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Holes as big as Geelong: 2009 AFL depth chart update

Depth chart update

The FanFooty depth charts are up to date with all 738 players ranked by position. Let’s chew over the results.

Here are the links. Keep in mind that these rankings do not take into account whether they are currently injured are not, though in some cases with players who are constantly injured it does have some effect. Nic Fosdike and Tadhg Kennelly are at the bottom of their lists due to having retired.

Adelaide depth chart
Brisbane depth chart
Carlton depth chart
Collingwood depth chart
Essendon depth chart
Fremantle depth chart
Geelong depth chart
Hawthorn depth chart
Melbourne depth chart
North Melbourne depth chart
Port Adelaide depth chart
Richmond depth chart
Sydney depth chart
St Kilda depth chart
Western Bulldogs depth chart
West Coast depth chart

It was Fremantle who had the worst stock of small forwards before the draft, but since they loaded up with WAFL graduates Hayden Ballantyne and Michael Walters, it is West Coast’s stocks in that area that are looking thin. Mark LeCras is the only genuine small forward the Eagles have, with David Wirrpanda on his last legs and more of a defender anyway. With the added issue of how to fit Quinten Lynch, Ashley Hansen, Ben McKinley and Mitch Brown into the forward line, their attacking 50 is looking a tad top heavy this year. The Crows are also looking shaky in the small forwards again this season, with Jason Porplyzia‘s shoulder being the difference between a workable forward line and a forest full of saplings.

VFL Rd 5 - Collingwood v Geelong

As blogged about earlier, Geelong are going to struggle to find height in their backline with no Matthew Egan and Tom Harley to start the season. At the moment Dan McKenna is their third fit key tall back, which is going to be a problem if he’s not ready. The problem with moving Tom Lonergan back is that it then leaves a hole in the forward line that also has to be filled with a no-gamer as well, either Mitch W. Brown or Scott Simpson. Either way, Geelong is going to have to think long and hard about starting a tall rookie through at least the first month of the season, lest their opponents load up on talls and pull a succession of David Hale-like performances out of nowhere.

Meanwhile, their round 1 opponents Hawthorn will also be restricted by the injury to Trent Croad. It is pretty obvious that they would love to play Campbell Brown forward, especially against Geelong where he did very well in Round 17 of last season, but it may be too risky to entrust the backline to Stephen Gilham and Thomas Murphy on their own, even if they draft in Mitch Thorp or Ryan Schoenmakers to help.

At Sydney, there are more holes opening up in their depth chart than there are in the plots of Lost episodes. In the key backs, Ted Richards is their #2 back and Lewis Roberts-Thomson #3 – a shocking turn of events in anyone’s language. No wonder Jesse White is being fast-tracked to play in defence, while everyone seems to have forgotten Ed Barlow, who could hold down one of those spots at a pinch. Behind Barry Hall is a dangerous place to be – just ask Brent Staker – but behind him in the Swans key forward depth chart with Michael O’Loughlin injured are Heath Grundy and Henry Playfair, another couple of ordinary players. Ryan O’Keefe and probably Patrick Veszpremi are going to have to do most of the grunt work. The more I look at that list the more it screams “bottom 4” at me, though whispers are that training drills are focused more on kicking and run-and-carry. Heaven forbid, could Paul Roos actually be trying to play an open game style this year? If so, Sydney’s year could end up looking a lot like Essendon’s 2008, with the coaching staff not able to stem the flow of opposition goals and forced into freeing up the tags just to allow their kids to get a occasional touch of leather. Surely the Swans have to commit to youth this year! I’ll believe it when I see it.

Richmond didn’t do much to help their key forward stocks in the draft, unless you count Tyrone Vickery as a forward instead of a ruck… which Tiger fans may end up doing if Troy Simmonds‘ body holds up this year. The other possibility there is Alex Rance – who was insanely popular early doors with fantasy coaches but has dropped off the radar – being tried as a third forward. With Kayne Pettifer still recovering from his knee reconstruction, the Tigers’ small forwards are also a little light on, which is why Robin Nahas was being watched closely last weekend. Perhaps surprisingly, Adam Thomson is getting lost in the mix of midfielders.

Finally, sometimes you can have all the depth that seems prudent but you can still get caught out by circumstance, as Brisbane is now with its five rucks all out injured. Another argument for free agency, perhaps? Richmond are even better served in that area with five dedicated rucks plus Vickery, while the Hawks also have six.

I am still not sure about some of the ranking decisions I made in compiling these lists, and I am certain that you lot will want to argue the toss with me about a good many of them. Have at it in the comments!



  1. dedem

    February 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    hmm… nice lists

  2. BJ

    February 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Great work i was hoping something like this would come up.
    keep it up!

  3. krabzy

    February 20, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Unless I’ve missed something, Geelong’s back six will probably be Hunt, Mackie, Milburn, Scarlett, Taylor and Wojcinski for round 1. I don’t see a lack of height in that group.

  4. Raf

    February 20, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Great work.

    For North (only team I’m qualified to talk about) I’d have Scott Thompson in key defenders (he plays on the Mooneys and Lonergans, not the Steve Johnsons or the Stokes, and is over 190) and slot him in below Gibson. Correct call to have Jesse Smith in small defenders though, he doesn’t play key despite his height (although you could argue that he often helped double team key forwards in 2007, most notably playing in the hole in front of Franklin in the 2007 semi).

    Wright is at the bottom of our small fwd depth chart for now, and Corey Jones is #2 after Campbell (maybe even #3 after Thomas).

    Lower is only listed as a tagger, is that intended? I guess he only got games last year as a defensive HFF, but he’s meant to be a midfielder (although our depth there means I can’t see him getting games that way without a major breakthrough).

    If people can be listed in more than one spot, then obv. Hale and Petrie slot in to ruckman. It’s quite humerous to see North with just two listed ruckmen in the depth chart, even though we now really do have only two guys who are primarily ruckmen, since for a while North has been the club which didn’t need more freaking ruckmen!

  5. Nick2

    February 20, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    Just for a matter of interest and nothing else. West Coast were planning to draft Nevilla Jetta and Jamie Bennell ahead of Ash Smith and Jordan Jones. Melbourne beat us by one with both of those picks. The depth chart at WC would be far better balanced if that’d happened. Hopefully they’ll correct it soon 🙁

  6. m0nty

    February 20, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    krabzy: That would mean Mackie as third tall, yes? It would cramp his rebound work, which would hurt the team. He’s far better running off a small opponent.

    Raf: Good calls on all of those, I’ve fixed it.

  7. krabzy

    February 20, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Third talls often rebound pretty well. Joel Bowden and Sam Fisher come to mind. Chad Cornes used to play third tall a lot before he took over the world.

    Even if Mackie’s rebound is lost, Geelong still have a lot of rebound out of the other guys. That, and the fiery wrath of the greatest midfield on earth. I think they’ll be just fine no matter what they do.

  8. drewriffic

    February 20, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    monty i dont know if you’ve done this on the site or its just reserved for fantasy footy, but id be interested in your ladder prediction…you know the lists well after all.

    just a quick note about sydney…i think they rate lewis roberts-thomson way above ted richards.

    and is jesse white a key defender? i thought he was a ruckman first and foremost. he’s listed as that in afl dt…

  9. chad

    February 20, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Monty, think you could add Josh Carr to Port’s depth chart?

  10. Stabilo

    February 22, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Monty, Milburn can play as the 3rd tall. Having Harley out doesn´t affect much as he was primarily on the medium forwards anyway like Motlop and williams.

  11. Macca

    February 22, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    gr8 work m0nty

    In case of Adelaide small forward, the old formula is they’ll throw Stiffy up forward as well as Douglas.

    We’ve also seen Goodwin and Edwards used in that role as well.

  12. Macca

    February 22, 2009 at 10:56 pm


    Could you include an estimated “break-even” score for the after the first 3 weeks….this would be useful in determining teams

    eg GAJ at $713K (SC), what score would he need to maintain the $713K value

    I’d think he need to score 150 points each week to break-even

  13. m0nty

    February 22, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    As a rough guide, each non-rookie player needs to score a few points higher than their 2008 average, Macca.

  14. XztatiK

    February 23, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Only looked at the Crows one so far. Minor changes I would make:

    Donnelly to KD (been playing CHB in scratchies)

    Porsche to mid

    McKernan to KF

    Good work.

  15. XztatiK

    February 23, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Just checked out the Brisbane one. Monty, I know you don’t rate Merrett but come on he’s ahead of Roe.

  16. m0nty

    February 23, 2009 at 2:05 am

    You’re right Xztatik, that was an oversight.

  17. Greg

    February 23, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Re Geelong: Both Enright and Rooke have also been thrown into defense to play on medium-to-tall forwards in the past. I also don’t see the problem of putting Lonergan into the backline given that there is Hawkins and Gamble waiting to fill the spot anyhow

  18. Gun Bomber

    February 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Good work m0nty. Essendon depth chart rankings look good. The only change I would make is to put Hurley above NLM. Even though he hasn’t played I think he is extremely highly regarded by the coaching staff and we have a very strong youth policy.

  19. Jazzman

    February 24, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Gun Bomber, can you see Hurley pulling out a Harry Taylor-type season?

  20. Rupe

    February 25, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I agree Gun Bomber. Also, do you se Tayte Pears becoming a key-defender or more of a runner? I’d have him in the smalls.

  21. Gun Bomber

    March 1, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Hurley will be very good and get quite a bit of game time. I think he could do a bit of a Harry Taylor. I don’t expect him to do that well at this stage as Taylor was exceptional and a bit older if my memory serves me correctly. I see Pears as a play maker.

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