I think I’ll start by outlining my Saints potential best 22 for 2020.
B: Jarryn GEARY, Jake CARLISLE, Callum WILKIE
HB: Dylan ROBERTON, Dougal HOWARD, Hunter CLARK
C: Brad HILL, Seb ROSS, Zak JONES
HF: Jack BILLINGS, Tim MEMBREY, Jade GRESHAM
F: Paddy RYDER, Max KING, Dan BUTLER
R: Rowan MARSHALL, Jack STEELE, Dan HANNEBERY
I/C: Josh BATTLE, Jimmy WEBSTER, Luke DUNSTAN, Jack BYTEL
The Saints list looks stronger than it has in years after a huge trade period and there will be stiff competition from the likes of Hind, Savage, Coffield, McKenzie, Langlands, Sinclair, Lonie, Parker and Paton, who all have legitimate claims. I’m fed up of saying this could be our year, but am honestly more optimistic than I have been in the last six years. Bring it on.
Prediction: 8th to 12th.
Onto the Review.
As I said this time last year Dylan Roberton ($260,400) is in full training and is currently on track for a Rd1 return, but we all remember how that turned out last year. His average was nearly 80 prior to that GEE game in 2017 and averaged 90+ in two of the previous three seasons (92.6 in 2017). Dylan could be a decent cash-generator, points-getter and stepping stone to an elite DEF in 2020.
There has been a lot of talk surrounding Hunter Clark ($402,200) having the potential for a breakout season in 2020. He ave’d 85.4 from Rd15 onwards running off HB, on a wing and occasionally through the middle, demonstrating why he went at Pick 7 in the 2017 Draft. His skills and footy nous are elite. Seb Ross continues to rave about him. My concern is the recruited strength in the Saints’ list now. So much so that we can probably afford to watch and act given his tricky price. It will likely cost very little to wait, while it could cost you a lot to start him!
Oscar Clavarino ($123,900) didn’t get his opportunity due to injury niggles in 2019, but as a key position defender there may be better options. If he does get a chance at some point in 2020, he could be a decent downgrade target, to generate some cash while sitting on your pine.
Last year, I had Seb Ross ($530,900) listed as a ‘lock & load’ but in 2020, he drops in category. You’re gonna want some luck! Again, he finished off the season in tantalising form, posting scores of 159, 100, 129, 116 and 126. Monstrous scoring yes, but in all five of those games, either Hannebery or Gresham were injured which afforded him more time ‘on ball’. As pointed out last year, he is more relevant for DreamTeam and at his price there are likely better options, at least until Hanners gets injured!!
Jack Steele ($512,600) has improved each and every year and while those of us who started him in 2019 were disappointed, I think we may have gone a year early in 2019. He still posted nine 100+s (and three 120+s in his last 7 games) last year. Both he and Ratts have stated that he will be given more freedom in 2020 and that, could be very profitable from an SC perspective. He ave’d 117.3 in his last 7 games of 2018 when given a similar role. He has been a big numbers beast since his junior days and 2020 could be the year we finally see him explode at AFL level. Do not dismiss.
Should I mention Daniel Hannebery ($417,00)? Too late. He’s priced almost $100k higher than last year, but despite only playing five games toward the back end of last season, he did post two tons in the last three weeks. Despite the ‘falling down the stairs’ incident this off-season, he is pretty much back to full training now and should be a walk up start in 2020 all going well. If you’ve liked the Rockliff pick in the past, here’s another one for you. Too risky for mine, but could appeal to some.
Of the rookies Jack Bytel ($123,900) is a pure inside-midfielder (selected in last year’s draft at pick 41), and is now training fully after undergoing season-ending surgery early last year. He is pencilled to start as early as Rd1. Watch the Marsh Series closely for role and numbers. I like what I’m hearing.
Well last year I didn’t even mention Rowan Marshall ($598,700) in my Preview. Oops. My how things changed with injuries and concussions to both Longer and Pierce. An extraordinary first season as 1st RUC after playing a pinch-hitting FWD role in 2018, averaging just 62.8. But thanks to his huge tank and increased strength (24yrs old) he ave’d 110.2 in 2019. Despite the arrival of Ryder, I still think there’ll be improvement in the young Saint in 2020. Not enough for me to risk starting him, especially with the Rd12 bye, but I’ll be watching him closely in 2020, should anything happen to GG.com …
Again, there’s been a lot of talk in this off-season about Jade Gresham ($456,400) being on the cusp of a genuine breakout season in 2020. Now in his 5th pre-season ‘Gresh’ will get more MID minutes in 2020 as witnessed after Ratts took the reins in Rd17. Two tons in his last three games (with one injury-effected score) his numbers are going in the right direction; disposals up to 22.4 (17.8 in 2018), contested possessions up to 10 (7 in 2018) and clearances up to 4.5 (from 2.4) are all positive indicators. I’ll definitely be watching the Marsh Series closely but am more likely to see him as a potential upgrade target than a starter in 2020, because of his awkward price and likely better, cheaper options.
The 2018 #4 draft pick Max King ($123,900) is now a base-priced rookie following his recovery from an ACL in 2018 and then an ankle syndesmosis injury sidelining him from the VFL and the chance of an AFL debut late last year. Now fit and in full training, Ratten has stated that the Saints will get “as many games into him as possible in 2020” and he is therefore a legitimate F7/8 who should make us $100k+. There may be better options, but if not, strongly consider.
The following should be considered for those playing SC Draft. Josh BATTLE, Dan BUTLER, Brad HILL, Zak JONES and Jimmy WEBSTER. Dougal HOWARD may also surprise.
I will update this thread as and when there is any news that is particularly SC-relevant, eg injuries, new roles, starting 22. Please also do the same if you hear anything.
Leave a comment / Scroll to bottom