He was arguably the biggest name to move clubs during the offseason, but will he have a big fantasy footy impact at the Tigers?

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Tom Lynch
Age: 26
Club: Richmond Tigers
Position: Forward

2018 Highest Score: 
139 Vs Carlton (AFLFantasy)
180 Vs Carlton (SuperCoach)

2018 Average: 

67.1 (AFLFantasy)
78.4 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $425,600
AFLFantasy Price:
$487,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$479,900

Embed from Getty Images

WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

2018 wasn’t a good season for the Gold Coast Suns as a whole let alone for Tom Lynch. Despite his entering into the season relatively health it became apparent after the opening 6 weeks as Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew confirmed he’d been battling a knee injury as well as managing a sore ankle. He spent the next month getting himself right, and despite playing rounds 11-14 the decisions were made to send him in for surgery on his PCL and see him miss the rest of the season. Even battling an injury he was still able to deliver a few 80+ games against the Saints and Hawks and one standout performance against Carlton where he kicked 8.1 and scored 139 AFLFantasy and 180 SuperCoach points. Yes, I know it’s Carlton, but still, that’s some ceiling. Imagine what he might be able to deliver entering into the high-quality Tigers unit.

Looking at his best fantasy season in 2016 where he averaged that 86 he managed to score above 80 on 16 occasions, 7 of those were hundreds and twice he went on some very impressive scoring runs. Between rounds 1-5 he averaged 101 with a lowest of 81. While in the final 11 games of the season he only dropped his scores below 80 once and averaged 93.5. Not bad for a guy priced in the range where your options include Steven Motlop, Rory Lobb and Shane Edwards.

For SuperCoach the numbers are even more encouraging. During his season of averaging 93, he scored north of 90 in 13 matches, 9 of those hundreds and 4 over 120. Between rounds 1-5 he averaged 105 with a lowest of 71. While in the final 11 games of the season he only dropped his scores below 82 once and averaged 101. If he gets even close to numbers like that and considering his price you could be made for choosing not to start him.

This isn’t a ‘once off either’ during 2014-2017 his lowest SuperCoach seasonal average was 83 with a peak of 93, while in AFLFantasy his lowest was 75 with a personal best of 86. So despite only one season that would have him edging into the top 10 forwards, he’s shown consistently over many seasons he can score well and given his price point he needs to be considered as he offers value of upwards of 20 points per game.

MY TAKE

There was a reason Richmond Football Club made such a big play and offered such a long-term deal for Tom Lynch. When fit and firing he’s arguably one of the (if not the) most dominant big men in the game. Before his 24th birthday, he’d already won All Australian honours, won the Suns club champion twice (both years when Ablett was still at the club) and the side’s goalkicking for 3 consecutive seasons. He’s a fierce competitor, a tireless worker always offering an option on the lead and a difficult matchup in the air for any defender. Even though he’s 199cm and 98kg he’s still in the contest even at the ground level and will more than play his role inside the Tigers offensive pressure. To top it all off his a brilliant leader and already is much loved in and around the club.

During the Tigers shock loss to the Magpies in the Preliminary Final, it was exposed what many die-hard Richmond fans had been quietly saying for years and that is that the club needed another taller avenue inside the forward 50. The inclusion of Lynch not only solves that problem but also gives Jack Riewoldt the opportunity to play higher (if needed) and also likely to get the oppositions second best key defender.

His 2018 numbers are anywhere between 15-20 points beneath his average across all formats from the years prior, and should this normally durable player get through the season unscathed I can see him not just matching those numbers 2016 & 2017, but even pushing them a fraction higher. Richmond’s game style will need to evolve with him inside 50, but I can see that being something only for the better for the side and certainly won’t impact the fantasy output of Lynch.

SuperCoach owners will be more tempted by him at his price, but he does provide value across all formats and has shown a huge ceiling before. An opening round one matchup against a young Carlton backline and on the big stage of the G all the while kicking off the 2019 season is a grand stage and one that Tom has been longing to play one. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the coaches that did start with him were immediately rewarded with a good score. Three of his last 4 scores against the Blues have been 139, 132 and 123 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 112, 161, 180 for SuperCoach.

If you’re considering a mid-range priced forward, then Lynch is someone that needs to be placed on a watchlist at the very least. From my perspective, the only reason you don’t at least consider him is that you’ve decided this far out you’ll only be running a ‘Guns and Rookies’ forward line.

I know plenty of fantasy coaches who have the rule of ‘no key position players except Buddy.’ However, I find rules like that limiting and especially in the preseason closing your mind to possibilities is incredibly dangerous. Tom Lynch was arguably the biggest offseason player move last year and this move should pay immediate dividends for both the club and the player’s fantasy output.

Embed from Getty Images

DRAFT DECISIONS

Another difficult player to place in drafts. On potential, he’s certainly in the conversation of a top 10-15 forward in all formats, but I certainly wouldn’t be drafting him in that spot. Because of an injury-interrupted season, you’ll be able to get him later (on the whole) than in previous years of drafts. As always, coaches can often have a bias towards a player who players for the club they support so Tom may go a few rounds ahead of time depending on the amount of Tigers in your league.

I wouldn’t be drafting him in the opening 10 rounds, but if you were able to land Lynch in your F4 position on field that’d be a massive win given he could give returns of an F2. However, if you want him you’ll probably need to go for him as an F3.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Do you believe he is fantasy relevant?
Will you be starting with him?
Have your say at our Facebook,  Twitter or Instagram

WANT EARLY ACCESS?

Want access 24 hours early to the 50 Most Relevant podcasts? Join our Patreon and get ahead of the Crowd! 

Become a Patron!

NEXT UP…

Tune into our Facebook page at 9pmEDST for a clue