Despite both Todd Goldstein and Stefan Martin being ranked in the top 10 of drafts in 2016, this year will perhaps see the largest disparity of scoring among ruckman for many a season.
Max Gawn (106.5), Todd Goldstein (101.6), and Brodie Grundy (100.6), are the only ruckman projected to average 100 in 2017. After these three however, only Stefan Martin and Sam Jacobs are expected to score above 90 per game.
A currently injured Shane Mumford is next in line with a projected average in the mid-80s, however given his injury concerns over the past two seasons big Mummy is anything but a safe bet at this stage. All others are predicted to score around the low 80s or below.
So being able to draft one of those top three could be a huge point of difference for your fantasy side, as you could possibly come into each game with a 20-plus point advantage in the ruck position over your opposition.
Yet why not take it one step further. Many Ultimate Footy leagues use a utility, while the odd few also have two rucks. If you are in a league that use either of these two options, being able to select two of Gawn, Goldstein or Grundy could possibly give your side a huge advantage in 2017.
Although any number of midfielders could fill your utility spot and produce an average of around 100, being able to use a Grundy, Goldstein or Gawn there would not only provide a similar average, but it would also rob your opposition of a premium scoring ruckman.
The downside is that given the three will more than likely be taken in the top 20 or thereabouts, you may have to forego a premium midfielder for your first selection.
However, the difference in average between the 20th ranked midfielder in Matt Pridds (103), and the 70th in David Zaharakis (89.6) is a lot less than the difference between the top tier of ruckman and those ranked seventh and below.
It is a risky strategy, however there is also the option of trading out one those ruckmen during the season. Given the scarcity of premium scoring rucks, there would no doubt be plenty of takers, and you could find yourself in the position of not just trading that ruckman, but auctioning him off to the highest bidder.
In 2016 many coaches picked up Martin or Goldstein in the top five, and were burnt severely by both. However, Gawn and Grundy are far younger then these two, and neither has missed any games due to injury over the past two seasons, so they appear much safer options.
Are you ready to ruck and roll the dice?