Last Drinks – Greater Western Sydney 2017 Preview

The Giants look ready to thrust themselves into premiership contention after a good off-season. The question is though… which ones will help your SuperCoach team?

Blue Chip Investment

Callan Ward – MID – $574,500 – Player Ownership: 3.0%

Callan Ward is as consistent as they come. Since 2012 Ward has played at least 20 games each season and averaged over 105 in all those years except in 2013 when he averaged 97.3. Ward also has hit form straight away during the JLT Series with scores of 120 and 111 from his two games. If you’re looking for a reliable POD look no further than Callan Ward.

JLT SC scores: 120, 111

Mid Price Potential

Josh Kelly – MID – $473,800 – Player Ownership: 6.3%

In 2016 Kelly, had arguably his best season of his young career averaging 87.1 from 22 games almost a 20-point increase from his 2015 average of 70.6 from 18 games. In 2017 though Kelly is looking to break into the elite category of midfielders and push his average beyond three figures and if his JLT Series is anything to go by he will. With fellow teammate Stephen Coniglio out for 6 weeks with an ankle injury this gives Kelly a great chance to cement a spot in GWS’ midfield and make some quick cash.

JLT SC scores: 151, 87, 101

Point of Difference

Devon Smith – FWD – $444,800 – Player Ownership: 1.4%

Injury derailed Smith’s 2016 season as he only managed 12 games and when he returned late in the season he struggled to find his best form. A full pre-season though looks to have put him right on track for a good 2017. He scored quite well during the JLT series and he even was rotating into the midfield at times which bodes well for him with Coniglio’s ankle injury. With a lack of reliable forwards under $500,000 it may be worth taking a punt on Smith given the upside he has considering he averaged over 90 two seasons ago.

JLT SC scores: 83, 91


Tim Taranto – MID/FWD – $207,300 – Player Ownership: 34.0%

While breaking into this GWS side for a first-year rookie looks like a tough task, Taranto may be the exception. Taranto had an incredible JLT Series for the Giants, playing every game and looks AFL ready. The only downside for Taranto is his job security with so many players chomping at the bit to get into the GWS side along with Coniglio and Deledio waiting on the sidelines. Despite that though I believe he will be given an extended run as a reward for his JLT form. An absolute lock for your forward line if and well worth the extra $100,000.

JLT SC scores: 93, 97, 76

Stay Away…

Heath Shaw – DEF – $576,500 – Player Ownership: 38.0%

Even though Heater has been great for all us SuperCoachers over the past few years I can’t see it lasting much longer now. With the success of the forward tag on Shaw late last year I don’t see any reason why opposition coaches wouldn’t go back to it again. Here’s also some numbers from when he got tagged last year 46, 82, 92, 82, 58, 88 and 90. That is an average of 72 when tagged! Something you can’t afford from a premium priced defender. Despite producing good scores from his two JLT games there was no tagging by the opposition which won’t happen come Round 1. So, in my mind it is worth going for Docherty, Laird, Simpson or Adams who are all similarly priced and wait for Heater to drop in price and then upgrade to him.

JLT SC Scores: 97, 136

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