The Demons could be set for a big year, with a return into the Top Eight not out of the question. But who should you pick and who should you avoid from a SuperCoach viewpoint?
Blue Chip Investment
Jack Viney – MID – $527,500 – Player Ownership: 2.8%
I must say I really enjoy watching Jack Viney play. He’s kind of a throw back in the way he plays the game and goes at it one hundred per cent one hundred per cent of the time. He finished second in Melbourne’s best and fairest last year and is only going to get better. While an average of 97 in 2016 isn’t enough for him to be considered a premium, the addition of Jordan Lewis (who is discussed below) I think will help Viney improve his game, expect to hear ‘Viney gets it out to Lewis’ a fair few times this year. I expect Viney to crack the 100+ average mark this year and he may even get up to 110. If there was one Melbourne player I was going to start with this year it would be Viney (I know not Gawn but see further for my reasoning’s).
Mid Price Potential
Clayton Oliver – MID – $382,500 – Player Ownership: 5.4%
Before the JLT Series many had Clayton Oliver in the no-go zone. Last season in Oliver’s 13 games, he never managed to crack triple figures (and the closest he came was 98 on debut against Hawthorn). But his 3 games have firmly put in him the spotlight with scores of 101, 103 and 122. Oliver has previously been accused of being too handball reliant, his first two JLT games highlighted that Oliver may have improved the other areas of his game making this not such a disadvantage as had been earlier speculated. It would take guts to pick him, but if you want to climb those ratings you are going to need a couple of mid-pricers to make the leap into premium status and Oliver may just be that player.
JLT SC scores: 101, 103, 122
Point of Difference
Jordan Lewis – MID – $491,500 – Player Ownership: 1.8%
It was extremely surprising to hear Jordan Lewis’ name mentioned during the trade period and even more surprising when he ended up being traded to Melbourne for peanuts. But what is Hawthorn’s loss ends up being Melbourne’s gain, and may even be a serious SuperCoach option by season’s end. Melbourne’s midfield has for the last few seasons appeared to some as being lightweight and while they have some great up and coming players, Lewis adds legitimacy for a team that believes a top eight spot is up for grabs this year.
JLT SC scores: 105, 99, 75
Joel Smith – DEF – $117,300 – Player Ownership: 2.4%
Interestingly, there were not a lot of rookies who played for the Dees in the JLT Series, however Joel Smith was probably the most impressive of those who did. As a defender at only 117k he would be a handy addition to our SuperCoach teams if named in Round 1. The Demons are keen to develop him as a forward and he is expected to push for senior selection at some stage during 2017. One to keep an eye on throughout the season if not selected to kick off the year.
JLT SC scores: 73 ,55, DNP
Stay Away… (for now)
Max Gawn – RUC – $517,500 – Player Ownership: 37.6%
As bizarre as this is, considering how dominant Gawny was last year, I just haven’t liked what I’ve seen so far fantasy wise from Max. His performances haven’t been absolute stinkers but they have been a far cry from what most were expecting. Some of the blame may be handed down to Jake Spencer (who never actually played more than 62% of any of the three JLT games). So the big question I’ve been pondering is: even if Spencer isn’t named Round 1 should Gawn start in my team? And frankly, I don’t know that I completely trust that he isn’t carrying an injury, as he hasn’t seemed to cover the ground as well as last year (in my opinion), or that Simon Goodwin’s game plan has resulted in a decrease in Gawn’s output around the ground. Therefore, for mine Gawny is an upgrade target as I can see him dropping cash in the early rounds.
JLT SC scores: 94, 78, 68