Category - 2013 – Mid Pricers
Toby has a look at the second-year Tigers backman – can he cement himself in their best 22 and have a breakout year in 2013?
After writing my past two articles on mid-priced forwards, it’s about time I had a look at the other end of the ground. That said, there’s still plenty more value to be found in the forward line without having to look too hard; Macaffer, Kennedy, LeCras, Varcoe and more. This week I plan to have a look at a $300k defender – Brandon Ellis.
There tend to be plenty of reservations from fantasy coaches about selecting second year players. I can sort of understand why – you had them cheap last year, often there is very limited upside and also, they tend to be priced very awkwardly. That all said, I think Ellis can present a bit of value in the defenders this year.
With the new trading rules for Fantasy Footy, the ability to punt a dud becomes much simpler and the concerns over 2nd and 3rd year players stagnating are not as severe. Therefore, taking punts on guys like Ellis (who still have enough upside to make you plenty of cash or even become a keeper) can be a smart one to take. In the backline too, we know how sporadic scoring can be – even with premiums – so I’ll happily take a few dud scores from him here and there.
His role in 2013 looks to be set across half-back, which is good news. He looks good in this role and through all pre-season looks to have been told it is his to take. Speaking of pre-season, he was one of the Tigers’ best performers on the track all January, smashing all the time trials and impressing all the coaching staff. Now with Newman playing a role across the wing, Ellis will be the main go-to guy off half-back. He is a great reader of the play, so will be effective at chopping off opposition forays forward. Plus his skills are pretty neat, so they will be happy to get the ball into his hands.
Last year we saw him take ages to warm up. I remember discussing early last year about how he looked like he was struggling with the step up to AFL level; not quite coping with the heightened pace of the game. However, credit to the coach, he was persisted with and it all paid off in the end. Over his first 10 games of the year, Ellis averaged just 49.5 points a game (this included four games in which he was either subbed on or off). He then went on to average 67 points for the rest of the year.
The above numbers are still a bit less than inspiring (you wouldn’t be too happy paying $300k for that this year), however this means you are buying him at an average of 58 points a game – surely, SURELY, we can see an extra 15 points per game (at least!) added onto this average in 2013! This is the important part when looking at mid-pricers – yes they may be likely to improve on the year before, but the question is by how much. Also worth remembering is that an average of around 70-75 is solid for a defender – players to average this number in 2012 include Shannon Hurn, Nick Malceski, Shaun Burgoyne, Sam Fisher and Chris Newman. This is also why you shouldn’t be investing too much money into this line on your field – lock away Goddard and Gibbs, then are there any other locks? I like Pearce Hanley, but everyone else is a bit ‘meh’ at the top end. I’d much rather spend the money up forward or in my midfield. Therefore, I’m much more inclined to take a punt on guys such as Ellis, who are likely to average numbers similar to the aforementioned players, yet will cost me around $100k less.
Whilst he is a second year player, I daresay his position in the team is just about locked in now. He struggled a bit for form in patches last year but the coach persisted with him, and now after a ripper pre-season he has been training as the teams main floating defender and the coach now looks determined to keep him there. He should be able to pull in stacks of marks this year and will probably average a reasonable number of disposals too. We’ll probably see the odd stinker from him, but how many defenders don’t dish out 30s here and there? Not many.
Overall I like Ellis as an option – his price does push the boundaries a bit for what is a ‘mid-pricer,’ but overall I think he could prove worth it. He won’t make as much cash for you as a rookie, but is a good chance to actually become a keeper in your team anyway, saving you some money for upgrades elsewhere. His place in the Richmond side and role for 2013 also have me quite excited for his prospects this year. Get on!
Toby runs through another mid-priced forward in Pat Karnezis – is his new role in the midfield worth a gamble?
Karnezis is actually a player I was half tempted to write about last week considering his fantastic pre-season, however I opted to have a bit of a look at him first and I’m very glad I did.
Karnezis was a player I quite liked in his breakout year of 2011 – he played 11 games as a forward, kicking 17 goals and averaging around 8 disposals and four marks a game. He looked to have really cemented his spot in the team, playing 11 of the final 12 games of the year.
Unfortunately, 2012 was a much different story for him, managing only seven games, and was given the sub vest on five of these occasions. Again he was played up forward, managing to average a goal a game. In the three games he wasn’t sub, he averaged 10 disposals, 2 goals, 7 marks and 2 tackles – all pretty reasonable numbers for a second year player.
The real story is actually what he was doing whilst not wearing Brisbane colours in 2012 – whilst he spent 7 games in the seniors, the other 14 games were spent playing for Brisbane reserves side in the NEAFL. One slight on his game had been his fitness, so he was trialled through the midfield to help develop this weakness into a strength. It paid dividends for him as he went on to be the highest vote getter in the Grogan Medal for the Brisbane reserves.
Despite just increasing his running power and endurance, Karnezis became a fantastic ball winner in the reserves competition, averaging 28 disposals, including six games where he surpassed the 30-touches mark. These are great numbers to suggest the midfield is a great place to see him develop – he has also not lost his ability to pull in the marks or kick a few goals too.
Over the off-season, Karnezis has spent his time training with the midfielders to further develop his craft – this is also a sign that Vossy is prepared to play him as a midfielder in 2013 and not just stick him back in the forward line. We got to see him in action on the weekend in the first of Brisbane’s two NAB Cup games. In the game he played 100% across the wing, showing good decision making and ball-skills – and most importantly, he showed a knack of finding the footy; he finished the game with 10 disposals (7 kicks, 3 handballs), 3 marks and 2 tackles.
We know these initial NAB Games are a bit a of fluff and they aren’t the sorts of games that should make you want to do a hundred changes to your squad. But it is a good chance to see some of the younger players and where the coach may be trialling them. I daresay Vossy would have been impressed with Karnezis’ performance – as I said above, he used the ball well, got plenty of it and looked confident. One position on the wing for the Lions will be taken up by Pearce Hanley, but I daresay Karnezis is the front runner for the other.
For those tempted to put him in their teams, he is dirt cheap – only $238,500 in Fantasy Football and $262,200 in Supercoach. He can be selected as a forward only. At the above prices, he will be competing with the likes of Shannon Byrnes, Travis Varcoe and Josh Kennedy for a spot in your team (or maybe you will have multiples) and I daresay Karnezis will be the least common option out of that group – but by no means does it mean he is the worst option. In the role he played on the weekend there is no reason he can’t average 75-80 points a game and give you a hefty price rise with some decent scores along the way. The main thing you would want to be cautious of is that he is best-22, so the next few weeks of the NAB Cup will be crucial for his chances. As it stands, he is in my team, although a couple of poor performances and he will be out. As I said last week, the increased trades in Fantasy Football lends itself to taking risks, so why not take a punt on Karnezis over Byrnes or Varcoe – it may just give you that edge you need over your mates.
Toby discusses the player many are hyping as the next Brendon Goddard. Does he live up to the hype?
So now with some AFL matches finally underway, it’s time we can start telling you exactly who you want to pick in your teams! My series of articles is basically going to run you through mid-priced or value options for Fantasy football this year. I will look at some rookies too, however I feel in 2013 the mid-priced player will become as popular as ever. With two trades a week, the game lends itself to ‘taking a punt’ a little more often than we might have been able to in the past. We know mid-priced players can typically go one of two ways; coaches who do their research may find themselves picking a breakout star who averages over 100, whilst another coach (who may have done just as much research) lands themself a dud, who is in and out of the side all year. These extra trades make the latter scenario much easier to deal with, hence reducing the risks involved.
Another factor that may influence our decision is the depth we are now able to create in our midfields. With an extra two players, it allows coaches to play with many more options for what is easily the most lucrative position in fantasy football. Also, if you are keen to stock up on premium talent in the midfield, mid-pricers suddenly become more important in the forwards and backs.
Now, who to look at first… Honestly, I’m pretty tired after a long day at work, so I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to launch into a topic I know quite a bit about… Arryn Siposs of the St.Kilda Saints, or ‘the new Brendon Goddard’ as some have been calling him.
So, why has this nickname been getting flung around on social media for Sippa? The ‘Brendon Goddard’ role has become quite famous at the Saints over the past number of years – whilst we have seen some inconsistencies from the ex-Saint, overall he has been one of the best rebounding defenders and playmakers over the past several years, unrivalled through the competition for his ball-winning ability, coupled with his ball use. He has been the Saints’ go-to man just about every time they try and move the ball forward. Therefore, losing him to Essendon over the off-season will likely be felt pretty significantly down at Seaford.
Throughout the pre-season to date, many eyes have been cast over the Saints list to find out who may be moving into this lucrative fantasy role for 2013. It now appears that Arryn Siposs is that man. He has trained with the defenders all pre-season, played almost the entire intra-club across half-back and through the midfield and then lined up in the same position for the Saints NAB games on Sunday afternoon. His kicking is absolutely exquisite – he already has huge confidence to hit his targets (and does go for some near-impossible passes as a result) and appears to work hard to get into good ball-receiving areas.
I will however mention a few slights on him. Firstly, just like Goddard before him, he doesn’t do too much of the dirty work himself. I’ve already seen a number of situations this pre-season where he has just stood outside a contest waiting for the ball, rather than diving in to help his teammates. His confidence is good, but we don’t want him to become over-confident. Scott Watters has made similar remarks over the past few weeks, stating he is not guaranteed a game and does still have areas to work on. Whilst this is likely just a coach putting the acid on a player whom he knows has a lot of potential, it may also mean Sippa won’t be gifted games in 2013 if he begins to coast. The other query on him (or at least this role) is that he is not the only one capable of playing this role. We’ve seen Sam Gilbert play a similar role in the intra-club, and James Gwilt looked fantastic rebounding off half-back in the NAB Cup. Nick Dal Santo is another senior name trialled in this role, whilst fellow youngster Jack Newnes is another who may get some time in the role. Essentially, if Siposs doesn’t impress quickly, he’s not the only man for the job.
That all said, 2013 is very much a year of development for the Saints. That’s not to say they won’t still be hoping for a finals berth, but I believe above everything else in 2013, the Saints desperately need to unearth some exciting young talent. And Siposs is one of the standouts from the crop, meaning we should really see him play most games this year, and as Watters has said in the past, he doesn’t want to shield the youngsters from big roles in the side.
In the first NAB Cup game, Siposs managed 7 disposals and 4 marks (35 DT points), which isn’t too bad for this form of the game. However in the second game he managed just the one handball, albeit after already playing one game in 38-degree heat. He also had pretty limited time on ground. I guess it’s fortunate will have a few more opportunities to see him play before round one.
Having a look at stats from 2012, his numbers are a bit all over the place. He played 11 games in total, including four as a sub (three subbed on, one subbed off), three of which came over his first four games of the year. He had two scores over 100 DT points and two in SC. He also played the majority of the year as a forward, with only a couple of games late in the year with a role in defence, scoring 100 and 58 DT points in these outings. These stats are somewhat hard to base future improvement on, however, as we are definitely expecting higher numbers from him this year, based on greater experience and responsibility.
Overall, I believe Siposs will be one of the significant improvers in 2013. Even is he only gets tastes of the half-back role, I can’t see him fitting back into the forward line this year considering there is already a back-log of players for this area of the ground, meaning at worst he may be stationed on a wing or a little deeper in defence. The Saints desperately need a good user of the football in the backline and I believe Siposs will be given first crack of this in 2013. Whilst I would be tempering your expectations if you believe he will average Goddard-like numbers, but I do believe we can see a significant improvement from him in a role that will lend itself well to plenty of marks and kicks – two stats crucial to both fantasy football and SuperCoach.
You can pick Arryn Siposs as a forward only in 2013.
Fantasy Football: $325,000
Super Coach: $316,600