For the first time in years, we saw a scoring regression from Jake Lloyd. But with the departure of Jordan Dawson do we see him back towards his average as a 110 defender?

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Jake Lloyd
Age: 28
Club: Sydney Swans
Position: Defender

2021 Highest Score: 
119 Vs Richmond (AFLFantasy)
154 Vs Gold Coast (SuperCoach)

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

2021 Average: 
98 (AFLFantasy)
107.7 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $586,600
AFLFantasy Price: 
$823,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$808,600

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

For the first time in his career, the fantasy scoring progression of Jake Lloyd finally started to slow. Yet, in this ‘downwards’ trending season, he was still one of the most reliable defenders in the game. Last year he ranked third in the league for effective disposals per game. While also finished in the fifteen ten ranks for rebound ’50s, bounces, uncontested possessions, and kicks per game.

By the close of the season in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam, he ranked fifth for total points among all defenders and his average of 98 and has him also ranked fifth. His year consisted of twelve tons, and only twice across the year did his scoring dip beneath 80. While the ceiling games have fallen away (with only a top of 119), his basement scoring is just as good as ever. From a consistency perspective, that can be best highlighted by the fact that his pre bye average of 98.6 is almost identical to his post-bye rounds average of 97.1

His SuperCoaach season was even stronger. His average of 107.7 was the highest of the format of the currently available defenders. While for total points, he’s ranked third, with only Jack Crisp and Daniel Rich scoring more. He scored fifteen tons over the season, including 154, 142 and 124. All year he had just one score under 93 all year long. His seasonal splits were annoyingly consistent, where he averaged 108.3 pre bye and 106.7 post-bye.

It’s still a great season, but when it sits alongside his 2020 season, it shows the sliding scoring, especially when it comes to his ceiling games of 120+ scores. From an AFLFantasy/DreamTeam perspective, he finished the season as the clear top-ranked defender for averages and total points. He averaged 91.4 (114 adjusted) and scored 6 tons, eight additional scores between 80-99 and had just three scores below 80 all season. Don’t forget, an 80 in these formats last year was the equivalent of a 100 due to the shortened game time.

For SuperCoach, he averaged 122 from his 17 games. He scored sixteen tons, nine over 120, and a massive four over 140. He had just one sub 100 score (73) all year. That came in round one against the Crows. He scored 16 consecutive tons to end the season from that point on. No other player last year achieved that.

Since 2018 he’s averaged 101.6, 107, adjusted 114 and 98 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam. And in SuperCoach, it’s even better he’s gone at 112, 109, 122 and last years 107.7. To go with his scoring ceiling and strong basement, having missed two games since 2016.

In a line when most premiums are either at maxed out the capacity of scoring or have serious questions around durability. Lloyd creates the perfect combination of ceiling scores, high basement and quality availability. You cannot go wrong when you pick Lloyd in your side this season.

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MY TAKE

It’s baffling that people are not discussing Jake Lloyd more in fantasy footy circles. Perhaps because he’s such a reliably good option, the community feels they no longer need to examine him. However, the reality is that in what many believe was a ‘poor’ year by his previous lofty standards, he was still a top-five defender in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam and top three in SuperCoach.

When I look at the scoring trend of Jake Lloyd, it’s clear to see that the loss of ceiling was the causation of him not being the top defenders from a points perspective. There’s an apparent primary cause for this. The Sydney game style last year undertook a drastic transformation. Last year the Swans looked to move the ball on much more direct and efficient. As a result, the transition possession fell away; all be it marginally. This, not the splitting of kick-in, was the reason for a scoring slide.

Early in the season, he seemed to have a split role with Jordan Dawson, for which Sydney Swan would take the kick-in duties. Heading into the bye round, it was nearly a 50-50 share between them. However, post-bye, Lloyd had a clear Monopoly on the function with only Harry CunninghamJordan Dawson and Dane Rampe having the rare opportunity. Remember earlier, I shared the pre and post scoring splits of Jake. There’s nothing of note in terms of scoring deviation. So those hoping a Dawson departure will be the sole catalyst for recapturing a 110+ season might be a little disappointed.

Countless times throughout the fifty, I’ve highlighted that the backline feels like the line where you can get the most aggressive. I still hold to that statement. Sometimes, the most attacking move you can make is to make a strong defensive base. Starting with Jake Lloyd in your starting squad gives you the stable spot to launch at attacking defensive line from. His scoring basement means he’ll never let you down. And his historical scoring ceiling would still make him among the best backs available this year. I can only see three legitimate contenders as the top-scoring defenders across the formats. That’s Aaron Hall, Lachie Whitfield and Jake. He is the perfect starting squad option to build these styles of ceiling defenders.

I’m starting Lloyd in every format this year. And for those going against him, make a plan for how and when you’ll get him in. The reality is by the end of the multi bye rounds; I don’t know one coach who wouldn’t feel better about having him in their side.

DRAFT DECISION

Just twelve months ago, if you wanted to get your hands on Jake Lloyd in many leagues, you were using a top-five pick. In 2022 you won’t need to spend that level of draft capital. He’ll still be someone’s D1, but for the first time in a few seasons, he’s no certainty to the first back off the board. Some coaches will value ceiling, while others favour consistency and some just factor durability as the lead. Neither approach is wrong, just different. What Lloyd offers is strong reliability across all three areas. He’s not a first-round pick, but he won’t last long in the second round.

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