(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.
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.