Despite never making the finals, can 2023 be the year the Suns play finals footy? Not only has it been difficult to build a club from the ground up, but many would also argue that it’s nearly impossible to grow your club without any on-field success, and even more so when you’re located in the Gold Coast. So that leaves the Stewart Dew, and the Suns desperate to become a winning team, and it seems from the outside that the players have bought into the system presented, and are frothing at the mouth for some success.
Ben Long ($353,900)
After bouncing between roles at the Saints, a move to the Suns has given Long potential relevancy in SC. Looking set to play off halfback, the news that Will Powell will be be out for 6-8 weeks opens up even more necessity for the former Saint down back. In round 23 last season, Long was deployed off of halfback for the Saints, which resulted in a monstrous score of 142 points in his farewell game. Not much to add onto Long at this point, his role and output is yet to be seen in the GC side. Keep an eye-on him during the practice games to further confirm how his scoring potential looks.
Charlie Constable ($123,900)
The latest word is that we’ll see Constable move to halfback in an effort to revitalise his career. However, seeing Constable at 19% ownership was actually quite baffling to myself. He’s firmly a VFL player, and barring an injury crisis would be a major doubt to get a run of games. Definitely avoid at this stage.
Lock and Load
Touk Miller ($662,400)
Maybe I’m not the right person to discuss Touk, as I’m not starting him. But at the same time, maybe a contrarian opinion is exactly what someone as bloody good as Touk needs. First question would be a simple, “will Touk finish a top 8 midfielder?” And quite frankly, barring a catastrophic injury (which is unheard of for this Ironman), Touk will absolutely be a top 8 midfielder, with plenty of room to improve upon his 2022 season. Will Round 13 (Cats & GCS have a bye) be a best of 18 round? So why would someone not start Touk Miller? Four words, the early season draw. Within the first four fixtures, the Suns play Essendon, and St Kilda who will almost certainly tag Touk. The other two fixtures in his first four are Sydney and Geelong, both of which he failed to score past 125 last season. Sure Touk can break through a tag and still respectably ton up, while also putting up 140+ against any four of those teams. But, my personal strategy on Touk is hoping he can be an early upgrade at a discounted price. There’s every possibility Miller explodes and reaches 700k+, but we can’t own them all in Supercoach, and fading certain ”must haves” is a strategy that often gets overlooked. If you’re starting Touk Miller, let me know in the comments what has you firmly locked onto him (besides the obvious).
Noah Anderson ($552,900)
Ever improving with a 83.6 point average in his second year, 100.4 point average in his third year, there’s no doubt in my mind, that Noah Anderson can push 110 this season. The soon-to-be 23 year old had a season of two halves in 2022. Averaging 110.3 points post-bye with 4/10 scores being 125+ and a low score of only 85, while averaging 91.5 with a low-score of 55, while only going 125+ once. I’ve gone and looked at his CBA’s and heat-map for the season, and this was my findings. Pre-bye, his CBA percentage dipped below 65% in 6/11 games. (Namely the games he scored 55, 78, 88, 78, and 89 points in). Pre-bye, the games he attended 80+ percent of CB’s he scored: 106, 111, 133, and 62 against the Bulldogs at Mars stadium, worth noting Touk Miller scored 59 points this game). Using the same logic if we analyse his post-bye CBA figures, Noah only went below 65 percent CBA’s in two games, but was still at a healthy load with both games being above 60%. He scored 87, and 105 in those two games. Andersons median pre-bye was 62 CBA. His post-bye median was 76. A significant uptick. A lot of figures to comprehend, but my key takeaways were that it wasn’t a coincidence that Anderson had a much stronger second half of the season. If we also condense his CBA averages further, games where he had between 60-78% CBA’s he averaged 101.3 points. And in games where he had 80+%, he averaged 109 points. Causation, correlation? You be the judge.
Another couple of factors I’ll quickly go-over, Noah’s kick/handball ratio is quite favourable, he didn’t have a single game where he had more handballs than kicks. As GC continue to improve, it’s not Touk that will explode as a result (I mean he will), but it will be Rowell, and Anderson who continue to build into their roles. That I feel will continue to be a big part of that success. Is Anderson in your considerations with all the alternative options around the 500k mark?
Lock and Load
Jarrod Witts ($605,100)
firstly I’d employ you to go read Gunboat Diplomacy’s article on 2023 Rucks, just a great read that covers a lot of important information on the open ruck line in 2023. Here’s the excerpt on Jarrod Witts from that write-up that covers every possible point I would have mentioned.
Are we all looking at it wrong? Given how open the landscape is could the move be to just pay up for the most established, safe option in Witts instead of dicking around with all these flyer options? Witts is a known quality from 2022: out of nowhere ramped up to a career best average of 109.9 even after a prolonged hiatus from the game due to injury, dropping 8 scores of 130+ and smoking the rest of the ruck options. He’s accordingly priced as such this time around. You’d think we’d all be jumping on him but something just doesn’t quite feel right – which Lazza the other day summarized far better than I ever could:
“He is over priced… Might pay to look at Witt’s top scores last season … he had 13 tons with many of them against second string rucks and 8 rounds at 90 or less .. 154 vs Pittonet, 136 v Cameron, 132 v Ladhams, 131 v Sweet, 119 vs Koschitzke, 148 v Finlayson and 133 v McEvoy (2nd game back after long injury lay-off) .. his draw afforded perfect “timing” to inflate his average…”
The stars aligned last year and, of course to his credit, Witts just decimated the soft ruck fixture that was in his path. Opens the season against Hickey, who is the most restrictive ruck in the comp, but otherwise has a decent opening 6. Just a matter of whether you want to pay up 600k for him at the top of price when there are premo DEFs and MIDs at the same price (or more) who can put him away.
Sam Flanders ($256,300)
After a strong finish in his final 8 VFL matches (as an on-baller), averaging 35 disposals and 142 SC points, strung together with a strong pre-season, Flanders has found himself in consideration by coaches. The big asterisk next to his name is the fact he won’t slot directly into the Suns midfield. However, if we continue to look at the CBA’s of 2022, it’s evident that David Swallow was firmly the fourth choice racking up around 30-40% of CBA’s. There’s no reason if the hype truly is real, that Flanders could find a place in the team, and accumulate some of that load. Definitely one to watch during the practice games upcoming. But at this stage, considering his competition, points required to make the money you’d hope he’d make, he’s a pass for mine.
Ben King ($176,300)
Returning from an ACL injury which ruled him out for the entirety of 2022, many are skeptical of the amount of cash King could generate. Averaging 41.4 in 2019, 55.6 in 2020, and 53.4 points in 2021 isn’t inspiring by any means. But, lack of service while also playing in the goal square getting double teamed didn’t do him any favours in the past. Definitely need to monitor his role in pre-season, look to see him push up the ground more as that could be the key to a successful season for Ben King. You’d want him to add about 10-15 points to his past averages, coming off an ACL injury, that may too big an ask.
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