10th Place Prediction

Badgers

 Place: 10th

(Last year finished 10th)

Predicted Average: 1633

The Badgers had a quiet offseason due to avoiding Essendon players. It was no surprise that De Goey received forward status but Brayshaw was a cheeky bonus. Still, Badgers chose not to disrupt their team too much and kept them in the midfield for now. In the recent draft the Badgers walked away with Sheridan at 1 then Lyons, Hibberd and O’Rourke with late picks.

Breakout Player – Brad Sheppard

Looks to be given more freedom and a more productive role with the return of McKenzie. Too many times he was forced to play on bigger opponents in 2015 and desperate defensive acts are not rewarded in the dream team scoring system. The number 7 draft pick was prolific as a junior so hopefully he now has the confidence in the big game to deliver on his potential.

Time to Slide – Matthew Lobbe

Most of the eligible Badgers did their sliding last year but Matthew Lobbe is here because he will slide from his pre-season expectations. With no Ryder in the ruck he can go back to his 2014 best. Unfortunately, his preseason form has not looked promising. He gets worked over in the ruck to bigger opponents and doesn’t get enough of the ball to make up for it instead relying on tackles.

Make or Break – Jaegar O’Meara

Badgers don’t have unrealistic expectations of making finals in 2016 so they’ll just be happy to see development from the kids on their list. None more so than O’Meara who should have been a cornerstone of the Badger midfield by now. If O’Meara can get over his injury concerns and continue his development into a 100+ midfielder then the future will look a lot brighter for the Badgers. Otherwise someone will have to find that 5 stages of dealing with loss and grief diagram again.

That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…

Badgers were late in trying to move Priddis on resulting in selling to a market that had already been flooded with the likes of Goddard, Montagna and Mundy and in the end Priddis remains a Badger for now. The Badgers love having Priddis in the side but know that his talents are better used elsewhere and really should have brought in a couple of draft picks instead.

 

Summary

Another development year for the Badgers after a shocking initial draft. If Tuohy and Sheppard can improve then the Badgers will have a serviceable defence for 2016. They also have an unspectacular but solid ruck division. Unfortunately their midfield is flooded with players set to average mid 80s which isn’t enough to be competitive. Their forward line is also the worst in the league but this is because it falls away like a sheer cliff after F3.

 

Rankings

 

Defence 7th

Midfield 10th

Ruck 6th

Forwards 10th

9th Place Prediction

Outlaws

 Place: 9th

(Last year finished 5th)

Predicted Average: 1653

With three Essendon players, Stanton, Hibberd and Carlisle, banned the Outlaws could lay claim to be the biggest loser from the fallout. If anything happens to James Hird in 2016 then the Outlaws coach would surely be on the persons of interest list. Outlaws then went through the five stages of loss and grief and began making some eyebrow raising trades. They can’t, however, be faulted on their recent draft where they were able to snag Gray, Ross, McKernan, Wilson and some other guy.

Breakout Player – Josh Kelly

Outlaws took him early in the first draft but it may have been worth it to lock in this kid as a forward. Looks prime for a third year breakout and has a very dream team friendly game. An average of 90+ looks more than achievable for the little giant.

Time to Slide – David Armitage

Averaged 107 in 2015 but slowed down considerably at the back end of the year. The Saints have plenty of kids who will be looking for midfield time and 2015 was the first year Armitage averaged over 91. Expect an average around the 100 mark.

Special Mention: Adam Oxley

Make or Break – Tom Nicholls

Nicholls and ‘break’ probably shouldn’t be used in the same sentence but the Outlaw’s fortunes will be largely tied to the big man. He’s clearly the number one ruck at gold coast and just needs to stay fit. He could even lift his average into high 80s this season. However, if he falls over then Outlaws will need to play Zac Clarke, another ruck that can’t seem to get it all working. Though, given where the Outlaws are at they may welcome that. ***Investigation Pending***

That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…

Outlaws sold Goddard as a forward for pick 9. Adam had been fishing for a trade rape since this league’s inception and would have been chubbing up when he snagged this. Outlaws then proceeded to get a bit trade happy and on-sell that pick to the Ducks for an un-anchored Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Duggan may be a good player in a year or two but the chances of him remaining a forward are slim. It’s possibly he continues to split his time between half forward in years to come and remains a very useful forward but I think Duggan along with a few other 2014 draftees were only given forward status to make them relevant in salary formats. Outlaws have the strongest midfield in the competition so they may be forced into an awkward situation in 2017.

Summary

The Essendon fallout took its toll on the Outlaws then they went and tried to embrace it with a mini rebuild. With Goddard still as a forward Outlaws would have been amongst the top three teams for forwards however, his loss means they have to rely on either Son-son Walters or Cloke. Gross. 2017 will see the return of Stanton and Hibberd but if the Outlaws continue to fire from the hip with their trades then the team may have only treaded water since their departure.

 

Rankings

 

Defence 10th

Midfield 1st

Ruck 9th

Forwards 9th

8th Place Prediction

Barbarians

 Place: 8th

(Last year finished 8th)

Predicted Average: 1655

Barbarians are a team on the rise but, unfortunately, so is the rest of the competition. There was massive turnover on this list in the offseason with three players traded away and five delistings. As a young team they made the right play in moving on Montagna to a team that needs him this year and also managed to get something for Griffen. The Barbarians were major players in the recent draft, the Newman Bros.© had almost half the picks in the top 12.

Breakout Player – Jack Steele

Seems like every man and his dog is set to fill the hole at GWS left by Treloar but this man has first dibs on it. He’s been prolific in the pre-season and his high tackling game looks to be a good like for like replacement for Treloar. Barbs will be very pleased to have him locked away as a forward.

Special Mentions: Touk Miller

Time to Slide – Marco Paparone

Defence eligibility may not be enough to keep Paparone relevant this year. He was used all over the ground in 2015 but Brisbane now have some genuine forwards they want to develop as well as preferred rebounders in Cutler, Rich and Harwood. He looks destined to play deeper in defence this year.

Make or Break – Tom Liberatore

Grundy will have the most impact on the Barb’s scores but since they’re still a young side the coach is probably hoping that Liberatore returns to full form more than anything. The Bulldogs have changed a lot since Libba last played and the affect this has on his scoring remains to be seen. Has he fully recovered from his injury? Will he be the same player he was?

That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…

The Barbs traded their way into multiple picks in the top 13 so will be hoping for a massive boon from this recent draft. Lonergan at 3 was a great pick and Graham at 10 looks solid. However the yellow and black glasses were clearly on when they selected Menadue at 11. In addition, Barbarians grabbed Ah Chee, Gregson and Langford and were all done by pick 23. Barbs will be hoping this draft sets them up for years to come.

Summary

Barbarians might have the best forward line if they still owned Montagna. Unfortunately they lack firepower in the defence and the young midfield shows. There’s lots of room for improvement and some players may exceed expectations. Their ruck division is one of the best in the competition however Giles on the bench does not inspire. If the Barbs are able to unearth some defender gems this season then they’ll be well poised to strike in 2017.

 

Rankings

Defence 9th

Midfield 9th

Ruck 3rd

Forwards 6th

7th Place Prediction

Gators

 Place: 7th

(Last year finished 9th)

Predicted Average: 1706

 A few moves by the Gators this pre-season would indicate that they rate themselves pretty highly and expect to be pushing for a flag sooner rather than later. Mills was the obvious choice at 2 (and lucky to slip that far) but then the Gators proceeded to snap up Rich, Van Berlo and trade for Marley Williams. None of these players are the typical kids full of potential that Aaron likes to prey on but rather top up guys with known ceilings.

Breakout Player – Sam Kerridge

A fair few to choose from in the Gators’ squad but Sam Kerridge gets the nod due to the faith the coach kept in him. Sighted once in 2015 for a measly 19 points the Gators would have been forgiven for giving up on him and using the spot on their list for another kid. However, a trade to Carlton has seen Kerridge jump significantly up the order and an average around the 85 mark doesn’t seem unreasonable. Would be a huge reward for the Gators as they need a decisive 5th forward.

Time to Slide – Jamie Cripps

Was sluggish through the back end of 2015 and may have been relegated to a deeper pocket role. He’s handy but the Eagles have plenty of other players pushing into the midfield and they need him to play a small forward role where his pressure locks the ball in and forces turnovers.

Make or Break – Ben McEvoy

Gators are desperate for some bankable rucks and McEvoy has teased for a while now since his 2011 and 2012 seasons. With the retirement of Hale, the scrapping of the sub rule and about to enter prime ruck age 2016 will be the year McEvoy runs out of excuses. Ceglar was preferred over McEvoy at times last year and if that happens again it will be devastating for the Gators as, like the Jackals, Tom Bell-end will be glued to the bench all season.

That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…

Selling off Mundy for a single 1st round preseason pick in 2017 to the Wolverines may have been unders considering how suitable Mundy was to the Wolverines. Mundy is a 100 point player that may likely earn defensive eligibility in 2017, exactly what the Wolverines would have been after. Gators will be hoping that the inevitable Wolverines capitulation will happen sooner rather than later as his pick is tied directly to their fates.

Special mention: The 5 ruck dogpile – let’s all remember that Jake Spencer was taken with pick 2 in the round 9 draft only to be quietly delisted in the offseason.

Summary

Even with the departure of Mundy, Gators have a midfield that can be relied upon for years to come. They also have their top two defence and forward positions tied away with Docherty, Laird, Martin and Mitchell. The question will be who provides the next level of improvement so they can start matching it with the top teams of the comp. Plenty of guys look ready to take the next step and the Gators will surely be hoping a couple emerge from amongst their second tier of players and whether one of their rucks steps up. 9th to finals would be a giant leap for any team but not many players in the Gators squad look like taking a backwards step this year so it’s not impossible

 

Rankings

Defence 5th

Midfield 2nd

Ruck 10th

Forwards 2nd

6th Place Prediction

Jackals

 Place: 6th

(Last year finished 3rd)

Predicted Average: 1710

 The Jackals were rewarded with McVeigh earning defensive eligibility in 2016 but that’s where the good news ends for them. The loss of Ryder leaves them without any room for error in their rucks and the loss of Hurley is awkward. Since then the Jackals have continued to be hit by injuries with Shiels, McVeigh, Bennell, Varcoe and Yarran all looking to miss round 1. The addition of Ryan Griffin likely won’t see much impact this year but could be beneficial if he earns defender status in 2017. The safe drafting of Parish and Stanley with their first two picks would indicate that the Jackals were looking towards 2017 but then the drafting of Wells and Grimes with their last picks sent mixed messages.

Breakout Player – Tom Scully

Some players take a little longer to develop and Tom has just eclipsed the 100 game mark. Tom may see a more fantasy friendly role in 2016 and possibly even more time at the centre square. Also, his endurance should suit him to the restricted interchange format in 2016.

Time to Slide – Mitch Robinson

Assuming that Brisbane stave off any more injuries Robinson will be forced back to a half forward role. He averaged 117 in his last 5 but Brisbane have since added Bastinac, Bell, Keays and Mathieson.

Make or Break – Harley Bennell

Could average 100. Could be sent to rehab. Nobody is quite sure what is going on with Bennell at the moment. Like Yarran, the injury excuses aren’t making a lot of sense in the context. A fit Bennell would make for a very intimidating forward line up at the Jackals but take him away and it suddenly looks mediocre.

Special mention: Rhys Stanley

That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…

Jackals chose to keep both Hurley and Ryder this season. I’m sure they would have fielded offers from other coaches similarly afflicted with Essendon players who would be looking to bide their time in 2016. Considering that they’re not far off the pace in 2016 it could have been a viable but bold strategy to move both players on for more immediately useful players. Jackals don’t seem sure if they want to reset this year or push for a premiership and may be lamenting this call if they fall short at the big dance.

Special mention: delisting Grimes then picking him again and over Wellingham

Summary

A rating of 6th and 7th in defence and midfield respectively belies the fact that the Jackals are strong in both areas due to such an even spread in the middle of the field across the competition. Their strength is their forward line led by young jets Bontempelli and Bennell. Should they lose a ruckman through the season then they will be forced to field a donut since Ryder is keeping the ruck bench spot warm all season. Will still be capable of knocking off any team if they can catch a break on injuries.

 

Rankings

Defence 6th

Midfield 7th

Ruck 7th

Forwards 3rd

5th Place Prediction

Vipers

 Place: 5th

(Last year finished 7th)

Predicted Average: 1711

Vipers had a relatively quiet off-season with only one small trade and the shift of Heeney to the forward line. Viper’s improvement this year will come from within as they have a fair number of players capable of improving on their 2015 average. They would also be very pleased with the addition of Hall and Keays in the draft.

Breakout Player – Aaron Hall

The obvious choice but everyone tempered their expectations due to his role in a fully fit Gold Coast side. Well, Gold Coast look anything but. Swallow, Prestia and O’Meara continue to struggle to get on the field and Hall continues to perform in the midfield. Even when they do return, I’m sure Hall will have earned his right to significant midfield time by then. Could easily average in excess of 90 this year.

Time to Slide – Liam Picken

Bulldogs have a lot of young pups running through and will want to get them playing before they look for opportunities elsewhere. Unfortunately, Picken will get pushed out as a result. I think an average of 85 rather than his 101 is more reasonable.

Make or Break – Nick Malceski

Vipers have one of the strongest ruck departments so oddly this isn’t another ruckman. Malceski gets the nod here. Everyone thought Eksi was a sure thing at Gold Coast but we were all wrong. Can he return to his Sydney form? It will take some luck as he seems to be competing with Kolodjashnij, McKenzie and, when fit, Swallow and likely Rosa. He’s capable of lifting his average by 15 points easily and doing so would put the Viper’s backline in a clear second place behind Wolverines.

That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…

Trading away Lobb for what seems like very little in return was an odd move from the outside. Lobb looked like the next in line after Mumford and was the perfect handcuff for the meat pie loving monster of a country boy. Vipers may soon regret this trade when Mumford goes down for another half of the season.

Summary

A very solid ruck division makes the point of difference for the Vipers. Their midfield is 8th but only 20 ppg away from 1st. Vipers is also a very young side with Malceski and Mitchell the only players on the wrong side of 30. Vipers also sport a very even midfield and will be hoping Caddy or Shuey can take the next step and enter the elite midfielder category in 2016. Doing so will see them secure a spot in the top 4.

 

Rankings

Defence 3rd

Midfield 8th

Ruck 1st

Forwards 5th

4th Place Prediction

Scorpions

 Place: 4th

(Last year finished 2nd)

Predicted Average: 1715

Scorpions were one of the coaches hurt the most by the Essendon saga considering their ladder position. The loss of Heppell has been counteracted by the recruitment of Goddard but unfortunately this is really only treading water for the Scorpions. Greene earning forward status might make up for his disappointing 2015 but the talent at GWS will prevent him and Devon Smith from playing serious midfield minutes.

Breakout Player – Sam Mayes (Hah!) Jeremy McGovern

Dom Sheed was here until he tore his pec flexing in the WAFL. Duncan and Yeo are the obvious ones but Duncan has already posted good scores in the past and Yeo looks like he’s struggling. McGovern should push towards an 80 average this year if he gets to be the Eagle’s swingman. His marking is too good to be ignored and McKenzie’s return will free him up. Expect scoring to be inconsistent but also expect Marty regret parking McGovern on the rookie list.

Time to Slide – Scott Thompson

The biggest biceps in the AFL defied father time last year to average 97. He won’t do it again especially not with the development of Grigg, M Crouch, B Crouch and the plethora of flankers at Adelaide stealing midfield time.

Make or Break – Mark Blicavs

Rucks are such a precarious position in our league. Kreuzer could easily go down with another injury while Witts is stuck playing VFL and when that happens you’d want a sure thing sitting in your number one ruck position. Unfortunately, I’m not sure Blicavs will maintain the lofty heights he achieved in 2015 (increased his average by 35!). Geelong have recruited dedicated rucks that have forced Blicavs onto a wing. He hasn’t adapted well so far and I think he’ll regress on his average by ten or so points.

That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…

Scorpions selected Rosa with their first pick in the 2015 round 9 draft. We were all mocked by the Scopions coach for letting Rosa slip to 10. As Scorpions predicted Rosa earned defender status in 2016 (likely out of pity) however, his scoring at Gold Coast looks mediocre and it will only be a matter of time before he succumbs to another injury. This is not the defender you are looking for.

Summary

2016 will be a mixed bag for the Scorpions. They have some players with room for improvement (B Smith, Yeo, Duncan, and Greene) but also players ready to slide away (Enright, Riewoldt, Thompson, Murphy, and Johnson). Depending on which happens first will determine how successful they are. Scorpions have relatively even contributors across each position which is both a blessing and a curse because there is no obvious area to prioritise for improvement. Nevertheless, Scorpions will continue to seek one sided trades with the rest of the coaches throughout the season. Also, Hannebery is so solid you forget about him.

 

Rankings

Defence 5th

Midfield 6th

Ruck 4th

Forwards 7th

3rd Place Prediction

Ducks

 Place: 3rd

(Last year finished 6th)

Predicted Average: 1721

Ducks would have been thrilled to receive pick 9 for Duggan in the off-season. They would have been equally livid when they learnt that Jaensch, a player they had been eagerly awaiting the return of, decided to retire out of nowhere. The Ducks honestly have my sympathy because when you pick up a player with injury history or poor habits then you shouldn’t be surprised when they miss weeks but I don’t think anyone saw this coming. The Ducks took this blow on the chin and proceeded to pick the eyes out of the preseason draft with three selections in the top 10.

Breakout Player – Cameron Sutcliffe

Hunter, Cripps, Crouch and Cutler will all improve on their average but Sutcliffe is my sneaky call that the Ducks may not even have noticed. He averaged 70 ppg in his last 5 but dislocated his shoulder in the last game. Remove that game and he averaged 80. He looks like he’ll be sharing rebound duties with Sheridan in 2016. Will be solid without being outstanding.

Time to Slide – Shaun Burgoyne

It’s the obvious choice but the Ducks actually don’t have many old drakes down at the pond. I think Burgoyne will be managed heavily in 2016. If Hawks look to be in flag contention he’ll be put in cotton wool until the finals. If they don’t then he will probably make way for the next generation.

Make or Break – Heath Shaw

With the absence of Jaensch and the decline of Burgoyne the Ducks are fairly thin through the backline. We all know Heath Shaw is capable of anything. Last year he was an upstanding citizen both in fantasy and real life. Can he keep up this good behaviour?

That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…

The bold move that has already paid off for the ducks was the convoluted three way trade that took place in 2015. At the time we were all perplexed that a side that seemed to be on the verge of finals would hit the reset button but the Ducks seem to have emerged winners from that deal. Hunter was originally the icing on the Prestia trade but with hindsight it would have been the other way around.

The Ducks traded strongly for picks in the top 10 this draft. The top 8 available players were all very good in my eyes so Ducks should be happy with what they got. They essentially traded Zaharakis for Oliver and Duggan for an anchored Cockatoo while still grabbing a tasty Cutler at 5. Ducks could have loaded up on older players to help their immediate success but instead opted to secure their long term future. They may regret this move if they end up a few points away from ultimate success this year but at least they certainly don’t look like sliding down the ladder any time soon.

Summary

Ducks may sit 4th for forwards and 5th for mids but the margin is a slim 9 points in each position. Stefan Martin will continue to provide good service and if they can nail a starting second ruck then they’ll be right up there with the Titans. It’s easy to forget that the Ducks have also been patiently awaiting the return of Brad Crouch (taken with their second pick in the first draft). If they can catch a break with injuries (Prestia too) then they will bat very deep in the midfield. They’ll also be hoping little Aish finds his feet as they need help down back.

 

Rankings

Defence 8th

Midfield 5th

Ruck 5th

Forwards 4th

2nd Place Prediction

Wolverines

Place: 2nd

(Last year finished 4th)

Predicted Average: 1745 with Standard Deviation of 432

The ‘Rines predictions that all good midfielders earn positional status late in their career seems to have paid off for 2016. Despite not showing any signs of players set for significant improvement in 2016 the ‘Rines will see a boost in scoring through the ridiculous number of beneficial changes;

Boyd -> Defence

Barlow -> Forward

Johnson -> Forward

Tippet -> Ruck

Bartel –> Defence

This more than outweighs the loss of Watson (though he looked cooked anyway). ‘Rines also strengthened their midfield with the addition of Mundy then bizarrely traded for Zaharakis and Polec. A fully fit Rockliff with the captain badge won’t hurt either.

Breakout Player – Jason Johannisen

The one player in the ‘Rine’s backline under 30 almost wins this by default. Johannisen looked good in the NAB Challenge despite his haircut as well as having a strong finish to 2015. Expect a solid 85+ average from Jason this year.

Time to Slide – Matthew Boyd

As good as Boyd has been he looks set to be managed even more in 2016. Bulldogs trialled a number of guys in his role during the NAB Challenge with their mind on a succession plan, something the ‘Rines have their head in the sand about. Boyd will score well this year and I expect him to average around 97 but would be surprised if he gets out on the park more than 15 times this year.

Make or Break – Tom Rockliff

Rumours are that ‘Break’ is a taboo word down at the ‘Rine’s training facility as the mere mention of it might result in a dislocated hip or slipped disc (especially around Leuenberger). Anyway, Rockliff wearing the captain’s arm band has the capability to win games single handed but will he be able to carry all the old men through the entire season? Will the mental pressure of knowing that after 2016 he likely won’t see premiership success for many more years be too much for the young lad?

That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…

Refusing to trade pick 7 for 100 point midfielders only to realise that there was no way Mills would slip that far and to then subsequently trade it for Zaharakis. No team’s premiership window is closing faster than the Wolverines’ and rather than look to boost their immediate chances of a premiership they elect to strengthen their long to medium term prospects. Bizarre. If they don’t win this year then the rebuild will be long and painful.

Special mentions: Polec, Trengove

Summary

‘Rines are running a pretty good retirement village at the moment but the pressure should be mounting to taste glory this year because if they haven’t realised by now that the downside of making use of every positional change possible is that it leaves you very vulnerable to changes next year then they should start sweating about it. This side could turn into a pumpkin in 2017 not only due to retirements. Having said that, their defence is ahead of the rest of the field by a significant margin (p value of 48) and if it can remain fit and firing while Rockliff returns to his best then it will be enough to push through to the end.

 

Rankings

Defence 1st

Midfield 4th

Ruck 8th

Forwards 8th

1st Place Prediction

Titans

Place: 1st

(Last year finished 1st)

Predicted Average: 1755

Hutchings and Vandenberg as forwards are helpful and welcome additions but the Titan’s weren’t as blessed as some with the positional changes received. However, unlike the other top 4, last year’s premiers avoided any fallout from the Essendon Saga and, with the resurrection of James Kelly, were actually helped by it! Titans further boosted their chances in 2016 by recruiting Leigh Montagna. The return of a fit Gary Ablett will see Titans installed as favourites to win this year’s flag.

Breakout Player – Daniel Howe

Recruited after a quarter of a game late in 2015’s round 9 draft, Daniel Howe might turn into the best pick of the bunch. He’s been embracing Hawthorn’s uncontested possession game and loves to mark and kick. If he can cement a best 22 spot then he could easily average 78 or more.

Time to Slide – Dane Swan

An unfortunate strength of the Titan’s list is that they don’t have any obvious candidates for sliding so this has to go to Swanny. Swan as a forward is still good but with such a young midfield brigade at Collingwood it looks like he’s destined to return to the forward/mid role he had in 2014. Injuries also hampered him that year but I expect him shave at least 10 ppg off his average in 2016.

Make or Break – Todd Goldstein

Goldstein was outstanding in 2015, increasing his average by a lazy 26, and easily outscored opponent’s entire ruck divisions. However, Goldstein has only ever previously averaged over 89 in one season and, even if his form continues, the scrapping of the sub rule looks like it’s going to have a negative effect on him. Teams will likely employ two rucks against him and he may even have to share ruck duties with Brown and Daw during the season. Thankfully most other ruck divisions are a shambles but will Goldy remain the game breaking, soul destroying ruck he was in 2015?

That’s a Bold Strategy Cotton, Let’s See If It Pays Off For ‘Em…

Electing to delist Rischitelli in the off season raised a few eyebrows but Ryan Bastinac may prove to be a solid replacement with a few more years up his sleeve and, let’s face it, with a premiership tucked away the Titans have licence to do whatever they want for the next nine years.

Summary

Annoyingly for premiership favourites the Titans don’t look like their premiership window is shutting any time soon. Titans are fairly strong across each position but, like most teams, are reliant on their top two rucks being available. Should Maric or Goldy go down during the year it will hurt Titans more than most. Titans have shown that they are willing to trade away top draft picks for good players and, due to nailing some late round draft picks, this strategy has paid off thus far as they also have a decent group of young players developing in the wings. If Gary Ablett is able to stay fit then 2016 is Titan’s premiership to lose.

 

Rankings

Defence 2nd

Midfield 3rd

Ruck 2nd

Forwards 1st