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Deck of Dream Team

Tom Mitchell – Deck of DT 2017

After one of the biggest Fantasy relevant moves off the off-season, Crutt had a new Mitchell to love.

decktitch_sideName: Tom Mitchell
Team: Hawthorn
Position: Midfielder
AFL Fantasy: $638,000
Bye Round: 13
2016 Average: 105.6
2016 Games Played: 22
Predicted Average: 105

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Why should I pick him?

Because he is a gun. Need more? Entering his 5th year in the AFL system, Titch has a career AFL Fantasy average of 100.7.

In his first season in the AFL system (2013), Titch made his debut in Round 10, and played every remaining game in the season. In his first game, he started as the sub (remember that stupid rule) and ended up with 18 touches, 6 tackles and 1 goal – for a total of 98 points. He backed up that performance with a 31 touch, 10 tackle, 1 goal performance – for a massive 144 points – in just his second game, which earnt him a rising star nomination. In his first 8 games as an AFL footballer, Titch averaged a massive 101 points! The writing was on the wall – the kid was a gun.

Nearly inexplicably in 2014, Titch played a total of only 6 games – the first 4 and the last 2 of the season. He scored 93 and 95 in Rounds 1 and 2 respectively, before being subbed out in Round 3 with a score of just 41 and scoring just 67 in Round 4.  When he finally cracked back into the senior line-up in Round 22, he scored 86 points (23 touches, 6 tackles), and backed that up with a monster 138 (29 touches, 13 tackles) in Round 23 – before being dropped for the finals series. In between, as I’m sure we can all remember, he had a 64 – SIXTY-FOUR – possession game in the NEAFL, yet still couldn’t get back into the senior side. He acknowledged that 2014 was a frustrating season for him, with niggling ankle and knee injuries that meant he couldn’t work on what the swans coaching department wanted him to work on – his fitness – which made it that much harder for him.

Over the next 2 seasons, he played a total of 39 home and away games, including every game in 2016, for season averages of 106.7 (2015) and 105.6 (2016). Stellar numbers. Let’s not forget – he has only just completed his 4th season in the AFL system!

Requesting a trade at the end of 2016 (arguably months before that), Titch ended up at the hawks – an AFL Fantasy friendly side, and you just know that Alistair Clarkson loves the way Titch goes about it. He will have a starting position in the centre square in Round 1, and I would expect that he picks up in 2017 the way his previous two seasons ended – with a bang.


Why shouldn’t I pick him?

A fresh start at the hawks, he does not have the midfield depth around him that he had at the swans. Arguably the deepest midfield in the competition, with the likes of Parker, Hannebery, Kennedy, Jack, Heeney etc, Titch was afforded freedom. With the hawks midfield no longer comprising Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis, Titch nearly enters the fray as the ‘head honcho’. How he deals with that, at this stage, is anyone’s guess.

The hawks, whilst always one of the highest averaging AFL Fantasy teams, not often had players who consistently put up big numbers. Sammy Mitchell (only 1 season where he averaged more than 105) and Jordan Lewis (only 2 seasons where he averaged more than 105) being the two expectations, the hawks midfield revolves around everyone playing their role – effectively sharing the love. Can Titch buck that trend and put up pig-like numbers in 2017?

Priced in the upper echelon of midfielders for 2017, he might be difficult to squeeze in between Danger, Neale, Rocky, Treloar, Parker, Dusty, Sloane, Pendles etc. With most only taking 3-5 premium starting midfielders, spots will be hotly contested.

Deck of DT Rating.

King. I toyed with the idea of awarding him the Ace, but with a new team, new role and new supporting cast around him, there is enough doubt in the back of my mind to peg him back. You won’t be disappointed though – he is sure to go bang in 2017 – perhaps even a few ‘oink’s’ along the way!

Does Tom Mitchell take over from Sam Mitchell as the key piece in the hawks engine room?

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  1. Avatar


    January 11, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Locked into my team stm

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    January 11, 2017 at 8:13 am

    If he’s only going 105 there might be better options perhaps? I’d be hoping for 110-115 now that he’s freed up at the Hawks

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    January 11, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Can see him averaging anywhere from 105-115 this year, just depends how hawks use him and if JOM can stay on the park for him to avoid the tag, given he is a likely tag target now at hawks.

    Currently in my team, but going to monitor him during NAB and see his role if it indicates anything.

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    January 11, 2017 at 10:32 am

    105 avg might not be enough to start with him, someone like a Beams or Heppell for $100K cheaper should get the same output. Titchell and Rocky are both hard choices this year to start with this year

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    January 11, 2017 at 10:51 am

    I’d like to see Titch hitting that 110-115 average, possibly if he only averages that 105 a Heppell or even a Murphy (assuming everyone has Beams/JOM) may be worth it. A monitor over NAB.

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    January 11, 2017 at 11:04 am

    I certainly think he is capable of hitting 110-115 – but at this stage, it’s a bit hard to envision, given we don’t know how he will go as the ‘number 1’.

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    January 11, 2017 at 11:07 am

    JOM unlikely till round 4, makes TITCH likely number 1 tag now for first 4 rounds….might be worth waiting now?

    Guess have to monitor role in NAB i guess.

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    January 11, 2017 at 11:55 am

    Inside midfielders such as Mitchell are far more difficult to tag than outside ones. Mitchell’s 2016 average was cruelled by four rounds in.the sixties
    He won’t be getting the role of tagger by Clarion next year as he often did under Longmire.
    Could go huge in 2017 but there are question marks. Is always the issue when at a new club.

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    January 11, 2017 at 12:31 pm

    I think that teams will be more likely to tag guys like Smith on the outside myself. Historically the approach has been to tag the outside runners until Smitch gets too dominant, Titch doesn’t bring the same level of disposal quality so that transition hopefully won’t happen quickly/often/at all.

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      January 11, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      Agreed. He is similar to Rocky in that regard. Will get plenty of it but will not really hurt you as he is not a penetrating kick nor does he run with the ball.
      I feel he is more likely to average 110 plus and will be in the top ten midfielders at years end.

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    January 11, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    The Buldogs did a role on him in the 2nd half of the grandifnal last year which turned the game in their favour I wonder if many AFL clubs remember or watched that.

    Another point to consider is, how many true taggers are there now? Jacobs, Hocking (best 22 concerns), Barlow (change of club/role?), Greenwood, E.Curnow (rarely tags now), S.Selwood (unsure of role at Geelong) not many proven taggers around and be interesting to see what clubs do next year. They seem to be slowly moving away from big tags.

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      January 11, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      Agreed – fantasy coaches are still cautious of tagging roles, though there has certainly been a trend over the past couple of seasons from AFL coaches to faze out the hard tag. I don’t factor it in as much as I used to. Teams are getting smarter at helping their tagged team mates also, particularly at the stoppages. What coaches should be worried about is a free running Titchell who doesn’t have to tag – spells danger for those that don’t have him in their teams.

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    Green Ninja

    February 5, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Has a MASSIVE ceiling and has been a fixture in my side past couple years

    Will be an upgrade target for me as just want to see how he settles into new side and what his role will be.

    I think we can be pretty sure he won’t be tagging though! Maybe the tagee though

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