Draft Watch – NAB Week Two Review


Welcome to the second edition of the weekly NAB Cup review – written with your Draft league in mind. The more actual footy we see, the more our expectations and opinions of fantasy players change as a collective – clever coaches will use this to their advantage.

So let’s look beyond the kicks, marks and tackles and into what really makes your Draft-style league tick – perception!

 Note: All references to draft value are based on a standard 12-team H2H Ultimate Footy league, with a 5-7-1-5 on-field structure. If your League varies significantly, adjust accordingly.


Bryce Gibbs – Scored 19 per Q. Gibbs looked fantastic in both games, although he was playing a highly unaccountable style of football. In saying that, maybe that’s the new role Malthouse has in mind for him? His K:H ratio was healthy, and due to poor skills from teammates at times, he had just the two marks – which is less than he’ll normally collect. With his Back eligibility, he’s a consideration for a late first-round pick if he can average the 105 or so he’s clearly capable of, and he should be strongly entertained if he’s still on the board when you’re on the clock for your 2nd selection.

Tom Rockliff – Scored 19 per Q. Rockliff was a bona fide fantasy star two years ago, but a role change last year harmed his stocks considerably. Thankfully, it means he now has Forward eligibility, which means he’ll still go early. Not that it matters – if the weekend was anything to go by, Rocky is back! He spent most of his time in the guts, and his stats were well-padded in the mark and tackle categories. Consider him in the 2nd round if fellow forwards Franklin and Cox (ruck also, obviously) are already off the table.

Andrew Swallow – Scored 25 per Q. Swallow has averaged 98 points or more for the past three seasons, and was the 15th-highest averaging player last season with 103 per game. He also hasn’t missed a game in four straight seasons! Add these impressive facts to his production on the weekend, and all the signs are there that he’ll be a highly reliable 1st or 2nd midfielder for your draft side. By rights, he should be off the table by the end of the second round; but if other coaches start reaching for defenders or forwards, you might be able to get him for a steal in the 3rd or 4th round.

Ivan Maric – Scored 17 per Q. With Sandilands rubbed out for the first month or so of the season, all eyes are on Maric to see whether he’s worthy of an early draft pick – or if last year was just an aberration. Based on the weekend’s efforts, he looks to warrant a 2nd or 3rd round pick. He didn’t total many touches in his only game, but they were highly potent and complimented his 14 hitouts perfectly. He should be the second ruckman off the table in any draft.



Greg Broughton – Scored 11 per Q. I watched both Suns games on the weekend, and I can’t ever remember seeing Broughton. He was basically a non-factor. He wasn’t the running defender we’d thought he’d be, and he certainly wasn’t the nominated user out of defence like Birchall or Duffield are for their clubs. In saying that, this is the pre-season, and who really cares about a crummy triseries? Probably not Broughton. If he keeps slipping under the radar like this, he’ll slide – which will probably already slide given the stigma attached to him anyway – meaning you might be able to get him on the cheap. He easily has the ability to average 90+, so if you can get him in the 7th round or later, you’re laughing.

Trent Cotchin – Scored 8 per Q. Cotchin played both games on the weekend, yet managed just 33 DT points. He did spend a lot of time on the bench though, which may explain his stunted output, at least somewhat. Many coaches have him pegged for 4th or 5th pick overall, but a couple more lukewarm efforts in the pre-season and he could slide to pick 8 – 11 as the hype is doused. This late in the first round, he’s a steal.

Mitch Robinson – Scored 9 per Q. High-end B/C and F/C players are generally boosted up the rankings for their lesser eligibilities, but Mitch Robinson hasn’t given us a lot this pre-season. His triseries was ordinary, and his famous Big Day Out fisticuffs hardly did him any favours with neither Carlton nor fantasy coaches. As a result, he’s likely to slip past the 4th round, which is where he should probably go based on ability. You could potentially grab him around Pick 60-70 – provided you don’t have any hardcore Carlton supporters in your league who won’t be able to help themselves.



Brock McLean – Scored 19 per Q. How someone who averaged 115 in the last 7 games of 2012 can be consistently overlooked is beyond me, but it’s happening. He went at an incredible Pick 136 in the Footy Prophet Expert Draft, and only 0.4% of coaches have taken a dip at him in DT – despite being seemingly underpriced. He’ll be the only guy you can potentially draft in the 8th round who can return first-round value, so keep a very close eye on Brock for some excellent value – chances are, most of your fellow coaches won’t.

Daniel Rich – Scored 21 per Q. As you can imagine, most true ‘Sleepers’ are Centres, because of the simple fact that coaches start looking to the back and forward lines in the middle rounds, leaving an abundance of lower-premium mid-only players on the board. Rich fits the bill perfectly – he’s never averaged more than 85, so he hasn’t left a blip on the radar for most coaches. His work on the weekend showed that he’s every chance to well exceed that this season (21 touches, 4 marks and 4 tackles in the two shortened games), so pounce if you find him on the board anywhere as deep as the 12th to the 14th rounds.

Reece Conca – Scored 9 per Q. Conca didn’t give us much in the triseries games he played; but that’s easily explained when you consider that he’s still recovering from the foot stress fracture that ended his 2012 prematurely, and the Achilles soreness that followed. This muddy injury history means that Conca probably won’t be considered when he should be, especially given that he’s back-eligible in Ultimate Footy. He averaged 73 in an injury-interrupted 2012, and he can easily build on that once he is match-ready and a significant part of Richmond’s midfield rotations. Have a serious look at him if it’s the 12th-14th round, as there won’t be many more start-worthy backmen left on the table.

Adam Treloar – Scored 14 per Q. If you’re anything like me, then you’re very wary of picking second-year rookies. Especially Giants players, after what the majority of the Suns’ second year cohort threw up in 2012. As a result, guys like Coniglio, Zorko and Treloar will be undervalued due to the stigma attached to the second-year blues. Treloar showed on the weekend that he plans to skip that particular affliction, gathering a bounty of contested touches and attacking the ball at every opportunity. Unfortunately he’s just a centre-only this year, but that only increases his under-the-radar value. Snap him up any time from picks 150 – 180 and you’ll be a very happy camper.

Claye Beams – Scored 11 per Q. Beams is a forward-eligible player in Ultimate Footy this year, and that in itself might elude many coaches. Claye is a perfect candidate to have a break-out season – which is required, because his 65-point average from just 8 games last season won’t cut the mustard this year. He didn’t collect a heap of the pill in his two triseries matches, but got just enough of it to pique my interest in spending a late-round starter pick on him.



Todd Goldstein – Scored 3 per Q. Prior to the NAB Cup, you would have had Goldstein in that group of second-tier pure ruck options right alongside McEvoy, Jacobs and Mumford. Depending on the pace of your draft, these guys will probably be picked between the 4th and 9th rounds – based on Goldstein’s performance on the weekend, you can discount him from that bracket. He’s a confidence player, so if he gets his mojo back I’ll still consider him, but he’s much too risky to take early and much better left as someone else’s problem.

Anthony Miles – Scored 35 per Q. Yes, Miles was the highest scoring player per quarter over any player in the triseries. But he hasn’t given us anything new – we’ve always known he’s a fantasy gun, but also that his job security is non-existent. In any case, the splash he made on the weekend will mean that if he does get drafted, it will be for overs. Don’t reach for him as a starter – you need job security on your field. Once you’ve locked up your emergencies however, he could be worth a speculative pick if no one else was stupid enough to spend a decent selection on him.

Brent Harvey – Scored 17 per Q. Boomer looked fresh on the weekend, but that’s probably because he’ll miss the first 6 rounds through suspension. Unlike early-season injuries, you can be sure he’ll return firing, but how should it affect your draft strategy? Most coaches can’t stomach the thought of benching a Premium for 6 rounds so he’ll slide considerably down the order, but how far is too far? That’s up to you to decide (I went with Ziebell, Bock and Sylvia as late starters last year, for mixed results) – just make sure you’re aware of his situation and you don’t pay more than you have to.


That’s it for this week’s review. Hopefully the longer matches in Nab 2 will give us more answers rather than more to think about! Remember, Draft-style fantasy is about every player, not just the Cox’s, Cotchin’s and Goddard’s of the AFL world – there are diamonds in the rough out there, just waiting to be found.



  • Struggling with the choices this year – too many in the midfield and not enough at each end. Liking the look of the Lions this year but seriously fighting against picking too many. Rich, Redden, Zorko, Rockliff all quality but if I don’t watch it one of the bye rounds maybe rather disappointing!

  • Hmmm good article.
    Actually had my first draft last nights with 9 other blokes on the same computer. Not sure why we did it so early. TBH I barely did any research and just played it by year. Took Boyd with 1st pick (pick 5), Gibbs with 2nd pick (pick 16) and Rocky with 3rd(pick 25)

    Side ended up like:
    DEF: Gibbs Hartlett Newman Harbrow Yarran (Hibberd)
    MID: Boyd Greene Cornes Carrazzo Gaff Hanneberry (Armitage)
    RUC: Jacobs Bellchambers (McIntosh)
    FWD: Rockliff Hawkins Blair Siposs Dahlhaus (Varcoe)

    Couple of things I learned”
    1. Having 2 picks in a row is very handy e.g last pick of 2nd RD and 1st pick of 3rd RD.
    2. I think next time I’ll pick 2 mids to start then pick def/ruc/fwd for the next 10 or so rounds.

    Just my thoughts and hopefully I’ll be more prepared for my next draft.

  • great read!! i was a apart of my first draft night last weekend!!
    selected with my first 3 picks – Swan (3rd overall), Cox (14th), Rockliff (19th)

    finished up with:

    DEF: H Hartlett, J Adcock, A Mackie, D Pearce, C Yarran (J Gibson)
    MID: D Swan (C), A Swallow, R Griffen, L Shuey, D Rich, D Hannebery (N Jones, D Zaharakis)
    RUC: D Cox, S Jacobs
    FWD: T Rockliff, J Lewis, N Reiwoldt, S Wellingham, L Adams (M Wright)

    not overly disappointed with my team. heaps of improvements could be made.. and have already been ovffred a trade of.. Swan, Reiwoldt, Zaharakis and Yarran for Murphy, Breust, Ebert and Gibbs… in two minds because of swan!! hard decision so far out from round 1!

    • how on earth was swan 3rd

    • Do not get rid of Swan. You’ll end up playing against him in the week he busts out a 180. If your league has captains, in no circumstances should you get rid of Swan. Your mate could offer you naming rights for his first born in return and it still wouldn’t be worth it.

  • Gotto love having pick #2 after the 1st goes to GAJ. I was giddy as I smashed that button to bring in Swan.

    OK team for my first draft I guess (last week)…..

    1. Waters, B
    2. Reilly, B
    3. Dempsey, C
    (12. Grima, N)

    4. Swan, D
    5. Murphy, M
    6. Priddis, M
    7. Carrazzo, A
    (13. Kelly, J)

    8. McEvoy, B
    (14. Leuenberger, M)

    9. Hawkins, T
    10. Jetta, L
    11. Christensen, A
    (15. Waite, J)

    ^So focussed more on the MID’s at first & also went for bench players in all positions (MID, MID, DEF, RUC, MID, MID, FWD, FWD, FWD, DEF, DEF, FWD, Bench (MID, RUC, DEF, FWD), but decided to change it up for the SC draft I was in last night……….

    1. Waters, B
    2. Stanley, D
    3. Lake, B

    4. Beams, D
    5. Murphy, M
    6. Carrazzo, A
    7. Ball, L
    (12. Pearce, C)
    13. Liberatore, T

    8. Leuenberger, M
    (14. Hudson, B)

    9. Riewoldt, N
    10. Robinson, M
    11. LeCras, M
    (15. Merrett, D)

    ^ Here I went MID, MID, DEF, RUC, FWD, MID, DEF, FWD, MID, DEF, FWD, Bench (MID, MID, RUC, FWD/DEF dpp)….

    What do you think is the best order to pick players in?