POSITIONAL EDGE – HAMISH HARTLETT
2016: Games/15 Averages: 78 DT/77 SC
It’s fair to say from a fantasy standpoint, Hartlett’s 2016 was about as successful as the NBN. He only managed the 15 games and his average fell from 96DT to 78DT, and 100 SC to 77. The reason for the drop-off was Hartlett was played out of position in a shuffling of players. Matt Lobbe was dropped, and to replace him in the ruck, Coach Hinkley decided to put key defender Jackson Trengove in there. As a result of various injuries and suspensions, Hartlett was thrown into defence, a role that killed his scoring output.
Had Hartlett not added defender status, he would most likely gone very late or even undrafted in your league, but he has and as such becomes a sneaky value. His few years prior to 2016 produced seasons ranging between 80 and 96DT points and 90-100SC. These are good numbers for a defender and due to his average being so poor, will find himself slip further than he should in a lot of drafts. He is currently listed as the 25th defender by average in DT, which is a mid-range D3, I expect him to at least be a mid-range D2, with the upside to be a low-end D1.
STEP UP 16 – OLLIE WINES
2016: Games/22 Averages: 100 DT/98 SC
It’s fair to say Ollie Wines first four years have been pretty handy. 22 games in 3 of 4 seasons, and after some injury issues in 2015, Wines bounced back to be a great fantasy pickup in 2016. His second half of the season was particularly good for fantasy players, racking up at least 100 in 9 of the last 11 games. There’s a narrative that his first half wasn’t as strong coming back from injury in 2015, but that’s something only the player knows. He didn’t touch his ceiling scores in 2016, which gives me reason to suspect he can improve even more in 2017. He’s hit 130+ 3 times in DT and 5 times in SC, so to not do so in 2016 was strange, although it did show that his floor is quite high given his 100 averages.
The 5th year breakout is looming for Wines, and getting a competent ruckman in Ryder should help the Port mids out with first use. His tackle numbers are improving, disposals too. The weakness in his game is kicking, so his kick to handball ratio holds him back somewhat, but I think Ollie Wines is someone who you’ll be able to select as a M3/M4 who can move into the low end M2 bracket. Draft with confidence.
THE FORGOTTEN MAN – PATRICK RYDER
2015: Games/18 Averages: 76 DT/85 SC
Things looked great for the Power after their fantastic 2014 season and then snaring the signature of Ryder, but 2015 was a fair let down. Ryder’s fantasy output was down from what he’d been producing at Essendon, struggling in a ruck timeshare with Matt Lobbe. He was able to produce some good fantasy numbers with multi-goal games going with his ruck duties, but in the five games Lobbe missed in 2015, Ryder put together averages of 85 DT/93 SC.
Coming into 2017 and it would appear the Power are ready to move on from Lobbe, despite him being on a long-term deal. Pulling Jackson Trengove from defence and essentially giving away the hitout, as a preferred option to playing Lobbe, tells me that the Power are into him as much as Geoff Edelsten is into women his own age.
Training reports suggest Ryder is looking fit and good to go, so early days it would seem logical to suggest he will be no. 1 ruck, where he has scored well. However, preseason could change that, though I’m not expecting it too. My quandary with Ryder is where he should be taken in drafts.
With the dearth of high scoring forwards gone from eligibility, Ryder shapes as someone who will be drafted earlier as a forward than as a ruck, especially in SC leagues. I can see him returning to his 85 DT/93 SC ways pretty easily, but if that’s what I’m after from my ruck, I’m not taking him before round 15. But that value will be good as a F3, which put him firmly in the round 9-11 range, which feels high. If I’m selecting Ryder, then I’ve either already drafted a ruck, in which case I may reach into round 9 to grab him and hope for the upside, or I’ll see how my draft is shaking out and grab in round 11 and make sure I get another upside ruck late. Is more a SC player than DT.