Last Drinks – Geelong 2016 Preview

Blue Chip Investment
Patty Dangerfield – MID – $647,000
In case you haven’t heard… Patty Dangerfield made his way to Geelong over the summer and he has lived up to all the hype thus far. The optimism around the Cats for 2016 is huge, and largely based around this man’s potential.

We all know what Dangerfield can do, what doesn’t he do? He finds the ball at will, gets the hard ball, tackles, breaks away from contests and can even go forward take a grab and snag a few goals. It’s this skill set that has seen him average 110+ in three of the past four years, while 2015 produced career high numbers averaging 119.9 from his 21 games (of course missing the cancelled clash with Geelong).

You’ll be paying top dollar for him at $647,000 but like any blue chip investment, the returns will be fruitful. If you needed any more convincing, his three best on ground performances in the NAB Challenge should do the trick. Expect Dangerfield to be a top five midfielder in 2016.

NAB SC scores: 133, 151, 91

Mid Price Potential
Daniel Menzel – FWD – 260,600
Menzel has arguably been one of the most unlucky players of all time, and clearly one of the more determined. Four knee reconstructions he’s endured yet, touch wood, he has enjoyed his first full pre-season this year.

The dangers are obvious, and that’s of course his body’s potential to break down. But I feel Menzel is the perfect risk vs reward scenario and I cannot help but marvel at the reward.

Geelong’s list managers aren’t just being nice guys, they haven’t kept him on the list for this long out of respect – this guy is a gifted footballer. Before suffering the first of his ACL injuries against the Hawks, he had just come off 17 touches, 10 marks, five goals and 125SC points against the Pies and had already booted two midway through the second term. Before the start of a long long road back to AFL football.

After such a journey back, Menzel wasted no time showing his class. Returning in round 22 last year against Collingwood, where he booted four goals from his 20 touches to rack up 119SC points. He was then subbed off early against the Crows which sees his average fall to 69 and therefore he is at a tempter of a price.

I must admit, he wasn’t on my radar that strongly until his stellar showing against the Pies in NAB 1, but he looked in brilliant touch. However, concerns must be raised given he hasn’t played since. He is set to have a VFL hit out this weekend, provided all goes well – he should be strongly considered.

NAB SC scores: 100

Point Of Difference
Mitch Duncan – MID – $493,000
He is in the top five kicks in the competition. There, I said it; it couldn’t be kept secret any longer. Statistically he had the best kick rating last season and as a Geelong fan, it’s no surprise, but to the general footy fan it might be.

Duncan is a smooth-moving jet, with a hard edge to match. No doubt Duncan is more of an asset to Geelong as an outside distributor, but he also won 30% of his ball in a contest and coming into his prime as a footballer he is more than capable in this area.

When Duncan plays, Geelong is a far better team having suffered greatly in his absence late last year. He is awkwardly priced for SuperCoach at $493,000 but if you are looking for a POD that won’t break the bank – he could be your man.

Dangerfield coming to club ensures he won’t even know the name of any opposition taggers and I could see him averaging 105+, the question mark there is can he go 110? The answer is yes, but it’s unlikely, I can see him averaging between the 104-109 mark, but to burst past 110 would take a career best season. A risk? Yes, but he is rarely talked about and is set for a big 2016.

NAB SC scores: 117, 135, 44

Rookie
Lincoln McCarthy – FWD – $139,400
Geelong’s off season recruiting has seen in put itself back into premiership contention and therefore its depth has been strengthened significantly. With this in mind, I wouldn’t expect to see too many rookie priced players set the world on fire. But Lincoln McCarthy is one who has ticked all the boxes over pre-season.

His body has let him down time and time again in the past, but the Cats have been patient with him and will be hoping to see the crafty small forward reap the rewards in 2016.

A strong NAB Challenge series sees him right in contention for a round 1 berth. I wouldn’t expect huge number from McCarthy, and while he is a smidgen dearer than a lot of “rookies” he could be a viable option up forward.

Also, keep Tom Ruggles in mind. The 2015 Geelong VFL best and fairest winner could be the beneficiary of the devastating ACL injury to Jackson Thurlow. At 102K in defence, keep him on your radar.

NAB SC scores: 86, 41, 60

Stay Away
Joel Selwood – MID – $565,500
At the conclusion of the 2015 season and as the Dangerfield deal grew closer to completion. I locked Joel Selwood in my side, took a celebratory drive down the coast and threw the key in the ocean.

Unfortunately, a sluggish pre-season which has seen many of his 2015 “niggles” hang around and the worrying talk of foot problems has seen him not feature throughout the NAB Challenge series.

Fair to say it was a chilly swim for that key but I recovered it and Selwood has since exited my side.

Fully fit, Selwood is a jet as we all know. Lock him in for 115+ and with Dangerfield along his side, the once heavy workload he shouldered will be lessened and an extremely affordable Joel Selwood looked irrefusable.

But be warned. I am very wary on picking under done premiums. We want our guns to hit the ground running and churn out big scores from round 1. Selwood now looks a likely starter for round 1, but he surely won’t be at his very best until rounds 3-6 – depending how his body pulls up.

He could be a tasty upgrade, but as for a starter in your side. I’d tread with caution despite the appetising price tag on one of our most rewarding SuperCoach scorers.

NAB SC scores: Did not play


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