Toby Greene ended the season as one of the must-have forwards. Entering into 2020 with limited forward premiums can we afford to pass on him?

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Toby Greene
Age: 26
Club: GWS Giants
Position: Midfield/Forward

2019 Highest Score: 
146 Vs Sydney (AFLFantasy)
138 Vs Richmond (SuperCoach)

2019 Average: 

98.4 (AFLFantasy)
93.9 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $510,100
AFLFantasy Price: 
$730,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$711,600

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

It was a rollercoaster season for those owned Toby Greene in 2019. It started poorly after playing just one game he missed the following five matches with an injury. It wasn’t until round six that he was seen again. Thankfully the longer the season went, the better he got.

Primarily the reason coaches entered into the season with Toby was due to an injury impacted season in 2018 provided immense value on what he’d done over the previous few years.

In 2017 he played 16 of a possible 22 games and that year in AFLFantasy he averaged 91.4. That season he scored 100 or more in just four matches and didn’t drop his scores below 72 all year. While in SuperCoach he averaged 96.1, registered 5 tons, one of which was a 127 and had a season lowest score of 70.

Please make sure you note how strong that average is off such a small number of hundreds, this illustrates to us that although he may not have a consistently high ceiling, his scoring basement will rarely cost you a matchup.

The year prior (2016) was just as strong from a fantasy footy perspective but significantly better regarding games played as he missed just the one game for the season. That year in SuperCoach he managed 10 tons, 3 of which were over 120 and a seasonal average of 90.4. For AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he posted 8 tons and an average of 92.7

Back to 2019, in addition to an injury-interrupted start, he also was struggling to hit his points-scoring consistency. In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he was averaging 80 in first ten games of the year with just 2 tons. For SuperCoach he was averaging 77 with two scores over 100 also.

Round 17 at the MCG, the Giants injury crisis hit its peak. Already Callan Ward, Josh Kelly and tagger Matt deBoer were all out. However, it was also the infamous match the Stephen Coniglio injured his knee and scored a giant donut for coaches. These injuries forced the coaches hands, and Toby was thrown into the midfield.

Over the final six weeks, he scored: 144, 115, 126, 146 142 & 99 at an average of. 128. For SuperCoach he scored; 138, 112, 107, 134, 122 & 115 at an average of 121. That’s an increase avg of 48 points per game in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 44 in SuperCoach.

With the departure of a plethora of forward premiums this year Greene is now our second highest-ranked by averages available in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and sixth for SuperCoach.

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MY TAKE

Toby Greene doesn’t have a consistent history of playing every game. He misses alot of games, either through injury or suspension. Just this year he missed six games through injury and one with suspension Only twice in his eight seasons has he played 20 games or more.

If the history of missing games is the major obstacle to you selecting him then as such, I believe Toby Greene is someone you either have in your starting squads or not at all someone you look like an upgrade target. Even if he flies out of the gate averaging 95+ over the first eight weeks, the reason you chose not to start him will remain the same.

That being the likelihood of missing games has not changed even if he’s scoring ‘over’ your expectation. The longer he goes without missing games, based on history, the higher the likelihood of him missing games will increase. Yes, history isn’t always a matter of fact repeating, we’ve spoken at length this preseason about players that have a lousy history shouldn’t deter you from selecting them, but rather that you can choose them but do so knowing the possible risk associated.

A common theme across this seasons 50 Most Relevant is the discussion around how GWS structure that midfield. Already we’ve highlighted Callan WardZac Williams and Tim Taranto this year, and each has that question. For Toby, does he retain that full-time midfield role with the injured stars returning? Unlikely, but given how strong he was through the midfield last year he should still keep a few rotations per quarter.

Many coaches will be starting Lachie Whitfield and Dustin Martin as their first two premium forwards. One thing I’m keen to observe in the preseason is with the value in the forwards and the lack of a clear third-best choice. Will coaches start three premium forwards? Some coaches may hesitate to start that structure for fear of running too heavy in the forwards and missing out in other lines.

One thing is for sure, is if Toby Greene is fit, he has a strong history to suggest he’ll do enough to put himself in the conversation of the top averaging forwards. The question is, will he play enough games to make it count?

DRAFT DECISION

It will be a fascinating year for how people approach drafting forwards this year? Given his rank based on last years averages, he’s going to be the lead forward (F1) for a coach. Once Lachie Whitfield and Dustin Martin are off the draft boards coaches will start to consider him. Some coaches might jump early and pick him in the third round. However, it’s more likely in the following two.

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