Welcome to Rare Gems for 2022. In this post we try to uncover players that have been overlooked for various reasons. Things like age, preseason injury or potential role change can put us off certain players. Here at Rare Gems we try to shine a light on these low owned players (under 5%) that could help you reach SC glory. As this is the week before price changes I have decided to include Break Evens (BE’s) just as a guide to help with your decision making. With just 2 games of data we are dealing with a small sample size, I still think theres some fantastic Rare Gems out there. Let’s see what we can uncover.
(Name, Club, Price, 2 Round avg, Ownership %, BE)
Aaron Hall (North, $572 900, 126, 4.3% BE 83)
Last year Hall produced a stellar season at half back averaging D1 like numbers as a Forward only. Those that jumped on him early at ~$400K got a huge leg up on the rest of us. This preseason many an astute coach thought he could produce enough scoring to covet the D1 position for real. Fast forward a few weeks, and a hamstring injury had most coaches understandably jumping off Hall. Even with the addition of L.McDonald ($372 100) into Norths backline, Aaron comes out with scores of 129 and 123, with no obvious signs of injury. With the volume of ball heading to Norths defence this year, I can’t see anyone else out scoring Hall as D1 .If you think his hamstrings can hold up, jump on and enjoy the ride.
Jeremy McGovern (WCE, $481 900, 116, 1.1%, BE 50)
Jeremy was the original intercept king. Back when KPP defenders were mainly playing back shoulder and attempting spoils, McGovern had the game awareness to play in front or peel off his man to intercept (an intercept mark from opposition scores 6 points, 8 if contested). This has now become a “thing” in modern football. Few do it better than McGovern. With all the horrendous luck of the Eagles due to COVID/injuries, Jeremy has been under siege. Guess what? McGovern has thrived. You just need to ask yourself, is this a purple patch, or can McGovern continue on his merry way and become a premium defender?
Hayden Young (FREO, $418.400, 107.5, 0.8% BE 30)
When it comes to defenders no one quite screams breakout contender like Hayden Young. High pedigree and a laser left boot mean Freo players look for Young as a way out of defence. Add to this intercept marking ability, and a great read on the play, and you have all the ingredients for a premium defender. The main knock on Young has to be his poor injury history. He’s only managed 13 games in his first 2 years. If you think he can stay on the park (a common theme in this post), he could reward you with premium numbers at a bargain price. Either way he’s a SC star in the making, and one that you would think will feature in a heap of teams over the next decade.
Travis Boak (PTA, $578 500, 152, 1.5% BE 33)
How old is too old ? Don’t ask Travis. The Benjamin Button of midfielders: he just seems to get better with age. Superb endurance and that incredible 2 round average demand respect. If you believe age is just a number, Boak could prove to be an amazing pick once again in 2022. Kudos to the 1199 folks that own him already.
Ben Keays ($560 400, 138.5, 0.7%, BE 51)
You may be forgiven for asking, Ben who? Given a second chance at Adelaide, Keays has grabbed this chance with both hands. He started the year the way he finished 2021: on fire. The 2022 Ben Keays reminds me a lot of a 2020/2021 Jarryd Lyons. A blue collar midfielder mostly ignored in the SC world. Keays just goes about his business week in week out. He does all the little things well, not flashy, he just seems to get the job done, whilst flying under the radar. There’s some doubts he can keep it up with both M. Crouch and Laird back. I personally think Keays has the age profile and work rate to just keep ticking along nicely. He’s far from a sexy pick, but if you’re looking for a Merrett replacement, he could be your man.
Tom Green ($430 000, 135, 4.6%, BE 19)
Green is another with obvious breakout potential. The midfield is not usually the spot to take a risk on these kind of players, especially with Cripps around the same price. Maybe in 2022 Green will be the exception to the rule. His huge frame and contested game style actually draw a heap of comparison to a young Cripps. The down side is he has a relatively chequered injury history for a young player. Add to this Leon‘s habit of playing midfielders out of position, and I can see why most coaches are happy to pass on Tom Green. If you can see past some of these negatives, he has a massive ceiling and room for natural improvement could see him rocket into SC relevance. It’s only a matter of time really. Keep a close eye on him moving forward.
Reilly O’Brien ($520 600, 101, 4.1%, BE 102)
ROB, as he’s known to most in the SC world, has been a bit of a mixed bag over the last few years. His good is awesome, yet when getting through some injuries last year he was awful at times. A full pre season and an 80% ruck load bode well for ROB in 2022. If you need to replace Darcy and you don’t want to fork out the big dollars for a Gawn/Grundy type. ROB could be your man. He won’t get FWD status but I think he outscores English/Jackson easily.
Errol Gulden ($415 600, 105.5, 1.3%, BE 31)
Second year player Gulden exploded onto the scene round one last year with a 139 then backed it up with a 136 the next week. If that’s the start of his career, the kid could literally be anything. This year Errol has started slightly slower but still impressed with his accurate kicking and his ability to find a target inside 50. Last week he attended 6 CBA’s (the same as Heeney). This bodes well for at least some midfield time going forward. It may still be a year or two early to expect the consistency required of a premium selection. Though don’t be surprised if Gulden steps up as the Swans make their move up the ladder.
Jack Gunston ($355 200, 97.5, 1.0%, BE 13)
Jack missed all but one game of 2021 with injury, and although cheap, at face value doesn’t look like a viable pick. Although quite mobile, he plays forward for a what looks like a rebuilding side – tell that to Port fans. Watching him the last few weeks (he’s in my Draft side), I was very surprised to see him moving as well as ever. He has a real knack for finding the goals, and on current form should make money and score quite well. There’s probably too many $200K-$250K options ahead of him atm. If you already own the good ones (especially Heeney) and need some cash for other upgrades, downgrading an injured T Thomas to Gunston may not be the worst idea.
Daniel Rioli (RICH, DEF/FWD, $355.200, 97.5, 1.0% BE 13)
To be honest I wasn’t a fan of the Rioli pick in the pre season. Years of inconsistent performances forward of the ball made for too many doubts in my mind. His preseason games showed little to prove me wrong. Yet here we are in Round 2, and Rioli looks like he’s settled into the HB role nicely. His DPP and low BE make him somewhat of an attractive selection. I know it maybe hard to find the cash for Rioli in todays SC world with so many mid priced FWD options. I’m also still unsure I’ve seen enough to recommend him just yet. If you did manage to start him, you would be quite chuffed at what he has put up so far.
So that’s it for my first in season edition of Rare Gems. Let me know in the comments if there’s any low owned players you are considering.
Thanks for reading
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