Last year ‘The Doc’ went from a middle range, solid defensive option to one of the must have defenders last year in fantasy football. Was 2016 a flash in the pan or do we have another elite defender for the next 8+ seasons?
Name: Sam Docherty
Club: Carlton Blues
2016 Highest Scores
147 Vs Port Adelaide, Round 8 (SuperCoach)
140 Vs Port Adelaide, Round 8 (AFLDreamTeam/AFLFantasy)
Personal Best Scores
147 Vs Port Adelaide, Round 8, 2016(SuperCoach)
140 Vs Port Adelaide, Round 8, 2016 (DreamTeam/AFLFantasy)
Why Is He Relevant?
While many talk about the fantasy relevance of Patrick Cripps or the potential value of Marc Murphy it’s his teammate and defensive general Sam Docherty that needs centre stage for fantasy coaches. This shining star in our backlines isn’t getting as much airtime as he should. Last year was the year the ‘Doc’ went from a reasonable fantasy footy option who’d be relevant in drafts, but not much else to becoming one of the most elite scoring backs in all fantasy footy formats.
In DreamTeam/AFLFantasy last year he averaged 101 from his 22 games, 12 times he scored over 100 including 4 over 120 which for a defensive premium is a massive ceiling. Added to this only twice last year did he score below 80, that’s insane scoring consistency. While in SuperCoach he was even better, he averaged 108 for the season, which featured 16 scores of 100 or more. To put that in comparison that’s as many hundreds as Luke Parker, who’s currently the 8th most expensive midfielder. Added to that he only failed to score above 80 in just 3 games with a seasonal low of 76.
Docherty has a knack of getting on the end of the ball. Last year he averaged 5 rebounds 50’s per game, 26 disposals where 18 of them were uncontested and he went at a disposal efficiency of 81%. He also averaged 8 marks per game where he was often used either in the switch for Carlton looking to get out of defensive 50 of used for his foot skills to set up an attacking push.
I’ve had countless times this preseason where fantasy footy coaches have asked me wondering if Doc is ‘overpriced’ this season. While he isn’t ‘overpriced’ as he’s priced at what he delivered in scores last year I sense the real question within that is can he match his output and therefore make the cash investment in your starting squad worthwhile. While hindsight will be the great decider on this, the key indicators certainly point to him continuing on the same scoring path. Could you pick him up cheaper after round 5 or 6? Unless he has a blinding start that’s quite possible, but the same could be said for most premiums in every line. If you believe Doc will score around the mark of what he’s currently priced at and will be a top 6 scoring back for the season then it’s certainly worth starting him. Yes, he could be cheaper in 6 games time, but once you have him that matters little to you.
Being only 23 he’s only just entering the prime of his footballing career so he’s no chance of a natural scoring regression. Carlton still looks to get the ball in his hands and set up a lot of plays from half back and given he played the role so well it’d be foolish for Carlton to make any major adjustments to his role within the side. The other factor in why I think he should maintain his scoring in a similar range is that I expect Carlton to struggle again in 2017. The positive for fantasy coaches is that the ball should spend plenty of time in the Blues defensive half, which gives him plenty of chances to rack up the scores.
He’s going to be one of the best defenders in every format this year and I can only see injury being the only prevention of him continuing him on his current path. If you’re choosing to overlook him in your starting squad, he’ll need to be one of the first defenders you look to upgrade to as this kid can seriously post some pretty handy scores.
Last year you could’ve landed him in the middle portion of the draft and got yourself a steal. You won’t be that lucky to get him there in 2017. If you want him as your D1 it’s likely to cost you one of your early selections as he’ll go anywhere from late first round through to the second round of most drafts.
Who’s Next – #10?
Tomorrow the Top 10 countdown is on! The 10 players who I believe are the most relevant in fantasy football in 2017. Tomorrow, I start with who many believe will be the #1 scoring option next year. Who is he?