Michael Barlow – Deck of DT 2016
Newly crowned dual position forward/mid Michael Barlow is high on the agenda for plenty of coaches. See why.
Why should I pick him?
Because we have a true midfielder gifted with forward status! Last season, Barlow would regularly line up on a forward flank at centre bounces and push up as Freo’s extra midfielder. Here’s his 2015 heat map…
(Credits to Champion Data / AFL Live Pass for the heat map)
Thankfully, Champion Data heavily consider the starting position of a player and not so much where they get their possessions (Montagna similar). With Ross Lyon set in his ways, I highly doubt Barlow’s role will change much this year even with Bennell joining Freo. Harley will replace the likes of Suban, Sheridan and Mzungu in the guts and on the outside, not a premium on baller like Barlow.
Excluding the year he broke his leg, 2015 was Barlow’s worst Fantasy season to date but he still averaged a very respectable 93 Fantasy points per game. So is he on the slide? Some might say yes but at 28 years of age, history suggests Barlow should be hitting his football prime! If he can add a few more possessions and goals to his 23 disposals, 5 marks and 4 tackles per game last season then he’ll be the most commonly owned Fantasy player behind Rocky and Ablett.
Barlow had high scores of 145, 136, 124 and 119 last season and he hit three figures 50% of the time. This is all mildly appealing for a premium midfielder but exciting for a premium forward especially with Swanny, Goddard, Mitchell and Gray all losing their forward status. Looking at the remaining forwards available, Barlow is at very short odds to finish the year as a top 6 averaging forward.
Why shouldn’t I pick him?
Barlow wasn’t the most consistent Fantasy player going around last year. 145 one week then 55 and 44 in the next two rounds. Another example is 19 Fantasy Points and a red vest in Round 20 followed by 100, 119 and 136 to finish the regular season. Scores like these may result in a rage (wasted) trade by owners.
That’s seriously all I got.
Deck of DT Rating.
KING – A near guaranteed Top 6 averaging forward with good durability is enough for me. Barlow playing alongside Fyfe, Mundy, Hill, Neale and now Bennell will see him slip under the opposition’s radar this season and he should average around 100 Fantasy points per game as a result. No news is good news when it comes to his preseason to date so fingers crossed he stays fit and healthy for Round 1. All in all, a very safe pick and under-priced if you think he can reach his 2014 average of 111! Get him in your team.