THE BLUE VANILLA CHIP – MATT PRIDDIS
2016: Games/22 Average: 103 DT/108 SC
The West Coast Eagles are not a team full of fantasy relevant players, and none would be considered uber-premium. One thing they can provide the draft community is some consistent scorers, and this man leads that pack.
The past three seasons have seen him average over 100 in DT and 108 in SC, and although turning 32 (which is the age I am normally concerned with), the fact is that this man has never relied on his speed to gain his possessions. It will only be the dreaded soft tissue injuries that will slow his inside work down.
His inside game means that he has always been a better SC option, but expect him to give you another quality year as your M2/3 in DT drafts. His average draft position last year was 31 and should go a little later with the age risk.
Hopefully John reads and understands. He drafted him at 14 in the 2016 Listener’s League, whilst I was able to pick up Treloar, Neale and Parker over the next three rounds. The point is that very rarely do players produce career highs over 30.
WILL THIS WORK? – JACK REDDEN
2016: Games/22 Average: 64 DT/64 SC
Always more of a DT player, many were saying the move to West Coast was exactly what both player and club needed. Although he only averaged 97 DT at Brisbane in 2015 his average draft selection was 60 last year, an M3/4 draft position. Many were have been disappointed with the 64 average in 2016.
In hindsight we should have all known this, he wasn’t what the club needed then nor now. The future maybe a different story but with the inclusion of Sam Mitchell, quality time for Jack Redden in the midfield only seems further away.
Let me explain: the issue with the WCE midfield is there is too much the same. Quality yes, dynamic no. A top line midfield needs the mixture of inside and outside players (grunt and class) and the Eagles have too much of the former and Jack is just another on the list. The recruitment of Sam Mitchell may suggest the potential midfield time for 2017 has reduced even more.
Jack is not a ball magnet, if or when the midfield mix changes (Mitchell 34, Priddis 32) then he will be back on the leader boards. Until then avoid.
I’M BACK (BRIEFLY) – JONATHAN GILES
2016: Games/3 Average: 64 DT/74 SC
This journeyman has only had one season of relevance, which was 5 years ago with GWS where he averaged 81 DT, 93 SC. From being third in line at West Coast, injuries have ensured he will start the season as the club’s first choice ruck. Whether he remains in the starting 22 after Lycett returns (expected R12-14) is a question we must ask prior to drafting him.
There is a group of possible ruck breakouts this year (none of them are Canadian) and all have the potential to join Sam Jacobs in the second tier. Witts, Ryder, Hickey and Nankervis join Giles in this group and there is the potential that you could draft two of these options quite late, meaning you could stock up on the Mids, Fwds & Defs early.
At 29 years of age, this is his best and maybe only chance to lead a quality midfield and I am sure he will make the best of this opportunity. Yes, he will lose his place to Nic Nat next year, but I am not convinced he will lose his place to Lycett without a preseason. Worst case I see him sharing the role in the second half of the season.
A worthwhile late draft pick, comes with risk and potentially great reward.