In my mind, the only injury can prevent Jake Lloyd from ending 2019 as the #1 defender across SuperCoach, AFLFantasy and DreamTeam.

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Jake Lloyd
Age: 25
Club: Sydney Swans
Position: Defender

2018 Highest Score: 
163 Vs Fremantle (AFLFantasy)
173 Vs Fremantle (SuperCoach)

2018 Average: 

101.6 (AFLFantasy)
112 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $608,200
AFLFantasy Price: 
$738,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$726,900

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

Jake Lloyd is one of the leagues most underrated and consistent players in the league. He’s a gut runner who’s outside disposal compliments a side that has plenty of midfield grunt and is one of the reasons why his teammates love to get the ball into his hands whether it be departing their defensive fifty or transitioning the ball across the ground.

2018 wasn’t his only strong fantasy year as a premium defender, in 2017 he averaged 92 in AFLFantasy and scoring 8 tons across the season while SuperCoach he averaged 87 and six tons. These averages while strong are not an accurate reflection of the whole year. In round 10 he was concussed within the opening minutes and didn’t score over 5. His actual average of ‘full’ games is 96.7 in AFLFantasy and 91.4 in SuperCoach.

In 2018 he led the club in highest average disposals (28) and rebound 50’s (6) and tallied 30-plus possessions eight times throughout the season. Furthermore, he went at a disposal efficiency of 79%, and 20 of these possessions were uncontested. How he increased his fantasy numbers was due to a bump in his use of the ball by foot (an increase of 2 per game) as well as marks (0.7 per game.)

From an AFLFantasy/DreamTeam perspective, he scored 11 tons with nine of those being over 110 while in SuperCoach it was 14 tons and 12 of them were over 120. These are elite numbers for a defender for a season, but he scored better as the season went one.

Between round 1-7 he averaged 88 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and 89 in SuperCoach. However, from round 8 until seasons end, he had just 2 SuperCoach scores under 100, he didn’t drop under 90 and averaged 122. For AFLFantasy he averaged 107 and had only two scores below 90 in those 15 weeks.

MY TAKE

When investing the level of your salary cap that it takes to secure Lloyd you want to ensure that he’s worth shelling out the big bucks on, thankfully it is! He possesses a high scoring ceiling, strong basement and barely has a low score and has missed just three games in 4 seasons making him reliable and durable.

Recently Champion Data stated that “As per previous seasons, there will be no disposal given when a player kicks-in while still in the square, even after the umpire has called “play on”. Once the player steps completely out of the square before kicking-in, this will count as disposal, similar to past seasons after a kick-in to self. All handballs will be counted as disposals regardless of where the player is standing.”

One of the new variables fantasy coaches will need to navigate to succeed the new Kick-ins rules and the impact to scoring that will have. Last year Lloyd took just 50% of all Sydney kick-ins, and about a third those he played on. While it is only limited data both in the lower levels that have trialled such rules such as WAFL and even in the AFLW, the vast majority of kick-ins end up seeing a ‘play on’ be signalled by the umpire, and thus disposal being awarded to the player. With still two third’s of his kick in duties ‘up for grabs’ in terms of gaining more fantasy points coaches can be optimistic that Lloyd doesn’t just retain his 2018 averages but could even potentially eclipse them.

Rarely does a defensive player who’s delivered a seasonal average in the 100’s come in as a possible value selection but given these new rules barring someone taking the kicks away from Lloyd (which I don’t see happening) then he’s got room to go up again. I believe Jake Lloyd will be the #1 averaging and highest scoring defensive option of this season and I am starting him in every scoring format. Nobody is a ‘must have’ it’ll be complicated to win your league or succeed in overall rankings if he’s not in your side for a large portion of the year.

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DRAFT DECISION

I believe Jake Lloyd is the safest and best across the formats defender and as such he’s going to go very early in drafts of all formats. It’s not uncommon to see him taken in mock drafts as soon as pick 4 in AFLFantasy scoring drafts. In SuperCoach it’s probably a touch high but as a later opening selection if you coupled that with a strong M1 with your second pick would undoubtedly be a strong base to start from.

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