Unique of the Week is back for 2015 as we pay closer attention to those players who have been flying under the radar. These players will offer a huge point of difference to your side, which can be vital for securing league wins and getting ahead of the pack. This week, Josh looks at Greater Western Sydney forward Devon Smith.
Name: Devon Smith
2014 Average: 90.2
2015 Average: 107.5
Coming into his fourth season of AFL, Devon Smith has put his hand up as one of the best emerging young players in the competition. Taken at Pick 14 in the 2011 National Draft, Smith predominately plays in the forward line, but his ability to play in the midfield as well means he can rack up disposals, averaging 21 disposals last year to go with a season tally of 26 goals for the season.
Smith has improved his output year after year thus far. From 2013 to 2014 he increased his average disposals per game by five, and also improved his disposal efficiency from 64% to 70%. In that time, he also improved his SuperCoach average, lifting it by 20 points to 90, and already this season is averaging 107 SuperCoach points a game. Although he may not average that come season’s end, he should be averaging over 100.
Devon Smith – like most forwards – can be frustratingly inconsistent. Despite hitting the ton on eight occasions last year, Smith went below 60 three times, which is really not acceptable for a premium. Because Smith gets a lot of uncontested ball, and his disposal efficiency is good, but not elite (70% last year), his scores can suffer. Last year against Geelong, he had 20 disposals at 75% efficiency for just 57 SuperCoach points, because 15 of those disposals were uncontested.
It is also interesting to note that Smith does not like playing at the Giant’s home ground, Spotless Stadium. Last year, he averaged just 79 SuperCoach points there, and GWS have not played a game there this season; it will be used for all of GWS’s home games except one, after Round 6. Last year, he averaged 97 points away from Spotless Stadium, and all of his games this year have been away from home.
With a breakeven of just 59, you can’t wait another week to get Devon Smith. It either needs to be this week or this week. He would be a solid option to trade in this week, but given his knack of occasionally scoring below 50, it might be worth waiting on him, and trading him in later in the season when he bottoms out in price.
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