined in the past two years to 121 ppg in 2020 and 115 in 2021. Grundy has no doubt struggled with hub life and has probably carried a niggle or two, with Grundy’s mental mindset seemingly the biggest factor in his scoring output. This means Grundy is underpriced compared to what he can potentially deliver. Grundy plays as a quasi-midfielder for the Pies and does not rely solely on hits to advantage for his points, and has had a great run with injury over the past 7 years, barely missing any games. He has trimmed off a few kilos since last year and is a “standout on the track”, looking to be a very good buy at the price.


Feeling Lucky

Jordan De Goey ($463,500) could easily have been a lock and load after his finish to the season, averaging 110 over his last 9 games after a significant increase in midfield minutes. For those living under a rock, De Goey then went to the US to build his fitness base further, managing to find himself with criminal charges being laid after a night out in New York. Banished from the Nest after returning to Australia, JDG was then forced to train away from the club until a legal settlement was reached. Upon his return things have seemingly returned back to normal based on club communications, with De Goey firmly in the midfield rotation mix despite a knock further interrupting some of his preparation. As a result, and with match-winning abilities up forward, Jordan could find himself spending chunkier time up forward early on in the season as his fitness builds. With a discounted price due to an average of just 65 from his first 11 largely forward games (including an injury affected 4) and with not many safe forward-line options, De Goey is one of the most polarising selections for the season. Likely to play just the one preseason fixture, when you pick De Goey up (if at all) could be one of the biggest defining calls of the 2022 SuperCoach season.

Steele Sidebottom (M/F, $475,400) was a very frustrating player to own in 2021 after acquiring forward status (averaging 87.3), with some poor turnovers and large fluctuations in scoring. Sidebottom has generally been very resilient to injury and averaged 100+ every year since 2012 except 2017 (96) and 2019 (94), topping out at 113 in 2014, with a rare injury and COVID hijinx impacting his 2020 (only 9 games). It does look like Sidebottom is set to return to his preferred wing role, however given the changes in DPP eligibility during the season Sidebottom at best should be a wait and see – he will throw in the odd stinker which will result in a lower purchase price and if some gun mid’s get given DPP there is unlikely to be any desire for Sidebottom to be part of our final forward lines.

Money Maker

Will Kelly (D/F, $123,900) looked pretty good on debut in 2020 prior to dislocating his elbow and missing the rest of the year. This was followed with Will breaking his collarbone in the JLT in 2021 and injuring his quad in round 17 (subbed). Kelly is well regarded at the Pies and seems certain to be given opportunity in the Collingwood side in 2022. Kelly is unlikely to be a high scorer but if selected for round 1 appears to be an ideal bench cow with the added bonus of DPP.

Ash Johnson ($123,900) was selected with pick 3 in the 2021 Mid-Season Draft but subsequently suffered a finger injury and was unable to debut. Johnson’s main traits are his athleticism, kicking skills and overhead marking so he could be a fun player to own if he gets a crack at it during the year which is certainly possible with the Pies list in a transitional stage.

Nathan Kreuger ($198,100) is very likely to play this season for the Pies, traded to Collingwood after playing 2 games for Geelong as a backman last year, after 3 years on the Geelong list. The bad news is he is likely to play as a key forward in an average Pies side, so will likely not justify his elevated price tag (and Charlie Curnow is just $26k more expensive with some scoring history).



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5 thoughts on “2022 Team Preview – Collingwood”

  1. Great write up KB! Any idea what lead to Pendles dropping 43 & 50 in rounds 10 & 11 last year? Playing injured or just poor games?


    1. Hi Chips, not precisely as Collingwood did not divulge exactly what injury he was carrying at the time. But after the game the following was reported on fox sports, “Pendlebury again spent most of Saturday’s game in the forward line and had no centre bounce attendances for the second week in a row. “Yes, he is (carrying an injury) … and no (I can’t go into more detail),” Buckley said. “I can tell you that he put his finger into Josh Thomas’ mouth about three weeks ago before the Sydney game and had to have stitches onto the end of a finger that is already as manky as all hell.””

      Hope that helps, but he definitely was not moving anywhere near as freely for a lot of last year.


  2. Great to cap off the Previews with a community contribution. Great work, KB.

    Would love your take on who now covers Roughead with Dean down. Looks to be Kelly or Kreuger from what I’m reading, but Kelly trained mostly forward over the pre-season.


    On Pies players, just N. Daicos and Grundy for me rn. Had De Goey last year but doesn’t look to be back in that same role and had a very poor pre-season.

    Thanks again, KB. Excellent stuff.


    1. Hi Gunboat,

      Yeah I imagine Krueger is basically locked now but not sure at which end of the ground, probably more likely he swings back. Means Kelly is in the mix vs Cox (fwd) or Magden (back) most likely as the other tall (Moore, Cameron, Grundy, Mihocek the others).

      I have the same two Pies + Kelly (selection pending) and currently JDG. Those scores are very hard to ignore. Preseason has been horrible but they seem determined to play him through the middle. Definitely pending the weekends game but is an easy swap for me to T. Thomas or Heeney.



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