Not much this week to talk about so there's not going to be a normal list format yet. The key points of discussion are what to do with Liam Ryan, who is unfortunately out for 10-12 weeks and Gary Ablett.
Rather straightforward. At $620,700 he can be turned into pretty much any premium you can afford. So if you don't have any of the top guys, grab them, maybe hop onto the Cogs-train too, otherwise it's who you feel is best.
Which brings me to a point of discussion that's a good excuse for filler. Right now Jackson Macrae is getting a lot of love since he currently sits as the second best player after the freaky Mitchell. After only being in just under 3k teams, he's going to be in a lot more by trade deadline. Is he worth it? This is where diving back into the stats is a good idea.
Last year, there were quite a lot of players who started with a 130+ average, here they are listed and with their final overall average:
3Rd Ave: 144
2017 Ave: 119 (2nd best)
3Rd Ave: 142
2017 Ave: 108 (16th)
3Rd Ave: 139
2017 Ave: 136 (1st)
3Rd Ave: 131
2017 Ave: 105 (20th)
3Rd Ave: 131
2017 Ave: 99 (39th)
3Rd Ave: 130
2017 Ave: 110 (10th)
3Rd Ave: 130
2017 Ave: 107 (19th)
Most of these players are very good but what this shows is that if you brought in anyone who's not in that elite bracket (Dusty/Danger) you got them after they had their best scoring period for the season (Sloane is kinda anomaly, remember he went insane for 5 rounds then really dropped off badly til end of season). You would have been better trying to bring in Mitchell, Kelly, Crouch, Neale or Oliver. Making that call though, that is the hard challenge.
Scoring peaks are very hard to maintain. Right now I'd say by end of season Titchell is in line for a 130+ season, Dusty 120+, Danger anywhere and Fyfe to be the closest to 120 of the rest who will all mill around that 110 mark. That is what you need to consider first when wanting to bring in these players on big streak, at all price levels.
So this to me says that the most likely outcome with the highest probability is that Jackson Macrae by the end of the season will dip to an average well below 120 and maybe 110. Bringing him in is then gambling against history. I don't see any consistency at the Bulldogs this year with the team in a bit of a flux and with a lot of players capable of going big, which week to week will skew things.
Gibbs v Sloane is another interesting head to head. Is it likely that Sloane, will keep scoring at just over 100? Or that Gibbs will be a 120 player? Gibbs has never had a season above 108, whereas Sloane has had 2 seasons above 110. That's why he's the number one tag target. If Gibbs starts becoming more influential, coaches may change their focus which will be gold for Sloane, and we know he can score well.
This isn't me telling you who to pick or that one will definitely do better than the other, but it is an example of the type of questions needing to be asked when you want to arrive at a decision yourself.
The news from his injury is not good and it's likely he is out for a long time rather than a few rounds. If you have both him and ZGL and wondering what to do the news now makes that decision for you: trade out Ryan. If you have a sizeable nest egg available because of restructuring last week than you should upgrade him to a premium. Someone you like and can afford in the top 20 who's not a key forward [named Buddy] or small forward would be my suggestion. Rookies listed in the section below.
Rookies On The Bubble
Ed Richards WBD Def $135,300 BE -50
Jack Henry GEE Fwd $123,900 BE -46
Esava Ratugolea GEE Fwd $123,900 BE -32
Mitch Crowden FRE M/F $117,300 BE -31
Adam Cerra FRE MID $184,800 BE -4
Callum Brown COL M/F $224,300 BE -2
Willie Rioli WCE FWD $123,900 BE 3
Cameron Polson CAR M/F $130,800 BE 12
Nicholas Coffield STK M/D $171,300 66
Jack Higgins RIC M/F $130,800 63
Rowan Marshall STK FWD $219,400 79
Brandon White STK DEF $225,800 43
Nathan Wright STK FWD $183,300 32
There really shouldn't be too much to do on your other lines, if you need a defender then bring in Richards but it's unlikely you'd have anyone to trade out. If you held Naughton last week you should still hold him now, his job security is fine for foreseeable future and could put together a string of 70+ scores which will make you bank.
Assuming mids can be covered by a DPP let's then focus on forward line and Ryan. There's plenty of options this week out of those that haven't risen in price yet but no obvious standout. The most attractive option is Jack Higgins, massively hyped pre-season but disappointingly playing far too early for us than we would like for downgrade targets. Still, he should get plenty of games this season and looks to have the ability to post big scores if given the chance. Whether you bring him in this week or next before his price rise is up to you.
For the others, I am wary of the Geelong players because their team selections appear so up in the air with all their young players and injuries. Henry appears to be the more SC friendly option playing down back with Taylor and Henderson out, but he had his own concerns with concussion and I'm not confident to call him a certainty. Despite having a million rucks, Ratugolea was their main R/F last week. I can't see that continuing but if it does, he could score great for a rookie. Also under his own injury cloud.
Willie Rioli should see an uptick in role now with Ryan out. He doesn't seem to be a big scorer but a few goals and he should have a big-scoring game. Just don't expect it often but I think for now he's the guy with the best job security. Crowden is an attractive option but I'm wary of his own job security in a transient Ross side and scoring output isn't particularly high if 70-odd is his peak.
Still they are all options so best to make your own calls. My trade in preferences would be:
1. Higgins (can choose to hold off on this until next week)
2. Rioli (his JS now should be better with Ryan out)
3. Crowden (unknown how long he will spend in team but could be better scoring than Rioli)
4. Geelong forward (who isn't dropped, Henry > Ratman)
For next week, this may not be a common opinion but I'm not that big on Coffield that he is a must have downgrade target. Starting in your side pre-season is another thing but bringing a $180k rookie early is another. Unlike Higgins, he doesn't quite have the same junior form and he's nearly $50k cheaper. Not a must have.
Keep a close eye on Rowan Marshall. May be awkwardly priced for us but St.Kilda used him as their sole ruckman after Longer was injured. Could keep his spot and be a potential option if people need a cheap playing ruck (*IF*).