The time has come for the first Dual Position Changes of 2018 in Ultimate Footy. As we know with previous years, changes occur after rounds 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 when players of note have been playing in a primary position different to what they are listed as.
As Ultimate Footy have described it: “Primarily means at least 70% of game time and does not apply to players who may split duties between two positions. For example in 2012 Cox and Naitinui were ruck-eligible only despite sharing ruck and forward duties in a 50-50 split. Since neither played the majority of their games forward neither qualified for a change.”
There are also other means noted such as “The player must be expected to continue to “primarily” play in this position on an ongoing basis.” and “There must be clear and obvious evidence of the player playing primarily in a new position.”
The latest changes see 9 more players added to the first 11 named in January to launch the season including four new forwards, three new centres and two new backs. As stated last year, there was a less conservative approach to players moving spots, however the jury is out on that front.
The glaring omission at the moment is Lachie Whitfield not receiving back status, but there’s still four more chances for the team at Ultimate Footy to make changes upon further data to see if they will change position. With anticipation comes expectations from coaches, outrage that their players haven’t switched yet, and hate for players not qualifying to become DPPs.
Will Hoskin-Elliott (CW – C) add F
Five goals will do enough to show that Hoskin-Elliott is now a forward once more. A handy inclusion to deeper leagues, he has a 71% scoring accuracy from 45 disposals to start the year. Although he has spent 67% of his time in the forward half in the first three games, most of his possessions have come from the wing and half-forward, showing that this is a good call to add WHE to the list of forwards, along with an average 6 score involvements a game, 2.3 inside 50s and every mark of his 15 have been uncontested.
Tim O’Brien (HW – F) add B
With the most worn guernsey by Hawks fans, the swingman has spent almost all his days playing his trade in defence this season. With 68% of time spent in the backline, you can see from his heat map that the forward-cum backman is relishing in his position with Jack Gunston moving forward, James Frawley injured and James Sicily suspended to start the season. He’s only racked up 10 disposals a match, but has had a third of those as intercept possessions, 4 one-percenters a match and 2 rebound 50s a game. There’s still a case for Tim O’Brien the forward though, with 7 score involvements this season so far.
Devon Smith (ES – F) add C
At his new club Essendon, Smith has become the notorious sprinter he imagined he would be in the GWS lineup while pacing the wing. The midfield beast is looking like a great recruit already picking up 63 disposals, 20 tackles, 9 clearances, 13 inside 50s and 8 rebound 50s. Smith is arguably the most significant inclusion to the list of DPPs this week, but the addition of C is probably only relative to leagues running with custom setups that outweigh other positions.
Jack Billings (SK – F) add C
We could be seeing a change in the way Billings’ career might take here with the ball-magnet only registering two goals so far for the season having played mostly on the wing. As a C/F he’ll be invaluable this year, but for those in keeper leagues may need to monitor his position in the future. Billings has picked up 22 disposals a game, had 8.3 score involvements, 1.7 goal assists, 5.3 marks and 4 inside 50s a game.
Alex Sexton (GC – B) add F
Having scored 3 goals last weekend, Sexton flew under the radar for the most part in terms of traditional scoring. He’s a valuable B/F now in category competitions with the 24-year-old spending 84% of his time in the forward half under Stuey Dew. Averaging 13 disposals a game, 4 inside 50s, he has booted 4 goals and 3 behinds total, along with 5 scoring involvements a game which is an improvement from the former midfielder.
David Mackay (AD – C) add B
A very underrated player, Mackay has a disposal efficiency of 87% has been helped by 18 disposals and 3.3 rebound 50s a game. He’s already spent 79% of his time in the defensive half this season, keeping calm under pressure and taking a portion of Brodie Smith’s role left vacant from injury. This position switch is really only useful again in deeper run leagues with more men on the field.
Lachlan Murphy (AD – B) add F
The youngster has started off his career with 74% of time in the forward half, largely thanks to an already steady Crows defence. Averaging 9.3 disposals and 2.7 marks a game, he’s recorded 3 goals, 4 behinds to go with his 4.7 score involvements a game. He’s doing his bit with small-forward pressure laying 11 tackles and 8 inside 50s already in a short career to date. This move is good for those in keeper leagues.
Another young Lachie, the Fogarty of the Cats had a stellar debut against the Demons in round one with 20 disposals, however dropped off the pace the week later. He’s averaging 3 marks and 2 tacklers a game, kicked a goal in all three matches, but was largely inaccurate on the weekend against the Eagles with 1.4. This decision to make the Fog a C/F is a little too early for our liking with Fogarty’s 42 possessions fairly well spread out across the ground and 5.3 score involvements a game showing he’s in the chain of events.
Christian Salem (ME – B) add C
There’s nothing magical about this Salem, but it’s no secret that he’s been in the guts of the ground doing the hard yards under packs with 30 of his 45 possessions as contested. The role change is seeing the 22-year-old gaining midfield time, but statistically no better off right now compared to last year. He’s raised the bar in tackles — up 0.9 a game, inside 50s (averaging 3 compared to 1.6 last year) and clearances (4 compared to 1.1) but has significantly dropped off in rebound 50s (0.3 compared to 3.8 last season) and marks (1.7 this year to 4.6 last year).
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