What Makes a Mid-Pricer Worth It?

G’day Sports Fans, I’ve been thinking a fair bit lately about mid pricers (haven’t we all) given the likely change of focus in AFL Dream Team for 2013. With the risk of subbage and the much lower number of rookies likely to start the season due to having no new footy franchise start-ups, 2013 should see the return of the true mid-price player. With coaches already talking up the inclusions of the likes of Ball, Embley and RiskyTelly in their midfields, I’d like to pose the question – as it does differ depending on your expectations: What makes a mid-pricer worth it?

The answer to this question lies (I think) around what you believe the yardstick is for a ‘keeper’. For some, they can rest easy simply knowing that their mid-pricers have made them a bit of cash, scored slightly higher than a rookie with better job security and provided a better platform to upgrade to a premium.

Personally, my interpretation of a successful mid-pricer is one that will play all year and increase their average close to, or equal to that of a premium in their respective position. I’ve noted a few examples below of what I believe would’ve been great mid-price options worthy of selection in 2012 – then also a few that just didn’t make the grade…

For the purposes of clarity, I’d like to point out my personal definitions for what I’d be happy to be classes as a ‘keeper’ in 2012:

  • Defender – 75 average minimum playing 20 games or higher
  • Midfielder – 95 average minimum playing 20 games or higher
  • Ruckman – 80 average minimum playing 20 games of higher
  • Forward – 80 average minimum playing 20 games of higher

Successful Picks for 2012

Brad Ebert

Club: Port Adelaide
Position: Midfielder
2011 avg: 62.2
2012 avg: 98.7
2012 GP: 22

Ebert came across from West Coast as a promising young player that was to be reunited with his brother and family in SA. He shone brightly in his first year at Port, after costing only $308k in February.

Ivan Maric

Club: Richmond
Position: Ruckman
2011 avg: 59
2012 avg: 97.8
2012 GP: 21

It seems there’s a pattern associated with good mid-price picks. Mature players going to new teams in search of new opportunities appear very likely to flourish (provided they have the talent and drive). This may speak volumes for those considering one Brent Moloney, who’s likely to end up at Port, Sydney or Melbourne in 2013.

Others in the mid-price category who would’ve been ‘keepers’ in 2012 – Callan Ward, Brendan Whitecross, Shaun Grigg, Harley Bennell and Clancee Pearce.

Picks that ‘didn’t quite get there’

Mitch Wallis

Club: Western Bulldogs
Position: Midfielder
2011 avg: 55
2012 avg: 83
2012 GP: 19

The young Bulldog had a great season by 2nd year standards, rising enough to make a bit of cash and improving on both his games played and average considerably. Unfortunately though, he fell well short of the mark for a midfield keeper. Another year should see him break into the 95-100 region in his all-important third year.

Andrew Gaff

Club: West Coast
Position: Midfielder
2011 avg: 65.3
2012 avg: 86.6
2012 GP: 22

After being held back by constant green/red vests in 2011, Gaff broke out from his ‘Kermit’ nickname to make some big improvements and be one of West Coast’s most consistent players. Whilst he didn’t prove to break out to premium status in his position, I’d expect (like Wallis) that he will do so in 2013. At that awkward a price though… it’s a fair risk.

Mitch Golby

Club: Brisbane
Position: Defender
2011 avg: 53.6
2012 avg: 73.7
2012 GP: 13

After starting out the year with labels such as ‘Trollby’, the young Lion had a change in fortunes and started living up to expectations. Notching up several hundreds mid-season suddenly made those who kept him geniuses as he settled into the Brisbane best-22. Ultimately, injury tainted his season and made his figures look lower than what he’s capable of. If he’s fit and has a great preseason, there’s no reason that he can’t go onto break into that 75-80 range in 2013.

Others that would’ve been a DT Fail in 2012 in my books are Ryan Hargrave, Jack Trengove, Matthew Kreuzer and Christian Howard.

Moving Forward

Have you had past success with any mid-price picks? Or perhaps have some massive fails you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments so we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

Keep your eyes out over the preseason, as there will be plenty of action happening that will have an impact on our selections for 2013. Things like: how many decent rookie options pop up from the AFL Draft (and Rookie Draft) and (perhaps more importantly) what the results of Trade Week and the inaugural Free Agency are – these will shape the beginning of next season and will give us plenty to discuss over the formative months of Season 2013.

Hopefully this article has given you a bit to think about when choosing your mid-priced players for Season 2013. Before you go locking in all of the cheap fallen premiums or rising stars, stop and have a think about what your expectations are from them and whether they’re likely to get there. Otherwise, the risk in choosing them may not be worth it at all.


For further insight into how difficult it is to pick a cheap mid-pricer becoming a keeper, check out my Miracle Men article review from earlier this month.

Until later, hit me up @McRathDT on the Tweetvine.


  • FIRST ly, what does everybody think on Bock, Krakour, LeCras and Nicoski as pickups for next year

  • Very relevant piece , thanks McRath. For me, a mid-pricer needs to be guaranteed a place in the best 22 and have the ability to raise his average by at least 20 points over the previous year, regardless of the positon played. This ensures enough cash will be generated to make the step up to a premium. Trying to identify a mid-pricer who will become a premium, is in my opinion, virtually impossible. Brad Ebert was great this year, but still ‘only’ averaged 98 which is not enough for a premium mid. I think there will be plenty of these mid-priced players to choose from next year, but don’t expect them to be keepers. After all, they are mid-priced for a reason.

  • IMO they need to score at

    DEF 80 ave
    MID 100 ave
    RUC 85 ave
    FWD 85 ave

    But this may change next year as the game should be harder.

  • mmm with Ebert being great and all, his posotion on the DT field failed him. I think I might only pick mid pricers from either fwd, ruck or def. Mid seems too much of a leap for any mid pricers, and those positions can be reserved for super premiums.

  • I posted this in DT2013 but it is relevant here also …

    Two things go against picking mid price players:

    – The strike-out risk is too high – for every Ivan Maric there are 50 Harry Taylors.

    – The pricing formula that values a player at 75% of past performance and 25% of last 3 performance. This advantages Guns and Rookies, at the expense of mid-priced players (I won’t bore you with the maths). If this was changed to 80:20 or taking the average over 4 games instead of 3, this would make mid price players more viable. However I think it would make DT less fun though and I don’t think anyone actually wants to do this.

    As Gary above pointed out it seems when people talk about a mid price player what they mean is a potential premium player that is underpriced at the start of the year. Sure you can have a stab at a couple, but trying to pick about 6-8 of these in your 30 would be a recipe for disaster IMO.

    • Spot on…so hard to pick.I’ll be looking at the obvious..LeCras, Leunberger, Bock, Gray, Ball..etc. Most would (should?) start with a few in this category

  • Last year had Liam Sheil (Hawks) kept him all season and was a win.
    This year Macarthy (PA), Golby (Lions) and Hargrave (Bulldogs) I only call Golby a win, kept him until he was injured and traded him out for Carazzo. Running at about 50% but you can get those kinds of odds with rookies as well.

    If you expect 150-200K cash generation from a rookie I think that a mid pricer either needs to generate the same sort of cash or become a keeper to be considered a win.

    • I’m sorry, but do you really think that Hargrave was a success? The ONLY thing you would’ve done with him and for it to be a success was to sell him before the MBRs, otherwise, as stated in the article, it was a failure!

  • brian lake was a success mcrath :)

    • At infuriating his owners with inconsistent scores maybe..

    • Brian Lake is on my “Don’t Touch with a Barge Pole” list. He sort of scored OK when he played forward but as a defender…???? Other players on this list are any defender ever coached by Ross Lyon.

  • Surely Dangerfield must be considered a success? Was arguably the best pick from my starting squad.

  • For dream team 2013, I so far I have 6 mid- priced players. They are Jackson, Bock, Leuenburger, Vardy, Lecras and gray. Is this healthy. I also have 8 players who were premiums a few years back and have dropped substantially in price.

    • Eight fallen premos is very risky, but if you have balls the size of chuck norris’ then you should have no problem making that decision

  • Thoughts on Gysberts/Banner?

    Seriously considering both…

    • I think they could both be good, but If I had to choose I would pick Gysberts. The fact that Banner was drafted in 2008 and has only played 19 games in the last 3 years is concerning. Gysberts is most likely to break out IMO, which is what you’re after.