He’s one of the most dominant midfielders in the league and worth every single cent. The dilemma is, can you upgrade to him or will he burn you if you wait?

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Patrick Cripps
Age: 23
Club: Carlton Blues
Position: Midfield

2018 Highest Score: 
162 Vs Gold Coast (AFLFantasy)
187 Vs Collingwood (SuperCoach)

2018 Average: 

109.3 (AFLFantasy)
119.4 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $648,200
AFLFantasy Price: 
$793,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$781,900

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

Patrick Cripps was the shining light for the Blues in a season that was one of the darkest in the clubs history. In 2018 he stamped himself as one of the elite midfielders in the league as he led Carlton in disposals, tackles, inside 50s, contested possessions and clearances.

Watching Cripps live is a thing of beauty, I remember watching him take on the Crows in the final game of the season. In the contest, he’s big and strong and an immovable object when it comes to winning the ball. That day he surpassed Patrick Dangerfield to record home and away season record of most contested possessions in a year. To go with that, Cripps had 37 disposals and an insane 17 clearances, which was the equal-sixth most of all time in a single game.

Cripps has historically been regarded as more of a SuperCoach player than an AFLFantasy/DreamTeam scorer due to the fact that prior to 2018 never averaged over 100 in a season. In 2018 he full emerged as an elite premium in that format by averaging 109 for the year. Last season he scored 14 tons, five of which were above 130 including 162 against the Suns. On the run home, he was absolutely on fire with 10 of his last 11 games were tons, with the one game being a 96.

In his historically more fancied SuperCoach, he was a bull. Last year from his 22 games sixteen of them saw him post a score over the hundred markers and an insane four over 150 and a ridiculous two over 170. To top off this phenomenal season he had just the one score all season below 90.

Cripps is as close to being untaggable as you get especially inside the heat of the contest. While 1-2 taggers have had a level of success against him last year early on he’s still capable to scoring through other avenues as he’s more than capable of adding pressure on the ball carrier with 6 tackles per game on average and 7 games last year where he laid 9 or more.

MY TAKE

He is one of the complete fantasy footballers in the game. He posses a high and consistent ceiling, his scoring basement is exceptional, and historically he’s a pretty durable option with just one of the past four years impacted by real injuries. With no ‘perma captain’ in 2019 with Tom Mitchell, we’ll need a variety of captaincy options that can genuinely be considered against most opponents and that’s certainly something that can be said about Cripps.

Over the offseason, it’d be safe to suggest that the Blues improved their midfield stocks. Sam Walsh looks like one of the most complete #1 draft picks in years while a fit Will Setterfield will only help shoulder some of the inside ball winning burden for Cripps. Does an improving Carlton midfield group impact his scoring? For what it’s worth when Cripps played with Marc Murphy in the side he averaged 122 in SuperCoach and 115 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam. While when the former skipper missed he averaged 115 in SuperCoach and 100 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam. I believe as the Blues midfield unit give him better support we should only see him continue to score strongly.

Cripps shares the week off with Matt Crouch, Rory Sloane, Stephen Coniglio, Dustin Martin and Josh Kelly as popular premium midfield options. You can only have ‘so many’ midfielders pre-multi-bye rounds of players from the same week. So for a bye structure purposes from that round in starting a squad, you need to determine which ones you’re going to start and who you can afford to upgrade to later on. In AFLFantasy I’d feel Ok about targetting him as an upgrade even though I’d still consider him as a starting squad option and a likely top 8 scoring midfielder by seasons end. However, I’d feel nauseous for 14 weeks of not owning Patrick Cripps in SuperCoach! He’s one of only a handful of players that if he goes on a scoring streak similar to how he ended last year your shot an overall rankings success could be over before it got going.

Based on that I have him locked into SuperCoach and will be an upgrade target in AFLFantasy currently, but in all honesty, it’ll be between Cripps and another player yet to be revealed in the 50 most relevant for a spot in my DreamTeam side.

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DRAFT DECISIONS

Patrick Cripps is a bankable #1 midfielder in your draft league and well worth using your first-round selection on, especially if you have a pick outside of the top 3. You might be lucky to land him late first round if people go early on defenders. I expect him to go between picks 4-10 in most drafts.

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