Coach: Sam Jordan
Salary Remaining: $14,100
Light on, I know. However, with a lack of clear standout premium options and an abundance of potential cash cows in defence, I believe the 2-0-6 structure is the best way to approach 2018.
Despite a preseason calf complaint Jeremy Howe has returned to playing football and taking his customary hangers with another special in JLT2. As part of a Collingwood back-end which promises to be more attacking with its ball movement, I’m backing him to build upon his 2017 to have another stellar year.
Before his concussion last year, Jake Lloyd was one of the highest achieving backmen in terms of SuperCoach output. At just 479,900 he is too cheap to pass up for someone I expect to be solid all year.
Along with every man and his dog, I’ve picked Naughton, Doedee, Murray and Finlayson, with Murphy and Keefe on the pine. Keefe, although may not be the best scoring option, could provide extra flexibility to my squad with his DEF/FWD eligibility.
With this structure, I trade in premiums in an ad-hoc manner according to who is in form, without locking myself in from Round 1.
Patrick Dangerfield’s hamstring is the talk of the town, but despite the concerns over the likelihood of him lining up in Round 1, I plan on selecting him regardless. Although Dusty may have been unofficially crown with ‘best player in the league’ status, the former Crow still holds the mantle of being the best SuperCoach scorer and is, therefore, a must-have.
After a breakout year, I’m expecting Josh Kelly to go from strength to strength and could even push the 120 average barrier in 2018. He is ultra-consistent, durable and can only get better with age.
At M3, sits Nat Fyfe who will continue the form he began to show at the end of 2017 to return to his pinnacle.
In what was seen by many as a poor season from Marcus Bontempelli – he still averaged 105. This speaks volumes about his premium calibre and the added hunger following last year’s premiership hangover will drive him to a career-best season.
My risky point of difference in the midfield is Dayne Beams, who has been a metaphorical walking Band-Aid in recent years. The former Magpie has a massive ceiling and full fitness for the bulk of the year will see him have an average of 110+ come season’s end.
Big-bodied youngster Patrick Cripps is a popular pick for a reason, $537,300 is just too cheap to pass up.
The only interesting rookie selection here is Nick Coffield, who can be swung into defence if need be.
Todd Goldstein was distracted by personal matters throughout last year, and there’s no doubt it would have impacted significantly on his footy. Although he may not ever return to the freakish form he was in circa 2014, I think he will average over 100 despite Preuss loitering in the North 22.
The Gawn pick doesn’t need any justification, and Olango’s claim to fame can be being the most popular donut option for 2018.
The forward line is undoubtedly the toughest line to select, with a lack of rookies and clear premium options.
Jack Billings and Jack Martin were both elite junior prodigies, and word of them both ‘bulking up’ over the offseason has perked my interest.
The Essendon midfield has been crying out for someone like Devon Smith, and two impressive JLT outing has him cemented in my team as F3.
It’s only a matter of time for Christian Petracca to break-out, and I’m backing it to be in 2018 with the promise of more time to be spent around the ball.
James Sicily should benefit from the retirement of Hodge and injury to Birchall and become a handy intercept and rebound player for the Hawks. I can also swing him into my defence if required, and the lack of strong rookie options has led me to field Allen Christensen who can hopefully average in the 80s and become a stepping stone to a premium later in the season.