We all know that the likes of Dangerfield, Martin and Fyfe will be relied upon by many to score the bulk of their points, however, the perhaps more challenging aspect of selecting a midfield is finding an under-priced option who can improve on last year’s efforts.
Parker has a history of pushing the 110 SuperCoach average barrier, with averages of 108.4 and 111.9 in 2014 and 2016 respectively – both in seasons when the Swans featured in the Grand Final.
In these years, the midfielder’s strength and unrelenting attack of the footy allowed him to collect contested possessions at will. Parker also is surprisingly strong overhead for his size, allowing him to sneak forward and hit the scoreboard.
Remarkably, the gun Swan has been extremely durable during his career to date, having four seasons where he failed to miss a game, and has played 107 out of the last 110 games.
The man who wore the green vest in Sydney’s 2012 premiership triumph has not missed a beat this preseason, clocking up tons in each of his JLT outings.
Despite having brilliant campaigns in ’14 and ’16, Parker was significantly underwhelming in both ’15 and ’17.
Unlike many of other modern midfielders, Parker relies mostly on impact to score his points, rather than mere accumulation of statistics. Although this is generally favourable to the SuperCoach format, Parker tends to struggle unless Sydney are on top.
Parker was notably quiet in the Swans’ horror start to 2017 and only averaged 91.6 as his side slumped to 0-6 on the win-loss ratio, highlighting a tendency to go missing.
Selwood has the ‘runs on the board’ in terms of SuperCoach Royalty, stringing together nine consecutive seasons in which he has averaged in the triple figures.
Accompanied by gun teammates Dangerfield, Ablett and Duncan, the Cats are expected to once again win more games than they lose, and it’s hard to see the skipper losing any motivation to add some more silverware to the Cattery.
Geelong has also scored nine home games at the newly named GMHBA Stadium – a venue where Selwood has excelled in terms of fantasy output.
With the addition of Ablett, it makes it even harder for opposition to tag Selwood, as it will do nothing but increase the likelihood of the others getting off the chain.
Although Selwood’s body is extremely durable, his terrible history with head knocks is a real concern for those considering selecting him.
For example, in 2017, Selwood was removed from the game in the opening minute, with the medical team taking extra precaution with his dodgy head-knock history. Although this was a freak occurrence, the danger of Selwood getting knocked again cannot be ignored.
The return of the ‘Little Master’ may also give Geelong the flexibility to rest more of their midfielders later in the season, and there is a chance they may use the opportunity to freshen up their captain for a finals campaign if they can lock away wins early in the season.
Without a doubt, both of these options are attractive, however, Parker gets the nod from me due to the danger of Selwood missing games and the uncertainty that the return of Ablett will bring.
If you, like me, believe the Swans will continue their form which saw them surge into the 2017 finals series, it will be no surprise if the Dandenong Stingrays product can bounce back with a career-best year.