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Stocks Up - Stocks Down 3. Which AFL Players Are On The Rise?

Stocks rise and fall daily. Their value fluctuates wildly based on the performance of the company, or little tidbits of information we extract from those in the know.

Footy is not too far removed, with recent performances and events impacting the esteem in which we hold players. As we enter Round 10, Trent Adam Shields takes a look at which players’ stocks are rising, and which are plummeting.

↑ Hugh Greenwood

The former basketball rookie list selection surprisingly adds steel to the  Crows midfield, Greenwood is ranked as elite in stoppage clearances, tackles inside 50, pressure acts, and contested possessions. Since his return from injury, Adelaide  have won four and lost by a single behind. It’s not just his numbers that  should be considered, but the halo effect on the other Crow midfielders.

Consider these numbers after Hugh returned to the Adelaide side, Brad Crouch has  had five games over 30 disposals yet  only one from four before. Matt Crouch three from three – then injured in Rd 8. he had just one from four before that, and Rory Sloane as had four games above 25 touches out of five, with just two out of four. He’s a vital piece in Don Pyke’s plans, and if they are to push for higher honours, needs to be on the park.

↓ Steven Motlop

A player once considered a certain A-grader has never delivered on that  promise and is now battling on the outskirts of a team struggling to establish an identity.  

He started the season well with 19 disposals, followed by 22 and three goals in a scrappy win vs Blues, but since then has struggled.

A  line breaker, his metres gained average is sitting at a lowly 189.5, down from his previous lowest across the last 5 years of 321 in a clear illustration of his dwindling capacity.

↑ Elliot Yeo

Full disclosure, apart from players in my own club, Yeo and Whitfield are  firm favourites across the league, and for vastly different reasons. Elliot is a contested beast, as his  ranking of 6th in total and averages tackles and his average of more contested than uncontested possessions clearly attests.

He is elite in tackles, pressure acts, intercept marks, 1%ers, I50s, and contested possessions, and his game against Melbourne where he produced 16 tackles, seven clearances, seven I50s, along with numerous tap-ons which are not captured is sure to feature in an upcoming article on the best games played this season.

I don’t place a lot of value on fantasy points, but his scores in two of the last three rounds, particularly when the game has been on the line clearly outline his standing in the reigning premier’s line up.

 

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↓ Easton Wood

The Western Bulldogs skipper is way down on metres gained, tackles, inside 50s and rebounds from defensive 50, this is in addition to returning his lowest disposal average since 2009, and his lowest marks average since 2014, foundations of his main value to the Bulldog backline.

Despite owning the best name in football and featuring prominently in one of the most iconic moments in recent history sharing the dais with the injured Bob Murphy, Wood’s value to his side is diminishing.

↑ Steele  Sidebottom

The 2018 Brownlow R/U has had a slow start to 2019, a combination of greater attention from opposition coaches, along with a new midfield configuration with Dayne Beams returning, somewhat marginalising the Magpie star. However, the last three weeks have returned increases on season averages for disposals, I50, marks, goals, tackles – more in line with 2018 levels.

This change in form has coincided with Bucks releasing the handbrake and supporting a more free flowing game style, but it remains to be seen how the Magpie midfield will respond once all their stars are available, it’s a good problem to have.

↓ Dean Kent

A player considered by many to be potential star, Kent moved in the off-season to St. Kilda, but thus far he is not taking advantage of a 2nd chance lifeline not afforded to everyone.

Injury conspired to only allow him five games last season, but so far in 2019 he is averaging less disposals than 16/17 his two most prolific seasons, and worryingly less  tackles and goals.

↑ Oliver Florent

A curious player has performed both well and poorly in a number of positions, I’m sure Horse is still trying to work out where he is most valuable to the team.

His excellent early season form against Melbourne and Richmond was followed by a slump, but he has been important the last two weeks in close wins, culminating in a complete game against North.

Went toe to toe with their gritty inside brigade, notching 22 disposals, eight I50, two R50, six clearances and two goals.

↓ Cam Rayner

David King came out this week declaring Brisbane need to show their maturity by dropping their highly ranked recent draft pick, and after hauls of eight, eight and three possessions in the past three games, it would be a brave pundit to disagree.

While Rayner doesn’t need big numbers to impact on a match, as his three goal – 10 disposal performance in QC17 indicates, he is just not getting his hands on the football enough to demand a place in a senior AFL team right now. His average disposal count from year one to almost the midway point of year two has  dropped nearly 50%, a few games in the NEAFL will show him the work ethic required to deliver the results his team and coach need.

↑ Brayden Fiorini

In a career that is still in its infancy, Fiorini has increased his average disposals, tackles, clearances, I50 and R50, metres gained by over 25% across this year from his career average. If you haven’t noticed him before now, pay attention!

Five times he has delivered more than 30 disposals, including a season-high 38 on the weekend in tough slippery conditions, with a goal, nine I50s, five clearances, five tackles, and two R50s. One very sage Mongrel had him in his early season AA side. If he keeps tracking at this rate even the power brokers might start to take notice.

↓ Mason  Wood

The retirement of journeyman Jarrad Waite was supposed to open up a starring role for Mason Wood in the North front half, but a terrible outing in round one saw him banished to the VFL. A solid month of form came to a crashing halt in a five-touch outing against the Swans in a must win match at the Kangas’ southern fortress, exacerbated by zero marks.

Only four goals from seven games, and a declining marking presence, particularly in  a contested sense has Mason desperately coming to terms with his football mortality.  

↑ Dustin Martin

If Round Nine is any indication the giant may have awoken, a massive 37  touches, 10 clearances, and two goals was commonplace in 2017, but while still producing better than 90% of the league, Dusty hasn’t hit those heights in a while.

With Martin it’s very much impact, and the more he gets the ball, the better Richmond look. Rance is a MASSIVE loss, but if some other blocks can fall into place, and 2017/Rd 9 Dusty returns, there might be another team throwing their hat in the ring for end of season glory.

↓ Jack Gunston

The Hawthorn Vice-captain has followed up his first AA guernsey with a disappointing nine weeks. While most statistical categories are tracking at a similar average to his  career best, it is his complete dysfunction in front of goals that has led for some to call for his dropping. Currently converting at just 45%  in 2018, versus a previous worst return of 61% and a high of 73%, his woes in front of the big sticks seem to have sapped his confidence.

For a man who has returned 12 goals in four grand finals versus nine by Franklin who many consider the greatest of this generation in the same number of playoffs we all expect more.   

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↑ Jarman Impey

The Hawk recruit is ranked elite in intercept marks, intercept possessions, and is recording career high disposals avg, despite some low possession games early.

He is up 60% on his career average in marks, and 100% on rebounds from defensive 50, his explosive speed and courageous marking a key contributor in several Hawthorn wins in 2019.

↓ Josh Bruce

Since his breakout season in 2015 when he broke the 50-goals in a season barrier, Josh Bruce has been looking to rekindle that output. While still being a solid contributor to the Saints forward structure in the ensuing years, 2019 has seen a big step backwards, with his goals average, marks, tackles and scoring accuracy dropping alarmingly.

A power forward brute, who has shown his ability, is just not performing, much to St Kilda’s detriment.

↑ Matt De Boer

Dustin Martin, Patrick Dangerfield, Patrick Cripps… a veritable who’s who of the very elite AFL players. They’re also scalps of the unassuming former-Docker in 2019.

It’s unfashionable to select a tagger in the AA team, but any team selected right now without De Boer in the starting 18 would be criminal. An ace up the sleeve of coach, Leon Cameron and a headache for all opposing coaches come September.  

↓ Nathan Vardy

The big WCE ruckman hasn’t built on his impressive 2018 finals series in the continued absence of Nic Nat in 2019. In fact, he’s been outright disappointing delivering his lowest disposals, tackles, and clearances in his three years at WCE, along with increased clangers.

To pour salt on the wound he also hasn’t hit the scoreboard at all (literally) after contributing 17.10 across the 32 games played in 17/18. His petulant display after ‘Flyin Ryan’s amazing aerial feats added to the misery.

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