Navigation

2020 Season Preview

Below you will find:
Player notes pre round 1
Comments about early rounds
Ladder preview


Added 16 March 2020
Player notes pre round 1
(some players not mentioned as they are not in contention for a game anyway – eg players 30-45 on the team lists)
Players in bold and underlined and recommended for Fantasy football comps.

ADELAIDE:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Tom Doedee, Riley Knight
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Jordan Gallucci, Kyle Hartigan
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Brodie Smith (2nd year after knee), Wayne Milera, Luke Brown, Paul Seedsman

BRISBANE:
Players definitely not there in round 1: none
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Allen Christensen
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Darcy Gardiner, Jarrod Berry (had glandular fever in 2019 pre-season and then a knee op mid season – get him in your team)

CARLTON:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Eddie Betts, Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay,
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Caleb Marchbank, Sam Petrevski-Seton. Lachie Plowman, Marc Murphy,
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Sam Docherty, Liam Jones, Will Setterfield

COLLINGWOOD:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Adam Treloar, Dayne Beams (a fair chance Beams may not play at all this year), Tim Broomhead, Lynden Dunn, Levi Greenwood, Tom Langdon, Travis Varcoe
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Taylor Adams, Ben Reid, Brayden Sier, Flynn Appleby, Isaac Quaynor, Jaidyn Stephenson , Scott Pendlebury (home with flu like symptoms for the past four days, according to afl.com on 16 March)
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Jeremy Howe, Jamie Elliott

ESSENDON:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Patrick Ambrose, Joe Daniher, Sam Draper, Dyson Heppell, Cale Hooker,
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Tom Bellchambers, Mitch Hibberd, James Stewart, David Zaharakis, Conor McKenna (not injured but went home to Ireland early in 2020), Jake Stringer (not fully training yet according to Nackers who contributes to Bomberblitz.com – a highly recommended website – and unlikely to be in top form round 1 if he plays at all)
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Devon Smith

FREMANTLE:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Blake Acres, Joel Hamling, Stephen Hill, Jesse Hogan, David Mundy, Nathan Wilson (all in best 22 according to afl.com), Alex Pearce, Stefan Giro
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Hayden Young, Liam Henry (both high draft picks who may have been on the verge of a game had they been fully fit), Sam Switkowski
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Andrew Brayshaw, Connor Blakely (was thinking of bolding and underlining Blakely, but he was dropped for Marsh 2; still have high hopes for him, but he want to be in the round 1 team for me to recommend him)

GEELONG:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Nakia Cockatoo (will he ever play a full season?), Jake Kolodjashnij
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Mitch Duncan, Joel Selwood, Mark O’Connor, Tom Stewart (he is well advanced on the other 3 and 99% likely to play round 1)
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Esava Ratugolea, Zac Tuohy

GOLD COAST:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Charlie Ballard, Anthony Miles, Wil Powell, Alex Sexton,
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Jack Hombsch, Izak Rankine, Rory Thompson (coming back from an ACL but very close to playing), Jarrod Witts (AFL injury list says he should be fine for round 1, but no Marsh games at all), Brayden Fiorini, Pearce Hanley
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Zac Smith

GWS:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Tommy Sheridan, Tim Taranto, Callan Ward
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Zac Williams
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Aidan Corr, Lachie Whitfield, Nick Haynes, Sam Jacobs (he was at the Crows in 2019), Toby Greene

HAWTHORN:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Blake Hardwick, Daniel Howe, Jarman Impey,
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Jack Gunston, Mitch Lewis, Tim O’Brien, Harrison Jones
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Jonathon Patton, Tom Mitchell, Tom Scully

MELBOURNE:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Harley Bennell, Kade Kolodjashnij (the Kolodjashnijs easy to keep up with early in 2020!), Harrison Petty, Braydon Preuss, Aaron vandenBerg,
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Mitch Hannan, Christian Salem, Sam Weideman, Max Gawn, Joel Smith, Steven May, Corey Wagner
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Jake Lever, Neville Jetta

NORTH MELBOURNE:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Ben Jacobs (a fair chance he may not play at all in 2020), Kayne Turner, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Ed Vickers-Willis, Dom Tyson, Kyron Hayden, Marley Williams (suspended and back in round 3)
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Ben Brown, Jack Ziebell, Jared Polec, Ben Cunnington, Aiden Bonar, Mason Wood, Robbie Tarrant
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Majak Daw, Sam Durdin, Taylor Garner

PORT ADELAIDE:
Players definitely not there in round 1: Ollie Wines, Jack Watts
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Charlie Dixon (but he has his best pre-season in many years before a recent minor – Port hopes – injury), Scott Lycett, Willem Drew,
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Charlie Dixon (see above for him), Robbie Gray

RICHMOND
Players definitely not there in round 1:
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Jack Graham, Kamdyn McIntosh, Toby Nankervis, Kane Lambert
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: No obvious candidate here

ST KILDA
Players definitely not there in round 1:
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Jimmy Webster, Jarryn Geary, Dan Hannebery, Nick Hind
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Dean Kent, Jake Carlisle (but I’m a bit unsure of Carlisle’s resilience – he seems to regularly strike injury troubles – you wouldn’t want to draft him and then lose him for multiple weeks; okay to pick if you can swap him in for no penalty), Max King,

SYDNEY
Players definitely not there in round 1: Lance Franklin, Lewis Melican
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Robbie Fox, Sam Reid, Callum Sinclair, Colin O’Riordan, Isaac Heeney, Jack Maibaum
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Josh Kennedy

WEST COAST EAGLES
Players definitely not there in round 1: Jarrod Cameron,              Tom Cole, Daniel Venables
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Jack Darling, Oscar Allen, Jeremy McGovern, Brayden Ainsworth, Nathan Vardy
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Jamie Cripps, Nic Naitanui

WESTERN BULLDOGS
Players definitely not there in round 1: Taylor Duryea, Will Hayes (Suspended, back in round 2), Lin Jong, Tom Liberatore, Aaron Naughton
Players doubtful or underdone for round 1: Tory Dickson,
Players who have had a better pre-season in 2020 than in 2019: Jason Johannisen, Bailey Smith



Comments about the early rounds
First the table and then the comments

Team Inj Quotient B4 R1 R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Injury Quotient at R4 Opponent’s Injury Quotient total R1-7
AD 7 SY PO BR RIA ES STA GCA 2 31
BR 0 HAA NO ADA CO WBA SY GEA 0 46
CA 9 RI WB ES SYA HA NO POA 5 54
CO 17 WB RI HA BRA PO ES ST 11 43
ES 15 FR SYA CA GW ADA CO ME 10 56
FR 14 ESA HA MEA GC NOH GE WC 10 57
GE 10 GWA GC WCA HA ST FRA BR 5 43
GC 10 PO GEA SY FRA ME GWA AD 3 53
GW 10 GE MEA WBC ESA SY GCC RIA 7 46
HA 12 BR FRA CO GE CA WCL WB 6 48
ME 11 WCA GW FR ST GCA RI ES 6 44
NO 14 ST BRA PO WB FRH CA SYA 9 37
PO 11 GCA AD NOA WC COA WB CA 6 52
RI 6 CA CO ST AD WCA ME GW 0 49
ST 3 NO WC RI ME GE AD CO 0 51
SY 7 ADA ES GCA CA GW BRA NO 3 53
WC 7 ME STA GE POA RI HAL FR 2 46
WB 9 CO CA GWC NO BR POA HA 5 57

Sorry it is a bit messy. This table shows who plays who for the first 7 rounds (effective Monday 16 March and subject to change). Each team is assigned a current injury quotient which measures how badly they are currently hit by injuries. A higher number = worse off. “A” means Away, “C” = Canberra, “H” = Hobart and “L” = Launceston. There a columns of figures where you may expect to see rounds 8 and 9. The first column of figures lists each team’s expected injury quotient halfway through the 7 week period and assumed no team picks up any new injuries; the second column give the total injury quotients of their opponents for the first 7 rounds.

What you want to see for your team is Brisbane’s 0 and 0. They have a clean sheet on the injury front. On the other end of the scale, the Pies begin the season worse off than anyone (17) closely followed by the Bombers then the Dockers and Roos. Collingwood, Essendon and Fremantle are tipped to “break away” from the rest by round 4 where they will be the only teams with injury quotients of 10 or more.

Of course, everything could change if we get season delays or an amended fixture.

The final column is where you want to see a high number in your team’s row. It means you are playing against teams with injury problems. The teams faring best here are the Bombers, Dockers )even though they have injury woes themselves) and the Dogs (56, 57 and 57). The teams that fare worst are Adelaide (31) and North (37).

This little snippet of data will help me formulate my ladder; see below.

Added 17 March 2020
The Ladder
This is generally a pointless exercise and Longggey has proven that over the years. With Corona this year, a 17 game regular season and all sorts of curve balls coming our way, I considered using a random number generator to come up with the figures. I like tipping a premier about round 16. I actually picked the last two at round 16 – Eagles and Richmond. Would not have done well picking before round 1, so all guess and no responsibility

1 GWS
2 Richmond
3 Brisbane
4 West Coast Eagles
5 Western Bulldogs
6 Melbourne
7 Collingwood
8 Geelong
—————-
9 Hawthorn
10 Port Adelaide
11 St Kilda
12 Essendon
13 Carlton
14 Adelaide
15 North Melbourne
16 Sydney Swans
17 Fremantle
18 Gold Coast Suns

A few brief comments about each team (such comments are everywhere, so I may avoid stating the obvious)

1 GWS – they were a ruckman away from a flag last year (but ran out of petrol tickets getting past the prelim) and now they have a ruckman in Sauce Jacobs. Lots of emerging talent and I really like them for the flag

2 RICHMOND – Brilliant after the bye last year. I’m not sold on them totally this year; they have traded out a bit of depth to keep their stars (and then lost Alex Rance who was meant to be the star recruit). But they start relatively injury free and a likely good start (Blues then an injured Pies team) should see them off to a flyer and making the top four again

3 BRISBANE – A harder draw this year and they had a great run in terms of injury. but guess what! zero injuries and they will get improvement from Jarrod Berry.. and some other handy recruits. Don’t expect a Melbourne 2019 scenario here

4 WEST COAST EAGLES
If they get NicNat up and running, then they will be hard to beat; remember that they were heading for a top two spot last year, but stumbled late and missed a top 2 finish. They failed at the end of 2018 to get the Tim Kelly deal over the line and Kelly duly auditioned well in 2019 – scoring 110 Supercoach points to help Geelong put the Eagles out of the 2019 final series. Maybe the Eagles were “one Tim Kelly” short of a flag last year. Big chance in 2020, but they would like a top 2 finish

5 WESTERN BULLDOGS
Josh Bruce – the Tom Boyd replacement (sort of) and Alex Keath are both handy inclusions. They start relatively healthy and play teams less healthy than themselves early on. Tim English will be improved and he has a plethora of good midfielders at his feet (including the Bont); and I expect Bailey Smith to step up this year

6 MELBOURNE
The Dees do better in even years. There’s no particular logic to it, but it is a fact. Their finals appearances of late have been 2018, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2000, 1998, 1994. They have recruited extra well, have Jack Viney fit and were generally healthier over the summer than in the previous year. I wouldn’t count out a top 4 finish for them

7 COLLINGWOOD
I would just about have the Pies as flag favourites with a healthy list. They had about the worst run with injuries in 2019 and went within a whisker of a grand final. Trouble is – their injury count is sky high again. If the season is significantly delayed, this may boost their chances. Like Richmond, they are relying on what they already have to push for a flag. What they have is good enough, but is the list healthy enough? A chance to drop out of the 8 if injuries persist or worsen

8 GEELONG
The Cats finished on top and were 21 points up on Richmond in last year’s prelim. but that seems an eternity ago now. They were blown away in the second half by Richmond and looked ordinary in the Marsh series (with Joel Selwood and Mitch Duncan both missing); Tim Kelly is gone and Jack Steven comes in. They still look like they need a ruckman. I was originally going to tip them to miss the finals altogether, but they have a habit of winning. If they don’t get too far back early in the season with a difficult early draw, they should sneak in to the top 8; but it’s also easy to see them miss out completely.

9 HAWTHORN
Almost all summer I was going to pick the Hawks for the top 8. They get back Tom “Titch” Mitchell and have drafted Jonathon Patton when he is probably about to finally come good after injury.  But the long term injuries to Daniel Howe and Blake Hardwick has just cooled my jets a tad. For sure they are in the mix and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do sneak in. But the Hawks’ plans to peak would probably be for 2021 or 2022 anyway, so a finals appearance and slim chance of a flag would be considered a bonus this year.

10 PORT ADELAIDE
I think I have just sacked Ken Hinkley. The word around the traps is that he will be sacked if they don’t make the finals.  Picking them for 10th means that they are still a decent chance. If I knew that Charlie Dixon was going to perform like he did in the pre-season (until copping a slight injury), I would be tempted to put them in; but he has had such a long list of injuries that I cannot be too confident. The other thing they need is for their top draft picks who played last year to continue on their upward trajectory – since they traded & took short term pain to go for long term gain. Does “long term gain” give them a finals spot in 2020? To me, the plan would have them peaking about 2022/23. 

11 ST KILDA
The Saints have drafted pretty well.  Their main INS are Paddy Ryder, Zak Jones, Dougal Howard, Dan Butler and Bradley Hill. To get them, they had to offload Jack Steven (not their choice really and he wasn’t able to help them much last year anyway), Josh Bruce, Jack Newnes and Blake Acres.  They had significant injury trouble last year and one “recruit” is Dylan Roberton. He didn’t play at all in the regular season last year.  To make the 8, I reckon that they would need to get better mileage out of Dan Hannebery and Jake Carlisle this year.

12 ESSENDON
It was all gloom and doom for the Bombers for most of the off season.  Injuries galore and nobody seemed to love them outside of the northwest suburbs.  Then they won both Marsh games and everyone loved what they perceived as Blake Caracella’s Richmond influence on the team.  They had narrow wins against the Eagles away (a type of revenge match for last year’s finals loss) and then Geelong.  The Eagles and Cats were both winless in the Marsh games.  With Essendon having the second worst injury list coming into the season, I don’t see them staying in the top 8.  If they make it, I’ll put it down to Blake Caracella or a big turnaround in the injury list.  At least Devon Smith is fitter this year

13 CARLTON
The Blues finished 16th last year and expect them to improve somewhat.  They get the much loved Eddie Betts back (but he’s injured for now) as well as recruiting Jack Martin and Jack Newnes. They will be helped by Sam Docherty coming in after two year’s absence. I don’t expect him to be as good as in 2017, but he shouldn’t be too far off.  Will Setterfield is in his second year back from an ACL and looks better.  I don’t see them pushing for the top 8 at the moment, but at least they are finally heading the right direction

14 ADELAIDE
The Crows have lost Eddie Betts, Campbell Ellis-Yolmen (FA), Hugh Greenwood (trd), Sam Jacobs, Josh Jenkins and Alex Keath. Their INS don’t match that line-up – even taking into account that some of the OUTS didn’t perform to their maximum in 2019.  They begin with a small injury list, but also plays teams similarly placed in terms of health early on.  They play the first 3 games without jumping on a plane (if the fixture stays as is) and they really need to bank a minimum of 2 wins (against the Swans, Port and the Lions); no hope for finals

15 NORTH MELBOURNE
The Roos are just too injured to fulfil their potential in 2020. They begin the year with about a dozen top 25 players either injured or underdone. Given the fact that they are rated about the middle anyway (versus Collingwood who are a top rated team with a lot of injuries), this injury crisis has already killed off the season.  Rhyce Shaw will be a miracle worker if he gets them into the finals.

16 SYDNEY SWANS
They’ll be missing Buddy for a while, but that’s not the main reason for the low mark.  They have niggly injuries here and there and are unofficially on a rebuild.  But some of the cash they should be spending on improving players is tied up in the Franklin 10 year deal.  They dodged a bullet by not drafting Joe Daniher. I may be proven to be a bit harsh on the Swans; time will tell. But they are no hope for the finals in any case

17 FREMANTLE
The Dockers begin the year with 6 of their best 22 missing and they are not highly rated anyway.  It all spells trouble for them. Barring massive changes, they are likely to be outsiders in 6 of their first 7 games (the exception being a home game against the Suns in round 4 as it stands). I also don’t think the changeover from Ross Lyon to Justin Longmuir will be smooth and easy. Forget about them for 2020 and see how healthy they look next year.

18 GOLD COAST SUNS
The Suns have had a tough time of it through the summer with more than their fair share of injuries.  Despite this, they won both Marsh matches (including a big win over Geelong).  It probably means more to them than many other clubs but, even so, it is a positive for the competition.  They may climb off the bottom, but their struggle in the summer will probably come back to bite them at some stage.  The best news for the medium to long term is that everyone appears happy to be there under the new administration.  I will watch their progress with interest and hope they can retain their high picks