Team: Western Bulldogs
Supercoach Price: $511,700
2016 Average: 94.1
2016 Games: 18 (+4 finals)
Bye Round: 11
Past (2015-2013): 100, 100, 61
Macrae played every match bar 1 in 2014 and 2015 (although he was dropped to the VFL for 2 matches in 2015) but suffered a hamstring strain late in 2016 causing him to miss 4 matches from Round 20-23. This was the first time in his 4 year career that he missed consecutive matches through injury.
2016 Form: ***
Even though Macrae’s average SC score dropped from 100 to 94, his season output didn’t vary much from 2015. Like 2015, Macrae racked up 27 possessions, 5 marks and 5 tackles per match although he did handpass a little more in 2016. Overall Macrae scored 6 SC points less than 2016 because of 2 less kicks per match (replaced by 2 more handpasses) along with 4 less goals across the year.
As a fourth year midfielder this output was pretty good, but not what you need in your Supercoach midfield. But now as a forward…
Like many other young midfielders, Macrae managed to score poorly off good disposal counts, twice scoring under 100 off 30+ possessions. In fact across 2016, Macrae collected over 20 possessions in every game but he still dropped 4 scores in the 70s (1 of those due to injury against Geelong in Round 19) and a 68. At the other end of the scale he also pumped out a 100+ score 7 times.
Unlike other midfielders, Macrae’s inconsistency was due to his low contested possession numbers due to playing on a wing or half-forward flank, rather than poor ball use.
In his 26 regular season matches when he scored 100+, Macrae rarely went truly large, again mostly due to his low contested ball count. Of those 26 tonnes, he only scored over 130 on 3 occasions. A special mention should be made of his finals last year when he scored 112 in Grand Final and 140 in the Semi-final as he spent some time in the pack, increasing his contested possession count mildly. If he continues that trend in 2017 he should convert those 30+ possession matches into big scores.
Does this 5 star rating mean he copes well with a tag? No, it means I can find no record of him being tagged at all! With the Bont, Hunter and other stars racking up the touches, Macrae will rarely see a tagger.
Macrae has twice before averaged 100 across a season so it won’t be much of a stretch for him to again average 100 in 2017. My gut tells me (the gut knows all) that Macrae could push that average even higher in his fifth season.
This score is elevated because Macrae is durable and he won’t be tagged. I could argue that the dual eligibility should add another star to his score, but I’ll leave that decision to you.
The accepted theory is that midfielders break-out in their third year but it is not uncommon for players to improve further in their 5th or 6th year. Macrae certainly showed signs of this in the 2016 finals. With his forward eligibility, slightly discounted price on 2015 and the deep Doggies’ midfield, I reckon Macrae is a great option to ‘set-and-forget’ in your forward line.
Next up: Josh Caddy (Rich)
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