Category - 2012 – Kristian’s Dimes
Reece Conca – DEF
Next up on my list of 2012 ‘break out’ players is one of my fan boys from the Richmond Footy Club, Reece Conca.
Conca is only a second year player but the fact he’s listed as a defender in fantasy footy this year is one reason to get him into your side.
Reece played 17 games in his debut season for the Tigers, averaging 15.2 disposals mainly off a half-back flank and also spent time specifically as a lock down defender which affected his stats.
After his Dreamtime game against Essendon in round nine, Reece started to pick up little niggling injures that kept him out of the side for annoying periods, and he only managed eight games after that where he was often used as the sub or was subbed off, which again damaged his stats.
Conca showed why he’s such a good fantasy option (and also a good player) in a six game run early in the season where he averaged 23 disposals and 83 Dream Team points and also earned him a Rising Star nomination.
Conca’s a very smart player who runs the right angles and knows how to win lots of uncontested ball, resulting in lots of kicks and marks.
I’ve dug up some stats from his juniors, but you should keep in mind junior matches are much shorter than AFL matches, resulting in lesser averages.
- 2008 U/16 National Championships: Averaged 19 disposals and 71 Dream Team points.
- 2010 U/18 National Championships: Averaged 18 disposals and 76 Dream Team points.
- 2010 WAFL Colts: Averaged 35 disposals and 131 Dream Team points!
I guess the most impressive thing about Conca is his effectiveness. He rarely wastes a disposal and at the U/18 Champs he was going at 80% disposal efficiency, which puts him way above the average standard. He averaged 103 Super Coach points in the carnival, even though he only averaged 76 Dream Team points.
I think he’ll be a fantasy stud in both forms of the game, but especially in Super Coach where effectiveness is crucial.
The best part about Conca is his pre-season. He’s one of the leaders out on the track and Damien Hardwick has already said Conca will play through the midfield in 2012. With Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin and Brett Deledio around, Reece is safe of the tag, and he could get some really nice numbers for your defence this season!
Conca’s priced at an averaged of 55 in Dream Team, and when you look at the run of form he had early last season as a first year player averaging 83 points in the backline, well then one could imagine what he could do in the midfield.
As a mid-priced defender in both Dream Team and Super Coach, I don’t think there’s too many better than Conca!
Welcome back! I hope you all had a great Christmas and on behalf of Footy Tragic I’d like to wish you a Happy New Year as well.
Following on from my previous articles about my potential 2012 ‘break out’ players on Matt de Boer and Brad Ebert, I now bring to you the number one draft pick in 2008, Jack Watts.
I’ll go straight off the bat here and say I’m one of Watts’ biggest critics, but I think late last year he started to understand what AFL is all about and we saw his upside.
Firstly I’ll explain why he worries me, so I don’t get mown down later. It all started in his draft year when I watched him play in the National Champs after seeing him play really well for Sandringham in the under 18’s. I thought he was uninspiring and against the ‘bigger’ bodies and better players he seemed to crumble a little bit. He did kick 15 goals in 5 games though which outlines his versatility.
When I talk about Watts’ versatility, I mean he can play in a variety of positions. I don’t see Watts as the big key forward that many people thought he would turn out to be when he first got drafted, but I see him more as a floating tall half forward that runs the wings and then runs with the play inside fifty to make himself dangerous. He did get tried at half back for a few games in 2011 and did OK, but I liked his form later on in the season when he was roaming the flanks.
If Watts is ever going to be Dream Team relevant, it won’t be as a key forward. With the recruitment of Mitch Clark (which I’ll hold my thoughts for another day), it seems that Neeld will not want to rely on Watts to be playing deep for the Demons to kick goals.
We’ll have to wait until at least February to find out what exactly Watts’ role will entail, but I think we can make a safe assumption that he’ll be playing up the ground a whole lot more, and this of course means great things for fantasy footy.
While Watts didn’t set the world on fire statistically in 2011, he did show major improvement from 2010, increasing his average from 54 to 73 and also going over the 100 mark three times. He had six matches where he exceeded 20 disposals, playing most off half back, but for the season he only averaged 15 touches.
My best memories of Watts as a junior were when he played in the middle for a short stint of matches for Sandringham. For a number one draft pick, he didn’t dominate the stats like the majority of his counterparts.
In the under 18 National Championships, he averaged only 65 Dream Team points. He did kick three goals a game but I thought he was largely ineffective and I was quite disappointed in what I saw from him.
In the TAC Cup he was a bit better, averaging 81 points but he didn’t kick many goals.
The stats show Watts’ isn’t a natural Dream Team stud. It’s his potential role that could make him one.
Jack isn’t a great tackler, so don’t expect many points in that category, but what he does have is outstanding athleticism and football smarts.
For Watts to be a factor in Dream Team, he needs to use his athletic attributes to his advantage by leading defenders to the ball and working the wings and then running back with the play and kicking goals by losing his defender in traffic, much like Nick Riewoldt at his best.
If Watts can do that in 2012, he’ll be a great pick. It’s just a matter of watching him in the pre-season and even if you have to, head to training to see for yourself and ascertain what type of role he’ll be used in based on your own judgement of the drills.
With Watts it’s all about the role, not the talent. If you pick him and he explodes, it’s the type of pick that can win you the competition.
So that’s my smokey for this week! Please comment below and let us know your thoughts and hit me up on Twitter at @KristianPisano.
We’re up to my second ‘smoky’ fantasy pick for 2012, and as we often see with a lot of players when they go to new clubs, or even better, go back home, they blossom.
I’ll go right up the bat here and say that the player I’m about to nominate is no where near the top echelon of players in the competition, but what he does offer is the capability to fill the stat sheet across the board.
He has shown glimpses of becoming a star fantasy player, but through lack of opportunity in a full time midfield role, his numbers suffered. Now that he’s come home, and will most definitely be a big part of Port Adelaide’s midfield rotation, I present to you……
BRAD EBERT (PORT ADELAIDE POWER)
Brad came off a 21 game season where he filled a pretty good role up forward for the West Coast Eagles, even though it isn’t his suited position. His numbers suffered, after what many thought would be somewhat of a ‘break out’ year for him. It’s very strange to see a 4th year player play a full season uninjured yet have his poorest season statistically, yet some would argue it was his best season and I agree. In Dream Team terms, he showed gradual improvement in his first three seasons going from a 65 average in his debut season, to 72.1 and then he peaked at a very respectable 81.5 in his 3rd season. Then he had a major drop in 2011 only averaging 62.2 due to a change in role because he didn’t really have a place in the Eagles midfield anymore.
Ebert requested to go back home during trade week and made his intentions clear that he wanted to head to Port Adelaide to play with his cousin Brett. I like the move and I think everyone will eventually be a winner out of this trade as West Coast received sufficient compensation. There will be a spot in Port Adelaide’s midfield for Brad to fulfil his ideal position, as I think he’s an upgrade on guys like Salopek (unfortunately) and Matthew Broadbent.
The risk with Ebert is the fact he’s a MID only in Dream Team and Super Coach. For this type of pick to pay off, you’d really need Brad to average at the very least 90 in both forms of the game. If I didn’t think he was capable I wouldn’t be writing about though.
Like I said in my article about Matt de Boer, I like junior form. The difference between Ebert and de Boer however is the fact Ebert has shown glimpses at AFL level, so what we know for sure, is that he can do it. In Ebert’s 75 games for the Eagles, only time 8 times has he scored over 100 points. That’s a pretty standard stat and nothing to get excited about, but what I found interesting is the fact that once he passes 100, he goes on to average 113 in Dream Team. The guy does know how to play the game.
The reason for this is because he fills up the stat sheet. Ebert is one of those rare players that can get points for every statistical category in a match. He’s an inside and out player. He uses his endurance to beat opponents on the outside and get lots of uncontested ball and marks, but he has a capable inside game, where he can rack up 10 tackles in a match. Ebert also does have the odd game where he’ll kick 3-4 goals. He does like to go forward, and can play up there if need be, which is always great for Dream Team.
His junior form is why I’ll always consider him every season.
2006 U/16 National Champs: Averaged 31 disposals, 3 tackles and 114 DT points.
2007 U/18 National Champs: Averaged 22 disposals, 4 tackles and 89 DT points.
Again, you have to take into account junior matches are much shorter than AFL matches.
I should also stress, that I’d really only consider Ebert for Dream Team. He’s one of those rare players that average less in Super Coach than Dream Team, and that’s because of his poor decision making at times and kicking skills. I’m really not sure how that will go down at Port Adelaide, but I don’t think it will be anything positive. Luckily for Dream Team, turnovers don’t matter!
So that’s Brad Ebert Footy Tragics!
Make sure you all have a safe Christmas and New Year and we’ll catch you on the flip side! Hit me up on Twitter for a chat at ‘@KristianPisano’.
When we all sat down and had a chat about ideas for our pre-season articles, it was little coincidence that it was decided I’d cover this one.
Historically my teams contain a few ‘different’ players. Sometimes it works, but the majority of the time it doesn’t, which is all part of the fun of it!
Over the next six or so weeks, I’ll be looking at around 15 players that I think will have a break out season in 2012, not just from a pure football perspective, but from a Dream Team and Supercoach outlook.
I’ve chosen to hone in on just the one player this week, as I think a bit of extra attention is needed.
I may very well get shot down for my nominated player, but I’ll prove to you why I think he’s at least a very viable candidate to make the short list into your squad.
So without further ado, let me present to you….
MATT DE BOER (FREMANTLE DOCKERS)
Originally coming off Fremantle’s rookie list after being taken in the 2008 National Draft, Matt has played 51 of a possible 68 games filling a brilliant role under former coach, Mark Harvey, mainly as a tagger for the opposition’s best half forward/wingmen.
Over his three years, de Boer has remained pretty consistent statistically. He had a slight increase in scoring, moving from a mid 50’s average in Dream Team in 2009 and 2010 to a 63 average in 2011. It was much a similar story in Supercoach as well.
When looking at a break out player, I look for a few things:
- Positional Move
- Junior Statistics
- Form of Team
De Boer has the age category ticked. He’ll be 22 years old at the start of the season. There have been murmurings over the past few weeks that Ross Lyon envisions Matt to have a key role in the Dockers’ midfield moving forward, much in the same mould as Clinton Jones whose career he turned around in his time at the Saints. It was well documented that Freo were on the lookout for a quality inside midfielder in the draft period, which saw them take Tom Sheridan with pick 16, but they have a guy right on their door step in de Boer.
Statistically, as a junior, Matt was up there with the very best. It doesn’t mean a whole lot in some cases, and Andrew McQualter’s 40 disposal average in U/18’ is a clear illustration of what I mean, but de Boer is now a proven AFL player, and given the chance in the midfield, we’ll start to see those numbers reflect. I dug up some stats and this is what I came up with:
2006 U/16 Champs: Averaged 23 disposals, 7 tackles @ 108 DT average.
2007 U/18 Champs: Averaged 17 disposals, 3 tackles @ 76 DT average.
2007 WAFL Colts: Averaged 25 disposals, 4 tackles @ 105 DT average.
2008 U/18 Champs: Averaged 20 disposals, 2 tackles @ 76 DT average.
2008 WAFL Seniors: Averaged 17 disposals, 3 tackles @ 67 DT average.
So over a three year, National junior career de Boer averaged 86 Dream Team points, playing mainly from the midfield. Let’s not forget, junior games are a bit shorter than AFL games, and there is much less possessions to be had, so the numbers he has put up there stack up pretty impressively.
If de Boer moves into a permanent midfield role, I think the shackles will be released off of him as well. I wouldn’t expect him to do many run with roles, or at least a strict tag per se, but more so a head to head type player. This leaves him much opportunity to run around finding the ball himself, instead of being lead to it.
Last but not least, everyone expects the Dockers to improve significantly on their poor season in 2011. This helps break out players a lot. Generally speaking the more successful your team is, the more disposals there are to be had.
The other thing that should be in de Boer’s favour is the fact he is likely to be a dual positioned player in Dream Team and Supercoach next season as a FWD/MID. It’s not confirmed but it’d likely be the case considering that is what he was classified as last season, and he didn’t get a whole lot of permanent midfield time to warrant a change in Champion Data’s thinking. I have my fingers crossed this is the case.
So there’s my first smokie of season 2012. Jump on board the Matt de Boer train, he’ll be great fun to watch as he racks up those tackles.
If you’d like to chat more or provide any ideas for my next smokie, hit me up on Twitter @KristianPisano or @FootyTragic.