Brisbane Lions SuperCoach AFL preview.
Brisbane Lions SuperCoach AFL preview.

Can Zorko return to SuperCoach highs?

Dayne Zorko averaged 109 and 110 SuperCoach points in 2016-17 but as he struggled with taggers and form, the Lions star saw his average dip to 95 in 2018.

The Lions - and SuperCoaches - hope he can bounce back this year and Lachie Neale's arrival could be a big help.

We analyse the best premium, mid-price and rookie options at the Lions in 2019.


Lachie Neale ($607,300, Mid)

The eighth-most expensive midfielder but worth every cent as an ultra-reliable scorer who somehow flies under the radar despite three years in a row of 109-plus averages. Media attention surrounding his trade from Fremantle might have alerted the masses but he's still likely to be a point of difference compared to the likes of Nat Fyfe, Josh Kelly and Dustin Martin. Has missed only two games in the past five seasons and since 2016 only Tom Mitchell has won more disposals.


Dayne Zorko will be looking to bounce back in 2019.
Dayne Zorko will be looking to bounce back in 2019.


Dayne Zorko ($520,200, Mid)

A horror start to last season will turn off many but that creates an opening for a great unique midfield pick. From Rounds 7-20 he averaged 115 points a game and that's no fluke after averaging 109 and 111 the previous two seasons. Presents potential value but beware of taggers.

Jarryd Lyons ($502,200, Mid)

Stats boffins were scratching their heads when Gold Coast traded its best clearance player to its cross-town rival. Apparently Stewart Dew wasn't convinced about Lyons' GPS numbers but he has had no trouble getting his hands on the footy as only Patrick Cripps and Tom Mitchell averaged more clearances per game in 2018. His first three games last year included scores of 152 and 138 which gives a hint of his scoring potential.

Stefan Martin ($573,700, Ruck)

If you don't want to fork out the mega bucks for Brodie Grundy or Max Gawn, Martin should be top of the shopping list. He averaged 106 points a game last year and has been above 98 in four of the past five seasons. Barely misses a game but annoyingly shares the same bye as the two big-name rucks.




Harris Andrews ($480,100, Def)

Andrews was on track to be one of the big improvers of 2018 before an unscheduled appointment with Jeremy Cameron's elbow. In the five matches before he suffered shocking injuries including brain bleeding in the sickening collision with the GWS forward, Andrews averaged 113 points a game including a standout 152-point effort against Essendon when he took nine intercept marks. He was a bit more subdued when he returned late in the season but should be cherry ripe for Round 1.

Hugh McCluggage ($416,800, Mid)

The No.3 pick in the 2016 draft is entering his third season in the system and could be ready to deliver performances that saw him average 28 disposals and two goals a game in his final TAC Cup year. A glimpse of what's to come came in Round 20 last year, when the 20-year-old tallied 26 disposals, 11 contested possessions, seven marks, five tackles and three goals - and 140 SuperCoach points.

Alex Witherden ($455,000, Def)

Another value breakout candidate, this time down back where it's a bit easier to take a risk. Witherden was a standout in his debut season and matched that in year two with an average in the mid-80s, although that did include an injury-affected score of 13 in Round 22. Hopefully year three will include more scores like the 131, 125 and 117 he delivered last year and less of the 42 and 43 he produced early in the season.


Will Jarrod Berry increase his average again. Picture: Peter Wallis
Will Jarrod Berry increase his average again. Picture: Peter Wallis


Jarrod Berry ($434,300, Mid)

While we're on the subject of breakout candidates, Berry is doing everything right to push his score north again in his third season after averaging 62 in year one and 80 in year two. We like the way he goes about it, spending much of 2018 learning off the best midfielders in the game as he was assigned run-with roles on the likes of Patrick Cripps and Rory Sloane. It would be a big leap of faith to select him in your starting squad, but when he starts dominating you read it here first.


Ely Smith ($117,300, Mid)

The Lions' top draft pick (No.21 overall) won the Murray Bushrangers' best-and-fairest last season and is known for his stoppage work. The explosive midfielder has the body to play straight away and finished the year in superb fashion. A chance for early games.

Jack Payne ($123,900, Def)

A strong-bodied defender who looked set for an early season debut in 2018 after marking Lance Franklin in the pre-season before his year was ruined by shin issues. One to look for in the JLT Series.




Allen Christensen ($395,000, Fwd)

Was handy last season at a bargain price but saved his best scores for the final two rounds when most SuperCoaches had offloaded him. Would need to match that every week this year to justify the investment.

Eric Hipwood ($281,800, Fwd)

The young forward has bucketloads of talent but it just doesn't translate to SuperCoach. He scored 130 in Round 16 last year but also delivered seven scores under 40. Look elsewhere.

Luke Hodge ($451,400, Def)

We love Hodgey and he has been a SuperCoach warrior, showing a glimpse of his old magic with a massive 164 in Round 14 last year but he's now 34 and likely to get a rest at some stage.


Luke Hodge at Brisbane training. Picture: Chris Kidd
Luke Hodge at Brisbane training. Picture: Chris Kidd



Daniel Rich (Defence)

Has been on the verge of being a good SuperCoach pick for years without quite making it, but regular scores in the 80s are fine for a late draft pick.

Mitch Robinson (Midfield-Forward)

His SuperCoach scores are better than you think, averaging 92 last season including a 172 against Sydney. Dual-position status a bonus.

Marcus Adams (Defence)

If he's fit the former Bulldog has shown he can be a solid scorer. Should be able to snare him late.

Alex Witherden could be a breakout defender. Picture: Liam Kidston.
Alex Witherden could be a breakout defender. Picture: Liam Kidston.