Midfielders

SuperCoach Scout – Tom Rockliff

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Tom Rockliff

Price: $374,900
Position: Midfield
2018 Average: 62.5
2017 Average: 96.3
Breakeven: 25

Tom Rockliff gave his all in his nine seasons at Brisbane and gave a lot of the SuperCoach community joy with some staggering performances and unrealistic scores – becoming a fantasy icon for many.

After an extremely slow and sluggish start to his Port Adelaide days earlier this year, Rockliff well and truly bottomed out and is currently priced at $374,900, one of the most tempting price-tags in a long time for a player with his track record.

This week alone, we’ve already seen 5,523 teams trade the former Lions captain into their sides, but are we falling into a trap, or does history say ‘Rocky’ isn’t done yet?

Before we look at his Brisbane days, let’s observe how we got here. In his debut match for the teal, black and white Rockliff had just 12 possessions playing in a nothing role at half-forward. He followed this up with a nine-disposal game, and 17 SuperCoach points, yes 17.

Against his old side in round three, he saw more midfield time scoring 74 points, then followed this up with just 29 points the next week.

Port Adelaide has a plethora of midfield options, and it wasn’t until Round 8 when Rockliff was brought back into the side, he started to find his feet. No one was looking at him at this stage, but he had a Showdown to remember – collecting 31 disposals, nine tackles and 98 points.

To make sure it wasn’t a fluke, and just tempt all coaches out there, he backed this up with a 26 disposal, 102 point-performance in Shanghai against the Suns – leading to many jumping back on board the Rockliff train. He went by just 42 per cent disposal efficiency but was saved by his seven tackles.

What’s interesting now is we’ve got a guy who once upon a time averaged a whopping 132 points across an 18-game season not so long ago, and many midfielder rookies who are cashed up and hitting the mid-season wall.

For example, Geelong’s Tim Kelly provided us with great scoring output over his first two months of senior footy – the past two weeks he hasn’t been as productive and is bleeding cash fast. A popular trade this week is Kelly to Rockliff, one that will, in fact, make you money.

In 2017, Rockliff had a great first half of the year but only managed one score over 100 from Round 12 onwards, signs of him fading away.

As tempting as it is, and knowing he will produce handy scores as your final midfielder, there is the added knowledge that he will post some terrible, below 60 scores as well. It’s bound to happen.

With a breakeven of just 25, and coming off a bye, now is the perfect time to jump on board. If you’re one of those lucky folks who have plenty of trades, I’d also be looking at sideways trading a midfield rookie to Rockliff, and potentially use him as a reserve for injured players and to cover byes.

The Power’s next month of footy will test them, with Hawthorn, Richmond, Western Bulldogs and Melbourne to come up against. However, after this week Port play three consecutive home games, where Rockliff should be feeling all the love from the Port Adelaide faithful.

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