The 2022 Bombers are an enigma to many, but all we long suffering fans want is a Finals win… preferably against Carlton as they stole a Finals win at our expense during the “alleged” drug taking saga.
The 2021 Draft appears to have seen a gem slip through to the Bombers in Hobbs with many believing him to be the equal of JHF and N Daicos, and arguably the best pure mid in the draft. Two excellent draft years in a row with 2020 draftees Cox and Jones looking like 200 gamers and Perkins has that hungry small Richmond forward look about him.
However, for the Bombers to really go places, it’s the bevy of mid-range players that hold the key. I’m not holding my breath, but if Shiel can regain his form when he joined the Bombers, and Smith get back to anywhere near his B&F form, that is effectively two additional recruits. All of Snelling, Redman, Draper, Guelfi, Langford, McGrath, and Laverde are in that number of games zone that could see break out years… just 2 or 3 to do so and the Bombers win Finals.
Apart from Melbourne and Doggies, the Bombers are very well served in the middle these days, and if Caldwell gets on the park regularly there’s another one.
The Package and Tippa? It’s the 30 minute mark of the 2022 Granny, Bombers 5 points down. Stringer out of the middle… long to the top of the goal square, ball spills free…………… you know the rest!!!
Lock and Load: For me the only LL is Jordan Ridley ($537 100), but Nick Hind ($506 200) also played 21 games last year, and was a real surprise package, continuing the trend of skilful Forwards becoming attacking Defenders. The arrival of James Kelly ($372 900) should mean Ridley takes the third Forward, meaning more intercept marks. If he takes 7-8 kick ins each week, and 3-4 intercept marks, his weekly score is well underwritten. Could go 110ppg.
Feeling Lucky: Mason Redman ($410 800) if you are looking for a solid Defender who could break out, and save you some dollars. He has become an automatic selection, and loves running downfield for a long goal. I think he can lift his ppg to around 85 which makes him an affordable starting D6, before being a final upgrade type. And then of course… there is HURLEY!
Money Maker: Garret McDonagh ($117 300) is an absolute bench lock if he plays Round 1. Mature age recruit with a body ready to go, beautiful left foot delivery in the style of Caleb Daniel but extra 10 metres of penetration. Looks like one who could be fed the ball for the second disposal from defence, becoming a dual weapon with Hind. With his kicking skills, there will be great SC points per disposal.
Lock and Load: Really only two choices here… surprise surprise!! Zach Merrett ($625 700) is ultra-consistent having missed only three games in five years… played 22 in 2021. Just a set and forget type who is boring in many respects as he’s not going to rip out too many 150+ games… UNLESS Truck can get him to add 2-3 contested possessions a game, and he can kick 15-20 goals in a season. Looks to now be able to shake a tag better than a few years ago, so those nasty 70 point games look a thing of the past. Darcy Parish ($621 300) must be thanking his lucky stars that Rutten took over and cast him free in the Mids. I remember watching him in his first game in the round 2 of the drug year and thinking what a natural mid he was. I would prefer to wait on Parish and see how opposition tactics go with him, so Merrett remains my only LL, and saves you some $70k compared with the other uber-Mids.
Feeling Lucky: Couple of options here. Dylan Shiel ($361 100) is priced at 68ppg and his best could still be 90-100 after a couple of horrific years, but will he get enough mid time? Capable of kicking goals better than any Bomber Mid other than Stringer. I hear his colour blindness has been fixed and he will this year kick the pill to his teammates! Andrew McGrath ($464 600) is awkwardly priced, but had outstanding first two years as a #1 draft pick before injuries hit… also could get back to 90+. Jye Caldwell ($266 700) is probably the best candidate here… The Giants didn’t want to let him go, and he hasn’t had a fair crack at it yet. I’d watch his first few games, and priced at only 50ppg, he could be an early correction trade if on fire. His starting price means he could quickly be used to upgrade, unlike lower priced rookies.
Money Maker: HOBBS, HOBBS, HOBBS, HOBBS ($153 300). Even in the unlikely event he doesn’t play R1, pick him… you will save a trade later.
Lock and Load: Nothing to see here.
Feeling Lucky: Sam Draper ($396 400) could easily be your R2. I hear he has been taking kicking lessons from Dylan Shiel so what could possibly go wrong!
Money Maker: If for any Reason Nick Bryan ($166 600) gets a run, he is an excitement machine. Don’t be surprised if he takes Wright’s spot up forward if TMP has a bad run of form, or Harry Jones gets injured. Bryan’s price was sadly inflated by one good game in 2021. Downgrade target for the old one up, one down.
Did I say enigma?
Lock and Load: Looks to be so many options this year, e.g. Cogs, that can provide both points and cash. The Package ($506 800)? You will love Stringer’s 5 goal, 10 contested clearances and 150pt games, then despair at his run of sub 80pt games. I’ll feel happier just sitting back and enjoying the good, and not having to worry about the bad, but if you like excitement in your SC… go for it!
Feeling Lucky: Who else but Devon Smith ($351 200)? I’d say nicely priced rather than awkwardly priced for an ex B+F winner priced at 66ppg. Stepping stone, or part of a one up/one down, especially given the extra trades.
Money Maker: Another mature age recruit who will most certainly get game time is Kaine Baldwin ($123 900) . May not start, but when selected, and you need a downgrade target, he will fit the bill nicely. Bench if selected R1. JONES ($264 000), my 2021 love child, is the only other option…. long term key Forward role is all his, but may not quite be ready to pull the points needed to be a big cash generator. Josh Eyre ($123 900) is a highly regarded key defender who was injured last year, and has the lovely D/F DPP.
To summarise, I will be starting Ridley as my only premo Bomber, and then possibly Draper, but can make the case for 3 rookies. If all selected for example, which they won’t be of course, in order I would choose Hobbs, McDonagh and Baldwin.
Leave a comment / Scroll to bottom
19 thoughts on “2022 Team Preview – Essendon”
David King was very complementary on SEN this morning about how good Shiel looked in the Essendon intraclub. Back to his best he was saying.
Roo Bloke….PLEASE don’t tempt me !!!
Its very easy to star in a February intra club game.
Great write up Wighty, I agree with you 100%. If their mid range blokes can fire they’ll be a decent side this year
Great write up Wighty!
Stringer was a lot of fun to own last season!
If he can come in fit and with a similar role to last season he’d be one to definitely consider.
Thanks Abs. I see he is currently nursing a groin…nasty things those !!
I have him most years but buyer beware with Merrett, read he spent some time down back in his match sim, something to watch the next couple of weeks.
You mentioned quite a few players there, the only surprise…. No 2M Peter. He’s going to be the Key spearhead on a team with one of the best attacks in football.
He’s DPP and his forward rucking should rise his price floor. Awkwardly priced but if you are playing for overall he’s an undervalued DPP F6 final upgrade
Jsg, mentioned TMP in the rucks…just don’t think he is SC relevant.
Stringer got a new contract… cue back in the rack for another 2 seasons?
Reckon he still has lots to prove….he’s the type of player that can win a game in 5-10 minutes, a bit like Dusty.
Oh to dream it was in a Granny……!!!
Thoughts on Heppell?????
As Captain Blood once said, “a good ordinary player”. His age is now in the decline bracket, and I reckon others have higher ceilings, albeit Heppell does have a low floor. Reckon he struggles to be top 8 defs by year end.
Will Hurley and maybe Heppell kicking in effect Ridleys scoring ???
Dont think Hurley will be having an impact until later in the year if at all….Heppell took some kick ins last year, but reckon Ri8dley still takes most of them. Dons look to get the ball to their runners when kicking in so it makes sense that Ridley takes most of them.
Comprehensive preview, Wighty. Nice work.
Riddles an absolute lock for me, Hobbs also looks like he’ll line up R1 and I’ve been heavily considering Parish (4% ownership) – just a matter of how many premo MIDs I roll with.
Thanks GD…reckon you are on the money with Ridley and Hobbs….Hobbs will get a lot of contested ball…SC gold as we all know. Parish lines up against so many in the same price range, but I just have a feeling he will be no 1 tagged at the hangar…more dangerous than Merrett at cba’s, and Stringer is virtually untaggable when in there.
I reckon McGrath will be the suprise mid to ‘break out’ at the lab rats resort/aka tullamarine this year and Parish will be the one who loses most because of it.
Draper also looking like a great budget ruck option.
I don’t really see a place for Hobbs early on unless Shiel, Caldwell and/or Mcgrath break before things start.
Jones is made of fairy floss so having Baldwin on the bench is a safe play, if he’s not named rnd 1 he will come in to replace the broken Jones in rnd 2
Screen shot !!
Thought ‘Pops’ Kelly was making a comeback there for a second!
Started Zach last year and can confirm that he is a nice, safe, boring pick that everyone will ignore. Gets oodles of the pill and (as long as he doesn’t belt somebody) very rarely misses a game. Only 3% ownership is sick but we’re all looking for something a bit sexier at this time of year.
Have low expectations for Hobbs and McDonagh getting a game. High expectations for cash growth if they do.