WILL’S WEAK OWNERSHIP

Every Supercoacher loves to have a Point Of Difference player (POD) in their team to separate them from the pack. Finding one that sends you in the right direction can be a big gamble, and can make or break your season. Sacrificing a big name proven player for another who you think can breakout almost never works, but every year for one reason or another, there are some genuine premiums who don’t get any love before the season starts. Every Sunday leading up to the start of the 2019 season, I’ll be uncovering one of those players in an attempt to break up the stock standard teams we’re seeing all over social media!

 


SCOTT PENDLEBURY
Price: $562,000
Position: Midfielder
2018 Avg: 103.5

Ownership: 3%

A favourite among Supercoachers for the last decade, Scott Pendlebury suddenly finds himself in only 3% of teams, two weeks out from the start of the 2019 season. There was a definite drop in output last season, ending with an average of 103.5 (his lowest average since 2007). Last season we saw him go through a sub-100 patch between rounds 7-12, and only score above 130 twice (Rd 14 vs Carlton – 136, and Rd 16 vs Essendon – 163). Compare this to season 2016 when he only scored below 100 four times, and 110+ thirteen times, and it’s easy to think he’s on the decline. Take a look at his career averages below:

   
   YEAR - AVERAGE

    200656.8

    200788.7

    2008103.5

    2009106.5

    2010110.5

    2011129.2

    2012124.7

    2013126.6

    2014124.4

    2015116.2

    2016118.7

    2017106.7

    2018103.5

Some solid history. But what does this year bring? In JLT1 he looked the goods, racking up 34 disposals, 5 tackles and 6 clearances for a score of 120. Anybody who has played Supercoach before knows that you can’t read too much into JLT form, and it must be said that Collingwood were missing a few stars such as Treloar and Adams, but Pendles looked as smooth as ever on the day and he doesn’t look like slowing down this year. Treloar will be back for JLT2 so hopefully we get a look at a relatively full strength Pies midfield.

Pendlebury’s disposal count dipped to 26.8 last season, the first time it’s been below 28 since 2010. His kicking efficiency slightly declined as well, and he handballed more than previous seasons. His contested possession count also dipped by a couple. This all looks bad on paper but it’s worth noting he still ranks elite or above average in most of those categories, and his pressure acts are still elite. It’s pretty easy to make the guy look bad when you’re comparing him to his prime years, but the fact is he’s $562,000 and has the potential to average 105+, so he should at least be on your watch list if you’re looking for a unique pick. There’s no way I can see him dropping below a 100 average, but you’d be disappointed if he averaged any less than he did in 2018.

A similar story to Gaff and Treloar who I’ve written about previously, Pendles is at a similar price to the likes of Matt Crouch, Zach Merrett and Dustin Martin who are all a chance to score the same or higher, which makes things difficult. I would say Crouch, Merrett and Dusty all have more chance of improving on last season than Pendles if they’re injury free, but you know what you’re going to get with him and he’s very durable, missing only 12 games since 2010. 

JLT2 on Monday will hopefully shed some more light on Pendlebury's role and likelihood of increasing his average this season. There will be quite a few names to watch in that game against Carlton so there should be plenty of interest from a Supercoach perspective. I'll be keeping an eye on Pendles' contested numbers and disposal efficiency, and trying to decipher whether he'll be one of the midfield premiums to benefit from the 6-6-6 rule.


VERDICT:
Not in my team and won’t make it in before round 1. My midfield will either have 4 premiums above $600k, or 3 plus one around the $550k mark and that would be Matt Crouch so there’s no way I fit Pendles in as well. For anyone looking for a consistent player who is fairly unique at 3% ownership though, you won’t be disappointed with him. Don’t let his slight decline in 2018 deter you, he’s every chance to average around 105, and with any luck he’ll go a bit higher. By season’s end you’d be more than happy with someone with that average as your M7 or M8.
He might be better suited as an upgrade target mid-season if he’s averaging 110+.

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