Batten's Best Buy

Batten’s Best Buy Round 22 – James Sicily

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.

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), Sam Menegola (Round 21

Last week’s best buy Sam Menegola was saved by a big last quarter, scoring 91 points. He may have scored a bit bloody better if he operated at higher than a 47% disposal efficiency…

Anyway, we continue our journey down the POD-path with forward turned defender James Sicily

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James Sicily

Price: $468,600
Current Average: 73.6 (16 games)
Avg Last 3: 111.3 (107, 130, 97)
Predicted average from here on: 100
Breakeven: 46

My apologies for this extra-late edition of Batten’s Best Buys. A very poorly constructed video-essay had to take precedence over this piece hitting the interwebs yesterday.

We have come to the stage of the year where trades are scarce.

In what has been one of the most difficult SuperCoach seasons in recent memory, trades have been thrown away willy-nilly.

If you have any trades left, you are a part of the minority. If you have multiple trades (yep notice that extra ‘s’), your self-restraint must be commended.

Or perhaps you’ve had no internet for the past five weeks, you forgot your SuperCoach password or you have two broken hands. Then yeah, stiff.

If you are one in the camp with trade/s in the bank, here is an opportunity for you in the name of James Sicily.

Alastair Clarkson has played Sicily in defence for the majority of the season, with the 22-year-old going at a rather average 73.6 points per game.

At first glance, this is a trade fraught with danger, but his recent form is a better reflection of what he will produce over the next couple of weeks.

The fiery man (in more ways than one) has scored three tons in his past month of footy, playing a very SuperCoach friendly intercepting role across half-back. As we know, marks from opposition are an extremely scoring avenue, with an uncontested intercept mark earning a player four points and a contested intercept mark yielding accruing eight points. To put that into perspective, a contested intercept mark is equivalent to kicking a goal.

Being thrusted into the role has seen Sicily thrive, with his exceptionally reading of the play and ability to launch himself at the footy showing through. Sicily is averaging a whopping 11 marks over the past month, with a number of these being valuable intercept marks. His possession tally has also risen during this period, claiming 28 disposals per game (16 of those being kicks). Most importantly, he is averaging 110 points over this period.

Some of you might still be thinking, gee, it’s still risky picking a bloke averaging 73 points this year.

While it has been this month that his points scoring has been at its best, he has been noticeably better since Hawthorn’s bye. In those eight matches Sicily has averaged 96 points, with just one total under 87 – a measly 46 in Round 17.

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The interesting thing for me is that opposition teams are not really fussed about manning him up, and I doubt Sicily will be Carlton’s number one priority tonight. Sicily was able to do as he pleased against North Melbourne last weekend, with Hawthorn’s intent to control the ball around the back-50 being a large reason for his 27 disposals and 107 points.

I see this being no different under the roof at Etihad over the next two weeks, where Sicily will have prime conditions to clunk the footy.

Sorry, did I mention that he is in just 0.8% of teams???

A POD at this time of year can separate a crucial win from a loss in a SuperCoach Grand Final. A cheeky trade from an underperforming Luke Dahlhaus or Toby Nankervis for example could net you an extra 50 or 60 points over the next fortnight. It could be the difference between winning your cash league and falling just short.

Sicily is certainly not the most likeable player in the league, but he has proved he is worthy of SuperCoach selection for these vital last two rounds.

He will be a very tantalising prospect for next season with DEF/FWD eligibility looming likely, and I will be licking my chops if he is at under $430k at the beginning of SC 18’.

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