First Glance – DEF

Written by Schwarzwalder on December 18 2017

While the site has been a little quiet over the off-season, the Supercoach pre-season is about to kick into gear at SCT.  I’d like to officially welcome you all back to the site!  We will have regular content pertaining to the 2018 SC-season starting in January.  There has been a bit of chopping and changing amongst the SCT team, but I’m sure our planned schedule will meet all your needs over the coming months.

I’ve had a long lay-off over the off-season but the fire has been re-ignited with the arrival of the Team Picker option through SC-Gold (and our very own version on the site here).  As with the last pre-season, I’ve put my thoughts down on my first impressions of the new players and prices.  Of course, it shouldn’t be taken as gospel at this early stage, we still have a long way to go before the first bounce……simply sharing a few thoughts over the next couple of days as I scroll through the various positions for the first time……….

Docherty will be sorely missed in defence in 2018 due to his shocking knee injury at training.  The big-name players are fairly obvious due to their starting price.  I’ve tried locating a couple players that might slip under the radar a touch………



Alex Rance (RIC, $492 300) – Opened up the 2017 season priced at $535K but his numbers took a slight dive.  After season averages of 97 (2015) & 98 (2016), Rance managed a 90 pts avg in 2017.  Good value for 2018 if you can see him re-joining the upper echelon of Supercoach Defenders.

Luke McDonald (NTH, $461 100, DEF/MID)  – Entering his fifth season, McDonald might just be the best BreakOut option in defence for 2018.  He’s at an awkward price, meaning you’d have to commit to him for the whole year.  Had 22+ possessions in each of his last nine games in 2017 where he saw an increase in midfield time (Averaged 91 SC pts in that time).  Attracts the ball and will get his chance in the guts during 2018.

Luke Hodge (BRL, $461 800) – One of the most surprising moves of the off-season, Hodge has extended his career with a trade to the Lions.  A player of his experience will demand the ball in such an inexperienced team.  Still managed over 90+ pts in ten of his fifteen appearances in 2017.

Heath Shaw (GWS, $458 100) – Before the emergence of Sam Docherty, Heater was the #1 Defender in Supercoach.  After averages of 112 (2015) & 106 (2016), Shaw’s SC output dropped to just 83pts per game in 2017.  The warning signs were there in the back half of 2016 but no one could’ve predicted such a plunge.  Fantastic value for 2018 if you see him returning to the Top10 DEFs.



MID-PRICE GAMBLES ($250K – $449)


Pearce Hanley (GCS, $428 000, DEF/MID) – Wind the clock back to 2014 and Hanley was one of the most sought-after Defenders with an average of 104pts from 20 games.  Injuries and a change of scenery have slowed his output down in recent years.  With the absence of Gary Ablett, there is a massive void in the Suns midfield.  If his body holds up then Hanley might be worth a calculated gamble…….

Callum Mills (SYD, $403 100) – The 2016 Rising Star Winner had a terrible case of the ‘second-year blues’ in 2017 where his SC output dropped in relation to his first season.  Mills didn’t play too badly from a team perspective, but couldn’t manage as much midfield time as expected.  If he starts seeing more time in the engine room then he could be a big smokey.

James Sicily (HAW, $402 800, DEF/FWD) – Widely touted as the Hawks ‘next big thing’ up forward, Sicily made a mid-season move to defence in 2017 that added rocket fuel to his SC numbers.  Over the last ten weeks, he managed a healthy 91.4 avg which included a measly 25pts effort against Carlton (gave away seven free kicks).  Currently priced at a 73avg which represents great value…….

Angus Brayshaw (MEL, $316 700, DEF/MID) – Scored a couple of impressive tons in his rookie season of 2015 where he show-cased his precision kicking skills.  Has been plagued by concussion problems over the last two years and his opening price is indicative of that.  Expect massive improvement if he can stay on the park……..

Grant Birchall (HAW, $277 100)– Had barely missed a game in his opening eleven seasons then his 2017 was ruined by injuries, hence the starting price of $277K.  Consistently racks up 20+ touches per game but the vast majority of that is uncontested, which can work like SC-poison on his final output.  I can see the attraction at that price but personally, I’ll give Birch a miss (going on previous experience)………..


What are your first thoughts on the DEFs this year?  Are you in agreement with any of my value picks?  Or horribly in disagreement?  Tell us about it here or even on Twitter (@SC_Talk , @SchwarzwalderSC)


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24 thoughts on “First Glance – DEF”

  1. Nice write-up Schwarz. As you said it’s early days yet but I think Williams could take another small step towards a 100 point average.

    If he gets through the preseason, Birchall is a definite for me. He struggles to cross the 100 point barrier as a result of his uncontested game as you mentioned, but at that price an 85 point average is acceptable.


    1. Nice option, Thommo! Had Williams in this year. Was a little erratic but was played out of position often due to the long injury list. Could be worth another shot…..


    2. Would be a good cheap option who you know you will make 100+k on and upgrade later.

      But is that enough to justify a trade? You’d need to be using that extra money wisely and there being too few bargain defenders.

      With players like Alex Johnston and Lachie Keeffe available it seems likely there will be good budget options available to make the cash.


      1. You also have to score points and I think in the early rounds Birchall has more chance of doing that on a consistent basis than Johnson or Keeffe.


  2. Premium defender pool looks very thin. Only 4 broke the 2017 100’s average and it falls away quickly.
    Birchall always starts well but seems to fall away mid year. Is an 85 ave acceptable for 2018 with the pool we have to choose from?


  3. Luke Ryan from Freo is someone who could improve his average of 76, hopefully playing more games this year, but being about 20k more expensive than blokes like Mills and Sicily, is he going to average more at the end of the season?
    So much to ponder over, good time of the year for Supercoach, good to have you guys back to give us even more to think about!


    1. Like the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise, he’s well past his best but the numbers justify another instalment 😉
      There’s life in the old fella yet……..


      1. Wouldn’t be surprised if they only play him at home to preserve what’s left of his legs.

        Won’t be going near him.


  4. aaraon francis could be a gamble on bombers wanted him to stay badly should get game time for bombers of half back line if he can average 75+ good stepping stone


      1. His new teammate Nathan Wilson, on the other hand, could be one to watch over the pre-season. Fremantle’s backline should see plenty of the ball again this year, and he’s not going to have Heath Shaw and Zach Williams taking possessions off him in 2018.



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