2016 Breakout Contenders: Forwards

Who are the break out players to get on in 2016? That is the question we all want to know the answer to! Each position will be covered with the price tags of players between $200,000-$400,000 in Dream Team only being considered. This price range is also where you strike gold with late round draft picks in your Ultimate Footy draft leagues which will help you get the jump on your rival coaches.

With the right turn of events these players could be your ticket to premiership glory.

Mid Price Players Watchlist: Forwards

Interestingly Dream Team has listed the 10th best forward as averaging 90.55 to start 2016. Having the 10th best forward in the last on field position at F6 in your Dream Team is fine and in draft leagues is a highly desirable player to own to sit at your F2 position. Up front the probability of any of the mid price forwards averaging 90 is a tough but not impossible ask, so in salary formats you should view a forward mid price player as a stepping stone or solid bench cover later on. The points are provided below for a context for salary games. These players you’d consider for your later round draft picks in Ultimate Footy drafts.

Jed Anderson $256,900 – 44.32

Has had all sorts of difficulty breaking into the Hawks team. Problem is that the North team is not a whole lot easier to crack into. However I am of the opinion generally that if a team trades for a player they typically have them ear marked for a best 22 role of some description unless the player is an obvious depth player. Is cherry ripe to improve but by how much? Has played 5 full regular season games and is yet to score 70 points.

Craig Bird $343,500 – 59.27

Is priced about 20-25 points below potential output. Bird can score well while tagging, he can score very well when not tagging and free to play his own game scoring a pair of 130s in 2014. Was squeezed out of the Swans team as he is good at most facets of the game without being brilliant at any one area and didn’t fit any longer into Longmire’s plans. Very interested in what role he is given at the Bombers, expect improvement up to 20-25 points per game vicinity.

round 13 brayshaw

Angus Brayshaw $357,500 – 61.68

Brayshaw, like Heeney, had an impressive first year. Often we are wary of the second year scoring blues, but its not always the case. As expected, Brayshaw hit a wall around the mid year and his scoring deteriorated significantly thereafter. When looking for a young player to break out I like to look at their back half of the season scoring. Hopefully he trains hard in the offseason and gets the fitness base into the legs. I am not bullish on him improving significantly in 2016, expecting something in the mid 70s from him.

Reece Conca $255,600 – 44.10

Coach Fox has an absolute man crush on Conca. So he’s included here for you. The Tigers have a raft of impressive young kids that are getting games, with more to come on the way. This is making the job of regaining his position in the best 22 very difficult. Conca’s 2014 was in two halves, scoring promisingly in the first half and then a significant diminishing trend in the second half. In 2015 with the few games he played, there was a pair of 60s and a vest. My gut feel is that he doesn’t get many games in 2016. That being said, if he does play, I expect a score in the vicinity of 75-80 points a game.

Isaac Heeney

Isaac Heeney $386,900 – 66.75

Like Brayshaw, Heeney was impressive in his first year, however there was a significant difference. Heeney had multiple niggles throughout 2015 but finished the stronger of the two. His final four scores included two finals against strong opposition while in a losing side. The scores were 116, 93, 72 and 83. These numbers were scored with the odd niggle and provides me with much more confidence that Heeney will increase his average in 2016 even despite an off season broken jaw. I also think that the training base from his time in the Swans academy has prepared him ahead of other first year players coming into their second seasons. I anticipate that both Mills and McGlynn come into the team and this will push Heeney more into the midfield for longer.

Ben Kennedy $250,400 – 43.20

To most coaches frustration Kennedy was never given a full shot at establishing himself in the Collingwood team. So we deal in hypotheticals like most of the mid price players. From 12 full regular season games in his career he has scored in the 80s on three occasions only, never having cracked 90 yet. If you view Kennedy as a top priced rookie he will well and truly please you, if you are hoping to snag an 85 plus scoring mid priced player then it is a very touch and go proposition.

Darcy Lang $336,800 – 58.11

Darcy is a regular in the Cats team. He has observed a changing of the guard and is one of the new generation ear marked to improve for the Cats. If not for a score in the 100s and one in the 90s his average would be a lot lower. His back half to 2015 was poor scoring wise, so this is a gut feel prediction that with natural progression he will improve.

Jack Martin $372,000 – 64.18

Has suffered from shoulder and ankle injuries throughout his career, he referred to them as “impact” injuries and “being unlucky”. I refer to it as like Martin being built like Bruce Reid and is easily snapped in half. In 2015 he scored a 113 and a 94 with a pair of 80s. His scoring potential is evident, if his body holds together Martin is highly likely to improve upon his average as he had two red vested games of 31 and 2 in 2015. With a returning midfield I feel the Suns side will, on the whole, improve across the board.

Dale Thomas $264,300 – 45.6

Will be in a lot of teams and deservedly so. A few years ago when the Pies played kick to kick he was right amongst it with two seasonal averages above 90 and one above 100. The shift to Carlton brought significant attention, pressure and injuries. For the first minute of Round 1 2015 he looked an absolute peach gaining a possession and all was well, then he got a horror shoulder injury and his year was ruined. He came back for a few games but was no good. In 2016 he simply must produce for the Blues and I am backing him in to do it!

Matthew Wright $323,900 – 55.88

This guy can score in the right role, although many don’t rate him as a player. Like I’ve said before, I don’t care how a player scores as long as they score. Had an unimpressive 2015, but showed in 2014 he can string together multiple 90s. Is in a new team at Carlton in 2016, one caution from me is I am not sure of how they fit all their new recruits into their best 22. Watch his role in the preseason matches closely.

Rankings of Top 10 Forward Breakout Contenders

I will rank my top 10 breakout contenders in order of who I think will fire and who will be a spud in 2016 out of those named above. I’ve also factored into the rankings whether I think they will play, those ranked lower I am doubtful will see game time, or will not improve their average greatly.

  1. Dale Thomas

  2. Isaac Heeney

  3. Craig Bird

  4. Jack Martin

  5. Matthew Wright

  6. Ben Kennedy

  7. Jed Anderson

  8. Darcy Lang

  9. Angus Brayshaw

  10. Reece Conca


  1. David Grant

    Coach Tooler, you need a new nickname. Tooler makes it sound like you are a tool and you aren’t. I will refer to you as Coach Cooler!

    1. CoachTooler (Post author)

      Haha, that’s my surname champion, I don’t hide in cyberland under a false name. 🙂

      1. David Grant

        You must have copped it at school 🙁

  2. David Grant

    Coach Cooler, liking your work a lot!
    1.Dale Thomas – My hand gets the yips when I get near the select button
    2.Isaac Heeney – too much coin?
    3.Craig Bird – depends on role, though it was either you or Rids(podcast on Bird) who said he scores even when he tags
    6.Ben Kennedy – SConly, RDT price comparatively outrageous
    7.Jed Anderson – Yep
    No one else on the radar

  3. Evony Pico David Low

    Give Thomas a miss, how many games has this guy played since moving to Carlton. He had one break out year… pass

    Would rather pick Conca if he can get fit…

  4. MJ

    I have Gus Brayshaw much higher on the list than you.

  5. Francis Foster

    Just wondering, where would you put kerridge in this list? I know he is much cheaper in RDT but in fantasy he sits at 299k and I’m still not sure if h’s worth the coin.

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