2023 Team Preview – Melbourne

Written by Freo Tragic on February 16 2023


In 2022 Melbourne looked unbeatable before the byes. Then a series of unfortunate events somewhat derailed their season. Freo beat them at the MCG, Gawn and Lever missed a few games, Petracca’s knee was strapped and Clarry broke his hand. This all led to an underwhelming finals series, with The Dee’s out in straight sets. Putting a line through 2022, this year Melbourne have one of the strongest lists in the competition, and guys like Grundy and Hunter can only make it better. This team would have to do a heap wrong not to make the eight. My tip is they finish anywhere from 2nd to 6th.  This makes for slim pickings in the rookie department , but there are quite a few relevant premiums to choose from. Their round 14 bye makes them even more appealing in my book.


Lock and Load: Angus Brayshaw ($550 300). Not sexy, but safe. I really admire the work rate from both the Brayshaw brothers. Everyone’s heard the stories about the Xmas day sprints, They want to get better, and you just know they wont give up. Brayshaw the elder, averaged 100 playing mostly back last year. He is super fit and never misses a game. He just signed a long term deal and he see’s himself as a midfielder.I just can’t see a world where he doesn’t get more midfield time this year. He brings something different and is quite underrated with ball in hand. I think there’s enough upside with very little risk in picking Angus as a defensive premium in 2023. He’s in my current draft at time of writing.

Feeling Lucky: This spot has long been reserved for Christian Salem ($390 300). I was just warming to this man then, alas, Salem went and got himself in the news with a thyroid problem. Already awkwardly priced, Salem really needed a heap to go right for this pick to work. It’s a pass for me with this unfortunate preseason news. Just quickly Jake Lever ($375 700) is priced at only 68 due to an injury interrupted 2022. He averaged 91 in 2021. There’s probably not quite enough meat on the bone in Classic, though he could be a sneaky draft selection, for some canny coaches.


Lock and Load: Next up is Clayton Oliver ($699 000). My team just doesn’t look right without this man. He’s simply a top shelf captaincy option every week. Maybe you  prefer to go with Laird, he’s also very consistent. I just feel Clarry has the higher ceiling, is younger and playing for a better team. To make the decision even easier, he now has silver service from the best two rucks in the league. As Yaz famously sang, “the only way is up”. If anyone can go 130 plus this year, I’d back Clayton. My advice to sleep better at night, pop Oliver in your SuperCoach side.

Feeling Lucky: Mercurial  is the word that comes to mind when I think of Christian Petracca ($618 600). In the conversation for the best player in the league, Christian can certainly turn it on on his day. His variable scoring make him a difficult one to look at as a starter in SuperCoach. He could go on a tear early and help you kick start a great season. He could also spend more time forward and go missing for a few games. I’m not sure why, but Oliver averaged  15 points more ( usually ~$150K ) and is only ~$90K more. So compared to Pertacca, Oliver is somehow a bargain at $699k lol . Look to get Petracca in when he has a nice run of games coming up and drops to around that $550k mark.


Feeling Lucky: No one could predict that our set and forget ruck combo from the last 4-5 years in Max Gawn ($622 100) and Brodie Grundy ($512 900) would be playing for the same team. I don’t need to tell you guys that these guys are proven scorers as solo rucks. After years of uber premium scoring, they both had lower output in 2022. This means that they  start this year as low as they have been priced in years. The question is, how can you seriously look at them when they are both in the same side ? Pre-season games should give us a better look at the ruck split. Maybe one of them may spends more time forward and gets R/F DPP ?  Maybe they split it 50/50 and both average 100 ? There’s just too many questions around these two to lock in either as starters for me. If I had to pick one its Grundy at that cheaper price.


Money Maker:  Could Jacob van Rooyen ($123 900) be the key to Dee’s future forward line? The 193cm, 93kg, 19 year old, certainly looks like he’s ready to take the next step. Had a very strong season with the Dees inner circle and onlookers having nothing but good things to say. The Melbourne fans I’ve spoken to think he is a good shot to line up Round 1. Although he should receive enough ball to score okay, as a key forward in his first year I wouldn’t plan to field him. Look to have him at F7 or F8 if he gets that round one gig. He may be a bit of  slow burn, but at his low price only needs one great spike game, and he should make enough cash to be worth it.



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10 thoughts on “2023 Team Preview – Melbourne”

  1. Excellent review, FT, continuing the outstanding team reviews that all the contributors have posted this year.

    All the best for ’23.


    1. Thanks CT.

      I’m really trying to lift my game after some outstanding Team Previews have really pushed the bar this year. Lets hope their SuperCoach game is worse than their writing, or I’m no chance in the Contributors league.

      Your coaches box updates continue to be invaluable, Its actually starting to get a little exciting with preseason hit outs approaching. Thanks again and good luck to you in 2023.


  2. Yep. Agree on all counts, FT.

    Satan a must have, G&G to cancel each other out, Racca will get to a M8 price at some stage and a line through Salem after the thyroid news.

    Good word on Greene (HAW) the other day, so looking like he and van Rooyen can sit at F7 & F8 together nicely.


    1. “Rookie forward Fergus Greene also put his hand up for Round 1 selection after producing a strong performance.”

      Hawthorn Football Club match sim report.


    1. Baker’s at the Doggies, P.

      Been mixed mail.

      Strong early pre-season, was in the frame, then in the B side during a match sim, but good word from last week’s training. In and out.

      Has a lot of guys to beat out for that HF rotation role.

      Fine as a placeholder now though.



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