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Deck of Dream Team

Sam Jacobs – Deck of Dream Team 2013

There’s a dearth of Ruck talent in the Deck this year, so McRath is here to shed some light on one of the most promising big men in the game – Sam Jacobs. Will this former-Blue run out for your team in 2013?

jan12_jacbobsName: Sam Jacobs
Club: Adelaide
Position: Ruck
Assistant Coach 2013 Price: $449,900
Bye Round: 13
2012 Average: 87.2
2012 Games Played: 21
Predicted Average: 90

Why should I pick him? 

Former-Blue Sammy Jacobs, better known as ‘Sauce’ around the club is one of the best up and coming rucks running around in the AFL. After a change of scenery two years ago from Carlton to the Crows, he has made a huge impact around his new club both on and off the field. Currently the undisputed #1 ruckman at West Lakes – he is set for another big year at Adelaide as he steps into his AFL prime.

There is a lot to like about Jacobs and he has few flaws in his game. Firstly, he has a reasonably high scoring bracket with a high of 122 in 2012, including 4 scores above 100. He also had 10 scores in the 80’s and 90’s making him a very reliable scorer most weeks. More importantly though, one thing that made him stand out in 2012 was his reliability to stay on the park. Durability in the ruck simply cannot be underestimated. With countless big men going down all year, Jacobs was a rock on the field in 2012 – only missing 1 game all year. Add to this the fact he only missed 2 games in 2011; and Jacobs has been one of the most durable rucks of the past 2 years. Another 20+ games beckons for Jacobs in 2013.

To list off a few other positives in the Sauce’s arsenal – he is a 24 year old coming into the prime of his AFL career, is the #1 ruck in a Top-4 team and his team is the beneficiary of a very handy draw in 2013. Despite finishing 2nd on the ladder, they do not face any other top-4 team twice; and have the luxury of playing lowly teams Port and the Dogs twice in their fixture. Does the AFL have a soft spot for the Crows or what! (That, my friends is a whole other issue entirely).

Just before I rabble some stats off, I’d like to point out that Sammy will once again find himself as one of the more unique options in 2013 i.e. with so many people going for Cox, Goldy, Nic Nat and Berger, he will be overlooked and could prove a durable point of difference in your ruck division this season.

First 5 Fixtures and 2012 avg v opponent

ESS

BRL

POR

WB

CAR

AVG

99

87

115.5

76

73

90.1

Last 5 Fixtures and 2012 avg v opponent

POR

NOR

WB

MEL

WCE

AVG

115.5

68

76

80

85

84.9

With a favourable start and finish to Adelaide’s season, look for Jacobs to get a good start to 2013; and in turn finish strongly when you’ll need him most – the DT Finals. Don’t forget that he is set to continue his path of improvement; and with another full preseason behind him, don’t be surprised if Sauce goes for an average of close to 95 in 2013.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Apart from a few minor gripes and a few low scores in 2012 (48, 66 and a finals avg of 63), I can’t really fault him too much to be honest. Whilst Jacobs has a great draw, looking closer at the teams he will face twice – he only has a good record against Port. Otherwise, he scores below his average against the other 4 teams. All of a sudden his draw doesn’t look as great as we thought. Of course, he should continue to improve, and it’s only a few less than his average so it’s not that great an argument I’ll admit.

Teams ADE Play Twice in 2013

POR

NOR

FRE

WB

WCE

AVG

115.5

68

79

76

85

84.7

More notably perhaps is this: over the preseason, something has come to Adelaide that may/may not change the future of Sam Jacobs at the Crows. His output could drop and his spot will definitely be challenged. This thing is in fact a person; and this person is on a mission to displace Sauce and destroy his DT standing. His name is Angus Graham. Recently quoted as saying he wants to have an ‘Ivan Maric-like’ impact at Adelaide, he has come all the way to West Lakes from Tigerland with a goal of taking that #1 spot and will work his ass off to make it his own. On the surface this competition could be good for Jacobs as it’ll make him work harder to keep performing; but should he suffer a drop in form, we may see a bit of tinkering from Coach Sanderson. And this could mean trouble for big Sauce and your Dream Team.

Deck of DT Rating

QUEEN – There’s not much in the way of further improvement for Sam in 2013. Close to All-Australian selection last year, he could very well make the grade and step up further this season to make the final 22. If this happens, look for his DT figures to rise in accordance and look for an average above 90. I can’t see Angus Graham standing in the way of this at all personally – so if you’re after a reliable, durable POD in the ruck, grab the Sauce and enjoy the tasty scores that come with him.

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @McRathDT to say hey or share your thoughts on Dream Team 2013.

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