Every year we get a surprise DPP addition and this year it’s Jack Macrae, given he’s averaged over 90 the past 3 season it can feel like a walk up selection.
Name: Jackson Macrae
Club: Western Bulldogs
2016 Highest Scores
126 Vs Richmond, Round 6 (SuperCoach)
139 Vs Collingwood, Round 10 (AFLDreamTeam/AFLFantasy)
Personal Best Scores
172 Vs Gold Coast, Round 17, 2014 (SuperCoach)
168 Vs Gold Coast, Round 17, 2014 (DreamTeam/AFLFantasy)
Why Is He Relevant?
Late last year Champion Data announced the 2017 positions and as we saw the likes of Dustin Martin, Zach Merrett, Dayne Zorko and Leigh Montagna all lose forward status panic quickly set in as we wondered who could fill the void. Thankfully for us, we got one back the other way with Western Bulldog and now premiership player Jackson Macrae.
12 months ago I was bullish about Jackson Macrae as a Midfield only selection so much so that I started whim in DreamTeam, so that fact that he’s now a forward makes it even easier to ‘get back on the horse’ in 2017 and start him. Jack posses a strong outside game and seems to rack up plenty of possessions, especially on the outside of the contest as he averaged 19 uncontested possessions a game last year. Despite gaining forward status, he didn’t impact personally on the scoreboard much throughout the season, but he certainly helped set up plenty of goal scoring opportunities averaging 6 scoring involvements per game.
Last season was down on his previous 2 seasons, but still had plenty of positive moments. In DreamTeam/AFLFantasy he scored over 100 in 8 matches, 6 of those were over 110 and during a 10 game stretch from round 4 until the Bulldogs bye he averaged 106.3. In SuperCoach he was less prolific, but as a forward eligible player they certainly put him in top 10 contention as he scored 6 hundreds throughout the season.
Across 2014 & 2015 combined he played 41 games and averaged 104 in DreamTeam/AFLFantasy and scored 22 hundreds with 9 of those over 120. While in SuperCoach he averaged 99.7 and reached above the triple figure range in 19 matches with 9 of them above 120.
If you spent anytime watching the Dogs during last year’s finals series Macrae’s name certainly would’ve stuck out for you. In the Dogs Semi Final win against the Hawks he was prolific with 39 disposals and scoring 126 (DT/AF) 140 (SC.) Then again on the biggest stage of all he dominated a wing, winning 33 disposals and scoring 100+ across all formats.
If he was a midfield only option he’d certainly be a unique starting option and given what he’s shown he can do an average of 105 or even above certainly isn’t out of the equation. However, as a MID/FWD it feels like everyone has him. He’s currently (at date of writing) in 43% of AFLFantasy sides, 45% DreamTeam & 24.4% in SuperCoach.
One of the great interests for me this preseason will be how the Bulldogs game develops in 2017. Their high quality midfield depth will get only better given the ages of their players who roll through that midfield group while the inclusion of Travis Cloke and the return of Stewart Crameri will add greater goal scoring variety and versatility. Does this new look forward line require Macrae to play the 40% time forward he did last year or will he be freed to hog a wing and default back to 2015?
Either way he should still be a strong scoring option across all the formats, and while I think he’s the easiest selection in AFLFantasy & DreamTeam to start with he’s certainly not the ‘must have’ in SuperCoach. That being said I still believe he’ll be among the top scoring options this year.
Depending on the scoring format you play it will determine what round of the draft you look to pick him up. In a DreamTeam/AFLFantasy draft he’ll be certainly gone inside the top 20 picks and you could easily build a case for picking him in the opening round if you believe he’ll be far and above the #1 forward. While in SuperCoach he’s more likely to still go inside the top 30 selections I’d feel more comfortable picking him in the 3rd or 4th rounds. Regardless of where you pick him, he should be your F1 in a draft league.
Who’s Next – #5?
5 Players left to go, 3 days left to reveal them all. The player at #5 was the SECOND player i included in my side the moment every format opened. Yes, I have him everywhere and with good reason! Who is he?