2016 Breakout Contenders: Rucks

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: Rucks

2015 saw two ruck juggernauts in Stefan Martin and Todd Goldstein. They come with a whopping combined Dream Team price tag of $1,320,600 which equates to around 13% of your entire salary cap! Picking mid priced rucks to start with as stepping stones to Martin and Goldstein as their prices fall is a valid way to get them into your side without breaking your bank.

For Ultimate Footy draft leagues once Martin, Goldstein and Jacobs are taken panic will set into your rival coaches and ruck run will likely occur. If you are stuck at the tail end of the run you will need to nail someone. If they are all gone here are some breakout contenders for you to keep you in the hunt.

Tom Bellchambers $368,100

There are a lot of talls now for the Essendon 22 if they all play. Leuenberger, McKernan, Bellchambers and Daniher. If all four play the Bombers will be massacred as their forward 50 will be unable to defend the rebounding defenders coming out. I can’t see both Bellchambers and McKernan playing in the same team. Needs to perform as a forward target in the preseason as Leuenberger will be the main ruck man.

Tom Campbell $322,600

Has shown promising signs after starting 2015 late due to a 2014 shoulder reconstruction. Subbed in the 80s against the Cats in Round 16 and struggled with a thigh injury in his last game against the WCE for a 37. With Minson well and truly on the outer, Campbell could now take the number one rucking mantle. Will share the rucking duties with Jordan Roughead which will split the rucking points. One main drawback is that he has a head only a mother can love and will be staring at you week in week out when you check your team.

Tom Hickey $323,600

Sharing the ruck duties kills Hickey’s scoring. He offers only a small reason to be optimistic his scoring can improve if he continues to share ruck duties with Longer. Played some matches predominately as a forward target and was subbed on three occasions with low numbers. Steer clear unless number one ruck and no Longer selected for Round 1.

Matthew Leuenberger $315,500

He will be a popular pick in people’s sides. He will not be a sole ruck however so do not expect premium scores from him. He will share the load with Bellchambers. He scores best when sole ruck, however an average of 75 plus is expected if his body holds up and higher if Bellchambers is dropped. Is the pick of the mid price rucks but expect coaches to have unrealistic expectations of his scoring in 2016.

Billy Longer $385,500

Unlike Hickey, Longer offers no reason for optimism and will not improve on his average despite his job security being assured as the number one ruck choice for St Kilda. Scored 100s against Carlton and Essendon which shouldn’t count due to the opposition faced. He’s mentioned here as a community service to assist you in not choosing him.

Scott Lycett $355,600

With Sinclair moving onto the Swans, Lycett’s job security has just sky rocketed! In Round 2 when he played with Nic Naitanui, Lycett scored 90. That is enough of a score to be optimistic that a 75 plus average is obtainable. One of the safer mid priced rucks for job security.

Jordan Roughead $347,100

Talked up in similar vein by the coaching staff to Campbell. Was used all over the ground in 2015 forward, back and in the ruck. My guess is he becomes a swingman who chops out in the ruck for Tom Campbell in 2016. I think 70 is going to be thereabouts for him in a chop out swingman role.

Rankings of Top Ruck Breakout Contenders

I will rank my top 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 offer no value to select.

  1. Matthew Leuenberger

  2. Scott Lycett

  3. Tom Campbell

  4. Jordan Roughead

  5. Tom Bellchambers

  6. Billy Longer

  7. Tom Hickey

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