Rare Gems – Pre-Season

Written by Freo Tragic on February 28 2022

Hello, all. This year I will be taking the reins of Rare Gems and a few Movers and Shakers posts. These are the legendary Salamander’s big boots to fill and I don’t have terribly big feet, so I will endeavor to do my best. I want to say a big thank you to Chillo and Salamander for all their tireless work over the years. You both helped and entertained me in so many ways, both your contributions will  be sorely missed. When one door closes another opens, so here we go.

Before I roll out a heap of low owned players I just want to remind everybody that going a POD can be fraught with danger. Father Dougal has some great articles on PODs and the fact that they may not be all they’re cracked up to be. Basically there’s no use going a POD unless you truly think they are going to be good at SC period. At Rare Gems we won’t simply be trying to find low ownership players but those that can actually contribute to our sides.

*this was written before the practice games, ownership and analysis reflective of that

LEGEND: Player Name (Other Position) (Club, Price, Average, Ownership)


Luke Ryan (FREO, $540 300, 99.3, 4%)

I personally think Luke is one of the most underrated defenders going around. But don’t listen to me, even Eagles men Gunboat and Chaos Theory like him too! Finally Fremantle seem to have most of their tall defenders back and that’s good news for Ryan. He’s at his best when he can zone off and rebound. I still want to see him get the majority of kick-outs, but if he has the right role he could easily go 1o5+ and finish the year as a Top 6 DEF. Some durability concerns have me choosing others at this stage. Upgrade target for sure.

Bailey Dale (WBD, $518 300, 95.2, 2%) 

A very fairly priced Bailey broke out last year. He managed to secure the HB role at the Doggies and  looked really comfortable in what we know is a very SC friendly role. If you take out the couple of games he was thrown forward, he averaged a tad over 100. If you trust Bevo to keep him in this role and taking the majority of kick outs, with a bit of improvement he has potential to be a very handy SC selection in 2022.

Jake Bowey (MELB, $265 600, 61.0, 4%)

Melb fans are raving about this kid, he is still very young but has speed and a great kick. He played well when he was given a chance last year. Watchlist him and maybe keep him in mind for that D4-5 spot. I probably have Milera (15%) and and K Coleman (10%) just ahead of him at this stage though.


Rory Laird (ADEL, $632 600, 116.2, 2%) 

Rory was a star for nearly all of us last year, but we coaches aren’t a very loyal bunch are we? Take away DEF status and we tend to ignore you. Maybe it’s time we gave Laird some credit: highly durable, fairly priced and finished last year better than he started. I’m not worried about the Crouch affect either. I actually think he could help. Now I’m not sure why I’m starting Titch over him? Maybe I won’t.

Oliver Wines (PORT, $612.600, 112.5, 3%) 

Port just have a habit of getting the best out of players eventually. You only need to see how Boak has been going the last few years. Wines produced his best year of footy and won a Brownlow. Can he rinse and repeat? He is still in his prime so I wouldn’t bet against it.  His questionable disposal efficency can be a tad frustrating, but he has no trouble finding the ball. One that probably demands a bit more respect anyway.

Andrew Brayshaw (FREO, $584 300, 107.3, 5%)

Just on the cusp of 5% ownership so someone in your league (statistically) already has faith in the young Docker. All the signs are ripe he can get to the next level. More time on ground and greater responsibly should give him every chance. As always there are questions, the prime one being: Can Serong and a largely ageing Dockers midfield do enough to help Andy get to his best? I guess when I see him being in that sub 600k, Neale price range it just makes it difficult for me to start him. I do have a feeling he will many more than 5% of sides (mine too) by the end of 2022. Unfortunately this maybe the first and last time I get to mention him in Rare Gems. Bye, Andy B

George Hewett (SYD, MID/DEF, $399 000, 73.3, 4%)

Walsh sidelined early has seemingly opened the door for more early midfield time for Hewett, who was brought in anyway to play as that defensive MID. Yes, his price is horrible and technically he may not make enough money to worth it bif can he average 90+ early and push his price up a little I can picture a world where he works out. His DPP and ability to cover both lines certainly help with rookie structure as well. I guess I would describe him as a kinda pricey stepping stone to Walsh when he returns. He could also end up as the last upgrade at D6. There is also always the possibility he plays solely as a defensive midfielder and averages under 80. Maybe there’s a reason he only has 4% ownership ?

Honourable Mentions: Just quickly, there are some other talked about PODs that I looked at but aren’t so appealing to me this year. Namely one Jarrod Lyons (BRIS, $640 100, 117.6, 2%), who was amazing when Neale was out but looks set for a decrease in MID minutes with the blooding of Rayner and Bailey on ball, with Fagan saying as much the other day. Patrick Dangerfield (GEEL, $567 800, 104.3, 3%) is coming off his lowest average in more than 10 years. Has father time caught up with Danger? If he spends enough time forward and gets DPP status, we will all look to get him. While he remains MID only, I see way too many better options. Shame really, I liked owning Danger.


There’s always a heap of knocks on Nick Naitanui (WCE, $627 400, 115.3, 5%). Will his body hold up ? His time on ground is always managed and the West Coast midfield is not really what they used to be. Somehow Nic just keeps pumping out large SC  scores. In 2021 he started a little slow with 3 of his first 6 scores under 100 (the lowest being an 86 in R1). After that he didn’t go under the 100 once, that’s 16 weeks straight of 100+ with 2 huge scores of 164 (R11) and 164 in the SC grand final. Respect. With Darcy already nursing a sore hand, maybe Nic Nat comes in to contention for your side?

2021 wasn’t a great year for Reilly O’Brien (ADEL, $520 600, 95.7, 4%). He had a few injuries and this turned into form issues. All in all, he underperformed. If we go back a further year, in 2020 he averaged 106.2 Was this just a Covid  thing? The big question is, can he return to this or even take a further step forward? He certainly looks the best in his price range especially now McInerney is likely to have to share with Fort. The main issue is, even best case he is still likely to bleed points to the best rucks every week. I guess if you start Marshall he could be a “break in case of emergency” choice.

Next up is Ivan Soldo (RICH, $326.600, 75 in 2020, 2%). This guy tries really hard and Nank isn’t getting any younger.  If he can start getting a bigger slice of the pie there’s certainly room for growth. The departure of Chol and CCJ has really opened the door for Richmond to play two Rucks. Can Soldo do most of the ruck work and leave Nank forward more ? For those already set on Draper (10%) or Witts (9%) he could end up a handy fall back if these guys somehow need trading early. I’m personally not a fan of these mid priced RUCs, but quite a few are, so I guess this one is for them.


I thought I might jag a T Thomas ( 10%) or at the least Zac Bailey (7%) but both have enough early interest to push them outside the criteria. I still think both are POD-ish and could be great SC selections if things go right for them this year. Let’s see if I can find anyone else.

Connor Rozee (PORT, $400 200, 73.5, .2%). Another selection with a horrible price as he would really need to be a keeper. It’s a bit of struggle to find any of those premo PODs worth talking about. There’s Tom Hawkins (GEEL, $510 900, 93.9, 2%) and Jake Stringer (ESS, MID/FWD, $506 800, 93.1, 3%) that potentially  could work, but there seems to be  enough reasons to pass on both at this stage – Cameron back and Stringer injured. Back to Rozee: while 27% of us have been frothing over his little mate Butters, Rozee has been largely ignored. FWD only status doesn’t help his cause. He does have similar pedigree to Butters and will play midfield at some stage in his career. Can it be in 2022? He may need an opening via injury to spend more time in that stacked Port midfield. If he does, he has all the skills to go 95+. One for your watchlist anyway.

Hugo Ralphsmith (RICH, MID/FWD, $206 700, 42.2, 2%). This one is really a bolt from the blue. Two weeks ago no one had even heard his name. He seems to have been training at HB for the Tigers. He played well in their recent intra club and Chaos Theory mentioned him in passing. After reviewing the intra club on YouTube I thought he maybe worth a mention. He’s a rangy outside player with some dash and reasonable foot skills – think Blakey from the Swans. One of the coaches mentioned he needs to work on his contest stuff (not great for SC ) but that he was in the mix for R1. His stats from last year paint a very confusing picture. He played 5 games total, 3 of those ( R9-11) presumably forward, for scores of 33, 23 and 42. Then he came back in R21 with a 98 (was this at HB ?) and then a 15 (was he injured ?). Hugo is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. Hopefully the next few  games can give us more to go on. He could be great, or he could be this years Paddy Dow and we all fall down the well. Let’s hope its the former.

Once again let me know in the comments if there’s any players you like under 5% ownership.

Thanks for reading.



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24 thoughts on “Rare Gems – Pre-Season”

  1. I’m a coward so he’s not in my team right now, but Bowey is incredibly legit and *will* break out this year.

    If it was a normal year where there were rookies available for under $160k then he would be locked in.


  2. Terrific read FT,
    Atm I don’t have any of the rare gems BUT I’ve had Brayshaw in and out of my team since it opened I’m extremely bullish on him I owned him ALL last season but hard to squeeze him in but I feel I need to double down and stay faithful I have no doubt this is the year. Hard to pick him over the SC pig Mitchell or the cheaper Neale though.

    Would also love your thoughts on this man below…

    SCOTT PENDLEBURY: 1% owned 492k
    It’s risky but I think if I can squeeze him in at M5 for 6 weeks and swing him back he could AVG 100+ easy. That half backrole is made for a bloke like him hes classy, an elite disposal and decision maker and looked to have KI’s. They’ll just look for him all day Imo. Just something I’m watching.


    1. Thanks Mav .

      I really like Brayshaw too, no surprise. If he gets enough support and Freo win enough games he could slip into the top 10-12 midfielders.

      Pendles is an interesting one. ( WW mentioned him as potential option recently ) A flawless midfield career has been cruelled late by injuries. I have no doubt he has the talent to trot out a 100+ at halfback. There’s still a few unknowns. How will Collingwood go this year ? Will he get DPP at R6 or will you have to wait longer ? Can his body hold up at 34 ? Less midfield time should help. With all the Midfield rookies theres a heap of potential money making options at M5.

      I see a world where he works , I just feel safer with a cheaper M5 like Rowell or Berry that can make some money early.


      1. Surely after the positions are reviewed, he’ll have mid/Def, so bring him in after that, provided of course he’s going ok.


  3. Do you need SC Gold for the ownership %? Really want Laird but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Also very curious about Dale, his scores seemed to yo-yo last season, does anyone know if that was role dependent? I owned Caleb Daniel last season and that experience has me nervous about Doggies defenders.


    1. Morning, BBB.

      Yeah, you do need Gold for %’s. Laird’s at 2% and Dale 3%.

      I’ve had Dale in my side for the last month. Dogs really rate his use, strong economy from kick ins and HB distribution. It’s his show back there. He’ll be discussed in the upcoming Practice Match reports CT and I are putting together.

      Returning to PODs, great stuff FT. My lowest % player is Dale at D3. Grabbed Parish as my Walsh replacement, he’s ticked up to 8% up from 4% over the last fortnight. Haven’t grabbed either with the intention of being PODs, really rate them both.


      1. Thanks GD (and Based). Always food for thought on this site! Good to have different opinions coming through. Realistically it’ll come down to available rookies and how much cash I need for other things, I’ll keep reading in the meantime and look forward to that upcoming article!


    2. I actually prefer Caleb over Dale in real life and in Supercoach, and think that Daniel is a bit of a sleeper pick this year. He averaged over 110 over the last six and was our best non-mulleted player across the finals. The kick-ins are generally 50/50 between them as well.

      Dale is a beautiful user but he has somehow not received too much heat to this point from any stoppers, and, having lived through Bailey Dale 2015-2020, I have my doubts as to how he’ll react when it comes.


    3. FYI, you don’t need SC Gold for % ownership. When you search a player you don’t see their % ownership, but if you trade a player out, you get to see all the players % ownership when you’re looking at your trade in options.


  4. Just a brief comment / question on POD terminology – in no way critical of this article.
    We discuss PODs on basis of low ownership – to me that is one criteria, but is it not also that they need to outscore their price as opposed to any other similarly priced person?
    SC relevant is mentioned in article – couldn’t agree more (i.e have to score as keeper or make cash…)
    EG Ziebell last year was a true POD – low ownership (early), and scored much higher than alternative (but similarly or higher) priced players – so a true POD until everyone jumped on.
    But, if you consider Luke Ryan this year, low ownership is one thing, but there are other def players at similar price (eg ridley and short) just as capable of same scoring….so the POD value of low ownership sort of means nothing unless we think he will outscore them by a fairly long way as he needs to be a keeper at that price.
    Of course, if Ridley is owned by 35% and goes down with injury, and you had Ryan – save a trade etc – but who can predict that?
    Or have I grabbed wrong end of stick here during my musings??


    1. I agree, Cuzza.

      A POD is useless if they can’t match/beat similarly priced options. No use selecting a POD just for the sake of it.

      Right on.


      1. Thanks Gunboat and you’re right Cuzza.

        I agree, when we pick our starting sides we should look at the best SuperCoach players regardless of their ownership. FD”s article linked above explains the concept very well .Most of the time, its actually better to pick highly owned players ( shields ) than lower owned players ( swords ) This article (Rare Gems) is trying to identify players that have scope to be Swords. Every year (as you pointed out) players like Ziebell get new roles and have a chance to jump into contention. There’s also guys like Rich and Lyons last year that excelled in their positions, but still had very low ownership. I guess I’m trying to prospect for these type of players in the hope we can find a few Rare Gems.

        It’s also worth noting ownership can change quickly. Recently, When Walsh went down, Parish went from 4% to 8% Titch also gained about 5% to go up to 19% there was also a flow on to Hewitt (now 6%) These may seem rather minor, but Walsh wasn’t hugely popular before this. Imagine if a highly owned player ( I dare not mention any names) went down, the flow on affect could be huge. I guess at Rare Gems we are trying to stay ahead of the game as far as options are concerned.


  5. More of a draft pick but what is everyones thoughts on Highmore. I think with the right role he can get those 90+ scores. Will he get that role with the saints but??


    1. TJ.

      Very risky starting pick at that price. You would want that role set in stone before even considering him. I think you would be better of trying to find $30K to get to Hewitt.

      Thanks for reading.


  6. Hi FT !
    Thoughts on Shai Bolton .. He looked good on the weekend.!
    DPP & 3% ownership
    Currently in @ F2 & Laird @ M3
    Pretty happy with my lot !

    Cheers Mate


    1. Not for me.

      He has flashes of brilliance, but hasn’t been able to sustain it for long enough.
      I would look someone with a more contested game that likely to play more midfield. Butters / Heeney / Thomas or even Bailey.


  7. I took a deep dive into Hewitt’s numbers the other day and put a line through his name. I’m not convinced he can lift his average enough or make the coin quickly enough. Welsh will be back after 4-5 weeks, Serong is there and number 9 may we’ll get back to previous form.

    Hawkins will only be assisted by Cameron returning, I think. They can separate defenders, so it won’t be 3 defenders jumping on Hawkins.

    I’ve got Oscar McInerney at R2. I wouldn’t think Fort will get too much action, but I’ve been wrong before (a lot actually).


    1. Do you means Hewitts numbers from last week or last year? If you’re referring to the practise game against the saints please share the source, in AFL fantasy he was = 5th top scorer with the same score as steele (96) but I don’t think they score tackles as high as SC does so could easily have been a 110 in SC.
      If you’re referring to his time at Sydney you wasted your time.
      $399k for a Def who will easily ave 90 for at least the first 6 weeks and potentially 110 is a genuine bargain, add to that the fact that you can slide him in to the middle when covid causes havoc and he is looming as a selection that could make all of the difference.


      1. Hewitt scored 99 Supercoach points in the practice match against St Kilda.

        For interest sake,Steele scored 115 points.


      2. No, I don’t have the practice match scores, but CT has provided them. I looked at his career stats.

        Just remember it’s only February and not get too carried away.

        The problem is I don’t think he will average 90. I reckon there’s a pretty solid chance he’ll throw up a few 50s and not make much money either. It’s just a risk I’m not willing to take, but good luck if you have him.



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