First Glance 2019 – FWDs

Written by Schwarzwalder on January 13 2019

The last line of the team at first glance…….the forward line…….or as it will be known in 2019: Danger-Plus-Five 😉


Patrick Dangerfield (GEE) $661k – Is the obvious #1 choice for the FWD line. Will be in every team but for good reason. Had an ‘ordinary’ season in 2018 and still avgd 121. A proven uber-elite who was already covered extensively by Thommo during his 12 Days Of Christmas series.

Tom Lynch (RIC) $426k – Perhaps I’m just an excited Tigers fan but surely Lynch will see an increase in his SC-output this season? He should see some better delivery of the ball and more importantly, more often! Whether it’s enough to crack the Top10 FWDs is another question. (Very excited to see how he goes in the yellow ‘n black!) 😉

Luke Dahlhaus (GEE) $418k – He’s been a regular pick up forward in Supercoach for the last couple of seasons and I’m still quite flummaxed as to why he needed to leave the Bulldogs. His spot in the midfield seemed to be taken over by the likes of Dunkley and McLean maybe? Still just 26 years of age so there is still plenty to offer his new team. Perhaps a change of luck will come with a change of team. Would be nice to see him rotating through the middle with Ablett. Averaged 91, 96, 104 & 91 between 2014 & 2017.

Rory Lobb (FRE) $412k – He was in many Coaches’ calculations this time last year before injuring his knee during the pre-season. With Sandi getting on, he’s sure to see plenty of ruck time and improve on his 75avg. Very handy acquisition with the duso.

JJK (WCE) $398k – Had little luck with injury last year. Still the #1 target at the Eagles and they constantly look for him when moving forward. You can be sure the Eagles will have some big wins against some of the weaker teams at Home. His numbers will improve sharply if his body is right.

Toby Greene (GWS) $355k – Top6 FWD if his body is right. Will be a popular choice.


And how does your Danger-Plus-Five-Line look at this stage?  Do you agree with my initial observations?

Thank you for reading through my First Glance series! Tomorrow we start with our Team Previews for 2019……enjoy!


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50 thoughts on “First Glance 2019 – FWDs”

  1. Danger is the only 1 I have there. I had Greene too until I found out his is injured ATM.

    The rest of them seem underpriced, but there at a price where they need to be top6-8 otherwise there in no man’s land and I have enough doubt in all of them being capable.


    1. I’m running with Danger, Heeney, Dunkley and 5 rookies atm. Forwards look good to me this year, premos & rookies. Wouldn’t be surprised if top6 forwards average 100+


      1. I have the same, I wanted Greene too just for more forward depth before the injury cloud and don’t feel comfortable with others so far.


    2. Hey Phil,
      I saw your comment re Greene, just checked GWS web-site and see that he hasn’t started running as yet. Which means he is unlikely to start before R4. Given that, he will be a good upgrade target around R6 .


  2. The FWD line for me has actually been the most settled so far with Danger, Wingard and Heeney as the 3 premiums and then 5 rookies. If there isn’t a surplus of rookies, then either Gray or Greene will be F4. And I do like the Kennedy selection as if he goes large in the first few weeks it will really put you ahead of the pack and could make some very quick cash.


  3. Ive got danger and Heeney at locks at this stage but am very interested in the rest of the forward line – perhaps more so than any other line.

    Menegola and Tim Kelly at the cats both have the ability to regularly hit 120+ and average 100+. Simply a matter of how much midfield time they get to be justifying their price.

    Then there’s the high reward risky picks of the likes of walters, hogan, dunkley and C Curnow. All have gone large on many occasions and are in theory underpriced but are yet to play a full season at that level.

    Honestly tempted to just take Danger, Heeney and Menegola as 3 set and forget forwards (at least based on their history).


    1. Dunkley looked very promising at the start of next year and well and truly delivered… problem is now his price is questionable.

      Tim Kelly probably fails the uncontracted player test, especially given what his missus had to say about the club. Caution advised there.

      Menegola drifts into and out of coaches favouritism. Dunno why, he’s the best forward they have except Danger. Might also be severely impacted by Dahlhaus.

      Given the Dahlhaus thing, Menegola and Kelly are both risky imho.


  4. I tend to always over rate the forwards.. as I go down the list I just think to myself, 100+ average here, 100+ average there. Wouldn’t be surprised seeing all of Dangerfield (obviously), Franklin, Menegola, Smith, Heeney, Gray, Dunkley, McLean, Kelly, Wingard, Walters, Greene all average 100+ but has there ever been a season where there were 10, 100+ forwards?


    1. Not even 8 in the last 7 seasons. But I don’t know before that. History says it’s unlikely but there is a first time for everything!

      It’d be interesting if you were a Cats fan. Whilst it obviously wouldn’t work for the byes, you could go:
      Dangerfield, Hawkins, Menegola, T.Kelly, Parfitt, Dahlhaus (Ratugolea, Cockatoo)
      and likely do very well!? 😉


      1. Touching on Geelong i think Danger, Selwood, Duncan are Geelongs go to midfielders for this year id imagine (no surprises clearly).

        If i was Scott id then rotate Ablett and Kelly between forward and midfield with pinch hits from Menegola, Dahl and a few others (S.Selwood, Guthrie). Also to note Narkle has been touted to spend more time in the middle this season and we may also see constable get some opportunities.

        But at the end of the day Chris Scott doesn’t even know what to do half the time so even have a cats fan i wouldn’t have a clue what his going to do (A team of 22 mids wouldn’t even surprise me!)

        Id wait and see what happens early in the season and look at the likes of Menegola, Dahl and Kelly as upgrade targets once there roles become more clear.


    2. Greene averaged only 90 in a year he was the best flanker in the comp by a mile (20 disposals and 2 goals a game) and 96 the next year. They were insane years in terms of playing performance, Greene has to better those to get 100.

      Smith broke tackle records, kicked nearly a goal a game and had no niggles and still didn’t crack 100. Shiel and a fully fit Merrett mean there isn’t any likely inherent increased ball winning ability.

      Walters is now 28 and hasn’t cracked 90 in a season yet. Firmly in the career teaser bracket.

      Kelly and McLean both need to put 6-7 points on a game to crack it.

      Even Hawkins had an anomalous 20 point breakout which is unlikely to be repeated.

      Dangerfield will crack it easy but I believe the next tier (Heeney, Menegola, Buddy, couple of spec picks like Dunkley or Wingard) will be around 99-100 max.


  5. I’m thinking the forwards will be the easiest to pick up after a quiet game. Also because there are probably so many in the same bracket you will have ample opportunity to snag the ones you want. As opposed to midfield and ruck, your timing has to be perfect for that one player I. E, Gawn, macrae, cripps etc. Where as in the forwards if you miss one just grab the next.


  6. I think there are plenty of great options up forward. At this stage I am…

    Danger, Heeney D Smith, Menegola, all with dpp. Cavarra and McAdam hopefully starting rookies, and two unknown rookies. Danger and menegola both currently ok with byes planning.


  7. I’m on a completely different wavelength to everyone else apparently, cos I’m having a real hard time being able to select forward premos with confidence outside of Danger and Heeney. With this in mind, I’m going to list every major FWD premo and what my issue with them is, and hopefully a few of you can talk me into some of them.

    Tom Hawkins – Had a stellar year last year, but no indication he can back it up as it was his best season by about 20ppg, and it’s odd for players to “break out” so late in their career. Also KPP.

    Justin Westhoff – With Lycett in the team, he won’t get as much opportunity in the ruck. Role also unclear. Also a KPP.

    Lance Franklin – Seems to be carrying something all the time these days, also an absolute rollercoaster and will drop in price significantly at some point during the season.

    Sam Menegola – Also a rollercoaster who may bottom out, and unsure if he’ll get midfield minutes with the addition of Dahl.

    Devon Smith – Probably the premo I’m closest to picking at F3, pretty consistent scores, however how much midfield time will he get this year with Shiel coming in and younger players like Langford and McGrath likely to get a run?

    Tom McDonald – Rollercoaster KPP who will bottom out at some point, also didn’t finish the year super strong.

    Robbie Gray – If he was guaranteed permanent spot in the midfield he’d be a no-brainer, but unfortunately as long as he splits his time between mid and forward I’m steering clear.

    Jack Gunston – Too up and down, changes roles too much to be considered.

    David Mundy – Getting up there in age and likely to be pushed out of the midfield by Freo’s young guns.

    Luke Breust – Again, way too up and down, and still unsure if he truly broke out or just had a big purple patch in the middle of the season.

    Josh Dunkley/Toby McLean/Mitch Wallis – All guns when played in the midfield, but Mr. Magnets really makes me nervous about starting any of them.

    Tim Kelly – Another premo I’m strongly considering, but again was very up and down last year, he’ll probably drop in price at some point during the year.

    Jack Riewoldt – Getting older and will have to share points with Lynch this year. Also KPP.

    Jesse Hogan – KPP, injury prone, and a new club. Too many question marks.

    Mitch Robinson – Injury prone and inconsistent, may get pushed out of the midfield by Neale and young guns.

    Kane Lambert – Far too inconsistent and burned me last year when I started with him. No thanks.

    Chad Wingard – Another I’m strongly considering but too many question marks around role, effort level, and Hawthorn’s midfield as a whole without Titch.

    I honestly cannot pick any of these players in confidence at the moment, surely someone can talk me into one of them?


    1. Lol, what’s the chances of heeney getting more forward time…But I’m with you. Just got danger and heeny so far. Thinking of going expensive rookies to hopefully get to 300,000 quicker, and cashing them in to which ever promo throws up a 40 first. Rinse then repeat.


      1. Which is why I’d rather start with heaps of rookies in my forward line if possible and then upgrade later in the season, where hopefully a few of these question marks hanging over these players will have been removed, or a KPP/rollercoaster player has bottomed out and I can get him cheap.


        1. Was a game of two halves last year, if you remember. Only Westhoff was a top6 FWD in both halves of the year. Off the top of my head it was something like:
          From half: Smith, McLean, Gray, Sicily and Darling
          Back half: Hawkins, Riewoldt, Wingard, Dunkley and Franklin!!
          The consistent ones that would have saved trades were: Westhoff, Smith and Menegola

          Danger and Smith make perfect sense to start, but who else with any real certainty. Between Dunkley and Heeney for mine.


          1. To be fair, Sicily and Darling only lost their spots through injury, and Gray and McLean lost their spots due to less midfield time, so I think it’s safe to say that those four would have at least been close to top 6 if all of that didn’t happen.


    2. I can only see 3 clear premos. Danger, Heeney and Devon Smith. Everything else is a lottery with a lot of if’s.

      Of course, we usually can only afford about 3 starting premos in any one part of our lineup and then are relying on if’s and budget pickups anyway…


    3. Tom McDonald is the opposite of a rollercoaster KPP.

      For context, in games where he kicked 0 or 1 goals, he scored 93 and 90 (in finals), 80, 103 and 39. 1 bad game all year? He dropped below 80 only twice. That is a superb consistency for a non mid.


      1. Just want to add he plays so high up the ground he isn’t a Hawkins/JJK/Brown level of up and down. He is pretty much model of consistency. His 39 was his lowest TOG% too for the year and again, one of only 2 scores below 80 for the year. Further he finished the year `down` with an av of 90 from his last 5 , and averaged 95 in his 3 (i.e. a tougher draw shouldn’t hurt).


  8. My fwd line so far is Danger, Heeney, Worpel and rookies w/Setterfield amongst them (not in my midfield). Worpel unsure but I jumped on him after Titch went down. Changes often and previously had Devon Smith at F3, but ended up using the money in the midfield. Danger and Heeney were easy to pick, seems it’s how everyone is going. Might drop out Heeney for someone else as a bit of a POD 😉


  9. Ben.

    You make some great points re forwards this year.

    When I am deciding on forwards , I find it easier to rate them out of 10 and list them by their bye weeks.You only really want to start 2 at the most from any Bye week. This leaves you the most options when upgrading pre Byes. So for me the 3/4 best missing each round are:

    Round 12 bye.

    D. Smith. $531 300. (9/10)

    Tackle machine. Did enough last year to deserve his midfield spot. I think he is a very safe bet for top6 forward this year.

    R Gray. $525 500. (8.5/10)

    With Wingard and Polec gone, surely he needs to spend more time in the midfield. Even if he doesn’t he has the talent to average 95+ as a full time forward.

    D Mundy $ 520 900. (8/10)

    Just like Walters he will spit his time forward and mid, but I rate Mundy higher due to his durability. Doesn’t have a huge ceiling but rarely puts up a stinker either.

    Wingard $481 100. (7.5/10)

    Is a close 4th and may thrive with Titch missing.

    Round 13 Bye:

    Danger $660 500. (10/10)

    First picked. Lock, Enough said.

    Heeney $529 200. (9.5/10)

    Training with the midfield group. The kids got all the talent in the world. I smell a breakout to uber premium. Lock

    Menegola $543 100. (8/10)

    Solid performer. No value at that price but a pretty safe bet to be top 10 forward again.

    Round 14 Bye.

    Nobody really stands out here unfortunately. I would prefer to start a round 14 bye premo. It just leaves more options when upgrading. Maybe one of these guys?

    Toby Greene $354 600. and Tom Lynch $425 600.

    Both underpriced but come with some risk attached. Toby’s body (and mind sometimes) are made of crepe paper. Lynch is no certainty to average 95+ let alone be top 10 forward.
    I will only really be considering these guys as a F4 if we have a forward rookie drought.

    So (for now) I’m starting Danger , Smith and Heeney.

    Then looking at R Gray or maybe Wingard as my pre Bye upgrade.

    Hope you all have a great weekend.


    1. Very interesting way of looking at it, and dare I say it, almost convinced me to start Smith. Definitely needs some more thought.


    2. Ben & Freo Tragic,
      If you’re going to go to so much trouble with your comments, then you leave me no choice but to give them their own thread 😉


  10. Great insights by all. I’m in a very similar boat to most… Danger, Heeney, but I’ve got Daniher as F3 ($278k), Setterfield, Rookies.

    Be very interested in coaches take on Daniher for relevance this year.



    1. If he’s looking like he’s over that groin, he’s a lock at D4 for mine. However, that is a HUGE if. Definitely one to watch in JLT.


      1. Thanks Ben! That’s the approach I reckon.

        Good luck to you this season, and thanks again for all your thoughts above 🙂


    2. Daniher sounds a long way off being right. I’d be looking at him as either a downgrade trarget or a correction.


  11. I am currently rolling with
    Danger, Smith, Greene, Rankine, Setterfield, Rookies

    The only other FWD I would consider is Heeney and depending on team structure he may come in still.


  12. Darcy Moore was probably good to go by the first final last year.He will be filling a vital role this year.I think he popped over to Germany to get his hammies right. IF he stays on the park he’ll be an 70+ ave.Worth the risk?


    1. Not sure flying overseas to get your hammys looked at is a good sign! Plus never averaged over 62 before so massive risk. Although as a pies fan he did look good in defence last year, fingers crossed he can stay on the park


  13. Danger Dunkley, Smith locked for me so far, may restructure team to get Wingard at F4. With Titch out he screams value


  14. Hey Ben, Freo and Shwarz, love your work.
    I too am in a quandary … the FWD line to me is the great unknown… (I’m planning to load theDEF line as a result)
    Danger and Heeney are also my two locks. I want Menegola as well but may wait for him to drop in price. I had Greene, but it looks like his season start will be delayed a month or so. I’m now looking at starting with either Riewoldt or JJK.
    I think Riewoldt will be the big FWD mover this year. I’m convinced he will be SC Top 3. Tom Lynch’s arrival, the set starting positions will play to Riewoldt lead-up the ground and Dusty hitting him chest-high out of the middle just resonates.
    And I’m considering Rory Lobb, not as a FWD, but as R2.


  15. Hey Lazza.

    I think you might be right about Jack Riewoldt.
    Most years a KPP bobs up and finishes in the top few forwards.
    Hawkings did it last year. Buddy has done it before.
    Maybe this is Jacks year?

    I usually don’t like to start KPP’s as they have their ups and downs, and can sometimes be picked up cheaper after a down game or two.
    Jack does have that nice R14 bye as well. I might look at him as an early upgrade.

    I too have looked at starting either Lobb or Lycett at R2 with the view to move them forward. I sleep better with ruck cover.
    I think both are underpriced if they get the main ruck duties.Its really hard to judge them as they are both joining new clubs this year.
    Lobb is behind both Sandy and Darcy to play ruck, and I’m not sure Forward / Pinch hitting ruck will allow Lobb enough opportunities to score well.(90+)
    Lycett although a few $ more, is only behind a pretty brittle Ryder at Port.
    If Ryder gets injured again, I will be seriously considering Lycett at R2

    Happy planning 🙂


    1. I’m still not sold on Jack, his scores seem to correlate pretty heavily with goals kicked. He had 9 tons last year and kicked 4+ in all of them but 1, where he kicked 3.

      He also had 9 games where he kicked 2 goals or less (removing the one injury effected game), and he scored 80 or less in 6 of them, including a score of 35.

      I just wonder how he’ll go not being the focal point of Richmond’s forward line, and probably making way for Lynch to be kicking most of the goals.


      1. Agree on that Ben.

        I feel the main beneficiaries of Lynch’s arrival at Punt Rd will be the piranhas feeding off them both. With Higgins and Rioli, both also likely to increase their midfield minutes too, there’s likely plenty of upside. Am giving Higgins some serious consideration to start at F4 and keep him up to the Rd14 bye as a minimum.

        What do you guys think?!


  16. I have to disagree allsaints.

    Spending nearly $400k on Higgins would be a road to nowhere.

    A rookie may score close to Higgins average and make you $150k or more in the process.
    Higgins is more likely to get dropped for Rioli than average 95+
    ( what he would need to average to make the same coin.)
    I just feel with so much talent in the Richmond team, Higgins is too far down the food chain to score serious points yet.

    I know you want a R14 Bye player ,but I would keep on looking. 😉


  17. allsaints.

    I got a little info from Swans training….

    It actually changes my thinking drastically.

    The biggest U Turn in SCT preseason history…….

    Lloyd is still training with the defenders. He has me seriously reconsidering not starting him at D1.
    (god that hurt to type.:()

    The good news is…..

    Heeney is “Killing it ” with the midfield group.

    and, drum roll…………

    Mills has also joined the midfield training group. And maybe sighted on a wing this year.

    So there’s $170k difference between Mills and lloyd.

    Maybe I can afford to start the Grundy / Goldie ruck combo.


    1. Hmmmm,
      Now all we need is Scott planning Danger and Ablett running riot on the cats forward line with their two talls and crumbers while Kelly, Menegola and Duncan run loose off Selwood’s protection and whoever gets that other mid role. That’ll take a load off any injury concerns. Hmmmmm……$$$$$$$$$


    2. Mills at his price cannot make more than a rookie. The question is whether he can lift by 20 ppg.

      Even as a swans supporter there is nothing in his AFL career so far that suggests it.

      His scoring before injury was ordinary.

      Btw Schwartzwalder I started writing up a team review for Sydney but ran out my of enthusiasm, if you like I will finish it off.

      Sydney are thin on depth and have minimal standouts for improvement… they have some options but most are already AFL tested and found wanting. They can make the finals and be competitive…. But to win needs a charmed run of their most obvious best 22. It isn’t exciting reading and the club is doing it’s damnedest not to telegraph it’s moves.


      1. HH,

        Ahhh, my fellow swannee, don’t you remember Millsy being thrown off the deep end (down back) in a tagging role after a certain player did his knee……..and then the next year Horse had ‘im all over the place, and last year…..well…..we know what didn’t happen.
        IMO Millsy is high on the watch list…..remember Hannes?
        ‘an back-ups…… many seniors were out injured, along with their back-ups?..
        All we need is the set plays, and the bloody robotic-isms that’s programmed into them -that are now quickly picked up by opponents – to be readdressed..???….is that what is finally happening???

        Horse have you been listenin?….

        Oops sorry, karma…..

        We’ll be fine HH……..go da swanneez



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