Welcome back once again ladies and gents, we are etching ever closer to everyone’s favourite time of the year, the start of the SuperCoach season. Today we will be looking at a player who could make a significant comeback in 2016, Brodie Smith from the Adelaide Crows.
Player: Brodie Smith
Team: Adelaide Crows
Age: 24 years and 1 month
2015 Avg: 77.0
2015 Games: 19
100+ Scores: 5
After one of the toughest years a football club has ever had to endure (except maybe Essendon but let’s not go there), Adelaide have a new coach in Don Pyke and will be looking to improve on making the finals in 2015. Obviously the loss of Patrick Dangerfield is huge, but I reckon it only helps this bloke. Brodie Smith is entering his sixth year, the perfect time to “break out”, if you will, and considering he has previously averaged 93.5 it’s a good time to take a chance on him to return to this level, if not better it.
Smith started 2015 in ripping form scoring 144 & 117 before he suffered a concussion late in the game in Round 2, which many say plagued him for the next three weeks. His next three scores were 87, 60 and 45 before finally in Round 7 being subbed off for only 16 SC points and missing the next two games.
Given this his lower scores may very well have been because of the residual effect from the concussion suffered in Round 2, but frankly no-one can know for sure.
Even in an average year like 2015 was for Smith, his home form was remarkable. Once we remove the one game in which Smith was subbed off at home he averaged 90.2, in wins at home that average increased to 99.9. Like I said, remarkable!
Given Smith’s home form coupled with an average of 91.5 in Adelaide wins at any ground in 2015 it is quite possible we could see Smith return to this type of form in 2016.
You can’t average 91.5 at home but only 77.0 for the year unless your away form is terrible, and unfortunately for Smith that was most definitely the case in 2015.
Once again when we take out the injury affected game Smith played away from home we find that he averaged 74.1, which is far from making him a keeper. When the Crows won away that average increased slightly to 79.8, but in loses it dropped to an extremely poor 64.3.
While the sample sizes are small they pose some serious questions that may cast doubt on Smith’s ability to return to his past average. The good news is, there isn’t really anything that suggests Adelaide play a different style of game at home as opposed to away.
Yet again we are left with a player who is at an awkward price tag of 415k but who is only 24 years old and has previously averaged 93.5 in 2014. If Pyke can sort out the problems, tactical or otherwise, with Smith’s form away from Adelaide Oval, there is little doubt that we could be dealing with a defensive premium who is severely underpriced and may just be a point of difference in your side.
Verdict: Like most players, watch in the NAB Challenge to see what sort of role he has in Adelaide’s new set-up, but considering Smith’s history and the fact that most people are going with players under $500k in their defence I will be locking Smith in in 2016 to return to premium status.