These guys can help you get ahead if the selection pays off, or leave you falling behind if they fail.
Another important note is that these five highlighted players don’t play in Opening Round, which means they’ll play an extra week compared to high-owned picks Nick Daicos and Zac Williams who have early-season byes.
Let’s check out a handful of point-of-difference (POD) options.
*OWNERSHIP FIGURES AS OF FEBRUARY 12
LUKE RYAN 3.1%
The Docker had a career-best SuperCoach year in 2023 averaging 109.5 points across all 23 games. Ryan didn’t post a score below 83 for the entire year and cracked the ton 14 times, including massive scores of 171 in round 1 and 168 in round 17. The 28-year old takes plenty of kick-ins and with popular pick Hayden Young moving to the midfield Ryan will get even more this year to boost his SuperCoach scoring. If you’re looking for consistency, Ryan is your man.
Verdict: Ryan is a gun but at over $600k you’d likely be picking him over one of Daicos, Sicily or Stewart. It’s a chance to stand out from the rest, but if he falls behind those three stars you will fall behind majority of SuperCoaches.
DAN HOUSTON 4.8%
Another expensive player but Houston is in his peak at 26-years old could be going to another level in 2024. The Port defender posted a career-best average of 106.1 last year and was another player to showcase his huge ceiling with scores of 146, 156 and 176 between round 14 and round 18. He also has a great bye in round 13 where just the Power and Dockers have a week off.
Verdict: The All-Australian is increasing his SuperCoach output year by year and if he bumps that average to above 110 coaches who start Houston will be chuffed.
JORDAN RIDLEY 5.8%
Ridley had an interrupted campaign last season but you only have to look at his final nine games to see how he can be a great asset to your SuperCoach team. The Bomber averaged 109.2 in those matches and it would have been more if he wasn’t forced off the ground with injury around halfway through two of those games.
Verdict: Ridley could be a POD to coaches picking Hayden Young at a similar price of $525,100. With Ben McKay joining the Dons, if Ridley is given more free reign to play as an interceptor across half back he is a great option.
DANIEL RIOLI 0.9%
If you look at Rioli’s SuperCoach scoring in the last month of 2023 you might think it’s crazy to consider the premiership Tiger. Scores of 43, 53, 58 and 42 to finish the season doesn’t make good viewing, but Rioli was carrying an injury and battled on up forward for Richmond. He’s now set to return to the backline and those low scores have helped bring his price down to a touch over $485k.
Verdict: Rioli could be a hidden gem in SuperCoach this year and like Houston the 26-year old should be entering the prime years of his career.
MASSIMO D’AMBROSIO 1.9%
The Hawks love D’Ambrosio’s left foot and if the former Don plays in round 1 he should be on your radar. Hawthorn did just lose Seamus Mitchell to a jaw injury, which may push D’Ambrosio’s selection claims with one of the players vying for a position across half back being unavailable for their season opener. If Blake Hardwick completes his move forward, look for D’Ambrosio to take more kick-ins as well.
Verdict: Definitely a wait and see on form in the pre-season games as well as team selection for round 1.
Originally published as SuperCoach: Five under-the-radar defenders to give your side a point of difference