When he players he’s one of the best defenders going around, but will injuries, suspensions and taggers impact him fantasy season?
Name: James Sicily
Club: Hawthorn Hawks
2018 Highest Score:
135 Vs Essendon (AFLFantasy)
145 Vs Essendon (SuperCoach)
SuperCoach Price: $570,400
AFLFantasy Price: $694,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: $683,600
WHY IS HE RELEVANT?
A combination of suspensions and a season-ending wrist injury limited James Sicily to just 17 games last year. However, in the games, he played he managed to showcase his football smarts and fantasy football pedigree. Last year he averaged 17 disposals, seven marks, five score involvements, & 5 rebound 50’s a game all at an elite disposal efficiency of 81%. While many may ‘love to hate’ Sicily it’s evident that his reading of the play, intercept marking and neat disposal makes him an elite player in the competition.
From a SuperCoach perspective, he scored eight tons, half of those were over 120, and during the season he had only three scores that dipped below 90. For AFLFantasy/SuperCoach he scored five tons including a 125 against Essendon and had five further games that he scored over 90.
These fantasy and disposal numbers reinforced what he did in the final ten matches of the 2017 season. In those matches, he averaged 24 possessions, nine marks and despite being heavily tagged in one match where he didn’t score over 25 in any fantasy format he still scored like a premium. During that stretch of games in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam, he had eight scores of 85 or more, five tons and an average of 89.8. While in SuperCoach Sicily posted eight scores 87 or above, five of those were tons and averaged 91.4.
The new rule changes the AFL have brought in suit James Sicily almost more than any other player. Many of the new regulations are designed to try and open up the game more and rewards players who take on the game using dare and skills, something Sicily has in spades. The Hawks game style has always been based around exquisite ball users by foot and possession retention something many AFL players in the offseason have commented on could well be even more valuable in 2019.
Even just based on natural development and the scoring trajectory the potential increase of scoring gets even better for Sicily thanks to the new kick-in rules. Over the summer the AFL announced multiple rule changes, but one of them was that players no longer had to ‘kick to themselves’ to play on. Rather they could now just run the ball outside of the goal square and ‘play on’ would be called by the umpire. Champion Data announced recently that all kicks that are taken outside of the goal would be awarded as disposal, while any handball in or out of the square will also be recorded to the player. Last season Sicily took just under 30% of all kick-ins for the side, the only player to take more was Ryan Burton who took on the role during his injury and is no playing for Port Adelaide. Given the fact that on average only one in four of last seasons kick-ins were ‘played on’ it;’s safe to think that given his long, penetrating and reliable kick plus his desire to take the game on will see him often ‘play on’ and attempt to get the ball 20 metres beyond his defensive 50.
In SuperCoach he’s a massive lock in my side given his ceiling and the points weighting for intercept marks and possessions, his disposal efficiency and likely increase of scoring from kick-ins means a points rise from last years 105 is more than reasonable and is one of only 3 defenders I believe are capable of being the top scoring defender. In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam if any format would be the one you may get away with upgrading to later. That being said I still believe he’s a top 6 averaging defender. The reason I think you could afford to upgrade to him is that his ceiling isn’t as damaging in this format. Over his past 27 games, he’s had only two scores over 120.
After Laird and Lloyd go in SC draft he’s the next and given the value on DEF he’s a D1 and goes inside the top 25 selections.
AF he slides maybe a round but is gone before round 5 easily.
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