The Buzz: What to do with Max Gawn, extra premos and is Harry Himmelberg the real deal?

Harry Himmelberg has coaches’ cursors temptingly hovering over the T for trade-in button, while Max Gawn’s injury has left plenty scratching their heads about the best option to replace him.


Is Harry Himmelberg the real deal?

Harry Himmelberg’s (AF $600k SC $436k FOR) switch to the backline has been a creative role change that has worked wonders for him and the Giants as he’s gone on to average 25 disposals and almost 10 marks a game in his last three weeks. These numbers are similar if not better than the likes of Tom Stewart, James Sicily and Angus Brayshaw. All who can be considered as top premium defenders. So, do his numbers stack up and is he worth a trade-in? 

His game against North was essentially a stat padding session for the whole Giants team so don’t base his scoring off that game but even his other two games, one against a top four side in the Lions he showed he has a very fantasy friendly role with an extremely high kick to handball ratio. With his long booming kick, the Giants are throwing him into the kick-in rotation so there are easy points to be made there. So, are there any concerns?

Yes, mostly, the Giants are still without 2 of their best defenders in Phil Davis and Nick Haynes, so can they fit all four big men in that back line? I’m not sure but it’s possible but there is a risk of Himmelberg being swung back forward if the structure doesn’t work and looking at his scores from Round 1 to Round 9 it’s a very ugly picture and one where you don’t want to be stuck with for the rest of the year. While he does pose the best value out of all the premium forwards, we have currently there is an element of risk that you’ll have to run with which might make it better if he was a F6/7 loophole option.

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Extra premium on the bench or go get the best premiums

When it comes to the end of the season, we always have this debacle and that is whether to use your final trades to bring in an extra premium on your field, bench one of your worst performing premiums and hope you can loophole their scores or bring in the proven players to maximise your score. Using the example, I mentioned above. The forward line is where you could run with slightly worse premiums that carry higher volatile scoring in the case of Himmelberg, Jeremy Cameron, Zak Butters etc and try and loophole the best score of the week that way or do you pay the big bucks and get your Marcus Bontempelli, Tim English, Luke Parker or whichever top forward you haven’t got yet.

The pros of running with an extra premium are simply that you can loophole to get the best scores, but that is assuming those players can be looped by a non-playing rookie and have the potential to score above their expected. It’s essentially a double chance at getting the best score like a captain’s loophole. However, of course, its downside is that you have multiple players who are probably going to score less over the course of the rest of the year and thus potentially it isn’t worth risking it. For me you must take it on a case-by-case basis, if you currently run with a lot of value selections in your team then maybe it’s time to get the better premiums in your team but if you already have the best then there’s no reason you can’t take a gamble and have this “double chance” every week for a few players that have volatile scoring.

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Max Gawn replacements

So, you may or may not have heard that Max Gawn is now out for 3-5 weeks with a syndesmosis injury which sets off panic alarms to almost everyone in the fantasy scene. So, who can we replace him with especially with the byes on going? Certainly, you can cross out Darcy Cameron or Sean Darcy who will miss this week due to the bye.

Tim English (AF $878k SC $609k F/R), Jarrod Witts (AF $746k SC $618k RUCK)

If you don’t currently own English or Witts, then this is your free ticket to owning them. Currently the number one and two averaging ruckmen in SuperCoach, with English top in Fantasy and Witts third for overall points, you will need to have one if not both in your final squad by the season’s end. If you haven’t got either, then my pick would be English because later you can slide him back to your forward line and have that extra flexibility if you have a player miss late in the year or attempt to pick up Gawn once he’s back. However, who can you pick if you already own both guys?

Any forward premium

If Tim English is already in your team, he’s likely to be there as a forward, however you can swing him into your team as a ruckman and pick up the next best forward available. There’s plenty of options that have just come off fresh from the bye including Bontempelli, Parker, Isaac Heeney and even the likes of Himmelberg and if you’re feeling saucy a POD like Cameron(The Cats do play the Eagles this week, so he could be set for a captain like score after having kicked bags of 3+ in three of his last four games. A forward in form right now)

Toby Nankervis (AF $772k SC $572k RUC)

I talked about him as probably the next best ruckman outside of the big three this year as he’s playing like how Stefan Martin did back in the day as an undersized mobile ruckman. Even though his score on the weekend wasn’t all too flash considering that Port was essentially playing with no ruckman, it’s still the sixth highest scoring ruck score for the week so it wasn’t all that doom and gloom. With the team news that Ivan Soldo has been omitted, Nankervis should shoulder most of the ruck load now and that should improve his scoring consistency. While it would be concerning that he only scored a 58 in Round 1 against the Blues, he should be able to bounce back considering he’s up against a much more novice ruckman.

Luke Jackson (AF $537k SC $382k F/R)

You always must consider the next in line for the ruck role at the Dees as a potential option because they don’t exactly have another recognised pure ruckman outside of Gawn and Jackson. Everyone else are part time rucks so we should see Jackson see majority of the ruck contest. But does that mean he will score more points, in theory yes. We have had the likes of Peter Ladhams, Cameron and even Tom De Koning step up their scoring massively when the number one ruckman at their respected clubs was missing due to injury. But we don’t have much data to say that Jackson will continue this trend and by how many points because at this stage he’s only an 80 odd averaging ruck/fwd. Can he push the 100+ barrier, we don’t have enough information to tell but even still you’re only getting him until Gawn gets back so it’s unlikely worth that trade anyways?

Lewis Young (AF $437k SC $382k D/R)

If you thought my pick of Jackson was left field, well this one will absolutely rock your socks. He’s not an actual ruckman as when he’s attended them, he doesn’t win hit-outs, but you’d want to pick him up because he’s an intercept marking defender – big SC points – playing in a team whose key position stocks are depleted. He can regularly take marks and rack up easy contested possessions in his role which has seen him score over the ton twice in the SC in the last six weeks. But like most key position players if he doesn’t get near the ball he won’t score well as evident by his three SC scores under 60. While I wouldn’t count him as a premium to finish your team, he could be a handy pick up given his def/ruck eligibility as a D6/7 loophole.


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