No Ruckin’ Idea

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As we enter rankings szn, there’s a few ruck setups that are pretty confusing.

HAWTHORN

McEvoy. Ceglar. McEvoy. Ceglar. Both have performed well as the main ruck at Hawthorn and a lot of the discussion around the ruck setup has focused on McEvoy playing some key defensive roles, giving Ceglar a chop out.

If we take a step back, let’s ask ourselves what makes sense. Hawthorn have brought in a couple of key position players (Patton, Frost). They have some promising key position players who performed well when given opportunity. So how tall can they go? Does it make sense to play McEvoy in defence? Hawthorn have certainly shown a willingness to play two rucks, and McEvoy and Ceglar have shown to be effective scorers. Perhaps Ceglar holds forward status and is draftable anyway. We’ve seen McEvoy be effective as the main ruck for fantasy, even with Ceglar in the team. I’ll be watching preseason intently, where I’m sure I’ll learn nothing.

As it stands, if Ceglar has forward status again, I’m interested. McEvoy has risk/reward written all over him. If he slips in drafts, he’s worth a look.

SYDNEY

Sydney have a few options with their ruck setup. The player who seems to have his spot most secure in the best 22 is Callum Sinclair. We saw Sinclair battle through a number of head knocks and injuries in 2019 after his ‘out of the box’ fantasy relevant 2018 and his scores dipped. We also got to see youngster Hayden McLean get smashed in the hitouts for a four week stretch, leading me to believe he might not be in their plans just yet.

The other player sure to be hot in fantasy articles as we head into season 2020 will be Sam Naismith. We haven’t seen Naismith for a couple of years, but when we last saw him he was dropping some miserable scores as the number one ruck. That kept Sinclair forward which led to poor scores for him as well.

So why will Naismith be a popular name? Salary cap players will get a potentially dirt cheap ruck in the main ruck role and will be one of the most owned players, provided he’s fit.

Our best result as draft coaches would be for Sinclair to be the sole ruck (where he’s been relevant), but given Sydney seemed super keen to add Joe Daniher in the trade period (before failing), it seems logical to think they perhaps will look to use the Naismith/Sinclair set up. This, unfortunately, renders them both poor options in the draft format.

ESSENDON

I’m torn on Essendon’s ruck situation from a rankings point of view. I don’t view Tom Bellchambers as a draftable ruck in DT formats and even in SC he’s more of a weekly matchup play. The thing is, Essendon brought across Andrew Phillips from Carlton who is probably more fantasy relevant than Bellchambers, but will he get the starting gig? It could be up for debate, but often the easy decision is to play the incumbent. As it stands, I can’t find myself being too attracted to drafting one or the other since I’m not sure either are locked in as the main man and play every week.

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