Hopefully Useful Thoughts on Various Midfielders

Written by Father Dougal on March 11 2022

Hi Everybody!

This year I am focusing on the players that I think most need something said about them who I also have something to say about.  That generally means enough of a history to do some kind of analysis. Or something to say at all, as a lot of players are just “no” and everyone knows it already. Anyways, hope these are helpful.


The safe and solid Uber Premiums:

Jackson Macrae 

Jack Steele

Touk Miller

Clayton Oliver

These guys are all durable, not old, and very likely to score 120 or more with a chance of over 130. Steele and Miller are the most likely to be helped by the new tackling interpretations, but I have no idea how big a factor that is and doesn’t affect them being in this group. 


The safe and solid Premiums:

Marcus Bontempelli

Jaryd Lyons

Zach Merrett

These guys will probably score somewhere around 115, for a loose value of around.  They are all priced at their career highs, which isn’t ideal, but they are all durable. The main issue with them is that for not a lot more you could get one of the safe and solid uber premiums, and why take one of these when one of them is available?  Or, if cash is an issue, why take them when you could get one of the Have Some Upside Premiums? Would not surprise me if I ended up with one or all of these guys in my team later in the season. Nothing wrong with them individually, they just don’t make as much sense to start as the more or less expensive options. 


The have some upside Premiums:

Darcy Parish 

Christian Petracca

Andrew Brayshaw

These guys are all average priced and could very easily score right around what they are priced to. But, they are average priced with a chance of upside. None of them are candidates to break out and go for 125 or more for the first time, so not a huge upside, which does raise the question of it being better to just go for one of the big four instead? I can see that either way, especially with money being so tight this season.  

The have lots of upside premiums: 

Lachie Neale – He is only 28, so not expecting age related decline. He is floor priced. Worst case, which I think is not likely, he averages 100 and you get what you paid for at M7-8.  But, he could go back to his 2019-2020 form and average 120-130.  If that happens, big win.  Even if he goes for just 110-115, that’s still a top mid average that you are getting for the cost of a 100 average.  Unless he has health issues before first bounce, he is one of those very rare “should be in every team” players.  Amazing upside with very low downside. 


The dodgy for some reason Premiums:

These guys would all be more  thinkable if we did not have so many better options.  They are more “You know he was (Fill in name here) when you took him” types.  

Cameron Guthrie – Proceed at his career high, is 29 and had an injury. 

Ollie Wines – Last season was his career high at just 112.5 at age 26. He could do it again but he could easily not do it again. Not a lot of reason to think he’ll do a lot better. He could, maybe, but seems less likely then a lot of others. 

Callum Mills – The Injury thing. He could do better, probably an ok pick if totally healthy. He is not at all likely to jump to a 125+ guy, but still has room to do better. If you trust his body he’s probably priced to average with some upside added. 

Josh Kelly – He is priced about 5-10 points lower than what he has done in the past, but he has a bad injury history and he plays for GWS, so who knows how he will be used.  He could play 22 and average 117 again. He’s only 27.  But that’s a big could. 


The Stealth Mid-Pricer:

Luke Parker – If you are going to take up a midfield slot on someone who is going to be worth about what you pay for, it would be better to take on one of the Big Four, or a “Safe and solid” player. Or, better yet, a “They have some upside” guy. Why settle for a 29 year old midfielder who is going to average around 105 with little chance of anything over 110? In fact, thinking about it, he is  really a mid-pricer!  If he played forward or defense then he’d be fine but he plays in the mids so he is a  mid-pricer and so taking him is madness. If you are going to spend what he costs on a player take Lloyd or Crisp or Dunkley! Then you can get a midfield cow in place of a forward or defense cow.  The more I think about it, the more clear it is that Parker is just a plain poor pick. Not crazy in the way the “What are You Thinking?” group is, but there are So Many Ways that his cost could be better spent he has just as little place in a serious side.  


The Mid-Price breakout hopeful: 

Ben Keays is still only 25, so it is possible he could be underpriced and raise his 2021 average of 103 to 110-115 and end up being a decent pick. I sure will not say he can’t do that. He has only played 68 games, and he did progress nicely from 2020 to 2021.  That said, I feel he is pretty risky. Petracca could be just as underpriced but will likely average more. I’m waffling because I don’t think he is a good pick, but I don’t want to talk anyone out of him who feels confident in his upside. There is nothing I see in his numbers that says he won’t level up this season. Just….I think there are so many other good and better risks this season. But if he ends up doing well, I will not be shocked either. So much waffling on him. So many attempts to spell “waffling.”


The guys with injury issues:

Rory Laird

Tom Mitchell

Sam Walsh

Laird and Walsh are out injured; Titch is probably playing but with a groin thing. I liked him uninjured but why take someone with any pre-season issues with so many good uninjured options? 


The “What are you thinking” list:

Dayne Zorko – He is 33 and priced at the top of his not-a-premium  historical scoring range and mid only. If for some reason he is in your team, immediately swap him to Andy Brayshaw, who is cheaper, 11 years younger, and has much more upside. Seriously, the only sides he should be in are his, his mum’s, and anyone currently schtupping him. If he ends up being a defender and he is scoring well, fine, but he’s a terrible pick until he actually turns into a defender. He’ll probably be cheaper then too. 

Travis Boak – He’s like Zorko excpt with less chance of an added DPP mid season. Not even if schtupping. 

Ben Cunnington – I think hurt, but so what because he is not worth the risk even if he was healthy. He is 30, has had  lots of recent injuries, and is priced at his career high. Just walk away. 

Patrick Dangerfield – His average has dropped every year since 2017 and last year he only played 13 games. After Gary Ablett became a bad supercoach option people kept taking him because he was Gary Ablett and once averaged 136 back in 2014.  But he was not worth it and kept disappointing. Well, Danger is in the same place now. Based on everything other than sentiment, he is a bad choice.  He’ll be 32 in a month and you can do far better for the same cash. For less cash. Could he surprise? Sure, possible, just too far from probably for the risk to be worth taking. 

Nathan Fyfe – He has this injury history. He averaged 100 last season. He is 30, which is not on its own so bad but combined with everything else is sure not good. Like Danger, his name is likely to suck people who would otherwise know better into picking him – which I’m sad about, because the guy has so much talent in body that apparently wasn’t strong enough to hold it all. 


Thanks for reading!



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6 thoughts on “Hopefully Useful Thoughts on Various Midfielders”

  1. Fantastic sermon FD.

    All very logical.

    Where does Paddy Cripps fit in amongst your number profiling? Basement price, lots of upside, previous runs on the board, a mid range team so some wins, fully fit.

    Never mind, I think I just answered it… 😀


    1. Thank you!

      I fear his holding up over the length of a season and somehow having him being “can’t trade but wish I could.” I will not criticize anyone for taking him. I did not include him because I don’t think we can really conclude much from just his numbers.


  2. Love your stuff Fd and agree with you 99.9% of the time , the 1% is that I think Brayshaw is set for a Uber massive year . Which I know is going against the grain of your logic but there is just something about the kid . He has added size over the preseason and has the passion and grunt that he is ready to be Freo’s man …. Step aside Fyfe and Mundy


  3. Ollie Wines from rnd 9

    139, 100, 134, 144, 117, (85), 109, 111, 154, 122, 115, 143, 105, 161, 114, 132
    16 games at 121.54 avg

    The 85 was vs Swans had 29 disposals (but must have butchered the ball a bit)

    Had 37disp in AAMI vs Crows yet didnt start for first 10mins (from what i could see?)

    Fantastic strength and body work at stoppages (making him hard match up), clean hands that feed the outside runners. Foot-skills not as clean but high contented possie and disposal numbers lead to clangers when you get leather poisoning.

    Still #1 mid at Power who are aiming for top 4 finish, with injection of young ins around him in the guts.

    Age 27 5mths same as Macrae and still under 28yrs relevence before SC drop off

    3nd in 2021 most disp per game with 32.4 inc career high 43 vs Hawks

    From Footywire:

    ● Ranked 4th in Turnovers Per Game in 2021
    ● Ranked 8th in Total Supercoach Score in 2021
    ● Ranked 7th in Total AFL Fantasy Score in 2021
    ● Ranked 2nd in Total Contested Possessions in 2021
    ● Ranked 6th in Total Effective Disposals in 2021
    ● Ranked 5th in Total Clangers in 2021
    ● Ranked 10th in Total Stoppage Clearances in 2021
    ● Ranked 5th in Total Turnovers in 2021
    ● Ranked 3rd in Handballs Per Game in 2021
    ● Ranked 6th in AFL Fantasy Score Per Game in 2021
    ● Ranked 4th in Contested Possessions Per Game in 2021
    ● Ranked 8th in Effective Disposals Per Game in 2021
    ● Ranked 8th in Total Inside 50s in 2021
    ● Ranked 4th in Total Handballs in 2021
    ● Ranked 3rd in Total Disposals in 2021


    1. The Saltshaker.

      I love your passion for Wines, he is an amazing footballer and probably one of the best Fantasy players going around. The problem with Wines is, as far as SC is concerned, he does butcher the ball a lot. The stats are actually there.

      Ranked 5th for Total Clangers.

      Ranked 5th in Total Turnovers.

      By your own stats. In 2021 his best year by far. He had the 3rd most disposals but is only 8th in Effective disposals, he only manages 8th because most of his disposals are handballs. Check his kicking efficiency , Those numbers aren’t pretty.He is a very contested player and doesn’t often get a heap of time to kick. This results in either quick HB’s or poor kicks.
      Don’t get me wrong I love Wines as a player, but in SC, he needs to win so much ball to score well. As you said 3rd for total disposals, but in SC scoring he was only the 13th best in the Midfield. This means at least 11 guys got less ball than Wines and still out scored him. Look Wines is a beast and if he can somehow improve his field kicking and can a few of those clangers a game, there’s a chance he goes 120
      I have my doubts as he was always a ~100 guy before that great run at the end of last year. I think the nature of his games style caps him in that 110-115 range.

      If you think he can start the way he finished last year, he could be a great unique at only 4% ownership.

      Best of luck whatever you decide.



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