In 2019 he was a revelation and was among one of the top averaging forwards. Now as a defender is he even more relevant?
Name: Caleb Daniel
Club: Western Bulldogs
2019 Highest Score:
135 Vs Collingwood (AFLFantasy)
124 Vs West Coast (SuperCoach)
SuperCoach Price: $537,900
AFLFantasy Price: $696,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: $677,900
WHY IS HE RELEVANT?
One of the biggest surprise packets of the 2019 season was the emergence to premium scoring from Caleb Daniel. Previously he’d filled a role for the Doggies as a forward / midfielder and outside of his debut as a cash cow he was only really draft relevant.
It was late in the 2018 season and then across the 2019 preseason that the Bulldogs coaching staff trialled him to play across half-back. The side loved his elite ball use by foot and clinical decision making. He was moved permanently to become the Dogs primary distributor who has made him a star in the fantasy community.
Last year he averaged 27 disposals going at 80% efficiency. He was ranked 8th in the league for kicks, 9th for effective disposal and 10th for rebound ’50s per game.
SuperCoach was the format that he excelled the most last year. From his 17 matches, he averaged 99, had ten scores of 100 or more and dipped below 80 in just four games.
AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he averaged 93, had six scores over 100 including two over 120. He had just four scores below 80 throughout the season.
Across all formats of the game, he’s ranked as a top 6 defender based on his 2019 averages. As you look across the ownership percentage and it’s well down on many of the other elite defenders. Nobody should be selected just ‘because you need a point of difference.’ However, if Caleb was already close to getting selected for you, it could be enough of a reason to tip you over the line.Embed from Getty Images
The Western Bulldogs are notorious for changing the roles of players. We’ve seen it impact both positively and negatively the scoring of players like Toby McLean, Josh Dunkley and to a lesser extent Marcus Bontempelli. Can we enter into the upcoming season with confidence that his role will retain in 2020?
Honestly, nothing is ever for sure, but I see no reason for the Bulldogs to change up what is a damaging weapon rebounding out of defensive 50. The addition of Alex Keath should help strengthen up the backline even further. One slight caution I have is wondering despite being very different players, how much (if any) he impacts his intercept possessions? This will be answered in the preseason matches.
As healthy as 2019, there was the commencement of a worrying trend. Sadly he suffered a hamstring injury against Port Adelaide round 15. Then again a fortnight later he experienced some additional tightness and wasn’t seen yet for the remainder of the year. Hopefully, these are just isolated incidents to last year and isn’t a pattern
It’s fascinating to me that Caleb Daniel has barely been sighted this preseason. For a player that averaged in mid to high 90’s, and is one of the most consistent scorers he’s getting 0 love this preseason. As a community, we see to be chasing this year more than previous years the ceiling of a player over the consistency. Players like James Sicily, Zac Williams and Dan Houston are getting lots of love this preseason.
I’m genuinely considering him as my D2 in SuperCoach to start, and he’s right on my upgrade target list in the season for all other formats. He’s a jet!
Going off his 2019 numbers, he’s currently ranked as a top-six defender, and unless someone selects two defenders with their opening selections, he should be someones D1. Anywhere from the third round is the right place to pick him.
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