Welcome back to our ’50 Most Relevant’ SuperCoach, AFLFantasy & DreamTeam Players Countdown series! We unveil the captivating fantasy potential of Jy Simpkin, the midfield maestro from the North Melbourne Kangaroos. Discover the hidden gems that could make Simpkin a fantasy sensation for you in 2024.
WHY IS HE RELEVANT?
Jy Simpkin’s impact at North Melbourne extends far beyond his on-field performances. His deep commitment to the club is evident from his decision to extend his contract until 2029, showcasing a vision for the team’s future success and growth. Simpkin’s role transcends the boundaries of gameplay; he plays an integral part in nurturing young talent and offering guidance and leadership to emerging players.
His exceptional skill and leadership have not gone unnoticed, as evidenced by multiple accolades, including his back-to-back wins of the prestigious Syd Barker Medal in 2021 and 2022 and a runner-up position in 2020. Simpkin’s contributions are pivotal in the midfield, highlighted by his high average in disposals per game and clearances, demonstrating his ability to control the ball in contested situations and his dominance in stoppages.
The 2023 season saw Simpkin play 18 games, a testament to his consistency and resilience despite facing a string of injuries. In AFL Fantasy, he averaged 75.7 points, reaching or exceeding 100 points in four instances. His SuperCoach average was slightly higher at 79.3, including three scores above 100. However, considering that his season was marred by three injury-affected games, including two concussions and a finger injury, is crucial. Excluding these games, his performance averages in both leagues show a notable increase: 88.4 in SuperCoach and 85.7 in AFL Fantasy, highlighting his potential and efficiency as a player.
Despite the setbacks due to injuries, Simpkin’s track record over the past seasons indicates a strong resilience, having missed only one match in the three previous seasons. His 2022 season further cements his status as a formidable player. In AFL Fantasy, he scored an impressive average of 95.5 points per game, including ten scores of 100 or more, and an exceptional average of 102.8 in the last ten games. Similarly, in SuperCoach, he averaged 85.5, with eight scores over 100 and an average of 97.7 in the last ten games.
His historical performance suggests he offers a significant return of around 25 points per game over the expected value for his price. This efficiency and reliability make him a valuable asset for fantasy football coaches looking to maximize value in their midfield selections this season.Embed from Getty Images
One key focus for the upcoming preseason is understanding the roles and team structure at North Melbourne, particularly given the challenges faced in 2023. Alastair Clarkson, the senior coach, missed much of his first season, which calls for a careful assessment of the team’s strategies and player roles moving forward. This doesn’t negate last year’s performances but suggests a cautious approach to interpreting them due to Clarkson’s limited involvement.
A consensus exists within the fantasy community regarding Luke Davies-Uniacke’s prominence in North Melbourne’s midfield, closely followed by the talented George Wardlaw. Wardlaw is known for his unique blend of strength, clearance capability, and tackling pressure in contests. However, the midfield dynamics still need to be explored and open to speculation beyond these two.
The central question is who will occupy the third to fifth rotations in centre bounces. Will the 2020 draftees, Will Phillips and Tom Powell, be given more consistent opportunities, given their sporadic yet promising performances? Tarryn Thomas, known for his excitement and explosiveness, has yet to capitalize on his opportunities fully. Colby Mckercher, a likely popular cash cow, also questions whether the Roos will integrate him as an inside midfielder.
Often overlooked is Jy Simpkin, the club captain, who has consistently been a key player in the midfield. From 2020 to 2023, he has attended a significant percentage of North Melbourne’s centre bounces. Last year, only Davies-Uniacke attended more centre bounces than Simpkin among North Melbourne midfielders.
While there’s a possibility that North Melbourne might increase responsibilities for younger midfielders, leading to Simpkin potentially moving back to the half-forward line, there’s also a strong argument for relying on Simpkin’s experience in the midfield as the team continues to develop. This uncertainty intrigues fantasy football, as hypotheses are tested and validated only as the preseason progresses.
In fantasy football, Jy Simpkin’s historical average score range of 90-95 points certainly holds value. Still, it prompts a critical question: is this enough, especially considering he’s priced in the mid to high 70s? To capitalize on his selection, Simpkin ideally needs to hit the 100+ mark. However, achieving a mid-90s average would still render him a profitable choice. This performance level would ensure a significant return on investment, making him a worthwhile pick for your team.
When evaluating whether Simpkin is the best option in his price range, it’s essential to consider not just midfielders but players across all lines. The key is to assess whether other players in a similar price bracket might offer a higher output. This comparison is crucial in maximizing the efficiency of your selections and ensuring the best possible team composition. It’s not just Simpkin vs all midfield mid-pricers; it’s the midprice structure available in all lines. Don’t get stuck with only thinking linearly.
Another aspect to consider is the flexibility that comes with selecting Simpkin. He’s not priced at a point where you’re locked into the decision. This flexibility allows for strategic moves – whether upgrading, downgrading, or switching to another mid-priced player delivering better results. This ability to adapt and pivot based on performance and trends is essential to maintaining a successful strategy.
Simpkin’s involvement in games during the early bye rounds of Best 18 is also a significant factor. His participation during these rounds can be a strategic advantage, maximizing cash generation and scoring options. This aspect of his selection adds another layer of value, contributing to both short-term gains and long-term team building.
While there are compelling arguments regarding Simpkin’s selection, his potential for high scoring and flexibility make him a candidate for your SuperCoach, AFLFantasy, and DreamTeam watchlists. His performance, especially considering his price point, positions him as a player who could offer our teams significant returns and strategic advantages this season.Embed from Getty Images
One of the biggest differences in draft strategies from 2023 to 2024 is the lack of desire to spend significant early draft capital on forwards. The subsequent result means plenty of coaches might walk into the draft day with the mindset of heavily drafting in the midfield with their first dozen picks before looking elsewhere.
This impacts Jy Simpkin because his drafting range (in terms of the round he typically goes) will be very draft-specific. He offers the potential of pushing a triple-figure average and potentially becoming your M4, but a more common selection spot will be him as an M5-M6.
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