Small things: 2010 draftee positional drill-down

We take our annual look at projected Champion Data positions for this year’s crop of AFL draftees.

Melbourne Demons Press Conference

Similar to last year’s version of this post, to figure out roughly what draftees are going to score from the start of the season we can take some pointers from previous performances of similar types of players. Champion Data classifies each player according to their position (Defender, Midfielder, Forward, Ruck, Utility), size (Small, Medium, Tall) and role (In or Out for midfielders, General or Key for forwards and backs). We can cross reference this post on rookies’ first one and three games with some educated guesses as to what the 2009 draft crop will be classified as, based on Champion’s own guidelines. The variations for different player types are huge, with the biggest average (medium-sized forwards) being fully double the lowest (key backs) in Dream Team.

Def-Med-Gen
Marcus Davies, Kyle Hardingham, Ryan Harwood, Christian Howard, Anthony Long, Jamie Macmillan, Jasper McMillan-Pittard, Daniel Menzel, Brad Sheppard, Jeromey Webberley
The averages for this player type are about middling, though that does disguise a lot of variation, much of which is related to time on ground (TOG) if not games played. Witness Clancee Pearce last year as opposed to Scott Selwood the year before. This type of player often suffers for opportunity early doors, which is why Sheppard’s popularity with coach Woosha will be monitored closely.

Def-Tall-Key
David Astbury, Dylan Grimes, Will Johnson, Samuel Reid, Dylan Roberton, Sam Shaw, Daniel Talia, Jason Tutt
Usually a black hole for fantasy. There are some mildly hyped players in here including several picked towards the end of the first round, which indicates quality, though not for fantasy purposes in their first year.

Fwd-Med-Gen
Trent Dennis-Lane, Mitchell Duncan, Nat Fyfe, Rohan Kerr, Kane Lucas, Andrew Moore, Brayden Norris, Gary Rohan, Luke Tapscott, Shane Thorne, Jack Trengove, Gerrick Weedon
In the bottom half for DT and right about middle for SC, this is a another position with a lot of big and small scores. Dedicated small forwards get very little supply from midfielders at the best of times, so those types are susceptible to getting nothing at all when their team mates don’t trust them enough to pass to them in senior game situations. Chris Yarran, who is in the former category, was the best of a bad lot last year. This year there’s a bit more hope, especially with the likes of Lucas and Dennis-Lane. Better to look for those who can win a bit of their own ball.

Fwd-Small-Gen
Taylor Duryea, Ben Nason, Ryan Neates
One of the best-performed player types in early games, mainly because they don’t bother with leading for balls that will never get kicked to them (see above), but concentrate on burrowing under packs for their own pill. Nason would be an excellent prospect if it looked like he was in line for a game, though his hero is Dale Thomas which does not speak well of his fantasy scoring ability. Neates and Duryea are also well worth keeping an eye on as smokies.

Fwd-Tall-Key
Aaron Black, John Butcher, Jake Carlisle, Benjamin Griffiths, Jack Gunston, Joel Houghton, Ayden Kennedy, Troy Taylor, Nicholas Winmar
Poor for fantasy purposes in DT, though not as bad in SC. I don’t think there will be a Taylor Walker type among this lot.

Mid-Med-In
Jesse Crichton, Jordan Gysberts, Dustin Martin, Jake Melksham, Tom Scully, Koby Stevens, Jordan Williams
Decent in both comps, as you would expect. Scully and Martin will be in a lot of sides, with Gysberts and Melksham also popular.

Mid-Med-Out
Joshua Cowan, Anthony Morabito, Jesse O’Brien, Ben Sinclair
About in the middle for scoring, though there were about half a dozen draftees in this category who earned a lot of fantasy money last year. Morabito as the #4 draft pick for the Dockers gets all the interest here at this stage, of course.

Mid-Small-In
Allen Christensen, Josh Thomas
Particularly good for SC. Unfortunately, we’re unlikely to see either of these two early.

Mid-Small-Out
Callum Bartlett, Travis Colyer, Lewis Jetta, Byron Sumner
Good scoring potential, and there are some popular names here. None of last year’s crop in this position got a single game in the seniors apart from Cruize Garlett, though. Jetta might be this year’s equivalent outlier.

Ruckman-Tall
James Craig, Jack Fitzpatrick, Max Gawn, Sam Grimley, Nathan Vardy
You’re not relying on a ruckman as a cash cow, are you? No, no you’re not.

Utility-Med
Ryan Bastinac, Ben Cunnington, Justin Bollenhagen, Matt Dea
I wonder how popular the Bastinac/Cunnington combo will be on fantasy benches this season, on the premise that at least one of them should be playing for North every week. This position certainly offers rewards, like Jack Ziebell last year.

Utility-Tall
Bryce Retzlaff, Benjamin Stratton
Worse than the mean when it comes ot fantasy, so I wouldn’t be venturing here.

I realise that this time last year I was pumping out blog posts at a humongous rate of knots, and I have been relatively lax so far this off-season. I’ll set about changing that over the next couple of weeks, starting with more rehashes of last year’s posts like this one. Let me know what you want me to blog about in the comments.

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