Last year he took his fantasy game and his Magpies to another level. Can he do it again in 2019?

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Brodie Grundy
Age: 24
Club: Collingwood Magpies
Position: Ruck

2018 Highest Score: 
151 Vs Gold Coast (AFLFantasy)
167 Vs Sydney (SuperCoach)

2018 Average: 

120 (AFLFantasy)
130.4 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $708,200
AFLFantasy Price: 
$871,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$858,300

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

Brodie Grundy is the prototype of the modern ruckman. A mobile big man who’s an expert at winning the ball to advantage and feeding it down to his fleet of dominant midfielders. Equally as capable at creating tackle pressure at ground level, being used in the link up forward plays and using his aerobic and endurance to cover the ground from end to end.

Over many years, Brodie Grundy has been building as a fantasy beast. Even in his debut against GWS in round 18, 2013 it became very quickly apparent he’d one day be a superstar of the game. That night he had 14 possessions, seven tackles and scored 92 in AFLFantasy and 75 in SuperCoach. In 2017 he ended the year averaging 106 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and posted 13 tons with 4 of them being over 120. While in SuperCoach he averaged 97 with 9 tons and three of those over 120.

Heading into 2018 many fantasy coaches, myself included got scared off starting him because of the potential ruck share with Mason Cox. Right across the year prior anytime they split the ruck role Brodie’s fantasy numbers would drop away and even after Round 1 you were right to have the concern. In that match against the Hawks, Grundy had 28 Hit Outs for Grundy while Mason had 18. Thankfully for us for the rest of the year Nathan Buckley got the structures right beyond that Cox never won more than 15 hitouts in a game again.

Last season he lifted his average by 14 points per game in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and an insane 33 in SuperCoach to post his personal best averages. In all scoring formats, he had only three matches that he didn’t score over the hundred markers. In AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he posted 19 tons, 13 of which were over 120 and a massive five over 150. His numbers for SuperCoach were even stronger with 19 tons, 12 of them over 120, seven above 150 and his lowest score of the year was 95.

MY TAKE

He may be the highest priced SuperCoach and third highest in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam, but Brodie Grundy is worth every single cent. While you may be able to get him cheaper after the first price drops, based off last years history, it may be a tiny window of time and only a marginal reduction. Is $50K that big of a ‘gain’ to your side given the number of points you may miss trying to get him in? This pain may be compounded if you’re also running against likely top tier scorers in Jackson Macrae or Rory Laird.

To top off his high scoring ceiling, consistency of hundreds and a relatively strong scoring floor is the fact that he barely misses matches. Last year he didn’t miss a game, in 2017 he didn’t play in two, but that was due to a Ben Brown sling tackle, while in 2016 he missed one game when he was omitted from the side in favour of Jarrod Witts.

Do the new ruck rules help or hurt his scoring? The rule I’m referring to states that “A ruckman who takes direct possession of the ball from a bounce, throw-up or boundary throw-in will no longer be regarded as having had the prior opportunity.” 

Taking direct possession at stoppages is something Brodie Grundy is already doing consistently in games and could only further encourage this. While it may impact a fraction of his hitout numbers, it could see an increase it kicks, handballs and even tackles making sure any potential hitout losses are levelled out in his fantasy scoring.

He is a good captaincy choice and without ‘permanent captain’ Tom Mitchell we’ll need players of his ceiling and consistency to help us post massive scores across the season. The often unspoken benefit of starting with him is the fact that his team have many of their games pre-bye as one of the first few matches in each round. Inside the opening seven rounds, they have only one Saturday night game, and the rest are all Thursday/Friday matches. To make it even stronger, the Pies have only one game before the bye where they are playing after a Saturday making him a robust Vice Captaincy loophole options weekly in SuperCoach and DreamTeam while also a reliable option for the Thursday matches in AFLFantasy.

If you wanted to look for a reason to pass on him then the only ‘straw; you can grasp for is the limited training schedule he’s been on over the past few weeks as the club manage a toe injury. Any injury in the preseason is never ideal, but the club is adamant that at this stage it will not impact his ability to play in the JLT community series.

I’m starting him in all formats, and the only change on this would be if his current ‘light training’ turned into something more serious which would force him missing JLT Series matches and being in doubt for round one.

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DRAFT DECISION

The only way you’ll have a chance to own Brodie Grundy this year in a seasonal draft is if you have a top 2 selection. I’d still happily take him as the #1 pick in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam scoring. I know it’d weaken me in other lines but I still think he’s that good of a scorer and given the late value in the forward lines especially I’d happily take him. In SuperCoach, I’d prefer someone else who’s yet to be revealed in the 50 Most Relevant as the #1 selection over him. However, If I had pick 2 or 3 and Grundy was on the board I’d easily select him.

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