First Glance – RUCK

Written by Schwarzwalder on December 20 2017

Looking at the early teams, most Coaches are keen to go with the Gawn/NicNat Ruck line-up.  It’s hard to ignore them at their current prices and they feature heavily below.  Paddy Ryder has lost his DPP status and is available as a Ruck only.  He’s sure to provide a decent POD, especially early in the season.  For better or worse, the following names jumped out at me while looking through the SCT Team Picker.  Here are my initial thoughts on the Ruck line…………

 

VALUE PREMIUMS ($450K+)

Todd Goldstein (NTH, $521 400) – Was the #1 ranked player in the entire League back in 2015 where he averaged 128 pts from 21 games.  Has carried a lot of niggling injuries over the last two years and is now priced at a 95avg.  The trade rumors were strong over the off-season but North is sticking with Goldy for now.  With Preuss & Daw eagerly awaiting their chance, Goldy won’t want to put a foot wrong.  If he gets back anywhere near his best then he’s fantastic value at $521K…………

Max Gawn (MEL, $503 700) – The Big Gawn Dog had a huge year in 2016, playing all 22 games at an average of 118 pts.  That alone is enough reason to consider Gawn for your starting line-up.  Judging by the early teams, many Coaches are running with that option.  Could it be a trap however?  (*cue Admiral Akhbar with ‘It’s a trap!’ from Star Wars*).  In six seasons at the top level, only in 2016 did Gawn get through more than 13 games.  Those sort of odds don’t look too inviting, especially if you’re concentrating on durability.  Risk vs Reward……that old chesnut!

Nic Naitanui (WCE, $465 900) – Missed the entire 2017 season after rupturing his ACL late in 2016, hence the discounted price.  Has finished 3/9 seasons with an average over 100pts, with his best effort coming in 2012 (114 avg from 20 games).  We all know that NicNat can dominate his opponents on any given day.  If I have any criticisms, and it’s no fault of his own, it’s that he constantly seems to be carrying a niggle or five.  If he trains well over the pre-season, he’s sure to be a popular choice at R1/R2………

 

 

MID-PRICE GAMBLES ($250-$449K)

Mason Cox (COL, $304 800, RUCK/FWD) – I’m not anticipating any great rise in SC output from the big American.  It sounds like Buckley is determined to give him more time in the Ruck however.  That would have an adverse effect on Brodie Grundy’s numbers.  Grundy (and Cox) not currently on the radar……..

Dawson Simpson (GWS, $290 300) – Turning 29 in February, Simpson has just the 30 AFL appearances to his name.  His career has been hampered by various injuries and constantly playing ‘second string’ to a stronger Ruckman.  With Mumford’s retirement, the way has been cleared for Simpson to take the #1 mantle at GWS.  Will have to contend with Rory Lobb for most of the year but Cameron seems content to keep Lobb up forward.  In two matches last season, Simpson managed a 91 & 85.  If he lines up for Rd1 then it’s his spot to lose………..

 

How do you see the Rucks at this early stage?  Are you sticking with the Gawn/NicNat combo or is it simply too risky?  Have you unearthed any rookie options in the Ruck?  Let us know your thoughts below……….

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28 thoughts on “First Glance – RUCK”

  1. This may be ‘fake news’ but I thought I read somewhere that Lobb was going to play sole ruck so GWS could speed up their midfield.

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    1. It’s what they did when Mumford was absent last year. Lobb averaged 100.5 when Mumford wasn’t playing, compared to just 69.5 when he was. I also have stats that prove that this was due to a change in role, and not just a fluke:

      Correlation between hitouts and SuperCoach score when Mumford playing: .23
      Correlation between hitouts and SuperCoach score when Mumford not playing: .76

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  2. Old Ben Mc will get a lot of game time again but probably not score much past his ave of 95. Longer is ripe for a break out and yeah GWS seems to have a hole in it’s roster for an experienced ruck. Witts will probably go it alone again this year, same as krueser, Jacobs and Martin.

    I’m tempted to start with Witts and Longer and use the cash to pad out the midfield more while watching preseason to see which old horse breaks first.

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  3. gawn nic nat with english on bench as dogs signed till 2020 so will get some games into him lobb only a fwd in the game i believe will have him as fwd though at price should end up as a keeper

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    1. Knowing how to supercoach means avoiding an injury prone player with only one good SC season behind him (Gawn), and another injury prone player who remains an unknown risk on return (Nicnat). Think I’ll set and forget two out of Jacobs/Witts/S Martin……and probably save two trades as well over the season..

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    2. I know supercoach , finished 800th last year , play nic nat at your peril , he’ll break down within 7 games . wasted trade …

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        1. finished 165th not 800th , sorry for the misleading info
          haven’t researched the rucks yet but off the top of my head , darcy is about the same price & should score similar to nic nat , fit young & will explode when sandi breaks down mid year , nic nat will still have niggles come R1 & I can only see him scoring 90’s at best with the odd ton against the lesser teams pre breakdown , my personal preference is to go a cheaper R2 averaging around 80+ & make some coin towards the best performing ruck mid year , worked great in 2016 when I upgraded to goldy , averaged 130 ish after the byes , 2017 took a risk with a 300k sandi & that worked well also , i’ll be going with that stratergy again but keepn it dark as to who I’ve got my eye on

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      1. Do you really think he’ll only last 7 games? Obviously players returning from these kinds of injuries are always a risk, but he’s never broken down that quickly before:

        (Year: Games)
        2009: 10
        2010: 22
        2011: 20
        2012: 20
        2013: 11
        2014: 20
        2015: 20
        2016: 15

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        1. no one can be 100% sure of that mate
          hes big & ultra mobile , yes , but seems to suffer when his huge frame hits the ground ( running or falling )
          also he’ll have to shoulder a massive workload without Priddis & Mitchell there
          my strategy is to go in with only 3 injury prone players at most
          eg omera deludio etc
          they have to be massively underpriced
          so I don’t loose money on them if / when they break down
          & as with all the players in my squad , they need to have a massive pre season, not just get through , that means less injuries & more trades for upgrades
          nic nat gray ablett etc are massive traps in my opinion

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    3. Dunno. Gawn’s injury history is poor and NicNat’s not much better.

      Both are potential huge winners but both carry at least as much risk as Sandi has over the last few years.

      If it wasn’t for the Goldy/Preuss and Grundy/Cox scenarios neither would even pop up on my radar.

      If I could choose Lobb in the ruck I’d take them before either option. But I can’t. Nor is there really a viable Dual Position Ruck switcheroo to cover the inevitable missed games.

      Paddy Ryder hitting to a much revamped Port Adelaide midfield looks very tempting.

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      1. The lack of a viable F6/R3 DPP option is definitely a concern. And don’t forget the potential Martin/Smith scenario.

        Ryder is a good option, but who to pair him with? Jacobs gets the job done, but his output isn’t what it once was. And there’s no way Kreuzer’s body will hold up 2 years in a row.

        The real question is whether the Gawnanui combination is this year’s SandiWitts, or if it’s a trap.

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        1. At this stage I’m probably on Ryder/NicNat combo and Tim English as R3.

          I cannot see Kreuz holding together two years straight much as he performed brilliantly for me last year. Plus of course based on past form and injury you are paying well over the odds for him.

          There really seem very few likely single ruck only certainties. Perhaps a preseason injury somewhere will clear that issue up.

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    1. Gibbs’ arrival could improve both his HTA and sharked hitout stats, thereby boosting his scoring slightly.

      If his HTA % went up to 30 %, and the sharked percentage went down by a corresponding amount to 16.71 %, then at 5 points for a HTA and -1 for a sharked hitout, his average would lift from 95.7 to 98.6.

      However, there are some caveats:

      #1 At 1712.9 points per game, the Crows are already the number 1 SuperCoach-scoring team. With Gibbs’ points having to come from somewhere, this could negate any improvement in output from other players, such as Jacobs.

      #2 Last year, Jacobs averaged much higher in losses (107.67) than he did in wins (90.87). Even though the the losses of Lever and Cameron will hurt, with Gibbs coming in it’s hard to see the Crows going backwards in 2018.

      #3 Given the lack of freely available HTA stats, this sort of thing should be taken with a grain of salt, but in 2017 there was only a .53 correlation between his SuperCoach score and his hitout numbers. This is lower than for contested possessions (.65) and kicks (.56), and not much higher than those for stoppage clearances, marks, behinds, marks inside 50, one percenters, and effective disposals. The correlation between his SuperCoach score and the sum of those stats (contested possessions, kicks, stoppage clearances, marks, behinds, marks inside 50, one percenters, and effective disposals) is .7. Throwing hitouts into that mix takes it up to .75, so they’re clearly not irrelevant, but it’s reasonable to infer that they are not the main determinant of his score.

      This is in contrast to someone like Sandilands, who last year had a .83 correlation between his SuperCoach score and his hitout numbers.

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  4. Hey there, my ruck combo is most likely going to be Gawn (Bye round 13) and Nic Nat (Bye round 12) and im figuring out who would be the best back up option during bye rounds?
    Would someone like a darcy cameron be a good option or a dpp like English be better but the only problem with english is that his be round is the same as nic nat? Pls suggest me some tips…cheers

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    1. Finding a backup ruck who will play regularly is going to be tough this year. English is still built like a stick insect, so will probably spend most of the year in the VFL. He’ll be a good pick if he does play, though.

      Sean Darcy is ruck-only, and is about $300K too expensive to pick as an R3. But he’d be a perfectly viable R2 (or even R1) if Sandilands went down.

      Keep in mind that the bye rounds have a best-18 scoring system, so it may be better to focus on making up the numbers in other positions.

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        1. All things being equal, a DPP is always preferable to a non-DPP, regardless of position. In the real world, however, all things are not equal, so it really depends. Just keep the following things in mind, in the this order:

          #1 A higher-scoring player is better than a lower-scoring player.
          #2 A low-scoring player is better* than a non-playing player.
          #3 A DPP is better than a non-DPP.

          * There is an exception to #2, and that is if you plan on using a player as what is called a ‘floating doughnut’. This is a player who never plays, and is used to exploit a quirk in the rolling lockout system called the ‘captaincy loophole’. You can google “supercoach captaincy loophole” if you’re not familiar with what this is. Luke Strnadica (who was a RUC/FWD) was a popular choice for this last year, because he was very cheap, had zero chance of playing, and had a lot of Sunday games – an ideal floating doughnut candidate. A lot of people played one of Nankervis or Ryder (both RUC/FWDs last year) in their forward line, and used Strnadica’s DPP status to swing them into the ruck line if one of their main ruckmen got injured or suspended. Sadly, it doesn’t look as though there will be a good forward-ruck swingman this year, so a dual-position R3 may prove to be more of a luxury than a necessity.

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          1. I should just add in response to your question that Cameron is potentially a good pick. He’s 22-and-a-half, and over 100 kgs, so he’s ready to play. He was on a lot of watchlists last year before he got injured. And once he’s given them a game, John Longmire does like to back in his rookies.

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      1. Regarding the Sean Darcy comment: I initially read “Darcy Cameron” as “Sean Darcy”. I think I need to get my eyes checked.

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  5. I dont know why people want to take so much risk with NatGawn. Last year, all of Kreuzer, Ryder, Martin, Sauce and BBM all played a minimum of 21 games and generated over 2000 pts. All are set and forget. How many games and pts do people expect from NatGawn ?

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