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Deck of Dream Team

Tom Mitchell – Deck of DT 2016

Fantasy coaches love Tom Mitchell… and rightly so! He has one of the best Fantasy games going around. As a straight MID, do we still pick him?

Name: Tom Mitchell
Club: Sydney Swans
Position: MID
AFL Fantasy: $593,000
AFL Dream Team: $618,200
Bye Round: 14
2015 Average: 106
2015 Games Played: 17
Predicted Average: 115

Click here for DT Live profile.

Why should I pick him?

Tom Mitchell has the perfect fantasy game. He is a ball magnet who averages over 6 tackles a game and has only played 3 seasons! He’ll be heading into his 4th season after finishing last year on a 147 point 3 round average!!

One of the biggest concerns when picking Mitchell earlier was his job security. Coaches could have sworn that he’d either slept with Longmire’s daughter or hit his dog because he just couldn’t get consistent games and when he would he’d be prone to the vest. Even after racking up a 64 possession game in the NEAFL in 2014 he was still overlooked for senior selection! But after having an epic preseason and dominating his first 3 NEAFL games of 2015, he finally locked down his senior role in round 5 and became an integral cog in the Swans midfield.

The plus to picking Mitchell is his upside is huge! He has a massive ceiling for his scoring potential. In 11 of his 17 games last year he went over 100 points, pushing it further in 5 of those games to score over 130.

In fact, when we look at the games where he went under 100 points he is still pretty damn impressive. 4 of those games were scores of 95, 93, 89 and 87. Which still aren’t terrible scores! The only two scores that seem out of place and brought his average down however are the 48 and 41, which were both results of getting vested! Considering this is no longer an option, it seems like a pretty safe bet that as long as Mitchell is on the ground, he’ll accumulate the points for you!

Also while accumulating those points you can be pretty certain that he’ll be running around without getting much attention. While he does get a lot of the ball on his day, he isn’t the most damaging player in the Swans midfield. You can guarantee that Kennedy, Hannebery or Parker would be seeing the close attention first.

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Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Honestly, the biggest concern I have when deciding to lock in Mitchell is his role in the Swans midfield. As mentioned above, he did dip below 100 on a couple of occasions. Drilling further into those games we can see Mitchell’s role was slightly different during those rounds.
In round 14 against Port, Mitchell was given a run with role against Boak. He possibly did this job a little too well and was a massive key to the Swans winning this game. While his score was still an impressive 105 points (helped by a handy 9 tackles) this did lead towards Mitchell getting more time running with opposition midfielders. In round 15 he was given the job on Beams for 93 points, followed by round 16 against Sam Mitchell for 87 point and then again in round 19 on Selwood for 89 points.
While these still aren’t terrible scores for a tagger, you’re paying a premium price for Mitchell this year and the difference between his scoring during games when tagging versus when he is free is too extreme to ignore.

Mitchell’s possible role as a tagger leads me to the next concern we face when picking Mitchell, that’s his coach Longmire!
In the NEAFL Mitchell generally has free range as a midfielder and his scoring certainly reflects this. But throughout his career of senior selections under Longmire, there’s definitely been times where it seems Longmire is actively working against his fantasy stats! (I may be taking that too personally but still)
In truth, this could be more because of the plethora of options that Longmire has to choose from in the Swans midfield.
Even last year when we have seen Mitchell get a chance to shine, he was still given the vest somewhat out of the blue and there were even games where he hasn’t attended any ball ups. Add this to the fact that Longmire may be grooming him for a tagging role and it does add another element of doubt when picking Mitchell.
While I know that the vest isn’t an issue anymore, I’m partly concerned that Longmire had previously used the vest as a way to rest players. Could this lead to missing a game randomly instead? I may be way off base here but it does have me slightly concerned…

Deck of DT Rating.

ACE – If he can dodge Longmire’s tagging role then I believe he can definitely average over 115 this year!
Mitchell’s price point puts him at an ‘awkward’ range that may turn people off. You’ll be paying more than the proven premo’s GAJ and Rocky but I firmly believe he is worth it! I’m hoping this price will turn off a lot of people, because the only thing better than having a player racking up a massive score for you, is when your opponent doesn’t have him!

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @Anthonydsmith86 for all thing AFL Fantasy (and more). Got something to say about the deck? Use the hashtag… #DeckofDT.

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