The Adelaide Football Club’s strength and conditioning department is under the microscope this week, with Taylor Walker joining six of his teammates to have suffered from hamstring problems already in 2018.
The high-number of similar injuries has prompted concerns over the potential for even more players to be struck in the near future, however, coach Don Pyke told reporters on Wednesday that “I don’t fear that there will be any more.”
The Crows’ current injury situation is following an eerily similar path to that of Essendon in 2012, when the Bombers suffered a ridiculous number of soft-tissue injuries throughout the entirety of the season.
The most fantasy-relevant player of the injured brigade is midfielder Matt Crouch, who made his return in last week’s win over Gold Coast. It was the 23-year-old’s first outing since his injury in Round 2 against Richmond, and he didn’t seem to miss a beat with 30 disposals and a goal.
Either this week or next, plenty of SuperCoaches will be eyeing off the prospect of bringing the ball-magnet into their teams as his price looks let drop with a breakeven of 167. Having already dropped $47,000 for the season, Crouch looks set to be the epitome of a ‘fallen premium’ with his injury-affected score of 51 still rolling through his price cycle.
The left-footer has averaged 36 disposals in his two non-injury affected games with scores of 105 and 100, with his Round 2 score of 51 racked up in just over a quarter of game-time. The numbers underline that Crouch is part of the elite in Fantasyland, who continues to rack up bulk numbers. In a similar ilk to Tom Mitchell, the Crow’s weakness was his ball use throughout his junior career, but time in the AFL system has proven that he too is no slouch with ball in hand.
In order to take his SuperCoach scoring to the next level, Crouch needs to win more contested ball, averaging 24 uncontested possessions out of a total 31 so far in 2018. However, if we use 2017 as the blueprint for Matt Crouch’s scoring ability, it can be seen that he improves as the year progresses which would please those who invest in him this season.
Although Crouch is such a promising scoring option, his Round 14 bye must be considered as a potential downfall of his selection, with his midseason break shared with fellow guns Patrick Dangerfield, Dustin Martin and Nat Fyfe just to name a few. However, if you believe that this does not significantly affect your team balance, Crouch looks poised to bounce back to his best for the remainder of 2018.