For Collingwood, Tom Phillips might have just been a salary cap dump. However, at his new club, he could be a perfect value MID/FWD in 2021.

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Tom Phillips
Age: 24
Club: Hawthorn
Position: MID/FWD

2020 Highest Score: 
101 Vs Richmond (AFLFantasy)
103 Vs Melbourne (SuperCoach)

Career Highest Score: 
143 Vs Fremantle | AFLFantasy (2018)
131 Vs Fremantle | SuperCoach (2018)

2020 Average: 
63 (AFLFantasy) | 78.75 (Adjusted Average)
74.9 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $402,600
AFLFantasy Price: 
$602,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$582.300

Embed from Getty Images

WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

Not much went to plan for Tom Phillips in 2020. Despite playing fifteen of a possible seventeen games, the now former Magpie found himself displaced from his preferred role on the wing.

Collingwood still valued his outside run and ability to create space but was clearly internally overtaken by Josh Daicos who made the wing his own. As a result, ‘Flippa’ was forced to adjust to a new role across the half forward flank, and because of this, his statistics and fantasy football impact dropped drastically.

In 2020 he averaged seven fewer possessions a game (16.3) than in 2019 (23.9). Six less kicks and his marks per game fell from 5.1 to 3.1 per game.

His SuperCoach season ended averaging 74.9 with just four scores 90 or above and a season high 103 being his sole ton for the year. While in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he averaged 63 (adjusted 78) and went over 90 just once. It was a 101 back in round two against the Tigers.

These numbers are a far cry from what he delivered the previous two seasons. In 2018 & 2019 in AFLFantasy he averaged 95 and 90 and played every game across both years. During this time he scored 16 tons including seven that were over 120. Over this 44 game stretch, he hit the ton in 36% of games and only failed to score above 60 in just three matches.

Tom Phillips SuperCoach numbers aren’t as strong but still hold strong especially his 2018 season. That year he averaged 90, posted eight tons and went over 120 in four matches. Additionally, he opened the season averaging 106 in his first ten games of the year. Last year, the average dipped marginally to 83 yet still posted four tons and an extra four scores between 90-99.

As a midfielder eligible player, these numbers would only be draft relevant. However, with him gaining dual position eligibility as MID/FWD, he becomes a viable scoring candidate.

Even more so by moving to a new club as part of Collingwood’s famous ‘it’s not a salary dump, but it’s a salary dump’ offseason trade period. At Hawthorn, he now has the opportunity to get back to his 2018-2019 scoring days on the wing.

Embed from Getty Images

MY TAKE

The positive of being played out of position in 2020, has multiple benefits for prospective owners this season. Firstly, he’s gained MID/FWD DPP. Suddenly, the scoring threshold to make him relevant and valuable drops from needing to be 100+ now moves back into the ’90s. A scoring range he’s proven he can deliver.

Second, it’s that we now get him discounted considerably due to him not scoring well in that new role. Had Tom Phillips stayed at Collingwood even with the DPP gaining and the departure of Adam Treloar he wouldn’t make this list.

But due to a move to Hawthorn, he now can move seamlessly back onto a wing with the Hawks losing Isaac Smith. The case for him returning to those higher scoring days is much more believable at his new club.

Much will be made across the preseason about the dominant top group of forwards available this season. Patrick Dangerfield, Steele Sidebottom, Dayne Zorko, Rowan Marshall, Dustin Martin all look almost certain top ten forwards. A case can easily be made that Isaac Heeney, Josh Dunkley and even Toby Greene could also be in the mix across the formats.

As a result, we may need our breakout forwards to score at a potentially higher rate to make their selection worthwhile.

‘Flippa’ is ranked currently as the 18th best forward in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he doesn’t have to do much to climb into the top ten. Remember, he delivered that in an out of role season. In SuperCoach, the climb will take more work, as he’s currently ranked 36th amongst forwards based on last years average.

While those rankings might be favourable in part for him the question is this, ‘can he return to the 90 average days again’? If he does, even if not a ‘year end keeper’ then he’s done his job. If scoring is closer to an early 80’s average, then it just won’t cut it for us this year.

The benefit he does have over others near his price is that he is a proven scorer. We know when he gets the role, he can average 90’s. It’s not based on forecasted potential, but proven data. While the untested ‘breakout’ might be the flashier pick, sometimes you need to back in the player that’s done it before and in multiple seasons.

For SuperCoach, I believe he won’t be a top 10 averaging player, and with players, cheaper than him that I think will score comparable it’s for that reason he’s a pass in my books.

In AFLDreamTeam, if you believe he can push towards a top 10 average a get back to a 90 average, then he’s worth starting. At worst he won’t be that far off the top scoring pack so that even a mid 80’s average will still return some value while he could then be quickly flipped to a fallen premium.

While I think it’s AFLFantasy that he’s a serious starter. At best he smashes a few early tons and can deliver some value for money. While at worst, you sideways him to the breakout player that’s flying. Honestly, in this format, you really can’t go wrong.

DRAFT DECISION

Tom Phillips has the potential to push to be a low end F1 target, but if he were my top ranked forward on draft day, I’d feel light on this line. That’s not necessarily a problem, but rather can be balanced out with the selections you make in other lines.

If he were an F2 in AFLFantasy scoring, I’d feel very comfortable. While in SuperCoach, anywhere from low end pick F2 if going heavy in other lines on draft day, if not a base of F3 should give you a solid return.

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!