Should we pick the Bont in SuperCoach AFL?
For a number of years Marcus Bontempelli has been the number one man for us at the Dogs. Last season we saw Jack Macrae, Josh Dunkley and Toby McLean really step up and start to score well.
So what did this do to Bont and what does it mean for his future?
WHY SHOULD I PICK HIM?
When we look at Bontempelli over the last four seasons, we see nothing but consistency. His last four season averages have gone 103, 108, 104 and 103. Whilst these aren't huge, it is always comforting to know what you can generally expect from a player.
One thing we look for in a player is a high ceiling. And this is one thing that Bont definitely has. He had five games over 125 and a further three games over 110. This is what we want from our midfielders, the ability to have a big score that can win you the week against your opponent.
Importantly, whilst he did have a lower average than last season, he averaged 116 across the last four weeks of last season and all of those games were 100+. So we can see that not only can he go big, he was on a roll when the season finished. This hopefully points to a big season ahead for Bontempelli. He started well with 116 in the JLT opener against the Suns.
In the past there has been not a great deal of help for him in the side, but last season we saw the emergence of Dunkley and Macrae had a career best season after showing signs the season before. This means that he no longer has to be the guy that does everything. Hopefully this allows Bont to get alone more often now with more attention going to these other blokes which should see a boost in his numbers.
WHY SHOULDN'T I PICK HIM?
Earlier I mentioned that he had at least five games over 125, but for his average to be only 103 this means that he had some lower scores which dragged this average down. During the year he had a 47, 63, 67 and a 79. These are scores that can wipe out your weekend. So having a great ceiling is awesome, but we can't afford a player to go this low on our field.
We always talk about the third year breakout for a player, but Bontempelli's consistency actually works against him here. He hit his average in his second season and has never really gotten to the heights that we had all hoped after that. There just hasn't been any evidence to say that there is any upside to his scoring.
Whilst the addition of guys like Dunkley and Macrae take some of the attention off The Bont, they also have a chance to take some of the possessions that he could have had too. And with them playing so well in the midfield it means that he may just have to spend more time up forward which, if he isn't kicking goals or if they can't get the ball up there enough, will almost certainly damage his ability to score well.
We have all been waiting for Bontempelli to take his place as one of the Supercoach elite, but I think we simply have to wait and see again this season. I don't think that we can put him in our starting squads but there will definitely be points in the season where we look at him as either a downgrade or a cheap upgrade option. Keep an eye on his JLT 2 form and role and then maybe wait for the first couple of rounds before we jump on him.