50 Most Relevant, Preseason 2020, Salary Cap Strategy

#2 Most Relevant | Marlion Pickett

One game delivers him one premiership medal. It was a phenomenal debut from Marlion Pickett, and the benefit for fantasy coaches is we can now select a premiership hero as a cash cow in 2020. 

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Marlion Pickett
Age: 28
Club: Richmond Tigers
Position: Midfield

SuperCoach Price: $123,900
AFLFantasy Price: 
$170,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$160,900

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

 To win a Grand Final and be a premiership player is a childhood dream. To do that in your first-ever AFL game is something that Hollywood films are made about. For Marlion Pickett, this is his life!

For seasons Pickett has nominated and hoped for an AFL club to call out his name. For years, he was rejected and went back to the WAFL to ply his trade. Then in the first-ever mid-season draft, he was picked up by the Tigers as one of the final few selections.

After coming to the club already with an injury, Pickett got to work quickly recuperating and preparing to push for senior selection. He managed six games (including a VFL premiership) before he made his way into the Grand Final side after an injury suffered to Jack Graham.

In the Grand Final, Pickett was electric! He won 22 possesions, having a massive nine score involvements, eight inside ’50s and three clearances. Topping it off Marlion finished third in the Norm Smith Medal voting. From a fantasy perspective, he scored 73 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 96 in SuperCoach.

Often in these types of articles when discussing cash cows, we look at their statistical data from the state league competitions to give us an indicator of what they could do at the elite level. However, thanks to his Grand Final day performance, we already have some degree of insight into what he’s capable of scoring.

With him not playing during the home and away season, the format boffins could easily have priced him differently. Thankfully, all fantasy footy formats have done the correct thing and priced him as a basement cash cow and not on his grand final score.

The big questions fantasy coaches will ponder this year, is just how good could he be for us in 2020?

Two seasons ago Geelong landed one of the steals in draft history. With pick 24 in the 2017 AFL draft, the club went on to pick up a superstar of the competition. Since then, every mature-age draftee has been contrasted to him. Whether that’s a good thing to do or not is another conversation altogether, but Marlion Pickett looks up for the challenge.

As a reference point in Tim Kelly’s debut season at Geelong he played 22 games and in AFLFantasy averaged 86 which featured six tons and a further four games between 90-99. In SuperCoach averaged 93 which was made up of eight tons and an additional four games between 90-99. If Pickett can get anywhere near those numbers, he’ll be the best cash cow of the season.

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MY TAKE

Should everything evolve as predicted and Pickett is named for round one, I can genuinely only see one reason you don’t pick him. That being, you genuinely are convinced he falls out of the Tigers lineup quickly.

There is some merit to that thought process with only Brandon Ellis out of their premiership 22 and players like Sydney Stack, Jack Graham and Riley Collier-Dawkins all starting to bang the door down.

Truth be told though, given his ownership percentage is already sky high and the fact he’s a basement price cash cow I see no risk in starting him. Even should he ‘fall out’ of the sides best 22 the vast majority of serious fantasy coaches would all be placed in the same boat.

There is no reward in my eyes in not selecting him should he be named round one. While it can be dangerous to make bold predictions in the preseason, I feel pretty comfortable with this one. Marlion Pickett will be the most valuable cash cow in 2020.

DRAFT DECISION

Like many of our cash cows like Matt Rowell or even Izak Rankine, I don’t mind him as a late pickup. His upside will be better than most we pick with the final few selections, so why not take the punt and hope he turns into Tim Kelly.

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