Jeppa’s Phantom Draft 2013



Fantasy planning is in full swing! @WarnieDT has given us his thoughts on this year’s trade period, @Tbetta has analysed the fixture and now it’s time for me to look at the draft.

Compiling my Top 30 was no easy task. For each pick, a football club will either select the best player available or draft on need. More often than not, it’s the latter. For example, Port Adelaide are desperate for another key forward but who will be available at pick 21 and are they a worthy pick? Or, do Port revert back to selecting the best player available? I’ve asked myself these types of questions at every pick so hopefully my predictions aren’t that far off. Here goes nothing.



Skilful tall forwards are few and far between and Boyd is the complete package. He’s strong, agile and has a very good pair of hands. Lock it in.

A ball winning midfielder that can run all day. Kelly is very effective by hand and foot and composed no matter what the situation. A future star of the game.

When you think of Billings, think of a match winner like Stevie J. He’s great overhead, clever in congestion and a very accurate kick even off his non preferred. I’m a big fan.

Aish is a very classy user of the footy and only needs a dozen or so touches to carve up the opposition. An exciting talent, too good for the Dogs to pass up.

Ko-lo-jazz-nee is a hard running defender with size and athleticism for the modern game. There’s little doubt that his best asset is his raking left foot. Draws comparisons to Birchall.

With Shaw gone and Maxwell nearing the end, I find it hard to believe that the Pies will pass on this future 200+ game defender. Scharenberg is an architect from defence with his leadership and pin point disposal.

The first item on the Lions shopping list has to be a key forward. McCarthy has strong hands, a huge leap and a ton of potential given that this year was his first concentrating solely on football.

McDonald is a skillful, running half back who gained valuable experience with Werribee in the VFL this year. He is locked in at pick 8 via the father-son rule and is highly rated by those at North.

A slow Melbourne midfield will welcome Freeman with open arms. He’s drawn comparisons to Patty Dangerfield with his break away pace and ball winning ability. My early pick for the NAB Rising Star award.

Pies will still get their man at pick 10. Bontempelli stands at 192cm but moves like the wind. I suspect the Collingwood hierarchy will ‘manage’ his development for at least the first half of next year.

Put ya house on it! Sheed is of the Simon Black mould given his accurate left foot and high work rate. Even though many will disagree, in my opinion, Sheed is a top 5 prospect this year.

Strong bodied midfielder with great skills and excellent overhead for his size. Salem is arguably the best kick of this year’s draftees and would be a great fit at any club.

The draft slider but the Blues won’t mind. Lennon is a half forward with superb foot skills who loves to win the contested ball. Similar to Paul Chapman.

Touted as the next Darren Glass, Gardiner will replace the recently departed Josh Bruce at the Giants. He’s a competitive beast and is rarely beaten in a one on one contest.

The only glaring need at the Swans is a ruckman. Lobb is the best big man in this year’s field so expect the Swans to pounce. Standing at 206cm, Lobb is quick off the mark and runs the 3 kilometre time trial in the same time as most midfielders. He’s still a little raw but the upside is enormous!

Midfield dynamo, Lewis Taylor is a prolific ball winner and future star of the AFL. He’s quick, powerful and reads the play as good as anyone I’ve seen. Notably, Taylor’s side step is up there with a young Chris Judd. A great get for the Cats.

It’s crazy to think Freo will add another 190cm+ midfielder to their list. Acres can play a variety of roles and it’s likely that he’ll do an apprenticeship on a flank before moving into the midfield. Clean hands, endurance and agility are his best attributes.

The biggest talking point from the draft combine was Hartung’s 16.6 run in the beep test. Aside from running all day, Hartung is explosive and can break the lines when he takes the game on. An exciting prospect.

Crouch is the Dane Swan of this year’s draft pool. He averaged just under 38 disposals in the TAC Cup and is a clearance machine. He’s got plenty of areas to improve upon but like his brother Brad, footy comes naturally.

Dumont is a strong, well balanced midfielder that rarely wastes a possession. He was named in the bests for Norwood in SANFL grand final and is good enough to walk into an outside midfield role at the Suns.

Apeness is your typical forward/ruck that will fill a desperate need at Port Adeliade. He attacks the footy well, is a great contested mark and is a dead eye in front of goals.

Lions will look to Jones to fill the half back/back pocket void left by Yeo and Docherty. Jones is rarely beaten by his opponent however, it’s his run and carry from defence that is most appealing.

Dunstan is a man child. With arms bigger than my legs, he has the strength and power to extract the ball from a contested situation. Dunstan is also a natural leader with second efforts and work rate a big feature of his game.

Cripps is a big bodied, in and under midfielder with a high footy IQ. He’s arguably the best clearance player in this year’s draft but he’ll need to work on his fitness and speed if he wants to be an elite footballer.

Battersby has break away pace and is an exceptional kick. He’s played most of his footy at half back however, I believe the Lions will see value in him as an outside midfielder given his composure and excellent decision making.

Bombers need a small forward. Not only is Kennedy-Harris a live wire around goals, he’s a leader with great skills that will continually put his body on the line for his team. When required, Kennedy-Harris can have a run on the ball with great effect.

A powerful tall forward who won the 20m sprint at the draft combine with a time of 2.78 seconds. Marsh is a true athlete that can do the unexpected however, his kicking can be wayward. Improvement over time will see Marsh develop into something special.

Twin brother of Kade played as a key back for Tasmania in the U/18 competition but he’ll likely be used as a third tall at AFL level. His pace, power and versatility are reasons why the Lions should pick him up. Similar to Will Schofield.

Reynolds is a strong leading medium forward with a superb left foot. He’s excellent overhead and will regularly put it lace out for Boyd, Patton and/or Cameron. A player of Reynolds’ ilk is what the Giants need.

The Roos will add to their tall stocks with McStay. He’s your typical athletic CHB that can be thrown forward to take a contested grab, a bit like Jake Carlisle. Will need time to develop.



Here’s an early indication of the first year players to make waves in the AFL next year. Keep tabs on these youngsters throughout the pre-season.

Luke McDonald (Def/Mid) – McDonald has already made an impression at pre-season training and looks to be on target for an early season debut. He’ll be a bit pricey but good rookie defenders are hard to come by.

Nathan Freeman (Mid) – At 85 kilos, Freeman has a mature frame to mix it with the big boys. A player with a high kick to handball ratio that averaged 22.4 disposals in seven TAC cup games. If he gets to the Dees at pick 9, I’d almost say that he’s a lock for next year.

Dom Sheed (Mid) – A ball-winning machine that won this year’s Larke Medal after being judged the MVP in the Under-18 Championships. His best performance was a 29 disposal, 4 goal effort against Vic Country. If the Eagles pick him up then expect him to get plenty of opportunities.

Christian Salem (Mid) – His ability to spot up targets on both sides of his body will see him rewarded with senior opportunities. During his TAC Cup campaign, Salem averaged 23.0 possessions at 73% efficiency and 5.2 tackles. He’ll be hard to ignore especially if gains DPP status as maybe a defender/midfielder.

Matt Crouch (Mid) – The most Fantasy relevant rookie given his ball winning ability. Hopefully his TAC Cup stats carry on into the pre-season however, he’ll need to drastically improve his disposal efficiency before getting a run at AFL level. Crouch is one to watch regardless.

James Battersby (Def) – Selection in the National Under-18 All Australian team and senior experience with Sturt will hold him in good stead for an early debut. Battersby averaged a remarkable 88% disposal efficiency from his ten SANFL games this year. His AFL opportunities next year will depend on where he ends up.


Jesse Hogan (Fwd) – Remarkably won Casey’s best and fairest after averaging 15.1 disposals, 7.1 marks, 1.9 tackles and 2.6 goals. If not pre-listed be the Dees last year, Hogan would have been a Top 5 draft pick.

Jack Martin (Fwd/Mid) – Martin should play most games next year on a half forward flank for the Suns. He wont hit huge scores but has high job security after starring in the NEAFL throughout this year.

Viv Michie (Fwd) – Averaged 25.6 disposals, 4.2 marks and 3.6 tackles in WAFL this year. Dees need more ball winners that use it well so I expect 10+ games from Michie in 2014.

Xavier Ellis (Def/Mid) – Former no. 3 draft pick pencilled in for a half-back/sweeping role at West Coast. His body will need to hold up during pre-season before he can be considered Fantasy relevant.

Claye Beams (Mid) – After rupturing his ACL last pre-season, Beams is back running and looks likely to participate in a full training come January. With the exodus of players at Brisbane during the off season, Beams will be up in the selection pecking order and should be good for a 70+ average.

Tim Membrey (Fwd) – A powerful medium forward who almost made a surprise debut for the Swans in their preliminary final match against Freo this year. No Jed Lamb or Jude Bolton should see him get opportunities in 2014. Check out this effort from Membrey in the NEAFL (link).


That’s all from me for now. Keep an eye out for future write-ups throughout the pre-season as well as comments via Twitter @JeppaDT.


  • Great stuff Jeppa! Will keep this article in mind during the pre-season.

  • Awesome work Jeppa! This article will be kept beside the bed, along with the box of tissues and the jar of vaso!

  • Great work Jeppa. Dont think McCarthy will go top 12 though reckon he could get to Carlton with 13 or slide to Freo at 17.

  • Don’t underestimate Aish as DT relevant for next year. I’d be surprised if he didn’t play the majority of the year wherever he ends up after playing two seasons of SANFL league footy and walking into the AFL with 2 SANFL premiership medals. I would almost have him as a lock for bench at the start of the year and he could be a DPP in mid/def

  • Great phantom, but Jeppa I have one question.

    As a Swans supporter, I honestly cannot for the life of me work out why everyone thinks the Swans need to draft a ruckman? Firstly, Mike Pyke is more than capable of playing sole ruckman, and has proven he is very good when Mumford was missing through injury. LRT will be back who can pinch-hit, and Tippett can play a solid 20-33% in the ruck if need be while Franklin, Pyke, Goodes rest forward.

    Having said that, we already have a young specialist ruckman in Sam Naismith, who at 203cm & 104kg is no small prospect. He missed most of this season with injury but looked like a sneaky possibility late this year to play. Also, he’s a NSW boy, and they love breeding local – it’s great for the culture.

    We will lose Lamb to GWS, and with White and Everitt already gone, who played fantastically across high half-foward/wing and high half-back respectively – surely they wouldn’t take a ruckman at #15. If Lobb was still there at 32, I have no doubt they would take him. They’ve lost height (which they probably need to with Franklin in, and were exposed late in the season for a lack of leg speed) and speed on the flanks, surely a quick ball-mover a better fit.

    With O’Keefe almost certain to play more forward time in 2014, McVeigh to play again 50:50 between half-back and centre, surely blooding new midfield talent is going to be a priority.

    I personally would love to see the Swans take Acres, Crouch or Taylor before Lobb if they’re available. Anyone disagree?

    • Regarding the Swans ruck division: If Pyke (who will be 30 next year) gets injured, they have no other full-time ruckmen on their list apart from Naismith, who has been hampered with injuries. Pyke may retire in the next two years, as could LRT & Goodes. If that happens, your number one ruck is Naismith, backed up by Tippett, who is more a tap ruck (ball-ups) than a contested ruck (centre bounces). The Swans alternatively have Parker, Mitchell & B.Jack who can play that smaller roving midfielder role.
      I agree that the Swans could use both types of players, but a speedy player who needs development is easier for them to get with their second round pick than a solid ruck prospect.

      • Griff has hit the nail on the head here

        • Hope no one mistakes my negativity for not enjoying your work here Jeppa, you did a brilliant job with the phantom – it’s a fantastic write-up and really enjoyed reading it. Just so enthused about the Draft! (Even if I’m in the middle of uni exams!)

      • Thanks for the reply Griff. I guess time will tell as to what they do. Do you think Lobb is worth the #15 pick? I just found it surprising to find him so high up the draft order.

        I personally think that Naismith would play ahead of Lobb anyway next year if Pyke were to get injured (or just needed to be rested). What do you think?

      • News just in – “Sydney swans appear keen to add a mature ruckman to their list, having invited Sturt big man Angus Kurtze to a day of testing on Tuesday.”

        Perhaps they’ll add a mature aged ruckman through the rookie draft and go for midfielders/wingers in the national draft?

    • i be a little disappointed if we drafted lobb that early. i would prefer a crouch hartung acres type, as i think they look a higher quality talent. i would prefer swans to then draft a ruckmen, with a later pick, they could still get lobb at 32 or Toby Nankervis who was the all Australian ruckmen.

  • phwoah that dunstan must be a massive unit jepp!
    good read

  • Great work Jeppa. Will be stoked if the Lions can grab those 3 blokes. Rory Lobb is interesting, haven’t heard much about him, do you not rate Nankervis? I reckon that’s pretty spot on. Be interesting to see how close you get. Looking forward to Thursday night. Thanks Jepp.

    • Your welcome mate.

      I saw Lobb running around for Swans earlier this year against Perth and he dominated the ruck.

      Nankervis is no slouch and was named U/18 All Australian after the championships but he’s not as agile and athletic as Lobb.

      Lobb, Nankervis, Giles & Cameron are the best young ruckmen this year. All 4 will be drafted.

  • Great article Jeppa!
    I reckon Freo will be trying to pick up Marsh with their first pick (or McCarthy if he somehow manages to slide). Desperately need another key fwd, even though Marsh isn’t quite as tall, he has speed, athletisism and tons of talent. At some point Freo have to realise they have more than enough midfielders/half fwds, if they load up on to many more this year some will have to be starved of oppurtunities and leave the club for more (just like the talented Viv Michie).

    • I hear you Whiskifield but Acres is a massive talent.

      One of either Harvey, Hourigan & Willsmore will be available at Freo’s next pick, 37 but to be honest I only rate Harvey out of these 3 and he’ll probably end up at Brisbane, pick 35 or Geelong, pick 36 so you might be right.

      • Good call Jep, i really rate Acres too (in fact i wouldn’t mind west coast picking him up at 11, tho Sheed looks like a better fit for us at the moment with Kerr retiring). Freo may just wait to the morning of the draft to make their decision, like they did with Simpson last year lol.

  • All the talk of Freo needing another key forward…
    If they already have Mayne and Pav, then throw in a resting ruckman, along with the smalls ballantine and walters and now the addition of sylvia on a flank – is that not a good enough forward line???

    I know Pav is in the twilight but still has 2 good seasons left in him…

    And with all the big bodied midfielders they currently have, plus rotate sylvia through the mids too and chuck in morabito – why wouldn’t they have their best contested mark in the team (fyfe) playing up forward as another tall where he can hit the scoreboard more regularly??

    Seriously seems as if im missing something here…..?

    • Not to mention Kepler and Tanner as back ups.

      Its all about contingency and transition. Pav getting older (injuries) and retiring in 2 years and even though you can never replace a Pav, Freo will want a dominate tall forward to replace him and compliment their awesome midfield.

  • I see where you’re coming from McFirth, but i still have to disagree.
    The premiership model of having at least one, preferably 2 powerful tall forwards capable of taking marks, kicking goals and crashing packs (like cloke, roughy, walker, tippett, brown etc) is still the way to success in september.
    If Pav was in his prime this would be no problem and freo would be close enough to perfect, but he’s not. Tho hes stil a champion, he has lost some pace and his body is starting to fail him, i reckon this will be his last year. Gumbleton is a good pickup with lots of talent, only if his body holds up, his back must look like a crazy straw. And Mayne is the perfect medium fwd with great hands, but hes just not big enough to play key position, adding a key fwd would let him play the Gunston role as 3rd foil. As for sylvia and fyfe rotating, that is a great idea if they can get mismatches with small/rebounding defenders or draw a midfielder into defence. If they play one the likes of Grundy, Glass, Taylor or Rutten

  • – because they are playing as a tall they will get towelled up in the air in most contests.
    Don’t get me wrong, Freo have a great fwd line atm, but with the addition of a power fwd it would just put them in such a better place to make a run for their first premiership in 2014. (sorry about the cutoff mate, bloody iphone, lol)

  • TEAM NAME: EnterTheBoyd
    DEF: B. Goddard, J. McVeigh, S. Mitchell, P. Hanley, M. Suckling, A. Johnson (J. Battersby, D. Gardiner)
    MID: D. Swan, G. Ablett jnr, S. Selwood, J. Aish, X. Ellis, B. Acres, D. Sheed, M. Crouch (N. Freeman, B. Hartung)
    RUC: D. Cox, A. Sandilands (S. Naismith, R. Lobb)
    FWD: S. Johnson, T. Rockliff, T. Cloke, L. Franklin, V. Michie, J. Hogan (J. Paine, C. McCarthy)
    CASH LEFT: $175,000

    • Mate you’ve got it in the wrong section. Also it generally looks pretty good but it’s a very weak midfield. You need more than 3 premo’s. Most people are picking 4-5 which still allows room. I’m personally going to wait on Swan/Ablett/Pendles until after the round 8 bye using them as round 9 upgrades, but it’s up to you.

  • I have been saying i want Melbourne to get Freeman!!

  • – Apeness won’t go above 40
    – I’d hope Brisbane wouldn’t be silly enough to pick McCarthy at 7, but you never know.
    – Crouch is so incredibly unathletic (?) and disposal is horrid, will probably go at 40+.
    – No way Port will pass on a talent like Dunstan if he’s there at 21.
    – Where’s Byrne-Jones?

    Other than that it’s good, and cheers for the DT section write-up.

    • Crouch wins the ball in the contest he doesn’t have to be a runner look at Priddis or Barlow.

    • Yeah I agree Tim, Crouch may well be an explosive player through clearances, playing a little role of getting the ball from the clearance and hacking it out up forward or giving it by HAND to the runners. SJ is another example, disposal efficiency isnt his best trait and at a team like Geelong thats vital, but SJ is SJ, he does what he does, like Crouch.

  • I think Trent Dumont is a little low in the draft order. I saw him play the SANFL Grand Final he is at least a top 15 player.

  • Aweome read thanks Jeppa, just a couple questions

    Could Freeman drop to West Coast at 11?
    And where and when do you think Garlett will go?

  • Even thou Sydney need a ruckman you take best available in the first round then address needs later you would think they’d take Crouch if he was there. I heard Collingwood want Christian Salem and Marcus Bontempelli so there is no way he goes to Richmond at 12. Cameron Giles will probably go top 30 aswell maybe before Gardiner even.

    • My thinking is Sydney may uses there last active pick to pick up a mature aged ruckman or wait till the rookie draft.

      • Tom Derickx was picked up the Swans to cover the ruckman spot and he would be a lot cheaper than Mumford.

  • Bomber Thompson has said Essendon are looking for a Ruckman at pick 26

  • Thanks for the write up Jepp, no one knows the rookies like you.
    Cant wait for this years draft, so much midfield talent!
    Also, I agree with Dom Sheed getting. I could see him getting quite a few games next year, I am guessing at least 10. With Embley and Kerr gone (Embley did play on the wings a lot last year), and Selwood also retiring (rare stint in the middle), add to that the fact that our main back-up last season was Dalziell, and he is gone, plus Hutchins’ inability to kick straighter than a donut, Dom Sheed may be on the bench most games (coming after like 2mins though lol) because of the fact that Selwood, Gaff, Shuey, Masten, Priddis and Wellingham should all be fit by the start of next season (barring trampolines).
    I could also see him playing the HBF role, especially with Waters and Ellis’ injury record and Hurn’s doubt, could happen.

  • does anyone know what time the draft starts?

  • tomorrow what time?

  • With that done and dusted, serious planning can commence! Very close Jepp, McCarthy slipped a bit lower than expected, also, what about Marsh! What a steal for Collingwood! Good luck to Garlett as well, will be hard for him at the Hawks especially with the discipline levels high, but with all that talent, he has got to get himself right, from a fantasy POV, wish he had gone to one of the lower clubs.

  • Very interesting draft!
    One who I’ve picked up on, no James Battersby?
    He seemed like a really good pick.

    Pies done very well and I’m very pleased!
    Matt Scharenberg at 6, will take Shaw’s place and Maxwell not getting younger.
    Nathan Freeman at 10, runs all day and has the tank for the Pies midfield
    Jonathan Marsh! A steal! Well done Pies!

    • Yeah, the Pies easily won that draft, no question. I recon Brisbane were second best there, 6 round 1/2 draft picks, picking up some decent players (including Aish).