THE BLUE CHIP – MICHAEL BARLOW
2016: Games/22 Averages: 96 DT/98 SC
I’ll be honest, I love this man! He is everything I rate about a fantasy footballer – finds the pill, opposition are not go to tag him and is a point per minute beast. Like Tom Mitchell, he is a player who has at times been played in roles that don’t allow him to do what he is good at – rack ‘em up. We know Tom is freed up, the question will be: is Michael going to have the same result moving clubs?
History is our friend here. Matthew Boyd was made a fantasy star with Rodney Eade and if there is anyone I can compare Barlow to, it is the great Bulldog midfield star. Rocket loves the hard magnet inside with classy runners outside. Looking at the new Gold Coast midfield (and Gary’s shoulder), it’s Barlow and Swallow on the inside and Touk, KK, Hall and Gary on the outside.
Does he tag? Maybe, but he can still score well. It is the high half forward role we should fear, but the silver lining will be gaining forward status.
So what will he do this year:
90-95 Half forward = Top 10/15 forward
100-105 Tagger = Top 20/25 mid
110-115 Free wheeling mid = Top 5 mid
Unless injury hits we are on a winner any role he plays. Pick him up between rounds 5-7 and he will be a bargain with the potential to be first round value.
BREAKOUT LOOMING – JARROD WITTS
2016: Games/22 Averages: 54 DT/50 SC
We all know that it takes ruckmen longer to develop, instead of the 21-22 break out it takes to 24-25 for them to hit their straps. Let us look at some examples:
Player Dean Cox Goldstein Max Gawn Jarrod Witts
Year 1 Ave 40.9 36.6 56.2 57.8
Year 2 Ave 58.7 50.3 61.6 66.7
Year 3 Ave 63.5 74.5 58.3 71.3
Year 4 Ave 77.5 99.3 91.0 54
1st 40 game Ave 49.5 67.8 70.6 65.8
Tons in 1st 40 3 5 8 4
Now I am not saying he will reach the dizzy heights of our guns listed, but one thing is for sure they never reached their potential without being backed in as the No.1 ruck. This year it’s Jarrod’s time to shine, expect an 80-85 average and he could be picked up in between rounds 15-20. A bargain ruck to say the least if you miss out on the big four.
DELIVERY TIME – JACK MARTIN
2016: Games/22 Averages: 75 DT/74 SC
No one doubts his talent, the lightly framed jet was always going to take just a little longer to hit his peak. He also had to find a position that was going to suit his frame and talent. Now 44 games into his career he has found that role and set to soar.
Jack has the ability to score in the low 90’s, as a midfielder it is nothing special but as a defender it is a different story. Once he was placed at half back he averaged 84 for the last 8 games, furthermore the opportunities he received as the loose man in defence only saw a further spike in his scoring, and he is the obvious choice to be loose with his pace and skills.
With the inclusion of midfielders into the Gold Coast list this year it is also very likely that Jack will be able to retain his defensive status, something to keep in mind if he is available in your keeper league.