#39 Most Relevant | Josh Rachele


Josh Rachele is an emerging talent in the league. Only two seasons into his career, he’s become quickly known for his dynamic and impactful style of play with the Adelaide Crows. As a forward, Rachele’s greatest weapons are his remarkable goal sense and exceptional ability to read the game, allowing him to position himself effectively to score.

He possesses a potent mix of agility and speed, making him a constant threat in the forward line. His foot skills are highly commendable; he is adept at both long and accurate kicking, which is crucial in converting opportunities into goals.

In his debut match, Rachele immediately demonstrated his capability on the field, displaying skill, agility, and game intelligence that belied his rookie status. He played with confidence and flair, contributing significantly to the team’s performance. He posted a 100 in AFLFantasy and a 118 in SuperCoach, which is still his career-high score.

Throughout the year, Rachele played thirteen games, a commendable number for a player in his debut season. His performance in these games was consistent and impactful, reflected in his average scores across AFLFantasy and SuperCoach. An average score of 52 in these systems is notable, especially for a rookie, indicating his regular contribution to the team’s efforts and his ability to perform at the elite level.

While two tons might not seem like a large number in the grand scheme of a season, for a first-year player at the elite level, it indicates his ability to perform exceptionally well in certain matches. This ability to score highly in specific games bodes well for his development and future contributions to the Adelaide Crows. Rachele’s 2022 season was undeniably strong, marking him as a player to watch in the coming years.

Rachele’s 2023 demonstrates a commendable level of consistency in both AFLFantasy and SuperCoach, with averages of 71.8 and 73.9 points, respectively. His ability to score over 100 points in multiple games—three times in AFLFantasy and twice in SuperCoach—underscores his capacity for delivering standout performances.

Rachele’s commencement of the 2023 season contrasts his post-bye performance, highlighting a player with considerable initial upside. In the first seven games, his averages—89.7 in AFLFantasy and 86.4 in SuperCoach—exemplify his ability to impact the field substantially.

These figures are significantly above his overall averages, indicating an impressive ability to influence the game through scoring and midfield engagement and suggesting that he is well-prepared at the start of the season, possibly benefiting from pre-season training and tactics. This strong beginning is crucial, as it helps set a positive tone for his team and can contribute to early season momentum.

On the flip side, his post-bye averages dip to 63.1 in both scoring systems, which points to a mid-season lull. This downturn accentuates the need for strategic physical and mental conditioning to maintain his early form throughout the season.

Understanding the reasons behind this shift—whether they be tactical adjustments by opponents, a decline in fitness, or other factors—will be essential for Rachele to extend the high standard of play he demonstrated at the outset of the season into the latter half, ensuring a persistent presence as a key contributor in his team’s campaign.

When evaluating a player’s potential for a breakout, it’s important to look for consistent patches of high performance, as these can hint at their ability to reach full potential if they maintain consistency.

Rachele’s performance in Round 1 set the tone for his capabilities. He scored a ton across both AFLFantasy and SuperCoach formats, a remarkable feat for any player, let alone a debutant. This performance was fueled by an impressive tally of 18 possessions and three goals, demonstrating his effectiveness in acquiring the ball and converting opportunities into scores.

In Round 5, Rachele continued to show his fantasy scoring prowess. He almost hit the ton again in both formats, scoring in the 90s, bolstered by 22 touches and a goal. This consistency in scoring and ball-handling showed his growing confidence and skill on the field.

Round 6 saw another significant achievement for Rachele: scoring an AFLFantasy ton against the Hawks. This time, 21 possessions, and notably characterized his performance, he achieved this high score without kicking any goals, indicating his ability to contribute significantly in other aspects of the game.

Lastly, in Round 16, Rachele hit tons across both formats, which was a standout performance. He did this through a comprehensive display of skills, amassing 23 possessions and seven tackles, again without scoring any goals. This round highlighted his all-round abilities in the game, from ball-winning to defensive pressure.

These key performances throughout the season suggest that Rachele has the potential to achieve even higher scores. If he can combine these scoring columns consistently in games, it’s not unrealistic to foresee him reaching scores of 130+ in AFLFantasy and SuperCoach. Such a feat would underline his breakout status and make him a highly sought-after player in our teams.

Josh Rachele’s trajectory in the AFL appears promising, and if he continues to develop and refine his game, he could become one of the most exciting players to watch and own in the coming seasons.

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As the Adelaide Crows aim to validate the “Crows are coming” narrative, a key focus is undoubtedly on their midfield, which is essential in supporting a young backline and driving the team’s overall performance. The midfield composition and the distribution of responsibilities are crucial in determining the team’s trajectory, especially in their rebuilding phase.

Analyzing the Crows’ midfield, it’s clear that the level of dependency on players like Ben Keays, Rory Sloane, and Matt Crouch indicates the team’s current state in the rebuild. These three, if playing primary midfield roles regularly, suggest a reliance on experienced players, which could impede the development of younger talents. Emerging players like Sam Berry, Jake Soligo, Luke Pedlar, Izak Rankine, and Josh Rachele must take on more significant roles and responsibilities for a successful rebuild. This transition is vital for the team’s long-term success and sustainability.

Focusing back on Josh, his scoring potential becomes evident when analyzing specific areas of his game. In Crows’ victories, Rachele averaged 80.4 in AFL Fantasy and 85.4 in SuperCoach, showcasing his ability to influence wins significantly. Conversely, in losses, his averages dropped to 64.1 in AFL Fantasy and 63.5 in SuperCoach. This contrast highlights his impact on the team’s successes.

Further, Rachele’s involvement in centre bounces is a critical factor. When he attended 35% or more of centre bounces (in 6 games), his averages rose to 90.6 in AFLFantasy and 87.1 in SuperCoach, demonstrating his effectiveness in midfield play. This correlation underscores the potential scoring upside with increased midfield responsibilities.

Examining his season more closely, Rachele’s performance in the first seven games was notably higher, with averages of 89.7 in AFLFantasy and 86.4 in SuperCoach. However, in the remaining 14 games, these averages dipped to 63 in AFLFantasy and 67.7 in SuperCoach, indicating a decline as the season progressed.

Josh Rachele’s value as a fantasy option in 2024 will largely depend on several factors. These include the Adelaide Crows’ winning percentage, Rachele’s midfield time, particularly in centre bounce attendances, and whether he can sustain his early season form deeper into the year. These variables will be crucial for fantasy team coaches in deciding whether Rachele is a viable pick for starting squads. His potential is clear, but its realization will hinge on his personal development and the team’s overall strategy and performance.

The focus on potential breakout forwards like Josh stems from the uncertainty surrounding the AFL’s top-end forwards. The lack of confidence in established names like Jackson Macrae and Dustin Martin, along with the form of players such as Sam Flanders towards the end of last season, has opened up a discussion about alternative options.

Given this scenario, players like Josh gain significant importance in the context of starting squads. Their potential for breakout performances could provide a much-needed edge, especially in a landscape where the reliability of top-end forwards is in question.

As we approach the new season, it is crucial for fantasy team managers and fans alike to closely monitor the preseason developments, particularly about the Crows’ midfield mix. Rachele’s role and performance during this period could indicate his impact in the upcoming season. Additionally, the overall strategy and composition of the Adelaide Crows’ midfield will provide insights into how much responsibility and opportunity Rachele and similar players will receive.

There is an inherent risk associated with selecting forwards this year, given the current uncertainties and the evolving dynamics of the teams. However, this risk also allows savvy managers to capitalize on potential breakout players. The forward line, more so than other lines this season appears to be the one that might define early season success. Keeping a keen eye on players like Rachele during the preseason could be key in constructing a successful fantasy squad.

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In fantasy drafts, Josh Rachele’s positioning is an interesting topic, influenced by his potential and the general landscape of available forward options. Based on his average in 2023, Rachele is ranked 35th in AFLFantasy (AF) and 36th in SuperCoach (SC). These rankings provide a baseline for where he might be expected to go in drafts.

However, considering the broader context, Rachele’s draft position could be higher than what his 2023 data alone suggests. The lack of reliable top end options in the forward line, combined with the trajectory and optimism surrounding his preseason development, may lead to him being picked earlier than his previous year’s performances.

Expectations of improvement and the potential for a breakout season are significant factors in fantasy drafts. With this in mind, it’s plausible to think that Rachele could be selected as an F3 in many drafts, despite the data from 2023 indicating he would be more suited as an F4. This projection as an F3 reflects his past performance and the hope and expectation of further development and increased impact in the upcoming season.


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