SuperCoach Scout – Life after Fyfe?

The world of AFL related media is vast, dynamic and fast paced. If you aren’t engaged on a daily basis, you’re bound to miss something in the flood of news articles, opinion pieces, videos and social media posts – and how relevant are they all to your SuperCoach team anyway? This preseason, we’re solving your problem. Each week we’ll give you our take on the most SuperCoach relevant media.

After reportedly having strong links with Nat Fyfe, St Kilda’s football manager Jamie Cox categorically ruled out any chance of the 2015 Brownlow medallist joining the boys from Seaford in 2018. The Saints appear well placed to land a ‘big fish’ in the upcoming trade and free agency period, with adequate salary cap room and a predominantly young list looking to add some experienced star power.

Josh Kelly and Dustin Martin are names that Cox confirmed interest in, and implied that he would love to see one or both of them in the red, white and black.

Go back 12 months and Fyfe’s playing future was already all the rage, however, the meteoric rise of Kelly and the game-breaking Martin have suddenly transformed them into the major news stories, with Fyfe’s situation perhaps becoming overshadowed. Although Fyfe has already got a Brownlow in his pocket, it is understandable how the stocks of the other out-of-contract guns have surpassed the Fremantle captain. Kelly is averaging 29 touches a game and still bodes plenty of scope for improvement with his age, and Martin’s unparalleled strength and destructiveness makes him entirely unique. Conversely, Fyfe’s form trend has been going in the opposite direction.

Fyfe missed the majority of last season and began 2017 with a price tag of $573,500 – a seemingly minute cost for a player of his quality and history of scoring output. Unsurprisingly, 62.9% of coaches couldn’t resist him. After 5 rounds, the no-brainer decision to start him appeared to be vindicated, as he restored his form, averaging 114. But for the five weeks which followed, the big-bodied midfielder couldn’t reach the triple-figure mark until he finally did last Sunday in Freo’s loss the Collingwood.

Although many people are blaming Fyfe’s decline in numbers on an increased time spent in the front half, just watching the Docker is less than inspiring. His appetite for the contest appears to be slightly down, and his previous ability to brush off all tackles has subsided. Furthermore, his tendency to turn the ball over has been exposed, highlighted by a 13-clanger effort against the Crows in Round 10.

So, it poses the question: could we trade Fyfe? This would have been the unthinkable in the years gone by, but there is some validity to the argument. In his last 6 games, the champ has averaged just 90 and there aren’t really any signs of this changing in the immediate future. This simply isn’t good enough for a premium midfielder, especially when there are many other alternatives producing a vastly greater output. Furthermore, his Round 13 bye is far from ideal as it coincides with many other popular premium selections including Adams, Laird, Tom Mitchell and Rory Sloane. Trading him prior to Round 13 as it would maximise the available players in our SuperCoach line ups. Contrarily, the bye may give the skipper the chance to refresh both mentally and physically, to come home with a wet sail in the back half of the year. You may be fearful of trading the boy from Lake Grace, but his top score for the year is only 126. It is about time we look at his performances, rather than his reputation.

If you have the trades, and the guts to say your goodbyes to Nat Fyfe, it could just be the move that diversifies your team from the rest of the competition and lead to a rankings surge or league glory!

I would be seriously considering life after Fyfe.

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