(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.
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.