|Port Adelaide Power
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Why should I pick him?
Throughout the AFL Fantasy offseason, coaches are always on the hunt to find underpriced players they can pick in their starting side to hopefully generate plenty of cash. When it comes to targeting players for our bench, we usually turn to basement-priced cash cows to ensure we have the best possible on-field options – but there is a $387K ruckman who nearly 11% of coaches currently trust to be their money-making play.
Moving from the Western Bulldogs to Port Adelaide made a lot of sense for Jordon Sweet after he found himself buried behind Tim English on the depth chart. At the age of 26, Sweet has featured in just 11 AFL games and returning home to South Australia will hopefully be the change he needs to reignite his pro career. He was forced to spend all of last season playing for Footscray in the VFL, dominating with five scores over 120 and a MAMMOTH 174 points (fuelled by 23 disposals, 50 hitouts, 9 tackles and 2.2 in front of goal) in Round 18 against the Northern Bullants. Even with a small sample size of AFL games, there is enough evidence to suggest that Sweet can score well in a lead-ruck role – averaging 70.7 points in the seven games he played without another RUC compared to an average of 44.2 from four games when he was second-fiddle.
He may be forced to share some of the ruck responsibilities with fellow recruit Ivan Soldo or Port project Dante Visentini, although all early reports out of Alberton indicate that Sweet is in the box seat to be the starting ruckman. If he can stay at R1 for Port Adelaide then there’s no reason why Sweet won’t score in the 60-70 point range to commence the season – making him a genuine cash cow option thanks to a breakeven of 43. If the former Bulldog can score around the 65-point mark, then there’s a world where he generates $200K+ while sitting at R3 for fantasy coaches and gives you the necessary funds to upgrade another cash cow when the time is right.
Some considering Sweet as their bench ruckman may also have half an eye on the early bye rounds. If you want to trust Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn as your starting rucks, then having Jordon Sweet at your disposal to cover their absence in Round 5 and Round 6 respectively is a tactic that may pay off. Even if he’s sharing the ruck load with Soldo or Visentini at that point of the season, 50ish points from Sweet would certainly be better than copping a 0 while one of your starting picks misses. There’s still a lot to play out over the next five weeks but at this point of the fantasy offseason, there’s merit in selecting Sweet at R3 if you have the cash to spare.
You don’t win a car by playing it safe…
Why shouldn’t I pick him?
I have pumped up his tyres, but there are legitimate reasons to pass on Jordon Sweet for your starting classic side.
While he currently seems to have a stranglehold over the lead ruck role at Port, this might not be the case in a month’s time. Sweet himself talked up 20-year-old talent Dante Visentini in December and how fierce the competition was for the R1 responsibility. Now he must also combat with a healthy Ivan Soldo as he returns from offseason finger surgery complications. Soldo joins Port Adelaide after 57 games with Richmond and it’s fair to assume he wasn’t acquired by the Power to simply make up the numbers at training. If they want to rebound from a straight-set finals exit, they may deem Soldo as the superior ruckman and leave Sweet out of the team entirely.
I’ve gone this far into the article without seriously addressing Jordon Sweet’s starting price either. Thanks to his decent run in 2022, Sweet will set you back $387K – and starting with the Power ruckman would be similar to picking Sam Sturt, Campbell Chesser or Trent McKenzie in other lines. If you were to chase a $200K RUC instead, then the exact price difference would leave you with Zak Butters in the midfield over Steele Sidebottom. You get the point. If you invest in Jordon Sweet you’re sacrificing a lot of coin that could be used elsewhere and there are some glaring red flags. Maybe a basement-priced loophole option at R3 is the way to go.
Deck of DT Rating.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a risk to pay up for Jordon Sweet at R3 to start the 2024 fantasy season. There is no certainty he’ll be the starting ruckman and his price tag makes it even harder to justify finding room for him. And yet, if he does become the lead RUC for Port Adelaide then we could see Sweet become a 70-point scorer and a season-changing pick. If he’s playing in Round 1, it’ll be hard for me to ignore the Power ruckman with the hopes that he can emerge as a fieldable option when Gawn and Grundy rest as well. If you can find the extra $187K to spend on Sweet, he may emerge as the player who helped bold fantasy coaches get a leg up on the rest of the competition.
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