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.
Ryan Burton has been a shining light in what has so far been a rollercoaster year for Hawthorn fans. In just seven games, the second-year defender has managed to increase almost $150,000 since the beginning of the season, currently sitting at $403,500 with a breakeven of 21.
With an average of 90, including back to back scores of 100 over the last fortnight, Burton went from an overpriced rookie to a legitimate premium option in a season where premium backs are hard to find.
Like many, the 20-year-old has had to endure a long road to be where he is today, badly breaking his leg playing SANFL after dominating the 2014 Under 18’s Championships. The Hawks snared him with their first-round pick in 2015.
He played the final three games of the home and away season in 2016 before injuring his calf in the second quarter of last year’s Qualifying Final against Geelong.
Priced at $254,600 to start this year, less than one per cent of teams started with him. After missing the season opener, the smooth kicking defender made immediate impact in round two amassing 26 disposals to go along with 104 points – rewarded with the Rising Star nomination for this round.
What we’ve learnt so far from this youngster is that he is a terrific user of the pill, currently going at 85% disposal efficiency – above average for a second-year player.
The Hawks are back in the winning books in the last two weeks, and Burton has been enjoying his opportunities to send the ball in by foot. In round seven against the Demons he went off for 24 disposals at 95% efficiency, then backing it up with 24 touches just last week.
The defender is ranked fourth for total kicks at the club despite playing one less game than everyone inside the top six (excluding Luke Hodge).
Kicking, especially extended and effective ones, result in major SuperCoach points, Burton has this skill in a bunch and could convince many to jump on board the rising star.
News surrounding Hawthorn’s injury woes has broken this week, with small forward Cyril Rioli sidelined for up to three months, defender Ben Stratton out until at least round 14, as well as fellow defender James Frawley scheduled to miss eight weeks with turf toe.
Although these are three very important players for the Hawks, this might aid Burton who has seemingly found his feet. With Grant Birchall already out, Burton’s minutes will only increase, hopefully we might see him rewarded with midfield minutes – just like the man who wore number five before him.
If Burton can be as half as good as Sam Mitchell, who spoke to Burton before leaving the club late last year, then we could see a new premium defender on our hands.
As stated previously, premium defenders are always hard to come by and with Adelaide duo Andy Otten and Curtly Hampton losing price fast, it could be time to jump on a unique option such as Burton.
Burton is expected to increase by $30,000 this week, keep a close eye on his performance against the Pies and where he is positioned.
Currently owned by 6.2% of teams, give it one more week before making the call on the man who could be the favourite for the Rising Star come round 23.