You’ve made it! 50 players in 50 days. Why do I have Jake Lloyd as the most relevant player in 2021? I’m glad you asked.

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Jake Lloyd
Age: 27
Club: Sydney Swans
Position: Defender

2020 Highest Score: 
120 Vs Port Adelaide (AFLFantasy)
157 Vs Hawthorn (SuperCoach)

Career Highest Score: 
163 Vs Fremantle | AFLFantasy (2018)
173 Vs Fremantle | SuperCoach (2018)

2020 Average: 
91.4 (AFLFantasy) | 114.25 (Adjusted Average)
122 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $656,400
AFLFantasy Price: 
$873,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$844,600

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

Over the past few seasons, Jake Lloyd has been one of the most prolific and dominant fantasy football options. Across the AFL, he ranked first for effective disposals and kicks per game. He was also in the top 5 for both rebound ’50s and metres gained, while also being ranked 11th for intercepts per game.

From an AFLFantasy/DreamTeam perspective, he finished the season as the clear top ranked defender for averages and total points. He averaged 91.4 (114 adjusted) and scored 6 tons, 8 additional scores between 80-99 and had just three scores below 80 all season. Don’t forget, an 80 in these formats last year was the equivalent of a 100 due to the shortened game time.

I mentioned that Lloyd was the best defender, but he was miles ahead of the pack in reality. He was 87 points ahead of Lachie Whitfield, ranked 2nd for total points, and 196 ahead of 3rd placed Rory Laird. Across all lines, Jake ranked 4th overall for total points. In 2020 he scored more than Brodie Grundy, Jack Steele, Zach Merrett & Jackson Macrae. Finally, he ranked 8th for averages, but in reality, it’s 7th when removing the one game wonder Luke Dunstan.

For SuperCoach, he averaged 122 from his 17 games. He scored 16 tons, 9 over 120, and a massive 4 over 140. He had just one sub 100 scores (73) all year. That came in round one against the Crows. From that point on, he scored 16 consecutive tons to end the season. No other player last year achieved that.

He was so dominant as a defender last year; he scored 253 points ahead of Luke Ryan (ranked second2nd) and 290 ahead of third place (Laird). Keep in mind; all three players played 17 games. Lloyd ranked 4th overall for total points and was one of only 6 players to score over 2000 points. He ranked 5th for averages, with only Max Gawn, Lachie Neale, Jack Steele and Clayton Oliver averaging higher

2020 was a career year, but he’s been a dominant scoring premium across all formats for years.

In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam, he finished the 2019 season as the number one averaging and top-scoring defender clear of second place (Jack Crisp) by over 200 points. He ended up as the 18th best for total points across all lines. Across 2019 he posted 14 tons, 8 of those he converted into scores over 120 and finished the year averaging 107. And in only two matches did he fail to score over 80.

His scoring was even stronger in SuperCoach with him ranked as the top averaging and total points scorer among all defenders. His nearest rival Tom Stewart, was almost 250 points behind. Through the 2019 season, he scored 16 tons and between round 1-14 he had just one score that wasn’t in triple figures. Of these tons, seven were above 120, and he went on to average 109 for the season. During the season he had just one score below 80 where he was tagged to a score of 62 against the Gold Coast Suns.

To go with his scoring ceiling and strong basement, he’s incredibly durable, having missed one game since 2016.

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MY TAKE

When you fork out this much cash in your starting squad, they need to be someone you could place the captaincy on. And Jake Lloyd has proven over the last 12 months that he’s a genuine captaincy option.

Alot needs to go right for any other defender to be able to match it with Lloyd, and that’s even if he regresses to his 2019 season scores. A 110 defender isn’t something you want to mess about with and miss. I believe it’s only Rory Laird with his midfield move and a fully fit Lachie Whitfield capable of matching, let alone surpassing him.

The extension of the man on the mark rule only further creates opportunities for Lloyd to play on from kick outs. Already he has a monopoly on that function at the Swans and should maintain that scoring consistency.

Some coaches might hope that they can grab him cheaper if he has a slow start. And while that ‘could’ happen, how much cash do you expect to save? And will you have generated the income by that time to be able to afford him?

Now and then, we get a premium that’s been so good for so long that it’s just easier to find a way to get them into our starting squad than have some in season headache trying to figure it all out.

Jake Lloyd has a banging early fixture. In round one, the Swans play Brisbane. In 2020 they were one of the most inaccurate teams in front of goal. Should that trend continue, he’ll pick up plenty of kick in duties. In round 2, they play the Crows; last year, they were responsible for his lowest score. However, across the year, the Crows were the easiest team to score against.

Round 3 is Richmond; draft coaches and daily fantasy players will know that defenders score massive against the Tigers. Over the first 8 games, the only opponent I’m worried about is Geelong in round 7, but by then, the damage could be done for non-owners.

I’m starting him everywhere. I don’t want the pain of missing him for any length of time.

DRAFT DECISION

I believe Jake Lloyd is the safest and best defender across the formats and as such he’s going early in drafts of all formats. It’s not uncommon to see him taken in mock drafts as a top 5 selection in first-round selection. And to be honest, it’s fair. He’s a point scoring machine.

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