The Peril of the 2018 Forwards (Part 2)

Written by Huttabito on February 22 2018

None of the top 10 appear to be absolute locks with all their own setbacks or unknowns and if you missed the reasoning why, take a read of The Peril of the 2018 Forwards (Part 1). Tie in that history says 5 of those will drop from the top 10 and another 5 will replace them, it looks to be an absolute lottery at this stage to try and guess.

So what to do now? Well there are many options moving forward (pun intended) – Do you punt on a couple of the young gun forwards (Heeney, Billings) hoping they are young enough to hit the ground running? Do you pick one and then a few of your low $400k with hopes they become premiums (D.Smith, C.Curnow, J.Sicily, R.Lobb (injured still), J.de Goey, C.Petracca, M.Robinson)? Or do you go full value town starting 3-4 of above and try get good points for dollars spent and skip the top end premiums altogether and only trade in a couple when they fall to round out the line?

If you feel uneasy picking up any of the top 10 priced premiums or betting on a $400k on a mid-pricer (let alone 2 or 3) that may fizzle out, there are a few in the top 11-30 priced forward bin that could be worth starting… Huttabito’s top 6 picks:

Michael Walters ($478,300)ย – Before I carry on, let me preface this with if you play with a Ross Lyon player, you play with fire. With Fyfe playing injured between Rd7-15, Walters was injected into the midfield on a regular basis and averaged 112 over this period of time – which includes a score of 49 (when no Docker rocked up in the rain to play against Adelaide) to go with a 135, 137 and 172. Fyfe was back to his best from Rd16 onwards which saw Walters 2 following games go for 106 and 88 (97 average) – so less than he was averaging, but definitely enough to lock away top 5 forward, but then also not enough games to draw conclusions. He then suffered a season ending injury in Rd18 on 49 points, but that was on 39% game time and given he usually averages 80%, he was on track for another triple figure score. The most important factor for Walters though is that he’s been training with the midfield group throughout the 2018 pre-season and may well line up in the centre square Rd1, bouncedown #1. If I was to have a guess, Walters and Blakely will be the defender/forward who chop and change from the centre square to support Fyfe and Neale and a Mundy/Brayshaw swapping with the other 2.

Jack Gunston ($474,800) –ย It was evident before last year begun that Hawthorn were going to struggle which lead to Gunston not being able to back up his 3 years of 90+ average between 2014 and 2016. He did however fall just short with an average of 86.4 so he’s coming in slightly underpriced if he can return to prior form – especially when you consider his 96 average from Rd12 onwards which includes 121, 124 and a 146. If you can’t tell, he does have a huge ceiling and has scores of 131, 135, 144, 146, 149, 151 and 165 next to his name over the last 4 years. Gunston also comes with the added bonus of durability, playing 22 games in his last 3 seasons with 20 games played for the 2 years prior. Hawthorn have that very friendly Rd12 bye and the more I type, the more I am talking myself into him. Be weary though that he CAN drop shockers from time to time (lets be honest they all can), but if you just want those points for overall, there are certainly far worse options going around.

Joe Daniher ($472,800) – You might recall my Essendon team review that I’m calling Daniher a premium for 2018. He has been improving every year since debuting and broke out last year increasing his average by 17 to 86. He showed and Riewoldtesque game style at times last year, often seen running up the wings and providing a rebound 50 target with the occasional ruck relief duties to boost his score. The Bombers should have the drug saga well and truly behind them and combined with self/team improvement, expect a second jump into the 90s and therefore entering premium status. Daniher is also quite durable only missing 2 games in the last 4 years and none in the last 3.

Kane Lambert ($472,500) – Was a rookie on the bubble in 2015 and wasn’t picked up on the bubble as he averaged 37 points over his first 4 games before trolling everyone to average 82 from the last 9 games.ย  Lambert had a slow start to 2017 but really found his role in the premiership winning team and had a strong finish averaging 98 over his last 13 games and 107 over the finals. One thing that is potentially holding Lambert back as a suitable pick is the Rd14 bye and sharing it with the likes of Heeney, Billings and Franklin who may be the more common trade in targets.

Toby McLean ($470,200) – One of the Bulldogs who is responsible for 1 of the top 10 priced forward (Dahlhaus) not being a certified forward lock. McLean has spent majority of his first 25 games across 2.5 years in the forward line and was omitted with a suite of dogs in Rd9 last year as the reigning premiers were sitting 8th with a record of 5-3. He made his return after the bye and began attending centre bounces from Rd14 and in Rd15, was named as a follower as opposed to the half forward line noting his midfield rotations. Since allowing to attend centre bounces, his average spiked to 97.2 for the last 10 games of the season from an average game of 25 disposals and 4 tackles. If he rotates through middle regularly during the JLT series, it’s clear they want his pressure around the ball so could be a smokey to be a top end forward for 2018. He also plays for one of the 4 teams that have that sweet Rd12 bye.

Tom J. Lynch ($467,600)ย – I know what your thinking, I must be joking after he burnt everyone last year. Lynch plays Riewoldtesque style game too and collects points all around the park, but struggled to cover ground with an injured back towards the end of the year which really hampered his scoring and dropping his average. Gold Coast have a dream opening run over the first 5 rounds: North Melbourne, Carlton, Fremantle, West Coast and Brisbane – teams who he’s averaged 102 against the last 2 years, so the difference in points gained up to the early bye may make him a justifiable starting pick. He’s one of the most prized restricted free agents for 2018 so he’s playing for a big salary rise. A major concern is that no Ablett will mean no delivery to the forward 50, so I ran through some numbers to see what the “Gazza Effect” was. In 2014, they played 15 games together and Lynch averaged 77 compared to his average of 96 without. In 2015, Ablett did not play and Lynch averaged 88. In 2016, they played 14 games together and Lynch averaged 91 compared to his average of 96 without. It’s too hard to draw conclusions in 2017 as Lynch’s back hindered him too much at times. Gold Coasts midfield isn’t as weak as people suggest as they still have the likes of Hall, Lyons, Swallow, Barlow, Hanley, Miller, Weller etc running through it with Witts (who solidified himself as a solid tap ruckman in 2017) feeding them the ball, so I think Lynch will do just fine this season.

So that is 6 of my roughie picks to take advantage of the injured and indecisive top priced forwards and end up as the top 10 overall scorers. For what it’s worth, this is my current line up:

I’m backing in two young guns to hit the ground running for now with D.Smith as an under priced pick who I think will get solid midfield time. Billings is the most risk of being dropped though over the JLT pending roles of the 6 above and there is every chance D.Smith gets upgraded before the start of the season too.

So Coaches, how are you tackling the forward line in 2018?

19
0


Leave a comment / Scroll to bottom

29 thoughts on “The Peril of the 2018 Forwards (Part 2)”

  1. Love your work Hutt, Hogan is one i’m keeping a sneaky eye on well underpriced on his best form & obvious excuses last year, If I was to go a KPF he’s in front of Lynch, JPK and Daniher for me at this stage

    6

    0
    1. Interesting, definitely has a ceiling but has a few to many lower scores the last few years for my liking – if he can get up the ground a tad more and get a better floor, could pay off nicely for you!

      3

      0
  2. Can someone please talk me out of Robbie Gray?

    Other than the round 10 bye i can’t see much of a down side to him. Worst case scenario he averages 90 which is around the mark for top 10 forwards. Best case is he averages 100-108 which puts him as one of the leading forwards.

    I don’t think there’s too much of an injury concern despite being pulled out of AFLX. I was surprised anyone would even list their best players for that tournament. He’s only missed 4 games in the last 4 years

    He’s currently sitting in my side at F3

    10

    0
    1. Robbie has trained with the forwards so he seems unlikely to pump out 105+ppg but he has had a better preseason than last year so he’s likely to averagethe same or better.

      I can’t see a massive upside but it’s difficult to fault his selection at the moment.

      4

      0
    2. Latest article says he will pretty much play the same role as last year – should go on for a mid 90 average. Wait and see for me, he’s fully priced so may be a better post bye trade in target but can’t blame you if you want to roll the dice with him.

      5

      0
      1. Thanks Thommo and Hutta,

        I trust him at F3 to average at least 90-95 more than i do with the Petracca/Smith type. Happy to spend the extra cash and not get stuck with someone potentially averaging 70-80.

        JLT series could change that of course!

        3

        1
  3. Great article Hutta. I’m a little worried how similar your team selection seems to mine. I have Setterfield ahead of Higgins but otherwise that forward line is identical to mine.

    4

    0
    1. Agreed. I was under the impression that Higgins wasn’t necessarily going to get early games (definitely remember reading it somewhere).

      5

      0
      1. He’s definitely borderline. Richmond plan to take as close to a Rd1 team into the JLT series so we’ll know in just a few days. At F5, he’s just as good as any other rookie at the moment so I can’t be bothered taking him out. Lots of value in the forward line with what looks like a few decent rookie options so it’s not a huge deal and probably better if he comes in as a downgrade option to be honest.

        3

        0
    2. Why are you worried? I have the 50k team so you want to replicate mine as much as you can ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had Setterfield at F4 but pushed him up to Bundy a while ago, not sure I need to bat as deep as him at F5. Looking to squeeze 2 of the higher priced rookies (Dow, Brayshaw, LDU, Setterfield, Brodie) at M6/7 though so with his DPP, he could still find a way in.

      4

      0
      1. Make sure you show me your entire team before the season starts so I can share the glory then!

        I am batting super deep in case of Rookigeddon like we had early last season.

        0

        0
  4. Looks solid hutta i like it. are the rumours true about dimma saying higgins wont be rushed into playing round 1 and may not see him for a few weeks or even longer?

    2

    0
  5. Great Write Up Hutta!

    McLean and Walters are not in at the moment , but are in the mix for my line up. So a watch on those 2 in JLT.

    Now i will be at the Holden Centre tonight for Collingwood’s Intra Club Match. The kick off is at 7.10pm and i will post a write up at Half Time and at the end of the game under this post.

    I will mainly focus on the 2 key rookies Murray and Stephenson.
    Now i have had requests to report other rookies Siers , Kirby , Murphy.
    Hopefully , i can throw us into a gem like Hoskin – Elliott last year after his BOG in last years Intra Club.

    Other players i will let everyone else know how they are tracking and possibly their roles are Pendles , Adams , Treloar , Grundy , Cox , Maynard , Crisp , Phillips , Langdon and Wells.

    16

    0
    1. Wells won’t play tonight as he is battling his troublesome calf and is in doubt to play Round 1.

      Moore heel , and Howe calf are very unlikely to play tonight and i am also hearing they are also touch and go for JLT.

      2

      0
      1. Half Time thoughts in Pies Intra Club.

        Murray looks promising a left footer and has taken 3 Intercept marks and as well as a few link up handballs. Has manned up Varcoe keeping him relatively quiet with Varcoe just kicking the 1 goal in the 2nd.

        Stephenson is quick and he can find it as they look for him. He has been caught a couple of times holding the ball trying to take the game on so just lacking a little early composure.
        Verdict – Jury still out on a Round 1 debut although De Goey might have opened up the door.

        Nathan Murphy $117,300 Def – Fwd has played at Full Back and taken a couple of marks so might get a game later in the season. Possible Downgrade Target , but will need an injury if played KP.
        Treloar and Crisp in the white Team in the Mids racking them up , whilst Pendles and Adams the same in the black Team.

        Interstingly Grundy and Cox are on the same Team up against McLarty and McCarthy.
        Grundy dominating playing main ruck role with Cox mainly up forward who has bagged a couple , but could have 4 as he dropped 2 sitters on the lead close in up forward.

        No Maynard to be seen. Kirby quiet up forward for the Black Team.

        Half Time Black 7 7 49 – White 5 4 34

        9

        0
        1. Assuming they are playing the rucks together as that is probably the plan for the year so they are trying to get them to gel.

          3

          0
            1. Sorry fellas not too much more to report as i left half way thru the last as the young fella has to get up early for work.

              Murray continued to play off half back doing nothing outstanding. Probably capable of 60 and 70s if he can take Intercept marks like tonight and being used in link up handball chains out of the backline. Verdiict Still a borderline Round 1 starter.

              Special mention to Kirby who dominated up forward playing from the square on Murphy finding the ball and bagging 3 goals.

              The Pies themselves still look a bit off the mark at this early stage with their kicking for goal still poor.

              8

              1
                  1. Thanks Thommo!

                    The least i can do for the site and it’s writers.
                    Yeah i just have to get down my thoughts so not always that insightful as no time to edit when you are answering questions on Twitter as well.

                    Speaking about Twitter anyone not following Chillo @ChilloSCT , Hutta @powerhutt , and Schwarzy @SchwarzwalderSC i recommend you do as they Tweet some great insightful thoughts.

                    Now Thommo i know you have a Twitter account that you don’t get on or use.
                    If you want to get on we will help lift your profile which will also get more people on the site reading your great articles..
                    Chillo has managed over 100 #SuperCoach followers in 3 days with a few ReTweets.

                    1

                    1
  6. Mclean is my f3 atm hoping he sitll gets that mid time, curnow/walters may get that f3 spot depending who does the best in ht jlt games

    6

    1
  7. I’ve got three forward names that are in my consideration at the moment but don’t really know where they are at. They seem to be ghosts in the SuperCoach landscape.

    > Lobb – 396.5K
    > Balic – 252.9K
    > Ah Chee (WC) – 255.1K

    Anyone know if they’re still alive? They’re all potential breakout candidates but all possible busts.

    6

    1
    1. Lobb reportedly struggling a bit with groin injury over the pre-season. Balic & Ah Chee are in the mix for Rd1 by all reports…….

      2

      1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *