Batten's Best Buy

Batten’s Best Buy Round 21 – Sam Menegola

As SuperCoaches, we are faced with many tough decisions on a week-to-week basis. Dan will aim to outline the ‘best buy’ of the Round in terms of price, overall output and/or cash generation for the rest of the season.

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Previous BBB’s: Isaac Heeney (Round 8), Josh P. Kennedy (Round 9), Todd Goldstein (Round 10), Joel Selwood (Round 11), Tom J. Lynch (Round 12), Marcus Bontempelli (Round 13, Jake Lloyd (Round 14), Matthew White (Round 15), Patrick Cripps (Round 16), Dayne Zorko (Round 17), Dayne Beams (Round 18), Josh J. Kennedy (Round 19), Clayton Oliver (Round 20)

Needless to say, it hurt seeing the likes of Josh Kelly (127), Lachie Neale (156) and Mitch Duncan (132) go big, but last week’s suggestion of Oliver (110) didn’t let us down.

While it is business time of the SuperCoach season, it is also the time of year where we need to bring a bit of fun into the equation.

Say g’day to Sam Menegola, our el-cheapo option for Joel Selwood.

Sam Menegola

Price: $477,700
Current Average: 97.1 (16 games)
2016 average: 99.3 (6 games)
Predicted average from here on: 108
Breakeven: 52

Some of you would have opened this thinking “oh no, Dan has lost the plot”, and I don’t blame you.

My personal SuperCoach side is in absolute shambles. Grundy, Merrett, Tom Lynch, Witherden and Selwood with one trade left and just $23k in the bank has left me stressed and short of sleep.

What day is it?

But I know I’m not alone with my sorrows. To avoid all that carnage, you would be one of the luckiest people in the SuperCoach universe.

Anyway, my insomnia has left me up day and night attempting to fill the void of Joel Selwood – a BBB inductee in Round 11. Taking a positive out of a negative.

Crunching the numbers on some of the options for Selwood for those with minimal cash in the kitty like myself, I have come to the conclusion that Menegola may be the solution to our problems.

For those of you who still think I’m smoking SuperCoach pipe, listen in.

Since he made his debut for the Cats last year, Sam Menegola has been a contested animal. He burst onto the scene as a ball-winning midfielder late last year, averaging 99 points from his six matches.

However, we have seen Menegola spend a lot of his time rotating forward this season, instead of spending the entirety of games in the guts where he does his best work. This can explain his 97 point SuperCoach average for the season thus far.

Another reason is due to the fact that Dangerwood© chalks up a great deal of the points, along with Mitch Duncan who has taken his game to a new level in 2017. Add Scooter Selwood into the on-ball mix and it has been hard for Menegola to crack into the top-3 onballers at stoppages.

This is where it gets interesting. Consider Menegola’s performance last week without some of the aforementioned players in the side. With Dangerfield on the sidelines with suspension and Joel Selwood injured for periods of the game, Menegola pumped out 113 points from 25 disposals, laying seven tackles and booting 2.3 in the Cats’ loss to the Swans.

This backed up his 124 point performance the week before against the Blues – his first ton since Round 15.

With Selwood ruled out for the remainder of 2017 and Mitch Duncan out with suspension this week, Menegola will again be an integral part of Geelong’s midfield brigade. Even when Duncan returns, Samuel will remain as a key cog in the midfield group to fill the Selwood void.

With this sort of form under his belt and greater responsibility in the midfield, Menegola is a huge chance to finish off the season with three tons against Richmond, Collingwood (88 against them in Round 6) and GWS (130 in Round 15)

Last week he was named on the half-forward flank for his matchup against the Swans. This week, he finds himself named on the ball with Dangerfield and Scooter Selwood. Tasty.

Doesn’t seem so insane now, does it?

It is not like the past two weeks has been the only sign of his scoring potential, either. The 25-year-old has scored five other tons in 2017, three of which eclipsed the 120 mark.

Menegola is just a $4k upgrade from Selwood.

Let’s take a look at some of the other options around that price.

Bryce Gibbs ($466,300) has the ability to hit some massive totals but is likely to continue copping a tag. He faces Mark Hutchings on the weekend who will most likely blanket him. Same goes with Rory Sloane ($496,000), who faces West Coast in SuperCoach Grand Final week and Sydney in the Prelim, who will also look to lock him down.

Adam Treloar ($493,300) and Dan Hannebery ($461,200) are also around the mark but have been far too inconsistent this season to trust in the last few round of 2017.

I am generally a very conservative SuperCoacher. If you had told me at the start of the year I would trade in Sam Menegola at Round 21, I would have laughed in your face.

But at an ownership of 0.8% and the prospect of more midfield responsibility on his muscular shoulders – as he received last week – I can see this risk paying dividends.

We live and die by the sword in this tedious game, and I’m willing to back my gut-feel on this one.

It is time to roll the dice and have a bit of fun, folks, and PODS are the definition of fun.

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