HPN will attack this AFL Trade Period in one post a day, either as a roundup or with progressive updates through the day.
Tom Fullarton becomes a Demon
For a long time Tom Fullarton was more likely to leave a legacy on the hardwood and not a footy field. As a junior Fullarton played through the future Boomer pathway – representing Australian youth teams and signing a contract with NBL side Brisbane Bullets while still a teenager.
Then, like many before, he made the switch to footy.
At AFL level Fullarton has always been a backup option, playing 19 games for the Lions in four seasons. Twelve of those games were in 2021 when he largely filled in for Eric Hipwood. He also played mostly forward in the VFL this season, kicking 30 goals in 15 games. Despite playing up forward, his best footy has arguably come as a ruck. He is surprisingly agile for a player of his size. His ability to follow the contest and bend at the hips provides him some value as a mobile ruck.
Despite his athleticism he is clearly coming into Melbourne as flexible depth. The Dees will be keen on his ability to be booth a depth forward role and an ruck option, both areas where depth is needed. Covering these for the price of one list spot and one salary is likely to be appealing. Alongside another former Lion, Josh Schache, they arguably fill four necessary tall depth spots for the actual price of two – the lowest rent type of an Ohtani type player.
It’s quite probable that the best case for Fullarton’s output for Melbourne is zero, because it would mean they haven’t had to call on Fullarton ahead of other more preferred forwards or rucks. Even if Melbourne do change their forward structure after two years of falling down in finals, it’s unlikely that Fullarton fits in plan A or plan B there.
The trade values Fullarton with a pick Melbourne weren’t likely to use, meaning all they lose is the prospect of using it another way such as a slight pick upgrade. The selection becomes Brisbane’s second after 30, and may have some utility to them.
Verdict: Token trade. Fullarton’s projected value is minimal such that any pick would have a much better projection.
After three seasons at Hawthorn, the small forward Tyler Brockman asked for a trade back home to Western Australia. He has looked handy enough with the Hawks, kicking 13 goals from 15 games this season after missing all of 2022 with injury.
It’s hard to remember through the Hawks’ recent struggles and the passage of time but Brockman showed more than just flashes in his exposure at AFL level. His best footy should see him being able to fill a spot for a side desperately looking for AFL level players.
The trade values Brockman as a player with a realistic path to regular senior footy, but also one who remains a bit speculative. He was probably worth the pick 44 alone in terms of projected output, but Hawthorn likely sees a use for the later pick in matching a bid for their key position prospect father-son, Will McCabe. The young South Australian has been notable at Central Districts this year and probably will attract a bid at the back end of the bloated first round of the draft.
The Eagles, for their part, get another young prospect for the price of the fourth and sixth draft picks in their hand. Alongside pick 1 they hold 23, 37 and 58, and could look to use them to balance out the pick swaps they’re still discussing with other heavy-hitters.
Verdict: Hawthorn have the notional upside, especially if the picks help match for McCabe.
Note: This post is part of a series of posts using a valuation method called Player Approximate Value (PAV) to evaluate trades for fairness and balance. Readers can explore these values with tools such as the HPN Trade Calculator to evaluate potential trades.
Elsewhere, read much more about the method and theory behind PAV. Expressing the value of players and picks in terms of expected future PAV provides a common currency for comparing them in trades and other movements. Players are projected using PAPLEY, a method to derive expected future PAVs.