(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.
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.