Stefan Martin – Deck of DT 2016
Quick question– what do you get when you add Nic Naitanui’s leap to Mitch Duncan? Read on to find out.
Name: Stefan Martin
AFL Fantasy: $631,000
AFL Dream Team: $661,100
Bye Round: 15
2015 Average: 114.1
2015 Games Played: 20
Predicted Average: 116
Why should I pick him?
The highest-priced player heading into 2016 doesn’t get there by accident. Dean Cox might have forged the ‘mobile ruckman’ path a decade ago, but Stefan Martin has gone and built a highway upon it.
I hear all the time “Stefan Martin is a ruckman with midfielder stats”. Screw that. Stef is a midfielder with bonus ruckman stats. Here’s proof, in the form of a simple maths question– what do you get when you add Nic Naitanui’s leap to Mitch Duncan?
Answer: A ruckman on speed. Or a midfielder with flubber-powered boots. Or, just Stefan Martin.
With 21.6 disposals per game, Stef murdered his vertically gifted competitors (with Sauce Jacobs the next most profilic full-time ruck with 15.5 a game), yet still collected a hefty 32.5 hitouts a game – good to rank 7th in the competition. His 6.4 marks per game embarrassed his long-limbed brethren, with only a handful managing to even crawl past the 4-mark threshold. So yeah, he’s a beast.
While these stats are sexy on paper, what does it mean for us AFL Fantasy coaches, apart from soaking up a giant chunk of our yearly salary? Basically, Stefan has discovered the secret formula to the juiciest basement in the league; Martin’s R1 score of 87 ended up being a season low for the Lion utility. Bad games, poor matchups and natural statistical deviations considered, that’s an incredible feat.
The beauty of Stefan Martin is that if he’s getting bettered in the tap game (be it monsters like Goldstein or Mumford), he’ll focus on burning you around the ground. If you throw a mobile ruckman up against him (Blicavs or McKernan, etc.) then he’ll murder you in the air and still back himself in to feast on the crumbs at ground level. And, God forbid you do a Western Bulldogs and sacrifice a part-timer like Jordan Roughead against him like they did in Round 23… Because he’ll dismantle you, as the 32 touches, 7 marks and 50 hitouts for 152 DT points might suggest.
One might be inclined to point out that he was lukewarm (by his lofty standards) in a timeshare with Leuenberger last year, and that’s a valid concern given that he was 21 points better without Leuey’s presence this season (126.8 vs 105.6). However, the Berger has departed for redder & blacker skies, leaving Trent West as the only ruck threat… And honestly, not a serious one. Besides, it’s a small sample size, but in the two games they ran out with the West/Martin combo in 2015, Stef pumped out eye-popping totals of 124 & 151.
Why shouldn’t I pick him?
He’s damn pricey. You’re going to have to part with over $600k of your hard-earned cash to recruit him, and there’s always the allure of mid-price improvers to cloud your logical mind. If you can find a Brodie Grundy (improved from 61 avg to 91) or a Mark Blicavs (63 to 97) equivalent then you’re laughing; but are you willing to back yourself in to pick that breakout, given how devastating the worst case scenario is?
Another consideration is that Stef shares the same bye with another popular ruck goliath in Goldstein. It would be an interesting strategy to spend $1.3m on an aerial division that won’t even be suiting up in Round 15.
Deck of DT Rating.
ACE – Stef Martin is the Kevin Durant of AFL Fantasy in that he delivers in every single category. He can literally do it all, and it’s for this reason that, barring injury, I’ll be starting him over the more structured Todd Goldstein as the cornerstone of my ruck divison.
I’ll leave you with the following 2015 facts:
21.6 disposals per game – more than Deledio, Duncan, Bontempelli, Gibbs, Griffen
6.4 marks per game – more than Carlisle, J. Riewoldt, J. Cameron, J. McGovern.
32.5 hitouts per game – more than Lobbe, Jamar, Minson, Maric, Grundy.