Underpricer – DEF#1 – Sam Docherty

Written by on February 14 2020

Sam DOCHERTY (CAR), $436,100, BE: 80.3

Age: 26yrs 4mths

Games: 92

2020 Season: 6th (but missed two)

Draft Pick: Rd1 Pick 12

SC history (2017-13): 114.7, 108.7, 87.7, 76.8, 52.8

SC % ownership: 50.7%

If Doch wasn’t coming off two years out and two ACLs, based on the above ‘delicious’ key indicators you’d be picking him second only to Grundy.  But he ain’t …

What do we need?

At his starting price, Sam needs to EITHER finish as a Top8 DEF playing at least 20 games (likely 98 ave.), OR  ave. 100+ until injured (hopefuly not early)



Doch was an absolute gun before doing his first ACL in pre-season 2018.  A 98 ave. represents a 15% drop in output from the last time he played senior footy.  He took on a considerable coaching role during his absence from the field, so will know CAR’s game-plan inside and out.  With younger, less experienced players learning their craft around him, we can expect Doch to remain the key ‘go to’ option in general defensive play and transition.


A double-ACL is very significant. Looking at the history of SC outputs following an ACL injury, we might expect anything from 78-102 ave.  I’d be inclined to think the lower end of the range, given the fact he has had two ACL reco’s and two years out of the game.

What will happen if he averages 98 and gets injured?!

If he can play 9 games and average 98, you SHOULD be able to pick up a ‘Fallen Premium’ in a single trade.  Perhaps as early as Rd7



We will know more about role and his likely output after the Marsh Series.  If I had to decide now, I likely wouldn’t pick him.  He’s not currently in my side.


WARNING: I’ve noticed a few requests already on the initial piece.  The first lot of players reviewed will be done so in order of SC ownership % (being a pretty good indicator of relevance).  After the Marsh Series, I will then cover any surprise bolters we may have missed, who could be the difference in SC 2020. eg Tom LYNCH was an oversight on my part and will be covered, but Gibbs and Cotchin won’t I’m afraid CJ84.  Neither are ‘underpriced’ and both look like they’ll be playing frogger/dodging beer trucks in 2020 😉


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18 thoughts on “Underpricer – DEF#1 – Sam Docherty”

  1. Beyond the injury risk, my concern is how Carlton and the game overall have changed since he last played.

    Will he take kick ins? How does Newman impact him? Does the trend of shallow entries hurt him?

    Need the Marsh Series to put me at ease before I start him.


  2. I’ve got him for now I know the risks but, I can still see the Doch who average over 110 in 2017. I know he won’t get back to that but I’m feeling optimistic on him averaging close to if not more than 100.

    Like TrooRoo mentioned him game is based on outside ball & the odd intercept mark, now I think about it he’s role is like our good friend the seagull Jake Lloyd.

    Obvisouly the Marsh cup will give us a better indication on him & each and every coach will have their reasons for picking him or not.

    Hope that was somewhat helpful??


  3. A no at this stage due to 2 ACLs
    If he starts pumping 90-95s I’m happy to have missed him.
    The ACLs worry me. If he goes down? Who I do replace him wth at that price?
    I’m trying to build a 2020 team where I can sleep at night easier.


  4. Great read AS. He is not in my side because there are way too many unknowns for my liking. The Carlton side he was playing in was pretty defensive. Now they love playing a fast game that gets the ball quickly out of defence that is actually exciting to watch. If the Coach values Caleb Marchbank, and Newman, then there will be few people sharing the footy. He is a champion and will do very well. But Adding the 2 ACL and coming back to the pace of the game, it is a deal breaker and a pass for me. I will only think again if he averages 100+ in this Marsh series.


  5. I’m sure others have mentioned this theory but often with line-ball decisions, whether it’s Doc or someone else, I’ll look at the potential risk to be burnt by the selection/non-selection.

    Doc is currently at 50% ownership, which is likely to be higher amongst serious players. I feel like he’s more likely to burn you by NOT owning him, than vice versa. Plus, it’s easier to trade him out if he’s injured, than trade him in if he’s smashing it.


    1. CA, I don’t think not owning will burn you. I’d say the other 50% of teams who don’t owe him would be fielding a premium defender over Doch, including myself.
      If he does by chance go down and he is still at his similar price, you’ll waste a trade getting in a average defender if you don’t have $$$ in the bank to get a premium.


      1. Fair enough ToneStar, and there’s a pretty strong history of players struggling after an ACL.

        I think the upside is what sets him apart for me. If I pick him and he gets injured, I have options (limited options, as you’ve mentioned, but still options). If he drops 10ppg on his previous average, he’s a top 3 Def. Even dropping 15ppg has him comfortably in the top 6 Defs (based on last years avg.).

        However, if I don’t pick him, and he goes on a run of high scores (130+ in six games in 2017), I either have to miss those points and pay an extra 100-125k for him as an upgrade, or I sideways another premium. Either way I’m behind those that did pick him, which in my view, is a greater majority than his ownership indicates.

        This is my point about mitigating the risk of NOT selecting him, because best case scenario (he returns to top 1-3 def) far outweighs worst case (he gets injured).

        I apply the same (possibly flawed) logic to Devon Smith, with the opposite outcome. Even in his best season (2018), Smith NEVER scored over 125 and finished on the fringes of top 6-8 forwards. So despite high ownership, he’s less likely to burn you if you don’t have him.


  6. Some great comments all round, TrooRoo makes an excellent point about his role.

    It’s very diificult to compare this situation, but if we were it would be Malceski.

    Multiple ACLs in 09 & 10 and came back to play 22 games in 11 @96 ppg. Playing a very similar role to Docherty.

    Of course it’s different, for starters Malceski didn’t take the traditional route for an acl treatment, but it can be done.

    If it was a midfielder who run all day, I’d be a little more concerned.


  7. Brilliant analysis as always, AS. really appreciate the time you and other SCT contributors put in.

    I feel Doch is only a worthwhile investment if he finishes top 6 DEF, in which case his current price is irrelevant because he’d be a “keeper” rather than a stepping stone, barring injury. If you view Doch as a stepping stone, I feel there are much more sensible investments to make in the DEF slots. I‘ll probably watch his progress through rounds 1-3, rather than starting him.


  8. I cant’ see Doch averaging less than 95. In which case he is a DEF keeper in my side. If he goes down with another ACL – then I trade him. Up until that point (IF it ever happens) I am getting 95pts per week for the price of an 80 pts.


  9. Maybe we need AS to do before and afters stats on players who have had ACL’s. Big Maxy,Nic Nat,Malceski etc. I would think the odds are low on returning to previous form Max being the exception and only having the one ACL.


    1. Sure. Brodie Smith’s another. Any other recent ones?! And pls don’t say Zac Williams. He did his achilles, which if surgery goes well, should actually repair stronger than before and is therefore very unlikely to recur. Though if you do one, they do say your other one is likely susceptible!


  10. I feel your Selecting doedee, roberton as stepping stones,just have to make enough cash to upgrade. Docherty is selected as a keeper has to perform to a high standard all year.
    I think the previous 2 have a lot better chance of making 150k than Doherty does finishing the year top 6-8.



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