|3 & 12
|D15-20 (Rd 7-10)
Why should I pick him?
Just 12 months ago, the fantasy world poured over one of the major questions of the pre-season “Where was Harry Himmelberg playing?” as the reign of Adam Kingsley began. Priced at 80, the consensus amongst coaches was simple, if we get confirmation on a defensive role, we’re picking him.
Unfortunately it wasn’t to be with HH spending the first 9 games of the year posted at CHF whilst pinch hitting in the ruck, averaging just 59 points a game as the Giants muddled their way through the opening rounds. Come Round 10, the change was made and Harry posted a reasonable 27 fantasy points in defence before getting knocked out just after quarter time.
Upon return from concussion protocols, he averaged 86 for the remainder of the year as a defender in a pretty kind role with a good share of kickouts.
Fast forward to 2024, with the role locked in, and at a cheaper price than last season (priced at 72) there has been minimal buzz around Himmelberg who from all reports is firing in his first full pre-season as a defender (also sporting a shaved dome). I am looking to see him continue to build his capacity to take intercept marks and start the attacking chains. This facet of his game started to build in 2023 with a season high 8 intercept possessions in the Prelim and gives him a unique access to points versus Whitfield and Ash.
The scoring capacity is there, we all remember the insane run he made in the back end of 2022 where he averaged over 100+. Yes, the situation, the coach and the team around him is different as I’ll discuss below but he still put those crazy numbers up whilst others also scored well around him – Whitfield and Cumming both averaged 90+ that year.
With the early bye however comes the opportunity to see him playing the opening round. I have a gut feel that Ash’s role will stall or diminish and open opportunities so a look at the share of ball in defence for GWS will be important. If he goes 90+ in OR and the role looks sustainable, I will have a hard time saying no to this very handsome man.
Of course the early bye is a negative but with North, West Coast, St Kilda and Gold Coast in the first month of games, he could make you some big cash very quickly.
In a normal season, Himmelberg would be a lock in my side.
Why shouldn’t I pick him?
As alluded to above, there are a couple of reasons why Himmelberg might not be the greatest or safest pick in 2024 – particularly with the other options at his price point (I’m also pretty interested in Hinge, Clark and particularly Yeo, if healthy).
The Early Bye – a bye after 2 scoring games isn’t great from a points perspective however if he scores well in OR and Round 1 and 2 he could make you some quick cash. The impact of this is probably also determined by the depth of your backline and the legitimacy of your D7 and 8 as on field scoring options (even if best 18 we want a full complement of decent scorers to wipe 4 scores)
Mouths To Feed – lots of coaches are backing Whitfield to break back into that absolute upper echelon of premium defenders and this would mean there’s potentially less ball for HH. Ash also exhibits close to the most observable thirst in the league but as stated earlier, I think his ball use is average and creativity is even worse.
Floor Games – After the move to defence, he had 4 scores under 80. We need a consistent high floor to be picking guys at this price point.
Deck of DT Rating.
In a normal season, I’d be all over Himmelberg like a rash. I just think there are perhaps too many question marks thrown in with the early bye to be completely confident. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go massive in a pre-season game to see his ownership soar and I also think the way the early rounds of the AFL are played will suit him (we’ve only ever seen him play defence in the back half of the year). For the brave, there’s definitely enough meat on the bone to take a stab at him and I can see it being a season defining pick. I’m still undecided on whether I’ll pull the trigger but he definitely needs to be considered for our starting sides and bumped right up in our defender ranks from the 72 average sitting next to his name.